Discogs format system update – the conversions

This topic is for discussion regarding the conversion of the old format system to the new one. As this update has the possibility of affecting tens or hundreds of thousands of releases, and as once it is done there is little chance of going back, I feel it warrants it’s own topic and debate.

This issue specifically relates to how we interpret the current use of (mostly) 12″ vinyl to mean either EP or Maxi-Single, although there are (currently non-contended) conversions for LP’s / Albums as well.

[b]This is the current proposal as of 15th sep 2006[/b]:

[quote]From the [url=http://help.discogs.com/wiki/SubmissionGuidelinesFormat-NEW]new format proposal[/url] – Two formats are problematic to convert due to the inexact nature of their present use, and a desire to prescribe either Album, Single, Maxi-Single, or EP to them during the transfer, to avoid the possibility of hundreds of thousands of updates being needed.

Both are vinyl formats: 12″ and LP.

12″ is problematic due to it’s use for both Maxi-Singles and EPs. A proposed solution would check the track titles, and if all tracks have the same title up to the first instance of a ( character, then it would be labelled a Maxi-Single. Otherwise, they will be labelled EP.

LP is problematic in the electronic genre due to many items that are in fact multiple 12″ (say 2 x 12″) have been entered or changed to LP (2 x LP) due to the usage of LP to mean ‘Album’. The current proposed solution is to ‘n’ x LP (in electronic genre only) to ‘n’ x Vinyl, 12″. The album or EP description will have to be manually added after the conversion.

12″ (where all track titles match) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

12″ (for all the rest) Vinyl -> 12″, EP

LP (in all genres apart from electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

LP (single LP only in electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

‘n’ x LP (in electronic genre only) -> ‘n’ x Vinyl, 12″
[/quote]

This is a comment from [url=http://www.discogs.com/forums/topic?topic_id=111011#1452833]this thread[/url]:

[quote=lazlo_nibble]EP, etc.: For the autoconversion I suggest “EP” be used only if at least three or four distinct song (rather than mix) titles are present. Many Maxi-Singles have at least one B-side. This rule could also apply to 7″ singles. [/quote]

The above suggestion by lazlo_nibble would give us the following conversions:

12″ (with four or more different track titles) -> Vinyl, 12″, EP

12″ (for all cases apart from the above EP conversion) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

7″ (with four or more different track titles) -> Vinyl, 7″, EP

7″ (apart from the above EP conversion) -> Vinyl, 7″, Single

======================

There may indeed be other methods we can think up to try to get the most accurate conversions possible for these difficult conversions. Any and all thoughts on the matter will be happily received!

It is understood that for any of these conversions there WILL be inaccuracies (for example with 2 track EP’s). Again, it is open to debate how acceptable or problematic this is.

The most simple conversion for most vinyl formats is to NOT assume any Album, EP, Maxi-Single, and Single conversions at all, and let people update each release one at a time. Of course it will be appreciated that this presents us with the possibility a massive amount of updates (there are currently 310,254 12” in the database – IOW half the database!)


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53 Comments
  • Sep 29,2006 at 15:26

    [quote=Dec]I only remember seeing them in clear plastic, but they could have been made in any colour.[/quote]
    i had one black adapter and at least one white adapter. can’t remember ever seeing one in clear plastic. i wonder what happened to them. could be useful if i ever wanted to rip my 3″ cds in my slotloading CD drive…

  • Dec
    Sep 29,2006 at 10:52

    [quote=Dec]A ring that had a 5″ exterior and a 3″ interior, with a few little springy fingers where it touched the CD3.[/quote]
    And to clarify: the adapter was usually sold attached to the CD, but it was easy to remove. I only remember seeing them in clear plastic, but they could have been made in any colour.

    The more recent technique could be described as an “adapter built into the disc”, but the whole point of developing the “use less silver” trick is that There Is No Adapter… your in-car player thinks it’s a plain old CD5, but the artwork people can go crazy with the transparent part.

    [quote=lazlo_nibble]if a scan would be helpful[/quote]
    Yes, thanks!

  • md
    Sep 29,2006 at 08:57

    ^^ last post in response to mayday’s

  • md
    Sep 29,2006 at 08:57

    No, they are [b]albums[/b]. That doesn’t mean LPs (Long Playing discs) at all. This album is a 2xLP album: [r=100560], this is a 2×12″ album: [r=37142].

    LP is a format, completely unrelated to an artistic/marketing concept such as “album”. It is one of the biggest mass-errors on Discogs that LP has been used to indicate albums. This is wrong, LP should only be used to indicate that the records are LPs. None of those releases I listed contain any LPs, they aren’t long enough! That Android Architect only has about 11-12 minutes of music per side. An LP has up to 30 minutes of music per side. If the discs were released individually they would be listed as 12″s, so together they should be listed as 2×12″, and after the conversion as 2 x Vinyl, 12″, Album.

