Thing to do
Loosely ordered by priority.
Have at least a release with acoustids submitted for every artist in my collection, then subscribe to the artist.DONE, including all compilations! This took me a long time but is the first step I would recommend for anyone.
- Merge duplicate recordings of all my subscribed artists. Mostly done.
- Add live disambiguations. Mostly done for the bigger artists.
- Add/relate to Works. Can be done again now that the batch userscript is fixed.
- Process Reports on my subscribed entities. Some done, but there are a few useful ones left.
- Redo a pass on all releases I own, upload my scans (I should also redo my scans with a better scanner and settings, and scan the CD matrixes). Add all information from the booklet, Discogs, etc. Add to a Collection. Set the quality to High.
- Have every release in my collection added on MB.
- Subscribe on other databases (Discogs=Watchlist, M-A=Bookmark, RA=?, RYM=?, MS=??) to every entity in my subscriptions.
- Ensure every Discogs release in my subscribed artists has its MB counterpart.
- Clean up all labels I'm subscribed to. Add Discogs, fix country, missing details, etc.
- Upload cover art for all releases I have in my collection and all releases from my subscribed artists.
- Ensure every Discogs release in my subscribed labels has its MB counterpart.
- Convert all releases in my collection and my subscribed artists to the proper punctuation (some things have changed and I can now do it with more ease: fixed keyboard layout, option to put everything up to vote…).
- Create an almost automated process for retagging my collection.
- Set up a bot. I can program, but MB is usually how I rest my brain after programming.
- special command to ask the bot to comment on your edits (for example, fetch acoustids on recording merges, list releases and their types)
- special command to ask the bot to vote No on your edit (because you are really not sure about your edit and want a big consensus)
- Fix metal-archives links (discography to page in a database, find deleted ones)
- Remove releases linked at the release group level that are now a specific release (do it SLOWLY so editors can add the link to the relevant releases)
- Set Demo types according to metal-archives
- On-demand cover art upload from an already linked external source
Things to know
- Some edits are not applied right away, because they are considered destructive. They have to be either approved by an auto-editor, get 3 yes vote, or be applied after 7 days.
- The direct search is the only search that has real-time results. So you should not be surprised if some things do not appear right away in the normal search. Avoid making duplicates!
- You can paste URLs in most search/select boxes! This is much faster and safer than searching by name.
- Any involved editor should use the available userscripts. They make the site weirder and more complicated, but are usually the only way to make some edits without spending a lot of time. Think of them as chainsaws: dangerous, but absolutely required in some cases.
- There is only one metal database: metal-archives.com. Ignore all others unless the band you want isn't there. Why? Because it has the most editors, and I think many bands actually check the accuracy of the data on it. Some other databases seem to have shamelessly ripped off their database. The number of bands it knows is also overwhelming.
- There is the special case of zenial.nl (often in the external links of Metal-Archives). It has few bands, but is pretty good and often provides high quality artwork, lyrics, etc. For that reason I still add it.
- Discogs is targeted towards release owners, buyers, sellers, etc. As such, it is pretty good at knowing releases. Not so much at track listings. Be sure to get an account and check the edit history though; most recent additions are of lower quality and voting became almost nonexistent. Nevertheless, some artists and many labels actually link to Discogs for their official discography. Be sure to add Discogs links to labels, releases, release groups and artists, as it helps greatly (for future reference, for reports, for bots…).
- It is also a good source for cover art. Beware that it has an imposed limit of 600px image width, making some scans hard to read or useless; sometimes you can find the bigger scan by using the Google Image reverse search.
- Amazon often has these mistakes:
- Wrong release dates especially for older releases (sometimes the date Amazon added it)
- Wrong label (confused with distributor)
- Don't try to add a release just by searching its name, you risk adding the wrong one. If you have a barcode, you can use it to search instead; this is probably the best way to do it. You can also check barcodes on existing ASINs by using one of the following tools:
- iTunes does not provide labels but copyright holders. In case of doubt, do not add a label.
- Beatport provides catalog numbers, releases dates, etc. Given its original target audience, it always tells what "mix" the tracks are. For our purposes, it rarely make sense to keep the (original mix) at the end of the titles. Some times, a barcode is put instead of a catalog number. Be sure to put it in the barcode field, and take the catalog number from another database. A similar website is Junodownload.
- Bandcamp allows arbitrary release dates. Artists will often put the original release date, not the date of the digital media release. In that case, you can take the date from the RSS field which shows when the files were uploaded.
Cover art sources
TODO: Discogs, M-A(just a release group cover, and editions are a new thing so probably inaccurate), Zenial, Bandcamp(in the download=bigger images, pdfs, etc.), Juno>Beatport, Amazon(more artwork depending on country), eCover
TODO: Fixing JPEG without losing quality. Lossless crop and rotate. http://sylvana.net/jpegcrop/losslessapps.html
TODO: Optimize PNG and JPEG images.
User:Nikki/CAA (now I need to replace many Bandcamp artworks…)
Qobuz: https://github.com/Qobuz/api-documentation / replace 600.jpg by max.jpg
- MusicBrainz Slang Seems outdated, but good for nostalgia.
- Style/Miscellaneous / User:Jacobbrett/English Punctuation Guide i.e. Yes, Unicode typography is preferred
- User:Reosarevok/Work_Types Very interesting especially an instrumental is still a Song especially for popular/modern music. Makes sense as we have the ability to set it to No Lyrics, and there is no other appropriate Type.
- http://www.soundperformance.co.uk/faqs/ typical medium durations, medium types, etc.
Some parts of the MusicBrainz database are pretty messy. Popular artists are especially concerned, probably because they are less appreciated by music fans. Conversely, some very obscure artists can have all the information that no one else has.
I love the Recordings view of an artist. It helps me find mistakes (if they belong to another artist), or find exclusive recordings and thus the releases I should acquire to have them.
However, many Recordings views are full of duplicates.
The question is, what recordings should be merged, and how do I know I'm not making a mistake?
First, use userscripts (see below).
TODO merging dos and donts, acoustids and corner cases. also argue on why merging remasters is good
DiscID are computed from an original CD, considering the exact track time of the audio tracks. Due to this, it can be used to identify releases, or even reissues that have the same audio (at least from a human point of view).
- TODO explain http://eac-log-lookup.blogspot.com/ and when (not) to use it
TODO common mistakes and the way to handle them
(mostly preformatted messages, links to style guidelines and guides)
- userscripts.org is dead. need to check if what I use is available elsewhere
Getting auto-updating links from BitBucket: