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October 2008

Two Questions About Policies

A couple of issues have arisen on a song I have been working on. I thought it best to raise them here rather than on a specific talk page.


If the lyrics for a song are included in the song's album notes and are scanned and pasted on the song page, can the person who did the scanning certify the lyrics by saying he/she listened to the song? What if the lyrics are transcribed from listening to the song, as I will have to do for some of the songs from the first Kristofferson / Collidge album? Could I certify the lyrics just by saying "Yep, I typed what I heard"? JimCubb 03:25, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

We do not certify by way of written lyrics. But by what is actually sung.  ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 01:49, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

That much I know. My question is really twofold

  1. If I scan the lyrics, as I intend to do for the songs on The Limeliters Makin' A Joyful Noise album, convert the scan to text and paste the text into the song page, is it valid for me to listen to the album and say that I what I pasted is what was sung?
  2. If I transcribe the lyrics from repeated listening to the song, as I am trying to do for the missing songs on the Full Moon album, can I say, "I listened. I typed. Of course it's right!" and certify the lyrics?

JimCubb 03:25, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Certification is basically a means for a page to be marked as having been checked (by listening to the recorded version) by an actual human being. You are certifying that to the best of your knowledge, research, and listening abilities, that the lyrics are as recorded. I would also add that any pages that are certified should also be watched by the certifier.    Kiefer    talk    contribs    admin   05:19, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


When is a cover not a cover?

The original version of We Shall Overcome as copyrighted by Ludlow Music and the four credited authors, as least two of whom are dead, is in 12/8 time. The versions by Joan Baez and The Limeliters are in 12/8 time, have the same five verses as the original and in the same order. (Yes, I know the link is red. The whole album is on my mental to-do list. Wait for it.) They are covers.

The version by Bruce Springsteen is missing a verse and is in 4/4 time. Should it be called a cover of the original? What I tell you that I have heard more than one interview with Mr. Seeger in which he says that he does not like the Springsteen version. Is it a cover?

If someone were to record a version, and I am not at all certain that some one has not, that includes the first verse in Spanish (Nosotros venceremos, . . . ) along with the original five verses and performs it in 12/8, would that be a cover of the original or would it be a new version because of the added language?

JimCubb 01:00, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

From your description, the Springsteen version would still be a cover. It is his version of the song, even though it has some major style differences. Jazz artists cover songs all the time that are shifted in tempo, key, etc., but they are still technically covers. Essentially: If a song is based on another to a significant degree, then it is a cover. If the song uses clips or portions of another song, then it wouldn't be, however. (Hip-hop samples, borrowed guitar riffs, or mash-ups, for example, wouldn't make a song a cover.) A change in language I don't see as eliminating a song as a cover, as well.    Kiefer    talk    contribs    admin   05:19, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


  • I think timestamped lyrics are very useful, particularly for "reading" them while working on something else.

And I think this is the best place for lots of people to work on stamping them right. Basically this is a bump on this archive: LyricWiki talk:Community Portal/Archive/2007 6#Timestamping_Lyrics It shouldn't be so difficult to give it a go and try it (and fix the problems that arise on the go) 15:42, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Well we do try and provide timed lyrics.. see Help page ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 19:46, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

"Not found" for lyrics not yet in database

I've noticed a change in they way the database is handling songs that don't yet have lyrics in the database. Previously a song with no lyrics was skipped, but now it appears that the text "Not found" is being inserted into the tag (I'm using iTunes Lyrics Importer on Windows). This means that in subsequent searches those songs will be skipped as it looks like the song already has lyrics. Doesn't seem right. Why not just leave the tag blank? Thanks Dgbx 18:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

You are absolutely correct, should be left empty. Neither of the Mac iTunes plug ins that I use insert anything for "not found" lyrics (both use LW as the source). Seems like Lyrics Importer needs to provide a fix. ∃cho⚡ierr∀ () 19:00, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like it was deliberate, so iTunes Lyrics Importer would only look for songs it didn't look for yet. It should store those values somewhere else, so you can tell it to go back and re-check blank lyrics later. Maybe you should suggest that to whoever runs it? team atalkctrb 20:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Must be iTunes then. The Lyrics Importer hasn't been changed since 2006, but Windows iTunes was recently updated. Thanks for your insights. Dgbx 18:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, there were a LOT of complaints from windows users about itunes. I think they had to immediately patch it for it to work correctly. The port of itunes to windows is not known for its seamlessness, and I think this is no exception. team atalkctrb 20:32, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Cosmetic Stuff

