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FAQ

General

Q: What is SecondHandSongs?

A: SecondHandSongs is the largest and most accurate database of cover songs. Find out who performed the original version of a particular song, or who else around the world covered that song. We try to be as complete and accurate as possible by also indexing the songwriters of the songs and the releases that feature these originals and covers. We order the data in a reusable and maintainable way and we're highly cross-referenced with other databases, among which Discogs, RateYourMusic, Echonest, Spotify, iTunes, ...

Q: How do you define originals and covers?

A: Check out our introduction to the database.

Completeness and accuracy

Q: Why is cover song XYZ not listed in your database?

A: Millions of cover songs have been performed and released by artists worldwide, makingd it's an almost impossible task to list all of them. This being said, we currently are both the biggest and most reliable cover song database (almost 1.000.000 cover songs indexed) and we invite you to submit any missing cover song you may be aware of.

Q: Why is song X by artist A listed as a cover, knowing this artist actually wrote the song?

A: Probably because artist A wrote it for another artist, who recorded or released it first. Check out our introduction to the database.

Example: Both Sides, Now by Joni Mitchell is listed as a cover. She released it in 1969, while Judy Collins released her version in 1967.

Q: Why are a lot of track listings of albums incomplete?

A: We only add songs to our database if they have been covered, or if they are a cover. It's not our purpose to create full discographies.

Q: Why is the order of the track listings of albums incorrect?

A: We don't try to reproduce the order of the original track listings; the songs are simply ordered alphabetically.

Q: You're listing a cover song that is released on another album/single, on top of the album/single you are currently listing. What should I do?

A: If your release is older than the one we list, file an error report. Each cover song should be attributed to the oldest release.

A: If your release is younger than the one we list, but it has been created in the database for other purposes, file an error report.

A: If your release is younger than the one we list, and we're currently not listing it, do no thing. It's out of scope for our database.

Q: Are your statistics reliable?

A: They are evidence but not proof. Despite over 900.000 cover songs indexed, our site is far from comprehensive and doesn't claim to be. Also, the entries are biased by the preferences of our editors and contributing visitors. Conclusion: With almost 3.000 cover versions listed, Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! , is not 100% certain the most covered song, but it likely is.

Q: Why does it say work XYZ is written by artist ABC when many other sources claim it was written by artist DEF?

A: Sometimes there are conflicting sources regarding the credits of works: The Publishing Rights Organizations (PRO), the releases, books and interviews, don't necessarily agree. When available, SecondHandSongs will follow the PROs, which list the legal composers and authors. If the song credits are disputed, and the actual composers and authors potentially differ, we will discuss this in the comment section of the work in question.

Q: The title of web cover DEF is incorrect!

A: That's possible. For web covers we display the title of the work as the cover song title.

Participation

Q: How can I add songs to the database?

A: You can submit them in the participation section. Please provide us with as much information as possible and name the sources where you got your information from.

Q: Do you also accept covers in other languages than English?

A: Of course. We add covers in any language. Check out our statistics page to get an idea.

Q: Can I add multiple cover songs of the same work by the same artist?

A: No, only 1 cover song per work per artist.

A: This doesn't apply for collaborations (the artists are considered different) or covers in different languages (the works are considered different).

Q: Why does it say "unverified" next to my submission?

A: It means we've received your submission, but our editor team still has to verify and complete it.

Q: Why does it take forever until my suggestion has been verified/processed?

A: Since we started we have been literally flooded with cover song suggestions, which are still stacking up. As we are a small team of volunteers, we're struggling to keep up with newly submitted suggestions. We will however eventually verify and add all your submissions, nothing gets lost! It can take a few hours, but unfortunately much longer as well. So please be patient or ... become an editor yourself!

Q: Where can I find reliable sources of information?

A: You can find some in our bookmarks list. Note that websites like wikipedia, answers.com, music.com, and many others are not to be trusted! If you prefer real books, check out out the reference books our editors use.

Q: How do I add a cover of which the original is missing?

A: Go to PARTICIPATE, and then ADD COVER. Choose the option "I can't find it in the database. It must be missing but I have information about it.".

Q: Where can I report errors and incomplete information?

A: Please read our introduction to the database before reporting an error. In many cases mistakenly reported errors are based on misinterpretations. You can report errors by clicking on "Report error" available on most pages. Please provide us with as much information as possible and name the sources where you got your information from. This can speed up processing a lot.

Q: How can I add YouTube videos to songs?

A: It's very easy. Have a look at the Tutorial.

Selling

Q: Are you selling any of the songs, singles or albums listed?

A: No, we only provide information. However, you might find links to Amazon on some of these pages, and these will lead you to a page where you can buy them. By doing so you support SecondHandSongs.

Q: Do you sell sheet music?

A: No, we don't. But we do get a lot of requests for them, so we're interested in building a partnership with another project who does.