Difference between revisions of "Editing FAQ"

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This pages answers [[Frequently Asked Questions]] about editing the database. See [[How Editing Works]] for some more detailed documentation.
 
This pages answers [[Frequently Asked Questions]] about editing the database. See [[How Editing Works]] for some more detailed documentation.
  
If that still doesn't help, please find us in one of the [[MusicBrainz Forum]]s or via the [[Contact Us|contact page]]. If you would like to update the content of [[MBWiki:EditingFAQ|this page]] on the wiki, feel free to do so but please do not add questions without answers.
+
If that still doesn't help, please find us in one of the [[MusicBrainz Forum]]s or via the [[Contact Us|Contact]] page. If you would like to update the content of [[mbwiki:Editing FAQ|this page]] on the wiki, feel free to do so but please do not add questions without answers.
  
 
==General Questions==
 
==General Questions==
 
 
===What is "editing"?===
 
===What is "editing"?===
You can make edits to the database to correct errors or add new data to the database. Everything in the database is open to editing: release names, track names, artist names, artist aliases; anything you can think of. By doing this you enter entering "edits" into the system.
+
You can make changes to the database to correct errors or add new data to the database. Almost everything in the database is open to editing: releases, artists, recordings; anything you can think of. When you make these changes, you enter "edits" into the system.
  
 
===Can I do whatever I want to the information in the database?===
 
===Can I do whatever I want to the information in the database?===
Anything within reason. We want the MusicBrainz database to reflect as accurately as possible the information contained on the release. Since we will be receiving data from many sources, every change made to the database will have to be voted on by other users of MusicBrainz.
+
Anything within reason. We want the MusicBrainz database to reflect as accurately as possible the information contained on the release. Since we will be receiving data from many sources, we want the changes to be reviewed by other users of MusicBrainz.
 
 
===What would people be voting on?===
 
 
 
See the [[Introduction to Voting]]
 
 
 
===OK, so that's what we're supposed to do, now how do I do it?===
 
The first thing to do is to [[Picard Download|download]] the MusicBrainz [[Picard Tagger]]. This program lets you look up and submit metadata for the Audio CDs, MP3, Ogg/Vorbis and WAV files in your collection to the database (if they're not found).
 
  
It calculates IDs for CDs and files you submit, and looks them up to see if they're already in the database.
+
===How can I contribute to MusicBrainz?===
 +
If you are not feeling very ambitious, then simply [https://picard.musicbrainz.org/ download] the [[MusicBrainz Picard]] tagger. This program lets you look up and submit metadata for the Audio CDs and music files in your collection to the database.
  
 +
If you're feeling a little more ambitious, you can [[mb:register|become]] an [[Editor|editor]] and try to find some data to fix:
 +
* Look up your favorite artists and see their information is correct and complete.
 +
* Look up your favorite releases and see if the tracks are all listed, spelled correctly, in the right order, etc.
 +
* Add full credits to your favorite releases with the [[How_to_Use_the_Relationship_Editor|Relationship Editor]].
 +
* Browse through your favorite artist's release groups to see if you find obvious mistakes: The exact same release listed twice, missing information about a release, missing/wrong cover art etc.
 +
* After you've had an account for two weeks and have at least ten accepted edits, you can view and vote on other editors proposed changes to the database.
 +
* Add some releases to your [[collection]].
 +
* Subscribe to your favorite artists and your collection so you are notified of any edits to them.
  
 
===How do I undo an edit I entered?===
 
===How do I undo an edit I entered?===
From the MusicBrainz main page, on the upper right mouse over “my data”, and choose “My Open Edits”. You can also find the edit via "View artist edits" from the related artist's page, or "View release edits" from the related release's page. Then you can cancel the edit using the ''Cancel'' button (if the edit is still open).
+
From the MusicBrainz navigation bar, at the top, mouse over "My Data" and choose "My Open Edits". You can also find the edit via "Open edits" from the related entity's page. Then you can cancel the edit using the ''Cancel'' button (if the edit is still open).
 
 
 
 
===Should I fix a misspelled word on a CD title?===
 
Maybe. It depends on whether the misspelling was intentional. See the guidelines for [[Style/Principle/Error correction and artist intent|Error correction and artist intent]] for more details.
 
 
 
  
 
===How long will my edit(s) take to be approved/applied?===
 
===How long will my edit(s) take to be approved/applied?===
 
It depends.
 
It depends.
  
Some edits (punctuation, capitalization) are considered [[Auto-Edit]]s for all users and are applied immediately.
+
Some edits (punctuation, capitalization) are considered [[Edit#Auto-edits|Auto-edits]] for all users and are applied immediately.
  
