Fingerprinting and Metadata Progress Report

Tuesday, 25 March 2008
by Richard Jones
filed under Announcements and Code
Comments: 147

Those of you who’ve been keeping an eye on the blog will have noticed we are working on some audio fingerprinting technology to assist us in cleaning up the mess that is music metadata.

Fingerprint Metrics

So far our fingerprint server identified 23 million unique tracks, from the 650 million fingerprint requests you’ve thrown at it. Who knows how many unique tracks there are out there.. We have a couple of hundred million tracks based on spelling alone – but not all of them are spelt correctly. We’re getting closer to an answer though.

Order from Chaos

Erik has developed an ingenious method of extracting the correct names from the millions of fingerprinted tracks. This turns out to be a decidedly tricky problem – the most popular spelling is not necessarily the correct one. There is also the issue of foreign language artist names, and popular non-misspellings such as name-changes, abbreviations or acronyms (think RATM, TAFKAP, GNR, ATWKUBTTOD etc). Oh, and there are plenty of interesting corner cases, like our old friend “Various Artists” – yes, I’m talking about Torsten Pröfrock

We’d also like to take this opportunity to big up the Musicbrainz and Discogs massive – without the free availability of high-quality datasets such as these, we’d be having a much harder time checking our results. We are planning to feed some useful data back to them in the form of artists we think exist, but don’t show up in their respective catalogues.

Based on all this, we have an initial data set which maps fingerprints to what we think the correct metadata might be. We are using this data in two ways right now: tech-demo fingerprint client, and artist alias voting on the site.

Command-line fingerprinter demo

The tech-demo for this is a command-line fingerprint client that can convert an mp3 file into a fingerprint id, and lookup the metadata.

Grab the command-line fingerprint tool here:

  • Source code (GPL2): svn://svn.audioscrobbler.net/recommendation/MusicID/lastfm_fplib

We’re interested in any feedback on the accuracy of the metadata lookup feature, especially if you find things that are horribly wrong/broken.

Making sense of it all with artist corrections

So based on all this fingerprint data, we have a new artist alias list. We’re not doing any auto-corrections until we’re sure how sure we are, but in the meantime if you stumble across an artist page that has potential corrections, you are given a chance to vote on the correct one:


You will only see this if you are logged in.

This basic voting system will help us evaluate how good the current data set is. We have a track dataset too, but let’s start with artists and see how it goes.

The Guns N’ Roses Issue

Back in December I used Guns N’ Roses to illustrate the metadata problem by asking:

  • Just how many ways to write “Guns N’ Roses – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” are there?

We still don’t have a concrete answer for that question, but here are the Top 100 ways to write: Guns N’ Roses – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

And just for fun, here are some of the artist names used on Guns N’ Roses MP3s in descending order of popularity – yes people really do mistag things this badly :)

What the future holds

Fixing up music metadata remains a hot topic for us this year, there is plenty more to come:

  • Disambiguation to properly display the nine different artists that all have the name: Mono.
  • Correct data displayed when scrobbling, even if your tags suck.
  • Maybe the ability to correct your crappy tags, if it’s accurate enough, and there is demand for it.
  • Return other identifiers from fingerprints, such as Musicbrainz IDs and Discogs URLs.
  • Consolidate the stats on Last.fm so that Artist top tracks, and ultimately user charts and all other charts are corrected.
  • Implicitly improve Last.fm recommendations and radio due to less noise in the data.
  • More formal collaboration with other music metadata crusaders.

Conclusion

If you are using the official Last.fm software, every time you play a track you are contributing to the metadata cleanup effort by scrobbling and fingerprinting what you play.

In the meantime, we are working to refine the data, and will publish updated artist corrections, track corrections and some analysis of the feedback we receive from this round of voting soon.

Comments

  1. Erik
    25 March, 17:14

    It fills me with unspeakable joy to see this finally starting to happen.

    Erik – 25 March, 17:14
  2. Muz
    25 March, 17:14

    I’ve released amounts of unspeakable joy to see this finally starting to happen.

    Muz – 25 March, 17:14
  3. MightyJay
    25 March, 17:14

    Fun fun! Gotta love metadata :) I’m really looking forward to some of the results.

    MightyJay – 25 March, 17:14
  4. Tom
    25 March, 17:17

    Once again you guys come through with the awesome! I love the work you guys are doing to help the community as a whole not just helping your own site.

    Vive la last.fm :-)

    Tom – 25 March, 17:17
  5. Jester-NL
    25 March, 17:21

    Funky… the next step is there ;)

    Jester-NL – 25 March, 17:21
  6. Peter
    25 March, 17:25

    Is the door closed on some of the lesser known bands? For example:
    <?xml version=“1.0”?>
    <!DOCTYPE metadata SYSTEM “http://fingerprints.last.fm/xml/metadata.dtd”>
    <metadata fid=“4393904” lastmodified=“1205776219”>
    <track confidence=“1.000000”> <artist>Molly Bee, With Orchestra Conducted By Van Alexander</artist> <title>Willy Claus (Little Son Of Santa Claus)</title>
    <url>http://www.last.fm/music/Molly+Bee%2C+With+Orchestra+Conducted+By+Van+A
    lexander/_/Willy+Claus+%28Little+Son+Of+Santa+Claus%29</url>
    </track>
    </metadata>

    I think the artist is Molly Bee, not Molly Bee, with Orchestra Conducted by Van Alexander. But it looks like the meta-data is dead certain that I’m wrong. Will the number of existing tag instances be weighted? Obviously if 40 million tags point to Guns ‘N Roses versus G And R, then that makes sense. But if 4 tags say Molly Bee, with Orchestra Conducted by Van Alexander, maybe that’s because we all downloaded them from the same poster & no-one else bothered to clean the tags.

    Another example I’m worried about is, I have a track by an obscure 70s band called “Hammer”, which keeps getting tagged to MC Hammer. Which makes sense, I s’pose, but I’d like to see that fixed. Although, I guess fingerprinting would take care of that…

    Peter – 25 March, 17:25
  7. Helen
    25 March, 17:38

    Super-duper! A good day indeed.

    Helen – 25 March, 17:38
  8. Anthony
    25 March, 17:39

    Now, if only it did Ogg, I have a quite a few Classical tracks for it…

    Anthony – 25 March, 17:39
  9. Paul
    25 March, 17:42

    Loving the work done on the metadata front, is this an alternative to MusicBrainz or will it involve further integration with it?

    One quick mention about the voting for correct name, just had a look at an obvious case (Maximo Park vs. or Maxïmo Park) and noticed that you can vote more than once by refreshing the page and voting again. Is this limited to just 1 vote per user (which will get picked up behind the scenes) or is it actually spamming more than one vote for each user?

    Paul – 25 March, 17:42
  10. Tony
    25 March, 17:51

    Everyone involved in metadata and fingerprinting at Last.fm should be given a raise immediately. I’m getting a serious headache just thinking about the problems you face. What, for instance, do you do with bands who purposely change the formatting or punctuation of their names? Everyone may get their tags right and it’s still wrong! I’m thinking of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who used to be Godspeed You Black Emperor! Or DeadDog (InBlackBag) who used to be DeadDogInBlackBag. Should I be going into my own music tags and making changes? Do I leave them alone? Will you fix it for me? What’s the government doing about this? For the love of God, man, tell me what to do!?!?