  • Dec
    Sep 29,2006 at 08:44

    [quote=nik]When you say they came with adapter rings, do you mean a seperate plastic ring, or an adapter built into the disc?[/quote]
    A ring that had a 5″ exterior and a 3″ interior, with a few little springy fingers where it touched the CD3. A bit like the old 45RPM vinyl adapters, except for the outside of the disc, and much more “interesting” if they failed, due to the greater RPM of CD.

    I think the idea was that early releases would include free adapters, and the people who needed them would have enough spare to snap onto any CD3 singles that they bought with no adapters.

    Are there photo examples of such releases on Discogs? Probably.
    Do I have time to find one and link it to this thread today? No.

    I am guessing that another reason for sticking with 5″ for the plastic on most music CD’s is that it works out cheaper for the average pressing run, due to not having to re-tool or maintain a set of 3″ moulding machines. Adding the shiny stuff is done by spinning a few drops out at high speed (in a clean room environment) Presumably some industrial boffin figured out how to control this process precisely enough so that different amounts can be reliably applied, but 3″ is a good standard setting for the rest of the replication process to work with.

  • Sep 29,2006 at 08:09

    [quote=md]I think a lot of them will. Just going through my favourites list (labels) in alphabetical order and looking at all those that have “n x XX” entries, every one of them has entries currently listed as n x LP incorrectly. The first label I came to that didn’t was in “C”.

    e.g.:

    Android Architect
    For Various Reasons
    Repeats
    Every Dog Has Its Day Vol. 2
    Every Dog Has Its Day
    Every Dog Has Its Day Vol. 4

    Those will all need updating after the conversion.[/quote]

    Android Architect & Repeats won’t

    They are [b]LP[/b]s not double pack singles

  • nik
    Sep 29,2006 at 08:05

    I have done a quick write up on LP versus 12″ including a couple of photos, hopefully this will help clear up any doubts. It’s here at the moment http://help.discogs.com/wiki/SubmissionGuidelinesFormat-NEW#lp12inch

    [quote=gonzales4ever]Can you explain when “White Label” should be used? [/quote]

    Sure. As md says, those four examples you gave are all fine for using the ‘White Label’ tag. What we are looking for are records where there was no artwork put onto the label during pressing. As usual, there will be a fuzzy line at some point, but the main goal is to list these items as distinct entries from their commercial, full-artwork variations.

    [quote=Dec]CD3″ releases were common in the late 1980’s, and some of them came with adapter rings, but they have been replaced mostly by 5″ polycarbonate discs that only have 3″ of silver on them.[/quote]

    Thanks for this info Dec. When you say they came with adapter rings, do you mean a seperate plastic ring, or an adapter built into the disc?

  • Dec
    Sep 29,2006 at 07:28

    [quote=nik]Fan Disc has been removed and noted in the MiniMax description as another way of describing this format.[/quote]
    Those 2 terms had me confused, as I had never heard of either.

    There probably won’t be enough releases to justify changing this part of the proposal, but I think it’s worth pointing out that there is an important difference between the CD3 with adapter, and the more recent CD5 without a full width reflective layer.

    CD3″ releases were common in the late 1980’s, and some of them came with adapter rings, but they have been replaced mostly by 5″ polycarbonate discs that only have 3″ of silver on them. This allows a clever artwork designer to give the illusion of a shaped disc, on a medium that will work in slot-loading players (and without rattling a CDROM drive to death when spinning at 52x).

    Shaped CD’s just cause too much trouble – I have seen examples of them in brochures, but never any in real life. And there are at least 2 different shapes of business card CD – if I can find examples I’ll scan them…

  • md
    Sep 29,2006 at 07:21

    All of those would be fine IMO.

  • Sep 29,2006 at 07:15

    Can you explain when “White Label” should be used?
    For releases with [url=http://www.discogs.com/image/R-376345-1119890984.jpg]complete white labels[/url], [url=http://www.discogs.com/image/R-162580-1135687230.jpeg]with sticker[/url], with [url=http://www.discogs.com/image/R-665768-1145223844.jpeg]with writing[/url] and [url=http://www.discogs.com/image/R-665989-1146488337.jpeg]with stamp[/url] ?

  • nik
    Sep 29,2006 at 06:59

    Ok, I have done another small update.

    Fan Disc has been removed and noted in the MiniMax description as another way of describing this format.

    I have removed all ‘complex conversions’ as we are not looking to do them now, and added a section named “Extracting Single, EP, and Album tags from the existing information”.

    I think this update is now ripe and ready.

  • md
    Sep 29,2006 at 06:08

    There are lots of records like that. I must say I’ve never come across any that could be classed as LP on the 33rpm side – in my experience they are [i]usually[/i] EPs with 3 tracks, 1 on the 45 side and 2 on the 33 side. I guess someone will come up with an example of an exception to the norm.