If no-one votes against your edit, it will be applied after '''7 days'''.
+
If you are changing an [[entity]] you yourself added less than 24 hours ago, you can enter most changes as auto-edits. Otherwise, most changes will require voting, and if no-one votes against your edit, it will be applied after '''7 days'''.
  
If your edit receives three unanimous ''yes'' votes, it will be applied '''within an hour'''.
+
If your edit receives three unanimous ''yes'' votes, it will generally be applied '''after 1 hour'''. If it is considered a [[Destructive_Edit|destructive edit]], however, the edit will be applied '''after 48 hours''' to allow adequate time for other editors to review.
  
 
If your edit receives more ''yes'' votes than ''no'' votes, it will be applied after '''7 days'''.
 
If your edit receives more ''yes'' votes than ''no'' votes, it will be applied after '''7 days'''.
  
For many edit types (anything that wouldn’t result in lost data), an [[Auto-Editor]] may approve your edit to apply it immediately. This is quite common for typo fixes, adding URL relationships and fixes to obvious mistakes but it is at the [[Auto-Editor]]'s discretion and they are not required to do so.  
+
For many edit types (anything that wouldn't result in lost data), an [[Editor#Auto-editor|Auto-editor]] may approve your edit to apply it immediately. This is quite common for typo fixes, adding URL relationships and fixes to obvious mistakes but it is at the Auto-editor's discretion and they are not required to do so.
  
If your edit is to a popular artist that has many [[Artist Subscription|subscribers]], you are likely to gather votes more quickly. If you provide evidence to back up your edits (as suggested in the [[Code Of Conduct]] and [[How To Write Edit Notes]]) and your edits are of good quality, you will also collect ''yes'' votes more quickly.
+
If your edit is to a popular artist that has many [[Subscription|subscribers]], you are likely to gather votes more quickly. If you provide evidence to back up your edits (as suggested in the [[Code of Conduct]] and [[How to Write Edit Notes]]) and your edits are of good quality, you will also collect ''yes'' votes more quickly.
  
===Do you have any ideas for what I should edit?===
+
Are you intending to make changes that depend on prior edits being applied first? Don't hesitate to [[discourse:t/21591|request votes]] for speeding things up.
* Look up your favorite artist and see if their name is spelled correctly.
+
Alternatively, if you are more comfortable with [[IRC]], ask in #musicbrainz
* Look up your favorite release and see if the tracks are all listed, spelled correctly, in the right order, etc.
 
* Browse though the releases to see if you find obvious mistakes: releases listed twice, releases with tracks listed twice, releases with missing tracks, or releases with too many tracks are just a few of the common errors possible.
 
* View and vote on other editors proposed changes to the database. We need everyone to lend their music knowledge to help out the effort. Our goal is to be the most comprehensive database on the 'net.
 
  
 
==Release Questions==
 
==Release Questions==
 +
===What is a "release group" and a "release"?===
 +
A [[Release_Group|release group]] is what is usually referred to as an album. That is, a group of songs recorded by an artist and released to the public. A [[Release|release]] is a specific issuance or edition of that album (e.g. to a specific country or with a bonus track).
  
 
===I found an error in the database. What should I do?===
 
===I found an error in the database. What should I do?===
 +
The fastest, easiest way is to roll up your sleeves, dig in and fix the problem yourself. To jump in and help you should create yourself an account, go back to the release in question and use the edit links that are shown once you log in to fix the problems. Go to the [https://musicbrainz.org/register Create an Account] page to register and start editing the database.
  
The fastest, easiest way is to roll up your sleeves, dig in and fix the problem yourself. To jump in and help you should create yourself an account, go back to the release in question and use the edit links that are shown once you log in to fix the problems. Go here: [http://musicbrainz.org/newlogin.html http://musicbrainz.org/newlogin.html] to create an account and start editing the database.
+
===Should I fix a misspelled word on a CD title?===
 +
Maybe. It depends on whether the misspelling was intentional. See the [[Style/Principle/Error correction and artist intent|Error correction and artist intent]] guideline for more details.
  
----
 
 
===I looked up a release I have in my collection, and the track listing is completely wrong. What should I do?===
 
===I looked up a release I have in my collection, and the track listing is completely wrong. What should I do?===
 +
First, make sure you're looking at the right release. Do the barcode and catalog number match? Check the cover art (if any) and make sure they match.
 +
 +
If it's actually a different release, go ahead and add yours to the database.
  
First, make sure it’s the  
+
If you're sure you have the right release, you can go ahead and correct the track listing: after you're logged in, go to the release page and hit the "Edit" tab. Go to the "Tracklist" section and change it to match your release. Hit "Next", and if the system asks you for recordings, pick the correct ones; if in doubt, choose "Add a new recording". Then hit "Next", review the changes, and enter an edit note explaining what is wrong, and how you know your changes are right. Hit "Enter edit" and you're done.
  
