Discogs format system update – the conversions

This topic is for discussion regarding the conversion of the old format system to the new one. As this update has the possibility of affecting tens or hundreds of thousands of releases, and as once it is done there is little chance of going back, I feel it warrants it’s own topic and debate.

This issue specifically relates to how we interpret the current use of (mostly) 12″ vinyl to mean either EP or Maxi-Single, although there are (currently non-contended) conversions for LP’s / Albums as well.

[b]This is the current proposal as of 15th sep 2006[/b]:

[quote]From the [url=http://help.discogs.com/wiki/SubmissionGuidelinesFormat-NEW]new format proposal[/url] – Two formats are problematic to convert due to the inexact nature of their present use, and a desire to prescribe either Album, Single, Maxi-Single, or EP to them during the transfer, to avoid the possibility of hundreds of thousands of updates being needed.

Both are vinyl formats: 12″ and LP.

12″ is problematic due to it’s use for both Maxi-Singles and EPs. A proposed solution would check the track titles, and if all tracks have the same title up to the first instance of a ( character, then it would be labelled a Maxi-Single. Otherwise, they will be labelled EP.

LP is problematic in the electronic genre due to many items that are in fact multiple 12″ (say 2 x 12″) have been entered or changed to LP (2 x LP) due to the usage of LP to mean ‘Album’. The current proposed solution is to ‘n’ x LP (in electronic genre only) to ‘n’ x Vinyl, 12″. The album or EP description will have to be manually added after the conversion.

12″ (where all track titles match) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

12″ (for all the rest) Vinyl -> 12″, EP

LP (in all genres apart from electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

LP (single LP only in electronic) -> Vinyl, LP, Album

‘n’ x LP (in electronic genre only) -> ‘n’ x Vinyl, 12″

This is a comment from [url=http://www.discogs.com/forums/topic?topic_id=111011#1452833]this thread[/url]:

[quote=lazlo_nibble]EP, etc.: For the autoconversion I suggest “EP” be used only if at least three or four distinct song (rather than mix) titles are present. Many Maxi-Singles have at least one B-side. This rule could also apply to 7″ singles. [/quote]

The above suggestion by lazlo_nibble would give us the following conversions:

12″ (with four or more different track titles) -> Vinyl, 12″, EP

12″ (for all cases apart from the above EP conversion) -> Vinyl, 12″, Maxi-Single

7″ (with four or more different track titles) -> Vinyl, 7″, EP

7″ (apart from the above EP conversion) -> Vinyl, 7″, Single


There may indeed be other methods we can think up to try to get the most accurate conversions possible for these difficult conversions. Any and all thoughts on the matter will be happily received!

It is understood that for any of these conversions there WILL be inaccuracies (for example with 2 track EP’s). Again, it is open to debate how acceptable or problematic this is.

The most simple conversion for most vinyl formats is to NOT assume any Album, EP, Maxi-Single, and Single conversions at all, and let people update each release one at a time. Of course it will be appreciated that this presents us with the possibility a massive amount of updates (there are currently 310,254 12” in the database – IOW half the database!)

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