An option to choose which artist photo will display on our profile

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As most people should know, the image voting system is awful on this site. Since we don't know how long the issue of people creating fake accounts to up-vote photos will last, there should be an option for changing which artist photo displays on our profile. 
Like, when a user goes to an artist page and to the photo gallery, in the voting section, there can be a button like: "Pin this on my profile" and that way whenever they appear under top artists, that is the photo you see on your page. Doing this could actually stop people from making fake profiles now that I think about it... If everyone can finally be happy about what artist photo they see, no sense in crazily up-voting photos with multiple accounts.

Secondly, there should be a formula to how votes count, like votes from 5 years ago shouldn't still be as strong as recent votes, the same way popular search results work. For artists who aren't mainstream, the photo gallery is stuck in this rut where new fans are constantly up-voting all the old photos and newly added photos are never seen.
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jusO6

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Posted 3 years ago

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Pascal

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I want to be able to pick which artists I want to display, just like on the old site.
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Tom Stephen

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This. Both ideas (this from topic and this here) I'll see so gladly.
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sakigaby

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I never really liked the voting system. You would think they would gives us a feature that it's actually worthwhile...but that doesn't seem to be the case.
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Jort

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Bumping this up. I've been wanting this feature for years and I think it'd be a really useful thing to add. A 'Pin this on my profile' button or something along that line would be perfect. A lot of my favourite artists have defaulted pictures that I absolutely loathe, and with a voting system that seems really broken and/or random, it can be a pain in the ass. It's not an absolute necessity as in 'the site needs this to function', but I think it'd be nice to give people this option.
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Jort

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Was just thinking: this also kinda combats the 'multiple artists with the same name' issue. On a lot of artists pages, there is a constant fight over which picture should be displayed, because fans of the different bands will want a picture of 'their' band on top.

Take Ceremony, for example, a shoegaze band and a hardcore/punk band that began making name around the same time. I listen to the shoegazers a lot, but there has been a picture of the other Ceremony on default for ages now.

Implementing a 'pin this on my profile' would make for a way to instantly show which one you are listening to. To be fair, this wouldn't really be a solution for people who listen to both, but it's something.
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Avariko

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Bumping because we need this!
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J90

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Please implement this feature! It is a necessity at this point.

The voting system just doesn't work.  My profile looks awful most of the time because people use multiple accounts to vote up very poor quality photos, even ones that have borders or text on them. Some people also refuse to allow any new images, and use multiple accounts to vote them down. Or some who will only allow black & white pictures and vote down anything with colour. 

Voting doesn't work, nor has it ever worked. There will always be people who will exploit the system no matter what you do to prevent it. The only way to stop lastfm from looking like a mess is letting us choose which pictures appear on our profiles. This also includes the banners!

Hell, even if you added this feature as a subscriber only thing, I'd sign up in seconds!
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Elliot Robinson

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I couldn't agree more with you, JW90. The artist image is a constant bugbear of mine. It'd be one thing if it was truly democratic, but as you correctly point out, there are many people abusing the system to vote up their own images.

I'm not sure how easy the ability to select your own artist image (rather than the default voted image) would be; I suspect it could be both messy and potentially adding a lot of complexity at the backend of the site. That said, I'd love it to become an option.

Even if you take fake votes out of the equation, there are still many artist who have a very passive or inactive Last FM community, and as such their image almost never changes, which is similarly annoying - particularly if the artist is still active and the image used is maybe 10 years old.

It would be a shame if it was a subscriber-only feature, but like you, it would persuade me to sign up way more than some lame Last FM merchandise (no offence, Team Last FM!)
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Cornel Diaconu

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You're both exaggerating a lot here, JW90, and Elliot.
I mean: you like a certain picture of an artist, and because other people like other picture better, you consider this to be an abuse of the system ?
Common ...
It's the same artist, after all, isn't it ?
Why would you even like some particular picture better than other ?!?

I agree, though, that the current choice of displaying some picture mostly over how many votes it has is quite counter-productive.

