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Track Tagging: Compliment or Irritation?

posted on #1
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We have relatively new phenomena here on the loops of tagging. It’s where a track is liked enough for a member to do a “remix” (twiddle a few parameters but not necessarily improve anything), or add a relatively inaudible instrument.
There is a compliment in this as it would seem they like your track enough for that person to want to be a part of it. It could also be looked at as trying to take some portion of the credit for the track. To an outside listener if one hears a lot of good tracks and sees the tagger’s name associated with it they may think that the tagger is responsible for that sound. For me it’s hard sometimes to distinguish who is doing what, but if the track sounds good everybody gets the credit.
If there is somebody tagging all the best architectural buildings in your town it would be easy to be offended by their lack of respect. An odd, yet valid way to see this could also be by noting that the tagger has taste. Has the tagger lessened the architecture? Have they done permanent harm? If however you were the architect it would be understandable to feel that your work was disrespected by being tagged. Tagging (for me) is easily associated with male dogs claiming territory. It’s a way to say “this is mine” without much effort.
We can all tell the difference between a player who is trying or learning and wishes to “have a go” and a tagger. We have all been learners and many (most?) of us hope to always be learning or improving. This site has embedded within it a generosity of spirit in which almost everybody is encouraged. We don’t have “comments” that we make. The category is “compliments”. If we haven’t something nice to say most of us say nothing.
OK here’s the questions I’d like to see addressed: 1. Are you OK/happy for your tracks to be tagged? 2. If unhappy what would you like to see happen? 3. How would you feel if wikiloops’ most prolific contributor in 6 months is a tagger?
Edited by Wade on November 28 2016 22:16
posted on #2
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I have not noticed that, but you must have seen it, so. Personally, I would not bother spending time worrying about it. There are a lot of sad people in this world who do a lot of strange things to get attention. So being a tagger is probably not the worse, trolling and flaming is much more of a problem. If someone would do this on my track I'll ask what he did to the mix, and if it happened repeatedly by the same person I might say something. But I would not worry about it too much.
posted on #3
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Where I come from, we say "The tree doesn't care, if a pig scratches its coat on the bark." and this is not meant to be an offense to the pig.

To you queries, Wade:
When I was a little boy, an aunt of me donated an ugly shirt as a birthday gift. My Mom taught me, to accept her intention and to be grateful, although I didn't like this shirt.
When I was a young man, I was playing in a punk band and many people loved our performance but much more people hated our "noise". I didn't care about the second group. I regarded our performance and sound as art.
What I have learned: If I see, hear or generally experience anything, produced by anyone, which I don't understand, I consider that it is meant to be art.
Here on the loops, everybody has the option to make another piece of art out of a track (i.e. a piece of art) which other people have placed here.
This is a fabulous idea in my opionion and I guess that's the reason why many people over here spend a lot of time over here.
So let's relax and take it as a chance instead of starting to claim that we don't understand everything, which is made out of our pieces of art.
Life is.
posted on #4
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It's interesting that we've had replies from members who have not been affected and/or haven't noticed. Would be more interesting for members whose tracks have been tagged to give their opinion. Will is certainly right about the potential for misinterpretation of styles and what people may be DOING that is "different". The thing about tagging is that there is little/no difference in the track to misinterpret. The typical tag is a remix that is not noticeable or an improvement, or a barely audible washed out instrument that is lost in the background. The tagger seems to just want to attach their name as they are not adding much of anything. Again, this could be seen as a compliment and there may be members who are pleased with this attention. Anyone who has been tagged want to give an opinion?

