Discogs exists thanks to thousands of dedicated contributors submitting releases to the Discogs database. Together they’ve helped us build this massive database of sound recordings. So many people dedicated to archiving music history – who are they? In our Crate Minds series, we highlight the people behind the Discogs accounts, and find out what drives them. This week: Contributor and seller PeterHo!
Where does your Discogs username come from?
I was creating an account, not sure if it was Discogs or a similar site. I wanted my username to be “PeterHobbsRecords”, however when I entered that it was shortened by the site to “PeterHo”. At first I was going to fiddle with numbers and other names but I kinda liked the name as it had some reference to music (Hawaiian) and it was a little comical, which sums me up pretty well. It just stuck so I kept it.
How did you get into submitting releases to the Discogs database?
I have always been a music lover but never much of a collector. In my teens through early adulthood I was very fussy about what I spent my music dollar on and got into tape recording (reel to reel and cassette) music instead. It wasn’t until I was cleaning out the basement and found a few hundred of my late mother-in-law’s LPs that I went looking for a place to sell the music and found Discogs.
What is your motivation for contributing releases to the Discogs database?
3 or 4 of the LPs from my mother-in-law’s record collection were not listed on Discogs, so I used my newly created user name and jumped into the contributing pool. I have always enjoyed working in databases, having an engineering background, and the thought of contributing to a database that is attempting to document all recorded music is a noble task, in my opinion. I contribute I suppose for 2 reasons, to help the database and future generations, and to get my own items up for buyers to see.
Are there any specific types of contributions (or genres) you’d consider yourself an expert on?
I really don’t shy away from any genres, but I am not an expert on any of them, unlike some of the contributors submitting releases to the Discogs database. I learn from doing and from the comments and feedback that I get from users on the site, some good, some not so good. To me it is more important to have the release listed and in the database even if it needs some tweaking, rather than to not have it in there at all.
What is the most unique release you’ve added to the Discogs database? And/or the one you’re most proud of?
Being in the Southeastern United States, I have been fortunate to obtain several unique Southern Gospel LPs. These gems can be from either white or black groups, it matters not. The ones I enjoy the most are the “family” ones where you will have the Mother, Father and one or more children. Typically from the 1950s or 60s (you can tell by the hair) it takes you back to simpler times. I know these were limited pressings and most likely never got out of the south, so I love putting them up on Discogs and sharing them with the rest of the world.
Where do you source releases to contribute to the Discogs database?
I try to buy “bulk” lots of records here in the Southeast. I have purchased a great deal in Georgia but have traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee in pursuit of the almighty vinyl, I think most of your readers will understand. I try to be fair with the people I buy from but most of them are just happy to get rid of the boxes. I am happy to save them from the dumpster and get them into the hands of people that will appreciate them.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you while searching for a new supply of records?
Meeting a young couple in the parking lot of a shopping mall to purchase their “collection” of records, they had about 300. Their story was that they were moving and needed to sell them. I always brought my son with me as I don’t like to meet people alone the first time. The couple were nice enough but were unsavory looking at best. They were happy to see me and after I handed them the small amount of money we had agreed upon they quickly loaded several boxes of records into my truck and then added 5 old turntables, an old 8 track player and an old AM/FM turntable and drove off. I felt like a pawn shop or a “fence” for a few minutes. The records turned out to be in pretty good shape too.
If you could catalog any collection in the world, which one would it be?
I have an ex-brother-in-law, he started buying vinyl in the 1980s. He was very rigid about his records, only playing them on the best equipment, cleaning the records before and after each play, putting them back in their inner sleeves, then in the outer sleeves, then in plastic sleeves, then upright in the shelve, all the things other 20 year olds didn’t do. As far as I know he is still buying, playing and storing his music the same way, that 30 year old plus collection has to have some gems in it.
What does your own collection look like?
My collection is a hodge podge of records. I am a metal head from the late 60s. Again I was pretty picky about what I bought so I have only a few releases that are dear to my heart, Tommy and The Wall are two. I have 12,000 releases in my “for sale” inventory and probably only a few hundred that I wouldn’t part with. Collector is probably not a good word to describe me.
What Discogs features do you like best, and what do you think can be improved or added to make contributing release to the database easier?
I have just been contributing to Discogs for about 3 and a half years, the changes I have seen in that time have been great. I am sure there are more that can be made but I can’t think of any. OK, there is one, it really frosts me and I think it could cut back on the number of variations for a release: Why not make it mandatory to have label images, at least the A side, with each submission?
What is your number one tip for people who are just starting to add releases to the Discogs database?
My number one tip for submitting releases to the Discogs database is due diligence in the database. Just because it doesn’t pop up on the first search doesn’t mean it isn’t in the database somewhere, I have gone all the way through making a new entry only to have it appear at the end just before I submit. Also, early on, it can be frustrating, just pour another coffee, breath in, you will get it.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Nothing else, just a Thanks for letting me add my 2 cents worth and for having a great site.