There's too much remastered version in Spotify. It's messy and lousy.

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'Remastered, Reissue, Bonus Tracks, Radio Edit...etc'... I'm sure that no one cares about these things. Why these tags still remaining after the srobble? I think that auto-correction exists to eliminated these kind of things. I began to use Spotify last year and now i naturally avoid to use it.
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Ad No

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Posted 4 years ago

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Pellitero, Alum

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Hi, 

Once the music catalogue corrections are re-implemented, we will be able to 'merge' all these different track versions into one. Releases will probably have to be displayed individually as they contain different recordings.
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gnosyak

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That would be nice, but I also wish I can edit the title of release... Top albums chart does not show my most listened albums in order correctly due to wrong album titles(and messy tags by Spotify). Album scrobbles are scattered everywhere.
(Edited)
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Tom Stephen

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I have a question - will it be applied for "remastered/radio edit" only, or "(live)" track versions? It's a bit tricky question, as it's still the same song, but live versions sometimes are really different. (personally I want them separately)
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Andreas_Wotte

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Hi Pellitero! Is your official response still valid?
If yes, is there a solution in sight for 2018?
If no, do you think, my suggestion below can be an alternative?
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Jan

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"Once the music catalogue corrections are re-implemented,...." and this official reply is at least 3 years old. I don't think official reactions should be taken all too seriously. How much seriousness would you expect after this amount of time? "Once ...." yeah, that can pretty much cover anything from a few months to a couple of years and more. Just be honest and say you have no clue at all when.
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RodrigoPRS

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3 years ago.
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Lan Pham

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Hey, how it's going with this?
The Beatles are now available on Spotify and I'm really happy about that but then I saw this:
And it's all gonna be scrobbled that way ; __ ;
(Edited)
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Ahmet Kun

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Still waiting...
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Patrick

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Still waiting...
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KatyLB, Moderator

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It isn't going to be possible until the core system that will enable redirections and mergers again is replaced, and it's still being built. Jon's post here suggests it'll be completed soon, so the first step is almost here.
(Edited)
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Patrick

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I hope it'll be completed until early April.
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kamilk1ero

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Great, noone gives a fuck :) 
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Elliot Robinson

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I agree with the general comment, but things like "radio edit" are very important since a radio cut of a song can not only be significantly shorter but also an entirely different mix.

Furthermore, I've noticed that many songs which are technically the single version, radio edit, radio mix, etc, are assigned the standard, untagged title, whereas it really ought to be the "album version" that is the untagged song since this is technically the original version.

It all boils down to how accurate you want your stats to be, I suppose.

That said, I totally agree about "remastered" and "bonus track" tags.
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thejebber

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Absolutely. While I agree with the general direction of merging some of these things, single remixes, extended versions, 12-inch mixes, etc., should not get sucked into this.
(Edited)
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Leonardo leo

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2 years later and the problem still remains. I'm so disappointing

David Bowie — Soul Love - 2012 Remastered Version
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Jorge Cárcamo M.

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Agree with you, I don't know how this is not a top priority. The main purpose of Last.fm are scrobbles (if I'm not wrong), so to have so many title songs wrong tagged, seems like an issue to fix much more important than add venues for concert or things like that
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george dedas

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an idea that could possible address this issue, a clone personal library totally editable by each user where everyone can merge(either manually or with a tool) his/her clone library. Current library with current auto-corrections is not affected by the personal cloned library
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Patrick

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I hate remastered versions, I hope last.FM team will fix this. Especially gig versions, they always add hyphen instead of parenthesis.
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Elliot Robinson

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The hyphenation is a weird Spotify thing, I think. I would guess almost all digital music listeners use parenthesis and then Spotify came along with its deliberately different system. Bastards.
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void

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I thought this was part of a massive catalogue work and it'd be fixed once said work was done but it apparently wasn't? This should be a priority imo
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KatyLB, Moderator

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I really hope that the solution merges tracks to their title without extra information, including radio edit. Remixes and live versions are obviously fine, because they're distinct, but a shorter edit or a remaster shouldn't count differently in the stats. Failing that, allowing library entries and scrobbles to be edited would help...
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Patrick

