Spotify's atrocious tags

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Spotify has some of the most atrocious tags ever. :/ I often avoid playing things with such tags (anything with a hyphen where parenthesis should be, for example). It screws with stats and they're ugly. Can something be implemented to correct improperly tagged stuff scrobbled from spotify faster/more effectively than the old system? Other sources as well of course, spotify just seems to be the worst offender to me.
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psychicfork013

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Posted 4 years ago

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Rattrocker

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While I'd like there to be a simple answer I am afraid that there isn't. Who decides what is correct punctuation? Even official physical pressings from record companies have different punctuation  especially with hyphens, commas, and colons. Spotify may take precedence because regardless of how accurate it may be to what you think the punctuation should be it is well established. The old site had the "suggest a correction" feature which I thought was great as it seemed to me that the most common punctuation would become standard and if it wasn't what I had so be it.

Now something that I do think could help remedy this would be to allow you to modify how a track is scrobbled or appears in your library. Perhaps let you modify a scrobble's track data/tags within 24 hours or 48 hours of scrobbling to fix typos and other errors from other websites/scrobbles. That would let you fix inconsistent scrobbles with what is already in your library as well as accidental typos with stuff you scrobble from your own library rather straight up delete a scrobble.
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Cassandra-Leo

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Who decides what is correct punctuation?

Usually, the artist, I'd imagine. I'd prefer it if last.fm would just use MusicBrainz' database to determine these things.

I agree with the suggestion of allowing correction of previous scrobbles, but 48 hours isn't enough. Some of us have had our accounts for 10 years or longer, and a lot of functionality didn't even exist on the site yet - albums weren't even displayed at the time, leading people not to care about getting their album tags right. Ideally I'd like to be able to enact my own auto-corrections for my library alone, and beyond that, resubmit scrobbles dating back to the establishment of the website, since I had some anomalies in my old plays. But given how little last.fm has listened to us thus far, I don't expect any of this to get implemented.
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Rattrocker

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I feel the same about retroactively fixing things from long ago Aaron (although I've only been here five-ish years) I just don't think they would allow it (as they've stated on the old forums). I put the hour limit on there as an arbitrary time limit for new scrobbles but I'd still like to fix old scrobbles. As of now anything I couldn't fix is deleted but I know they can restore it (they had an undelete feature on the old site) so I know if a function was implemented to fix old scrobbles I would undelete them and do so.

As far as correct punctuation, there are a lot of bands out there who don't particularly care about how a song is spelled and often refer to songs by part of their name. MusicBrains, I agree, would be really useful and probably most ideal for this site to implement.

Perhaps my biggest problem/pet peeve is how even websites like MusicBrainz will add things like (2007 Remix) or (Live) to the end of track names which will then list a song multiple times on Last.fm depending on what is appended to the end. While correct as far as meta data goes I still think it shouldn't show up in chart data. Perhaps a real solution would be to group all such differentiations under one umbrella track including typos and punctuation differentiation using something akin to the old correct track spelling feature on the old site.
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psychicfork013

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Rattrocker:

Me, I do :D

I think my bigger issue with this is mostly (Remastered xxxx) (especially since I usually can't tell the difference and the tag is therefore meaningless to me), (explicit), etc. on every single damn track, especially albums that are already denoted as such in the album field (those ugly tags bother me too, but not as much since they weren't directly on our profile pages until now).

I actually always accepted parenthesis as the standard way to express remixes, live versions, and all the other stuff. It just makes the most sense to me to enclose something like that. I also always accepted 'Songname, Part 1' as a universal standard. Obviously anything that's actually part of the song's/artist's/album's name is different but I truly think extra information like remixes and such should use a universally standard form. I generally trust MusicBrainz to do this properly, although every now and then improper tags sneak in.

I used that feature a lot in the hopes it would help my beloved library. I'm pretty sure none of my corrections made it but I was relentless. One of the suggestions I made before was some kind of progress meter or something that would tell me if I'm actually getting anywhere with it because it always seemed hopeless. For entire albums plagued by stupid remastered tags, bulk editing would be great. In Word and likely many other text editors you can highlight stuff vertically. If there was a similar function on last.fm it would be extremely useful and could allow bulk editing.

Individual tag correction would be helpful, but it would very much need to go past 48 hours. We need to be able to fix the ones that have been plaguing our pages for years (I've been here a little over 7 years). Although ultimately I really really want a solution to fix it across the entire website, this would be a good start.

I'm not sure if this would work, but perhaps a setting to choose tag style for individual users to be able to see when browsing the website? The stats would still be screwy since it wouldn't actually be able to fix the tags this way. I don't know, I didn't really think that one through.

