Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Our most important sources

The article of 26 March 2020 explained how new entries come about. To conclude our series of articles on the occasion of 20 years of COVER.INFO, we now would like to reveal which sources we mainly use when checking new song entries.

By far the most important source for us is the Discogs database because it is one of the largest sound-carrier databases on the net. This is where the search usually begins and when a corresponding sound carrier is found, we usually try to confirm the information with other sources. What works very well with Discogs is the artist and author database in the background. Most of the information about the persons is well-founded, often with additional information and usually there are also links to the corresponding Wikipedia articles. And almost always you will find pictures of the cover, the record label, often also the back cover, up to pictures of multi-page inlays.

Discogs tries to display the song titles exactly as they appear on the sound carriers, but a controlling look at the illustrated covers or labels is always appropriate. First and foremost, music-loving users enter their albums and CDs and sometimes they simply make typing errors. Caution is also advised with the dates entered for the sound carriers. One cannot always rely on that. Thus we often look for other sources.

A very important source to find out the authors is the database of the GEMA, a German collecting society. It is not easy to use, but once you have familiarized yourself with the system, you can be sure to find the right composer and lyricist. Often the database contains their complete civil name, so that we can complete the author, who is abbreviated on the record with only the initial letter of the first name, for the purpose of our database.

Since the redesign of our website we also have the possibility to include videos as audio samples. Therefor we are using YouTube. But you can't always find the song you're looking for there, and so we can try to make comparisons between the original and the cover with the 30-second audio samples, for example on Amazon, AllMusic or the Swiss Hit Parade.

The data on authors should not be overestimated when coming from the record companies themselves. Then suddenly the arranger or the producer appears as an author on the record label, or completely wrong authors are given. We had a particularly curious case recently. A user of our site from Texas wrote us that he met the daughter of T-Bone Walker at an event. She complained about the fact that her father's song "Stormy Monday Blues" is credited on many records as Eckstine, Crowder and Hines who also wrote a song with that name. We checked this immediately for the entries in our database and of course a lot of songs were wrongly assigned. T-Bone Walker's work is actually called "Call It Stormy Monday But Tuesday Is Just As Bad", but as many artists simply shortened it to "Stormy Monday Blues" for their cover versions, this confusion is the result.

You can write a lot more about this topic, but we want to let it end for the moment with this little look into the engine room of our website. Over the next few months, we'd like to give you an insight into special areas of music here on the blog and show you how we do research there. And finally our request is: be attentive and if you find any mistakes, please let us know!


No comments:

Post a Comment