It would be much more OK to simply cycle ALL artist's picture, one at a time; even "one picture per day" would be much more okay. Change it with every refresh of the page would also be better.

It doesn't make any sense in pinning up one single picture of the artist, forever or until you become bored with it, be it like it's now (vote-ups based) or as you suggested (I chose my own favourite picture).

Staff should concentrate their attention on hunting ridiculous pictures (like someone even suggested here on this forum: he rather upload some pet photo to some artist and chose that one, because he considers the current one to be "ugly' --huh ?!?!?), or even offensive ones.
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Elliot Robinson

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Just because you're unaware of it doesn't mean we're wrong, Cornel. Furthermore, please assume that I'm not so blinkered that I would assume - and claim, for that matter! - that any main image I dislike is only there because of fake votes.

It's the same artist, after all, isn't it ? Why would you even like some particular picture better than other ?!?
The fact that you clearly don't care about the main images means this is an odd conversation for you to be chiming in on...

You're cycle suggestion sounds fair on first blush, but you'd still have the problem of people uploading low resolution, poorly cropped, or just generally terrible pictures that would end up in the mix.

If Last FM can't get a grip on fake accounts, then having users be able to pin a different main image in their library rather than the default would be a solution as it would mean people could choose their own if they dislike the current default and also negate the need for people to use these fake accounts to up-vote stuff.
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J90

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I mean: you like a certain picture of an artist, and because other people like other picture better, you consider this to be an abuse of the system ?
When they're using multiple accounts to vote for that image, yes, it's an abuse of the system. And to make it worse, most of the time they are not fans of the artist, they are trolls trying to vote up the oldest/most awkward images. Take Justin Bieber's page for example. I don't like the guy but trolls are always voting down  recent pictures and voting up awkward pictures from when he was a pre-teen.  This is wrong and his fans shouldn't have to deal with that. This happens ALL THE TIME with many, many artists.

The other day I uploaded a recent image of an artist from their new album. Over a couple of days it eventually made it to the top because many different fans voted for it, then suddenly within a few minutes it got the exact same amount of downvotes as it had upvotes. That is clearly one person with multiple accounts who didn't like that image or just wanted to troll. Why should ONE person be able to dictate which image gets displayed, when clearly many fans liked it?
Why would you even like some particular picture better than other ?!?
Some photos are awful quality, not cropped correctly, have borders, text on them, etc. Also, artists change and evolve and so do their images. I mean ideally the main photo should be recent, not an image from the beginning of their career that no longer represents who they are. But I don't really care as long as it isn't horrible quality. However for some people, they only liked an artist during a certain period. If we could choose which picture appears on our profile, it would allow each person to display that.

As much as the artist's profile should look nice, I also want my own profile to look nice. 

It would be much more OK to simply cycle ALL artist's picture, one at a time; even "one picture per day" would be much more okay. Change it with every refresh of the page would also be better.
This would not work at all. A lot of images uploaded are not only duplicates but also, again, not very good quality or aren't cropped properly to fit the library view. Not to mention the staff here have NEVER deleted any of the offensive images that I've reported. I've even posted them here, and nothing has been done about it. So having it randomized means there's a chance these images will end up being displayed.
(Edited)
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Cornel Diaconu

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Hmm, JW .. sorry, but how exactly did you find out that the votes were made by "trolls" ?!? Who voted and how they voted  is not visible on the system !! :-)
You seem to have an obsession with this thing: fake votes, and I don't understand where this comes from. Did your really watched closely, over time, some picture of an artist and you deduced that the votes where ... fake votes ? Common, really. Where did you got this idea from ?!?

And aside from that, I just wonder where did the quality of the picture impacted you so much...
I mean, the picture of artists/albums are already made very/too small in just about any page on the site - besides the main picture page for artist/album of course.
I visit my library for any artist, and it simply doesn't matter if some album has a 4K image, or a simply VGA resolution image or a mere 50x50 pixels image ! They are too damn small in this page, to make a difference.
Maybe it's worth mentioning that I don't use the official scrobbler from last.fm, my scrobbles are through my music player (Clementine), so maybe I lack/miss something (probably the official scrobbler's window displays those images that you say have an ugly aspect if they are of bad quality, and this is not exactly appealing to you).

