Does Discogs supersede printed discographies?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by sharedon, Aug 22, 2021.

  1. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone Thread Starter

    I have some MC Strong discographies and similar books, like the old Rock Record. Does Discogs render such books obsolete in your opinion? I guess I still like to flip through them, but not sure I need to hang onto these anymore...
     
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  2. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    No, it's not reliable enough. It serves it purpose of being a good quick check if you can't remember something, but I would never take it (or much of anything else) as the last word. Always use at least two sources if accuracy and completeness matter.
     
  3. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Discogs or all intents and purposes is a Wiki. So all information inputted into the database by the contribution of the users. Yes information is also corrected by other users, but it's whether or not the data can be regarded as truly factual is often in flux. I'll give you an example. I created a release record for an album I own that wasn't in the database. It was an early 180g Classic Records release. I went back to review my collection and the data had been changed. Someone had changed the release that I created to the later 200g release. I objected, but the release still hasn't been corrected. So right now there isn't a 1997 release on 180g. Only the 2005 200g release exists. At some point this will be corrected. But I'm done fighting this battle.

    So to answer the OP's question, correct and verified data is never obsolete. It's a bad idea to rely on a single source of information. This kind thing happens all the time. And it's why misinformation often becomes accepted. We need to preserve books that have verified data. People no longer go to the library to get information. Back in the day, you could call the library and ask a question and they would find the answer to your question. It's just easier to use Wiki sources likee Wikipedia. The same goes for Discogs. I'll state that Discogs is highly accurate. But it's not 100% accurate, nor will ever be.
     
  4. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Right on, I'd just add that in many places you can still call the library for info (I'm a recently retired library worker and used to answer these questions and once in a while screw them up, nobody's perfect).
     
    sharedon likes this.
  5. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Discogs is riddled with errors and omissions, as are some books, but I'd never assume that Discogs is the definitive source of information, it has huge room for improvement.
     
  6. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    Just to chime in, Discogs is full of errors, duplicates, and generally unreliable information. The way the data is entered gives you no way of knowing whether any given data point was verified by the submitter or just copied over from a previous release and it's mind-numbingly tedious to try to determine how two versions of the same release are supposed to differ from each other.

    Whether or not you actually need old, printed discographies is a different question. I still have my old copies of New Rock Record and the first edition Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records, but those are more about nostalgia than anything else. When I want to find a basic, authoritative discography, I check Wikipedia, not Discogs. If I'm looking for a more obscure artist or release, I look for fan-maintained sites on the internet that tend to focus on a single artist.
     
  7. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    No more than WikiPedia making the Britannica obsolete.
     
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  8. wellhamsrus

    wellhamsrus Surrender to the sound

    Location:
    Canberra
    There are books written about inaccuracies in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Just because written words are printed doesn't make them accurate. Discogs is in general a more comprehensive source than anything that came before it, even if incomplete and with omissions and inaccuracies.
     
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  9. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Discogs is an agglomeration of data, not a reference source.

    - Kevin
     
  10. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone Thread Starter

    Good points all, thank you!

    I know that the books I have contain a few bogus entries to catch out people who reproduce their content without permission. Plus the inevitable errors. But lots of work went into them, so they're hard for me to weed out!
     
    wellhamsrus likes this.
  11. Kiss73

    Kiss73 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I find Discogs a pain for searching discography's .

    I was searching Red Garland the other evening. Typing in Red Garland did not bring up all his slbums. I had to type in a number of variations (Red Garland, Red Garland Trio etc) until I found them all
     
  12. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    That's a big Discogs glitch.

    Purple Rain isn't under "Prince" on Discogs, it's under "Prince and The Revolution." That's nonsensical.

    Even worse, Bill Evans - Trio '64 and Trio '65 aren't listed as part of the same discography because Trio '65 has the word "Trio" on the cover. '64 doesn't.
     
  13. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    It's one of the biggest issues, you want to see Prince's discography and have to check; Prince, Prince & the Revolution, Symbol, NPG, etc., and don't get me started on Reggae a music renowned for typographical errors and alternative spellings meaning you may have to check 10 or 20 pages to get an overall picture, whoever thought their system up was an idiot and it's not even consistently applied.
     
  14. Chazzbo13

    Chazzbo13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Somerset, PA
    Rate Your Music is more/less as good as Discogs in most circumstances...
     
  15. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    Back in the mid 00s, I was sorting out the Jimmie Rodgers/Jimmie Rogers and David Briggs messes. I dread to think what else is still uncorrected.
     
  16. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    Surprisingly, I trust Wikipedia more than discogs. The main advantage of Wikipedia over encyclopedias is that it is constantly updated.
     
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  17. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Stuff missing under the main entry, that's one problem.

    Another problem is a crazy number of tangential releases cluttering the primary discovery--different pressing plant, all the live albums issued for one tour, etc.

    Take a look at the Counting Crows discography for an example. Someone added all the Nugs.net live releases into the main discography. So now you have 42 entries in the main album discography. That's ridiculous.

    Counting Crows
     
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  18. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    In the late 1990s I made a boatload of dough selling printed reference material, including some out of print discographies (mostly 78rpm era) and many bibliographies. I'm still in touch for my sources for that material and the market has absolutely collapsed. Research has all gone online. I'm sure I've got a Rock Record in a box somewhere, but if I want to know something I look at Discogs first. I've got all the Trouser Press guides somewhere, too, but if I want to know what they thought I go to their site.
     
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  19. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    What, you don't find it helpful to have separate discographies for Bob Marley, the Wailers, and Bob Marley & the Wailers?
     
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  20. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Yeah, let's give every US pressing plant it's own separate entry, right there in the main listing, also acetates, I think those are just listed by people showing off, then the whole idea that where something is pressed makes it a release for that country, rather than where it was actually released although that's another thing that isn't at all consistently applied.
     
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  21. uzn007

    uzn007 Pack Rat

    Location:
    Raleigh, N.C.
    It's not just that many of the rules are bad, and inconsistently applied, but they're not even well-defined in most cases (e.g. the endless arguments about who should be listed as the primary artist on common, well-known albums).
     
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  22. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    No, especially as there are effectively two entirely different Bob Marley and The Wailers, before and after they signed to Island, though it's also an example where they ignore their own rules as the Bob Marley listing also has the singles credited to Robert Marley.
     
  23. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, England
    I recently decided to sort my Prince collection out, I printed out the discography from Wikipedia, they break things up a bit, but the releases are all there chronologically on one page which is what I wanted.
     
  24. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    It doesn't help that you have people touting a Presswell vs. a Monarch of the same album and vice versa, but that really shouldn't be Discogs' problem.
     
  25. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    It used to be a rule that separate issues could only be added if they were a different label or catalog number. Of course that was extremely limiting. It's hard to know where to draw the line. Does a misprint deserve its own entry?

    As for country of origin: I gave up explaining STEMRA didn't necessarily mean released in Holland.
     
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