Discogs

Last updated
Discogs
Discogs logo.svg
Type of site
Music
Available in English (US), English (UK), German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese (BR)
Headquarters
OwnerZink Media, Inc.
Created byKevin Lewandowski
Industry Internet
Services Database, online shopping
Revenue Advertisement (logging-in removes all ads), Marketplace Seller Fees
Website www.discogs.com
Alexa rankIncrease2.svg 472 (Global: January 2019) [1]
CommercialPartially
RegistrationOptional
Users 443,637 (January 2019) [2]
LaunchedNovember 2000;19 years ago (2000-11)
Current statusOnline

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. [3] While the site was originally created with a goal of becoming the largest online database of electronic music [4] , there are now releases in all genres and on all formats on the site. In fact, after the database was opened to contributions from the public, Rock music began to take over as the most prevalent genre [5] . Discogs currently contains over 11.6 million releases, by over 6 million artists, across over 1.3 million labels, contributed from over 456,000 contributor user accounts — with these figures constantly growing as users continually add previously unlisted releases to the site over time. [6] [7]

Discography is the study and cataloging of published sound recordings, often by specified artists or within identified musical genres. The exact information included varies depending on the type and scope of the discography, but a discography entry for a specific recording will often list such details as the names of the artists involved, the time and place of the recording, the title of the piece performed, release dates, chart positions, and sales figures.

Website set of related web pages served from a single web domain

A website or web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com.

Crowdsourcing obtaining services, ideas, or content from a group of people, rather than from employees or suppliers

Crowdsourcing is a sourcing model in which individuals or organizations obtain goods and services, including ideas and finances, from a large, relatively open and often rapidly-evolving group of internet users; it divides work between participants to achieve a cumulative result. The word crowdsourcing itself is a portmanteau of crowd and outsourcing, and was coined in 2006. As a mode of sourcing, crowdsourcing existed prior to the digital age.

Contents

History

The discogs.com domain name was registered on 30 August 2000, [8] and Discogs itself was launched in November 2000 by programmer, DJ, and music fan Kevin Lewandowski originally intended to be a large database of electronic music. [9]

Lewandowski's original goal was to build the most comprehensive database of electronic music, organized around the artists, labels, and releases available in electronic genres. In 2003, the Discogs system was completely rewritten, [10] 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.

Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology. In general, a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means, and that produced using electronics only. Electromechanical instruments include mechanical elements, such as strings, hammers, and so on, and electric elements, such as magnetic pickups, power amplifiers and loudspeakers. Examples of electromechanical sound producing devices include the telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar, which are typically made loud enough for performers and audiences to hear with an instrument amplifier and speaker cabinet. Pure electronic instruments do not have vibrating strings, hammers, or other sound-producing mechanisms. Devices such as the theremin, synthesizer, and computer can produce electronic sounds.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a genre of popular music developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

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. [11]

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 of 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. Later that year, all paid access features were discarded and full use of the site became free of charge, allowing all users to view the full 12 month Market Price History of each item. [12]

A revenue stream is a source of revenue of a company or organization.

Milestones

Discogs publishes information indicating the number of releases, labels, and artists presently in its database, [6] along with its contributors: [7]

DateMaster ReleasesReleasesArtistsLabelsContributorsNote
30 June 2004none *260,789unknownunknown15,788By mid 2004 releases crossed the quarter million mark.
2006none *500,000+unknownunknownunknownIn 2006 releases passed the half million mark.
25 July 2010unknown2,006,8781,603,161169,923unknownBy mid 2010 releases crossed the 2m mark.
4 March 2014unknown4,698,6833,243,448576,324185,283By mid 2014 labels had crossed the half million mark.
11 June 2014unknown4,956,2213,375,268612,264194,432In mid 2014 releases were passing the 5m mark.
26 December 2014unknown5,505,6173,638,804680,131215,337By late 2014 contributors surpassed the 200k mark.
30 May 2015unknown6,001,4243,874,147743,267237,967By mid 2015 releases surpassed the 6m mark.
31 March 20161,001,0127,005,1774,455,198892,271281,579By early 2016 releases surpassed the 7m mark, and master releases passed a million.
19 January 20171,120,3368,049,3414,854,3781,014,930329,366By early 2017 releases surpassed the 8m mark, [13] and labels passed a million.
25 October 20171,254,8259,083,0175,182,1341,091,609379,527By late 2017 releases surpassed the 9m mark, [14] and artists surpassed the 5m mark.
28 June 20181,377,90610,000,0005,284,2821,143,442418,140On this date in 2018 releases surpassed the 10m mark. [15]
28 March 20191,514,10611,001,6975,410,9391,198,273456,949On this date in 2019 releases surpassed the 11m mark. [16]
07 October 20191,614,72911,666,5506,091,2801,343,778unknownBy late 2019 artists surpassed the 6m mark [17]

* Note: the Master Release function was made available from 30 April 2009.

Other projects

Discogs has so far created a further six online databases, for collating information on related topics.

VinylHub

In mid 2014, a side project website called VinylHub [18] 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.

Filmogs

In late 2014, the company released a new beta website called Filmogs. [19] Users can add their physical film collections (on DVD, Blu-ray, LaserDisc, or any other type of physical film release) to the database, and buy and sell film releases in the global marketplace.

Gearogs

Gearogs was launched as a beta in late 2014, at the same time as Filmogs. [20] The site lets users add and track music equipment, including items such as synths, drum machines, sequencers, samplers, audio software, and any other electronic music making equipment.

Bookogs

At the start of 2015, the company began Bibliogs as another beta project. [21] 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 was in beta phase until 15 August 2017 [22] when it reached more than 31,000 book titles, and rebranded without explanation to Bookogs.com, because of legal issues with the old name Bibliogs, and removed 'Beta state' notice from the main page. The next day the 'Marketplace Beta' feature was presented. [23] On 8 June 2019 the project has reached a total amount of 100,000 books. [24]

Comicogs

Comicogs [25] launched around the same time as Bookogs, as a means for comic collectors and enthusiasts to catalog their collections and create an archive of comic releases. Similar to Bookogs, users can contribute comics, manga, graphic novels, and strips to the database, along with information on credits, publishers, writers, etc. 18,000 comics were submitted by the start of 2018. The Comicogs marketplace was launched on 23 August 2017, [26] allowing users to buy and sell comics from across the world.

Posterogs

In September 2017, the company launched Posterogs. [27] Posterogs was the only Discogs site to launch a database and marketplace simultaneously. [28] The scope of Posterogs was left broad at the time of launch, with the company opting to let the community define what type of posters, flyers, or similar, should be included in the database. As users have contributed items to the database, while non-music related items are fully acceptable for inclusion, much of the primary focus seems to be music posters, such as gig/tour posters, album promo posters, and promotional flyers - which is in keeping with Discogs' music theme, though there are also many film posters in the database. As with all other databases, users can save posters to their 'Collection' and 'Wantlist', in addition to buying and selling in the marketplace.

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. [29] [30] [31] 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. [32] The HTML interface remains the only authorized way to modify Discogs data. [30]

On 7 June 2011 version 2 of the API was released. [33] 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. [34] 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. [35]

On 24 June 2014 Discogs deprecated their XML API in lieu of a JSON-formatted API. [36]

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

The recommendations API is not publicly available. [37]

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. [38]

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. [39]

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. [40]

Discogs-aware metadata software

Tag editors

Other

See also

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