Can Last.fm drop the 'artist feat. artist' pages and just list the featurings on the song titles like it's always been?

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I'm asking because it does nothing other than mess the library up, since right now the most popular way people listen to music is Spotify and they DON'T give you the chance to edit your tags, so it is just separating the scrobbles, not to mention it makes it look as if the album has more than one main artist, when in most of the cases it's just featurings. If we were talking about duets, I'd understand, but on featurings it's really unecessary.

Please reconsider this! Thanks.
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Rodrigo Manzani

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Posted 1 year ago

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KatyLB, Moderator

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One of the problems with this is that there's not really a universal consensus on how to tag featured artists. The following methods are all favoured by different people:

Artist feat. Artist - Title
Artist ft. Artist - Title
Artist - Title (ft. Artist)
Artist - Title (feat. Artist)
Artist - Title

Personally, I favour not displaying the featured artists on Last.fm at all, as I've never liked seeing artist names in the track title (as they're not part of the title) but don't like them in the artist field as it ruins my stats by separating artists. Equally-billed duets are an exception. So, I'd like to see them merged like that, stripping that data out. But others would then disagree, so it's difficult to apply universally.

Autocorrections that merge artists and tracks would be the way to handle this on a case-by-case basis, decided by a consensus from the community, but it isn't currently possible to add new autocorrects. We're hoping that capability will return soon.
(Edited)
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He's dead, Jim!

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KatyLB, Moderator

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That sort of guideline is what I use in my own music library, but it works atrociously for Last.fm statistics and scrobbling. You can end up with someone like Kendrick Lamar, the #1 artist right now, being covered across about 30 or 40 artist pages due to the number of guests on his tracks. Someone like Röyksopp's artist page ends up being fairly inaccurate, because their most popular tracks feature Robyn, so they'd be partly off elsewhere, affecting the numbers.

It might not be the most accurate choice for metadata, but in my opinion (which I'm sure will differ from others), that sort of thing should be stripped out of the system entirely by autocorrections. It usually seems to have been historically already, except for - as I mentioned - a number of cases where the featured artist is really famous. But to take the example from their page, do users here really want a separate artist page for "Tinchy Stryder featuring Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Example, Chipmunk" or does it make far more sense, given the nature of scrobbling, to merge that to Tinchy Stryder, where the song with all those features is 4th?

I guess the overlying point, though, is that it's a matter of debate, being nowhere as clear-cut as - for example - Spotify remaster information. Consequently, it's hard to have a consensus for it here.
(Edited)
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WiktoRozrabiaka

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Last.fm should make a possibility, to fill in the feats, without affecting the artist/title name. It would be also cool to see on the artist's page on whcich tracks they are featured.

Featured artists and other credit, can also be mentioned in the song wiki.
(Edited)
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Marpo08

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@He's dead, Jim!

In an ideal world, I'd be using MusicBrainz' guidelines consistently. However, they'd mess up my Last.fm statistics.


'Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland', for instance, is NOT a separate artist, but a collaboration including 3 artists. Last.fm not being able to recognize that is atrocious.
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Elliot Robinson

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Agreed, Marpo. Ideally, Last FM needs to somehow be able to recognise artists and featured artists.

There is a likely problem with scrobbles, though. Using your example, a scrobble credit would need to/should appear under Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, but the system would need to only classify this as a single global scrobble, rather than three scrobbles. I imagine this is where the technical difficulty would occur should Last FM's team try and implement such a system.
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Elliot Robinson

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In an ideal world, Last FM would have a similar system to Spotify where it can show the featured artist alongside the track, greyed out, but it only counts as a scrobble for the main artist.

I am in general agreement with Laura about how to tag but as mentioned, there isn't a universal "right" way. I think the important thing is to be consistent.

I used to have featured info on the track but it does make it look more messy. I tend to include this info in the "comments" section of the file tag. Certainly I agree having "artist feat. artist" pages is not a good solution and creates far too many pages within the database.