  • Sep 29,2006 at 05:51

    [quote=nik]Playing time and number of tracks are usually the first indicators. LP’s are 33rpm.[/quote]
    Aren’t there lots of records that play at 45 rpm on one side and 33 rpm on the other side? Should the contributor take a guess whether one side of the record uses those micro-grooves?

  • nik
    Sep 28,2006 at 16:45

    [quote=tosmcgee]let us not segregate electronic from other forms of music [/quote]

    There was, and is, no plan to do this. We were discussing ways we might have used to tackle a known issue with electronic multi 12″ sets. The conclusion so far is we do it manually.

    [quote=data_boy]I believe the standard thinking was this
    7″ single = usually meant 2 tracks
    12″ single = 2 tracks
    12″ maxi-single = more than 2 tracks [/quote]

    Yes, that’s what it means to me. You could add to that EP is usually 4 tracks and Album 8.

    [quote=kawayama]12″ and LP – if the difference is so fuzzy, wouldn’t it be best if we did away with it?[/quote]

    Considering these two formats alone make up half the database, and also the fact that most of the time it should be straightforward, I don’t think we can do that.

    [quote=kawayama]how are we, the users, supposed to know? can you tell, just by looking at it? does the speed (45 / 33) have anything to do with it? how about vinyl that can be played at any speed? [/quote]

    Playing time and number of tracks are usually the first indicators. LP’s are 33rpm. Any vinyl can be played at any speed (if you have the right equipment).

    [quote=kawayama]when you have a 10″ with microgrooves (over, say, 12 minutes per side?). what do we call that, then? [/quote]

    There is provision in the LP tag for using it with other sizes. From the proposal:

    [quote]LP – Used by itself, denotes a 12″ (30 cm) 33 rpm long-playing (LP) record. Other non-standard size descriptions can be added if needed i.e. LP, 10″. Technically, LP describes the use of micro-grooves on the record to lengthen the playing time, not to mark the release as an album (although most LP’s ARE Albums).[/quote]

  • md
    Sep 28,2006 at 16:27

    [quote=kawayama]does the speed (45 / 33) have anything to do with it?[/quote]
    In the sense that you can’t get an LP’s duration onto a 45rpm record, yes.

  • Sep 28,2006 at 16:07

    [quote=tosmcgee]let us not segregate electronic from other forms of music[/quote]
    i agree wholeheartedly.

    12″ and LP – if the difference is so fuzzy, wouldn’t it be best if we did away with it? i suggest:

    vinyl –material
    12″ / 7″ / 10″ / etc” –size
    album / single / maxi-single? / EP? / mini-album? –classification

    [quote=nik]The basic difference is 12″ is a ‘loud’ cut with deep and wide grooves, whereas an LP cut has smaller and quieter grooves (micro grooves)[/quote]
    how are we, the users, supposed to know? can you tell, just by looking at it? does the speed (45 / 33) have anything to do with it? how about vinyl that can be played at any speed?

    differentiating between 12″ and LP (and 7″ and EP) gets really confusing when you have a 10″ with microgrooves (over, say, 12 minutes per side?). what do we call that, then?

    it would be so easy if everything could be divided into:
    7″ – single – 45 rpm
    7″ – EP – 33 rpm
    12″ – maxi-single – 45 rpm
    12″ – LP – 33 rpm
    but the world is not that simple or boring…

  • Sep 28,2006 at 13:05

    [quote=nik]I don’t think much ‘pure’ dance stuff was ever called maxi-single. From my experience, maxi-single is more likely to be encountered at the pop side of things, where a single (on 7″ in ye olde days) release was accompanied by a 12″ with extended mixes etc for the discos.

    It could be true that the term maxi-single is more of a European thing, and it is probably more common to call them ‘twelve inch singles’ or the like in the UK.[/quote]

    will pass on some knowledge from my working retail during the 80s to mid 90s.

    The major labels would usually list in their new release flyers the formats this way: 12″ Maxi-Single also CD Maxi-Single format was also used.

    I believe the standard thinking was this
    7″ single = usually meant 2 tracks
    12″ single = 2 tracks
    12″ maxi-single = more than 2 tracks

    and if memory serves me right the same rule applied for other formats as well:
    CD single / CD maxi-single / Cassette single / Cassette Maxi-single

    in other words
    any format with 2 tracks = single
    any format with more than 2 tracks = maxi-single

    In Europe, yes it is usually common for the record labels to print Maxi-single on the release itself. But this was not necessarily done in the US although they are considered maxi-singles, the popular term in use with buyers and sellers was and is 12″ single.

    Also IMO I feel the best way to handle all these complex format changes is to forgo any mass changes thru the system and do it item by item, but hey I know mass changes are great and less work is involved but if you are going for accuracy control, this is the safest and best way to make these changes, one at a time.

    btw I love these new changes re: format that are coming.

