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Should free digital labels be included?


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#1 The_Manipulator

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:33 PM

The moderators have been having a discussion over free digital labels and whether the releases should be included in the database. There's been an influx lately of free digital labels submitting vast quantities of releases of often questionable quality.

We've all agreed that unless a digital label is commercially selling its releases, or has a link to a vinyl label (eg is a subsidiary) OR is run by an established artist then there is no need to include it in the database.

What's the thinking of the people who use RDB? Do you think free digital labels should be included?


Discussion:
http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.php?threadid=465343
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#2 Java

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 09:16 PM

I think they should be included only if they have proper releases on vinyl/cd - artists that are already in the database. Otherwise we might as well just scour myspace and put all of them on here too!
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#3 hanswurst

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:39 AM

there are many very good tunes that are only available as Digital Download. so i think they should be included!
maybe thijs is able to code a checkbox which can exclude DD's from the searchresults (for those who dont like to see DD's in rdb )!?

(if thijs has no time for coding that i would be able to do this!)

#4 hanswurst

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 11:46 AM

View Posthanswurst, on Feb 25 2007, 10:39 AM, said:

there are many very good tunes that are only available as Digital Download. so i think they should be included!

oopz...
sorry, i did not read carefully enough -> thought this is a question about generally including DD's.

i would like to find info's on rdb about every dnb-tune i hear(also about tunes that have not been released on a 'official' web-label)!
for example: www.constructmusic.de is no web-label but there are really great downloadable tunes.

don't know how to include this kind of DD (without label and CatNr) but i would like to find meta-infos about these great tunes on rdb.

#5 kn00tcn

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:59 AM

some free labels have big names like pyro & macc & bad robot, so listing them makes sense

maybe if possible in the comment field to put '320' or 'vbr'

#6 goro

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:22 PM

i'm voting for NO, as long as the label dont sells those tracks

giving mp3 for free is not a big deal. every wannabe "label-manager" can start its own label in just few minutes. selling the tunes is something that needs to do some certain things first like signing the contracts with artsts which also require more attention in selecting the right tunes for release (instead of giving the wannabe producers a signal that they are already good enough to conquer the world by their "quality" tunes ;)).  

so being on rolldabeats database should be a THING to every new artists, which will give them more satisfaction than releasing a tune under some exotic label which started its existence a week ago and which is runned by a 15yr old kid who dont have any idea about proper quality of the tunes.

at least there should be some switch to turn off all free labels while searching through the database

#7 FuZion

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:59 PM

View PostThe_Manipulator, on Jan 15 2007, 09:33 PM, said:

The moderators have been having a discussion over free digital labels and whether the releases should be included in the database. There's been an influx lately of free digital labels submitting vast quantities of releases of often questionable quality.

We've all agreed that unless a digital label is commercially selling its releases, or has a link to a vinyl label (eg is a subsidiary) OR is run by an established artist then there is no need to include it in the database.

What's the thinking of the people who use RDB? Do you think free digital labels should be included?


Discussion:
<a href="http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.php?threadid=465343" target="_blank">http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.php?threadid=465343</a>

Very tough call.

Certainly, if digital releases are included, there needs to be a clear (And this could be some of the difficulty) understanding of what can be included. A digital label that has some affiliation with a label that has released track on CD or vinyl should really have more footing than a digital label that has been sole setup.

This discussion could quite easily end up massive!

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#8 geist

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:08 PM

I think they should be included - all of them.

It seems that the MAIN goal of rdb is comprehensivity : including these releases would aid that goal.

It certainly makes it more difficult to enter a lot of these releases, both because there are a lot of them and because they are difficult to track (due to non-traditional routes of distibution). However, I think the goal of comprehensivity is independent of the aversion to difficulty, instead of being  proportionately scaled according to difficulty. In other words, if its out there then rdb should catalog it, even though the catalog will never be complete and it will at times be difficult to catalog it.

I also think there is no good set of criteria to establish what DD's can be included vs which ones get excluded, and therefore all DD's should be included, even though it is admittedly frustrating/difficult/cumbersome.

