• cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    I apologize in advance for the length of this post -- it's the culmination of a ton of thinking I've been doing over the past few years.

    I've been finding that the #1 usability problem with discogs has become finding the specific, unique release one is holding, whether it's to list it for sale, add it to one's collection, etc. Unlike a lot of people who are heavy DB editors here, I am also a serious seller. But I've gotten to the point where if I'm selling an LP by a popular older band, I don't even want to sell it here. Why? Look at Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon for example. There's 800 variations! Even if you just look at USA vinyl pressings, there's dozens, often with very, very minor differences making them unique. And it can easily take 5-10 minutes to find the correct one. And as the DB grows, it is getting worse. I'm sure someday in the not distant future, there will be 1,500 variations of Dark Side of the Moon. And that's just one example of tons.

    The "Find Your Version" tool was a step in the right direction (although I don't even use it anymore) but you can only get it to cut the list so far, and then you need to click through to all possible matches. If you're lucky, you won't be forced to dig through the data trying to figure out the difference(s), or worse yet have to click through to the images and try to figure out what fine print on what label makes it a unique release. I absolutely hate it when I have to click into submission notes, and the OS kindly mentions there why the release was unique, but couldn't bother to do so in the actual release notes.

    In light of this, my #1 feature request on discogs would be a new text field for one to enter a brief description of WHAT MAKES THIS RELEASE UNIQUE. Maybe limit it to 256 characters or something to force people to be succinct and to the point. "USA mono pressing with 1979 date on labels and side numbering on left side" would be a good example of what one might type here. And if it was its own field like this, it could be easily displayed in the results of the "Find Your Version" search, making that tool actually super useful.

    But since it's highly unlikely the above would be implemented sometime soon, I would love for it to become a best practice that the first thing you put in the release notes is what makes the release unique. This is already the 1st bullet point in RSG §11.2 ("Note any distinguishing features of the release that may help distinguish it from other versions of the release.") but people often don't do it, and if they do, they often bury it in the notes. Please say it first!

    When you add a label variation, don't just say "label variation" or "label variation, see pics". DESCRIBE the label variation. And then edit all existing similar versions to describe their label variation(s). Pictures only are not good enough. It's especially disrespectful to users who are vision impaired, who have tools that would allow the notes to be read out loud to them, but not to see the pictures. And it's way better for search. If I'm looking for the copy with the blue label, I will do searches like 'pink floyd dark side lp us blue'. I will find it if you've mentioned blue labels in notes. I will not if there's only a picture of a blue label.

    I'd say over the last year or so, I've spent a ton of time doing this wherever I can. But it's tough when I'm trying to get X number of items listed for sale every day, and then I end up on some crazy tangent, spending a half hour figuring out what makes a dozen versions of some record unique and updating all of them so the next user does not experience the frustration I have.

    Questions? Comments? Hate mail? If people agree with me (and some clearly don't, loukash just undid my very sane, simple edit on Various - Stax Funk – Get Up And Get Down because apparently I was "attempt[ing] to 'fix' things that don't need any fixing") then please speak up and maybe this can become a best practice actually ensconced in the guidelines.
  • Silvermo about 1 month ago

    A dedicated field for describing the differences to other similar releases would be super useful, and would probly make more people describe the differences. So +1 to that.

    I would rather see that the differences descriptions be put at the botom of the release notes field than the top of them as I first want all information about a release before I see what possible differences it might have to other releases. But it would be nice if more people accually tok the time to describe the differences in the notes (I myself can get better at doing this). And if we all did it at the same place in the notes, either first or last.

    I would like to se release notes devided up into fields for information written as on release (for example "© 2002" and such information) and information about a release (like "green labels" etc). But I doubt that will happend anytime soon.
  • Silvermo about 1 month ago

    Just moving identifing information in the notes is however a preference edit and should not be done.
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    I applaud your thoughtful and concise comments concerning making searching this database easier. There are so many poor submissions without any research. Data copies without changes or with conflicting information. Submissions saying they are a unique release because of label variance without images. Repressings and Reissues with original or fantasy dates.
    cyclotronic
    my #1 feature request on discogs would be a new text field for one to enter a brief description of WHAT MAKES THIS RELEASE UNIQUE.

    +1
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    These are all great suggestions but unfortunately, if submitters actually cared about this stuff, they'd be doing it already, and if the discogs administrators and developers cared about it, they'd be working to add it to the software, instead of adding useless, broken features like "Tracks". I can only assume that the powers that be (and the bulk of heavy users) are satisfied with the present system of entering indistinguishable duplicate releases into the database and endlessly hashing out a small percentage of them in the forums.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Look at Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon for example.


    I'm tryin'. https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/775841
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    Honestly, with a good team oriented effort, we could really de-weed these monster MR's and make life easier for everyone.