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I'm for this. I'm sure nobody cares are you listening to remastered, reissue or a remix version of a song. Especially remastered tracks, they shouldn't exist in our libraries and LFM catalog.
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Elliot Robinson

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how is a radio edit/shorter edit the same as the original song? they obviously have different track lengths?
Also, a radio edit can actually have a different mix as well as being shorter.

imo, the only thing in brackets that's redundant and needs to go is year/remastered version.
Couldn't agree more.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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My concern I guess is how it's treated on top charts. If I have a track I've scrobbled as "radio edit" and then not as a radio edit also, and it's split, it can stop a top track from actually appearing as a top track. So it'd be nice if we could either A) Edit our scrobbles to our own needs or B) Have some sort of way of having the top track charts ignore those designations.

But I don't think there's a solution to suit everybody. Years ago I remember that the track Wonderful Life by Hurts, for example, wheeled from having the radio edit separate and the radio edit renamed, which kept changing it from a top track of mine to disappearing as the scrobbles got separated. That's not ideal for the statistics whores among us. :) The radio edit of that track was just a bit shorter with no other changes and, for me, shouldn't be counted differently. It's trickier when you get different mixes.
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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My concern I guess is how it's treated on top charts. If I have a track I've scrobbled as "radio edit" and then not as a radio edit also, and it's split, it can stop a top track from actually appearing as a top track. So it'd be nice if we could either A) Edit our scrobbles to our own needs or B) Have some sort of way of having the top track charts ignore those designations.

But I don't think there's a solution to suit everybody. Years ago I remember that the track Wonderful Life by Hurts, for example, wheeled from having the radio edit separate and the radio edit renamed, which kept changing it from a top track of mine to disappearing as the scrobbles got separated. That's not ideal for the statistics whores among us. :) The radio edit of that track was just a bit shorter with no other changes and, for me, shouldn't be counted differently. It's trickier when you get different mixes.

But overall, I'm not really against "Radio edit" being counted as different, I too think that the remaster tags and so on are what need to go most. ("Original version" can be pretty redundant too, all that's saying is that it's not a different edit...)

One final point on this: The way that the designation of different versions is split between services and old library conventions should be addressed too. You'll often get different formats, such as:

Track 1 (Radio Edit)
Track 1 - Radio Edit
Track 1 [Radio Edit]


The first one has always been the format I favour and use, but Spotify uses the second one a lot of the time. This needs to be cleaned up as well.
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Elliot Robinson

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Track 1 (Radio Edit)
Track 1 - Radio Edit
Track 1 [Radio Edit]


The first one has always been the format I favour and use, but Spotify uses the second one a lot of the time. This needs to be cleaned up as well.
I hate Spotify for doing this hyphenated bollocks. I would suspect almost no one was using this style format before they started using it. I certainly don't recall it being prevalent before Spotify was taken as the primary driving force for info on Last FM. Everyone I know uses the first style version. I agree 100% it needs cleaning up, I just hope Spotify's style doesn't become the default, autocorrected style.
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thejebber

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I'm sure nobody cares are you listening to remastered, reissue or a remix version of a song.

Hello, I'm somebody, and I object to remixes (including single/radio remixes) being lumped into one. Clearly, several others in the thread agree. Would be cool if we could see things both ways -- aggregated and differentiated.
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Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

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A good example for a tricky case of (Remix) addition to a track name is the new Deluxe Edition of Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. Deezer's internal scrobbling dismisses all additions in brackets which leads to wrong scrobbles for several tracks, as you cannot disambiguate them anymore:

https://www.deezer.com/en/album/41838521
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Elliot Robinson

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Another reason not to use streaming services - terrible scrobbling accuracy.
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Tristan Peralta

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I suggest to have a raw scrobbles and cleaned scrobbles. Cleaned scrobbles will classify to its parent name/title. E.g.

Raw -  Van Halen — Eruption - 2015 Remastered Version
Cleaned - Van Halen - Eruption

And charts should also view cleaned.
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Ok, so, here's a list of all of the common designations I can think of, that I guess any rules - and definitely any automated systems - need to take into account and consider the value of versus their untidyness. I've tried to group them into definitely keep, contentious and pretty clear to discard. It might be worth people chiming in with their own views, if this is something staff are still planning to address?