For example -

1. Established artists only - that's not a good criterion, because it caters to the status quo, which inevitably gets stagnant when a new generation of artists comes around. Someone can put out a brillliant track on T-Free recordings (a very good, very consistent free digital download label), and never become 'established' with a vinyl or for-pay digital download release. Also what happens when an artist starts out with digital releases for free, then eventually becomes the next ed rush and optical? Do we go through their old digital releases, the ones we previously refused to catalog, and now include them in rdb because they eventually established themselves? That seems very awkward.

2. For sale only - that's not a good criterion, because established labels with for-sale tracks are increasingly also releasing free digital downloads as promotion related to their for-sale releases. These are different tracks from the for-sale releases, and only tracking what was for sale will result in an incomplete discography for even these established labels (outbreak, digital soundboy, etc all come to mind). Also, why not include the freely-distributed stuff? If a producer made it and someone enjoyed it enough to download it and use it, it seems like this is part of the social history of drum and bass and 'what music is out there'. I don't understand the dogmatic fixation on what was out there FOR SALE, except for the fact that what is for sale is more easy to track and catalogue.

Also, regarding the "there are so many shit producers freely distributing crap tunes" argument: this is true, but not a reason to exclude these tunes from the database. First of all, it cannot be excluded according to any good rule or criteria (see above). Second, it introduces matters of taste and judgment. Since when is Rdb a database of 'only the good drum and bass music'? I thought it was a database of the drum and bass music that is/was out there. If we actually start cataloging dnb only according to whether or not we judge it to be good, we might as well go back through the released-for-sale crap dnb, and delete those entries from the database (vast sections of the Joker back catalogue, portions of the Formation catalog, etc come to mind). If this seems awkward, it is because matters of taste are very awkward, and it is notoriously difficult to come up with universal judgments of taste.

Also, I just think the model of "tunes for sale" as an important criterion mattered more years ago when the sole business model for tunes was sale via vinyl and sometimes cd, and the playback mechanisms were the same. Now, someone may promote themselves or their label by also giving away some free music. Artists in all genres of music now do this: not all of them ultimately achieve success as career-musicians. Nevertheless the music is 'out there'. Also, there just might be a genius photek-like artist who releases some digital tracks, they achieve underground notoriety, and then we never hear from the artist again because they just are not interested in making money off of dnb (they moved on to be a lawyer or professor or whatever). It would be a shame to have these tunes excluded from the database.

So in conclusion, I think the ONLY CRITERION for whether or not a song should be included in the rolldabeats database, is whether or not the tune was publically available in some form for others to enjoy, and was made publically available by the artist or label. This includes:

1. Songs for sale on vinyl or cd
2. Songs for sale as digital downloads
3. Songs available for download via label-specific websites, messageboards, etc (EVEN IF these are not up indefinitely, just like records eventually run out from shelves)

This excludes:

1. A song that is half-finished that a producer is working on on his private computer
2. A song that is stolen from someone's computer
3. A song that appears on torrents or soulseek, stolen from a computer or ripped from a performance (it is publically available, but it was not made publically available by the artist or label)

What this criterion leaves out are issues of taste, judgments of who counts as an 'established artist', and the criterion of what happens to be 'for sale'. For the reasons stated above, I think it is a good thing that such criteria are left out, essentially because they are either subjective or outdated.


I've thought a lot about this before, and I think these reasons are consistent. Of course, I'm just one vote/voice, so I will just leave it at that. I'm open to arguments that convince me otherwise, but so far I have not heard anything that convinces me. Usually what I hear are arguments that ultimately amount to 'it would be too difficult to track and catalogue all of those releases', which like I said at the top of this post is completely independent of the question of whether or not we should nevertheless strive to include it all, according to a goal of comprehensivity.

#9 haste

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 07:44 PM

So you're saying that any old tune that any person in the world makes that gets finished and posted up anywhere on the net should be catalogued on this website and we should make the effort to find these tunes and enter them in?

I categorically disagree with that - it will never happen

We've been over this so many times and no matter how many essays on the subject you write most people round here don't share your view on the subject.

I'm not interested in flooding this site with a load of info on tunes that I suspect the vast majority of people don't want to know about. Just because Joe Bloggs made a tune and posted it for download on DOA in a thread that got 0 replies and 4 downloads doesn't mean that we should put him in RDB.

