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Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about music recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are located in Portland, Oregonmarker, USAmarker. Discogs is one of the largest online databases of electronic music releases and is believed to be the largest online database of releases on vinyl media. Across all genres and formats, 1.7 million releases are catalogued, featuring listings for nearly 1.3 million artists and over 140,000 labels. The site has well over 200,000 visitors a day .


The domain name was registered in August 2000, and Discogs itself was launched in October 2000 by programmer, DJ, and music fan Kevin Lewandowski as a database of his private record collection.

He was inspired by the success of community-built sites such as Slashdot, eBay, and Open Directory Project, and decided to use this model for a music discography database.

The site's original goal was to build the most comprehensive database of electronic music, organized around the artists, labels, and releases available in that genre. In 2003 the Discogs system was completely rewritten, and in January 2004 it began to support other genres, starting with hip hop. Since then, it has expanded to include rock and jazz in January 2005 and funk/soul, latin, and reggae in October of the same year. In January 2006 blues and non-music (e.g. comedy records, field recordings, interviews) were added. Classical music started being supported in June 2007, and in October 2007 the "final genres were turned on" - now adding support for the Stage & Screen, Brass & Military, Children's, and Folk, World, & Country music genres and indeed allowing capture of virtually every single kind of audio recording that has ever been released.

On 30 June 2004, Discogs published its last report, which included information about the number of its contributors. This report claims that Discogs has 15,788 contributors and 260,789 releases [73057]. On the Discogs homepage there is information indicating the number of releases, labels, and artists presently in the database. In 2006 the number of releases in the database passed the 500,000 mark.

On 20 July 2007 a new system for sellers was introduced on the site called Market Price History. It made information available to users who paid for a subscription —though 60 days information was free— access to the past price items were sold for up to 12 months ago by previous sellers who had sold exactly the same release. At the same time, the US$12 per year charge for advanced subscriptions was abolished, as it was felt that the extra features should be made available to all subscribers now that a better, some may say fairer, revenue stream had been found from sellers and purchasers. However, at the beginning of 2008, the Market Price History was also made free of charge for all users, still giving up to a 12 month view of historical sales data for any release.

In mid-August 2007, Discogs data became publicly accessible via a REST, XML-based API and a license that allowed specially attributed use, but did not allow anyone to "alter, transform, or build upon" the data. The license has since been changed to a public domain one. Prior to the advent of this license and API, Discogs data was only accessible via the Discogs web site's HTML interface and was intended to be viewed only using web browsers. The HTML interface remains the only authorized way to modify Discogs data.

Contribution system

The data in Discogs comes from submissions contributed by users who have registered accounts on the web site. The system has gone through 4 major revisions.

Version One (V1)

All incoming submissions were checked for formal and factual correctness by privileged users called "moderators", or "mods" for short, who had been selected by site management. Submissions and edits wouldn't become visible or searchable until they received a single positive vote from a "mod". An even smaller pool of super-moderators called "editors" had the power to vote on proposed edits to artist & label data.

Version Two (V2)

This version introduced the concept of "submission limits" which prevented new users from submitting more than 2-3 releases for moderation. The number of possible submissions by a user increased on a logarithmic scale. The purpose of this was two-fold: 1) it helped keep the submission queue fairly small and manageable for moderators, and 2) it allowed the new user to acclimatise themselves slowly with the many formatting rules and guidelines of submitting to Discogs. Releases required two votes to be accepted into the database.

Version Three (V3)

Submission limits were eliminated, allowing each user to submit an unlimited number of updates and new entries. New releases added to the database were explicitly marked as "Unmoderated" with a top banner, and updates to existing items, such as releases, artists, or labels, were not shown (or available to search engines or casual visitors) until they were approved by the moderators.

Version Four (V4)

This system launched on 10 March 2008. New submissions and edits currently take effect immediately. Anytime a new release is added or old release edited, that entry becomes flagged as needing "votes" (initially, "review," but this term caused confusion). A flagged entry is marked as a full yellow bar across a release in the list views and, like version three, a banner on the submission itself — although, initially, this banner was omitted.

Any item can be voted on at any time, even if it isn't flagged. Votes consist of a rating of the correctness & completeness of the full set of data for an item (not just the most recent changes), as assessed by users who have been automatically determined, by an undisclosed algorithm, to be experienced & reliable enough to be allowed to cast votes. An item's "average" vote is displayed with the item's data.

The changes in v4 have been controversial among active users and former moderators because of what is perceived to be a substantially reduced reliability and usability of the database. As a result, a number of long-time users and former moderators have deleted their accounts or stated they would not be returning to the site in the foreseeable future and several hundred remaining members — collectively responsible for the initial submission to the database of over 200,000 releases (almost a fifth of the total) — have indicated they would like the site to return to v3.

The ranking system has also changed in v4. In v3, rank points were only awarded to submitters when a submission was "Accepted" by moderator votes. While in v4, rank points are now awarded immediately when a submission is made, regardless of the accuracy of the information and what votes it eventually receives, if any.


Tag editors

  • MP3tag — freeware tag editor with Discogs support (batch and spreadsheet interfaces).
  • foobar2000 — freeware media player & music management software with a plugin for Discogs support.
  • TagScanner — freeware tag editor with Discogs, FreeDB, support.
  • ASMT MP3 Tagger — single release tagger with Discogs support.
  • Helium Music Manager — music management software with a plugin for Discogs support.
  • TigoTago — spreadsheet-based tag editor with Discogs support.
  • MP3 Collection Organizer — batch tagger with Discogs support.
  • The GodFather — freeware tag editor with Discogs script support.
  • The Tagger — MP3 and AAC formats tag editor for Mac OS X with Discogs support.
  • Tagog — Linux audio file tagger with Discogs support.
  • Jaikoz - OSX/Windows/Linux spreadsheet-based tag editor with Discogs support


  • MP3 Filenamer - Online MP3 file name generator, based on Discogs release data.
  • Discogs Bar - Discogs navigation and search control toolbar for Firefox.
  • Album Art Downloader - Discogs cover art downloads.
  • WWW::Discogs - Perl module for interfacing with the Discogs API.

See also


External links

Main sites

  • Discogs — official site.
  • Disbugs — ongoing site issues/bugs and feature requests.
  • Discogs wiki — Discogs own wiki site, for discussions on issues and future feature ideas.

External sites

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