    Tony – 25 March, 17:51
  11. Alex
    25 March, 17:53

    Can you upload a PPC binary of OS X? Cheers.

    Alex – 25 March, 17:53
  12. Anthony V
    25 March, 17:57

    Haha Tony, good GY!BE example – metadata is madness!

    Awesome news!

    Anthony V – 25 March, 17:57
  13. yves
    25 March, 17:59

    Hello!

    Nice work! Wrt. the disambiguation process, you might want to check
    http://blog.dbtune.org/post/2008/03/06/Interlinking-music-datasets-on-the-Web
    which we used to interlink Jamendo and Musicbrainz.

    I don’t particularly think the quest for a canonical spelling for all artist names and albums will ever finish, and I don’t even think it is important, too :-) The real problem is to link to an identifier which identify just one artist or just one album (a bit like what Musicbrainz does, or any RDF system). Textual metadata is not that important (well, ok, it is a bit:) ): what is crucial is to link to a correct identifier. Then, alternate spellings (in different languages, for example) can be attached to this identifier.

    And even better if the identifier is a web identifier, and if it has an associated RDF representation holding all these alternate titles and links to other related identifiers, so I can easily script an automatic tagging application in my favorite language…

    Cheers!
    y

    yves – 25 March, 17:59
  14. Norman Casagrande
    25 March, 17:59

    @Alex: The only problem with a PPC version is the endianness of the integer representation. I have coded it, but I never had the time to test it! ;-) You can give it a try out of the svn.

    Norman Casagrande – 25 March, 17:59
  15. RJ
    25 March, 18:05

    Although it appears to let you vote multiple times per artist, only your most recent vote counts. So don’t vote twice unless you change your mind :)

    Tony: you shouldn’t need to change any of your tags.. we are aiming to make it all “just work”.

    RJ – 25 March, 18:05
  16. yves
    25 March, 18:21

    I just compiled a linux 64 version
    (Tested on Ubuntu Hardy 64)

    yves – 25 March, 18:21
  17. Erik Frey
    25 March, 18:23

    @Paul: We’d absolutely love to feed this data back to MusicBrainz somehow. The challenge is our wisdom of the crowds approach vs. their highly tuned, clean moderations. Like trying to wash silverware with a firehose.

    Erik Frey – 25 March, 18:23
  18. Dt
    25 March, 18:33

    I’m using Rhythmbox 0.11.2 on Ubuntu 7.10, with the Last.fm plug-in. Can someone please tell me if this plug-in sends fingerprints?

    Thanks.

    Dt – 25 March, 18:33
  19. Laurie Denness
    25 March, 18:41

    I’ve added this to Digg.

    Laurie Denness – 25 March, 18:41
  20. RJ
    25 March, 18:48

    Dt: as far as i know, only the official client sends fingerprints at the mo.

    The fingerprint code is open source tho, so no reason it couldn’t be added.

    RJ – 25 March, 18:48
  21. kelyn
    25 March, 18:54

    Wait, wait, wait…somebody tagged Guns N’ Roses as Cat Stevens?! It’s right at the bottom of the list, but oh goodness me did that make me laugh! :)

    This is totally fantastic news though — keep up the amazing work!

    kelyn – 25 March, 18:54
  22. Jonty
    25 March, 19:00

    @Dt: If you use the “new style” rhythmbox plugin that scrobbles via the official last.fm client, then it’ll send fingerprints.
    Find out more here:
    http://www.last.fm/forum/21716/_/278649/1

    Jonty – 25 March, 19:00
  23. Vincent
    25 March, 19:02

    <blockquote>Maybe the ability to correct your crappy tags, if it’s accurate enough, and there is demand for it.</blockquote>

    Hell yeah there is demand for it! If it works, I’d love it :)

    Vincent – 25 March, 19:02
  24. Vincent
    25 March, 19:02

    “Maybe the ability to correct your crappy tags, if it’s accurate enough, and there is demand for it.”

    Hell yeah there is demand for it! If it works, I’d love it :)

    (Forcing the Preview button on me doesn’t work ;-))

    Vincent – 25 March, 19:02
  25. Kimiko
    25 March, 19:26

    Meh :( All my music is in Ogg format. Why don’t you use a different library instead of mad?

    Kimiko – 25 March, 19:26
  26. Eleventhvolume
    25 March, 19:58

    Yay – always good to see a heads up for Torsten Pröfrock ;-) T++ forever! You might also have used Various, the Dubstep peeps.

    Eleventhvolume – 25 March, 19:58
  27. mwinmwin
    25 March, 20:07

    I love how some people have tagged the Guns ‘n’ Roses song with “Richard Cheese” as artist name. Either he did an excellent rendition of some similar crap and the fingerprint system got confused, or someone could not believe it was an actual song by an actual “serious” band :-D

    mwinmwin – 25 March, 20:07
  28. Dave B
    25 March, 20:23

    Cool, I’m especially looking forward to the artist disambiguation :-)

    Keep up the good work!

    Dave B – 25 March, 20:23
  29. Peter
    25 March, 21:40

    this is really fab work! cheers!!

    and doing my little nano bit by cleaning up my tags… bit by bit :)

    (thank you too, to the autotag-function in Winamp, now the combo of Last.fm and Winamp is the best!)

    Peter – 25 March, 21:40
  30. GTStar
    25 March, 21:48

    Where do I find the voting-boxes mon the artists-pages? :-?

    GTStar – 25 March, 21:48
  31. LastSummer014
    25 March, 21:56

    great work, really glad to see the changes.

    i have a question on the artist name voting system. does it help to vote for the right artist name on every misspelled profile… or is it enough to actually vote on one of the artist’s profiles (because they’re probably all linked to each other by the system)?

    LastSummer014 – 25 March, 21:56
  32. Einar
    25 March, 22:25

    Wonderful news for all us metadata junkies!

    Einar – 25 March, 22:25
  33. Julian
    25 March, 22:32

    AAC fingerprinting, please!;) All my tracks are in AAC…

    Julian – 25 March, 22:32
  34. mosquitokillah
    25 March, 23:31

    Aaaah, I love you!!!

    mosquitokillah – 25 March, 23:31
  35. Ian
    25 March, 23:42

    My favourite mistag: Guns n’fckn Roses :D

    Ian – 25 March, 23:42
  36. sabberworm
    25 March, 23:49

    Here’s another vote for AAC fingerprinting…
    And please start treating the “flat” apostrophe (’) the same as its typographical equivalent (’)… This is especially annoying in song names where I take great care to always tag all track using typographical apostrophes (because they just look nicer) only to discover that they become entirely different tracks on last.fm…
    Otherwise: great work! I’m looking forward to all those improvements.

    sabberworm – 25 March, 23:49
  37. closedmouth
    26 March, 00:22

    Wait…will this involve merging?

    closedmouth – 26 March, 00:22
  38. mattgcn
    26 March, 01:01

    Glad to see this happening, and in addition to voting on the correct ones, I’m keeping them documented in my journal. Gogo last.fm!

    Will we ever see this for tracks and albums?

    mattgcn – 26 March, 01:01
  39. SmilerSmiles
    26 March, 04:01

    Ohhhh I hope we’ll be able to use the data with mp3tag. I also hope that ALL the data will be public.

