|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
See the title guidelines for how to enter the recording's title.
The artist should usually be the same as the first release of the recording.
A recording is intended to represent distinct audio. This means that two recordings should only be merged if the audio that they contain sounds the same. Likewise, when adding a release, a new recording should be made if audio is different from existing recordings. If it isn't clear whether to merge two recordings or not, keep them separate. Where two recordings of the same work are separate for a reason, a meaningful disambiguation should be provided for one or both of the recordings.
- Don't merge recordings of different performances of a single work. For example, re-recordings, live versions or versions with different lyrics.
- Don't merge two recordings of the same live performance if they were recorded by different people.
- Don't merge recordings which have been mastered in different ways (this includes remasters, if there is an audible, documented difference between recordings).
- Don't merge an original recording with any edited or remixed version of that recording.
- Do merge recordings if the only difference between them is in the length of silence at the beginning or end. This is provided that the silence isn't a significant part of the audio.
- Generally, don't merge recordings if they have conflicting relationships. However, if you're certain that two recordings are the same and relationships are wrong, merge the recordings and correct the relationships.
These cases also apply when selecting recordings for a new release.
AcoustIDs and ISRCs
Both of these identifiers can be incorrectly attached to recordings. For this reason, neither AcoustIDs nor ISRCs should be used as the sole reason for merging two recordings.
However, if two recordings do have different ISRCs or multiple, visibly different AcoustID fingerprints, the recordings and identifiers should be carefully examined for correctness before merging.
When working with AcoustIDs, you may find the AcoustID Guide helpful.
Specific types of recordings
For live recordings, enter the song name as the recording title and "live" as the recording disambiguation comment. If the date and/or location is known, this should also be added to the disambiguation comment following the same format as used on live bootlegs.
- Train in Vain (live, 1998-12-14: Telewest Arena, Newcastle, UK)
- Wake Up (live, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
- The Dance (live, 2002)
- Candle in the Wind (single edit) (live)