I've seen myself some pretty bad quality pictures for artists themselves, and albums also, but ... mostly for obscure artists (those with less than a few hundreds listeners !), and especially those that didn't bother to publish any image with themselves, and sometimes people here just added albums covers for artist image, since there were none other pictures with them. Heck, a few such bad quality images I've added myself, due to this exact reason: I couldn't find any other decent one available...
I don't understand this stubbornly attitude that you have on this aspect, since bad quality for artists images is not by far a common issue on the site ! It's more like an exception than a rule !

NB: I don't dislike such an option (to be able to chose my favourite image for some artist (for example, I don't enjoy very much the current main image for my number 1 artist in my library ! I find other pictures more beautiful than this one. But .... I also wouldn't care that much as to change this one with an urgency). I just don't consider this as a high priority change that needs to be done on the site.

P.S. As a matter of fact, from all those requests made here from users, about certain picture that are offensive, ALL of them were already deleted by some staff member when I checked them myself, so, what can I say, my experience in this aspect is the exact opposite than yours... Perhaps your criteria for being "offensive" did not match the staff's own criteria, and maybe even the official rules of the site  ?
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James Joul

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Some of us like to browse artist images and even upload them ourselves. It's unfair to have the main image(s) dictated by one user instead of selected by the community as intended.

If you look at the images for many of the better-known pop artists around the site, for example, you'll start seeing the same usernames pop up. I've seen 9/10 top images that were uploaded by a single user - all with a suspiciously high number of upvotes in a very short period of time. These users even have "battles", downvoting each other's images and upvoting their own to try and get theirs to the top.

There are people using fake accounts to brute-force their way to the front. I've seen people own up to it. However, I believe in a lot of cases people are using an army of followers and friends to vote up their images. There even used to be a group specifically for doing this! I'm not sure if this makes it any better. You still end up with the same result.

The whole point is that this small feature would make a welcome addition. It would allow us to display the images we want on our profiles, not the ones that have been forced upon us or chosen by a broken system.
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Elliot Robinson

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If you look at the images for many of the better-known pop artists around the site, for example, you'll start seeing the same usernames pop up. I've seen 9/10 top images that were uploaded by a single user - all with a suspiciously high number of upvotes in a very short period of time.
This.

Also, I think with this new Last FM streamlining everyone's profiles away from customisation to facilitate a whole heap of adverts, then allowing users to choose their library images would be a nice compromise.
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Merowinger

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Good idea!
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anime world

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Love this idea
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ghostinthelight

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yay great idea!! 
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Jort

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I'm glad other people are bringing this to the developer's attention, too. I think we've come to a point where it's pretty much become the only fair way to go about picture selection.

I guess it could something like this. Not really a good mockup, of course, but this is kinda how I picture it.
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Jamie

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Yeah I definitely need this, Drake has an ugly face but a nice album, I want to put a picture of a puppy or something. 
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Amanda Morais

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Lmao
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J90

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LOL

But you actually bring up a point that should be addressed. Implementing this feature shouldn't mean that the current upload rules no longer apply. We don't want people abusing the feature and uploading random unrelated photos to an artist's gallery (but at least it'd only effect them unlike now where it effects everyone).
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Avariko

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Umm, no. That would be abusing the feature!
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jusO6

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Funny but not realistic :D
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Terrible

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This is a very good idea, id love to see that!!
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Vickie

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love this idea <3
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Va Lentina

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Please make this happen.
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karla souza

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YAS YAS YAS YAS PLEASE 10000X
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Lucas Feitoza

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They should do the same thing with album covers as well, it would make our lives much easier.
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K Midnitee

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I agree with this as a lot of albums have different color and artwork versions and people always fighting for the top picture.
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Rose De Perio

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I agree with this. Someone uploaded the wrong album cover for one of my favorite bands' albums. It's more like I think they thought that it was the page for the acoustic album when it's actually for the acoustic live DVD. Both of those are 2 totally different things because were recorded at different times and a fan made audio/mp3s for the DVD. So for a while the cover for the acoustic album was the main picture until I couldn't stand it anymore because it was really bothering me and I uploaded the correct album cover and hopefully it stays as the main picture forever.
(Edited)
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Eli P. G.