 
===There are releases with no cover art or even wrong covers! Can I change them?===
 
===There are releases with no cover art or even wrong covers! Can I change them?===
 +
Yes. This is now possible with the [[Cover Art Archive]]. This is a joint project between MusicBrainz and [https://archive.org/ The Internet Archive] to make cover art available to everyone on the Internet.
  
Yes. This is now possible with the [[Cover Art Archive]]. This is a joint project between MusicBrainz and [http://archive.org The Internet Archive] to make cover art available to everyone on the Internet.
+
You can find more detailed information in the [[How to Add Cover Art]] section, but in short, if you have artwork for the release (front, back, disc, whatever) you can upload it using the "Cover Art" tab on the release page.
 
 
You can see more detailed info on [[How to Add Cover Art]], but basically, if you have artwork for the release (front, back, whatever!) you can upload it using the Cover Art tab on the release page.
 
 
 
Please make sure that you have selected the correct release, of course. Check the barcode and catalog number; if they don’t match your release, you probably are looking in the wrong place.
 
  
----
+
Please make sure that you have selected the correct release, of course. Check at least the barcode and catalog number (there are [[Style/Release#Cover_art|more things to look out for]] though); if they don't match your release, you probably are looking in the wrong place.
  
 
===How should I enter a box set?===
 
===How should I enter a box set?===
 
 
Right now, the correct way is to just enter it as any other multi-disc release. This generally works fine, except for very large box sets with a lot of relationships (for example, box sets of all works by a major classical composer) - in these cases, it can make sense to divide the box set in a few separate releases in the same release group (blocks of 20 or 25 discs, for example).
 
Right now, the correct way is to just enter it as any other multi-disc release. This generally works fine, except for very large box sets with a lot of relationships (for example, box sets of all works by a major classical composer) - in these cases, it can make sense to divide the box set in a few separate releases in the same release group (blocks of 20 or 25 discs, for example).
 
----
 
  
 
===There are two or more releases with the same titles, should I merge them?===
 
===There are two or more releases with the same titles, should I merge them?===
 
+
[[Release]]s should only be merged when the following requirements are met:
[[Release|Releases]] should only be merged when the following requirements are met:
 
 
* The number of tracks are the same
 
* The number of tracks are the same
 
* The track titles are the same
 
* The track titles are the same
* The track lengths are the same, or there is no more than a 2 seconds difference.
+
* The track lengths are the same (or extremely close if the release has no [[Disc ID]]).
 
* The country, label, barcode, format, and packaging, are the same
 
* The country, label, barcode, format, and packaging, are the same
 +
* The cover art is the same.
  
The release dates, publishers, and distributors should probably also be the same to warrant a merge.
+
The release dates, publishers, distributors and manufacturers should probably also be the same to warrant a merge.
----
 
 
 
===How do I indicate a worldwide release of an album? Should I add the release date for every country in the world? The band's home country? Not at all?===
 
 
 
You should choose [Worldwide] as a release country. But please note "digital download" doesn't automatically involve "[Worldwide]" - some digital shops are region-locked.
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===Should I include the word 'remastered' in an album title?===
 
 
 
No. See [[Extra Title Information Style]]
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===How do I know if a release is wrong?===
 
  
The most obvious way is to have the release case in front of you when you submit the release. If you submit a CD and the [[Disc ID]] is not found, and the server says that a matching title exists, but the track counts don't match, you may have found an error.
+
===How do I indicate a worldwide release of an album? Should I add the release dates for every country in the world, or only the band's home country?===
 +
You should choose "[Worldwide]" as the release country. But please note that a digital download-based publishing doesn't automatically constitute a worldwide release, as some digital shops are region-locked.
  
Someone may have entered the release, but not entered all the tracks, or duplicated tracks, etc. Either enter the info for the release, or try a FreeDB lookup to see if you can save the typing. Then go look at the other release and see if it is actually a match for the one you just did. If it is, you can merge the two releases together to correct the database.
+
===How do I mark a release as a remaster? Should I include the word 'remastered' in an album title?===
 +
No, you shouldn't. See the [[Style/Titles#Extra title information|Extra title information]] style guideline. To indicate a remaster, use a "mastered" relationship between the mastering engineer and the release.
  
----
+
===How do I know if a release is the one I have?===
 +
The most obvious way is to have the release in front of you when you submit the release. Check the label, catalog number, barcode, and compare the cover art to yours.
  