    There's a ton of good data in there, it just needs a little pruning here and there.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    my #1 feature request on discogs would be a new text field for one to enter a brief description of WHAT MAKES THIS RELEASE UNIQUE.


    Could we potentially do something to encourage this information to be added to the release notes as a start? Adding more fields to the submission form is something of a complicated process and getting something moving to show might be a good approach.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    The universe is unnecessarily cruel in making the most common newbie starter records also the most technically diverse and difficult to catalog / sell.
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    Honestly, with a good team oriented effort, we could really de-weed these monster MR's and make life easier for everyone.

    There's a ton of good data in there, it just needs a little pruning here and there.


    The problem is that without changes to the software, new duplicates will continue to be entered daily.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    uzn007
    The problem is that without changes to the software, new duplicates will continue to be entered daily.


    I believe though that by starting with making specific variants easier to find and adding things like variant indexes to the master release description, we can go a long way to reduce those issues, hopefully without the need for tying up development resources significantly, especially if it turns out we're just not using what we have to it's best ability.
  • lostMonkey about 1 month ago

    How many subs have just *one* unique thing about them? In order to find *that unique thing*, you would have to be looking for that one unique thing... How would you know it is *the thing* when you have just obtained the record and are looking to add it for sale, or to a collection. Answer is - you wouldn't.

    In the case of DSOTM, mapping the characteristics of each release in a Venn diagram would likely result in hundreds of overlapping blob shapes where almost every characteristic is shared by multiple releases. The only way to create a truly unique view of each release would be to aggregate each release's attributes in a single list with some pictures. Which is kinda what we are doing...
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    lostMonkey
    The only way to create a truly unique view of each release would be to aggregate each release's attributes in a single list with some pictures


    Check out the google sheet on the thread I linked. There's no images, but an attempt was made to organize all the data into groups to better potentially point out easy to deal with duplicates.

    lostMonkey
    How many subs have just *one* unique thing about them? In order to find *that unique thing*, you would have to be looking for that one unique thing... How would you know it is *the thing* when you have just obtained the record and are looking to add it for sale, or to a collection. Answer is - you wouldn't.


    I don't think it's actually as complex as we're making it out to be, especially if we break it down into smaller groups of like variants, such as by country, then label design era, then plant, and then oddballs at the end.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    Could we potentially do something to encourage this information to be added to the release notes as a start? Adding more fields to the submission form is something of a complicated process and getting something moving to show might be a good approach.


    Diognes_The_Fox thanks for jumping in here so quickly. I was going to ping you, but know you must get a zillion messages a day as is.

    My humble suggestion to start:

    Remove the 1st bullet point from RSG §11.2: "Note any distinguishing features of the release that may help distinguish it from other versions of the release."

    Then add a new 11.1.5 that states: "At the top of the release notes field, note any distinguishing features of the release that may help distinguish it from other versions of the release."

    Obviously people won't start doing it from day one, but at least it will live in the guidelines and can be pointed out to users over time who will eventually work it into their processes. And I really think top of notes is way better than bottom. Make it the easiest thing to find, please.

    And I'm almost sorry I used Dark Side of the Moon as my example, as it's such a ridiculous, over-the-top one. Most of the time, the problems I see apply to something that only has a few versions. It's often very little things, like a release labelled "Monarch Pressing" in the FTF, which of course WE all understand, but for the normal people, the first line of the notes needs to be something like "Label variation with a "MO" suffix on the label matrix, indicating a Monarch plant pressing". And the releases that say only "label variation" or "see pics" are infuriating. I'm sure I'd have 1,000+ more items in my for sale inventory if I wasn't spending a significant time of my day on such edits.
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    lostMonkey
    In the case of DSOTM


    Actually all Pink Floyd is relatively easy to differentiate at least US, but that source is not Discogs.
    http://pinkfloydarchives.com/DUSLPPF.htm
    I didn't expect Staff to be in on this discussion, but think the interest is welcome!
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    sommortyme edited about 1 month ago
    I recently edited all my submissions to clarify the FTF in the notes. And can reorder them to describe the unique features as well. I am not comfortable doing this with group submissions or other member's submissions, because of the preference edit thing.
    You know, the notes that quote the entire back of the album, as an identifying feature
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    sommortyme
    You know, the notes that quote the entire back of the album, as an identifying feature

    Oh lord, I've had plenty of arguments over these as well. Usually half this stuff is in violation of the 1st bullet point of RSG §11.3: The following items are forbidden from the release notes: Any information that belongs in other specific sections of the release data. The notes can be used to expand on, or refer to, this information, however.

    Like once you add those (c) and (p) credits to the companies section, delete them out of the notes please! I can usually accept the argument to leave them in notes if the spelling on the release doesn't exactly match the entity's name on discogs ("Recorded at Whatever Studio" instead of "Whatever Studios, Inc."), but even that is marginally helpful at best.
  • Silvermo about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    Could we potentially do something to encourage this information to be added to the release notes as a start?