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I hate those trolls upvoting the ugliest band pictures...make this happen please.

please???

please

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
(Edited)
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Nigel Hitch

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yeah that's a pretty good idea
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Nigel Hitch

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pls do it before we die
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MetaKnight999

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Oh man, I'd be thrilled for this! I hate it when I finally get my favorite image or the image for my preferred artist (for shared band pages) up only to have it replaced the next day. Sometimes somebody uploads some really nice old pictures they found and they never go to the top because they have so little votes over the mains, and that really upsets me. Not to mention that people get so horrendously angry at the band who has the main while theirs doesn't; I've seen grown men have toddler-esque temper tantrums but with more swearing. I think that this would be a great solution to the horrible little band wars the shoutboxes get filled up when this happens.
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karla souza

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still waiting
(Edited)
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poisonapple

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great idea
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jusO6

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Especially due to the recent porn images being uploaded by troll users... No one wants this site to end up nsfw. my idea is starting to look more like a necessity...
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Joshua Wanless

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This would be a great feature!
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G.G.B.

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I endorse this idea and I think it would be effective to give a pin basically the same function as a vote, just with a higher weighting on the ranking. The result of 1 pin would be like 2 upvotes in the system for example, because you can only pin 1 picture per artist at a time.
(Edited)
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jusO6

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That's a neat little gimmick :)
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Elliot Robinson

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Personally, I disagree with a potential pin function having a heigher-weight vote, much as I love and want the pin function.

Firstly, it seems entirely pointless since the purpose of pinning an image is to circumvent the wonky voting that goes on in Last FM image libraries, so giving it an extra impact on the vote as well seems nonsensical.

Secondly, giving the pinning function a vote-effect will only give another avenue for abuse by those users who are inclined to make dummy accounts to vote their choice of images up.
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Wiraccc

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I agree with Elliot. In my opinion the reason this pin feature would be so great lies in the fact that it would make voting for pictures almost meaningless, I certainly wouldn't care half as much about which picture is top if I could choose which one is displayed on my profile and I doubt most people would bother with the cheating if that was the case. I don't think pinning should count as a vote, it should be its own separate feature.
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G.G.B.

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I don't see any reason here why the pin button should not have voting power. On the contrary, I think it would have some benefits: If you pin a picture to your account, it means you value it more over the others, you really want to see it on your profile page. Therefore it should also have a higher weighting than a normal like (or at least add some additional value to the standard like). I assume that the voting system is maintained in some way because if not, new users wouldn't have any presorted pictures at the beginning. The main point of voting is to sort the ranking of the pictures, so visitors can see the best on top. An other option would be to replace the voting and let pinning alone do the job of sorting the pictures.

On troll accounts who abuse the voting system, the pin-vote has no effect at all, because every account still has the same voting power as before. And if trolls use the pin button, they betray themselves because the pinned pictures show up on their account (at least for the Last.fm team but potentially for other users as well).
(Edited)
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Elliot Robinson

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The main point of voting is to sort the ranking of the pictures, so visitors can see the best on top
"Best" is subjective, hence the whole reason there's a voting system.

On troll accounts who abuse the voting system, the pin-vote has no effect at all, because every account still has the same voting power as before.
You could use this line to argue that troll accounts have no effect on regular voting and yet here we are.....

