Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Discogs

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Covid-19
Type of site  Music
Owner  Zink Media, Inc.
Industry  Internet
Headquarters  Portland, Oregon
Created by  Kevin Lewandowski
Available in  English (US), English (UK), German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, French

Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and crowdsourced database of information about audio recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name discogs.com, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are located in Portland, Oregon, US. While the site lists releases in all genres and on all formats, it is especially known as the largest online database of electronic music releases, and of releases on vinyl media. Discogs currently contains over 8 million releases, by nearly 4.9 million artists, across over 1 million labels, contributed from nearly 330,000 contributor user accounts—with these figures constantly growing as users continually add previously unlisted releases to the site over time.

Contents

History

The discogs.com domain name was registered on 30 August 2000, and Discogs itself was launched in November 2000 by programmer, DJ, and music fan Kevin Lewandowski originally as a database of electronic music.

He was inspired by the success of community-built sites such as Slashdot, eBay, and Open Directory Project, and decided to use this model for a music discography database.

The site's original goal was to build the most comprehensive database of electronic music, organized around the artists, labels, and releases available in that genre. In 2003 the Discogs system was completely rewritten, and in January 2004 it began to support other genres, starting with hip hop. Since then, it has expanded to include rock and jazz in January 2005 and funk/soul, Latin, and reggae in October of the same year. In January 2006 blues and non-music (e.g. comedy records, field recordings, interviews) were added. Classical music started being supported in June 2007, and in October 2007 the "final genres were turned on" – adding support for the Stage & Screen, Brass & Military, Children's, and Folk, World, & Country music genres, allowing capture of virtually every single type of audio recording that has ever been released.

On 30 June 2004, Discogs published a report, which included information about the number of its contributors. This report claimed that Discogs had 15,788 contributors and 260,789 releases.

On 20 July 2007 a new system for sellers was introduced on the site called Market Price History. It made information available to users who paid for a subscription – though 60 days information was free – access to the past price items were sold for up to 12 months ago by previous sellers who had sold exactly the same release. At the same time, the US$12 per year charge for advanced subscriptions was abolished, as it was felt that the extra features should be made available to all subscribers now that a better, some may say fairer, revenue stream had been found from sellers and purchasers. However, at the beginning of 2008, the Market Price History was also made free of charge for all users, still giving up to a 12-month view of historical sales data for any release.

Milestones

Discogs publishes information indicating the number of releases, labels, and artists presently in its database, along with its contributors:

Other projects

In mid 2014, a side project website called VinylHub was started, in order for users to add record shops and stores from around the world, with information concerning location, contact details, what type of items they stocked, et al.

In late 2014, the company released two new beta websites. Filmogs is where users can submit both Films and Releases as separate entities, meaning users could add their physical film collections and/or add films generally to the database, and track them as part of their collection or similar. Gearogs lets users add and track music equipment like synths, drum machines, and other electronic music making equipment.

At the start of 2015, the company began another beta project — Bibliogs. Users can submit information about their books, physical or electronic, different versions and editions, and also connect different credits (writers, illustrators, translators, publishers, etc.) to these books. 21,000 books were submitted by the end of 2016. The project remains in its beta phase.

API

In mid-August 2007, Discogs data became publicly accessible via a RESTful, XML-based API and a license that allowed specially attributed use, but did not allow anyone to "alter, transform, or build upon" the data. The license has since been changed to a public domain one. Prior to the advent of this license and API, Discogs data was only accessible via the Discogs web site's HTML interface and was intended to be viewed only using web browsers. The HTML interface remains the only authorized way to modify Discogs data.

On 7 June 2011 version 2 of the API was released. Notable in this release was that a license key was no longer required, the default response was changed from XML to JSON, and the 5000 queries per day limit was removed (although a limit of 2000 image lookups per days was introduced).

On 1 November 2011 a major update to version 2 of the API was released. This new release dropped support for XML, data is always returned in JSON format, however the monthly data dumps of new data are only provided in XML format.