To bring up the same old issue again we have very limited resources here. Do you think we have a team of people entering info into the database night & day? We have one guy doing all of this at the moment it's barely possible to cope with the current load let alone what you're suggesting above.

Not going to happen

edit: read the DOA thread - most people are against it and that's the site's main user base. Why do something like that if the people who use the site don't want it?
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#10 geist

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:27 PM

View Posthaste, on Feb 5 2009, 06:44 PM, said:

So you're saying that any old tune that any person in the world makes that gets finished and posted up anywhere on the net should be catalogued on this website and we should make the effort to find these tunes and enter them in?

I categorically disagree with that - it will never happen

We've been over this so many times and no matter how many essays on the subject you write most people round here don't share your view on the subject.

I'm not interested in flooding this site with a load of info on tunes that I suspect the vast majority of people don't want to know about. Just because Joe Bloggs made a tune and posted it for download on DOA in a thread that got 0 replies and 4 downloads doesn't mean that we should put him in RDB.

To bring up the same old issue again we have very limited resources here. Do you think we have a team of people entering info into the database night & day? We have one guy doing all of this at the moment it's barely possible to cope with the current load let alone what you're suggesting above.

Not going to happen

edit: read the DOA thread - most people are against it and that's the site's main user base. Why do something like that if the people who use the site don't want it?

Hey, I know that you disagree - no problem. I also know that I've posted about this before, and I really don't particularly push for this view too much. I nudge once in a while, when I come across something that I think needs to be included (like the barcode records free release, the digital soundboy free releases, etc)

As for long essays - I write and teach as a profession, so the post that I wrote just isn't that long or difficult for me. It's the most succint way I could put it while still covering all the relevant issues (i.e. candidate criteria). I could easily write a much, much longer essay on that (or any topic really). So don't think I'm on a crusade to convince people of this. This time around especially, I was just posting in this thread because I browse the 'comments' forum so rarely, and it came up as a topic for discussion. I ultimately don't own stock in rolldabeats: I'm not a founder or moderator, so I make my case and move on.

As far as resources go, of course I know that RDB isn't some funded/staffed think tank! However, the claim that 'we will never comprehensively be able to enter all the dnb' is true whether you include dd's or not. It's the same problem even if you were just trying to cover all the dnb VINYL that is out there. So 'we can't be comprehensive' is compatible with 'we should strive to be comprehensive': it's basically how rdb has been all of these years!

As far as are people *interested* in the joe biggs free tune that 4 people got, etc. As stated before, there just is no good criteria you can apply to exclude joe biggs crap tune (a free digital download), yet also include (insert good digital download title here - they exist, both on 'established' labels that sell vinyl, and digital-only free labels).

You cannot do it with:
1. whether the tune is GOOD or not (its a subjective judgment of taste - go ahead and delete a lot of that genuinely crappy old-school hardcore that rdb meticulously catalogs, for there are surely some stinkers back there)

2. whether the tune is from an ESTABLISHED label or not (also a subjective judgment on what counts as 'established', causes awkward questions or retroactive entries, etc)

3. whether the tune is available FOR SALE or not (business oriented-labels, i.e. labels that seek profit, will put tunes out for free, as an indirect way of ultimately helping their overall business. Also, there are good free tracks not for sale.

So I think it comes down to this: does an entity like rolldabeats seek to be:

A) A comprehensive database of all the dnb music (and dnb related music) that has ever been out there for the general public?

B) A database just of the dnb that is available for sale, because it is easiest to track that dnb, plus we get to keep out what we subjectively think is not-so-good dnb.


It's not that I LOVE the fact that Joe Biggs crap tune should be in rdb. I just have not yet heard any good criterion for excluding it, where that criterion does not also introduce questionable subjective standards, and also violate a goal of comprehensivity.

Anyways, not trying to start any fights or arguments Haste. If I was on a crusade with these points I would post here a lot more often and really push for it. This was a thread where this was a topic, and so I am posting in the thread.

As far as 'nobody agrees with me', that's actually just irrelevant. First, the might not agree with me because they just aren't aware of my argument (it's not that simple, and I don't post about it or bug people about it too much). By default, people hold their original opinions until they encounter new views and consider those views. Also, just because my argument is perhaps unpopular bears no weight on whether or not my view is, all things considered, ultimately correct (Ibsen's "An Enemy of The People" comes to mind).