  1. Is it possible to make the box produced by the {{Instrumental}} template have the same look as the one produced by the <lyrics> tags? (This would also save S2E2 the task of putting lyric tags around those templates.)
  2. Is there a way not to have certain headers appear in the TOC? This would be useful for multiple-disc albums, which clutter up the TOCs unnecessarily. (I think there is a global setting to only have headers up to a specified level appear in the TOC...?) -- 6 times 9 17:14, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
For #2, look at the inner workings of {{SongFooter}}. --Aquatiki - T - E 01:09, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, my head is still spinning :-) Are you referring to {{H1Fake}}? I guess a similar template could be produced for smaller headings; something like
<div style='font-size:115%;font-weight:bold;margin-bottom:0.5em;margin-top:0.5em;'>{{{1}}}</div>
-- 6 times 9 12:52, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Yup, that's what I'm talkin'bout. --Aquatiki - T - E 21:42, 17 October 2008 (UTC) I can see For #1, all the pages did originally have the lyrics tags on them, as these are built into the default template. However users removed these. We are just putting them back.  ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 23:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Page View Count: RIP?

We used to have (this page viewed "nnn" times) at the bottom of every lyric and artist and album page, now we don't. ∃cho⚡ierr∀ ()01:54, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I was afraid that they would go away with the update. Perhaps there is a switch to flick to keep the View Count. I used the numbers to compare versions of a page for merges and to see if things like the American Idol link was being used or whether I was wasting time and effort.    Kiefer    talk    contribs    admin   02:40, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

The End of an Era

I've finally finished clearing out the pages that use {{OtherSongs}}. Hopefully all the pages have now been deleted. I just thought I'd let you guys know and please tell me if there are any more lists I can check if there are still more "Other Songs" pages there. (Orphaned pages is also currently cleared out of 'em). Thanks! --WillMak050389 03:53, 27 October 2008 (UTC) But be warned laddie..there may still be some lurkin' in the shadows...  ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 22:54, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Nice work! team atalkctrb 00:51, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


It's been a long time since this was first brought up (here), but I've finally gotten around to writing up documentation and everything, so these types of pages should now be considered "official". I spent most of tonight creating Help:Contents/Editing/Formatting/Films, Help:Page ranking/Films, Template:Film Info/blank, Template:Film Rank, and Template:Film Info and I've also added a plethora of links to the formatting and page ranking pages. Hopefully we can see more of these type pages being created. Feel free to message me or reply here if there is still more documentation or otherwise that is needed for film pages. --WillMak050389 05:42, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for all the work. Great job! --Aquatiki - T - E 16:26, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
November 2008

How do you add a new band?

On Wikipedia its quite easy to add new pages - but i think I need help here.--Wiggstar 20:40, 1 November 2008 (UTC)Flashguns

So I assume, Flashguns is the band name..? Just click on it and a template will appear to guide you through the album and song creation steps. Blank pages fill in with templates here: give it a try! --Aquatiki - T - E 20:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Much Thanks :)--Wiggstar 20:47, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
You might also find this page helpful >>> Help:Contents/Editing/Formatting/Artists. Happy editing!  ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 21:43, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Auto-Generating Star Checklists

Thanks to Sean Colombo and Aquatiki, we have a blank template for the talk pages of artist, album, and song pages. This is an effort to make Page Ranking simpler and easier by showing a checklist of what needs to be done before a page can receive a higher star. To see what it looks like, create a talk page for any of these.

The actual list of the things needed to finish the checklist (i.e. for songs: album name, artist, asin, youtube, goear, fletter, etc.) isn't included in the blank template, and this is deliberate. If blank checklists were added to every page, we'd see all of the help categories for these topics (Category:Songs Needing YouTube Help, Category:Songs Needing GoEar Help, Category:Songs Needing iTunes Help) quickly fill up. This would make it nearly impossible for people trying to give assistance to tell the difference between genuine requests for help from checklists generated randomly and not really "in progress."

