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Old 02-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Improving The Database

This is a thread for anybody from the sputnik community who wish to assist in building a better database for the review site. The basic premise is that a list will be bumped on each page, populated by artists whose pages need work. This includes -

- Missing album releases that need to be added to artist discographies (the focus currently being on LP's, EP's, Compilations and Live albums.)
- Biographies and missing artist images
- Similar artists

If you wish to volunteer, select an artist or three and i'll put your username next to it. When you are finished, let me know and i'll list it as complete and remove the entry on the next page.

Some basic rules and tips -

- Try to google official artist discography pages, consulting wikipedia, rateyourmusic and discogs just to make sure the discographies listed are consistent. Usually, one or the other will suffice but these websites are far from perfect and aren't always to be trusted.

- Do not steal artist biographies from wikipedia, there are some copyright issues there. If you are unwilling to write one yourself, try looking for what is on the artists official website. Otherwise leave it blank, and make a note in the thread that it needs updating so somebody else can write one for you.

- The image uploader for both album art and artist images can be erratic, so make sure to use a cropped 200 x 200 .jpg (typed in lower case) just to be safe (you can resize in MS Paint, photoshop or any number of free third party programs you can find through a search engine). Try not to use outdated artist images if you can help it.

- With certain rock and metal artists, try not to be too liberal throwing "Progressive" around as a secondary genre. If in doubt of what genre any artist belongs to, consult the thread.

- Singles are not allowed in the database at this time. Demos only if they have been officially released by the band (i.e. no "leaked" demos). Only artist sanctioned bootlegs are allowed.

- A good rule of thumb i've found is at the last stages of updating a bio is to visit the groups last.fm page and import the five most similar artists listed over here -

http://www.last.fm/music/South+Central+Cartel

Usually these are associated acts or at worst artists of the same genre so it couldn't hurt. If you could report any of these artists in the thread if they are missing from sputnik or have pages that need work that would help improve our coverage.

Don't worry about being too thorough as i'll finish up the pages if necessary anyway.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original Post

So, I was thinking.

The album database on Sputnik isn't particularly hot, more often than not I am running into artists and albums which have not been added yet. I understand the focus of this website is on music reviews, not on cataloging discographies the way Rate Your Music and Discogs does. Still, if there was a stronger focus on an organised database this would be wonderful.

I would like to suggest having this as a thread to report artists that need biographies sorted out, and complete discographies added (EP's, LP's, live shows, bootlegs, the whole works). I would like to personally take on this endeavor myself, and possibly recruit help from any likeminded individuals who regularly use Sputnik but see a gaping flaw here and want to spend a bit of time making the database more worthwhile.

I was thinking of compiling a list of anything that gets reported, starting with these -

Klinik - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=17289 Complete
Sorrow - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=17681 Complete
Ben Frost - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=6066 Complete

These are missing albums, and the profile of Ben Frost in particular could use an update.

Now, the way the sputnik database currently works, listing complete discographies by discogs or rateyourmusic standards is not possible (if we are talking guest appearances, alternative album pressings, compilations etc.). I would suggest updating at least all the LP's and EP's you can find.

Thoughts? Clearly, if anybody wants to add an album they can do it themselves easily enough I just thought this could be some extra incentive to get the database on track. Also the more pages that get created, the more Sputnik is visible through google to people searching particular albums even if they are just sitting there not getting rated by anybody. At the very least, it couldn't hurt.

Last edited by Meatplow; 07-02-2010 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #2
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i got aerosmith
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:26 PM   #3
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I don't think singles need to be added. Except in a few cases they're mostly clutter.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieFisterbut View Post
I don't think singles need to be added. Except in a few cases they're mostly clutter.
Yeah, I think you are right.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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yeah this is a good idea, although I wouldn't bother with singles or bootlegs
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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If album pages were categorised into LP's, EP's and singles etc. it probably wouldn't be so much of a problem. As it is now, pages such as this this do seem a bit difficult to navigate.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=9192

Considering this guy only has 5-6 LP's, apart from looking at what has been rated the most it's hard to know what to look for if you are just browsing it.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:10 PM   #7
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i got aerosmith
yes
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:13 PM   #8
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hip-hop has a huge problem with differentiating mixtapes and albums proper.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:02 AM   #9
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Alright just finished a rough approximation of Klinik (neither RYM, Discogs or their official discography page agreed with one another much, but it'll do).

A couple of others -

The Fair Sex - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/band/The+Fair+Sex
Sleeping Dogs Wake - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=17716

I was thinking of just having a floating list on each page, if someone here volunteers to do one say so and i'll put your name next to it. Once it's done let me know and i'll list it as complete and remove it from the next list.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:53 AM   #10
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I did the first 3 if anybody has suggestions i'll get around to doing them before long.
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:57 PM   #11
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Let me know if there are any coding or interface changes that would make this easier for you.

If people feel it is critical, for instance, I could add an LP/EP flag for albums.
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Old 02-13-2010, 07:33 PM   #12
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you should do that mx
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mx View Post
Let me know if there are any coding or interface changes that would make this easier for you.

If people feel it is critical, for instance, I could add an LP/EP flag for albums.
http://i47.tinypic.com/2cs9c94.jpg

I did a rough photoshop (more functional than aesthetic, of course). If artist pages were organised in a way similar to this I would consider it an ideal way to navigate.