As evidence that I do change my mind, I originally wanted Dj Trace's youtube dubplates to be included in the database. I've since changed my mind - it comes close to meeting my criteria (publically available, by the artist). However it's not available as a download. I guess that part matters. How many people DO use the tune, how crappy is the mastering/quality, and whether people LIKE the tune, just does not matter.

#11 haste

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:44 PM

I don't have time to reply to all your points right now but I just want to point out that my decision isn't driven by the quality of the tunes. There are thousands of what I'd call rubbish tunes in the database.

My main reason for not including them is that I feel it adds no benefit to the site for its users. If the majority of users were calling for us to add these so that they could put them in their collections then we'd certainly have to think about what we do and don't add a lot more carefully.

As it stands I don't think there's much interest in these going in aside from the people who made them and want to be listed in rdb. That's not enough to justify inclusion, in my opinion. Why flood the site with potentially useless info and make it harder for people to find what they're looking for?
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#12 geist

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 08:56 PM

View Posthaste, on Feb 5 2009, 07:44 PM, said:

I don't have time to reply to all your points right now but I just want to point out that my decision isn't driven by the quality of the tunes. There are thousands of what I'd call rubbish tunes in the database.

My main reason for not including them is that I feel it adds no benefit to the site for its users. If the majority of users were calling for us to add these so that they could put them in their collections then we'd certainly have to think about what we do and don't add a lot more carefully.

As it stands I don't think there's much interest in these going in aside from the people who made them and want to be listed in rdb. That's not enough to justify inclusion, in my opinion. Why flood the site with potentially useless info and make it harder for people to find what they're looking for?

Right, so if "quality of the tune" isn't what you're after, why mention it? That just muddles up the discussion. Like you said, there are rubbish tunes in the database. Crap tunes exist on vinyl and as digital downloads, for sale or for free.

Now as far as 'what people are currently after', if rdb slavishly adjusts its standards according to the fickleness of public opinion, I think that's too bad. The benefit of being comprehensive about all the dnb and cataloging it is, no dnb is excluded as a rule (although it may be excluded due to time constraints), and when public opinion changes (i.e. the year is 2016 and junglists reluctantly acknowledge "I guess it didn't matter whether the tune was for sale after all - plenty of good free tunes for instadownload for some year now"), rdb will already have covered that ground.

As far as flooding the site with people having a harder time finding a tune, I just don't know what to say about that. Doesn't this issue arise no matter what, just in virtue of the fact that the database is always growing? And doesn't the search function enable people to find what they are looking for in such a database? If it really matters so much, is it possible to insert a filter in searches (i.e. search vinyl releases only, or search for-sale tracks only)?

#13 hanswurst

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 01:47 PM

i agree with geist.
its often a bit disappointing to have no search results about very good dnb tunes i am listening to.


what are the disadvantages of including ALL dnb related music?
.) having a lot of search results which the user does not like to see
solution: a search filter which can exclude DD's really would be no problem.
the users who does not like to see DD's would notice no difference

.) server performance issues especially searching:
solution: rdb is really a very small database and there are a lot of possibillities to make such things faster
(sphinx, memcached, ....)

.) tons of TODO for the few people who are adding the releases into the database
solution: all rdb-members should be able to add information directly into the database
it is only a time-issue to code that, i would offer my time to code that because i love rdb so much <3

did i forgot some disadvantages without solution?

cheerz,
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#14 The_Manipulator

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:33 PM

View Posthanswurst, on Feb 7 2009, 01:47 PM, said:

.) tons of TODO for the few people who are adding the releases into the database
solution: all rdb-members should be able to add information directly into the database
User-submitted info still needs to be verified. And... if anybody can add a release, what stops me from adding my own unreleased (and not really available apart from a link on my webpage) tunes...

Just a note on info verification: on the forum we regularly get posts from labels plugging their releases, which a lot of times aren't even DnB related. So if we get those people adding them to the database it will start to get one big mess!
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#15 majestic

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:34 PM

One of the main reasons that I use RDB, is for completeness of artist catalogs.  If I want to know every tune that Trace has produced and released, I know that I can come here and find that information.

