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  #1  
Old Jan 5, 2012, 01:54 PM
Zorbfish Zorbfish is offline
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Default Notes Standard

I'd like to see a proposed notes section format. There are so many ways it's being done now that I think we could benefit from having a standard. I realize that not everything can be covered by it, but it would be nice to know how something is *expected* to be written.
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  #2  
Old Jan 5, 2012, 03:52 PM
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I have been thinking about this.
For the moment, every submitter have his personal "style" for detailed notes and breakdowns.
I am curious to know if there's a favorite posting method.

As examples, i have been using 2 or 3 different "styles" through the years...
1st method (example here): having a Single Role line and multiple artists.
I don't like that anymore and i stopped using this style last year maybe. (still using using it if there is only 1 person by role, that happens sometimes with singles)

2nd method (example here): role breakdown
I definitely like that style better, it's easier to find who did what i think. And that's what i am using most of the time now.

Though for pure vocal albums, i have been using a third method.
3rd method (example here): track by track details.
I think i like that method better when the tracks are from different games/products, or simply when there's lot of artists involved.


Like i said, we could probably make a guideline thread for that. Feel free to discuss!
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  #3  
Old Jan 5, 2012, 04:23 PM
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I'm going to be the negative nancy here and say that there's really no point setting a standard when there are already too many "standards" for album submissions, products, genres, labels, artists, linking, titles, notes, tracks, tracklists, etc etc etc, all of which are not well followed (or strictly enforced).

In another thread somewhere, someone suggested breaking out the album info section into a "Album Notes" and "Additional Notes", one for the stuff that's listed in the inserts, one for random notes ("First press comes with a slip case/picture disc" and/or unofficial theorized/speculated/researched stuff ("Track 1 originally composed by Johann Sebastian Bach" <-- even though not directly credited in the inserts)

I am of the volition that the Album Notes section should reflect the album inserts verbatim, or at least to an extent that the lack of formatting controls allow. Myrkul's first example is exactly what I do -not- like to see. His second example is sometimes nice if I were looking for specific contributions, but that's out of sheer laziness and/or convenience to have it listed that way (and would be a perfect candidate for going into a "Additional Info" section, if one existed).

Here are examples of what I prefer to do:

http://vgmdb.net/album/29079
http://vgmdb.net/album/27827

Verbatim per the inserts, except for the fact that we can't have a columnar Album Info section.

I'm kind of opposed to creating any new standards, especially when there are already too many and documentation on the existing ones are poor and difficult to find, and also varies differently from person to person anyway.

I work in IT for a living and these very same scenarios happen with Change Control processes with companies. The more complex and cumbersome and a general pita you make change control processes, the less likely people will be to follow them. If I have to go out to a share (forum) to find a 15 page document (thread) on how to log a change request (submission), I will be annoyed, frustrated and generally apathetic towards it.

These things are best controlled from the development side of things, where you can control workflows and aide users in meeting specific guidelines either through submission restrictions, notifications or comments. A good example of this on the site are the fade-in comments when submitting a new album, although some of them are a bit verbose. A poor example of this is the 186 post thread for an Album Title submission guideline, and an entire subforum dedicated to submission guidelines, with well over 500 posts among the 10+ threads in the forum.

Even if we create another submission guideline, there's really no one or nothing to enforce it. And I think one of the biggest problems with enforcement is the lack of album rollback ability, because the diff page is fucking awful. This is why I have taken to posting in the album thread with the notes I'm about to overwrite if it looks like someone took a significant amount of time to write them up or they seem important enough that someone might want to roll it back from my changes.
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  #4  
Old Jan 5, 2012, 08:51 PM
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I personally use the third method. It makes the most sense to me because you can find all the credits for a specific track in one place. Using the other two methods, because composer, arranger, lyricist, and performer are all listed separately, you have to check up to four different places if you are looking for the credits for a specific track.

Maybe there should at least be some sort of guideline because, like dancey says, I do not like seeing notes that look like the first method.
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  #5  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 02:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrkul View Post
...

2nd method (example here): role breakdown...

Though for pure vocal albums, i have been using a third method.
3rd method (example here): track by track details...
3rd method could be used for cd single, maxi single or those osts with op/ed because the whole thing isn't too big to write and read

2nd method could be used for vocal albums or albums with a lot of vocal tracks (no need millions of lines when the whole thing could be written in 4 lines -cmp,arg,voc,lyr)
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  #6  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancey View Post
there's really no point setting a standard when there are already too many "standards" for album submissions
Well, we can always try to reach an agreement, and discussing your views here may make others reconsider theirs, so why not. Some of the fade-in help texts are modified based on these threads too.


