History:Data Track Style

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Revision as of 09:41, 19 March 2009 by Zout (talk | contribs) (removed author(s))


Style for Data Tracks

Enter "[data track]" as the title (name) for DataTracks.

If a DataTrack appears on a VariousArtists album, also enter "[data track]" as the artist.

Note, however, that if the data track comes last on the CD and isn't visible in an audio CD player, the track should not be entered into MusicBrainz.


Final Fantasy VIII (disc 3) is an example of a GameDisc with a single audio track by one artist.

Magic & Mayhem is an example of a GameDisc with multiple audio tracks by the same artist.

Descent II: Macintosh is an example of a GameDisc with audio tracks by VariousArtists.

Revolution Magazine: Horizons is an example of a VariousArtists CD+i audio disc with an initial interactive data track.

Źródło is an example of a CD+i audio disc by a single artist.

Schrei is an example of an audio disc with a "trailing data track" that contains a music video (you can't see the extra track any more, as it was removed by the RemoveTrackEdit #3832243.

The Fog of War is an example of an audio disc with a track (#20) entitled "Data" that is not a DataTrack; rather it is a normal musical track.


MusicBrainz is about music, not CD-ROM indexing. If a track is not an audio track, we don't care what it contains; we only want to note that it is not an audio track. The use of a standardized title for all non-audio tracks reflects this approach.

Some audio CDs (such as CD-Extra or other formats) contain extra DataTracks (they are also used for CopyProtectedCDs). In order for them not to appear or be playable on audio CD players, they are typically placed in one or more separate "sessions" of a multisession CD. Older versions of the MusicBrainzTagger (and many FreeDB clients) don't handle multi-session CDs correctly, and treat the additional session TOCs as part of the last audio track (resulting in an increase of 2:30 in the track time) and then include the data tracks from the other sessions.

Note: The (2:30) is a real time disc-id offset difference. Times when compared to your own personal wav or mp3 files will vary (2:xx) (give or take a few seconds).

The SpecialPurposeArtist [data track] is used on VariousArtists albums because we don't care who created the programs on a CD-ROM; we only want to credit artists related to the music or audio on the disc.

Why not delete initial data tracks?

Because initial data tracks affect the track numbering of all following tracks. The CD+i interactive CD format uses an initial data track, and marks the first playable track as track 2. Although the first track is not playable, it is visible in an audio CD player as the unplayable track 1.

Examples of this are any GameDiscs with playable audio tracks on them, generally the track(s) are the musical score used in the game at certan times, good examples are 'Secret of Monkey Island' and the 'Age of Empires' games.

Also worth noting is that Age of Empires II and its expansion have only two tracks each, the actual game software in track 1 and the entire musical score in track 2 (it may use IndexMarks).

Histrorical Info

Saved here from ModerationFAQ. DeleteWhenCooked --DonRedman

  • On 13th June 2003, NeilCafferkey (the first StyleDude) wrote in musicbrainz-users:
    • The goal is that only the first session TOC of any CD should be in MB. There are CDs in MB that don't fit in with this, because there was a time when the Linux clients entered multi-session TOCs. However I don't think it's particularly urgent to remove these disc IDs. Personally, I think part of the solution is to only accept new disc IDs from up-to-date client libraries. We also need to decide what to do with the existing multi-session disc IDs. I think we can generate the first-session TOC from the multi-session TOC (the inter-session gap seems to be a constant), but we need to be sure that the original TOC is multi-session.
    For anyone who doesn't want to be concerned about TOCs, sessions etc., we can say that CDs with one final data track should have that track removed, AS LONG AS the CD has no disc IDs (hopefully we can remove that final condition within a few weeks).


Now that using the SpecialPurposeArtist [data track] on VariousArtists albums is an OfficialStyleGuideline, there is an exception that might be worth making; if a data track contains MP3 or other audio files, it might be worth having the artist for those MP3 files (or VariousArtists, if there are several artists) as the artist for the data track. @alex

Having the artist of a (single) musical track on a GameDisc (like the FFVII (disc 3) example above) be the primary artist for the game itself does seem be a bit odd - I put the conversion of that album from VariousArtists up for vote and am willing to take the consensus in that case as the guideline for GameDiscs with a single audio track. @alex