Category 1: Definite keepers
Remix
e.g. Tremel (Jamie xx Remix), Rendez-Vous '98 (Apollo 440 Remix), Just Push Play (Radio Remix)
Comments: Always denotes a clear and distinguishable version, so should always stay
Reprise/Medley
Comments: Always a different version of a track or related to a track, not the same thing
Live/Session
e.g. No Sound But The Wind (Live at Rock Werchter 2010), This Night Has Opened My Eyes (1983 John Peel Session), Symphony Of Destruction (Live)
Comments: Anything around live sessions shouldn't be removed
Extended Version / 12" Version / Extended Mix / Dub / Vocal Mix
Comments: Usually a remix of some sort or longer version of the main track, would be controversial to remove I suspect
Alternate Version
Comments: Very obviously a different version per the name
Demo
Comments: Always clearly different
Acoustic / Acoustic Version / Unplugged
Comments: As above
"Anything Else" Version
e.g. Monument (The Inevitable End Version), This Charming Man (New York Vocal Version)
Comments: Tends to almost always mean something different is going on

Category 2: Contentious
Radio Edit
Comments: As discussed above, argument for is that it can mean a very different or distinguished version, arguments against that it's often a very similar variation on the original. Consensus is leaning to keeping at the moment?
Single Edit / 7" Edit / Single Version / Album Edit
Comments: Similar arguments I suspect to radio edit above
Album Version
Comments: Not sure if this, as it'd be the main album version essentially, would be considered valuable or if it would be insignificant to trim off
Main Version
Comments: As above
Original Version
Comments: As above
Clean Version
Comments: As above
Mono / Stereo Version
Comments: I almost put this under category 3, but I know that mono/stereo mixes can be very important and seen as quite different to fans of older music, so this might need more input?

Category 3: Definite discards
Remaster
e.g. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - 2003 - Remaster, How Soon Is Now? - 2011 Remastered Version
Comments: Original reason for this thread
"From The Soundtrack" Type Notes
e.g. Dead Air - From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack, Warning Call (Theme From Mirror’s Edge Catalyst)
Comments: Something else Spotify loves to do, can't imagine much objection to dropping this?
Official Audio / Music Video / Lyric Video
Comments: Can happen with YouTube scrobblers sometimes, this ends up tagged to the end

Final thought: From compiling this, I'm honestly thinking that automating this might be tricky. How can it be possible to code something that wouldn't give false positives? I feel that, like corrections, it's going to need community moderation and manual staff intervention, because there's too many grey areas and too many different ways that these things are formatted.
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Yeah, I've only ever seen it used in that way, and it's not used universally, so it's clutter.

What's interesting - but probably important - is that the sort of stuff we seem to universally agree to remove is the stuff that doesn't potentially mean a different version of the normal track, but stuff that's additional metadata placed in the track title field. Remaster, whether something is a bonus track, whether something is on a soundtrack and whether something is a cover is all extraneous information, but the stuff we're not sure on - edits, album versions, single version and so on - can all be a different cut or different version entirely.
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Elliot Robinson

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Yeah, the additional metadata should be in the Comments field of your file tags.

Streaming services like Spotify should develop a way to include this information but not stick it (incorrectly) on the track name. They should design a little "i" info button at the end of a track name which shows this sort of extraneous detail if a listener wishes to read it.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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I don't think Spotify designed their formatting with Last.fm in mind, unfortunately. (It makes no sense for them to, especially as it's sadly a relatively niche service nowadays, the heyday of 2009 is long gone!) It's actually pleasantly surprising that Last.fm is built in at all, I expect them to drop it one day, but at least the official app will still scrobble when that happens.

I also feel that the prominence of the remaster information on Spotify could be for two other reasons: One, some labels might have a requirement that it's noted, and two, "remaster" is a selling point (naively!) for a lot of people and having it clearly labelled on major artists might draw some users to the service, as in they can listen to a remaster instead of their old, unremastered CDs. So, the clutter is intended to promote the remaster, so they'd have no reason to hide that information. It probably doesn't bother non-Last.fm users at all.
(Edited)
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Elliot Robinson

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Very true. I can see why a label would want to promote a remastered version but I still think it should be listed elsewhere rather than on the title. Even if you ignore the Last FM integration and scrobble mess this causes, their style decision is still a little questionable, especially the hyphenation.

