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Genre types on wikiloops

posted on #1
User Avatar Member
Posts: 54
Joined: 24.07.14
Hi there,

I thought of an idea or suggestion while searching through wikiloops for various genres as I like to play a variety of styles. I first thought about this whilst looking for some jazz to play along to, but then I stumbled along an old rock n roll track and it may me think, "how would someone who is a rock and roll player find more of these types?"

This is just an example. For instance bossa nova and samba are listed as two separate genres but really fall under "latin", and could also fall under the large umbrella of jazz too.

Jazz rock is sometimes labelled "fusion" which covers Jazz + "-------" (jazz and any combination of other genres)

The current drop down selection covers the main categories, but sometimes things are difficult to find as people don't always label things (I'm guilty!) :)

I had a look on the net at various websites to see what the definitive standard genre list was, which was quite interesting.

Is it (or could it be) a possibility that a second drop down menu could be added to the main search page with sub genre types for people to navigate through other categories that otherwise would be more difficult to find?

Or another option - could there be something added so when people say for example upload a track in the "electronic" section, a further dropdown allows them to add "Chillout" or "trance" or "acid jazz"? I'm aware of the "sounds like" box, but if people were able to select this through a drop down box, I think it would make this a more tidy database, and perhaps prompt people to give more info.

Many thanks for your time.

Best regards

Paul (pconey)
Edited by pconey on October 11 2017 11:33
posted on #2
User Avatar Member
Posts: 61
Joined: 12.12.15

I agree with Paul... I see that our community is now very large. Now You have to be rally lucky to find JAMs if your musical preferences are including many of different genres. Especially "new music" part of wikiloops. Now i'm finding most interesting jams for me just because I have a lucky day or I'm following user who made some exceptional jam with other user who made the same thing. Other way is to ask other user via PM about interesting jams. If You go like this You have to be little stalker and check who follows who, where he's/she's writing comments etc.

If You're like me - so much busy man during the week, You have to spend so many time friday night to find this what you looking for. Only one thing You can be sure... Your perfect jam is existing somwhere there, and it's waiting for your lucky day.

Other part of the situation:
If you are new here and you work all weekend to upload your jam, normally you can expect any raection just from another musicians from jam you remixed, some of your few followers or if you're lucky someone will click that jam via "latest jams". That's all... After that You can forget about Your jam.

About site modification:

I have my full respect for Richard and this what He's doing here almost alone. I can't belive how it's possible to keep together so big machine. So I can belive that including new genres is a huge modification of all architecture of this site.... but...

Maybe we can fix that that with little help of forum ?
What if we open some new sections on the forum about music genres and we give short information about possibility to clasificate your track more precise while we're uploading new track?

Main section of GENRES can include all existing types. Rest we can organize like that:

Jazz - as one of new sections and if you go inside you'll find:
- classic
- standarts
- fusion
- acid jazz
- new jazz

- Dub
- Dubstep
- Ska
- Ragga
- Raggaeton
- fusion reggae + ?

- pop electronic
- techno
- house
- chillout
- drum'n'bass
- lounge
- experimntal

It's just exaple...

Of course let's make some rules about it. For expamle right post should looks like this:
jam title
#(jam number)
short comment(if needed)

Loopers!!! Please don't beat me! It' just an idea.
If You like it. I'm ready to help with moderation of some sections.

What do You think?
posted on #3
User Avatar
Posts: 2564
Joined: 30.12.10
Hey Pierre and Paul -
and sorry if it has taken Pierres *bump* to let me join this, I I admit to not having found the time to answer this earlier, sorry about that, Paul.

Both of you are stating very valid arguments PRO an extension / rework of either the offered Genres List, or by offering a sort of sub-genres list, which both might eventually improve the listing/finding aspect.
It can be done either way and probably should be addressed,
but -even if it is only for the purpose of entertaining you guys with some additional info- it will come with some pitfalls which I would like to point at:
First of all, any ordering system is only worth having if people care to use it properly, and even with the limited categories setup we are offering today, you will find quite a lot of examples of people who obviously do not see any sense in categorizing their tracks in a way that makes them findable to others.
We have extended the list of genres several times, but that doesn't necessaryly change user behaviour, let me give you two examples:
We used to offer a dropdown so guitar players could choose wether their addition was either a rhythm guitar still in need of a solo, or a solo guitar, so people could browse for tracks that included guitar but stil needed a solo.
The option took up a lot of valuable interface space on the search page, but people hardly cared to enter that information, so in the end I removed the filter again.
Same might happen with the sub-genre filter, it is hard to foresee.