Me, I use Myrkul's more or less, a mix of compact breakdown and extended info for vocal or complex credits where I feel appropriate.
I disagree the notes should copy *exactly* the album scans. IMO the aim should be "readable", having to scroll down five pages for credits is no good.


Some random suggestions:
- Try to credit with the booklet terminology to avoid subtle problems:
Ex this album said before
"Composed by: Aoi Yoshiki <1~10, 13~21>, Nobuyoshi Sano <11, 12>"
But the album actually says
"All songs written by Yoshiki Aoi. Except M-11, M-12 originally written by Nobuyoshi Sano (cavia.inc)"
It may look the same, but it isn't at all. The second is saying Yoshiki Aoi did "all the music" (not "composition") in the album, so basically 12/13 are arranges. Sano's are just reprises of Drakengard 1.

- If possible mark what info comes from external sources (in the notes, threads or a link labelled as "credits" or such). For example I may add to the notes:
Ex.- "Composer (from JASRAC/liner notes): ..."
I don't think having two separate sections is important/useful (I think composer credits first is preferable, even if not in the booklet), but when I think it's not so clear I try to make it so.

- Don't put track translations in the notes. One shouldn't have to sync them when the translation changes, what a pain.
Example, I just refer them as "M01".

- For disc credits, I think "2.01~04" is a bit more readable than "2-01~04" or "2-1~4", so I've been using it lately.

- Sometimes the notes try to mimic formatting using lots of indentation (example). Minor indentation is ok but no point on copying complex formatting with plain ASCII.
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  #7  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
- For disc credits, I think "2.01~04" is a bit more readable than "2-01~04" or "2-1~4", so I've been using it lately.
I definitely agree. Dashes are used sometimes instead of ~ so it can be quite misleading as well.
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  #8  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
...

- Don't put track translations in the notes. One shouldn't have to sync them when the translation changes, what a pain.
Example, I just refer them as "M01".

...
totally agree with that (notes with translated tracks could be updated tho)
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  #9  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 12:15 PM
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I agree with the M#, i use that now on most of my edits. Still don't agree with summarized or shortened album info notes. I thought the purpose of the site was quality over quantity, so that's ultimately falling short of the goals of the site? I'm perfectly fine leaving out the stupid credits like Executive Producers and crap that nobody genuinely cares about, but there's no reason to to shorthand songs, lyrics or music credits.
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  #10  
Old Jan 6, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancey View Post
I am of the volition that the Album Notes section should reflect the album inserts verbatim, or at least to an extent that the lack of formatting controls allow.
This is what I prefer to do as well, keep it as close to the way it's written in the booklet. This both looks better and more professional (usually), and also helps to give an impression that the information was actually taken from the booklet and not a third-party source which may or may not be correct.

I think following a standard could help solidify a sense of trust in that our information is accurate. For example, I'll always trust the info given by the website Ys Music Files, as I can clearly see that it's always taken directly from the album itself, by the way it's written and formatted on the site.
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  #11  
Old Jan 7, 2012, 01:21 PM
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I know we spent a lot of time spinning our wheels over standards in the past, and we did come to some consensuses, but we (or specifically me), got so bogged down by it all that I just didn't want to look at it anymore. However, our current guideline text for Notes doesn't really say much, so perhaps there is room for some improvement. Ultimately, most regular submitters already follow by example, and it's a continual challenge to get newcomers to add notes at all.

When I assemble credits, I prefer something akin to Myrkul's example 3.
Quote:
Disc <disc number>
------------------------
M<track number> - from platform genre 'product name'
role: artist
role: artist, artist

M<...
I used to separate roles with slashes, but I don't really like that anymore. I also prefer a carriage return in between each track for my old eyes. I think abbreviated credits are fine for stuff like this:
Quote:
Composer: John Q. Public (1~31, 33-50), John Doe (32)
rather than listing each track singly, for 3*50=150 lines of page real estate. There's definitely some point beyond which you should never use the abbreviated credits though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancey
This is why I have taken to posting in the album thread with the notes I'm about to overwrite if it looks like someone took a significant amount of time to write them up or they seem important enough that someone might want to roll it back from my changes.
I appreciate this, and hope that more people will do it.
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  #12  
Old Jan 8, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Didn't we once considered dividing the note into official and unofficial? I thought it could be useful for correcting printed credits that are wrong, or bringing credits from outside without confusing users.

Also, I'm not a big fan of mixing English and Japanese text in the note anymore, since it looks just messy to me. The only case they should exist together is when there are some artist whose reading of Kanji names aren't confirmed, or when their readings are confirmed yet we don't create artist entries for them. As such, I'd appreciate dividing the note into multiple languages, especially for drama albums where nearly every character name is written in Japanese. It's a bit too tiring to check if an official English name is available for every character and even it is, I don't like overwriting the Japanese names by English one, as it sounds double working to make only one language note.