    It could be made mandatory if the releases should not be merged. A lot of the releases in the merge que have had a small difference in the images but no notes about that at all in the release notes. This leads both to unnecissary merge requests and also most likley incorrect merges. So if it is mandatory to add the difitating factors as text or the releases could be merged. People would probly start adding the differences as text.

    This would however lead to a lot of merges and all of the merged releases might not be readded.

    Perhaps the guide lines should underline the importance of adding the differences in text form to the notes. Make it clearer that thats whats have to be done when adding a new version of a release.
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    Silvermo
    It could be made mandatory


    +1
    Silvermo
    the guide lines should underline the importance of adding the differences in text form to the notes. Make it clearer that thats whats have to be done when adding a new version of a release.


    +1
    Already doing this to my OS's
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    I have been further clarifying and ordering my notes since the thread started. Very satisfying. I believe all notes should include label colors, rim text and some supporting links to dating the release. You know Discogs page links.
    I have been struck by the sheer number of submissions with unverified, release dates. Lots of unfinished submissions with no images, no BaOI, you know, sellers submissions. These are often voted correct too.
  • bobpitman about 1 month ago

    +1 cyclotronic wheres the Like widget ;-)
    Diognes_The_Fox
    Adding more fields to the submission form is something of a complicated process and getting something moving to show might be a good approach.

    I tend to try and make "What makes this a unique release" Notes in the Submission Notes field on the draft page so it appears on the top line in History and I often see other users doing the same so it is done to some degree and those that do it well deserve applause!
    BUT
    sommortyme
    I have been struck by the sheer number of submissions with unverified, release dates. Lots of unfinished submissions with no images, no BaOI, you know, sellers submissions. These are often voted correct too.

    This is always going to be a problem - even with a mandatory "What Makes This Release Unique" notes required you are going to get entries that just say "New Unique Release" or "This is not on the Database" type unhelpful cop outs, the same as we get edit notes "Edited", "BAOI", "fixed"...

    I really like the idea that there is a clear and concise "uniqueness" explanation but how do you police it, have a button that reverts it back to Draft status, encourage users to merge the "barcode and cat #" only entries into a good quality release? The Db relies on the good intentions of owners for lots of data.
    I try to use the "Find Your Version" tool, but its a little discouraging to see "Dark Side" list of epic proportions as you begin!
    cyclotronic
    The "Find Your Version" tool was a step in the right direction (although I don't even use it anymore) but you can only get it to cut the list so far, and then you need to click through to all possible matches. If you're lucky, you won't be forced to dig through the data trying to figure out the difference(s), or worse yet have to click through to the images and try to figure out what fine print on what label makes it a unique release. I absolutely hate it when I have to click into submission notes, and the OS kindly mentions there why the release was unique, but couldn't bother to do so in the actual release notes.

    You are talking about adding to "Notes", I think... I also like it when the OS or someone has gone to the trouble of adding "Very Similar too r=xxxxx]..." type explanations of what the differences are as well as whats making this release unique from them! Even more so when they then expand that into a little network of releases with "Very Similar to.. " in Notes explaining that tiny differentiating detail.
    As for the releases that you click into and they have barcodes and 1 cover image... tears flow.

    +1 for something that helps make the Db more usable and helpful for owners!
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    Could we potentially do something […]

    Yes:
    Please tell your programming colleagues in Portland, Oregon, to finally fix all the long standing bugs, and to implement database features we've been literally asking for over a decade.

    For a start, a feature request I've been bringing up since years:
    Split release notes into two fields:
    1) Verbatim text only
    2) Contributor notes and explanations

    Thanks

    cyclotronic
    If people agree with me (and some clearly don't

    Actually I hear you loud and clear:

    cyclotronic
    But it's tough when I'm trying to get X number of items listed for sale every day, and then I end up on some crazy tangent, spending a half hour figuring out what makes a dozen versions of some record unique and updating all of them so the next user does not experience the frustration I have.

    Guess what I've been doing the whole Monday afternoon:
    Scanning, updating and documenting mere three (!) Rolling Stones vinyl album submissions (actually their first three albums, in fact) that I wanted to list for sale, comparing them to literally dozens of similar releases if there aren't any duplicates or "secret" variations known only to some chosen few that I may have missed. My goodness, what a mess there is.

    But shuffling around some release notes won't fix the actual issue at hand: the database tool we've got to work with is severely flawed from the start, as it obviously wasn't originally intended to be used for such complex variations that we need to deal with at this stage.
    Disclosure: I do some "light" FileMaker database programming, and my offline record collection database is up and running since 1994. I'm continuously trying to improve it but there's still a lot to learn for me. Sometimes, certain concepts need to be overthrown. It's better to start over, the sooner the better. Just last week I had to rethink the method I'm storing images. With over 6000 records in my database I will have to update each and every record individually. Quite a lot of work for the months to come.