I write too much.

Aaron Freed:

MusicBrainz would be ideal in my opinion as well. They do occasionally have some incorrect things, but it's not very often and would be a hell of a lot easier to correct. Especially if it synchronized with updates on MusicBrainz as I'm pretty sure it's easier (or more efficient anyway) to submit corrections on there than it ever was on this once lovely website. It would definitely be easier than getting all the other sources that can scrobble to use it (what is it, like 600 now or something?), although I do wish spotify would use it even without last.fm in mind, they're just straight up ugly. I seriously wish streaming services and people cared about tags more. v.v I mean, damn, look at this shit - http://www.last.fm/music/Mourning+Ritual/+tracks
they have one song. ONE. And at least 50 entries because nobody cares to tag it right.

I got carried away, lol I'm sorry.
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Rattrocker

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I think the biggest issue with tags at the end of song names is that no one does it the same. I agree that parenthesis are most ideal but some users follow strictly what a physical copy lists, which may use brackets or something else, while others (like me) just delete the tags and memorize what is what by the track number and/or album or use the comments data field for each music file on my computer.

To be honest, I think a complete site rewrite would be required to get this to work how we want. There would need to "master" versions of each song and then each individual spelling/variation would need to be mapped to a master version of each song. Websites like RateYourMusic and Discogs use this for albums and then aggregate ratings and relevant data into the master releases while still preserving the children/individual versions. While this shouldn't be too difficult to implement, it would require updating nearly everything on the website to work with the new system as well as making all the old scrobbles work with the new data. This newest update, which was just a GUI overhaul for the most part, has left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths and I don't trust they'd be able to overhaul their primary feature flawlessly considering this GUI update, which should have been simple if everything was fixed before launch, has rather stumbled through the door.

Also considering how Last.fm adds tracks to its database vs how RYM and Discogs does, it could be chaotic since those sites require approval while Last.fm just creates a new page when something new is scrobbled. New tracks would have to be added as master tracks and then demoted to children of a master track manually if they end up being typos/variations of a song.
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Rattrocker

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Also those Bad Moon Rising scrobbles are atrocious. I completely forgot about bringing up how songs get "ft. artist name" added to the end as well. It's something I find extremely annoying as well, even more than "(live)" and other tags since it more often than not applies to all versions of a song and is more of a promotion technique than anything else. That is a completely different discussion though so I won't expand on it past the fact that it is relevant to the grouping/song name tag discussion we have going.
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MetalWolf

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This! I recently got a Spotify account and now I'm forced to choose between not listening to tracks with these annoying tags like (Live version) etc., or alternatively inevitably messing up all my Last.fm stats. Right now it seems that the only workaround is to delete the Spotify scrobbles and resubmit them with Universal Scrobbler.

I'm not particularly interested in which punctuation/tag/spelling is correct, I just want it to be consistent with the tracks I scrobbled before I started using Spotify.

I understand if this is not a trivial problem to solve, but it shouldn't be impossible... It'd be nice if we could somehow merge the track from Spotify with the one that was already in my library into one track, or something. Or any other solution.

Like everyone else, I think the new website looks horrible and there's a lot to rant about, but if this issue could somehow be fixed in the new website it'd be totally worth it for me.
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Cornel Diaconu

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I wonder about something: you dislike these "addons" as "(Live)" or similar because you just dislike them, or they are actually wrong ?
Because I, for one, prefer to have the song differentiated with such addon as (Live) rather than have it as it is on the album version !
(after all, it IS a different performance, the live one, isn't it ?  slight mix of the melody, audience singing along the artist a.s.o. ).
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MetalWolf

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I'm just interested in how often I listen to a song, be it a live version or an album version. I understand your opinion to have them differentiated as well. The point is that I decided not to differentiate them for my previous scrobbles, which makes the Spotify scrobbles inconsistent. Moreover, some live versions have the "(Live)" addon on Spotify, others have "- Live", others have nothing.

The main problem is really not whether it's wrong or right, and I'm not claiming any tag to be wrong. The main problem for me is how to make the Spotify scrobbles consistent with the older scrobbles of the same song.
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Rattrocker

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@Cornel I know some people like it so my proposed solution was to let each individual correct it themselves in their library or not. As for Artist page statistics, I think grouping all such variations under umbrella master tracks would be the best solution. It would allow you to keep your data but also allow more accurate statistics to truly see how popular a song is regardless of the version of the song.
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psychicfork013

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MetalWolf:
Like everyone else, I think the new website looks horrible and there's a lot to rant about, but if this issue could somehow be fixed in the new website it'd be totally worth it for me.
Lol I wouldn't go that far personally. I need my charts back first because they were what made it worth it for me to care.