===What order should I make changes in? Do I have to wait until a FreeDB import commits before I change tracks on the album?===
+
===I found a release that matches mine, but it only has one disc.===
 +
There are several possibilities:
  
Well, it never hurts to wait, but if you're like me, you sometimes forget what you're doing from minute to minute.
+
* The label released each disc separately and again in a box set. They should each be separate releases in MusicBrainz. Make sure you can't find your exact release. If you can't, add yours.
 +
* Someone forgot to enter the second disc. Edit the release, and on the tracklist tab choose 'add disc'.
 +
* Prior to [[NGS]] each disc was entered into MusicBrainz as a separate release (usually with "(disc ''n'')" appended to the title. See if there's still a separate "(disc 2)" release, and merge them (with the append merge strategy). Beware of editions which were available with and without bonus discs!
  
You can actually do the changes in what ever order or whenever is easiest for you. The server is pretty robust and will not allow things to blow-up. For example, if you make a change to a release import that fails, the change will just be discarded. The worst that can happen is that you'll enter an edit that doesn't affect anything when the underlying data changes.
+
===What if I don't have the release but I find one when browsing that looks wrong, how should I correct it?===
 +
Find a good source of information, preferably with cover art. [https://www.discogs.com/ Discogs] is one good source. [https://www.ebay.com/ eBay] and [[Amazon]] can be helpful but are  very inconsistent. We want the database to reflect the real release. [[FreeDB]] can even be helpful on certain (mostly classical) CDs.
  
----
+
If you have a rip log file from EAC or XLD, you can try [http://eac-log-lookup.blogspot.com/ looking up the discID].
  
===What if I don't have the CD but I find one when browsing that looks wrong, how should I correct it?===
+
If the release doesn't have enough information to positively identify it, and you can't find any evidence that it exists at all, you can merge or delete it. Try to be cautious though, it's better to keep a questionable release than to lose information. You can also set the [[Release#Data_quality|Data quality]] to low, to indicate that you think it's wrong.
 
 
Well, as stated elsewhere, we really want the database to reflect what is contained on the CD and accompanying cover info, but you can look at it as fine-tuning the database. If you see a release with a couple of tracks numbered 1, 3, 6, 10, for example, you can probably guess that it got entered wrong. Possible approaches would be to do a title search and see if the release is also listed with a more complete track listing. If that fails, you could check an artist's discography to find a complete track listing. Remember, any changes you make have to be voted on, so mistakes will generally get weeded out.
 
  
 
===I found the same release twice. Which one should I remove?===
 
===I found the same release twice. Which one should I remove?===
 +
Probably neither. If they are really identical (exactly the same tracks in the same order, same label, catalog number, and release country), you should merge the albums. This helps other users update their tags, and also allows voters to check that it really is a duplicate.
  
Neither. If they are really identical (same number of tracks, more or less same track lengths, more or less same track names), you should merge the albums. This saves [[PUID]]s and [[Disc ID]]s which would otherwise be lost. One way to do this is to select both releases via the checkboxes in the artist's page, then click "Batch Operation", then "merge ... into one album". Even if an entry doesn't have any [[PUID]]s or [[Disc ID]]s, it's better to merge, in case any [[PUID]]s or [[Disc ID]]s are added before the delete is approved; it's also easier for voters to check that it '''is''' a duplicate.
+
Note that you can also merge '''across''' artists. This is sometimes useful where a duplicate gets added under a different name, e.g. the existing release is under "Elvis Costello" and a duplicate gets added under "Elvis Costello & The Attractions".
 
 
Note that you can also merge '''across''' artists. This is sometimes useful where a duplicate gets added under an artist alias e.g. the existing release is under "Elvis Costello" and the duplicate gets added under "Elvis Costello & The Attractions". Tick the checkboxes for the releases under the artists you want to merge and select "Batch Operation".
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===I just found an artist with lots of uncategorized albums. Can this be fixed without change each release's attributes separately?===
 
 
 
Yes. Select all releases of a given type (e.g. "Live, Official") via the check-boxes, then enter a "Batch Operation" applying the appropriate release attributes to all selected releases.
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===What about this release add with titles in ALL CAPS? Should I vote no on the insert?===
 
 
 
Well, you could, but if the release is correct except for the capitalization, we might as well just correct the capitalization. Vote "yes" and then open the release page up and start editing the tracks.
 
 
 
Also, since changing the capitalization by itself doesn't change any links in the database, capitalization edits will be automatically approved.
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===What about this release add with garbage characters (or all ????). Should I vote no on that?===
 
 
 
Again, you could, but these sorts of encoding problems can also be corrected. See the [[Misencoding FAQ]] for details on how you can fix these as well. You don't even need to be able to read foreign languages to do this (though it does help).
 
 
 
----
 
 
 
===I found 10 releases, each with one track, different tracks, different track numbers, and the same title. What gives?===
 
  
That is probably a release that someone entered wrong. The easiest way to fix this is to "tag" the releases and merge them all into one. Each release has a check box in its titlebar; select each release and then click on the Batch Operation link. From the Batch Operation page, multiple releases can be merged into either a single-artist album, or a "Various Artists" album.
+
To merge releases, go to each release’s page and choose "Merge release" from the right sidebar.
  