I may be requiring too much here, but I guess it's also about time to think over how to reduce workloads of submitters, since I've found some bad signs lately.
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  #13  
Old Jan 8, 2012, 09:07 PM
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At a certain point, we should just have a "Booklet Transcription" section. More and more frequently, we're using the "Notes" field to essentially transcribe whole sections of the booklets, and I'm glad we are. But at the same time, those aren't really our "notes", are they? Here is a perfect example of actual "notes".

Totally not saying we should stop transcribing liner notes and stuff, I love when people do that, but if we're breaking down how to do this, like Cedille is doing, why not just make it totally official and give it all its own section.
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  #14  
Old Jan 8, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacia View Post
At a certain point, we should just have a "Booklet Transcription" section. More and more frequently, we're using the "Notes" field to essentially transcribe whole sections of the booklets, and I'm glad we are. But at the same time, those aren't really our "notes", are they? Here is a perfect example of actual "notes".

Totally not saying we should stop transcribing liner notes and stuff, I love when people do that, but if we're breaking down how to do this, like Cedille is doing, why not just make it totally official and give it all its own section.
I agree with all you said. If I wanted to see the official notes, why wouldn't I just look at the actual covers... ? If I go to look for a composition breakdown in the notes section, I'd rather see a simplified breakdown instead of exactly what's in the booklet (sometimes booklets aren't that straightforward).
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  #15  
Old Jan 9, 2012, 01:05 AM
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A section called "booklet transcription" (transliteration?) would make more sense than "official/unofficial notes" to me too.
(though in the end it can never be a "transcription" since we translate names and whatnot)
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  #16  
Old Jan 9, 2012, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisto View Post
I agree with all you said. If I wanted to see the official notes, why wouldn't I just look at the actual covers... ? If I go to look for a composition breakdown in the notes section, I'd rather see a simplified breakdown instead of exactly what's in the booklet (sometimes booklets aren't that straightforward).

The most obvious benefit of transcribing the official notes: this makes them searchable.
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  #17  
Old Jan 9, 2012, 08:35 PM
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Oh yeah dude. I have a bitch of a time tracking down kanji I find in booklets whose meanings I want to look into. I'm always so grateful when people have translated it.

On what Dag said, it would also be useful to have the booklets literally copied down into text in their original language, just as we have tracklists in multiple languages. All of this is a huge task, but I think it would be a worthy section.

I'm not under the mindset that it's not a good reason to do something just because it probably won't ever be 100% complete, or 100% perfect due to many users not using it correctly. That's the kind of mindset that causes no progress to be made at all
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  #18  
Old Jan 10, 2012, 08:21 AM
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I guess this "transcribing/copying" the booklets words for words will be reserved to the elite of our submitters.
All i can read in Japanese are common words "composed/arranged/vocals/lyrics/soundtrack/vocal"...etc..

Sometimes i think you guys are going too far. Who will transcribe the past 20,000 albums that have booklet sets ?
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  #19  
Old Jan 10, 2012, 08:53 AM
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Full transcription would be nice but it's entirely unrealistic. We don't have nearly enough fluent Japanese speakers to be able to transcribe that kind of content, and until we do it wont be done.

Lyrics, interviews and other stuff would be cool but ultimately way out of reach of current users ability.
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  #20  
Old Jan 10, 2012, 01:51 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Not to mention time consuming. I'm not willing to bother doing that for the (minimal) benefit of a very, very small segment of this primarily English-speaking site.
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  #21  
Old Jan 10, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrkul View Post
Sometimes i think you guys are going too far. Who will transcribe the past 20,000 albums that have booklet sets ?
I think it's a bit extreme. We obviously don't need to transcribe every text on the booklet (although I know a few occasionally do), and like we don't need a translated tracklist for albums coming with tracklist in English, we don't need to have two notes if printed ones are fine and complete. Even if they are not and we're to add a 'corrected' one, most of it is based on copy-and-pasting.
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  #22  
Old Jan 10, 2012, 09:16 PM
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I've noticed during my short time here the notes are the most non-standard section and I find it as a good thing. I personally don't care about styles, official/ unofficial notes or transliteration stuff as long as I can find the info I want. I'm not against guidelines/ making new sub sections of notes or whatever, but all of this currently looks like a fucking job of Sisyphus.
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  #23  
Old Feb 6, 2012, 10:49 AM
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I would prefer the 3rd style by Myrkul (Post 2) or Secret Squirrel (post 11).

There are 3 reasons for this.
1. Easier to check against other sources this way (amazon, iTunes, etc).
2. Ability to edit in a concise and non confusing way. (Dag's example in post 6)
3. The future attachment of credits to singular tracks, by using a standardized format, it makes it so the attachments can be scripted.
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