    Unfortunately, the Discogs management may have missed the "sweet spot" years ago when some database concepts may still have been safely rethought and rebuilt at the backend. Now with millions of submissions, that will be a tough task to fix. Eventually the whole Discogs thing may just collapse like a house of cards. I'm rather skeptical here, so I just use it as long as it lasts…

    Anyway, back on topic:

    Also, there's a serious reason why RSG §1.10.3. was instated (I remember the forum discussion years ago): moving data chunks back and forth introduces further errors. I've witnessed such errors on way too many contributions of mine to be tolerant to such pointless "fixes".
    But:
    It's nothing personal. Just bad experience I've been having all the time.
    Even though that it curently affects only my contributions and items for sale; I've actually disabled notifications on items in my collection years ago because the flood of updates was immense. I could be literally spending a half of each day just to make sure that items in my collection don't get messed up. Sigh.
    [/rant]
  • TopCats45s about 1 month ago

    +1 for differences described on first line. And all of this is forcing me to say for the umpteenth time .... a few more characters in the FTF please and / or the FTF to display in the "Find your version".
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    TopCats45s
    And all of this is forcing me to say for the umpteenth time .... a few more characters in the FTF please and / or the FTF to display in the "Find your version".

    Speaking of FTF and the aforementioned Stax Funk – Get Up And Get Down
    FTF is what I've actually utilized as the appropriate differentiating tool here:
    https://www.discogs.com/release/2500267/history?diff=14&page=1
    Yet Diognes_The_Fox, you still have the nerve to "disagree with [my] revert here"?
    Come on, Diognes…

    Speaking of FTF yet again, and also since years:
    DIE, RSG §6.1.6., DIE ALREADY!
  • narcisco about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Like once you add those (c) and (p) credits to the companies section, delete them out of the notes please


    Bad advice IMO, (c) and (p) information often has dates (years) after them. The notes is the only place to add these, which falls under The notes can be used to expand on, or refer to, this information, however.
    It's also convenient to have the exact spelling used on the release, i.e Limited or Ltd.

    By the way I prefer to have "This release differs from/ this is wahat makes this unique" notes at the bottom, rather than on the top.
    Main issue that these kind of notes get added in the first place, either at the top or at the bottom. In both cases it should be easy to find. I don't feel the need for a mandatory place for these notes.
  • Fauni-Gena about 1 month ago

    loukash
    Speaking of FTF yet again, and also since years:
    DIE, RSG §6.1.6., DIE ALREADY!

    Not just no but hell no! Leave it as is. Don't put more nonsense into FTF,
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    Fauni-Gena
    Don't put more nonsense into FTF,

    Put in the stuff that's helpful.
    Remove the nonsense.
    In other words: You're absolutely right that there is currently a lot of "real" nonsense in many a FTF. :)
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    narcisco
    I don't feel the need for a mandatory place for these notes.

    Exactly.
    Either way is fine.

    As far as my experience goes, the most important thing is to clearly separate verbatim text from additional contributor notes. (Hence my feature request above.) Some contributors are rather, uh, "untalented" at that, often burying verbatim text into some kind of odd essays, at worst not even using quotation marks or any another reasonable punctuation.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    Using FTF as the main differentiator field has always been a hack and should not be expanded. Much of the time it is not a format listed in there. People seem to like it because it's kind of visible (3 letters worth, woo!) from the main release.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic, for what it's worth, I've been engaged in many a Release Notes (and FTF, for that matter) debate over the years.
    So here's some more reading on related topic:
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/273932
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/357658
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/346699
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/357659
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/397924
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/720694
    etc. (If only the forum search engine would be of any use. Sigh.)
    Just to show that we've been through similar issues many times already, discussing scenarios, making serious proposals, feature requests, rants, you name it.
  • Silvermo about 1 month ago

    loukash
    For a start, a feature request I've been bringing up since years:
    Split release notes into two fields:
    1) Verbatim text only
    2) Contributor notes and explanations
    Thanks


    This
  • stevefreeman about 1 month ago

    Silvermo
    I would rather see that the differences descriptions be put at the botom of the release notes field than the top of them

    +1
  • el_duro about 1 month ago

    Silvermo
    I would rather see that the differences descriptions be put at the botom of the release notes field than the top of them as I first want all information about a release before I see what possible differences it might have to other releases.