 
==Artist Questions==
 
==Artist Questions==
 
 
===What is an artist alias? How should it be used?===
 
===What is an artist alias? How should it be used?===
 +
Artist [[Aliases|aliases]] are used to keep track of other names for an artists and for common misspellings. For instance, ''Slim Shady'' would be good alias to enter for ''Eminem'', as would ''Guns and Roses'' for ''Guns N' Roses''. Aliases are primarily used for when users come to the site and search for an alias or a misspelled name. The MusicBrainz text searching functions can then show the right artist to the user based on the artist alias. There is no harm in having too many aliases for an artist.
  
Artist aliases are used to keep track of other names for an artists and for common misspellings. For instance, ''Slim Shady'' would be good alias to enter for ''Eminem'', as would ''Guns and Roses'' for ''Guns N' Roses''. Aliases are primarily used for when users come to the site and search for an alias or a misspelled name. The MusicBrainz text searching functions can then show the right artist to the user based on the artist alias. There is no harm in having too many aliases for an artist.
+
===Where a band name is just, say, number-letter (e.g. E 17, D-12), what's the policy with regards to spacing/punctuation? Should the aliases list the other forms (D12, D 12)?===
 
 
----
 
 
 
===Where a band name is just, say, number-letter (e.g. E 17, D-12), what's the policy with regards to spacing/punctuation? Should the aliases list the other forms (D12, D 12) ?===
 
  
 
The name in the database should reflect the way the band spells their own name. Check the band's official web page or look at a release cover to get the right spelling. The artist aliases should contain alternate spellings, so entering common other forms for aliases is a good idea.
 
The name in the database should reflect the way the band spells their own name. Check the band's official web page or look at a release cover to get the right spelling. The artist aliases should contain alternate spellings, so entering common other forms for aliases is a good idea.
 
----
 
  
 
===If an artist has a name with accented letters (e.g. "Olga Tañón"), is it OK if the sort name also has those accented letters? Is it necessary to enter an alias with the "un-accented version"?===
 
===If an artist has a name with accented letters (e.g. "Olga Tañón"), is it OK if the sort name also has those accented letters? Is it necessary to enter an alias with the "un-accented version"?===
  
Yes, the sort name should include the accented letters, and its not necessary to enter a non-accented version of the name as an alias.
+
Yes, the [[Style/Artist/Sort_Name|sort name]] should include the accented letters, and its not necessary to enter a non-accented version of the name as an alias.
  
 
==Track Questions==
 
==Track Questions==
 
 
===I added one of my unsorted MP3s as a standalone recording and it got voted down without comment. Why?===
 
===I added one of my unsorted MP3s as a standalone recording and it got voted down without comment. Why?===
 
+
[[Standalone_Recording|Standalone recordings]] are meant to be used for tracks that have never been released on any kind of release (where releases include compilations or singles). Examples of this are tracks that are released only via an artists website or live radio recordings that aren't otherwise available. If you have a track without an accompanying release, you should try to find out what release it came from and add that instead.
Standalone recordings are meant to be used for tracks that have never been released on any kind of release (where releases include compilations or singles). Examples of this are tracks that are released only via an artists website or live radio recordings that aren't otherwise available. If you have a track without an accompanying release, you should try to find out what release it came from and add that instead, for example by importing from FreeDB.
 
  
 
If you're sure that it is a true standalone recording, add a note explaining why it is standalone.
 
If you're sure that it is a true standalone recording, add a note explaining why it is standalone.
 
----
 
  
 
===I'm trying to enter a release that has a bunch of silent tracks on it. What should I enter for those tracks?===
 
===I'm trying to enter a release that has a bunch of silent tracks on it. What should I enter for those tracks?===
 
+
Enter "'''[silence]'''" as the track title. See the [[Style/Unknown_and_untitled/Special_purpose_track_title|Special-purpose track title]] section for details.
Enter '''[silence]''' as the track description. See [[Style/Unknown_and_untitled/Special_purpose_track_title|special-purpose track title]] for details.
 
 
 
----
 
  
 
===Does MusicBrainz store information about data tracks? How should they be entered, if at all?===
 
===Does MusicBrainz store information about data tracks? How should they be entered, if at all?===
 
+
See the [[Style/Unknown and untitled/Special purpose track title#Data tracks|Data tracks]] guideline.
[[Data Track]]s that are the last track(s) on a CD ''should not be entered''. [[Data Track]]s that come at the beginning or in the middle of a CD should be entered as "''[data track]''". See [[Style/Unknown_and_untitled/Special_purpose_track_title#Data_tracks|data track style]] for details.
 