    SmilerSmiles – 26 March, 04:01
  40. ElCobra
    26 March, 07:16

    Mono with 9 different artists can’t compete with the 19 different artists that all use the name Paradox though.
    http://www.last.fm/music/Paradox

    :)

    ElCobra – 26 March, 07:16
  41. Richaod
    26 March, 07:44

    Ah, moderation’s finally returned. Brings me back to the good old days of Last.fm as Audioscrobbler. Hallelujah.

    Richaod – 26 March, 07:44
  42. heavyraptor
    26 March, 07:51

    Wow, all sounds very interesting. Can’t wait until the result of fingerprinting technology and metadata will be visual in all charts on last.fm :)

    heavyraptor – 26 March, 07:51
  43. Mike B.
    26 March, 08:15

    don’t forget album names are problematic as well as song names. (lol, like you guys haven’t thought of it)

    also, the command line fingerprint thing didn’t work for me (suspect:vista)

    Mike B. – 26 March, 08:15
  44. Julian
    26 March, 08:43

    And please start treating the “flat” apostrophe (’) the same as its typographical equivalent (’)…

    Seconded!

    Julian – 26 March, 08:43
  45. GTStar
    26 March, 10:12

    Am I the only one who cannot find the vote-box on the artists’ pages? :-?

    Who can help me? :)

    GTStar – 26 March, 10:12
  46. onno
    26 March, 10:45

    It seems to be only on artist pages that are ‘obviously’ wrong, it is missing on some other ‘wrong’ ones ;-)

    onno – 26 March, 10:45
  47. heavyraptor
    26 March, 11:14

    @GTStar: the vote-boxes aren’t available yet. They’ll be there some day in future.
    Btw is there a certain date when the fingerprinting and metadata result will be visible on last.fm?

    heavyraptor – 26 March, 11:14
  48. Muz
    26 March, 11:16

    @heavyraptor & GTStar:
    Actually the vote boxes are available, try looking at http://www.last.fm/music/Shaman and you should see a yellow box asking if you’d like to vote, right below the artist bio.

    If you don’t, you may want to make sure you have javascript enabled.

    Muz – 26 March, 11:16
  49. heavyraptor
    26 March, 11:22

    Oh, you’re right, that’s great.
    So it’ll be displayed everywhere where you have different artist/song names from the mp3 tags?

    heavyraptor – 26 March, 11:22
  50. onno
    26 March, 11:52

    But what about artists whose alias cannot be changed at artist level, but needs to be seperated at track level.

    For example the artist “NOFX & Rancid” needs to be “NOFX” for half the songs and “Rancid” for the other half…

    onno – 26 March, 11:52
  51. Graymalkin
    26 March, 12:19

    I’m hoping for a fix to stop the ‘featuring’ problem – where the same band’s ‘J Arthur Random Song (Featuring Arthur Askey)’ and ‘J Arthur Random Song’ are treated as different tracks…

    Graymalkin – 26 March, 12:19
  52. LastSummer014
    26 March, 12:31

    one step after another people
    im sure all these probs will be fixed some day, but you need a solid basis first, and that is whats about to happen now.

    LastSummer014 – 26 March, 12:31
  53. Erik Frey
    26 March, 12:50

    For now, voting is limited to artist names. After we collect data and do some analysis, we’ll see how we can extend this to albums and tracks.

    Erik Frey – 26 March, 12:50
  54. Dan
    26 March, 13:13

    This is great news!

    One other case is where users have live renditions of tracks. For example, I have 61 versions of Daughter by Pearl Jam, many of which feature improv jams or cover songs half way through the song. So a typical tag might be something like this: “Daughter / Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Beatles) / Bull In The Heather (Sonic Youth) / Androgynous Mind (Sonic Youth)” which is clearly a different track from the studio recording of the same song.

    I’d be interested to see how accurate audio fingerprinting is on such tracks!

    Dan – 26 March, 13:13
  55. Matt
    26 March, 13:28

    Could the system look for cases where there there is a great deal of confusion (say where there is a large deviation in the way people vote), and flag them for moderator checking?

    It would be good to use the stats to focus every-bodies efforts.

    Matt – 26 March, 13:28
  56. Rico
    26 March, 13:55

    hm, what about bandnames that do not obviously fit the same band? like “Sdnmt” and “Seidenmatt”

    Rico – 26 March, 13:55
  57. Jarek Piórkowski
    26 March, 14:36

    “Correct data displayed when scrobbling, even if your tags suck.”

    Can I have the reverse too? A “my tags are right, don’t autocorrect them” checkbox. This is especially annoying when last.fm changes the (correct) capitalisation of my tags into a bastardised English title case rendition.

    Jarek Piórkowski – 26 March, 14:36
  58. closedmouth
    26 March, 14:40

    Guys, I think your website just crashed.

    closedmouth – 26 March, 14:40
  59. mechanesthesia
    26 March, 16:29

    I’m looking so forward to this, this is great news! I hope for the best. :)

    mechanesthesia – 26 March, 16:29
  60. Dirk
    26 March, 19:32

    what more can I say than: keep up the great work. fixing music metadata is tough but worth it all the way.

    Dirk – 26 March, 19:32
  61. Stefan ( Papen_Schell)
    26 March, 19:47

    what a very difficult job this must be! only “fixing” the tags for band names is a horrific job i think. for example “The Young Knives” changed there name in “young knives” what to do With many of the band names though i don’t get the problem! For example THE! It’s THE Kooks and not kooks off course, it’s says so at the album cover. How can we argue at that! It’s a major problem though. keep up the good work and good luck at getting it all fixed!

    Stefan ( Papen_Schell) – 26 March, 19:47
  62. tonique
    26 March, 19:59

    Yay, this is good news!

    But I’m really waiting for other formats as most of my music collection is in vorbis and flac formats. I’m sending fingerprints for my mp3s with the command-line client right now… There are 1285 of them anyway :p

    tonique – 26 March, 19:59
  63. Phibrizoq
    26 March, 21:39

    Guys, you should really fix this issue with Ástor Piazzolla/Astor Piazzolla.

    Phibrizoq – 26 March, 21:39
  64. Tecfan
    26 March, 21:46

    is there any way to see how many tracks you have fingerprinted in total?

    Tecfan – 26 March, 21:46
  65. Hypersky
    26 March, 23:31

    Why have people vote for what they think the best spelling is for an artist or a band’s name? Why not just ask the artist or the band?

    Hypersky – 26 March, 23:31
  66. Al
    27 March, 00:35

    How about showing the vote total?

    Al – 27 March, 00:35
  67. Paul
    27 March, 02:02

    Last.fm is one of the few music 2.0 companies out there that seems to care about their metadata. Thanks for working so hard on it.

    I just took a quick survey of 10 sites to see how they render a particularly hard song title (The song

    “ΔMi−1 = −αΣn=1NDi[n][Σj∈C{i}Fji[n − 1] + Fexti[[n−1]]”

    by Aphex Twin). Last.fm was one of two commercial sites that got it right, while the Amazon, Google, iTunes and even AllMusic got it wrong or didn’t try. You can see the screenshots of all the failures here:

    http://blogs.sun.com/plamere/entry/how_hard_can_music_metadata

    Paul – 27 March, 02:02
  68. mattgcn
    27 March, 03:14

    Yeah, as the guy who mentionned NOFX & Rancid asked above, would it be possible to split artists like that? The technically correct “Deporitaz” (When an artist has no print CDs, I think posthumous artist name changes should stick) still has loads of plays in the abandoned name “Trapezoid” (Since that band threatened legal action way back when).