Generally speaking, I only include a featured artist in the track name if it is a new version of an original song. For example: Whitney Houston's "If I Told You That", the album solo version vs the single version she did with George Michael; or Lady Gaga's "Do What U Want", the album (untagged) version features R. Kelly while she recorded a new single version with Christina Aguilera, etc.

So, I'd like to see them merged like that, stripping that data out.
This makes sense but I can see how this would potentially lead to versions being combined that shouldn't, like the two examples I listed above it. Spotify often doesn't seem to make a distinction for these sorts of instances, which is frustrating from a Last FM stats perspective. Ideally, you'd have a system where Last FM can see the source album in your file tag and know the right version of the song - either that or just have an ability to turn off autocorrections apart from for the most egregious errors.
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sp0623

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Dance music single and EP releases have almost always used the 'Artist feat. Artist - Track Name (Artist Remix)' format in case of featured artists and remixers involved, if any. I've always followed this format as it not only looks logical and correct but also compact. Logical, as the artist names (including featured artists), go on the artist field and the track name field contains nothing but the track name and the remixer name if any. An album like format such as 'Artist - Track Name (feat. Artist) (Artist Remix)' would not only look cumbersome in this case but also illogical. Featured artists are important enough to merit a credit along with the main artist, otherwise, why feature them in the first place. So I'm in favor of retaining the 'artist feat. artist' pages. Correctness, logic and a just credit for featured artists are my main concerns, extra pages are not. One can opt the album-like format in case of albums though.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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A guide has just been published by Jon which gives an official line on this, confirming that it's Last.fm's view that featured artists should be included in brackets in the track title.
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tapenoon

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what Elliot said ^. I would happily volunteer too as I'm sure many others would. 
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Also, Wikto, to return to your questions, I would enter those in the database as:

1. Quebonafide x 2sty - Ciernie (feat. Justin Bieber)

2. This artist has made it impossible for us to differentiate between scrobbles of the track, but you could choose in your own music library to perhaps denote them by their separate producers, and therefore scrobble them, as:

Fokus & Pezet & Małolat & O.S.T.R. - Komplet (Produced by Big-Bo)
Fokus & Pezet & Małolat & O.S.T.R. - Komplet (Produced by Młody)

Producer credits wouldn't normally go in a track title like that, but it's a case where going against the guidelines would be the right thing to do.
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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To clarify, these are the old site correction mapping guidelines, mainly for reference. Since we should be bringing corrections back later this year, seemed like a good time to refresh people's memories.  The keyword there of course is guidelines not 'rules'. As Elliot pointed out there are some things, such as "The Spotify EffectTM" which weren't a thing when these guidelines were originally written and may need to be taken into account.  As always, use common sense where appropriate; and keep in mind that your scrobble data is your own and you're free to organise it how you want.

It's probably worth keeping in mind that the new catalogue schema is eventually supposed to support collaborations / collaborative works.  If and when that happens (depends on our priorities) we may change how these items are displayed on the site and will revise the guidelines accordingly.  


>>>Well, not in general. According to the guide, it is only in the cases "where no full release exists as the collaboration".

For artists:

"9. Only map to such joint artist names if a full release exists under the joint name and it's obvious from the credits that it's not just a guest appearance."

For tracks:

"7. For track-level collaborations, i.e. where no full release exists as the collaboration, put the featuring artist in brackets after the track name if that artist is credited on the release."

If in doubt, check with Musicbrainz and Discogs to see if they agree, as well as other catalogues, Wikipedia, and what other Last.fm members are doing (a blank last.fm catalogue page with only a handful of listeners is usually a fair indication that you might not have the correct tags).  Failing that ask a moderator for their opinion, use common sense, and keep in mind the general points of artist intent and making things easy to find on the website. 
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Elliot Robinson

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"The Spotify EffectTM"
*angrily shakes fist in the air*

Any thoughts / comments about the recruitment of volunteers to help with the low-level stuff (like incorrect capitalisations), Jon?
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WiktoRozrabiaka

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What if there is more than one artist featuring in a song. Should it be "Title (feat. Artist 1, Artist 2)" or "Title (feat. Artist 1 & Artist 2)"