    +1

    loukash
    Split release notes into two fields:
    1) Verbatim text only
    2) Contributor notes and explanations


    +1
  • The_Beatles. about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Why? Look at Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon for example. There's 800 variations! Even if you just look at USA vinyl pressings, there's dozens, often with very, very minor differences making them unique. And it can easily take 5-10 minutes to find the correct one. And as the DB grows, it is getting worse. I'm sure someday in the not distant future, there will be 1,500 variations of Dark Side of the Moon. And that's just one example of tons.


    It's a fair point. We need to amend the submission warning for Masters like this. Perhaps the following might help.

    'Another f&*"ing DSOTM CD are you having a laugh! Jog on sunbeam we're full to the brim. Come back after you've sucessfully initiated a merge or 2 in there and we'll think about it.'

    cyclotronic
    It's often very little things, like a release labelled "Monarch Pressing" in the FTF, which of course WE all understand, but for the normal people, the first line of the notes needs to be something like "Label variation with a "MO" suffix on the label matrix, indicating a Monarch plant pressing".

    That's a good point. The FTF should be expanded on within the notes unless it's 100% self explanatory. As to whether it's at the bottom or top I'm not really bothered. A dedicated section for this would be fantastic though.
  • nfnshdbzznzz about 1 month ago

    loukash
    Speaking of FTF yet again, and also since years:
    DIE, RSG §6.1.6., DIE ALREADY!


    filmo.gs has an add packaging option, even a required option btw, why doesn't discogs have this?
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Using FTF as the main differentiator field has always been a hack and should not be expanded. Much of the time it is not a format listed in there. People seem to like it because it's kind of visible (3 letters worth, woo!) from the main release.


    +1

    The characteristics that determine a "unique release" should be moved into separate database fields, e.g. "Pressing Plant", "Label design", "Packaging type", etc. Then you could easily search or filter on those fields and the software could be modified so that, for example, you couldn't submit a Monarch Pressing in a Gatefold jacket if there were already one in the database (could be overridden by an admin or power user if it was determined that this was a legitimate separate release).
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    uzn007
    (could be overridden by an admin or power user if it was determined that this was a legitimate separate release).

    Part of the beauty of a true crowd-sourced database is there are no admins or power users. There will always be some messiness -- new users creating duplicates, etc -- better to just accept it. I think we have a few too many users here who are too uptight about this fact.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    loukash
    Yet Diognes_The_Fox, you still have the nerve to "disagree with [my] revert here"?
    Come on, Diognes…


    I do. The text was helpful. Please reconsider your approach here. :)
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    There are absolutely admins around here, i.e. staff members. And there's already some sort of user-permissions hierarchy in place (i.e. voters vs non-voters vs CIP) so it presumably wouldn't be a huge amount of work to build that out a little to prevent certain classes of users from entering duplicates.

    Of course, the whole idea would require a significant amount of work to redesign the Release data schema, which I don't expect to happen, so this is purely hypothetical. But doing that work would be essential (IMO) to turn Discogs from a useful database that's chaotic and full of duplicate information to the authoritative, definitive resource that it aspires to be.
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Part of the beauty of a true crowd-sourced database is there are no admins or power users. There will always be some messiness -- new users creating duplicates, etc -- better to just accept it. I think we have a few too many users here who are too uptight about this fact.


    The openness is definitely a double edged sword at times, but at the end of the day, things are perpetually slightly improving all the time. In the rare situations when the data gets worse, it usually turns into a big thread.

    It's very much like that analogy of being a plumber where nobody knows you're doing a good job until there's excrement spraying all over the place. ;)
  • Diognes_The_Fox about 1 month ago

    The thing with being authoritative means you have to know that what you know that you know is immutable and an absolute truth, which is impossible to know, so it's really best to be flexible and to be able to adapt when new information shifts the canon.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    The text was helpful. Please reconsider your approach here. :)

    cyclotronic's first edit was not exactly "helpful" because it took the verbatim text out of its context and put it into quotes within a user comment.
    That's goes definitively under a "personal preference" edit, and additionally it's part of the problem I was talking about here:
    loukash
    Some contributors are rather, uh, "untalented" at that, often burying verbatim text into some kind of odd essays, at worst not even using quotation marks or any another reasonable punctuation.


    Whereas Earjerk's subsequent edit is soso okay (we now have TWO release notes sections titled "Labels" but what the heck), but I've primarily objected the unnecessary back and forth edit, because with my revert, I've actually fixed the inital issue already by putting the differentiating factor as "French Pressing" into the Free Text Field.

    Summed up, my approach in this case from the beginning was to follow the current guidelines.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    loukash
    I've actually fixed the inital issue already by putting the differentiating factor as "French Pressing" into the Free Text Field.