    Also, mostly off-topic, but I hate how OCRemix bastardises song titles. Good day!

    mattgcn – 27 March, 03:14
  69. atrigent
    27 March, 04:01

    Ahh, the winds of change are so refreshing. Thank you SO MUCH!!!! I long for the day that I won’t have to think “wow, this is an incredible mess” when thinking about how last.fm works. :)

    atrigent – 27 March, 04:01
  70. Mike B.
    27 March, 04:23

    I’ve seen at least one artist upload music under wrongly capitalized names, and some upload for the multiple artist pages, with the tracks being different for each mis-tag. of course, some aren’t anal about the spellings, so asking artists to edit their names might be a pain. Maybe work with wikipedia, since it’s strict enough that there aren’t multiple artist pages. Plus, working with them could pave the way for better artist descriptions in the future.

    also, some artists don’t just have misspellings, such as Congo Natty, Conquering Lion, and Rebel MC being aliases of the same person (one person, not multiple bands they worked with), and maybe those shouldn’t be merged since they differ a bit in the style.

    Mike B. – 27 March, 04:23
  71. Ahmed Sobhi
    27 March, 08:14

    So what is the solution for foreign artists name ?!
    It is the same as voting to let the best name win ?! Shouldn’t there be like more than one right name for such artist?!
    Anyways, I love what you guys are doing….keep it up :)

    Ahmed Sobhi – 27 March, 08:14
  72. poorjorik
    27 March, 11:35

    What about making vote options to be a links to an artist page. Until now it is hard to differentiate to options that have different Unicode characters while their visual representation looks the same (chars from different alphabets)?
    Yes, i’m speaking about
    Flёur (http://www.last.fm/music/Fl%D1%91ur)
    and
    Flëur (http://www.last.fm/music/Fl%C3%ABur)
    The correct middle letter is “Cyrillic Io” instead of “Latin E with Diaeresis”.
    Right now it is only possible to see the difference after casting a vote, when widget shows a resulting link

    poorjorik – 27 March, 11:35
  73. Layla
    27 March, 14:27

    These plans sound fantastic! Tagging mix-ups annoy me like crazy, especially when I do it and can’t fix it.

    I hope it all goes well :)

    Layla – 27 March, 14:27
  74. bajo
    27 March, 15:07

    finally!!!
    this is such a good news!

    ^^

    bajo – 27 March, 15:07
  75. HodgeStar
    27 March, 15:35

    Ok, i tried this and i realized that voting on the artist level isn’t really helpful to create “Order from Chaos” – at least from the user perspective. More often than not i had to choose the option “This is a valid artist!”, “None of the above” or no vote at all. So i’ll wait for moderation on track level and a solution to associate valid artist name variations and aliases like the example that Mike B. mentioned above.

    You say, “this basic voting system will only help you evaluate how good the current data set is”.

    I’m not sure how a vote on the artist level should help at all to gain certainty. Won’t the result merely repeat the name variation distribution of the fingerprinting data? Even if the distribution becomes narrower, it certainly won’t be certain.
    Furthermore, to avoid a “only what i scrobble is correct” – reaction from your users, it should read: “Vote on the correct spelling for this artist name…” because this is not a vote about legetimate artist name variations or aliases and not a vote about artist merge or disambiguation.

    That said, i appreciate it to finally see some progress in regard to last.fm’s metadata. Thanks!

    HodgeStar – 27 March, 15:35
  76. stelaris
    27 March, 16:17

    This is really exciting! It will be great if some artists manage to get merged (“The”‘s and lack ofs are a big one that has messed up my charts), even more so if different artists with the same names could be separated.
    I sort of agree with the guy above me on voting, though. It might prevent the inevitable angry emails that would result if some people realized last.fm changed all of the scrobbles to an artist name that was not the one that they believed was right, without their input – but isn’t each fingerprint submitted, essentially, a vote?
    And just out of curiosity, am I losing my mind or have many of the artist “plays scrobbled” counts gone down?
    Anyway, thanks for the fantastic work!

    stelaris – 27 March, 16:17
  77. halnine
    27 March, 18:08

    Wonderful news!!!!

    2 requests:

    1. Ability to actively REQUEST moderation for certain artists (similar to “post for review” on events.
    Example: http://www.last.fm/music/Joe%2BJackson%253B%2BSuzanne%2BVega

    2. Add a mark on all charts/userpages and such on artists with voting options (i.e. “questionable artists”), as well as maybe a new dashboard tab with “your artists’ related votes” with a list of alternates and the ability to actively assist mistagged artists, whether you have the correct or incorrect spelling for them.
    Not all people tend to go to artist pages alone, and this would greatly increase user inputs for the artists they’re bound to know more of.

    halnine – 27 March, 18:08
  78. gwalla
    27 March, 23:18

    Dude, Apetition for Destruction was an awesome album!

    Really glad to see this working out. What’s the policy on multilingual names, though (such as 高円寺百景 vs Koenjihyakkei)? Should the native spelling be used?

    gwalla – 27 March, 23:18
  79. closedmouth
    28 March, 06:55

    What gwalla said. I’ve noticed that none of the artist names written (correctly) in Kanji/Kana have been recognised as possible aliases by the system.

    closedmouth – 28 March, 06:55
  80. SEoD
    28 March, 15:34

    This is really great. I used the fingerprint lookup client back in beta 1 against some tracks on a CD with no tracklisting and didn’t get much back.

    Now there’s more data in there I’m getting some good results and the new version of artist moderation looks very promising.

    It would be good if record labels could step in to provide some definitive spellings – many bands seem to have spelling variations even on the same album’s artwork.

    SEoD – 28 March, 15:34
  81. HodgeStar
    28 March, 17:26

    @SEoD: Good point! On the other way around one could say that there is no such thing as definitive spelling. After all they are artists. A programmer should accept that.

    HodgeStar – 28 March, 17:26
  82. Vel
    28 March, 18:12

    There seems to be a problem with artists with cyrillic names: for instance the correct name of this artist http://www.last.fm/music/Shturcite is none of the suggested alternatives, but http://www.last.fm/music/%D0%A9%D1%83%D1%80%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B5
    Hope that gets fixed soon.

    Vel – 28 March, 18:12
  83. CeeCeeA
    29 March, 02:01

    How are you dealing with band name changes that aren’t popular with the band’s fanbase and thus may get a lot of technically incorrect votes, such as the Panic at the Disco example you used?

    CeeCeeA – 29 March, 02:01
  84. SEoD
    29 March, 15:22

    Another thing I should mention.. there seem to be a few artists with double spaces in their name which is usually only visible in the URL (++ instead of +).

    I can’t imagine any band ever having a double space in their name unless they were distributed purely electronically and even then, why?! So if you could search for all artists with ++ and make them available for moderation that would be good! Cheers!

    SEoD – 29 March, 15:22
  85. Jay
    29 March, 15:44

    Is there a way to see a list of votable artist names generated based on your profile? I’d like to vote as much as possible but it’s tough to guess which artists need help and which don’t.

