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Discussion on Tracks

It would be helpful to define what real-world entity the MusicBrainz term "Track" is intended to model. Sure, it's logically coherent to say "a track is an entry in the track table of the database", but it's also circular. There are clues about the real-world entity in other pages. DatabaseSchema/Tracks says, "broadly speaking, [table] track represents a particular recording of a song, and [table] albumjoin represents the inclusion of that recording on each release it appears on." Release implies, but doesn't quite say, that a vinyl LP and a CD can be two different ReleaseEvents of the same Release, as long as they have the same content and same artists and are derived from the same master recordings. Thus I'd propose this: "A Track is intended represent a specific audio recording of a specific musical performance. A particular track is transformed to various recorded data formats for distribution to listeners. If an artist performs a song and makes a master recording, that is one Track. The Track can be transformed to an analogue format on a vinyl LP; and a AIFF digital format on a Compact Disc; and an MP3 digital format in a computer file; it is still one Track. The MusicBrainz concept of Track also represents related entities: e.g., a block of data stored on media together with music tracks (DataTrack), or an audio recording that is not musical (a spoken word performance)." That isn't perfect, but it's a start. --JimDeLaHunt 2008-01-14