Release year of a song


When it comes to my music collection I was always fully "artist & title" oriented guy, while not giving any notion to albums. I never cared nor collected albums, actually I probably don't have a single complete album. If there's a single song on the album I don't like, I just remove it.

That being said, I used MP3Tag to strip away all (for me) the trash from my FLAC audio files, living only Artist, Album, Year & Genre, and it worked wonderfully!

During all these years I've been collecting songs from various sources, which resulted in Year tag from that specific album, that doesn't match the original release year (the only thing I'm interested in). Some songs have the right release year, but for most, I'm just not sure.

I tried auto tag finding with MP3Tag, but unfortuanetelly, Discogs & MusicBrainz are album-oriented and with these tages stripped off (album tag like greatest hits, that was released x years after the song release is very unappealing) it is impossible to use.

Anyone with the similar specific issue? Could I still use MP3Tag somehow for this purpose? If not, any other suggestion? :slight_smile:

So something like a batch look-up and auto-tagging of (release) year for artist-title oriented approach

There was a German thread on this problem:

The gist of it: even though a song may have a certain release year, it is not necessarily the year of the track that you have. It could well be the remastered version of a certain remix, something like that.
The linked thread then dug into the idea of acoustic fingerprints which also posed problems. The example were 79 postings for Abbas "Waterloo"....


Although sounds kinda hopeless :slight_smile:

Still opened for any suggestions

Unfortunately that is the reality of it: almost 15-20 years ago I also was adding years for songs, based on the years of albums I saw in places like MusicBrainz, Discogs, Wikipedia and [if I remember the name correctly] AllMusic' or whatever was functioning back then in the antic times of the Internet. But then I realized the inadequacy of such approach. And even later I realized how important it is to keep track of which exact version [release] of a given album or single the song in question has

Of course, I can always type every possible song in google and search for release year, but for my collection of 3000+ songs that would take eons :slight_smile:

I can see 2 possible options:

  1. audio recognition to identify each song. So something like Soundhound, but that could automatically analyze file and identify it, determining year

  2. Recognition by simply analyzing file name (artist & song), comparing it with database and determine release year for every file

Unfortunatelly, It might be a bit harder than it sounds

I just found this thread, as I too am in search of a good online source for the original release year of many tracks I have from the 60s and 70s...

I did try using VLOOKUP in Excel to get years into the list of files from a listing of about 2500 songs, and although it works, it was only 30% or so successful, because of any variation in title names ... I thought I had the solution, but I may be looking at manual entry, or maybe just call the collection "Groovy" and be done with it ..

I have Whitburn's Top 40 book as an "official" source of data for singles ..does anyone know of a database of singles that cld be used to correctly populate the year tag for a single ?

What a fabulous piece of software...
Bill Clark, Windham, VT

To explain it here again (in english):

Both options doesn't work. It is nearly impossible to identify a song for a specific release (and its release year)
It is no problem to recognize the song "Good Day Sunshine" from The Beatles.
If you analyze the entire song you even know the length.

But then?
Assuming you have the 2min12sec song:
On which of the dozens of album releases was it? On Vinyl 1966? On CD 1987? On a compilation of 2014?
If you don't have the original source anymore, it's just guessing. Something between 1966 and 2014 in this example :scream:

I just established my own rules for the release date that I tag. My rules are the very first year that Wikipedia or AllMusic or some other source says is the earliest release. I want to know when was the first year anyone ever heard this song by this artist. I really don't care if my mp3 is a later, slightly different version of the song (emphasis on slightly).

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I have decided to have 1 more try. I have found this site about top-40 hits to be very helpful. I have built a spreadsheet with the data, and will use as a lookup, instead of opening a book... but still a manual process ..

I agree that musicbrainz etc van get pretty weird - it says Lesley Gore's "Its My Party" came out in 2007 (because the compilation CD was made in 2007) ..

Bill Clark

I decided to go for manual work and got to F "already".

I find all the automatic methods completely unreliable and uter crap.

You mind sharing this spreadsheet you made? :slight_smile:

Sure !

Here is the spreadsheet

I have some notes etc at the top .. trying to figure out how to extract just the artist name from each line...but I did get the title isolated... lookups are very fast ... please give feedback :slight_smile:

Bill Clark, Windham, VT

Just have a look. If it is what your looking for: Just copy it down the other 8000 rows. :wink:

Thanks! It's only up to '94, majority of my collection is newer but could be handy.

Will try it out after exiting this extremely lazy holiday mode :slight_smile:

I see how you did it - simple enough formula - many thanks for cracking the excel code, and thattop 40 website does go higher (1999) ..

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I suggest entering such data to some ORIGINAL YEAR field, leaving the YEAR for the year of the release of a given album. This way you will know if the year is correct [because the version of song was from a particular album] or if it just a guess / a history lesson