    Jay – 29 March, 15:44
  86. Rob Szarka
    29 March, 17:29

    First, I’d like to second the comments above that call this teh awesome, as well as yves’ comments about distinguishing different artist/albums/tracks and associating them with unique (and constant) identifiers being more important than getting the spelling “right”. And, as always, it’s good to see that you remain committed to sharing this data with projects like musicbrainz.

    Now, about the voting: it’s not clear what we’re supposed to do about artist names that are correct up to but not including case. Should we be voting “this is a valid artist” (and hoping that you someday get around to correcting capitalization via musicbrainz) or “none of the above”?

    Rob Szarka – 29 March, 17:29
  87. Zaffle
    29 March, 17:50

    hooray for disambiguation! i’d be quite interested to see how you sort out the Mono page, it’s quite a mess.

    Zaffle – 29 March, 17:50
  88. halnine
    29 March, 18:02

    Just look at the similar artist list for http://www.last.fm/music/Niels-Henning+%C3%98rsted+Pedersen+Trio
    All but one should be the same artist, and there’s no voting option.
    Just FYI, of course. We’re just starting. And this is indeed a great new step forward.
    There are many others, of course. Especially in the jazz & collaboration fields.

    halnine – 29 March, 18:02
  89. Mr_Kyoling
    30 March, 03:10

    Can I have the reverse too? A “my tags are right, don’t autocorrect them” checkbox.
    Seconded!
    And I’d like the feature to chose the script a certain artist is diplayed in manually when the one I want differs from the language I use the site in. :)

    Also, will there ever be the change to correct old scrobbled songs with wrong tags?

    Uhm. Hey! This seems to be really, really promosing! I’m amazed by your work and by how much changed from the days when I started using this site and gave up because I couldn’t get my favourite bands get scrobbled correctly. :D!

    Mr_Kyoling – 30 March, 03:10
  90. Qaz
    30 March, 12:30

    I’m not seeing the Already correct option at Julma-Henri & Syrjäytyneet

    Qaz – 30 March, 12:30
  91. fish
    30 March, 13:21

    How about adding the same thing for genres?

    Drum and bass, dnb, d’n‘b…is just one example.

    fish – 30 March, 13:21
  92. Aaron
    30 March, 13:32

    i just orgasmed my metaphorical pants reading this article. seeing it all come together, and seeing last.fm become a truly accurate, even more awesome music website will be something to look forward to

    Aaron – 30 March, 13:32
  93. Mauz_
    30 March, 14:13

    What happens if the correct spelling of an artist isn’t in the suggestions.

    A band called Doom:vs is listed as:
    http://last.fm/music/DOOM:VS
    http://last.fm/music/Doom:+VS
    http://last.fm/music/Doomvs

    Mauz_ – 30 March, 14:13
  94. Steven
    30 March, 17:47

    It looks like a problem with names with non-standard/accented characters, not showing the “This is a valid artist” option.
    This was working before (when the artist name was shown instead of the “valid artist” option), because I voted on Jack Peñate’s page but the page is not showing that option now.

    Steven – 30 March, 17:47
  95. Urs
    30 March, 19:38

    Really great news! I can’t wait until the system works correctly, especially for the disambiguation of artists!

    Just two questions:

    - Does fingerprinting also work with iScrobbler/iTunes on Mac OSX? Or do I have to use th seperate fingerprinting software?

    - Is AAC support in the works? I hope it does!!!

    Thanks a lot!

    Urs – 30 March, 19:38
  96. nicolas
    30 March, 21:24

    The title question only appears on the English-speaking version :/

    nicolas – 30 March, 21:24
  97. GTStar
    30 March, 23:10

    Ah THIS is the problem. I wondered why I cannot see the boxes ;)

    But you are right. In the english version, I can see them :)

    GTStar – 30 March, 23:10
  98. GTStar
    30 March, 23:24

    Now it works. But I am not happy with all boxes. For example:

    Tiësto: You cannot choose “This is a valid artist. Why not?

    And for example, at “Tiësto feat. Christian Burns” I would like to vote for “Tiësto” also.

    Kyau vs. Albert: This is an old name, the actual one is Kyau & Albert. But you cannot choose this name.

    GTStar – 30 March, 23:24
  99. Peter Brandt Nielsen
    31 March, 11:54

    I find it odd that we are asked to vote for “correct” artist names and expected to scrobble with “correct” tags when we are given no standard for what correct tags are. Maybe the Musicbrainz catalogue and rules apply, but shouldn’t it say so somewhere?

    Peter Brandt Nielsen – 31 March, 11:54
  100. NocnikStargazer
    1 April, 10:19

    What’s ‘Command-line fingerprinter’ and how does it work? I downloaded it and I think I run it (well, I opened .exe file, I think some black window opened for a second and then disappeared) but I’m not sure… should something happen? Or should I do something more? I would really like to help collecting all daata needed to do the things you want to do but I’m not sure how. I think you should give some more info.

    Oh, and should I still use the old fingerprinter?

    NocnikStargazer – 1 April, 10:19
  101. Felipe Contreras
    1 April, 10:46

    It took me a lot of time to compile the official client and all the stuff required for fingerprinting.

    I wanted to rename my files correctly but I couldn’t find any option, so effectively it was completely useless.

    Now I use Jango which is much easier to use.

    Please get out of your butt, or you will loose your good position as THE web2.0 music site.

    Felipe Contreras – 1 April, 10:46
  102. GTStar
    1 April, 11:00

    The same happened when I tried it. I think we have to start the program in the dos-box or something ;)

    GTStar – 1 April, 11:00
  103. Colin Jensen (mrcolj2006)
    1 April, 11:20

    With the artist aliases, I think the shadowed/grayed options become self-sabotage. By that I mean most readers will see the Panic and the Disco example above as having 5 choices, not 7. The first time I ran across one of these voting boxes, it had three options: No Change, [name], and None of the Above. But options 1 and 3 were grayed out. So my reflex was just to hit #2, and it wasn’t until the last moment I realized #2 was horribly wrong and #1 was the correct answer. So I think you should ungrey the first and last answers.

    Colin Jensen (mrcolj2006) – 1 April, 11:20
  104. Citizen
    1 April, 13:22

    I vote for a correct tag, but then the box doesn’t disappear, and I can vote for it again. I’m not sure if the second vote is actually counted, but I think the voting should detect if you’ve already voted… like the image voting for artists.

    Citizen – 1 April, 13:22
  105. GTStar
    1 April, 14:12

    You can revote and change your vote after the first one ;)
    I think this is on purpose

    GTStar – 1 April, 14:12
  106. Wendy
    1 April, 16:39

    THANK YOU for the artist merging vote!! <3 I’ve been waiting for that one since I play a lot of Asian music on my last.fm and it’s really frustrating for me, since my iTunes can’t view kanji/hangul characters, so I have no choice but to scrobble my tracks as romanized names. Thanks so much for putting it up! Let’s just hope people will vote properly. >___<

    Wendy – 1 April, 16:39
  107. wolfsong
    1 April, 18:02

    I’m a little concerned about how tracks with multiple artists will be handled. MB has not in my opinion handled this well in relationship to tagging standards which allow for multiple artists in a single tag. Selecting the 1st artist is arbitrary and diminishes the value of the metadata.

    wolfsong – 1 April, 18:02
  108. Erik Frey
    1 April, 22:49

    wolfsong, mb doesn’t select the first artist, it considers a collaboration to be a distinct artist name.

