ckd: (music)
Now that every shipping iPod (save the shuffle) has a color screen and the ability to display lyrics saved within the song file, the metadata problem is even more acute.

Put simply, user-entered metadata sucks rocks. Cory Doctorow calls this metacrap, and notes that even when people have a financial incentive (eBay listings, for instance) they screw up (anyone want a "Plam Zire 71"?).

This seems even more true of CDDB. Sometimes I think they've got crack-addled monkeys entering data. Reversed artist and song title? Yeah, we've got that. Both of them in the song title field? Yup. Incorrect spelling and capitalization? Uh-huh.

Probably most annoying because of its semi-invisibility, though, is the misuse of the "compilation" flag. That's not there just because the iTunes developers wanted to give you a "ticky-box" option! I've now become inured to the habit of checking the "get info" box for the CD before importing, simply as a defensive measure against this being mis-set.

An album is not a compilation, unless it has songs on it by multiple artists. This means that, in general, "Greatest Hits" albums do not qualify. (Some of them may have different but related acts together, like Lionel Richie and the Commodores, or the various Crosby, Stills, Nash, and/or Young groupings.) Random everyday "one artist, bunch of songs" albums? Definitely not, you crack-addled monkey!

Cover art, at least, has Amazon and Wal-Mart (yeah, they're good for something) doing a reasonable job of offering it up. Still, there are bad scans, microscopic JPEGs, and scans with the clearly-readable "PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY" legend right across the middle to contend with.

Lyrics...don't get me started on lyrics. My iPod doesn't display them anyway. This is probably a good thing.

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