I also agree that letting ever tune ever made and released on some obscure message board would overflow the site with useless info.

Also, it should be noted that there are artists out there that have pressed up there on vinyl of self produced tunes.  I don't feel that adding those would be of any benefit to the site.

However, I think it would be fairly simple to come up with a set of criteria for who would be defined as an established artist / label. Any artist or label  who qualifies as established (by meeting one of the criteria listed below) can then be added to the database (retroactively if need be).

Perhaps this is will be a good compromise for addidng digital releases.

Qualifications of an established artist :

1 - The artist has had releases on traditional vinyl  / cd labels that are already in the database.

2 - The artist has releases on an established digital label (qualifications below).

3 - The artist has released a song that has garnered significant interest in some way (ex. would be "The American's Are Coming (Nuriya Hamied & Moises Modesto Remix)").  This will require some judgement, but it should be fairly obvious which tunes fall under this qualification.  If there is an argument against the song gettting significant attection then it probably hasn't.

Qulaifications of an established digital label (i feel that any label that sells vinyl and/or cd releases can automatically be considered established based upon how submisions are entered now):

1 - The digital label has releases through traditional vinyl or cd routes.

2 - The digital label is closely associated with an established vinyl / cd label. (For instance, if Virus created a digital label called "Bacteria" to release digital songs of yet established producers, i think that should be included.)

3 - The digital label has released work of an artist who has released recordings on an a label that meets any of the other establshed label criteria. (This way it perserves the completeness aspect of an established artists catalog. It may be the case that some small digitil labels will be needed to be added retroactively under this scenerio becuase one of the lables artists could eventually work there way up to an established label.)

Miscellaneous Songs:

1 - Songs given away by an established artist should also be listed, in order to perserve an artists complete catalog.  (Example - Pendulum gave away a free 320 of "No One Knows" on DOA.  That should be listed becuase it is an established artist, and technically the song is released.) This can also be a great way for someone to know whether or not it is ok for them to seek out and downlaod a tune legally. Perhaps the release page coul  even providing links to the original downloads?



Again just some thoughts off the top of my head (and borrowed from some of heist's posts) to hopefuly establish some sort of minimum criteria for adding digital release to the database. Feel free to use them as you like, make changes etc.

#16 .lm.

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:32 PM

View PostJava, on Feb 2 2007, 10:16 PM, said:

I think they should be included only if they have proper releases on vinyl/cd - artists that are already in the database. Otherwise we might as well just scour myspace and put all of them on here too!

this

#17 theorie

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:50 PM

No

#18 wickedpygmy

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:19 PM

this is a difficult question.

I love RDB, and I want it to be comprehensive, but I don't want it full of crap so that my search results explode. If I search for "the nine", I want one hit, not 50 pages of amateur tunes with the same name.

I don't believe there is any clear criteria that can be used in a one-size-fits-all way...

One artist might be an unheardof bedroom dj making his first couple of tunes and putting them on the web.
Another artist might only release tunes for free on the web, but he could be huge... e.g. playing out, on the radio, etc.

I have no problem with a handful of moderators making an arbitrary decision on what constitutes an "established artist". Its your site, and I think we should trust your judgement. Fuck it, no-one knows more about d&b than you lot.

#19 haste

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:38 AM

At the moment we're still not allowing free net labels. Most of the updates to the site come from the items for sale on Juno & Juno Download. I know this means there's a lot of digital stuff going up (mainly dubstep) that might not have been added previously but all of it is commercially available for sale. We're still not manually adding free net labels, as far as I'm aware.

Surely if you search for "the nine" and the first result is what you're looking for then it doesn't matter hugely what the rest of the results are? I've tried to make the search results pages give as much info (related labels, real names, related artists, images etc.) so that it should be clear exactly what you're looking at. I'm hoping that there won't be loads of confusing results given this new search page layout. What do you think?
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#20 jj

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:47 AM

View Posthaste, on 16 November 2012 - 10:38 AM, said:

Surely if you search for "the nine" and the first result is what you're looking for then it doesn't matter hugely what the rest of the results are?

When I search for "the nine" I get this result:

We couldn't find anything that matched that term. Please try again



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