    There may be more comprehensive ways of handling collaborations, but they are all more complicated and error-prone.

    Erik Frey – 1 April, 22:49
  109. kokoon
    2 April, 08:38

    this is really great news. it’s completely understandable you’ll have to split this megatask into smaller steps, so just gathering info about correct artist names makes total sense.

    as for the future – i, for one would gladly find use for a tool that tags mp3s correctly. with a certain level of control, ofcourse.

    double artists tracks – once there’s a healthy artists database, there should be no problem linking a track/album to more than one artist, which would be technically the most correct option. another field could be used for collaboration description (“feat.”, “&”, …)

    anyways, once there artists database clears up a bit, you could make an aliasing system – one artist, many aliases. albums could also link to artist alias (besides the actual artist), since that’s the most common case of official artist name-change.

    then there could also be per-user options/alias corrections – for example, i can have my reasons to want to always see “gybe!” instead of the correct alias, so i’d like to have the option to set it that way. there could also be “setting sets”, that user could subscribe to (“always recent artist name”, “without foreign characters”, “without punctuation chars”)…

    i know, lots of ideas :)

    btw – the fingerprinting really works, i managed to got a few pretty obscure tracks right! fantastic work!!!

    kokoon – 2 April, 08:38
  110. Ahmed Sobhi
    2 April, 08:47

    Please support having more than one valid name for international artists; one in his original language and one in English.
    For example, I listen to alot of arab artists. I’d like to be able to see their names in both Arabic (the artist’s original language) and English.
    I think this would make sense.

    Ahmed Sobhi – 2 April, 08:47
  111. GTStar
    2 April, 11:52

    kokoon Ahmed: Sounds good, that’s also what I imagine for the future :)

    GTStar – 2 April, 11:52
  112. GTStar
    2 April, 11:52

    @kokoon & Ahmed: Sounds good, that’s also what I imagine for the future :)

    GTStar – 2 April, 11:52
  113. GTStar
    2 April, 12:12

    I would also like the possibility to add an own name, if you choose “non of the above”. Also also for artist without a vote box. For example there are artists in capital letters like “SALTY FISH”. The right notation is “Salty Fish”, but you cannot choose this.

    GTStar – 2 April, 12:12
  114. Carlos Daniel
    2 April, 14:24

    Hello… i tried to read all the coments to make sure nobody asked already it but i couldnt so i ask anyways hoping no one did.

    This only applies for bands profiles right?. Because in the user profiles we often see that we have the same band with different tags in the charts (as the panic example i got the two of them), what will happen to them, will they merge the charts as well as all the music profiles?

    Carlos Daniel – 2 April, 14:24
  115. GTStar
    2 April, 19:05

    I think the next step will be the fusion of these artist profiles under the name of the “main artist”.

    But as said before, there is the problem of cooperations between more than one artist(s) (the “feat.” “&” “with” “pres.”… thing) ;)

    Maybe they link the songs to both artists or the “(feat. XYZ)” is added to the song title…

    Would be interesting to hear what is planned, because this is important for what should be voted for ;)

    GTStar – 2 April, 19:05
  116. Rob Szarka
    2 April, 19:44

    Ugh! The more I think about it, the new voting option badly needs to have another option: “this artist name is valid, but applies to multiple artists” or something similar.

    Consider the artist entry for “Jay Dee”. This name has in fact been used for at least three artists: the 1970s R&B musician, some dude from the house music scene, and by the artist later known as “J Dilla”. So, here I am scrobbling a track from the 70s “Jay Dee” and I have to choose “valid artist” based on that. OTOH, most of the scrobbles for this artist name are actually the artist also known as “J Dilla”, and I’d like to be able to say, hey, some of these tracks do belong under that name instead.

    My fear is that most people, who don’t even know the older “Jay Dee” ever existed (and, whoever deleted my wiki edit adding him to artist description, PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!), are going to vote for “J Dilla” to be the correct artist name and that the tracks that belong to the older “Jay Dee” will get moderated along with them…

    I wonder whether your system is smart enough to notice that I scrobble tracks under both “Jay Dee” and “J Dilla” and that they’re distinct tracks? I doubt it, because J Dilla is so much better known that Jay Dee’s data probably appears as just noise… sigh

    Rob Szarka – 2 April, 19:44
  117. kokoon
    2 April, 21:41

    well, “J Dilla” and “Jay Dee” should be treated (recorded) as two different artists, although with the same name (one of the aliases). i’m sure that’s planned for the future, it’s the only way to go.

    kokoon – 2 April, 21:41
  118. wolfsong
    3 April, 00:35

    erik, as a former MB style mod (you’ll notice my comments on the page that you referenced), I’m very familiar with this and perhaps I didn’t explain myself well. Actually I’ve been around since AS and prior to the old moderation system had access to manually edit profiles and purge bad data which was how I got involved in MB.

    The very problem with that style rule is that in effect it creates a new artist when in actuality there are just 2 performers on a track where one is most likely a guest.

    The ID3 standard allows a user to specify that there are multiple performs on a single track instead of trying to create a 3rd, and in my opinion meaningless, artist that is subject to variation.

    Ultimately, I think it would be better if the LFM clients handled this more gracefully by recognizing and reformatting the ARTIST, PERFORMER, COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR and BAND fields in conjunction to some sort of fingerprinting. Moderation tends toward the accepted behavior versus good metadata where the values are assigned to the correct fields. This was always a problem with soundtracks and classical music back in AS days since the ARTIST field doesn’t necessarily apply in these fields and a moderation would dictate that one user behavior is better than another. Right now I’m not even sure my classical and soundtrack submissions are counted because I don’t populate the ARTIST field for this very reason.

    wolfsong – 3 April, 00:35
  119. Hans van den Berg
    4 April, 14:24

    Nice to be able to vote, but in some cases it doesn’t work.
    1. The artist name can sometimes (mostly!) be seen on the pictuer of an album of the same artist. It is a waste of time to go voting in that case.

    2. If I am Greek I would choose the Greek name ofcourse, but since I am Dutch I have no way to use my keyboard to enter the Greek alphabet so I will always choose the roman spelling. So no matter which name you are going to choose, wouldn’t it mean that in the end when we play our songs the difference would still remain?

    Hans van den Berg – 4 April, 14:24
  120. kris2000
    4 April, 14:46

    I think another couple of important point might be with remixes of other artists and capital letters.

    For example: Romantic Rights (Erol Alkan Re-Edit) – Death From Above 1979

    Should this be seen as Erol Alkan or Death From Above 1979?

    Another important problem is the use of capital letters. In some places they are usually the same artist but mistagged. SebastiAn is not the same artist as Sebastian though. The A was capitalized to make it easily recognizable.

    kris2000 – 4 April, 14:46
  121. elorahranma
    4 April, 15:09

    Unfortunately, this will still leave Örff and Beethoven without half their plays. Does that Mozart believe he can take all the merit and get away with it!?

    elorahranma – 4 April, 15:09
  122. SamiThaCoolOne
    5 April, 09:30

    I didn’t read all these comments, but hopefully this ain’t repeating… It would be nice, If you would place textfield at that box, so if there is no the right artist at the list, people could tell you that. (not just posibility to tell that none of above)
    And I am sorry if my language is not correct, but I hope you still understand what I am saying.