Like I said in my previous reply above:
I'm not sure if this would work, but perhaps a setting to choose tag style for individual users to be able to see when browsing the website? The stats would still be screwy since it wouldn't actually be able to fix the tags this way. I don't know, I didn't really think that one through.

In your particular case I think what may work is the main song title with the total playcount having an expandable and collapsible menu to group all other versions (live, remixes (maybe?)), etc.) with their respective playcounts in order to avoid such issues. Of course this should be an option like almost every other suggestion I've ever had for this site. This seems like it would be an interesting and useful way to display it. Them being right is important to me as they just look dumb to me otherwise.

Rattrocker:

I guess this is similar to what I wrote about the expandable/collapsible menu? I didn't read each reply before writing this. I think it would be good for this to be across the website as my preference is a mix between MetalWolf's and Cornel's. I want the different versions to be accounted for but I also want it to contribute to the main song's playcount.
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Rattrocker

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I wholeheartedly agree with your idea angriestchair on the collapsible menus. I sort of expanded on it not too long before I replied here with my comment regarding a site rewrite (just control+f "rewrite" or look for my reply to your reply where you go "Me, I do :D").
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david bauwens

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Just don't use streaming services? I don't even get why people stream music. What's wrong with the massive mp3 libraries we all built up over all those years, spending countless hours on lovingly checking the tags? 
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somepixiessong

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Well, I don't get why people use Netflix - what's wrong with VCR? Or Amazon - what's wrong with brick-and-mortar stores? Or digital music - what's wrong with CD's? Hell, I don't get why people use email - what's wrong with writing a letter?

Nothing's wrong with building up mp3 libraries, but there's nothing wrong with streaming all the music you could think of in addition to the music you own, either. It's all valid, to each their own.
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psychicfork013

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david:

Well I used to have a massive collection (like 40,000+ tracks) and it was pretty damn well organized. I'm going to rebuild it but not until I buy a new computer. Some of it was saved from my old computer but it's mixed in with my boyfriend's music, a lot of which I don't like.

While maintaining a localized collection is great, streaming has its place too. Spotify and last.fm (formerly, haven't tried out the new radio yet) are pretty much the only ones I really use, at least that I scrobble with. I like being able to look up anything, save it to a playlist and play it. All of it without limitations on how many songs by the same artist I can play (well that's actually more of why I like Spotify over other streaming services but oh well).

I'm not saying keeping a localized collection is silly, but rather that it does have its place and it serves an important purpose. It would be silly to say that and depend on an online collection that could go down at anytime. I mean, look what happened to our beloved last.fm :/

Anyway, like I said, I do plan on rebuilding my collection just in case the internet explodes. But for now I believe Spotify streaming is great for my purposes, and I intend on using it alongside a localized collection once I have it all sorted out.

Also this all made sense in my head soooo yeah. >.>
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somepixiessong

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I gotta say that Spotify's tags bother me as well - but it's definitely a difficult problem to crack for Last.fm, I can only assume that it would create a lot of additional complexity (database-/code-/UI-wise) if they'd allow us to edit submitted data ourselves.

I personally have shifted most of my streaming to Apple Music because a) the tags are much cleaner to begin with and b) Apple Music allows you to change ANY tag for music in your streaming library. I consider that to be one of Apple Music's most useful features because I can fix track names, artist names and album names as well as stuff like genre and composer to keep everything exactly as I like it. And I can change all that stuff before it ever reaches my Last.fm library.
The big downside: Apple Music doesn't work with the Last.fm Radio (and probably never will)...
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Cornel Diaconu

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Hmm...  but I wonder if what you have the liberty to modify when streaming from your Apple Music account remains definitive or you just have to re-apply your modifications when you come back to that tracks and play them again :-)
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somepixiessong

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Oh no, you don't have to re-apply any changes - it's exactly like editing tags on your own/local music, only that the music is located on Apple's servers and doesn't actually "belong" to you. Every modification you make is permanent for as long as you're an Apple Music subscriber.
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psychicfork013

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This sounded really nice but unfortunately itunes (especially the newer bloated versions), iphones, and ipads are all dealbreakers for me. If it had a standalone player like spotify I might be able to get on board. I also prefer the forever option of free vs premium spotify.
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SillyMusicLover

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Personal autocorrection is the only solution for this. The other way is to hire ten thousand monkey moderators which would correct wrong tags and merge tracks/artists/albums for food.
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psychicfork013

