Fanfare music September 2, 2020 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I propose having a 'music' category in Fanfare. I know we can, and do, post music in MeFi proper, but it would be good to have place to geek out over individual albums or songs or music videos in a way the Blue isn't really designed for.
posted by signal to Feature Requests at 9:36 AM (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

So this is a thing we could theoretically do in two ways - the quick way and the thorough way. (This applies to all new-category additions on FanFare, btw.) Right now, all FanFare posts pull metadata through various APIs that automate things like header images. Getting that set up for new categories is fiddly, time-consuming, and possibly not practical for everything. On the other hand, it would be less work (although not no work) to just set up stuff as user-entered, and have it be a little less pretty and complete but much more flexible.

Historically we've held out for the former, but it's not necessarily a rule - we would like to expand FanFare and make it more lively and successful. If this is something people are interested in, let's hear about it!

(I will also note that however this conversation goes, it's still a chunk of dev time and I don't think it'd end up on the schedule for some months - we still have a lot of older to-dos to get to and a couple more high-profile things that I'd like to prioritize. Just want to set that expectation now!)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:40 AM on September 2 [3 favorites]


Yes to this idea. Music questions show up in ASK a lot, but we're not supposed to chat there. I love Mefi-MUSIC as is (and remain blown away at the quality of some of the stuff I find there) but that's the equivalent of local bands. Which currently only gives us the blue (and its rules) for "touring bands". Something looser, less rules bound, could be a lot of fun.
posted by philip-random at 9:57 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


I would absolutely love this addition!
posted by ellieBOA at 10:10 AM on September 2 [4 favorites]


If we pull from external source, MusicBrainz has an API, and Discogs does, too. Both platforms allow users to submit releases, which means if there's something someone wants to discuss that is officially released but isn't on the queried platform, they can add that release.

But then there are non-releases -- live shows that are officially posted on YouTube, or allowed to be recorded and shared by fans, and music videos, and other edge-cases. These are probably so prevalent now that it's easier to be more flexible rather than rigid.

A third alternative would be to initially query one of those sites for official recordings (to easily pull up album info), and "other" for YouTube recordings or shows on Archive.org or other platforms.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:32 AM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I proposed this about a year ago. Still very much in favor. The response last year was pretty much the same as restless_nomad's up top.

Given that it was popular last year, it's come up again, and apparently had come up in the past, I do wish folks would prioritize it. Especially now as Mefi is doing fundraising, I'd say prioritizing this would make me inclined to dig deeper for monthly contributions.

Music is consistently a popular topic for front page posts and for asks, it seems silly to me that this isn't a priority.
posted by jzb at 12:55 PM on September 2 [2 favorites]


MusicBrainz is going to be more trustable with recent releases from major labels and significant indy labels like Merge and Sub-Pop. However Discog's data is more comprehensive, since it includes artist and production details. But both of them are pretty weak (on all terms: comprehensiveness, thoroughness and correctness) when it comes to most classical music, or most traditional, indigenous and national musics, or any other form of music that fails to interest tech-savvy people in the American-British Anglosphere.
posted by ardgedee at 12:57 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


I would like this very much. I have so much to say about both of the Fontaines DC albums and nowhere to say it.
posted by Chairboy at 3:57 PM on September 2 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I like this idea, especially if it's flexible enough to include live recordings, bootlegs, unreleased material etc. Nerding out about music is one of my favorite things and having a dedicated space for it here would be great.
posted by Lonnrot at 4:41 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Me too. I would love to see this. It may just inspire me to come out of my shell and make a post.
posted by sundrop at 7:01 PM on September 2 [4 favorites]


Yes, please.
posted by MrVisible at 11:26 PM on September 2


Since this isn't something we're going to be able to do right away, it would be very cool if folks who were interested in this kind of conversation would pick a hashtag and make posts on the Blue using it so we can see how much interest there is! It'd limit things a bit to albums that are either available free online, or stuff that has substantive reviews (they'd still have to qualify as Metafilter posts) but it'd be useful for us and would make it easier for y'all to engage if you could find them all in one place that way.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:09 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


pick a hashtag and make posts on the Blue using it so we can see how much interest there is

I would really, really like to discuss Phoebe Bridgers' new album Punisher (and the whole Phoebe Bridgers Cinematic Universe) with a few similarly enthusiastic enthusiasts over on FanFare. But I wouldn't be comfortable making a post on the blue about it. It's not something I want to expose to the world, it's something I want to have an intimate conversation about.

