The wrong apostrophe issue that ruins scrobbling without you realising it

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  • Updated 3 years ago
This has been an issue for Last.FM forever (apologies if already raised, couldn't find it anywhere), and so I'm hoping now that changes are being made to the library that perhaps this can now be fixed for good.

There are two different type of apostrophes, one is correct, and the other is wrong. But you might not even realise you've got the wrong one. Sometimes, the wrong one is used on Spotify and elsewhere, and it mucks up scrobbling. You'll have no idea until you delve into your library and realise that you've been scrobbling the same song as two completely different entries, all because they used different apostrophes.

For instance, this is an incorrect type of apostrophe (note the shape of it in 'I'm):

http://www.last.fm/music/White+Denim/_/Holda+You+(I%E2%80%99m+Psycho)

This is the actual correct one, and is the apostrophe that should come up when you type it on your keyboard - the apostrophe even appears properly in the URL:

http://www.last.fm/music/White+Denim/_/Holda+You+(I'm+Psycho)

Is there any way that Last.FM can create a piece of code that turns all incorrect apostrophes into the correct one automatically? I can't see there being a time where you need the incorrect version?

This would fix so many errors across the site in one easy (I hope) step without the need for us to individually tell you of the wrong entries.

Thanks
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Tom Eames

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Posted 3 years ago

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Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

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As far as I remember, MusicBrainz has it the other way round, i.e. they prefer the first spelling. I would also use the second one though.
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gw666

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If the data is imported from musicbrainz, you'll get the typographic apostrophe from your first example. Then it would be simple to autocorrect all track titles that differ in one character only.
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Tom Eames

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I hope a simple autocorrect can fix this!
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Jason Freedman

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There is only one apostrophe on my keyboard (english) and that is the (').  This has caused any song/artist/album that has an apostrophe in it's title to NOT scrobble after I use my ipod "on the go" and then plug in to my desktop and initiate scrobbling manually.  These same titles DO scrobble when I play from my desktop.  This has been happening for YEARS now. 

Is there a simple fix for this that will allow BOTH types of apostrophes to scrobble?
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Profoundemonium

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Musicbrainz also use square brackets around untitled tracks (for no apparent reason) which means there are a lot of "[untitled]" and "Untitled" tracks that need to be merged.
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itsgbitch

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That is REALLY annoying, I hope it can somehow be automatically fixed someday. Also, I never understood some of MusicBrainz style guidelines, I always change (’) to (') when I see it credited that way.
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Fitoschido

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Well, actually, the typographical (or “curly”) one is the correct version. But people has been so dumbed down by the inventors of ASCII (or rather, the inventors of the typewriter) that we’re having these confusions.

Ideally, Last.fm would merge scrobblings with both the straight and curly characters and display only the curly one (showing they care about typography).
(Edited)
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itsgbitch

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That's kinda non-sense, most people don't even have that character on their keyboards. It's like being against the evolution of things, wouldn't you also want everyone to go back to listening to cassette then?
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Fitoschido

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The fact that your default US keyboard doesn’t include special characters doesn’t invalidate my argument, but of course, you seem to have never used a word processor nor opened a book and looked at the apostrophes and quotation marks. And your analogy to going back to cassettes is waaay off.

It may be a cultural thing — in my language we seem to be more savvy for these things, or at least we are used to it (for example, we use these «quotation marks», also known as guillemets). Why it seems to be that native English speakers have a phobia for any character beyond ASCII?
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itsgbitch

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Except this is Last.fm, a music catalogue, not a book. If you check most official sources for music nowadays they constantly use ASCII, so why do you wanna go against it except for your personal preference? And I don't even have a US keyboard nor am a native English speaker, ASCII is not exclusive to US. Oh, and it's not a phobia, the same way you're used to such typographically correct characters because of your language, most people are used to ASCII, so yes, it's a cultural thing.
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Tom Eames

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Found another instance of this problem.

This track: http://www.last.fm/music/Owl+City/_/Dreams+Don%E2%80%99t+Turn+To+Dust

It features the 'wrong' kind of apostrophe: ’

But if I now scrobble the track (since the last.fm site change) with the correct apostrophe ' or the wrong one ’ - it automatically scrobbles as this track: http://www.last.fm/music/Owl+City/_/Dreams+Don%27t+Turn+to+Dust - technically two different tracks in the last.fm library, but however I scrobble it, it won't go in the previous versions stats that I had scrobbled initially (the wrong ’ )

Hope that makes sense, it's pretty tricky trying to explain it!

Apologies for raising this in two separate posts of mine, but it's a serious issue that probably impacts lots of people's scrobbles without them realising it, and it's surely an easy fix (erase all the wrong apostrophes).
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Jennica

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Apostrophes in tags causing two separate scrobbles.

I am trying to fix a little tagging on my page and just manually scrobbled a song. It shows up as a separate song now because of some apostrophe discrepancy in this site. 

Same thing happened with 
Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter's Daughter
Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter

Now it's happening with:
Let’s Get Lost - the one with most plays
Let's Get Lost

Same song but the apostrophes are different. This is even after copying and pasting the correct one. 
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Jason Freedman

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Any updates or mentions of a possible fix for this?  It's getting old using Universal Scrobbler to fill in the holes for every Artist, Song or Album that uses an apostrophe ( ' )
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Andreas_Wotte

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A few days ago I've read a good suggestion. Until the staff solved this issue, it's perhaps useful to use Picard from Musicbrainz to tag the own music files and to avoid the apostrophe issue. Maybe later you post your experience Jason or teach me, if I'm wrong.