  
 
==Editor Questions==
 
==Editor Questions==
 +
===What is an "Auto-edit" and who are "Auto-editors"?===
 +
[[Edit#Auto-edits|Auto-edit]] is an edit which does not go to a vote: that is, the change is immediately applied, and the edit is immediately marked as successfully completed.
  
===What are "Auto-Editors"? What is an "Auto-Edit"?===
+
[[Editor#Auto-editors|Auto-editor]] is an editor who has been trusted to make edits that are automatically approved ([[Edit#Auto-edits|Auto-edits]]). This enables them to have a greater range of edits immediately applied without going to a vote (see "How can I become an auto-editor?" below).
  
An [[Auto-Edit]] is an edit which does not go to a vote: that is, the change is immediately applied, and the edit is immediately marked as successfully completed.
+
===Which edits are auto-edits (i.e. immediately applied, without a vote)?===
 +
See [https://musicbrainz.org/doc/Edit_Types Edit Types].
  
An [[Auto-Editor]] is an editor who has been trusted to make edits that are automatically approved ([[Auto-Edit]]s) (see "How does a editor become an autoeditor?" below). This enables them to enter a greater range of edits immediately applied without going to a vote.
+
===How can I become an auto-editor?===
 +
See [[Auto-Editor Election]].
  
----
+
==Voting==
 +
===Why can't I vote?===
 +
If you're a new user, you're probably still marked as Beginner. You need to have 10 edits accepted, and an account at least two weeks old before you can vote on open edits.
  
===Which edits are auto-edits (i.e. immediately applied, without a vote)?===
+
===Why can't I add a note?===
 +
Likely for the same reason as above ([[#Why can't I vote?|Why can't I vote?]]). There is a [[jira:MBS-10614|ticket]] to have this changed.
  
See [[Edit Type]].
+
===Someone added a release but got some details wrong. Should I vote no?===
 +
No. If the release is mostly correct, just fix it yourself. Vote "yes" and then open the release page up and start editing.
  
----
+
You might want to add a comment on the edit telling them what was wrong, and linking to your corrective edits. Remember to be polite!
  
===How does an editor become an auto-editor?===
+
===Someone added a release with garbage characters (or all "????"). Should I vote no on that?===
 +
Maybe. First, make sure it's not just a foreign language that you don't have a font for. If it's actually garbage characters then it's probably OK to vote ''no'', but make sure to leave a comment explaining why.
  
See [[Auto-Editor Election]] or [[How Editing Works]]
+
===Someone added some cover art but it's the size of a postage stamp. Should I vote no on that?===
 +
Only if you are willing to put in the effort to find and upload better-quality artwork yourself. After you do, leave a [[Edit_Note|comment]] explaining that you found some better artwork and linking to your own 'add cover art' edit.
  
 
[[Category:To Be Reviewed]] [[Category:FAQ]] [[Category:WikiDocs Page]]
 
[[Category:To Be Reviewed]] [[Category:FAQ]] [[Category:WikiDocs Page]]

Latest revision as of 07:00, 31 July 2021

Frequently Asked Questions: General FAQ · Account FAQ · Editing FAQ · Introduction to Voting

Contents

This pages answers Frequently Asked Questions about editing the database. See How Editing Works for some more detailed documentation.

If that still doesn't help, please find us in one of the MusicBrainz Forums or via the Contact page. If you would like to update the content of this page on the wiki, feel free to do so but please do not add questions without answers.

General Questions

What is "editing"?

You can make changes to the database to correct errors or add new data to the database. Almost everything in the database is open to editing: releases, artists, recordings; anything you can think of. When you make these changes, you enter "edits" into the system.

Can I do whatever I want to the information in the database?

Anything within reason. We want the MusicBrainz database to reflect as accurately as possible the information contained on the release. Since we will be receiving data from many sources, we want the changes to be reviewed by other users of MusicBrainz.

How can I contribute to MusicBrainz?

If you are not feeling very ambitious, then simply download the MusicBrainz Picard tagger. This program lets you look up and submit metadata for the Audio CDs and music files in your collection to the database.

If you're feeling a little more ambitious, you can become an editor and try to find some data to fix:

  • Look up your favorite artists and see their information is correct and complete.
  • Look up your favorite releases and see if the tracks are all listed, spelled correctly, in the right order, etc.
  • Add full credits to your favorite releases with the Relationship Editor.
  • Browse through your favorite artist's release groups to see if you find obvious mistakes: The exact same release listed twice, missing information about a release, missing/wrong cover art etc.
  • After you've had an account for two weeks and have at least ten accepted edits, you can view and vote on other editors proposed changes to the database.
  • Add some releases to your collection.
  • Subscribe to your favorite artists and your collection so you are notified of any edits to them.

How do I undo an edit I entered?