    Out of several hundred 12″ singles I have entered on ogs, less than 6 or so have ever been referred to as EP’s so this is not a common term used on the majority of 12″ maxi-singles.

  • Sep 28,2006 at 12:21

    I ain’t that confused lads

    Album is any format be it Vinyl, CD, MP3, Casset 8-track
    LP is Long Playing

    have i a problem with 12″ being labelled as long playing

    not really
    unless it is a single then then i see it as a 12″

    Are all 12″ EP

    EP is an Extended Playing record

    interesting

    how will one rate

    4×12″, LP New Order – Waiting For The Sirens Call
    3×12″, LP New Order – Waiting For The Sirens Call
    2xLP, LP New Order – Waiting For The Sirens Call
    1×12″, New Order – Waiting For The Sirens Call

    #I have always believed EP can only be put where it is prnted as EP
    i am now listening to a LP & 12″
    both on beatutiful pink vinyl

    i still see it as LP & 12″, album
    i do not see it as LP & EP, Album

    Now lets me reiterate my statement

    Only in Electronic
    Only in electronic
    only in electronic

    on your horses ride out of town let us not segregate electronic from other forms of music
    that was the old way
    1 law for one
    another for the rest

    please
    don’t continue down that route

    oh better convert
    2 x 12″, LP New Order – Waiting for the Sirens Call

    (all because the lady loves…ELECTRONIC)

  • nik
    Sep 28,2006 at 10:54

    I just did a straw poll of the first 10 results from an nxLP search in electronic:

    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/361999]Various – Hed Kandi The Mix : Winter 2004[/url] CURRENT = 3xLP : NEW = 3×12″, Album?
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/362002]Doctor L – Exploring The Inside World[/url] CURRENT = 3xLP : NEW = 3xLP, Album
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/362070]Boozoo Bajou – Satta[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2xLP, Album?
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/362591]Various – Prime Cut: From Funky Breaks To Funky House[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2×12″, Album?
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/362664]Grey Wolves, The – Pure Hatred (Special Edition)[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2xLP, Album
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/362849]Various – House Party I – [/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2xLP, Album
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/363107]Robert Fripp & Brian Eno – Even Spaces[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2xLP, Album
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/363451]D:Fuse – Begin[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2×12″, EP?
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/363491]Calamalka – Shredders Dub[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2×12″, EP? Album?
    [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/363647]Love Corporation – Dance Stance[/url] CURRENT = 2xLP : NEW = 2×12″, EP?

    So out of these, half are IMHO incorrectly labeled as LP and should be 12″.

    A lot of the issue is the confusion between LP and 12″ (taking out any thoughts of things getting labled incorrectly as LP’s to mean they are albums). The basic difference is 12″ is a ‘loud’ cut with deep and wide grooves, whereas an LP cut has smaller and quieter grooves (micro grooves). An LP has up to 30 mins a side, whereas as 12″ is up to about 15. Theoretically, the 33rpm 12″ format merges into LP the more time you add onto a side. It is perfectly possible to cut a record with any groove depth, spacing, time, and loudness (within physical constraints). Taking this to the logical conclusion, it would be possible to cut a 1 minute LP side, but it is not possible to cut a 25 minute 12” side.

    There is also a vagueness with albums, ep’s etc. For some of the examples from the 10, I wouldn’t like to say whether they were albums or ep’s, and as we have discussed already, to a certain extent it is up to the artist / label as to what they want to call it.

    Finally, it is going to remain possible to run conversions or automatic updates after the new system is in place, so I think we can keep discussing this and try to get solutions.

    For example, if we don’t do any special conversion for all the nxLP’s in electronic, the information is going to remain there with the new system, ready for us to work on, whereas if we converted all of them into nx12”, we would lump it all together and possibly incorrectly update half of them (4084 nxLP submissions) into the nx12” data pool, therefore giving us a big pool of 20000 releases from which to find the 4084 submissions that should be changed to nxLP. |In this case (where the split may be half-and-half), it is more prudent to leave things ‘as is’, and the update will have to be manual.

  • md
    Sep 28,2006 at 08:42

    [quote=mayday]out of interest, why don’t you just approve your own updates and bypass the non-believers?[/quote]
    ah, that was before I was an editor with a 100% vote. Even since then though, I can’t be arsed fixing something to 2×12″ while the rules aren’t there to back it up. Someone will just come along and change it back again. I’ll start fixing after the change.

  • md
    Sep 28,2006 at 08:37

    [quote=mayday]And I bet most won’t even need changing.[/quote]
    I think a lot of them will. Just going through my favourites list (labels) in alphabetical order and looking at all those that have “n x XX” entries, every one of them has entries currently listed as n x LP incorrectly. The first label I came to that didn’t was in “C”.

    e.g.:

    [r=37142]
    [r=429694]
    [r=57292]
    [r=15366]
    [r=3303]
    [r=110834]

    Those will all need updating after the conversion.

