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Discogs is a large comprehensive community-contributed music discography Web site. It has become a pre-eminent Web resource for identifying physical manifestations of music releases thanks to its very large free database of highly detailed metadata. Users can use the metadata to create and share information about their collections as well as to buy and sell precise versions of music releases via its separately contained third-party marketplace. Metadata is primarily built around the release/ album rather than around individual songs, which has a tendency to obscure more complex relationships between items and contributes to an occasionally confusing browsing environment. However, the site’s newly improved search engine allows for free-text and phrase searching, and does a good job of effectively getting searchers “in the ballpark” of what they seek. Overall, Discogs is useful for anyone looking to precisely identify, locate, buy, sell, or appraise the value of physically recorded media.

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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