We can have both useful categories and full blank checklists generated if we change the categories a little bit, by making a new value for the checklist. Right now, there are 3 possibilities: "unknown" (Unknown), "not applicable" (Not applicable), and "done" (Done). A new one, ("help"?) could add the page to the help categories (like the ones listed above), while "unknown" could add the pages to a different category (Category:Song Checklist With Unknown YouTube, for example). The code for this is not very difficult, and I could work with Aquatiki to get this to work, but I'm posting here to see what people think about changing the categories. Please post if you think this is a good or bad idea, or if you have any suggestions or ideas about Page Ranking or the checklists. - Thanks! team atalkctrb 01:33, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

I think having the list of required stuff be automatically filled to 'unknown' is a very good idea, and I think you make an excellent point about having another option {"help" sounds good to me} to distinguish it from songs/albums/artists that simply aren't done vs. those that need assistance. Right now I have to remember to pull up a page that has the full list of stuff I need before I try to modify a song/album/artist's talk page with the ranking template. Aikon- 02:58, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I do the same thing, I substitute in my own checklists, then have to edit them (for example, {{subst:User:Team a/Song Checklist}} on a song's talk page). The blank template is great, and I think that once the category problem is discussed here, there won't even be a need for that. team atalkctrb 03:04, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm for it and up for the coding no sweat. Let me hear from a few more seniors and I'll jump on it. --Aquatiki - T - E 04:14, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


No, I don't mean those annoying things at the back of your neck in a shirt, I mean those companies that gouge people with CD prices. I've noticed that some albums appear in labels but mostly artists: which is it? Should every album have this? Long-time artists going through label, so they're all supposed to be listed on the artists' page, but should every album have have it? What is the ideal practice? --Åqüã†ìкí ƒΔΣ 00:31, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Considering that many albums were reissued on several labels, I'm for sticking to artists... I mean, sticking them on artists... no, got it right the first time... Anyway, since all album pages start with the artist name anyway, there'd be no real benefit to labelling albums – someone looking for The Wall would have to click "P", then scroll down to "Pink Floyd", and once he's there, he might just as well click on the artist and visit the album page from there. And the scrolling bit would take a LOT longer if there were also albums liste. -- 6x9 (Talk) 01:22, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Oooo, smart point! --Åqüã†ìкí ƒΔΣ 01:25, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Reissues shouldn't really count, because there are some "labels" that just re-release albums. My understanding is that because an artist often switches labels across a career, the label of an album matters, but I too think that a lot of categories are cluttered by listing both artist and album pages. Probably, the best way is to list on artist pages when an artist was in a label. team atalkctrb 23:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Multiple/Alternate Covers

Is there an accepted method of displaying multiple/alternate album covers on album pages? For example, Matthew Good Band:Last Of The Ghetto Astronauts (1995) was released twice: once independently, and once with a record label. The record label insisted on changing the cover on the second release to make the band's name more prominent. --Aikon- 21:52, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I normally use the {{Album Art}} template for this; see here or here for example. I'm sure there are better, or at least equally-as-good, methods though. -- 6x9 (Talk) 22:04, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Nope, you got it right 6x9. The only thing I would suggest is that you format the second parameter to be the same as what appears for the original album on the album page, i.e. Artist:Album name (year) (and any other info here like CD version). Just to provide uniformity. ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 22:23, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd really rather not. The caption is supposed to give basic information about the image; repeating artist:album (year) is unnecessary. (I also think that the regular {{Album}} template should simply display the album title under the image, rather than the pagename.) -- 6x9 (Talk) 22:46, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good, I'll work on those tomorrow =) Thanks! --Aikon- 22:41, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
You might want to comment 6x9 then on this: Humbug's idea  ♫Яєdxx Actions Words 23:14, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Avoiding Problem Creation

I believe that if the following were done now it would reduce the number of unpleasant surprises in the future. (Note that I am currently somewhat obsessed by the language problem but realize that other problems may exist and that wider application of these suggestions may reduce the number of other problems as well.) Explanations are beneath each suggestion.

