Dev LabelCompany Brainstorming

Brainstorming

This is a page to help us explore alternative ways of listing label
brands and companies at Discogs.

Agreed Points

As of today, 17th Jan 2008, the following concepts / functions have been
agreed and are slated for inclusion in any of the updates:

  • Label / company entry - Labels will be treated as brands, data
    entry should be as on release. For proper data entry of major label
    releases, licensed releases etc, all companies and labels should be
    listed as on the release.
  • Label Name Variation - If possible, a function parallel to
    Artist Name Variation will be enabled for labels / companies

Various Data Entry Methods, and their pros and cons

Use the current system

Use the current system. Rename the label field to 'label / company'.
Adjust our concepts and rules to 'as on release' and separating branding
from companies. Possibly introduce Label Name Variations. Introduce
Shadow Cat# for sorting.

Pro

  • Less database rework
  • Less changes to submission form

Con

  • Other businesses associated with the entry can't be listed / linked
    (distributors, licensees, printers etc)
  • Other numerical data doesn't get it's own field (still in notes)

Change to "entity - number" model

Along the lines of
http://wiki.discogs.com/index.php/Dev-LabelCompany-Proposal-Sep-2007 -
Expand the label field to a field for all companies (company/label role
selectable with a dropdown), and an associated field for cat# and other
numbers (cat#/distro#/others selectable via drop down, multiple
numbers allowed, though none are required, as recording studios and the
like would most likely not add some number to the release
).

Pro

  • All companies can be linked
  • Versatile 'entity - number' associations can be created

Con

  • Having to associate numbers with entities may cause data entry
    issues
  • Some numbers are not associated with entities
  • Can't associate entities with specific tracks

Auxiliary unassociated fields

Using the current system or "entity - number" model, additional "other
numbers" fields could be added for cases where numbers are unknown, but
the submitter would like to add them to the searchable numbers section
(which is currently the cat# search)

Pro

  • Flexibility with uncertainty - all number series can be added, even
    if there's no idea where they should go

Con

  • Added level of confusion for newer users trying to navigate Discogs

Merge label / company concept with artist concept

Use the existing artist functions for listing other entities. IOW merge
the artist and label functions into one 'entity' link. Divorce cat# and
other numbers from labels, and have the numbers as a separate and
independent concept.

Pro

  • Name Variation and per-track associations automatically available to
    labels / companies
  • Less fields on submission form
  • Universal system is versatile
  • No need to decide what entity a cat# or other number belongs to
    (simple data entry)

Con

  • Need to rework the artist page display to work for both labels and
    artists
  • Labels that share the same name with artists will have to be renamed
  • Release display of artist and labels mixed together is not optimal,
    possibly there would be a way to separate them?
  • Need to rework functions and concepts of Sublabels, Parent Labels,
    Aliases, In Groups, Real Name to be more universal (see below for
    solutions).
  • Multiple cat#s on a release cause a release to be listed multiple
    times per page (but MR will solve this somewhat)
  • Obvious entity / number associations cannot be transcribed

Notes on this method

Current fields

Labels:

Profile
Parent Label (Sublabels)
URLs
Contact Info - does this have to be a field? Why not just in the profile?

Artists:

Profile
In Groups (Members)
URLs
Real Name - does this have to be a field? Why not just in the profile?
Aliases - no correlation for this function in labels

Possible method to amalgamate these concepts
  • Remove labels 'contact info', transfer to profile
  • Remove artists 'real name', transfer to profile
  • Rename or relabel Parent Label (Sublabels) and In Groups (Members)
    to be universal for labels and artists. (Parent Label (Sublabels)
    need to be renamed in any case to be more universal for companies.)
    • Could be renamed "Part Of" and "Contains" as universal labels.
  • Decide what to do with aliases for labels - don't worry about it?

Pro

  • Simplicity and flexibility of profiles.
  • A brand could have more than one current parent, which is useful for
    labels that have territory-specific relationships to different
    companies and company groups.
  • A brand could have more than one former parent, which is useful for
    labels that changed hands over time.

Con

  • Segmented layouts make information recognition easy, especially for
    people who don't natively speak English.