On 1 February 2014 Discogs modified their API so that image requests will now require OAuth authorization, requiring each user of third-party applications to have a Discogs "application ID", with image requests now limited to 1,000 per day. Additionally the Premium API service was dropped.

On 24 June 2014 Discogs deprecated their XML API in lieu of a JSON-formatted API.

Discogs also allows full XML downloads of its Release, Artist, and Label data through the data.discogs.com subdomain.

Contribution system

The data in Discogs comes from submissions contributed by users who have registered accounts on the web site. The system has gone through four major revisions.

Version One (V1)

All incoming submissions were checked for formal and factual correctness by privileged users called "moderators", or "mods" for short, who had been selected by site management. Submissions and edits wouldn't become visible or searchable until they received a single positive vote from a "mod". An even smaller pool of super-moderators called "editors" had the power to vote on proposed edits to artist & label data.

Version Two (V2)

This version introduced the concept of "submission limits" which prevented new users from submitting more than 2-3 releases for moderation. The number of possible submissions by a user increased on a logarithmic scale. The purpose of this was two-fold: 1) it helped keep the submission queue fairly small and manageable for moderators, and 2) it allowed the new user to acclimatise themselves slowly with the many formatting rules and guidelines of submitting to Discogs. Releases required a number of votes to be accepted into the database - initially the number of votes required was from 4 different moderators but in time the amount was decreased to 3 and then 2.

Version Three (V3)

V3 launched in August 2007. Submission limits were eliminated, allowing each user to submit an unlimited number of updates and new entries. New releases added to the database were explicitly marked as "Unmoderated" with a top banner, and updates to existing items, such as releases, artists, or labels, were not shown (or available to search engines or casual visitors) until they were approved by the moderators.

Version Four (V4)

This system launched on 10 March 2008. New submissions and edits currently take effect immediately. Any time a new release is added or old release edited, that entry becomes flagged as needing "votes" (initially, "review," but this term caused confusion). A flagged entry is marked as a full yellow bar across a release in the list views and, like version three, a banner on the submission itself – although, initially, this banner was omitted.

Any item can be voted on at any time, even if it isn't flagged. Votes consist of a rating of the correctness & completeness of the full set of data for an item (not just the most recent changes), as assessed by users who have been automatically determined, by an undisclosed algorithm, to be experienced & reliable enough to be allowed to cast votes. An item's "average" vote is displayed with the item's data.

The ranking system has also changed in v4. In v3, rank points were only awarded to submitters when a submission was "Accepted" by moderator votes. While in v4, rank points are now awarded immediately when a submission is made, regardless of the accuracy of the information and what votes it eventually receives, if any.

Tag editors

  • ASMT MP3 Tagger – single release tagger
  • foobar2000 – freeware media player and music management software with a plugin
  • Helium Music Manager – music management software with a plugin
  • Jaikoz – shareware OS X/Windows/Linux spreadsheet-based tag editor
  • Kid3 – open-source project, tagger for all common music formats
  • Mp3tag – freeware tag editor, batch and spreadsheet interfaces
  • OrangeCD Catalog – music management software
  • puddletag – a free and open-source tag editor written for PyQt
  • taghycardia – freeware, automated MP3 tagger
  • Tagog – Linux audio file tagger
  • TagScanner – freeware tag editor with Discogs, FreeDB, TrackType.org support
  • The GodFather – freeware tag editor
  • The Tagger – MP3 and AAC formats tag editor for OS X
  • TigoTago – spreadsheet-based tag editor
  • Other

  • MP3 Filenamer – online MP3 file name generator, based on Discogs release data
  • Discogs Bar – Discogs navigation and search control toolbar for Firefox
  • Album Art Downloader – Discogs cover art downloads
  • WWW::Discogs – Perl module for interfacing with the Discogs API
  • XLD (X Lossless Decoder) – a CD ripper and audio file converter for OS X
  • References

    Discogs Wikipedia


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