As you mention in your reply below, there's clearly some automatic conversion/removal of brackets from titles. It's annoying how someone on the Spotify design team decided to do this way back when and it's stuck, even though it's overwhelming more common and the accepted norm to use brackets - Discogs, MusicBrainz, iTunes, Amazon... they all use brackets; it's even standard as the style for actual releases. It smacks of doing it just to be needlessly different. Ugh.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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The automatic conversion is nothing in terms of frustration compared to this one, which appears on The Motown Anthology on Spotify and has 598 listeners here: https://www.last.fm/music/Kim+Weston/_/Take+Me+In+Your+Arms+(Rock+Me+A+Little+While)+-+DO+NOT+USE
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Another interesting note regarding Spotify and its track title formatting is that, for whatever reason, their policy of hyphenation often goes as far as making the track title a mess. For example, here's two songs in which track titles in parentheses have actually ended up hyphenated in their database:

1.
Correct title:
Collide (Krasnoyarsk)
Spotify title: Collide - Krasnoyarsk
Last.fm result: https://www.last.fm/music/Vanbot/_/Collide+-+Krasnoyarsk

2.
Correct title:
Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)
Spotify title: Beach - I Wanna Make You Mine
Last.fm result: https://www.last.fm/music/Will+Joseph+Cook/_/Beach+-+I+Wanna+Make+You+Mine

Obviously, the usual autocorrect systems - once up and running - would sort this for well-known artists by virtue of votes. Both of these musicians, however, are relatively underground and so these sorts of errors may never usually be fixed.
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Patrick

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I'm sure nobody wants to have this in his library. (https://www.last.fm/music/Pink+Floyd/_/Prelude+(The+Wall+Work+In+Progress,+Pt.+1,+1979)+%5BProgramme...) (The Wall Work In Progress, Pt. 1, 1979) [Programme 2] [Roger Original Demo] - 2011 Remastered Version.

 Just saying.
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Andreas_Wotte

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Good chance for me to misunderstand the whole thing, but isn't the easiest solution the priority of musicbrainz or discogs over all other sources?
It would avoid all other complicate algorithms to compare and correct different sources against each other. Perhaps MB isn't the best database, but editable like discogs. For example: No remastered version of an album on MB = alternate source like (2nd) Discogs, (4th) Amazon) (5th) Spotify and so on. In case of doubt, everyone can create or edit an album on MB and the job is done. The less dependence on Spotify et.al., the better for LFM and us.
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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I don't think it would really work, as MusicBrainz would just return no results a lot of the time for a lot of items with clutter in their names (especially a problem for duplicate album titles with - Single and - EP appended). You could maybe write an algorithm to automate the process of removing the excess information in some cases, and then poll MusicBrainz, but then it would be redundant to reference their database as you could just autocorrect without that information.

MusicBrainz also lacks the frame of reference to make the correction for us and would lead to terrible mistakes. Take Dead Air - From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack by CHVRCHES, which clearly should be simply Dead Air. It's a single track digital single. Putting that track title into MusicBrainz doesn't find it. If it did, how would it know to make the correction? It's hardly a pattern which could be automated. Or worse, it might find a two-track vinyl single in their database and create an error. And then, if it's not there, the issue wouldn't be fixed. It's easier to let the community here handle it, with some staff intervention sometimes if need be.

I'm not 100% sure you've fully understood the issue, though, if you don't mind me adding. :) The issue isn't that the site depends on Spotify or polls the site for data, it's that their track titles when scrobbled by users create these issues. (And users can scrobble tracks without it needing to be in a database first.) It can all be fixed when corrections and merges come back soon. So once that big catalogue fix is implemented, these problems should go away. There's no real need to complicate the system.