  • Put the required fields in bold in the SongFooter and put them closer together.
    • The template has Language separated from Song and Romanized Song by three link fields, at least one of which, Wikipedia, will be blank for most songs.
  • Indicate on the sample page the certain fields are required.
    • The system makes its best guess about what kind of page is being created. Could a line be inserted to the effect that after the lyrics are added the fields in bold should be completed?
  • Install a mechanism in the system that processes each new page as soon as it is created, checks for missing data and takes appropriate action.
    • Yes, this would be a massive programming task and there may be no one who is capable of doing it who has the time to do it. However, think of the extreme case.
      • New Unregisterd User (NUU) creates a song. There are no line breaks in the lyrics, the Song Footer is incomplete and the artist (a person) is listed everywhere in the form "Lastname, Firstname". The mechanism would note the problems and put a notice on NUU's talk page that (1) thanks NUU for the contribution, (2) suggests that NUU review the policies for entering songs, artists and lyrics in Editing Help (opens a new window) and (3) suggests that NUU register and create a User page so that other Users could become acquainted. The mechanism then puts the necessary tags on the song and alerts those who are obsessing concentrating on the items that were affected that there is more work to be done. We could gain a Registered Contributer who will always do things as well as possible and perhaps feels at home here.

I strongly suggest that no changes be made to the templates that are already on songs. That is a massive job that no one wants to do, will take a very long time and may be counter-productive. However, if the templates are changed just enough to make them easier to use properly, I think a lot of the problems that were created before will not be created in the future, at least not in such great numbers. Nothing will protect us from users who should not be allowed to have a computer, who are unable to read and follow simple instruction or are unable to benefit from instruction. There are far too many like that for them to be addressed as a group. This is only to assist the users who are reasonably intelligent and genuinely helpful but only need a little guidance or a gentle wake-up call to be of great benefit to the site.

Does any of that make sense?

JimCubb 17:23, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The bold thing is technically impossible, unfortunately: the edit box uses plain text, no formatting. As for your third point, I thought about something similar a while ago: that unregistered users should be disabled from creating pages that don't follow a certain naming convention – lower-caps words (LOTS of these every day), "+" in pagename (quite a few where spaces are replaced with "+"), song or album pages in all-caps (there might be a very few legit ones of these, though). If an unregistered user tried to save such a page, he would get a friendly error message with a link to LyricWiki:Page Names and the suggestion to create a properly titled page (maybe with quick instructions on how to do so). Is that technically doable?
I really think we shouldn't press people too much: as long as what they do is just incomplete, but not wrong (and creates additional work for someone else, who has to correct it), it's a help to this site. A song page without credits, album or language info is still preferable to no song page at all. I don't want to risk a user coming here, seeing that a song has no page yet, wanting to create that page, seeing all those requirements and deciding that it's more trouble than it's worth. -- 6x9 (Talk) 17:58, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
While those sort of edits can be frustrating, to restrict editors that are new and don't know all of the correct site formatting is a bit harsh. Creating elaborate programmed responses isn't likely to happen, either. This is a wiki. It's person-driven. The best thing to do is to use either the {{Welcome}} or {{WelcomeIP}} templates on their talk page and then if the editor repeats errors that you've seen, then leave a friendly note about the problem with perhaps a link to the portion of the Help pages that discusses the situation. LyricWiki:Page Names is a big page to link to. That covers most of the most glaring page-creation mistakes that take place. As for the other topics that were mentioned, talking to the user is also preferred. Politely remind them to fill in the language parameter. Ask their help with improving the page. It works surprisingly well. A wiki page doesn't have to be complete and perfect. I'm note sure there's such a thing.    Kiefer    talk    contribs    admin   04:45, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

As I mentioned to Redxx when she found the {{WelcomeIP}} for me, I have found all the Welome Templates to be rather cold and impersonal and that particular one is outdated. I had been encouraged to welcome two Unregistered Users and I did so for one. The User did just fine with all the Page Names and almost everything else but the Language information was missing. He/she does not need a link to LyricWiki:Page Names and may consider such a link as insulting.