    But "French Pressing" does not immediately tell you how to identify the copy one has at hand. What exactly makes it a French pressing? Could it be something on the labels? Something on the cover? An obscure mark in the matrix? My entire point of this thread is there needs to be one place to look that blatantly tells you how to identify one's copy in hand. "Made in France" printed on the labels is that message.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    narcisco
    cyclotronicLike once you add those (c) and (p) credits to the companies section, delete them out of the notes please
    Bad advice IMO, (c) and (p) information often has dates (years) after them. The notes is the only place to add these

    If the year is different than the year of the release, by all means do so. But 95% of the time it's the same year and then is completely unnecesssary.

    I'm not sure why loucash and others here are so obsessed with filling the notes field with verbatim, duplicative info from the release. On that Stax release linked somewhere above, one example: "Stax Records are marketed & distributed by Ace Records Ltd". Stax is already set to Label. Ace Records Ltd is set to marketed by and distributed by. So it does not need to be in notes again, UNLESS there's label variations that include or do not include this info. Then it is important to describe the label variation. Otherwise you're just filling the notes with junk and the one important thing about that label (the "Made in France" mention) is buried at the bottom. Have you heard of the concept of TLDR ("Too Long Didn't Read"). This is not a contest to make the longest, most overly complete database entry ever. It's to make the most useful one.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    But "French Pressing" does not immediately tell you how to identify the copy one has at hand.

    Then add "West German Pressing" to the other version to make it even more clear.

    cyclotronic
    I'm not sure why loucash and others here are so obsessed with filling the notes field with verbatim, duplicative info from the release.

    Does the term accessibility say anything to you?
    Among others.

    (You've been pinging an innocent user, by the way. ;)

    cyclotronic
    On that Stax release linked somewhere above, one example: "Stax Records are marketed & distributed by Ace Records Ltd". Stax is already set to Label. Ace Records Ltd is set to marketed by and distributed by. So it does not need to be in notes again

    Wrong.
    Highly recommended reading:
    RSG §11.1.4. Do not remove label, company, or artist names from the Release Notes when this information is needed to qualify other information that can only be placed into the notes (for example, dates).

    That aside, if you're not "obsessed" with it, no one actually forces you to enter all that allegedly "redundant" data on your own submissions.

    Also, apparently you're not aware of cases where unique releases actually differ by such "unnecessary" data. I've seen releases that differed e.g. in one having the "" symbol while the other version was printed with a plain "P".
    Vive la différence.

    Perhaps it's an unnecessary detail for a cyclotronic, but it's an important differentiating clue for many an "obsessive" 'Ogger eager to add yet another completely unique version to the database. ;)
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    loukash Let me requote that to you with emphasis added:

    RSG §11.1.4 Do not remove label, company, or artist names from the Release Notes when this information is needed to qualify other information that can only be placed into the notes (for example, dates).

    This backs up exactly what I said above. You put it in when it is a differentiating factor or a date that otherwise does not appear in the other data. But when it is 100% duplicative then the 1st bullet point of RSG §11.3 is in full effect.

    I'll leave it at that. No more comments from me on this matter. We've been off-topic long enough. Have a nice day.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    You put it in when it is a differentiating factor or a date that otherwise does not appear in the other data.

    You seem to be quite good in misinterpreting what you're reading.
    More on that matter here:
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/361940

    cyclotronic
    But when it is 100% duplicative then the 1st bullet point of RSG §11.3 is in full effect.

    You forgot to read that bullet point to the end:
    […] The notes can be used to expand on, or refer to, this information, however.

    Hope that helps.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    loukash
    More on that matter here:

    And here:
    https://www.discogs.com/help/forums/topic/349553
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    The thing with being authoritative means you have to know that what you know that you know is immutable and an absolute truth, which is impossible to know,


    That's simply not true. Being authoritative means being accurate and reliable, not being 100.00% accurate in 100.00% of cases. One of the ways to increase the accuracy and reliability of the database is to try to prevent people from entering duplicate information.

    There are two ways to achieve this: (1) by making it easier to see what's already in the database (as we've been discussing), i.e. making it more obvious what distinguishes each release from a similar version of the same master relese, and (2) by making it harder (via the software) to enter a new submission that does not contain a clear, unambiguous distinction from the versions that are already in the database.
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    This has been a good thread. Acknowledging that,
    Diognes_The_Fox
    It's very much like that analogy of being a plumber where nobody knows you're doing a good job until there's excrement spraying all over the place. ;)

    is a fact of the database.
    Re editing my OS's has me revisiting the sketchy, poorly imaged and even confused with multiple contradictory runouts. I have been leaving comments, and we shall see. The releases are all questionable, label variants without images, represses with dates without BaOI except a pressing entry or just a cover image, reissues without label images. It seems deliberate. So Staff's observation is helpful.
  • berothbr about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    The universe is unnecessarily cruel in making the most common newbie starter records also the most technically diverse and difficult to catalog / sell.
    +1 zillion (this might be one of your best posts). Beatles records, which are as common as it gets, are some of the most challenging releases to work with on Discogs
    cyclotronic
    I end up on some crazy tangent, spending a half hour figuring out what makes a dozen versions of some record unique and updating all of them
    I share your frustration and appreciate your suggestions.