Also, if MusicBrainz or Discogs was integrated in such a way as to override merges and redirects created by the community, I'm pretty sure I can say there'd be uproar. It really, really wouldn't go down well - they're not designed as services for scrobble accuracy and uniformity.
(Edited)
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Andreas_Wotte

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After 2 or 3 years I'm not too optimistic, the small dev team will ever be able to ride this dragon. In case of success - applause and chapeau. But after this time it's usefull to think about some alternative solutions.
In my opinion any solutions with the posibility of our own influence aren't the badest ideas.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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The fix for the catalogue is actually very close, though, and without that alternative solutions are impossible. The inability to correct and merge at the moment is the cause of this problem, and the ability to do so is the fix: I think the bigger question or debate now is whether staff will look to automate a lot of these corrections with scripting (as Pellitero suggested when he was active staff, and which I think would be tricky for all but a handful of cases), or leave it to users to do.
(Edited)
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Elliot Robinson

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Yeah, I think sources like MusicBrainz and Discogs are great but they should be a base to work from rather than strictly adhere to. They have their own style of doing things, which is generally good but doesn't always equate to accurate scrobbling, as you say, Katy.

In some ways, the biggest issue with user input is how much influence we can or should have. As has been previously raised in related topics, for artists with a small listener base, voting is potentially a waste of time but if the threshold is too low, redirects (and related) could be constantly changing. I suppose a vote's impact could be scaled by number of listeners but I imagine that could be quite the nightmare to code/implement.
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Kevin Spencer

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I'd be more than happy to have a "correct this yourself" solution via the API that could be scripted on our side.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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For the benefit of this thread's 24 followers: Hans-Jürgen's post today about Spotify's new Line-In system might be of interest. It won't be the solution to this problem, sadly, as it doesn't allow you to suggest title corrections right now, but their FAQ does note to be "patient" while they develop a "system" for collecting feedback on that issue - so it's hopeful.
(Edited)
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The Golden Jaguar Habit

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I only use those descriptive tags if it's part of the actual official track title.
'Remastered' & 'Reissue' both get thrown out, regardless, as it's just used to sell an actual remaster.
I see no reason to differentiate the tags, it's still the same song.

'Radio Edit' is slightly more tricky. Back when maxi-singles were a thing, I used it by default.
Now, I'm less inclined to use it... especially within the confines of pop music. Usually a radio edit is just missing a chorus, but it's nothing that ever changes the actual structure of a song or drastically differentiates it from the album version.

I only use the 'Radio Edit' tag for EDM tracks, as those are usually changed drastically between the album and radio edits. An eight minute track could be cut into a two minute track for the radio edit, while a radio edit for a pop song might just be twenty seconds shorter.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Yes, trends regarding the "radio edit" title do seem to be changing, and how important or relevant it is across genres varies. In hip-hop, for example, it's often simply an indication of censorship, but as you say, for dance music it's less clear cut.

The reality is that it'd be a mistake to remove this sort of information automatically. This doesn't necessarily pertain to Spotify, but to give a few random examples:

1. Saturday Night by Whigfield. The top three tracks on Whigfield's page are the title on its own, the title with Radio Edit, and the title with Radio Mix. 13th, 22nd, 38th and 46th are other alternate titles. Yet these all represent the same track, with no actual differences between them. Even though it may have been appended "Radio Mix" on the single, it makes no sense in my view to not merge all of these to the standalone title.

2. Lies by CHVRCHES. The standalone title is by far the most scrobbled, but there's also two cases of "Single Version" (in parentheses and with the Spotify style). To the casual listener, these are all identical, but the original single version does have subtle differences in its mastering. Whether this constitutes a standalone title, or whether it should be merged, is open to debate. If it's best to leave it on its own because it's different, are most users going to know that and not (if voting does come back in a similar form to before) vote it into the main title?

3. Sweet Like Chocolate by Shanks & Bigfoot. The standalone, again, has the most scrobbles, followed by the Radio Edit and Metro 7" Remix. So you might think the radio edit makes sense to merge in, but there's a problem: The remix is the version that became the most familiar version, and the radio edit is more of an original, but both get plays. So if you merge the radio edit in, you might actually be combining it with plays of the remix. So do you leave these alone, or combine them? I'd keep them separate.

4. Knights of Cydonia by Muse. The radio edit of this is far shorter. Purists would likely argue that, because it's such a different edit, it should standalone, leaving the title on its own to represent the album version. However, a lot of people listening to the title on its own are probably hearing the edit from compilations. It's near impossible to ever split this data or know which version people are hearing.