So I don't think that the popularity or number of music posts on the main Metafilter site is going to be an accurate way of determining the popularity of a music-focused FanFare.
posted by MrVisible at 8:36 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


MrVisible: " But I wouldn't be comfortable making a post on the blue about it."

I basically agree. I'm happy to make posts when significant albums drop that maybe not everybody's heard about, like Fiona Apple, Hinds, etc. But, sometimes, I hear a song I like and I just want to talk about it with you people. Not look for context, not link the NME review. Maybe it's a single track off a so-so album from 7 years ago, not really FPP worthy.
posted by signal at 9:55 AM on September 3 [4 favorites]


I vote YES.
posted by holborne at 10:10 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I would like this! I understand it's not a priority but I am here to demonstrate my support.
posted by danabanana at 11:50 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, it would be less work (although not no work) to just set up stuff as user-entered, and have it be a little less pretty and complete but much more flexible.

Going with a hand-entered, flexible format would potentially make it easier to add other media formats that would be nice to have on FanFare -- like games (video and/or tabletop).
posted by jacquilynne at 12:23 PM on September 3 [5 favorites]


Here to add another vote to the YES PLEASE column!
posted by pjsky at 5:16 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I would use this.
posted by ericthegardener at 9:09 PM on September 4


Would totally be into this. I've participated in a few music threads lately that have been fascinating and I've learned a lot from so clearly MeFites have lots of music talking they want to do.
posted by urbanlenny at 5:39 PM on September 7 [1 favorite]


But then there are non-releases -- live shows that are officially posted on YouTube, or allowed to be recorded and shared by fans, and music videos, and other edge-cases. These are probably so prevalent now that it's easier to be more flexible rather than rigid.

Worth noting that every one of these can be added to Musicbrainz. Except maybe the music video - that would only have an entry of its own if the audio for the music video is different somehow from the "normal" version of the same song. But MB will take just about any edge case you can think of, if it's audio content or a music-related video that has a distinct audio component. Doesn't have to be a release. It probably won't be there already, but it's totally fine to add it in, if you wanted to.

Discog's data is more comprehensive, since it includes artist and production details

I'm curious what sort of details you had in mind here? The only thing I can think off the top of my head that Discogs captures more of, detail-wise, is splitting variant physical releases into different entities more readily. It's certainly more comprehensive in a very many areas, but I'd put that down to two things:

1. It has a different, and much stronger, motivator for participation in it's store. You can't sell a release on discogs if it's not in the database, and that's gone a loooong way to flesh out the catalog of data on Discogs.
2. MB will allow you capture just about any kind of data releated to the release you'd like, and in great detail, but its interface for working with more than the basic data is largely only navigable if you're already familiar with how that data is organized. Even then, if you're doing more than just a little of it, you really need some greasemonkey scripts configured to make it a bit more manageable. Discogs is far ahead on the "make it easy to enter (and find) data" front

Anyway, music on Fanfare would be fun.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:43 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


restless_nomad: "FanFare posts pull metadata through various APIs that automate things like header images. Getting that set up for new categories is fiddly, time-consuming, and possibly not practical for everything. On the other hand, it would be less work (although not no work) to just set up stuff as user-entered, and have it be a little less pretty and complete but much more flexible."

IMO the 'pull data from an external API' is mostly useful to help weed out duplicates, and there's already a fuzzy match system in place for posts on the blue, maybe something could be done along those lines for this?

I don't think the lack of cover art or track listings, for example, to be significant enough to justify the "fiddly time-consuming" route. 1 vote for "flexible, less work, user-entered".

Also , not sure what backend/framework/languages you're using but there's a lot of devs on here, maybe we could get some people to help out?
posted by signal at 8:25 AM on September 12


I miss fanfare books. It looks like it's sort-of working? Would love a user-entered api-free option for books.
posted by aniola at 10:27 AM on September 14


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