Tee Gee is also wise about not letting stuff get to us. The concern is for individuals who may have problems with tagging and what it could potential to do to wikiloops. It's an open question. One individual (who shall remain nameless) has uploaded 241 tracks in the past 35 days. I guess that can be ignored as it's just 241 uploads. Will it be as easy to ignore if it's 2500 within a year? How about 10000 in four years? There could be a cost in this and it may not just be financial.

posted on #5
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I have noticed this as well on some of my tracks and those of others, and while I consider it to be only mildly annoying at the moment, Wade has a point regarding potential long term effects - is essence this 'tagging' without adding substance dilutes the quality of the tracks available, und could start impacting the quality of search results if it would become too widespread. Will has a point of course, perhaps people that do this feel they are contributing, but maybe we don't see it as such because we have a different view on what makes a worthwhile addition, or at least an attempt at such.

It is also possible to view this type of 'squatting' behaviour, or 'tagging' as you call it as malicious intent, perhaps to pollute the wikiloops quality, or some way of gaining visibility without actual contribution, but it's a hard call to make if this is indeed the case.
posted on #6
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Hey Wade,
in fact I know exactly what and who you mean, cause I also experienced it. But I prefer to "act" like the tree which I already described.
It's not, that there are no things in the world, which upset me.
But the music which I have posted here is free for everybody's use in any way.
And if anybody gets more holy thumbs on it than I will ever get, I will even congratulate.
But if anybody gets a millionaire of real(!) money, I will set my dangerous dog AND my lawyer on him/her. :D
Beside jokes:
If there's somebody who spams the workspace of the loops in an extreme way, I think, a personal debate is perhaps the most constructive way. Perhaps you already tried. In this case it would be fair also to publicize this debate as well as the claim.
Life is.
posted on #7
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Hello folks :)
I've been following this thread from last night on but didn't find the time to join it - and I'd like to start by thanking you guys for the carefull and open exchange of thoughts, this is what makes this community special, and we have a very nice example of this spirit here.

I do (once more) appreciate Wade's bold approach to ask an obvious question, and I admit to having wondered about the "tagging" myself. It is indeed a new phenomenon, and I do agree it doesn't really add anything positive to wikiloops.

My tracks have been "tagged" on several occasions, so I'm in the boat on this as well, but there will be others who are affected on a much more annoying level than me.
When speaking of this issue, please do keep one aspect in mind that may not be too obvious:
Any "tagged" upload does create remix notifications, both to users newsfeeds as well as by email (if the remixed folks opted in for that).
The same happens on album publification - all involved users get a notification about being part of yet another album.

These messages are happy moments if someone took the time to do anything creative with your music - but that ends if one finds the "tagger" didn't do that, but liked to appear in the way Wade described.
What will that lead to? It will change the way people look at remix notifications coming from wikiloops, and that is indeed a bad thing to let happen.

I do agree with Will, that sometimes I do get remixes which I don't "understand". We have a group of members engaging in collaborations which I am having a hard time to classify as music - its more noise and soundscape experiments, but: these people are doing something very creative, so, I have learned to value that (even tho I was a bit upset when my upright sounded like... noise... after someone remixed it :) ). I am guilty of "tagging" a beautiful track by Djev by adding birdsong, so, what i'm trying to say is, it is going to be difficult to draw a line there and setup a rule like "you must at least add something slightly creative when uploading to wikiloops".

On the other hand, the current tagging phenomenon is really limited to one person, so maybe it doesn't need a "new rule" of any kind, but just an open word towards that one user, whom I'm going to invite to join this discussion here.

In the end, it would be interesting to learn what the motivation of a "tagger" may be, if it can be articulated, it may be possible to solve it. What the tagger is doing is collecting great tracks and presenting them once more - thats not a bad deed, but there could be other ways to achieve that and get credit for doing it without the need to add a remix to a branch.
One could easily become a valued and well credited creator of great album selections without ever uploading a track, but maybe this option is not obvious enough.
posted on #8
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Hello loopers :)

I only spotted this thread this morning and it took me a short while to digest ... Thanks to Wade for bringing this topic up and of course to everyone else for sharing your thoughts and approach to this thread :)

I have to concede that i have been irritated more than once by this phenomenon and i shall add that i am not easily irritated either ! I usually am truely glad when anyone had fun with a track i posted whatever the add is (yes even the kind i can't see a musical point in).