5. Boogie 2Nite by Booty Luv. The "Seamus Haji Big Love Edit" is top here, followed by the title on its own, and the Big Love Edit again (6th), followed by the Big Love Remix (7th and 8th). The Big Love Edit is the version that became famous, there was never a standard or non-edit version out there, so the standalone title is the same. So is it worth merging this to the title on its own, or merging the title on its own to the edit's title? As for the remix, that's just a standard extended version of the edit. Is this worth having on its own, or merging as well? This one comes down to style guidance more than anything, but the fact it's not been merged in the past (this was a big pop hit in 2007) suggests it's hard to find a consensus.

These are just four completely random examples, but it does show that this information - while often redundant - isn't easy to just remove freely. You have to have an understanding of it on a track-by-track basis.
(Edited)
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WiktoRozrabiaka

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If you listen on computer (play.spotify.com), use a browser scrobbler, so you can change the scrobbling data.
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Elliot Robinson

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OK. I've just taken a quick look at Line-In and while you seem to be able to add  correct featured artists, add genres, etc, etc....I can't see a way to suggest actual trackname (or album name unless adding an alias is the same) corrections; am I being blind or have they not included this suggestion?

If they haven't, that's unfortunate because Line-In is a great idea but it's their tracknames that is the worst thing, surely?

EDIT: Or are we meant to use the aliases for tracks, too? If we are, I've already identified a problem - there's a character limit which is not long enough :-/
(Edited)
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Hans-Jürgen, Moderator

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Well, they even have a new forum on their Community for questions like these, and this one might have been answered already, e.g. in their FAQs. See my recent posting about allowing access to their new tool for all users.
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Patrick

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But wait, how AM I suppose to suggest corrections? I don't know how to use this thing. As Elliot Robinson said, I can't see a way to suggest a track name (or album name unless adding an alias is the same)
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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You can't suggest track name corrections on Line-In yet. Also, I suspect two of the more emotive issues wouldn't be fixed if you could: 1) The "remastered edition" tags are likely there for a purpose and would stay, and 2) The system of hyphens instead of parentheses is obviously a concious decision at Spotify. It's a useful tool that means Spotify are listening, but as of yet it's not any help on this actual issue.
(Edited)
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Jon, Community & Customer Services

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Sounds like I got the Line-In stuff wrong... :o   I was under the impression that the whole point of it was to clean up their labels metadata. :/  
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WiktoRozrabiaka

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Will redirections come later this year? And who will be able to redirect pages? Every user, or only the moderators?
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WiktoRozrabiaka

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And what about the correction votes? Will you go trough all the downvoted songs and redirect everything one by one?
(Edited)
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Hi Wiktor. To answer your questions:

1) Redirections won't be able to return until a core system is replaced. Developers are still building it at the moment. This information is from Jon's latest update - read more details here.

2) Full details on the exact system are still to be determined, but I believe the overall plan right now (per Jon above) is to implement a system to allow users to suggest corrections. Certainly, users won't be able to just outright edit and apply global corrections as that would be too open to abuse.
(Edited)
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Richard Geleijnse

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This Mortal Coil still has remastered on every song on the Blood album. Hurts my eyes
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Beatrice Persson

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This is the only reason why I DO NOT use Spotify. That program is obviously for people who doesn't care about clean tags!
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poisonapple

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I think a lot of Spotify users who scrobble do care about clean tags, but I don't think we'll be getting an upper hand as to convincing Spotify to care about clean tags any time soon. So, editing and correcting tags within the last.fm database seems to be the right (only) way to go about this.
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Kevin Spencer

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jon mentioned in the sister thread that track-level corrections are coming at the end of this year.
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KatyLB, Moderator

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Just for clarity, his specific phrasing was "later in the year", not necessarily meaning the end of the year. It could well be significantly sooner. The time scale isn't precise, but the top development priority is still the systems that will facilitate the return of autocorrections.
(Edited)
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Richard Geleijnse

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It still SUCKS! Just get it removed, remastered at least
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Richard Geleijnse

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Fleetwood Mac, The Human League.. Come on now, implement a business rule that removes them automatically
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Jorge Cárcamo M.

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I hope they are doing something, but we are like this for too many years already and nothing has change, all statistics are messed up. Statistics through scrobbling is the main reason why many people use Last.fm (at least for me), so I dont understand why this is not a top priority.