  • Sep 28,2006 at 08:32

    out of interest, why don’t you just approve your own updates and bypass the non-believers?

  • md
    Sep 28,2006 at 08:20

    [quote=mayday]well you should have made better notes then!!! [/quote]
    I stupidly assumed that “this is NOT an album, it’s a double EP” would have sufficed. It didn’t.

  • Sep 28,2006 at 05:40

    [quote=md]If it’s impossible to establish to any degree of confidence whether “most” of those 9609 nxLPs don’t contain any LPs but contain what should be marked as 12″s, even if they are albums, then yeah, I suppose we should just leave it to manual updates[/quote]

    Yes absoulutly these HAVE to be manual updates.
    And I bet most won’t even need changing.

  • Sep 28,2006 at 05:38

    [quote=md]Many were not rejected and have not been fixed though. As recently as a few weeks ago I had an update to fix a double EP from 2xLP to 2×12″ rejected because “8 tracks is an album” (????????). [/quote]

    well you should have made better notes then!!! ;)

    If it’s not an album, why are mods rejecting the idea of changing it back to 2×12″???

    I fully understand the difference between the 2. Seems some mods have never heard of doublepack singles (EP).

  • md
    Sep 27,2006 at 08:13

    If it’s impossible to establish to any degree of confidence whether “most” of those 9609 nxLPs don’t contain any LPs but contain what should be marked as 12″s, even if they are albums, then yeah, I suppose we should just leave it to manual updates.

    That looks like a lot of updates though. More than the number of updates that would be required to change what is probably a minority of releases back to LP, such as [r=100560], an album currently listed correctly as 2xLP on the same label as [r=268004], an album currently listed incorrectly as 3xLP.

  • nik
    Sep 27,2006 at 07:29

    There are 9609 nxLP’s in Electronic [url=http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=genre%3A+electronic+format%3A+xLP&btn=Search]Search Result[/url]

    9162 nx12″ [url=http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=genre%3A+electronic+format%3A+x12%22&btn=Search]Search result[/url]

    7 nxLP with EP in the title are tagged with LP instead of 12″ [url=http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=genre%3A+electronic+format%3A+xLP+title%3A+ep&btn=Search]Search Result[/url]

    105 with LP in the title [url=105]Search Result[/url]

    46 with album in the title are tagged as nx12″ [url=46]Search Result[/url]

    According to the proposal at the moment, we are throwing away any notion that LP = Album and 12″=EP or Maxi Single. ONLY the releases that have album, ep etc in their title will get tagged as such.

    Maybe the best thing to do is not convert nxLP to nx12″, but do it manualy?

  • md
    Sep 27,2006 at 06:11

    [quote=mayday]many were and have been rejected or fixed[/quote]
    Many were not rejected and have not been fixed though. As recently as a few weeks ago I had an update to fix a double EP from 2xLP to 2×12″ rejected because “8 tracks is an album” (????????).

    That’s why it has to be done the way it’s been proposed – because so many releases were changed to n x LP regardless of whether they were albums or not. Unfortunate.

    In any case, nik’s wording above was badly phrased I think. What he should have said was

    “the large majority of vinyl albums in the electronic genre have apparently been entered or updated as LPs to try to tag them as albums…but album does not equal LP.”

    There are thousands (probably tens of thousands) of albums listed in e.discogs as n x LP incorrectly, but because there are also hundreds (or maybe thousands) of non-album releases also listed as n x LP as a result of this policy leaking into general practice, we can’t tag all the n x LP as “album” during the conversion – cos so many of them will be wrong as a result.

  • Sep 27,2006 at 05:47

    [quote=nik]tosmcgee – this conversion is taking place because the large majority of double, triple etc 12″s in the electronic genre have apparently been entered or updated as LP’s to try to tag them as albums… but LP does not equal album[/quote]

    That’s not entirely true. Only albums were updated. Double packs eg [r=14131] were not updated to 2xLP to indicate album status because its a single spread over 2 pices of vinyl ie 2×12. Whereas [r=160464] IS an album and was tagged 2xLP to denote that fact.

    True, some rankhunteres tried to change double packs eg [r=2386] into 2xLP, and many were and have been rejected or fixed.

  • nik
    Sep 27,2006 at 05:20

    *bump* – anyone?

  • nik
    Sep 26,2006 at 10:13

    Ok, I have updated the conversion side of this proposal:

    http://help.discogs.com/wiki/SubmissionGuidelinesFormat-NEW#conversion

    That will get about 37000 releases (about 5% of the database) tagged with either Album, EP, Maxi-Single, or Mini-Album.

    Unless there is anything else to discuss, this update is now ready to be put into action.

  • nik
    Sep 19,2006 at 07:01

    Yes, I agree. the longer I look at this, and the more of others opinions and ideas I read, the more I think a cautious and conservative conversion process is going to be better than a wide sweeping one that causes a lot of errors.

