Beginner Questions


#1

I just joined MB yesterday and I have entered a number of things. I had to create entries for artists twice so far. I ran into problems both times. Do I have to create the artist before entering an album (release)? The first time, I was unable to create a release, but after a few hours, I could. The second time, I waited a few hours, but I still cannot create a release by the aritist I created.

Also, the release I created is still not listed under the artist. Why not? Do I have to somehow move it there?

While I like the idea of having a repository of information such as this and I hope to be able to enter my albums, I do find that the input method is very complex and not transparent and very awkward. When I enter an album, the artist should be created automatically. It is not possible to have an album by an artist that does not exist! I find that I am making loads of entries just to enter a single album!

I read a few How-tos, but even these are daunting! There is so much information just to plug in a CD.

Then, there is the issue of my edits. I made some errors and additions to my entries and they are waiting for votes, but nothing has happened. They are in limbo and are unavailable for further revisions, further albums to be added, etc. It is a very, very slow and possibly dead-end process just to get albums entered into the database.

I hope it will become easier once my status is upgraded from limited to whatever. Maybe I will be able to create entries easier then? How long does that take?


#2

Well, I have just answered some of my questions myself. For some reason, the second artist I entered never got activated until just a second ago, even though I created an entry this morning! I noticed, on the artist page, that there is a create release link on the right panel. I clicked that and made an entry which created both a release group and an album all at once. That solves the second artist I created.

The first artist I created got created yesterday, but the release I created is in limbo awaiting votes. I did not create it on the artist’s page but just using the link at the top on the MB page. I’d like to just get it done with. I read that even if you get no votes, the entry will be applied after 6 days???

Once I get the hang of this, it should go a little faster. I managed to do my jazz albums yesterday and today, with only a small amount of entering into the database required, but my ethnic music will likely take longer, since I doubt that many people have those obscure albums.

I am dreading my massive classical collection, but perhaps there will be a lot already catalogued? I sure hope so!

Now, I read somewhere that Picard does not use genre tags, because the ‘community’ has not figured out how to precisely define a genre. Will that make a difference? I am not a fan of individual tags and prefer an agreed-upon system of categorization. I have categorized my own collection for myself using only the broadest of categories, but I can see that some entries could just as well be placed into another category (genre). I suppose filing just by composer or performer (for non-classical music) should suffice?


#3

To hopefully answer some of your questions, the searchable indices are only updated every few hours; if you want to select an artist you’ve just created, you can either click the “direct search” at the bottom of the dropdown list which bypasses the out-of-date index at the expense of being much less forgiving of errors, select them from the list of recent artists you get if your cursor is in an empty artist box (though they might not appear there if you haven’t yet used them anywhere), or paste the URL of their page on MusicBrainz into the same box, which includes their MBID and so is automatically translated into the proper entity reference. And yeah, edits will be automatically accepted as long as they don’t get more “No” votes than “Yes” before they expire. Once your account gets to two weeks old (you’ve easily made the edit requirement), all the “Add entity” edits will be immediately accepted – I actually forgot that they weren’t to begin with – but even before then you should be able to use them just fine, both in the relationships/data of other entities and in Picard. If an album’s not showing up on an artist page, it’s more likely that the release artist is set to someone else (if an artist has any releases of their own, other releases where they just appear in the track credits won’t show up on the main page) or the release type wasn’t set to “Official”.

As you’ve found, we don’t create artists by default, and I assume that’s at least partially because we could very easily wind up with a lot of duplicate artists if we did, just because a lot of people don’t take the time to check if something already exists in the database – if you ever start cleaning up data here in addition to adding your own, you’ll come to dread just how messy recording lists can get, because we do create those automatically if they aren’t specified, and unlike release groups, there’s no warning mechanism for highlighting what’s already in the database. We do, however, have that “Create new artist” entry at the very bottom of the dropdown that allows you to create someone without leaving the page, so it’s somewhat less painful. And in the other direction, that “Add release” in the sidebar can definitely simplify things a bit, especially if you’ve just recently added the artist separately, but it only leads to the same page you get when you click “Add Release” in the “Editing” menu, just with the release artist pre-filled for you; they’ll both create the release group if it doesn’t already exist.

There is definitely a lot of data you need to add, but at the same time, most of it only takes a few clicks (that quickly become routine) and/or is pretty necessary to describe a release; if something is released on multiple formats, for example, specifying whether you’re adding a CD or Vinyl or digital-only files will become important as soon as you or the next person to come along try to add the other types. There is a plugin for Picard called something along the lines of “Add cluster as release” that you may find helpful in reducing the amount you need to fill manually, but you will still need to check everything it does against the album art to be sure your files were tagged correctly.

As for genre, part of it is “where does hard rock end and power metal begin”, but another part of is is “what’s the best way to represent it in the schema”, and of course one of the bigger parts is “there’s only a relatively small team of mostly-volunteer developers, and more important things to improve”. We do have folksonomy tags and I’m pretty sure there’s some way to get those into Picard (one of the plugins?) but that’s not one of the areas I work with myself, so I can’t really help too much more than that. Since you’ve mentioned having a collection of it, though, I will warn you that classical releases have their own rules about how to format data that contradict most of the rest of the site – whether that’s a good idea or not results in occasional but consistent disagreements between editors from different traditions, but despite which side I fall on, I will admit that that’s not going to change any time soon.


#4

Retrieve new artists

Hello @brotagonist, to find back your new artists (search indexes will update later), search them with direct search or in your own edit history.
Instead of searching them, you can paste their URL in artist fields.

Retrieve releases

By default, artist pages site only official releasegroups. You can click a link to show all release groups.


#5

I’m really happy to see some guqin being added.
Thanks.

Do you have Chinese language skills?
I’ve got some Chinese albums that are way beyond my Chinese literacy level. (Which is zero.)
(No hurry, no pressure. Some day is quite soon enough.)


#6

Ok, thanks, guys!

There is a learning curve, but some of the basics are falling into place. I did a complicated release with 2 artists successfully last night. Luckily, both artists had already been created. It was somewhat tricky to determine whether the album I was adding was already included in the database, as the titles were written in Kanji (Japanese using Chinese characters), but the track numbers and other clues guided me successfully.

I see that there is a classical community, so I hope they have already added most of my albums :slight_smile: I scanned their guidelines and it is all pretty confusing at the moment. That’s why I began with my very small jazz collection :slight_smile:

I have a small number of guqin albums, @mmirG , that I hope to get entered in the coming days. I took a one-semester course in Chinese at the university about 20 years ago. What remains of my learning is little: I can still look up characters in a dictionary by counting the strokes (I gave my hardcover dictionary to a native Chinese friend, now deceased, who didn’t know the simplified characters used in mainland China). To decode writing is beyond my capabilities.


#7

As I still consider myself new, let me add my two cents ----

Take it slow. Don’t try to have 30,000 edits this week.

Because my editing experience was on Wikipedia, my first set of edits were voted down because I didn’t fully grasp that what you change on this page changes things on the other pages. I was still treating each page as its own individual write up.
And because every change you make here changes things elsewhere, you really need to know the data you are adding and the way MusicBrainz wants it written.