If there was some way we could tag artists as appearing on soundtracks, compilations and collaborations which would be visible on a section of their page that would open things a lot further as well.

I have a feeling both of these might be too much to ask for to transfer over from the current setup (every single release already in the sputnik database may have to be retagged as an LP, EP, live show etc.) but, I guess as an idea it is a start.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:22 AM   #14
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i dont get it why is the black album a bootleg
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:32 AM   #15
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it's an example

not an accurate one
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:39 PM   #16
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Cool mockup, Meatplow. I agree that the database on this site leaves a lot to be desired.

1) Like meatplow's image, sort stuff by release type.

2) Something needs to be done about albums with multiple issues. It's pretty obnoxious when you go to an artist page and there are like 3 different versions (re-releases, special editions, etc) of the same album. All it does is clutter up the page and split up album ratings.

3) Like meatplow said, some sort of compilation system needs to be implemented, because this: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=174 just does not cut it.

Honestly, just copy whatever RYM has done, because their cataloging system is pretty damn good and a lot can be learned from it. http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/boris
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #17
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becoming a copy of rym database wise would most likely just be self defeating
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #18
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How so? I don't think it needs to be as in-depth or comprehensive as RYM's, but let's be frank here: the database features/capabilities on this site are pretty poor.

I don't see anything wrong with looking to others for ways to improve the site's functionality.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:47 PM   #19
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I'm just saying, the appeal of the site isn't its database nor its managing of albums. a simple tagging system for albums to be differentiated from EPs, and maybe DVDs or collections (and people actually adding albums correctly) is all that we need.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:02 PM   #20
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That would be cool too.

There doesn't need to be a massive overhaul of the system or anything. I think a couple of simple, but important changes could make a world of a difference.

Also, I think the site could benefit greatly from increased moderation of the database. I know there aren't very many mods on the site, and they have a ton of other **** to worry about as well.

I think if you assigned anywhere from like 10 to 15 database mods to the site, who had permission to make changes to anything database related, be it artist info or discography management, could also make a world of a difference.

Users could also request changes as well, but they would have to be approved by one of said database mods.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:25 PM   #21
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In regards to you looking for help Meatplow, you can sign me up if you want. I've been steadily adding albums/artists for the last couple of weeks. Just generally tidying up artist pages too
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsoby1 View Post
hip-hop has a huge problem with differentiating mixtapes and albums proper.
123, but that's mostly my fault. ha

@Meatplow - im willing to help out hip hop section in any way.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iluvatar View Post
I'm just saying, the appeal of the site isn't its database nor its managing of albums.
It could be, if it was organised better.

Sputnik doesn't have to be up to rateyourmusic or discogs standards. I am fully aware that the focus of sputnikmusic is on music reviews, but a remarkable improvement over the database would make the site so much more attractive to a niche demographic of users, however.

Deviant & Bulldog, i'll prepare a list of incomplete discographies and artists who haven't been added to the database. If you want to chip away at any tell me which so I can edit it into the list and we have some rough organisation happening. I'll throw some misc. hip-hop in here to begin with just for Bulldog. Warning, some of these are huge though.

Quote:
2Pac - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=5063 Complete
Makaveli - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=7126 Deviant1769
50 Cent - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=2190 Complete
AZ - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=7081 Deviant1769
Big L - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=4969 Deviant1769
Big Pun - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=8348 Deviant1769
Bone Thugz & Harmony - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=3386 Deviant1769
The Fair Sex - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/band/The+Fair+Sex
Sleeping Dogs Wake - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=17716
The KLF - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=8944 Skyler
Pet Shop Boys - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=4505
Michael Jackson - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=812
Moskitoo - http://www.sputnikmusic.com/band/Moskitoo
As a list, this is a start. If any more artists pop up that need their pages sorted out (discographies, bios, missing album art) post them here and i'll add them to the list.

Last edited by Meatplow; 02-15-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:17 AM   #24
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to a niche demo of users that already use rym.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:31 AM   #25
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Not necessarily, in any case I don't see why desiring the best of both worlds is such a bad thing.

I've always hated the interface of RYM personally, and do not use it except for casual reference (even then Discogs is a much more desirable option). If the database over here was even a third as useful as these two websites, it could only be a positive thing.

It just needs improving, that's all. I wouldn't try and think of it as trying to fully reach the standards set by what already exists out there.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:58 AM   #26
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to be frank, mx has limited time to implement new features, and i think implementing new features to compete with rym essentially isn't the best use of his time.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:04 AM   #27
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Are you his mother? Let him speak for himself.

This thread wasn't originally about any drastic site changes to begin with anyway until he posted this, and I decided to pitch an idea or two -

Quote:
Originally Posted by mx
Let me know if there are any coding or interface changes that would make this easier for you.

If people feel it is critical, for instance, I could add an LP/EP flag for albums.
If it doesn't take off, well so be it. In the meantime, updating missing artist and album entries in the database seems like a project worth tackling.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:05 AM   #28
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im not disagreeing with filling up the database, just disagreeing with the fact that we need to substantially improve the basic layout of it is all.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:07 AM   #29
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We'll leave that up in the air then
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:11 AM   #30
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you're wrong and i don't care what you THINK you know moderator.
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