And if trolls use the pin button, they betray themselves because the pinned pictures show up on their account (at least for the Last.fm team but potentially for other users as well).
We are (or certainly I am) not talking about troll accounts, per se, but users abusing the voting system. There are clearly people uploading the image they want as the main and using a small army of dummy accounts to vote it to the top and sometimes even down vote other equally good (often new) images. In other words, steamrolling the voting system and removing its democratic nature.

Like I said before, the whole point and benefit of having a "pin image" feature is to circumvent the sometimes ineffective voting algorithm, and to quote Wiracc's reply: "I certainly wouldn't care half as much about which picture is top if I could choose which one is displayed on my profile".

With respect, G.G.B, what you are suggesting is focussing more on needlessly complicating the current voting system rather than a distinct feature with a clear benefit for users who are fed up with seeing the wrong image, a poor quality image, or a stubborn photo that just won't shift because of how the voting algorithm currently works - and as a bonus, it adds a level (albeit minor) of personalisation.

Ultimately, a pinned image only affects the individual user who decides to pin an image, whereas the current voting system, with all its flaws, affects everyone. This is why the pinned image, in my humble opinion needn't and shouldn't have an impact on the vote.
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G.G.B.

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"Best" is subjective, hence the whole reason there's a voting system.
Yes, what I meant with "best" was of course the picture that most people like the most.
You could use this line to argue that troll accounts have no effect on regular voting and yet here we are.....
No, what I meant was: Giving the pin button power to influence the ranking of pictures (similar to the "like" button) does not give trolls or creators of dummy accounts any more power than they already have. Dummies are not an argument against this function.
Like I said before, the whole point and benefit of having a "pin image" feature is to circumvent the sometimes ineffective voting algorithm
I support this idea because individual taste can differ from the majority, but I don't see how the pinning feature would be affected. My suggestion was to give the pin button an additional effect on the ranking of pictures in the voting system, not the other way around. In other words, using the pins to improve the voting: Pinning a picture to your profile would additionally have the effect of a "like++" and that doesn't interfer at all with its inherent functionality. It simply gives the system a better idea of which pictures are most valued by the users.
Ultimately, a pinned image only affects the individual user who decides to pin an image, whereas the current voting system, with all its flaws, affects everyone.
This is a description of functionality but not a problem in this case. Why would you want to prevent the pin button from being a factor in the picture ranking?

Imagine two pictures with the same amount of likes and dislikes. One of them has twice as much pins than the other. Doesn't this say something about the popularity? Should we just ignore this fact in the ranking? 
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Elliot Robinson

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Giving the pin button power to influence the ranking of pictures (similar to the "like" button) does not give trolls or creators of dummy accounts any more power than they already have.
Yes it does - their dummy accounts would also then have the weighted influence of the pinned image to strongarm the system!

Why would you want to prevent the pin button from being a factor in the picture ranking?
I'm merely pointing out that it's unnecessary and wouldn't improve things like you suggest...

Imagine two pictures with the same amount of likes and dislikes. One of them has twice as much pins than the other. Doesn't this say something about the popularity? Should we just ignore this fact in the ranking?
Yes, as its relative popularity is already covered by the up/down votes. If stalemates are the issue, let's tweak your example slighty: what if said images have the same number of pins, as well? If it's plausible they can have identical up/down votes, it's plausible they can also have the same number of pins. Still a stalemate. In this scenario, another factor would be required and as far as I'm aware, the voting system already does have another factor: it weights based on age of the upload and I think possibly age of votes, too. Therefore, as I said in my previous reply, your suggestion is redundant and merely makes the pinned image feature add an unnecessary level of complexity to the voting system (as well as another way for people to abuse the vote) when, generally speaking, the reason users want this feature is to avoid the voting system.
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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I like the simplicity of this idea (with some adjustments).  It could work like videos, and replace up/down votes with pins.  You see the image you've pinned, and visitors etc see the most pinned image (overall / recently popular).  Don't like a particular image? Pin the one you do.  Solves a lot problems around image galleries elegantly.  