    The releases and artists such as Gecks [a=Sigur Rós] examples don’t worry me (as Gecks says – “I’ll always fix the artists i care about anyways”), but the artists that no one cares about are the ones that really worry me.

    What’s worse, a Single incorrectly tagged as an EP sitting in the database for years, or a single tagged as nothing sitting there for years!?

    I would take omission over incorrectness at this stage. More updates, more work, but a more accurate database.

  • md
    Sep 19,2006 at 04:21

    No crossed wires, nik, just bad expression on my part. I meant that we would no longer be setting the format of releases to LP or n x LP unless they actually contain LPs, rather than setting them to LP because they are albums regardless of whether or not they contain LPs.

    Having said that, although I agree (obviously, as it was my idea) that n x LP in electronic should be converted to n x 12″, and also that 1xLP should be kept as such, I’m not sure that we should be tagging everything that’s a 1xLP in electronic as an album as in your post above:

    LP (single LP only in electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

    I posted a list of electronic 1xLPs that are not albums in the moderator forum thread a couple of weeks ago.

    As has been mentioned above it’s probably best to make the least assumptions to get more things “half-correct” than “half-incorrect”. I’m not even sure whether we should be tagging non-electronic LPs as albums. It may be right in the majority of cases, but not for many others.

    So my suggestion would be:

    LP (single LP only in electronic) -> Vinyl, LP

  • nik
    Sep 19,2006 at 04:03

    [quote=tosmcgee]only in electronic forum !!!

    LP = LP
    everywhere
    why complicate the issue
    2 x LP = Double LP [/quote]

    I think what tosmcgee was objecting to was this:

    [quote=nik]’n’ x LP (in electronic genre only) -> ‘n’ x Vinyl, 12″ [/quote]

    tosmcgee – this conversion is taking place because the large majority of double, triple etc 12″s in the electronic genre have apparently been entered or updated as LP’s to try to tag them as albums… but LP does not equal album.

    [quote=md]no automatic listing of albums as LP[/quote]

    I’m not sure if we have crossed wires here md, but:

    [quote=nik]LP (in all genres apart from electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

    LP (single LP only in electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album [/quote]

  • md
    Sep 19,2006 at 01:44

    [quote=tosmcgee]so 12″ is a 12″
    LP is an LP
    don’t try and confuse it [/quote]
    [quote=tosmcgee]Album – has always been a release on LP, CD or cassette so get rid of that idea [/quote]
    Yes, LP is an LP, but LP is not an album. Whether a release is an album or not is an artistic/marketing decision, nothing to do with the format it is released on. An album can be released on any format and be any length with any number of tracks. There’s only one conclusion that can be drawn from something being released on LP, and that is that the format is LP.

    tosmcgee, you seem to have misunderstood this topic and its purpose. There will be no CD5″ after the conversion, there will be no automatic listing of albums as LP (because this is fundamentally incorrect).

  • Sep 19,2006 at 00:12

    [quote=tosmcgee]Album – has always been a release on LP, CD or cassette so get rid of that idea[/quote]

    hmmm, how do you call [url=http://www.discogs.com/release/663585]this[/url] then?

    It’s the complete album + extras in 7″ format

  • Sep 18,2006 at 16:19

    [quote=Gecks]the singles are an album track, plus b-sides/live cuts. i think this is typical for quite a lot of rock-type artists (at least in my collection).[/quote]

    I want to back this up and say that this is true for most music. although they only really started doing 12″ singles in the 80s onwards…

    I don’t know if you can do it or not, but usually a single contains as its A-side a track off an album. so maybe you could do a filter where it compares A-side track title to track titles off CDs or LPs by that same artist, and convert those that get a hit to singles ?

  • Sep 18,2006 at 13:51

    Can we just go back on this

    only in electronic forum !!!

    LP = LP
    everywhere
    why complicate the issue
    2 x LP = Double LP

    EP is specifice to the actual release and is desrbed as such

    eg Thomas Pink Session EP
    and low and behold this can be a CD5″

    so 12″ is a 12″
    LP is an LP
    don’t try and confuse it

    EP is a single release and on its release is described as such
    it can be a 7″, 12″ 10″, CD3″, CD5″ possibly others as well

    Album – has always been a release on LP, CD or cassette so get rid of that idea

  • Sep 18,2006 at 09:54

    My personal view is that I only want to know if something is an album or not.

    A 12″ that is not an album by implication gives me the information I require about its format.

    The descriptions suggested are not well defined (in the real world):-
    [b]EP[/b] – is not easy to classify, is misused (2 track EPs) and in the title anyway for lots of releases.
    [b]Maxi-Single[/b] – is only used in Europe (excluding UK).

    So, I think we should just update releases that are to be classed as [b]Album[/b].