From the MusicBrainz navigation bar, at the top, mouse over "My Data" and choose "My Open Edits". You can also find the edit via "Open edits" from the related entity's page. Then you can cancel the edit using the Cancel button (if the edit is still open).

How long will my edit(s) take to be approved/applied?

It depends.

Some edits (punctuation, capitalization) are considered Auto-edits for all users and are applied immediately.

If you are changing an entity you yourself added less than 24 hours ago, you can enter most changes as auto-edits. Otherwise, most changes will require voting, and if no-one votes against your edit, it will be applied after 7 days.

If your edit receives three unanimous yes votes, it will generally be applied after 1 hour. If it is considered a destructive edit, however, the edit will be applied after 48 hours to allow adequate time for other editors to review.

If your edit receives more yes votes than no votes, it will be applied after 7 days.

For many edit types (anything that wouldn't result in lost data), an Auto-editor may approve your edit to apply it immediately. This is quite common for typo fixes, adding URL relationships and fixes to obvious mistakes but it is at the Auto-editor's discretion and they are not required to do so.

If your edit is to a popular artist that has many subscribers, you are likely to gather votes more quickly. If you provide evidence to back up your edits (as suggested in the Code of Conduct and How to Write Edit Notes) and your edits are of good quality, you will also collect yes votes more quickly.

Are you intending to make changes that depend on prior edits being applied first? Don't hesitate to request votes for speeding things up. Alternatively, if you are more comfortable with IRC, ask in #musicbrainz

Release Questions

What is a "release group" and a "release"?

A release group is what is usually referred to as an album. That is, a group of songs recorded by an artist and released to the public. A release is a specific issuance or edition of that album (e.g. to a specific country or with a bonus track).

I found an error in the database. What should I do?

The fastest, easiest way is to roll up your sleeves, dig in and fix the problem yourself. To jump in and help you should create yourself an account, go back to the release in question and use the edit links that are shown once you log in to fix the problems. Go to the Create an Account page to register and start editing the database.

Should I fix a misspelled word on a CD title?

Maybe. It depends on whether the misspelling was intentional. See the Error correction and artist intent guideline for more details.

I looked up a release I have in my collection, and the track listing is completely wrong. What should I do?

First, make sure you're looking at the right release. Do the barcode and catalog number match? Check the cover art (if any) and make sure they match.

If it's actually a different release, go ahead and add yours to the database.

If you're sure you have the right release, you can go ahead and correct the track listing: after you're logged in, go to the release page and hit the "Edit" tab. Go to the "Tracklist" section and change it to match your release. Hit "Next", and if the system asks you for recordings, pick the correct ones; if in doubt, choose "Add a new recording". Then hit "Next", review the changes, and enter an edit note explaining what is wrong, and how you know your changes are right. Hit "Enter edit" and you're done.

There are releases with no cover art or even wrong covers! Can I change them?

Yes. This is now possible with the Cover Art Archive. This is a joint project between MusicBrainz and The Internet Archive to make cover art available to everyone on the Internet.

You can find more detailed information in the How to Add Cover Art section, but in short, if you have artwork for the release (front, back, disc, whatever) you can upload it using the "Cover Art" tab on the release page.

Please make sure that you have selected the correct release, of course. Check at least the barcode and catalog number (there are more things to look out for though); if they don't match your release, you probably are looking in the wrong place.

How should I enter a box set?

Right now, the correct way is to just enter it as any other multi-disc release. This generally works fine, except for very large box sets with a lot of relationships (for example, box sets of all works by a major classical composer) - in these cases, it can make sense to divide the box set in a few separate releases in the same release group (blocks of 20 or 25 discs, for example).

There are two or more releases with the same titles, should I merge them?

Releases should only be merged when the following requirements are met:

  • The number of tracks are the same
  • The track titles are the same
  • The track lengths are the same (or extremely close if the release has no Disc ID).
  • The country, label, barcode, format, and packaging, are the same
  • The cover art is the same.

The release dates, publishers, distributors and manufacturers should probably also be the same to warrant a merge.

How do I indicate a worldwide release of an album? Should I add the release dates for every country in the world, or only the band's home country?

You should choose "[Worldwide]" as the release country. But please note that a digital download-based publishing doesn't automatically constitute a worldwide release, as some digital shops are region-locked.

How do I mark a release as a remaster? Should I include the word 'remastered' in an album title?

No, you shouldn't. See the Extra title information style guideline. To indicate a remaster, use a "mastered" relationship between the mastering engineer and the release.

How do I know if a release is the one I have?

The most obvious way is to have the release in front of you when you submit the release. Check the label, catalog number, barcode, and compare the cover art to yours.

I found a release that matches mine, but it only has one disc.