The implementation though is the difficulty -- namely the cost associated with storing the image preferences of each and every artist for each and every user (65+ million users * 500+ million known artists).  More so, if you want to do album covers as well.
(Edited)
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James Joul

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How many of those are active users? More importantly, what percentage of the userbase would use this feature - and for how many of their artists?

Uploading images must also have a huge resource cost. Image files are large! But any user with ~40 Scrobbles can upload as many as they want. What's the average number of images a user uploads? Because, to me, Last.fm still feels like a ghost town in that area. There's certainly not 65 million people using this feature. 

On Last.fm I see shoutboxes and artist images that haven't been updated in years. I see user tag libraries that are completely empty. I see missing artwork everywhere. So I find it hard to believe that there will be 65 million users clipping each and every artist with their favourite picture. 
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Elliot Robinson

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I agree.

More importantly, what percentage of the userbase would use this feature - and for how many of their artists?
Exactly. I'm a daily visitor to Last FM but I would probably only use this on a small proportion of my library, on those artists who seem to have terrible top images or a library that seems stuck in the past with images from around a decade ago. I would guestimate up to 50 artists (as an upper range) out of the 1,500 in my library. Same with album artwork.
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Cornel Diaconu

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From a technical point of view, current option (that IS implemented and working) of taking a personal favorite video instead of the current default is prone to take much more space in the database if we assume that each user (65 Million) chose to set his/her personal favorite video for each song (more than ... what ? 5000 Millions ?).
Of course, probably less than 25% of songs in last.fm database have videos attached, but anyway the huge number of such choices does not crush the database, so I will assume that adding this option for pinning a image for an artist will also not impede greatly on the database system.

Probably will add a few extra microseconds to load the artist's page (because there will be another condition to check before displaying data).
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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>>> I find it hard to believe that there will be 65 million users clipping each and every artist with their favourite picture. 

You're right, and the storage stuff can probably be figured out, as with videos (though it's still additional storage space per user that we're not paying for currently).  However it then raises the question: if few people are actually likely to use it, and only for a handful of their top artists, can we really justify spending time and resources on building it?  Right now?  Ahead of other site improvements and features?  Doubtful...

This is why I'm saying that, if we did let users pick artist images for their profile, it's more likely to be a subscriber feature -- because you can make a stronger case for it.  But I do like the pins suggestion as an alternative to votes, and I think it's still at least worth raising with the team for consideration.
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James Joul

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However it then raises the question: if few people are actually likely to use it, and only for a handful of their top artists, can we really justify spending time and resources on building it?  Right now?  Ahead of other site improvements and features?
Yeah, that's the real question. Like you mentioned earlier, you're a small team and need to carefully decide what to work on. An extra customisation feature might not be worth the time and effort when there are bigger things to work on.

However, I think this feature has a lot of potential as it could essentially fix many problems with the image voting system while also giving users' profiles a more personalised touch. Two birds with one stone. It's also one of the highest voted threads on here. So users do want it. 

Either way, I'm glad we're having a conversation about potential new features and their viability. 
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Wiraccc

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You see the image you've pinned, and visitors etc see the most pinned image (overall / recently popular).

Personally, I would like visitors to my profile to see the image I've pinned, not the most popular one that they would see on an artist page. IIt could also solve the current issue of multiple artists with the same name, visitors could see with a quick glance at the pic which of the artists is the one the owner of the page holds dearest. Only showing the pinned image for the owner of the page would be better than nothing but in my opinion showing it to everyone is far better.

This is why I'm saying that, if we did let users pick artist images for their profile, it's more likely to be a subscriber feature -- because you can make a stronger case for it.
I'm all for this. The subscriber benefits are quite weak at the moment, something needs to be added to make it more worth the money.
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Elliot Robinson

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I second what Wiracc says. The pinning feature, if implemented, ought to work globally rather than purely from the perspective of an individual user.

It could also solve the current issue of multiple artists with the same name, visitors could see with a quick glance at the pic which of the artists is the one the owner of the page holds dearest
Great point - another reason to add this feature, certainly if unique artist pages are difficult to successfully implement / unfeasible.