Irritated ? Is that an ego fact ? Maybe there's a shade of that somewhere deep in the reaction but, honestly, I think it's more than just this let me elaborate just a bit ...

We are a bunch of passionate people, and every single of us has a history and background ... Remixing (and i mean ADDING to a jam) is a creative and demanding process : you need to pour some of your personality into this task and that's the beauty of wikiloops :) In a way, a jam could become a bit like your baby (if you put enough of yourself into it) sharing this parenthood with every other contributor ;) This is even more real when you compose every single bit in a piece but let's stick to the sharing idea !

These passionate people i just mentioned happen to carry a project from another (maybe even more) passionate dude who found the energy to set up this wikiloops thingy that we can all contribute to ! Yes it takes ALOT to keep this project alive ... just need to look at this BIG REMINDER at the top of this screen trying to rally some funds ;)

Tagging, the way it is described in this thread is, in my opinion, not only lacking of respect to all the contributors of a track, who poured some of their guts (and don't get me wrong this is NOT dirty or smelly :P ), but also being ignorant to every other member who support this project in a way or another. The trafic generated eats up ressources and this is certainly not what the passionate people gave support for ...

Please, for music sakes, let's keep this place CREATIVE !!
Edited by OliVBee on November 29 2016 14:51
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #9
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Well, one possible solution to this problem would be that for the "Mixer" option, a more detailed description would be required before the track gets the green "publish" light? To be honest, even if it isn't tagging, I would really like to know more about what people did for the mix...
posted on #10
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TG_Strat wrote:
Well, one possible solution to this problem would be that for the "Mixer" option, a more detailed description would be required before the track gets the green "publish" light? To be honest, even if it isn't tagging, I would really like to know more about what people did for the mix...

erm... TG, your suggestion reminds me of the worst music education idea:
"Oh, he can't play - no problem, give him the TRIANGLE to start with".
theres no use offering the "Mixer" category with an explanation like "If you didn't really add anything but felt like uploading anyways, call that mixer, because mixers dont do anything in general" - thats just missing the point that people (like p.e. MrBee over there) are actually able to DO things with a mixer,
and seriously, if I took the time and effort to remix your track, trust me, you would either hear a difference without much explanation, or I wouldn't care to upload the result.
I understand why explanation is a cool thing to do on Mixer-uploads for educational reasons (I believe I suggested that), but this issue has not much to do with the tagging aspect I'm affraid.
Sorry, but as someone who works as a sound engineer every now and then, I just can't give the Mixer options to the taggers, nope, can't ;)
posted on #11
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I've been quite blunt with the tagger in question. I have noticed as of late they are adding "some" playing on pieces. I think the suggestion might be made to "said" tagger that they START or Open a new template 90% of the time and "Add" 10% of the time. I follow Jamlady and she added to a template that was started by the "Tagger" Squatter" in question. I did compliment Jamlady on her dance with this person. I didn't go all the way back and compliment the USER in question as I thought, It wasn't enough....but Jamlady did, and the dance of the two was slightly awkward yet I liked it.
I think the pain of starting a template, where you get less than stellar PARTICIPATION or actual adds makes one 1) value a great add to your template, and 2) cause one to really try their best when adding to others work.
The word is "ADD" BTW I see that as a greater number, higher value,........

