You Don’t Have To Have Releases To Get Involved With The Database

With many of us stuck inside for the foreseeable future, there has never been a better time to get involved with the Discogs Database. Sure, some of you are seasoned pros who don’t need tips, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to dive into the database properly, here’s a guide to help you get started contributing even without physical releases on hand.

We’re grateful to the community of thoughtful contributors who put their time and effort into ensuring all music fans have an enduring archive of music releases, up to date artist and label information, images and videos, for generations of music fans to come.

If you’re looking for ways you can become a contributor to the database, here are some relatively low easy, and impactful tasks you can pick up today without having a new release to submit.

default icon of a cassette release without an image

Add Missing Images To Pages

Imagine digging through the crates at your local record store and all if the records were missing covers. Sure, you might be able to find some gems, but the experience would be a bit duller. It’s the same when release pages are missing artwork. You can find releases missing images by scrolling through your collection looking out for the grey placeholder images.

Check Releases That Need Edits

Take a look at your collection and you’ll notice next to many of the releases’ artwork a grey, yellow, red, or white bar. 

Collection view of releases that require edits

These colors indicate whether the submission needs edits. Yellow, is new, not reviewed; grey is voted on, then edited, red needs changes (minor or major), and white/no color is correct. Since you have these items on hand, you can go to the release page, take a look at what needs correcting and consult your physical copy. Kind of like a puzzle, find the error, and update the details on the submission page with notes.

If you’ve contributed before, you can update items you’ve previously added or edited that require edits. Using advanced search, enter your username in the Contributor or Submitter box, in the bottom of the right column, and check the ‘Needs Changes’ box at the bottom left. You’ll get a list of everything you’ve added/edited with existing ‘needs changes’ votes.  

Outside of items you’ve added or own, there is a long list of items flagged as needing changes. While you’ll need to have the item in hand to accurately make some changes, many of these edits can be done without the item in your possession. 

Write Reviews On Master Or Release Pages

Reviews are a major source of music discovery on Discogs. Music fans can connect over shared releases and discover similar one’s that they’ll grow to love. Your review could be the review that catches the eye of a new fan, and similarly, if a particular pressing isn’t great, you’re saving someone’s ears, money (and stylus).

Add More Details To Artist And Label Pages

Some artists have all the details they need – everyone knows who Madonna is, but there are thousands of lesser-known artists, with inadequate information in the Discogs Database, in need of having details on their artist pages added or updated. You can research information on the artist or label on their releases or online, like their official site, social media channels, or on sites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. 

Add YouTube Videos

Hearing is everything. It’s the difference in looking at a photo of a Ferrari vs. driving a Ferrari. By adding a YouTube video to the release page you’re enriching the information and helping the music fans who stumble upon an unfamiliar release add a whole new dimension to their exploration of the data.

Merge From The Pending Merges Queue

You have to have voting rights for this one, but the Pending Merges queue is always in need of more contributors to review items. Anyone can earn the ability to vote, it just takes time and helpful contributions to the database. 

Get Into The Forums

The forums are an incredibly valuable tool for the database. You’ll learn so much from interacting with fellow contributors, finding out what they’re working on in the database, getting a new perspective on contributing, and looking out for projects to get involved with.

Keep Digging

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