    One thing that can be done from Discogs side is to reformulate RSG §1.4.2 by using text formatting to draw attention to the critical text (example: ...notes MUST explain...) and also make it so that any differentiation shown in an image must be accompanied by a short explanatory statement (right now, it basically says as long as we add an image, then we don't have to do anything else to differentiate it).

    Another idea is to reinforce this in the voting guidelines by allowing us to cast votes against submissions that insufficiently differentiates it from other versions. If someone just copied a version to a draft, added a label image, and then clicked submit, I don't see a problem with casting a quick NMIC vote rather than posting a comment and then remembering to revisit the page in the future. I don't necessarily think this is a good idea, but at least it's one way to incentivize doing more than just typing 'label variation' into the notes.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    berothbr
    make it so that any differentiation shown in an image must be accompanied by a short explanatory statement

    Good luck with that.

    We can already consider ourselves lucky that at least a part of the contributors is capable to comprehend e.g. the correct tracklist position syntax in credits. Let alone to compose a halfway readable line of text that makes some sense without breaking too many grammar rules.

    What you folks are discussing here is squaring the circle, eating the cake, and having it, too.
    You can't have a set of pretty rigid and quite demanding rules on the one hand, while on the other hand attempting to keep the database submission process "easy and user friendly" (as repeatedly postulated by various staff members over the years). Complexity comes at a price.
  • berothbr about 1 month ago

    loukash
    You can't have a set of pretty rigid and quite demanding rules on the one hand, while on the other hand attempting to keep the database submission process "easy and user friendly"
    I agree with this, but also don't see why we can't just flag a release that's needlessly difficult to differentiate by casting a quick NMIC vote.

    In terms of the RSGs, I don't think it would add another layer of complexity my simply strategically stylizing some currently plain text to bold, caps, underline, and/or etc. to overemphasize some existing language.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    berothbr
    why we can't just flag a release that's needlessly difficult to differentiate by casting a quick NMIC vote.

    Oh, personally I don't have the slightest problem with that. :) The whole voting thing in general is being constantly overblown on a personal level, while in fact it's primarily a tool to tag submissions, not for "punishing" or "rewarding" contributors.
  • jweijde about 1 month ago

    Whatever you do, you still rely on other users to actually enter the information in the release notes or even a submission note. That's often not happening. Even if they do that, it's often not making it easier to identify that specific version (for example adding "replica of release x" as a release note on counterfeit releases)

    berothbr
    why we can't just flag a release that's needlessly difficult to differentiate by casting a quick NMIC vote.


    If's in the guidelines that one should provide enough information to justify a unique entry, so you if you want to, you can already cast negative votes on items where you feel this hasn't been provided.
    I do that sometimes, but as with many other votes, they're not really effective in terms of leading to an improvement.
  • berothbr about 1 month ago

    loukash
    Oh, personally I don't have the slightest problem with that.
    jweijde
    so you if you want to, you can already cast negative votes on items where you feel this hasn't been provided.
    Hyper-technically, we should be able to, but in practice, casting aggressive votes to flag releases that fail to satisfy RSG §1.4.2's requirements will likely result in a suspension of voting privileges.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    Voting system is totally broken and useless, so that's not a solution here.

    Common sense adjustments to the guidelines are the 1st step towards fixing this (or really any) problem. Nothing is going to be fixed overnight. It's all incremental improvements.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    cyclotronic
    Voting system is totally broken and useless

    Its concept is flawed, and some of its effects are counterproductive, especially if users are over-interpreting it as a kind of "punishment tool".
    That needs to be fixed .

    Apart from that, it's very useful for actually finding submissions and entities that, well, need changes:
    https://www.discogs.com/search/?type=all&needs_changes=true&advanced=1
    Sadly, the relevant check box "Needs changes" is hopelessly buried in the already hard-to-find https://www.discogs.com/search/advanced form.
  • cheebacheebakid about 1 month ago

    narcisco
    Bad advice IMO, (c) and (p) information often has dates (years) after them. The notes is the only place to add these, which falls under The notes can be used to expand on, or refer to, this information, however.
    +1

    cyclotronic
    RSG §11.1.4 Do not remove label, company, or artist [b]names from the Release Notes when this information is needed to qualify other information that can only be placed into the notes (for example, dates).

    This backs up exactly what I said above.
    No, it refutes exactly what you're saying.The date qualifies the (c) and (p). We know the company was assigned (p) or (c), the year of (p) and (c) cannot be placed in any other field. The guideline does not say "differentiates" data in other fields.