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Crowdsourcing could have been good for this. Being a monkey on the old site seems like it wouldn't have been so bad to me. I've done a lot of crowdsourcing too though and was usually working for pennies anyway so maybe that's why it doesn't seem so bad. Plus I really really want them fixed, damnit. >:
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Alin

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Not only that, but I think that Spotify is directly or indirectly resposible for this new Last.fm site. Followers/following, title - artist, rounded avatars, big fonts, poor usability, round buttons, are clearly Spotify "trademarks".
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tapenoon

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No, it is not, Alin. It's not Spotify's or anyone else's fault for that matter, that Last.fm owners / developers / staff can't come up with their own original ideas design-wise and decide to copy them instead. 
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Alin

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We don't know the exact details. Maybe Spotify agreed to collaborate with Last.fm (streaming) with the condition that the latter must adapt their design to the former, who knows...

Speculations or not, there are too many similarities between Spotify's and Last.fm's designs. The only big exception is that Spotify has a dark theme.

PS: Another thing that I noticed: that menu (under the header) with an underlined link. Also the big header.

http://cdni.wired.co.uk/620x413/w_z/web-player-artist.jpg
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psychicfork013

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tl;dr I don't know

I think the follower/following thing is mostly just a trend that they feel need to follow. A lot of places do it and I honestly wouldn't even mind it if they didn't get rid of friends alongside it. Facebook has both now and I almost didn't even notice.

Song first on Spotify for some reason doesn't bother me. Maybe because the artists are still aligned in their column. On spotify's taskbar it's listed as 'artist - title' (although I blocked it from updating so I don't know if they've changed it). If they'd implemented it so artists were at least lined up it might not be so bad. Still a dumb change, it only really looks right with collections.

Well since I forgot that most people are on a newer version of spotify a lot has changed in it and is likely what you're drawing all this from, the rest of this is judging from screenshots.

I didn't realize spotify changed to round avatars. All of mine are square or have slightly rounded corners. I never really payed too much attention on mobile. They look pretty bad in the picture you linked. ugh

The fonts in the picture don't look too bad. They look reasonable and there's at least room in the header for longer names. Cbs was just like "how big before we end up setting the server room on fire".

There are many things I dislike about spotify's usability, but I will never be able to have it fixed because I refuse to update it. If only I could do that here. :l The current versions probably do have shit usability. I can't really tell from screenshots (it does look weird though, what is the album cover doing over there >_<) but the version I have does a pretty good job of performing its basic function: letting me play whatever the hell I want. They did take away the library in the version after mine and added that stupid artists/albums/tracks section you have to add things one by one to, but that's the only poor usability factor I know of. I guess last.fm would be taking part of its direction from the versions following mine then.

Those round buttons look dumb too, but they are at least labeled. I wouldn't mind the dumbass buttons if they were labeled.

At least spotify's headers don't look ridiculous. It looks good on my version and the picture you posted as well. You don't just see their eyebrows.

Lol I'm not really sure why I wrote all that. That was pointless. Just like this update.
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The Legless Eel of Desperation

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Just use Universal Scrobbler, although I do worry that, one day, the combined bright sparks of last.fm and CBS - being plugged, as they indelibly are, into the corporate spirit of the time - are going to prohibit us from using that instead of Spotify.

Shouldn't give them ideas, eh?
(Edited)
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psychicfork013

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It seems there's a limit on how many you can do a day without paying for it. I don't really care about it that much to actually pay for it, especially without having the charts. They were what made me care about keeping them tidy.
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Rattrocker

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I paid for the lifetime Universal Scrobbler when the old site was around (was like 5 bucks or something) since I used it a lot to fix shit that I recently screwed up. Was a bit disappointed to find out Last.fm wouldn't let me scrobble to all the way back to when I joined (I think the cap is like 2 or 4 weeks from the present time to scrobble). I was actually set on hand re-scrobbling everything with correct timestamps and tags and all but I also understand editing older data gets exponentially more heavy on the servers as it has to update even more charts and whatnot.
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RasmV

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I know this is an old topic, but I find it very important!!

I think a useful feature to add would be a scrobble data editor/converter so people can edit and "merge" differently named versions of the same track/album. That way we could clean up our libraries and charts. At the moment they are all messed up - thanks to Spotify et al - and it looks ugly as ****.

 Ideally it would be possible to edit data all the way back to were one started on Last.fm.

Please, can we get an official answer from Last.fm staff?!
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Hornswoop

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Great idea.
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G.G.B.

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That would be a major improvement. I'm tagging my mp3 files as good as I can and when I listen to the same track on Spotify's stream or another radio station, it ruins everything.