Anyway Maybe the 90% 10% suggestion could be made as a challenge to the USERS own musical growth!
posted on #12
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Hmmm, no offense Gemmy, but let's rather discuss the phenomenon than speak about a single individual.
Wade made a good lead on that, and we're not here to diss anyone, right? It's live-and-let-live, and I'm affraid I wouldn't want to have to be the one who makes sure your 90-10 suggestion is being followed. What we huld be looking for is a way to keep three things in balance:
Keep the effort of enforcing any rules in view (who wants to check all uploads for such details?)
Keeping the creative freedom on wikiloops as big as anyhow possible
Keeping the possible amount of irritation caused by single individuals as small as possible

One approach which seems well-balanced in this regard would be to simply block the notifications of irritators,
that way they would basicly vanish from your radar if you aren't scanning the latest jams.
posted on #13
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I wasn't saying this is the law. People will do what they do.
Was merely suggesting that could be a plan for any 'Taggers"

Sorry for being so explicit in my previous post.

No offense taken!

I liked what I think TG said about if there is a remix, that a person could describe what technically they did to make the things they felt needed changed.
At that point it could be an educational point to folks or it would be a point of departure to actually talk about whether it was successful(the REMIX), in comments.

At that point it is not based on musical ability or choices in style or......
but on a point "Did, what you did to the track" in a REMIX help, harm or do nothing?

I've asked OliVbee once maybe twice what he did on his mixes, as I like to learn how and what his strategies are in his mixes. Always helpful. But if a few sentences can be included in the description on the technical aspect in the recording....it might help all, and allow for better comments than
"I like this;)Great one:D"
Edited by Leftdaloops1019 on November 29 2016 19:55
posted on #14
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What about putting a cap on the amount of uploads for a new member? Give them time to settle in and observe etiquette?
posted on #15
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I think conversations can fix an issue like this since it seems to be isolated to a single user, from what I am reading. 241 mixes in 35 days is a large number. I know I could not make improvements to that many songs and have the time invested that the musicians deserve. I don't know the id of the user in question so I am trying to be the unbiased point of view here not bash anyone. I am slower at mixing than I am at writing/ performing and recording a bass or guitar track and I am sure there are others that. can mix a lot faster than I can but thats around 9 months worth of recording sessions for me and I think I am working on tracks for several hours almost everyday. A cap to the number of mixer adds a day might help. Maybe a statement about proper use of the mixer (dos and donts) with a I understand check box when mixer is selected for upload just to remind people. I think all of us would expect more from a mix than someone adding a little reverb and calling it a remix. Danny's suggestion of a limit on uploads may be the least creativity stiffleing method to get some effort into the mixes and at least reduce the likelyhood of someone becoming a tagger.
posted on #16
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Maybe I am a bit off-topic.
In my opinion a musician is a person with an individual style. Something I can recognize easily. You don't need to listen to 20 tracks of a musician to know his style.
My personal rules being a member of Wikiloops are:
1. Don't lie in your comments
2. Give more thumbs than you get
3. Stop uploading if you don't get musical feedback after 3 pieces
4. Make a long rest if you get an audience of less than 10 thumbs in average for the last 3 uploads
5. Stop listening to the best musicians if they do more than 2 uploads in 7 days. Give them the rest they need

I use these rules for three years now and they work fine for me.
Edited by Neronick on November 30 2016 11:27
posted on #17
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Hey folks, all quiet here all of a sudden ;)

Let me start with a humorous remark - it does happen very rarely, but for once I do have to agree with Neronick: That really was off-topic.

The topic here is something Wade titled "tagging", and we've been exchanging our look at this phenomenon, and a handfull of possible reactions have been noted.

I'd like to reply to Dannys suggestion of limiting new members upload capabilities first.
The idea is not all bad, and giving the "new member first visit what do I do now how does this work"-scenario another workover is on the to do list.
I've seen community pages with very clear instructions to better get smart before taking any action on the site, and there are many options to delay peoples first interactions - such concepts where one needs to collect some reputation points before he can p.e. ask a question in a programming forum are out there,
and we can think of suitable ways to apply such ideas to wikiloops.
The only thing of this kind which we already have is the "you can't post to the forum if you never gave a thumb"-rule, which has kept this forum 100% spam free for more than three years now.

Now, besides being open towards improving this community-entrance scenario, I do have doubts that the "tagging" issue would have been prevented by such a rule.