What I did was to thank the User for his/her contributions, indicate that some things were left undone, point the way to some guidance, suggest that he/she register and wish him/her well. One pick at a nit: By and large LW is bot driven. A bot has created almost all of the song pages. Another bot has formatted the songs the first bot created. A bot is now putting green stars on the songs that have the Review Me tag but I doubt if this last bot is putting the relevant templates on the talk pages as it should be. (The pages that I have seen with Green Stars in my plodding through SNLI have had no Talk Pages so I am almost certain the templates have not been applied.) To say that the site is "person driven" is somewhat mis-leading. It is "bot-driven" and "person-corrected". In some cases it is "bot-mucked up" and "person-corrected".

If I was wrong, shoot me.

JimCubb 06:02, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Something to Contemplate Thinking About Thinking About In The Distant Future

I have been working on Artists with the incorrect fLetter parameter, a task that can be completed and maintained unlike SNLI (that should not be as easy to type as it is) which may never get done completely and may take a crew to maintain. I found one that perplexed me, The Call. The fLetter was T but it was listed at C under T. Just below the bottom of the screen was a line surrounded by double brackets


Fortunately, I had dealt with that over on WP, where it is called the Listas Parameter, where most people do not know it exists, some people think it is completely worthless and some people think it is almost as important there as it really is. It allows for names to be sorted "properly", that is Arlo Guthrie would be just above Woody Guthrie in the Gs rather than one in the As and one in the Gs and if the first word in a group's name is a definite or indefinite article, it can be ignored.

Now you see why I titled this as I did. To insert a DEFAULTSORT would make things much easier to find but it would involve a complete re-thinking of the infrastructure of the site and would tax Aqua's bot to the point that the poor thing may demand to be paid by the article rather than hourly. That is, it is not impossible to do and doing it will not or should not disrupt normal operations but it will be very difficult and some error traps would have to be considered, installed and addressed.

This is something that we may want to start to think about thinking about when Page Ranking is perfected, SNLI is down to requiring a few person-hours per week rather than double-digit person-hours per day and various other snags and bumps have been fixed.

What do you think?

JimCubb 17:11, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm in favor of this. Listing Western names using the last name makes far more sense than using the first name. However, we'd want to make certain that only individual artists that use a Western name would be listed this way - we don't want groups to be listed in such a way as to add an article such as a or the to the back of the sort name. Also, it would be confusing to find an artist in between the time we started implementing this to the time we finished, because an artist could be listed as either the first or last name first until it is uniform. So, this might have to be bot-driven or bot-aided. Is there a way to find the correct artist pages by name? That might be difficult. Still, I'm for it if it is possible. team atalkctrb 21:56, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

This is even more extreme but I think (Void Where Prohibited) that the DEFAULTSORT could be used to sort on a Stage Name or Nickname so that Richard Penniman would show up in the correct order as Richard Penniman (Little Richard). Wouldn't that be nice?

JimCubb 23:08, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

It's a big world, and not everyone in it might know that the only logical place to look for John Artist would be under A (even if A is a header in the "Artists J" category). On the other hand, someone for whom it is the most obvious thing in the world would first look under "Artists A" (and come up empty). On the other other hand just pretend I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox for a moment someone who knows that on LW, fLetter means first letter no-matter-what, would go straight to "Artists J" – and wonder why "Juliana Abbott" is first on this list, when "Ju..." would normally appear somewhere near the bottom. And then there are those two-word artists like Henry Cow, Jethro Tull or even Pink Floyd (Oh, btw, which one's...?) where not everyone might know that they are band names and therefore shouldn't be reversed to Cow, Henry, Tull, Jethro and Floyd, Pink. So I suggest we stick to K.I.S.S. -- 6x9 (Talk) 02:07, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd just like to poke my head in here and say that I doubt the alphabetical list of artist/albums/songs is used much at all. The search function is much more likely a method for people to try to find their favorite artist/album/song. Second method, is likely just inputting the name in the web address. The list is good for browsing, but not much more. Personally, I'm not willing to turn things topsy-turvy in order to improve a system that isn't likely used.    Kiefer    talk    contribs    admin   05:22, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

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