How Editing Works
- Status: This page is work in progess. It eventually integrate content from InformationOnEditing and EditingGuideline.
The MusicBrainz editing and voting (previously called moderation) system is designed to give MusicBrainz users the power to update and maintain the Database. Maintaining a comprehensive database for popular music is a large task, and MusicBrainz will depend on its users to spot mistakes in the database and then to take the initiative to correct these errors.
The data in MusicBrainz has been collected from a number of places including the EMusic collection, metadata submitted via FreeAmp, the CD Index database, and freedb.org data. While some of these data sources are better than others, there are still lots of errors left to fix in this automatically imported data.
We hope that the people who use MusicBrainz will take it upon themselves to look up a few of their favorite artists and then make sure there are no mistakes in their metadata. They can subscribe to these artists, and the system will send out notification emails when edits are entered against them. Editors should familiarize themselves with the style guidelines that define how to organize and capitalize the data in MusicBrainz. When other Editors vote on your suggested changes, they will judge your changes against these guidelines. Please refer to HowToVote.
To edit (change) the database, follow these steps:
- Create a MusicBrainz account and log in. Anyone can create an account. We don't ask for any private information, so there is no chance for us to give this information to anyone! One thing we do ask that all users of MusicBrainz follow the CodeOfConduct.
- Search/browse for your favorite artist and view the releases by that artist.
- If you spot a mistake, a typo, or a mis-classification click on the Edit/Move/Add link next to the incorrect/missing data item. If you are not logged into MusicBrainz (see step #1) you will not see these edit links.
- The edit links will take you to pages where you can edit/add the information for that artist. On the edit pages you will find further instructions and links for StyleGuideline that will provide a guidance for this particular EditType. Please read and follow these guides - they are important in order for the entire database to be consistent. If the edit page has more than one field that can be edited, but not all fields need to be changed, just leave the correct fields like they were.
- Once you click on submit on the edit/add pages, you will be taken back to the release/artist page that you just came from. An edit will be entered into the database, and if you click on the View Edits button at the top of the page you will be taken to the artist or release edits search page for that release/artist. If you click on the left sidebar Vote on Edits you will be you will be able to view/vote on all open edits in the database.
- The default edits page lists all the edits that are currently pending. Please vote on other people's edits. This is as important as making changes to the existing incorrect data. Each row in the
moderationtable will contain information about the suggested change and what it will be changed to. Once you have made a vote your Voting page will show how many peope have voted yes and no to the suggestion. You may only vote once on a change and you may not vote for your own edits. Once you have voted you can still revise your vote to Yes, No or Abstain.
- For all of the edits that you have not voted on, you may select the Yes, No or Abs radiobutton for Yes, No or Abstain. You can go down the list of edits and vote for each by selecting the appropriate radio button and then clicking on submit at the top or bottom of the page. If you are not sure about an edit or you have no idea if the suggested edit is correct, then simply abstain from the vote.
- If 3 people unanimously vote for or against a suggested change, the change is immediately accepted or rejected, respectively. If the votes are not unanimous the system will wait for 1 week and then accept the suggested change into the database if the simple majority of editors voted yes. If the vote fails to achieve a simple majority it is dropped from the
moderationtable without being applied to the database. Some edits, such as the add release edits, will add data into the database at the time the edit is entered into the system. If such edits get voted down, the data that was entered for the edit will be removed from the database.
- The default edits page shows new edits, but you may also view your past votes or your past edits by selecting the Old Edits and My Edits links at the top of the edits table. The expiration times show on the edits page are in GMT.
- If you find yourself in a position where you have made a mistake, you can cancel your own edits by going to your open edits (a link can be found on your profile page). When you find a bad edit, click on its Cancel edit link to mark it as "To be canceled"; it will then be removed from the database within the hour. This is much better and less time-consuming than creating a new edit that corrects the bad edit (in which case both the correction and the original bad edit would have to be voted on, creating extra work for everyone).