  • Sep 18,2006 at 06:45

    [quote=nik]Thanks for the examples Gecks – food for thought, although I do find the description of ‘single’ for a 4 track 12″ to be quite idiosyncratic (I have to wonder if the artist / label really decided to use that term, or simply just used it because they didn’t know better). [/quote]

    well, you could say that :) however the example of an EP of theirs I gave ([r=483458]) is entirely new material, whereas the singles are an album track (one’s a double A side actually but anyway), plus b-sides/live cuts. i think this is typical for quite a lot of rock-type artists (at least in my collection).

    [quote=nik]To summarise what you are proposing:

    * Album, EP, Single etc should only be used when the record company or artist describe the release as such, either on the release itself, or on websites and other official media from the company or artist.

    * For the conversion, only where the item is explicitly called album, single, ep etc should we be adding this as a format description tag.[/quote]

    that’s what i’d do, yeah. ultimately, if the conversion is right for most artists, i guess it’s worth doing. i’ll always fix the artists i care about anyways :)

  • nik
    Sep 18,2006 at 05:55

    [quote=uzumaki]maxi-single is not something I’ve ever called a 12″, it’s only used in countries that describing things in inches wouldn’t make sense?[/quote]

    I don’t think much ‘pure’ dance stuff was ever called maxi-single. From my experience, maxi-single is more likely to be encountered at the pop side of things, where a single (on 7″ in ye olde days) release was accompanied by a 12″ with extended mixes etc for the discos.

    It could be true that the term maxi-single is more of a European thing, and it is probably more common to call them ‘twelve inch singles’ or the like in the UK.

  • Sep 18,2006 at 05:27

    Maybe this was already discussed and I missed it – maxi-single is not something I’ve ever called a 12″, it’s only used in countries that describing things in inches wouldn’t make sense? I’d imagine that most 12″s in the system really are 12″s or (a minority) EPs/mini-albums that haven’t had a format until very soon. My background is dance music, growing up in the UK so’s probably why I think that way.

  • nik
    Sep 18,2006 at 05:20

    Thanks for the examples Gecks – food for thought, although I do find the description of ‘single’ for a 4 track 12″ to be quite idiosyncratic (I have to wonder if the artist / label really decided to use that term, or simply just used it because they didn’t know better).

    After saying that, there is little to be gained for me in arguing about the artists or labels classification of their product, as these terms are very subjective in any case. We have to take their word for it :-)

    I wonder how many 5 minute Mini CD Albums, or box set 3 x 12″ Singles we are going to get!

    To summarise what you are proposing:

    * Album, EP, Single etc should [b]only[/b] be used when the record company or artist describe the release as such, either on the release itself, or on websites and other official media from the company or artist.

    * For the conversion, only where the item is explicitly called album, single, ep etc should we be adding this as a format description tag.

  • Sep 18,2006 at 04:50

    [quote=nik]I understand your point, but the fact remains that out of 300,000 12″ in Discogs, the large majority of them are EP’s and maxi-singles.[/quote]

    but are they, though? most releases aren’t defined at all, so they are only “EP’s and maxi-singles” if you apply a rule to them (ie the rule that would do the conversion). IMO most 12″ releases are “undefined” and I don’t think there’s any reason to define them unless the artist/label does.

    as an example, i checked a random artist i keep an eye on and all of these would get broken in the change (using your revised rules linked above):

    [r=13044] (would be changed to EP in stage 2, but is a single – http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/disco/svefn.php)
    [r=13047] (same again – http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/disco/nybatt.php)
    [r=221584] (stage 3 would convert it to single, which is right, but the tracks are Untitled, which made me think they probably should be excluded from the rules anyway – they aren’t actually the same tracks)
    [r=483458] (nothing happens to this one, though it is an EP – http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/disco/babatikidido.php)
    [r=572085] (nothing happens, though it is a single – http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/disco/hoppipolla.php)

    [quote=nik]That is an old rule that is being further discussed and perfected in this thread. The latest thinking about the conversion is here, and you will find that this particular aspect has already been greatly honed. I also discussed in that post the possibility of NOT tagging the leftovers.[/quote]

    yeah that set of rules definitely looks better but i’d still leave em as unclassified, and also not let users update them to what they think the release is (eg, EP), unless there’s some specific reasoning for this. I don’t think track number/duration/etc is a good enough reason for classing as EP anymore.

  • nik
    Sep 18,2006 at 03:41

    [quote=Gecks]the only releases that should be changed to EP are those that are referred to as such by either the artist or record label. just as you can get single track 10 minute ‘albums’, an EP is an artistic statement, and not defined (any more) by duration/tracks[/quote]

    I understand your point, but the fact remains that out of 300,000 12″ in Discogs, the large majority of them are EP’s and maxi-singles. The number of 10 minute one track ’12” albums’ is going to be a handful at the very most. The idea is to try to minimise as much as possible the number of updates that need done after the conversion. So far, I feel the rule set that is being drawn up is going quite some way towards achieving this goal.

