There’s a link on the Blogroll (I love that word) on the right to Discogs, one of the most useful music sites around. For those who’ve not come across it before, it’s basically the music discography answer to Wikipedia. The site’s stated aim is to provide a complete list of everything released by everyone ever. Obviously this is never going to happen, but the gaps are constantly getting smaller. Discogs started out as a dance and electronic music database. Other genres were only really covered when they crossed over. It is still much stronger in this field than in any other, but the rock, soul, hip hop and jazz entries are becoming better. The general format for each release includes a cover scan, release details, any available production notes, a full tracklisting and any critical comments about the record submitted by members. Each release is rateable, so over time a general consensus opinion of the disc in question builds up. Everything is cross-referenced, so searches can be done by title, artist or label (although not by individual track as yet). Because all of the content is supplied by members, there are obviously going to be inaccuracies. All entries, though, are queued and checked in order to prevent duplicate or misleading information getting through. On the whole, the checks and balances work, so the information provided is pretty reliable. In addition, Discogs has established its own marketplace where members can buy and sell records. I’ve not used it myself, although I’ve seen that the range of items for sale is impressive. The site is one of the very best on the web for providing information about music releases. The critical evaluations are variable in quality, but as far as the facts go, there is nothing that can touch it.


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