    In fact, removing this info is considered abuse by management, see longstanding thread "User keeps removing copyright dates from notes"
    https://www.discogs.com/forum/thread/344882#3239057

    Aside from that, a big +1 to put differentiating info at the top of the Release Notes section but don't know how that can be "enforced"
  • trailoff about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    turns out we're just not using what we have to it's best ability.

    This is what I think. On most submissions I see that do utilize the release notes (with varying degrees of success) to describe what makes that version unique it's at the top already. Placing the most release specific information first is definitely my preferred choice when writing release notes. I also find it helpful to use the release notes to link similar versions together, such as Duran Duran - Seven And The Ragged Tiger.
    cheebacheebakid
    put differentiating info at the top of the Release Notes section but don't know how that can be "enforced"

    That's a tough one, I guess just lead by example.
  • cyclotronic about 1 month ago

    I much prefer this kind of thing to be in the way underutilized master release notes. When every version is linking to each other, it kind of breaks search. If I'm searching for the Capitol plant pressing and I put Capitol in my search it will then find every version because the word is in the notes of every version.

    trailoff
    I also find it helpful to use the release notes to link similar versions together, such as Duran Duran - Seven And The Ragged Tiger.
  • uzn007 about 1 month ago

    loukash
    You can't have a set of pretty rigid and quite demanding rules on the one hand, while on the other hand attempting to keep the database submission process "easy and user friendly" (as repeatedly postulated by various staff members over the years). Complexity comes at a price.


    This is true, but I have to question whether it should actually be a goal to make the *entire* submission process "easy and user-friendly". Seems to me that it's far *too* easy to enter duplicates now, which is a big part of the problem.

    Ideally, it should be easy to enter a new submission (something that doesn't exist in the database at all) but more difficult/restrictive to enter duplicates of existing releases.
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    uzn007
    I have to question whether it should actually be a goal to make the *entire* submission process "easy and user-friendly". Seems to me that it's far *too* easy to enter duplicates now, which is a big part of the problem.

    I'm totally with you on that, and I always have been. Most of the time when there was a guideline change that removed certain requirements for a (new) submission, I considered it a bad move.
  • sebfact about 1 month ago

    Diognes_The_Fox
    adding things like variant indexes to the master release description
    Or how about realizing this request for a start?

    cyclotronic
    obsessed with filling the notes field with verbatim, duplicative info from the release
    Seriously, you need to be somehow obsessed to contribute here. However, some indeed take it way too far though, creating needless redundancy and clutter, spamming release notes with useless information (e.g. genuine example: "the notes have to stay verbatim because the French cover omits a comma and ELEKTRA is not capitalized" - instead of stating exactly that) or are generally insisting on their omniscience because of using Pink Floyd toilet paper for the last 25 years, etc.

    And, sorry to say, ignorant sellers often are the biggest problem because they only see this as sales channel and don't give a damn about the rest, i.e. they a) don't inspect/ look properly at the releases they sell, and b) don't care to navigate properly within Discogs. I have asked 25 sellers if they indeed sell the release as described/ depicted. 22 replied, oops, no. And that wasn't because of the 12th matrix variant but often because of a different country or year (the very first found release was put up for sale).

    While I see the advantage of describing differences rather than the verbatim, I do see the difficulties of doing so when other variants appear later. Some people try to achieve that with cross-links to the other releases. That however means that when the 12th variant is added, the 11 existing variants have to be adjusted as well. Which, of course, is overkill and isn't adding any factual information about the release itself (but dare you remove these links, some people only seem to exist guarding them).
  • loukash about 1 month ago

    sebfact
    While I see the advantage of describing differences rather than the verbatim, I do see the difficulties of doing so when other variants appear later.

    That's exactly the point why verbatim is a Good Thing™.

    Step 1)
    User systematically enters strictly verbatim data in a database field.

    Step 2)
    The difference can be then automatically analyzed (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diff ) and eventually appended as a calculation field by a software algorithm.

    Step 3)
    There is no step 3.

    Hence:
    loukash
    Split release notes into two fields:
    1) Verbatim text only
    2) Contributor notes and explanations
  • sommortyme about 1 month ago

    sebfact
    While I see the advantage of describing differences rather than the verbatim, I do see the difficulties of doing so when other variants appear later


    If you describe how the submission is unique, rather than the difference between it and others, there shouldn't be a problem . Comparision should only be employed to emphasize the distinction. So many label/printing variants based on spacing rather than layout or font. You know, this letter/word is further left than this one.
    sebfact
    And, sorry to say, ignorant sellers often are the biggest problem because they only see this as sales channel and don't give a damn about the rest, i.e. they a) don't inspect/ look properly at the releases they sell, and b) don't care to navigate properly within Discogs


    I renew my idea of a dedicated sellers' page with financial penalty for mislisting on other more distinct pages.

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