Thursday, March 26, 2020

How new entries are created

The COVER.INFO editors are constantly expanding the database. Everyone can follow the growth: The latest entries are displayed on the home page, for example. Creating new data records is manual work even though we are now supported by input help. But where does COVER.INFO actually get supplies from?

What might be considered the most reliable source is none. Directly from the producer, i.e. the music industry, we get nothing. Nor do we know whether relevant data can be obtained from them in a bundled and machine-readable form, possibly for a fee. It is not even proven that record companies even record which of their products are cover versions or contain quotes (and then which ones). Presumably, from a business point of view, there is hardly any reason to use resources for this.

So we have no choice but to take matters into our own hands. Fortunately, we're not entirely on our own. In the course of the past 20 years, many valuable tips have reached us from our visitors. We are very happy about more of them.

Inspiration for new entries can be found quickly by reading Wikipedia. Many popular songs are described in their own articles, which often include cover versions. Simple copying is prohibited, because not everything is true or relevant. However, the information is always good as a basis for further research.

Sometimes a look at your own record collection is enough. Some of the songs that can be found on the discs on our home shelves turn out to be cover versions that have not yet been registered.

All editors go through their everyday life sensitized to the topic of their hobby. It can happen that a text or a melody on the radio seems familiar and that you follow up on it. Ideally, the presenter already gives a hint, otherwise we do our own research. Since many radio stations provide playlists on the web, it is often easy to get at least the names of the candidates and can then look at them in peace.

Of course, broadcasters also explicitly present cover versions, whether new or old. It is then of course a matter of honor for an editor to check whether a database entry already exists for this publication. If not, it will be created.

We also read reviews of new and older records and find the hint that a certain song is a cover version. In general, helpful information can always be found in the media.

If it is clear from the start that there is a pure cover album, the thing is not necessarily a sure thing, because one does not necessarily know anything about the originals. That is where research begins. How quickly an editor has worked through all the individual titles in such a case depends on his or her own knowledge, the published detailed information such as authors and the data already available in our database. Provided that all the pieces in the original have been proven to be by a specific artist, one at least has a clear starting point.

During your own investigations it is almost inevitable that you will come across further interesting material. So the influx of fresh material does not dry up. But it also means that the whole thing is a bottomless pit. COVER.INFO continues to see itself as an attempt to somehow control the flood within the bounds of possibility and in accordance with our rules.


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