I'm not really out looking for new rules, tbh. They always have the downside that someone (me) has to enforce them, wich is not always a funny job.

Let me try to do two things - first, let me once more state what I believe to be the best official wikiloops position in this, and secondly, I'll inform about the outcome of the current "tagging issue" as it has been observed and discussed here.

wikiloops is a place where we collaborate in music. Different approaches, styles, instruments and cultural backgrounds are ideally meant to co-exist peacefully on wikiloops, with the open invitation for strangers to walk in and try something new.
Wades idea of thinking of wikiloops of a town, and a tagger going about and putting up his sign on these buildings is good, but we should not forget that all buildings (=tracks) have a big label on them saying "if you like to, put your label here", so who ever builds a house in this town has agreed to such things happening.
I will not go into any direction of musical quality control, it can only lead the wrong way.
But I am not saying that there is no problem - I'd just like to suggest a slightly different problem definition than Wade did.
From my point of view, the problem is not a musical one. I believe the whole "tagging" issue would have created far less irritation if it would have been possible to understand the motivation of the "tagger".
If I get crappy remixes by people who can't play well or don't have much recording experience, then that is not irritating in any way, as long as I have the feeling that I can understand why people do that - be it because they are having fun, had two beer too much or are just getting started with recording and basicly sharing their first experiments looking for feedback.
If however I have no way of telling what the intention of the uploader may have been, my irritation will grow with any upload of this kind. This is what just happened here among us.

The key to avoiding such irritation is communication. Half a sentence of explanation, and be it "whooaaa, did this after 23 beer and had a lot of fun!!!" is enough, right?
And seriously, there is no jamsession on this planet where you can walk in and do your thing without ever saying a word or at least giving a friendly smile to the folks around.
If someone is not capable of performing such simple yet important communication, then we do have a probem here.

If I notice (or someone notifies me) that we have a new user who seems to lack this skill (or who may not be familiar with the culture of wikiloops to understand), I tend to adress that by asking what the intention of the upload(s) in question was - be it openly by comment, or by personal message.

This is what also happened in the current "tagging" story, some may recall my post about the use of the "mixer" option a few weeks ago - that was basicly a copy of what I sent to the user in question.

Same when Wade opened this discussion here, like I wrote a few days ago, I also invited the irritator to look at this thread here, and asked him to please share some opinion.
I would have been open to listen to any kind of explanation, as I had been rolling out excuses and positive interpretations (lack of knowledge...) in my earlier posts here.
As you have noticed - there has been no reply here, and there was none in my inbox either.
When I noticed the user didn't seem to be wanting to comment, but obviously had the time to add more tracks to wikiloops I decided to put an end to this story by blocking the users account.

I know this will not be popular around here (at least not with the 16 followers of said guy),
but in the end it comes down to:
If you visit someones place, and the owner of the place approaches you and would like to talk to you - don't ignore him and go grab more cake at the buffet. If that is asked too much, leave, and don't come back.

This may have been a strange incident and a new phenomenon on wikiloops, and I actually feel sorry for another someone who for unknown reasons couldn't meet the mandatory requirements of social interaction on wikiloops,
but we do not need any new rules, and I simply do not have the time to do social coaching sessions by personal message, sorry.

Looking foreward to your remarks, but wouldn't mind if we could get back to making music now ;)
posted on #18
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Dick wrote: If you visit someones place, and the owner of the place approaches you and would like to talk to you - don't ignore him and go grab more cake at the buffet. If that is asked too much, leave, and don't come back.

Edited by TeeGee on December 01 2016 16:26
posted on #19
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Dick wrote:
Looking foreward to your remarks, but wouldn't mind if we could get back to making music now ;)

Very good idea, Dick! :)
Life is.
posted on #20
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Dick your cake is always good. But, it's the éclairs and I'm really interested in. As we say in the states a man's gotta do what a man's Gotta Do.
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