Now, the second and maybe even more tricky thing to keep in mind is this:
If we offer some sort of filter, people will expect to be able to find tracks in that offered filter.
I'll explain the problem:
Assumed we have 24 categories A-Z which are offered.
If you start by looking at what filter C has to offer and notice, "oops, there are 0 tracks found in C!", you may move on to filters F and G, but if they return no results, you will get the strong feeling that wikiloops has nothing to offer.
To solve that, one will offer 24 categories to choose from on the upload page, but only offer the ones which actually have content on the search interface.
This is extremely tricky,
especially because there are so many filters to combine.
If someone starts out by selecting instruments and picks a rare line-up of trumpet, drums and cello, that will still find a handfull of tracks.
If one adds the additional filter for the genre "punk-rock", that will be a 100% sure "game over" result.
"0 tracks found" is a bad experience for the visitor, but these also cause the heaviest possible database load - the whole database of tracks needs to be scanned to reach that result, and the attempt to find something at least similar to the searched request to have something relevant to offer doubles the calculation effort. It may seem paradox, but in databases the time needed to find a result decreases the more matches can be found.

The poin I'm trying to make is: It is very difficult to handle categories which have little content in a way that is convenient to the searching user, and the number of drop-down menus and the lenght of their content increases, which will not make categorizing more fun...
There needs to be a balance in these aspects, and even tho the current system does certainly have the flaws you pointed at, it does guarantee all offered categories are at least offering a relevant amount of content.

This is basicly why I stuck to a rule of "you can specify your own (instrument) category, but there needs to be a relevant amount of tracks before the instrument is added to the standard instruments list (it is displayed as "other stringed etc" before that happens)".
Both Caroljoices "Celtic Harp" and jmrukkers "Hammond Organ" tracks should be moved up into becoming standard instruments, category wise by now, I simply didn't find the time to create the needed images etc so far, it is a lot of work.

So, there we have a self-extending categories system on the instruments, and something similar might work on the genres, too, but then that would require some sort of automated handling which recognizes when you have uploaded the nth "special extradark core funkpunk"-track. It is possible, but a huge preparation effort once more.

What I have been thinking to do for some time now is to try something entirely different to solve the problem,
let me offer that as an alternative approach.

Both of you mentoned the "Soundslike" tags field, and it is quite obvious that this is not used a whole lot, even tho it has the strongest impact on "getting found".
The beauty of the free-text format is that people are free to enter any genre they just made up, and that one could actually use it to form groups of content the way it happens by hashtags on twitter.
The tags are not limited to resembling genres, either, you could start tagging a list of tracks with "beginner" or "advanced" and basicly create another category that way - you could tag tracks with "election2016protest", too and use them to reflect on yet another aspect you would like to collect tracks around, there are unlimited options (think of all the hashtags to which people post stuff on twitter...).

I'm not a regular twitter user myself, and I guess that is true for many of our users, too, so the idea of how that works needs to be demonstrated, so more uploading people will understand the potential of the tags.

What I've been thinking to re-introduce is some sort of extra box on the track pages, in which the chosen tags and categories are once more shown in some grid, and in which the chosen tags are hyperlinked to the search page, so it will show all tracks tagged with the same tag without any need to enter anything into a text search form.
If you spot some track is obviously tagged as "grindcore", and that is what you are looking for, you could easily click your way to more "grindcore" tracks without any need for going thru endless drop-down menus, and at the same time guaranteeing that there will be at least one track found per offered tag.
My hopes would be that this category-overview box will let the idea of tags become more obvious to those who usually skip entering them,
and maybe we can establish a better use of that without any need to touch the fixed categories.
To tell you the truth, the category system on wikiloops is quite sophisticated and already offers way too many choices to the "average joe" visitor, who still shows up on wikiloops and searches for "stairway to heaven" first.
I do observe such new visitor moves a lot, hence I got to realize the 12-options-as-dropdowns interface is already seen as very complicated.
We are living in times where the younger generation expects their smartphones to do the searching by text commands - so, to me, moving into improving the free text search / hashtag options seems to be preferrable over adding more dropdowns.
We will probably end up in need of hiding the extended filters at first, and offering "advanced search options" for those who are not scared or even value that.

Does any of that make any sense to you?
What would you advise, looking at the aspects I tried to point you at?
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