New Search on AllMusic

  • 3
  • Announcement
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
At AllMusic we’re constantly working behind the scenes to improve how the site works, and we’ve recently been looking at our search methodology, realizing it needs some improvement.

The current search on AllMusic has been focused on trying to bubble up popular items and taking some guesses at what a user *might* be looking for. Our new search relies more on providing the user with more exact matches for the words they’ve typed in.


 An example searching for the term "Love":



 You can try for yourself at http://www.allmusic.com/searchtest

Notes:

The new search beta is accessed by typing into the current search box but is only hooked up to pages where you see /searchtest/ in the URL or see this banner on the page:

    

 You can do multi-term searches (album and artist or song title and artist) like Metallica Black Album or Baby One More Time Bowling For Soup

 You can enter in many common aliases like Slowhand, Lady Day or NIN to find artists known by a nickname. 

 You can find albums using their common aliases like Zoso for Led Zeppelin IV. 

 We still hope to allow for Boolean search operators to get even more precise in the future. This is just step 1.


We would love to hear your feedback on how our new beta search works for you, and if there are additional things you’d like to see coming back from search results.

Please comment below or feel free to provide feedback via this handy-dandy form, and it would be helpful to us if we could know the following:

• The search term you entered (What did you type in?)
• The expected result (What were you looking for?)
• The actual result (What did you get back?)
• Whether you are referencing our "Autocomplete" search (the dropdown below the search box) or our full search results page (after hitting enter)
• The URL of the search result (if applicable)
• Any other feedback on search you may have

Thanks for helping us improve the AllMusic we all know and love.

Feedback Welcome!
Photo of Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, Official Rep

  • 3337 Posts
  • 189 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 3
Photo of rootsmusic

rootsmusic

  • 570 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Good job, Zac!  The improved algorithm passes all of the test searches that I can think of right now.  I'm glad you haven't forgotten about existing features that still needed improvement!

Unlike previous ones that were not needs, this improvement is the most critical one that has been needed by Allmusic. Since it's been needed for so many years, I assumed that you'd neglected search on the "back-burner" behind "new knobs" that were more fun to play.  No announcement since Advanced Album Search has made me more thankful for Allmusic.

The only "new search" claimed in your announcement is (the return of) record labels as a result type. Nonetheless, any additional metadata can help with using search for music discovery.  Maybe now, more advanced searches can fit on your back-burner?

P.S. you can alert former complainers at https://getsatisfaction.com/allmedianetwork/topics/cant_you_search_for_exact_phrase_this_site_is_25_years_behind_the_times
(Edited)
Photo of Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, Official Rep

  • 3337 Posts
  • 189 Reply Likes
> "The only "new search" claimed in your announcement is (the return of) record labels as a result type. Nonetheless, any additional metadata can help with using search for music discovery. Maybe now, more advanced searches can fit on your back-burner?"

Correct. There was a giant leap that needed to start with us building our own search from scratch, and then once that is nailed down we should be able to start to offer more searchable elements.

Our next step (happening at the same time in the background) is re-building our track information to create more of a "Song" database (based both on song title+composer(s) AND song title +performer(s)). This will allow us to better split out variations, cover versions and try to nail down the initial release dates of songs. From there we can enable song reviews from users and an advanced song search. The tricky part is that we're talking about tens of millions of rows of data and hundreds of millions(?), billions(?) of data points to wrangle.

The combination of our own search engine plus this granularity at the song/performance level should offer more ways to split out the data (in addition to trying to deal with advertisers and improving our server back-end as we go).

Miles to go before we sleep,
Zac