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What Is SHS: A Researched Source or Compiler?

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 5124

VirileVagabond @ 2021-02-09 09:53:51 UTC

A recent exchange got me thinking, is SHS an independently researched source for the works, performances, etc. on site or is SHS simply a site that compiles and archives the data found on other sources and sites?


Other than offering a "one stop shop" for cover songs documented on various other sites, what value is added by the efforts of SHS?


The situation that triggered this pondering is a performance that was only sourced from an "official" database, namely no audio available to confirm or documented editor "ear witness" to audio that's no longer available. In other words, our research was merely coping the info from one site to SHS. In a case like this, SHS can't be a source that attests that Artist covered Song but only that Source attests/attested that Artist covered Song. Where is the actual editor confirmation? In that case there's no audio, no images of the release other than the cover art. Where is the value added to elevate the SHS entry from a simple copy/paste to an independent source?


I seem to see relatively regularly entries made solely on the basis of song titles and/or writing credits that turn out to be incorrect, Physical releases have incorrect credits and typos. Do "official" sites simply document what's printed on the releases, etc. or do they confirm?


Frankly, in the vast majority of (if not all) cases, I can't see how SHS can justify adding a performance without either an editor having some audio confirmation or "ear witness" testimony from a trusted contributor. There may be cases where a combination of trusted sources and available images may provide some rare exceptions.


Anyway, just some thoughts....

baggish

Editor
Posts: 3631

baggish @ 2021-02-15 00:54:08 UTC

I have come to realise that SHS is mostly interested in copying from one database to another. The "Song-writing credits must come from PROs" rule shows that this philosophy is ingrained at a quite fundamental level. Song-writing credits must be copied (and they must be copied from a fixed set of sources) and there is no need to research them properly. So it is no surprise if this philosophy is extended to other pieces of information. I do not accept this philosophy and this is precisely why I do not accept the PROs rule.

To address your main point, yes of course editors should somehow confirm what work is being performed.

______
Really wild, General!

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 5124

VirileVagabond @ 2021-02-15 01:21:54 UTC

Wow... First, thanks Bag for the response. I really didn't expect any.


Second, I can appreciate the "legal" vs. "actual" songwriters differences of opinion, but I consider that a different question. We have to default to one or the other, and the "legal" is rarely in dispute at any given point in time. On the other hand, the "actual" can range from "a near certainty" to "some people think". We can easily handle both by defaulting to one and noting the other in the comments.


As for my point and in contrast, I don't recall ever seeing an entry as a cover of "XYZ" with a comment that some people hear a cover of "ABC". i do see entries of a cover of "XYX" with a comment that the credits are wrong on the release, etc.


Listening to a sample of or the whole recording under review does nothing regarding the songwriting credits, but does confirm that the recording is a cover of Work and may confirm the Artist (depending on the editor's familiarity).


To use my efforts on SHS as an example, I do not file reports on or submit performances unless I have heard the entire recording (with very rare exceptions). On occasion, I do file reports with an "under review" qualifier to capture initial findings on site. Given that, not only have I researched the performance to some level but am also providing "ear witness" testimony of the performance.


Perhaps we need to capture "ear witness" testimony on site in some form. A processing editor checks one of four boxes to attest to:

a) Listened to the entire recording;

b) Listened to a clip;

c) Did not confirm via audio; or

d) Relied on contributor's audio confirmation.


The submission form should include the same:

a) Listened to the entire recording;

b) Listened to a clip; or

c) Did not confirm via audio.

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 5124

VirileVagabond @ 2021-02-15 06:50:30 UTC

Song-writing credits must be copied (and they must be copied from a fixed set of sources) and there is no need to research them properly.


Decided to expand a bit on this.... Given my level of SHS activity, including error reports, I still rarely question writing credits. While I will likely now find some "actual" writers that need to be moved to the comments and a needed revision to the "legal", usually I'm most interested in when the credits differ between the PROS and what's printed on the physical releases, liner notes, etc. of the original artist. This is especially true when contemporary reissues print the same "mistake". I used to suggest a comment noting the discrepancy, but the reaction was almost always hostile.


From FAQ:

https://secondhandsongs.com/page/FAQ

SecondHandSongs is the largest and most accurate database of cover songs.

I suppose we are the largest (how is this measured), but if SHS is just a compiler of info from other sites without independent confirmation, how can we judge "accurate"? Currently, I have little doubt as to "most accurate" regarding the details of the releases, but the performances themselves?

walt

Editor
Posts: 5396

walt @ 2021-02-17 09:23:59 UTC

To address your main point, yes of course editors should somehow confirm what work is being performed.


Luckily, we have TouTube, Spotify, etc to cover most cases. The remainder showing proper credits on credible releases also qualify IMO.

VirileVagabond

Certified Contributor II
Posts: 5124

VirileVagabond @ 2021-02-17 10:22:07 UTC

The remainder showing proper credits on credible releases also qualify IMO.


Curious, what's a "credible release"?

How does one know the credits are proper without audio confirmation?


Performances can be titled in one language but sung in another. Instrumental vs. vocal. Medleys not indicated by title. Wrong credits. Wrong work. Not a cover. I have run across all of these site.