    SamiThaCoolOne – 5 April, 09:30
  123. Ricardo
    6 April, 13:37

    interesting to see people tag Guns’n Roses as GNR but there is also a portuguese rock band named GNR which stands as Grupo Novo Rock. But the real name of the band is GNR.

    ;)

    Ricardo – 6 April, 13:37
  124. halnine
    6 April, 18:06

    Respect for all comments here.
    I’d really like to see a forum thread or a valid “suggestion box” thingy,
    but in the meantime here’s a nice “featuring” query: http://www.last.fm/music/?q=art+of+noise+max+headroom
    One track. One measly (well, wonderful) track, and more than half the search results should point to it (the only collaboration between the two, btw).
    I already took some liberties on voting the “Propelerheads/Shirley Bassey” and “Yello/Shirley Bassey”, but simply ran out of energy loading dozens of more pages just for a single vote.

    halnine – 6 April, 18:06
  125. GTStar
    7 April, 16:51

    I thought about how you should work all this problems in one go. Important is to bear in mind all aspects at the same time, because they all depending on each other!
    —————————————————————

    - How to handle artists?
    Splitting the artists profiles in three trees:

    1. MAIN ARTISTS (most of the (right) profiles should fulfill this. Main artists profiles are the root profile of artists an as them shown in the statistics in the user profiles)

    2. ALIASES (any aliases, projects, asf. of the MAIN artists. Linked to the main profile of the artists and also linked from the MAIN profile. The counts for songs count for the MAIN artist in statistics.

    3. COOPERATIONS (all coops and projects between two or more MAIN artists [NOT if there is a guest singer without an own profile. This will be administrated under “1.”, see also the next point!]; COOPS count for both (or all) artists in the statistics and are linked to both/all artists profiles and linked there also)

    Only the main artists profiles are comparable to the existing artist profiles. aliases and coops are SUB PROFILES to the MAINs.
    —————————————————————

    - How to handle songs?
    There has to be a all-embracing guideline for how an ID-Tag should be structured. For example:

    *for single artists: [ARTIST] – [SONG] (remix or version information) (information about a guest singer, if not with own profile!), like: GTStar – My Song (My Remix) (feat. Bunny)

    *for two or more artist: [ARTIST 1] [linkage] [ARTIST 2] – [SONG] (remix or version information) (information about a guest singer, if not with own profile!), like: GTStar vs. RATstg – Our Song (Our Remix) (feat. Bunnies)

    *for projects or aliases: [PROJECT or ALIAS] – [SONG] (remix or version information) (information about a guest singer, if not with own profile!) AND a subinformation about the linked artists,
    like: STARMANIA – Star Song (Starmania Remix) (feat. All Bunnies) [ARTISTS: GTStar; RATstg]
    —————————————————————

    - How to handle the existing profiles?
    Existing profiles now have to be handled after this rules. Voting boxes on artists profiles enable the users to vote if:
    1. The spelling is right and if not which one is right (with the possibility to enter a correct version; also important is the case sensitivity!!! There are many artists where only the upper and lower case are wrong)
    2. If this is a MAIN artist, an ALIAS or a COOP

    And on the song profiles you can vote for:
    1. The correct spelling
    2. The correct Remix information and
    3. If there is a information about a guest singer or anything else
    (all with the possibility for entering a new information)

    So there need to be 2 voting boxes on each(!) artist profile an three on a song profile. Of course every song is assigned to it’s fingerprint.
    —————————————————————

    Examples for artist “Tiësto”:
    ARTIST: http://www.lastfm.de/music/Tiësto
    ALIAS: http://www.lastfm.de/music/Allure (there is also a girlgroup with this name, as you can see)
    COOP: http://www.lastfm.de/music/Gouryella (a project with Ferry Corsten)
    wrong notation: http://www.lastfm.de/music/DJ+Tiësto (an obsolete notation)
    I leave out examples for songs, but I think you understand the system and know what I mean ;)

    GTStar – 7 April, 16:51
  126. GTStar
    7 April, 17:25

    I forgot something:

    - How to handle the existing profiles?

    2. If this is a MAIN artist, an ALIAS or a COOP or if this profile belongs to more than one artist/group
    -> these profiles need a splitting into independent MAIN profiles like Allure (I), Allure (II) asf.
    Then you have to vote at the song profile, which artist is the right one

    GTStar – 7 April, 17:25
  127. GTStar
    7 April, 17:30

    Sorry, I forgot another one:

    On a MAIN artists profile there should be shown the artists name in his origin language (like Chinese asf.) and in the choosen language like English if this is not the origin one

    GTStar – 7 April, 17:30
  128. purple_prince
    8 April, 08:57

    This is great news. A massive job but really needed. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.

    purple_prince – 8 April, 08:57
  129. Maarten Zeinstra
    8 April, 22:02

    Equally to a previous post I think it is important for the creation of a coherent data set to create some policy in regard to music that has a composer and an artist explicitly.

    A lot of classical music has this difficulty. Using the composer as the artist of the song will create messy datasets and will put only minor lights on the great orchestra’s and artists we have.

    Voting for an artist becomes difficult when the artist is for example Mariette Petkova and rachmaninov is suggested instead of her name.

    Maarten Zeinstra – 8 April, 22:02
  130. JF AUBARD
    9 April, 19:28

    Hello,>> I am one of your customer, and I would like to report an error on>> Artist Russ Ballard.> Indeed, the title: I can not hear you no more is> replaced by Voices, Voices> himself replaced another title. The title is absent two Silhouettes of Album then there should be, just as I can not hear> you no more> elsewhere.> Thank you to correct this.>> FYI. JFA (Jean-François> AUBARD)>——www.jfa-live.fr

    JF AUBARD – 9 April, 19:28
  131. afromme
    11 April, 10:34

    “you shouldn’t need to change any of your tags.. we are aiming to make it all “just work”.”

    So I don’t need to worry about previous scrobbles for, say, “Winehouse, Amy”, either, because in the end, they’ll all show up in my charts as “Amy Winehouse”?

    afromme – 11 April, 10:34
  132. Otis
    12 April, 01:57

    My main problem with the fingerprinting system is when it converts artists to names that are wrong. For example, “dead prez” is the correct band name, not “Dead Prez.” Also, Miccado is the artist behind “Solo Tu,” not others.

    Otis – 12 April, 01:57
  133. Castro
    13 April, 08:00

    A Ruby program to re-tag your own files via the fingerprinter is happening here: http://fauna.rubyforge.org/svn/sweeper/trunk/

    Castro – 13 April, 08:00
  134. HCL667
    14 April, 23:02

    I must say, I have my doubts that this will work without problems. At least not in the near future.

    We have the multiple name problem, too. not only on lastFM. in a number or forums we had to make shure people would understand who we are. which is why we are occasionally using our name with an addendum, which is the genre and/or our hometown. other bands are using this name with some sort of claim added. so we decided to make our stuff downloadable WITH the add, so that the stats can count them differently until other ways to differentiate are available. we have to accept that we have to communicate this LONG name, at least where similar names occur. (two legal similar names have the same problem: how would you tell the difference between “paradox” and “para dox” in a list with no other hints, or an addendum or “subname”? maybe tagclouds for each search result entry?)