There are several possibilities:

  • The label released each disc separately and again in a box set. They should each be separate releases in MusicBrainz. Make sure you can't find your exact release. If you can't, add yours.
  • Someone forgot to enter the second disc. Edit the release, and on the tracklist tab choose 'add disc'.
  • Prior to NGS each disc was entered into MusicBrainz as a separate release (usually with "(disc n)" appended to the title. See if there's still a separate "(disc 2)" release, and merge them (with the append merge strategy). Beware of editions which were available with and without bonus discs!

What if I don't have the release but I find one when browsing that looks wrong, how should I correct it?

Find a good source of information, preferably with cover art. Discogs is one good source. eBay and Amazon can be helpful but are very inconsistent. We want the database to reflect the real release. FreeDB can even be helpful on certain (mostly classical) CDs.

If you have a rip log file from EAC or XLD, you can try looking up the discID.

If the release doesn't have enough information to positively identify it, and you can't find any evidence that it exists at all, you can merge or delete it. Try to be cautious though, it's better to keep a questionable release than to lose information. You can also set the Data quality to low, to indicate that you think it's wrong.

I found the same release twice. Which one should I remove?

Probably neither. If they are really identical (exactly the same tracks in the same order, same label, catalog number, and release country), you should merge the albums. This helps other users update their tags, and also allows voters to check that it really is a duplicate.

Note that you can also merge across artists. This is sometimes useful where a duplicate gets added under a different name, e.g. the existing release is under "Elvis Costello" and a duplicate gets added under "Elvis Costello & The Attractions".

To merge releases, go to each release’s page and choose "Merge release" from the right sidebar.

Artist Questions

What is an artist alias? How should it be used?

Artist aliases are used to keep track of other names for an artists and for common misspellings. For instance, Slim Shady would be good alias to enter for Eminem, as would Guns and Roses for Guns N' Roses. Aliases are primarily used for when users come to the site and search for an alias or a misspelled name. The MusicBrainz text searching functions can then show the right artist to the user based on the artist alias. There is no harm in having too many aliases for an artist.

Where a band name is just, say, number-letter (e.g. E 17, D-12), what's the policy with regards to spacing/punctuation? Should the aliases list the other forms (D12, D 12)?

The name in the database should reflect the way the band spells their own name. Check the band's official web page or look at a release cover to get the right spelling. The artist aliases should contain alternate spellings, so entering common other forms for aliases is a good idea.

If an artist has a name with accented letters (e.g. "Olga Tañón"), is it OK if the sort name also has those accented letters? Is it necessary to enter an alias with the "un-accented version"?

Yes, the sort name should include the accented letters, and its not necessary to enter a non-accented version of the name as an alias.

Track Questions

I added one of my unsorted MP3s as a standalone recording and it got voted down without comment. Why?

Standalone recordings are meant to be used for tracks that have never been released on any kind of release (where releases include compilations or singles). Examples of this are tracks that are released only via an artists website or live radio recordings that aren't otherwise available. If you have a track without an accompanying release, you should try to find out what release it came from and add that instead.

If you're sure that it is a true standalone recording, add a note explaining why it is standalone.

I'm trying to enter a release that has a bunch of silent tracks on it. What should I enter for those tracks?

Enter "[silence]" as the track title. See the Special-purpose track title section for details.

Does MusicBrainz store information about data tracks? How should they be entered, if at all?

See the Data tracks guideline.

Editor Questions

What is an "Auto-edit" and who are "Auto-editors"?

Auto-edit is an edit which does not go to a vote: that is, the change is immediately applied, and the edit is immediately marked as successfully completed.

Auto-editor is an editor who has been trusted to make edits that are automatically approved (Auto-edits). This enables them to have a greater range of edits immediately applied without going to a vote (see "How can I become an auto-editor?" below).

Which edits are auto-edits (i.e. immediately applied, without a vote)?

See Edit Types.

How can I become an auto-editor?

See Auto-Editor Election.

Voting

Why can't I vote?

If you're a new user, you're probably still marked as Beginner. You need to have 10 edits accepted, and an account at least two weeks old before you can vote on open edits.

Why can't I add a note?

Likely for the same reason as above (Why can't I vote?). There is a ticket to have this changed.

Someone added a release but got some details wrong. Should I vote no?

No. If the release is mostly correct, just fix it yourself. Vote "yes" and then open the release page up and start editing.

You might want to add a comment on the edit telling them what was wrong, and linking to your corrective edits. Remember to be polite!

Someone added a release with garbage characters (or all "????"). Should I vote no on that?

Maybe. First, make sure it's not just a foreign language that you don't have a font for. If it's actually garbage characters then it's probably OK to vote no, but make sure to leave a comment explaining why.

Someone added some cover art but it's the size of a postage stamp. Should I vote no on that?

Only if you are willing to put in the effort to find and upload better-quality artwork yourself. After you do, leave a comment explaining that you found some better artwork and linking to your own 'add cover art' edit.