Beginner’s Guide to Music MetaData. Part 1. 
MusicBrainz for All.

What is your favourite song? Hmmm. Start describing it. You might mention the artist, the album, the concert where you heard it, etc. All these (and more) are, entities. They make up the meta-data of your music.

MusicBrainz is one of the largest open music encyclopaedia out there. If like me, you missed the MusicBrainz brigade party that started a decade ago, you are probably as lost as me when they say “We love our entities”. Well, never too late to join a party. Scroll down to know all about entities.


So this is me. My life goals are simple. Like really, all I wanted to do was appear as an artist in the mind boggling humongous database of MusicBrainz.


So I scribbled a few words and called it Darn Song 1. This is my darn Work, my distinct intellectual piece. Followed were just some of my best trials to sing. Trust me, it took a lot more audios.


* So work is the idea, the raw material. A distinct intellectual or artistic creation.
* While a work is mostly musical in nature, it is not necessarily so. A work could be a novel, play, poem or essay, later recorded as an oratory or audiobook.


When the voice inside me saying “Stop this now” started getting louder, I decided to use some of these Instruments. Nothing much to know about them, except they make sound.


I decided my original Recording (in red) is my potential shot at a chart block buster :D I then mixed and mastered a few others.

My cat has already hired people to make a cover of this track. The cover will have the same work, but a different recording. So you see, what a recording is now.


* Recording is a “distinct” audio that has been used to produce at least one released track. 
* A recording can be linked to any number of tracks
* Each track can only be linked to one recording
* Work is a layer above recording


When my game got strong, I went ahead and recorded two more Darn songs.


To test the waters, I decided to Release them. Each release has track or tracks associated with it. One thing that you ought to know, singles can include upto as many as three tracks depending on the market. Mostly these are released for promotional purposes and usually expected to be most popular.


* Releases are a creative output from an artist.
* A release by an artist can have different formats/ mediums (cassettes, CDs, vinyls, etc) and different forms of pieces (singles, albums, extended plays, etc.)


Woah. I seem to be hitting a chord with the public. I decide to do 4 more songs and release it as an album in an actual jewel encased case, because why not?! :D

This will be a release. You can walk into a store and buy a release!!


I did this with the help of an Awesome Label. Well, our relationship dynamics are controversial but I now have a set of people who manage me and my recordings and releases.


My label thought it is a good idea to release some old school vinyls and cassettes for those who don’t like sparkle. Track sequencing can vary over various releases.


Together, the group of releases, will make a Release Group! Well that was hard to guess. :p


* Release group is a single logical entity of several different releases. 
* Every release belongs to one, and only one release group.


I hope you are with me till here on my journey to appear in MusicBrainz. If not, feel free to drop by our IRC channel. We are a friendly lot. :)

Woahh!! My release group (album) seems to be trending. People of my Area are especially amazed. This is the girl next door who won’t stop singing flamboyant songs in her bathroom? 
I was surprised too.


My other life goal was to be a boho-chick touring on road. So I decided to do Events. I named my tour “Darn You World Tour”. I performed in concerts, festivals, launch events and even masterclasses. My favourite Place to perform was this luxury cat vacation resort. All the events of this tour, will become part of a Series.


* Areas are geographic regions or settlements.
* A place is a building or outdoor area used for performing or producing music.
* An event refers to an organised event which people can attend.
* A series is a sequence of separate release groups, releases, recordings, works or events with a common theme.


I retired after this and decided to spend my days writing these blogs and trying to understand entities. Then one fine day, I opened MusicBrainz. And guess what, I was an Artist. A friend of my cat made all the edits to my very own rows and columns of the database.

And guess what more, you now know about all basic MusicBrainz entities.


I hope this was helpful as a starting point. This series will continue as I learn more of what MusicBrainz has to offer. Join us next time when we follow the journey of some *actual* artist-y artist :D
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