    [quote=nik]12″ (where all track titles match) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single [/quote]
    [quote=Gecks]so any 12″ with a b-side is an EP? IMO that’s very wrong.[/quote]

    That is an old rule that is being further discussed and perfected in this thread. The latest thinking about the conversion is [url=http://www.discogs.com/forums/topic?topic_id=111101#1453636]here[/url], and you will find that this particular aspect has already been greatly honed. I also discussed in that post the possibility of NOT tagging the leftovers.

  • Sep 18,2006 at 03:06

    [quote=nik]The most simple conversion for most vinyl formats is to NOT assume any Album, EP, Maxi-Single, and Single conversions at all, and let people update each release one at a time. Of course it will be appreciated that this presents us with the possibility a massive amount of updates (there are currently 310,254 12” in the database – IOW half the database!)[/quote]

    i’d very much prefer this one to be honest. it’s not like you’re losing info, and IMO the only releases that should be changed to EP are those that are referred to as such by either the artist or record label. just as you can get single track 10 minute ‘albums’, an EP is an artistic statment, and not defined (any more) by duration/tracks.

    [quote=nik]
    12″ (where all track titles match) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single[/quote]

    so any 12″ with a b-side is an EP? IMO that’s very wrong.

  • Sep 15,2006 at 22:37

    I know you want to do these conversions and stuff, and the queue can’t really handle everything being done manually, but does anyone else think that this would be a good chance for discogs to get a much-needed audit/edit/revision….

    there’s so much releases in the database with bad/no credits etc etc that no one is ever updating…. now is the opportunity !!

  • Sep 15,2006 at 10:39

    Wow, I don’t even want to know how long those database update queries are going to be…

  • nik
    Sep 15,2006 at 09:52

    12″ containing ‘LP’ seem a LOT more problematic!

    http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=format%3A+12%22+lp&btn=Search

  • nik
    Sep 15,2006 at 09:49

    In fact, we can use the search engine to see the results from at least stage 1:

    format: 12″ ep – 27109 – http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=format%3A+12%22+ep&btn=Search
    format: 12″ e.p (and e.p.) – 3225 – http://www.discogs.com/search?type=all&q=format%3A+12%22+e.p&btn=Search

    aprox 30000 out of 300000 on stage 1 (10%)

  • nik
    Sep 15,2006 at 09:43

    [quote=helix]Also, can the conversion be done on an offline snapshot of the database first? That way we can inspect the changes and flag any problems in this thread. Also any alternative conversion strategies could be tried out to see which works best.[/quote]

    It is possible to do it offline, but the subsequent viewing and checking would be problematic IMHO, as there is simply too much data to check, and any reports gained from this would be quite hard to interpret as being ‘better’ or ‘worse’. These problems would be compounded if we did it multiple times to try and find the ‘best’ way. However, some kind of ‘pressure cooker’ method of turning off all submissions and moderations for a day (announced in advance), doing the conversion, and getting everyones feedback may be a ‘safe’ way to go about it. The goal, however, is to get it 99% right straight off the bat, and not have to go back and forth with it.

    The ideas presented by lazlo_nibble and dj_purity_control are simple to do. What I am thinking is the process could have multiple stages to ‘filter’ the conversion, something like this (I am specifically thinking about 12″ here, it may be applicable to other formats):

    Stage 1. 12″ (with EP, E.P, E.P. anywhere in the release) -> Vinyl, 12″, EP

    Stage 2. 12″ (with four or more different track titles) -> Vinyl, 12″, EP

    Stage 3. 12″ (where all track titles before the brackets match) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

    Stage 4. 12″ (where all but one of the track titles before the brackets match, and there are 4 or less tracks) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

    Stage 4. 12″ (for all 12″ not converted by the above conversions) -> Vinyl, 12″. ?

    Stage 4 could be left without any EP or Maxi-Single tag, or we could decide to tag the leftovers with whatever seems the right thing.

    [quote=lazlo_nibble]Depends on how much immediate value you think we’ll get from the “EP” designation…[/quote]

    Yes indeed. I don’t think anyone could say that we have corrupted the data by NOT trying to parse out EP, Maxi-Single etc, and certainly the database would function exactly as before. However, three hundred thousand updates sounds like a heck of a lot!

  • Sep 15,2006 at 08:07

    Also, can the conversion be done on an offline snapshot of the database first?

    That way we can inspect the changes and flag any problems in this thread.

    Also any alternative conversion strategies could be tried out to see which works best.

  • Sep 15,2006 at 07:58

    Will anything with [b]EP[/b] in the title be allowed to have the description set as [b]EP[/b] even if it only has two tracks?

    If so this should be added to the [b]The New Description field[/b] section of the [url=http://help.discogs.com/wiki/SubmissionGuidelinesFormat-NEW]new format proposal[/url].

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