    Now we uploaded our stuff under “667 (punk)” and added an [artist]-link on the “667”-wiki. The result is: Some moderators have deleted our uploaded pictures, the band has been tagged as NON-ARTIST (yay!) and some text and the link on the “667”-page has been removed. All of that without giving any notice to me (assigned as manager of that bandaccount). After I have complained I am blocked now for both wikis. The mails I got from labels@last.fm are short, unsupportive and unsigned. I feel like the bad guy and I wonder if we should delete our tracks and leave.

    I might have done the wrong things based on my opinion which is only guessing things about that fingerprinting issue, but instead of talking to me they let me watch my work beeing erased, they block me and send anonymous letters. And I still dont understand what can be so wrong about adding something to a name until everything works fine and then merge?

    HCL667 – 14 April, 23:02
  135. HCL
    18 April, 08:44

    manual trackback:

    I have put my last comment and the follow-ups into my lastFM journal: http://www.last.fm/user/HCL667/journal/2008/04/14/701337/

    HCL – 18 April, 08:44
  136. Erica
    19 April, 09:55

    I’ve released amounts of unspeakable joy to see this finally starting to happen

    Erica – 19 April, 09:55
  137. Chris
    19 April, 13:48

    This is awesome news. Thank you so much for setting this up!

    Chris – 19 April, 13:48
  138. Tikkan
    20 April, 19:49

    Looptroop has changed name to Lootroop Rockers, can u put them togehter?

    Tikkan – 20 April, 19:49
  139. Mike
    21 April, 08:02

    Nice lists, but couldn’t it be that some cases are valid, I note some deviations in names that actually seem valid ?

    Or to take a better example, I have a nice little CD at home, Swedish duo “Graaf sisters”, Swedish pop, some 10 years old now, very hot at that time but not long-lived. So I own the CD, I know what I have and it sure is not jazz, but whenever I try to rip the CD any media player I use try to convince me thisis not Graaf Sisters but some old jazz-legend (can’t remember his name) and mistags the album.

    Even worse, I rename all the tracks before ripping them, and then the media player does an online check and says something like this to itself “hey this isn’t Graaf Sisters, it’s this jazz-guy. I think you’re mistaken so I’ll quietly rename all your tracks for you and download a new set of covers too, cheers!”

    Just to illustrate that sometimes tracks may not be what they seem to be for whatever reason I don’t know. :)

    Still I hope this works out well for you, really interesting features!

    Mike – 21 April, 08:02
  140. GTStar
    21 April, 13:14

    But this might be a problem of the CD-ID ;)

    I also had that once, that EAC said a CD to be another one ;)

    GTStar – 21 April, 13:14
  141. emi
    22 April, 13:34

    Hi there!

    Good job!

    Is the fingerprint something similar to the mood (used in amarok, for example)? If it’s something similar, is there any possibility (or idea of possibility) to make a compatibility tool to submit my mood collection/correct my crappy tags using moods?

    Thnx for all!!

    emi – 22 April, 13:34
  142. GTStar
    22 April, 14:33

    My next idea is brought to pap…screen ;)

    Let’s use an ID-system for the whole stuff :)

    Every symbol set (Latin, Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese, asf.), artist, alias (artist-specific), cooperation (artist-specific), album (general), song (artist-specific) gets an ID (respectively a part of it). IDs consist of a letter-figure combination (0-9 and A-C)

    Artist: 00001-ZZZZZ (5 variables) (up to 52,521,875 possibilities)
    Alias: 1-Z
    Coops: 01-ZZ
    Songs: 001-ZZZ
    Albums: 00001-ZZZZZ (or maybe the ID e.g. freedb uses; albums are a special case, because they often are not assignable to an special artist)
    Symbol set: 1-Z (symbol sets are also a special case, because it only determines in which font/symbols the data is represented)

    So maybe it looks like this (e.g.):
    00001-1-01-001-00001-1
    This may mean:
    artist: The Beatles (00001 = artist-ID (AID))
    alias: The Beatles (00001-1 = nick-ID (NID))
    coop: The Beatles (00001-1-01 = coop-ID (CID))
    song: Yellow Submarine (00001-1-01-001 = song-ID (SID)!)
    album: Beatles – Yellow Submarine (00001 = release ID (RID))
    symbols: show the latin names of the artist, song asf. (1 = font-ID (FID))

    The song-ID SID (00001-1-01-001) is fix linked to the fingerprint of the song. There is only one SID for every song. If the song is a cooperation between more artists only the SID of the first (main) artist is valuable. All other artists are linked to it as sub artists.

    Why should we do this? It’s easy to deal with all problems of presenting the data to the user now!

    - On an artists page all proper aliases, coops, songs and albums are directly linked in the particular sub menu/tab (direct and indirect links!)

    - For statistics (plays) all plays count of the aligned alias (which contains songs of each alias and coop also!). If there is a coop for one song the play is counted for ALL involved artists!

    - On each step there is the possibility of editing the “name” respectively to vote for an alternative:
    artist: vote for the correct spelling
    alias: vote for the correct spelling and if necessary for the correct assignment to an artist
    coop: vote for the correct assignments of the aliases (main alias is the original artist in all cases!) and the correct linkage between the aliases
    songs: vote for the correct spelling and the correct assignment to the coop (main coop is the original artist in all cases!)
    albums: vote for the correct spelling and the correct assignment to the coop (as above)
    There should be the possibility to add own suggestions -> if there is fix number of votes for or against it will be changed (or even not)

    - asf.

    As you can see the IDs never change (only if there was a wrong assignment) but the spellings can.

    My thoughts are not perfect yet, but I think you can built on this. If there are any questions, please ask me :)

    GTStar – 22 April, 14:33
  143. Jeff
    29 April, 12:33

    What ever became of ID3man and Auditude? Where did they get their data set from? I used to use their software and it worked pretty well to retag MP3s more correctly based on audio fingerprints. There were exceptions though, such as when a band changed record labels it sometimes changed the way things were spelled in their database. I recall a number of cases where some tracks dropped “The” from artist names that started with the word “The”. (That is, some “Beachboys” vs. “The Beachboys”, vs. “Beachboys, The” as one example.)

    Overall though they seemed to have most of the spellings right, usually fairly consistently. I just wonder where they got their data from, and whatever became of them.

    Jeff – 29 April, 12:33
  144. kkll
    30 April, 15:38

    > Maybe the ability to correct your crappy tags, if it’s accurate enough, and there is demand for it.

    Yes! MusicBrainz’s new tagger sucks and the old one is discontinued :(

    Give me some tool that won’t become unusable if you load more than 10 albums in it!

    kkll – 30 April, 15:38
  145. noah
    30 April, 19:18

    Yes, thirded!

    QUOTES not inch marks.

    APOSTROPHES not feet.

    (Seriously, mates. This one should be easy by comparison.)

    noah – 30 April, 19:18
  146. jun
    3 May, 23:34

    hope this can happen sometime soon even though i am not having any problems with last fm.

    jun – 3 May, 23:34
  147. Nate
    5 May, 03:29

    Impressive — clearly you guys are on top of all the metadata issues, and understand that it is fundamental to the success and value of last.fm.

    Nate – 5 May, 03:29

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