We now have non-film albums listed on MySwar! We were always very clear that we wanted to include as much Indian music as we could on MySwar and after almost a year of toil, we’re extremely proud to add non-film music albums on MySwar.
Let me start though with a little summary of what we have accomplished so far. Over 2012, we have built-up what’s probably the most comprehensive database of Hindi film music from 1941 to present day. Since we’re not constrained by licensing deals and label provided meta-data, we have been able to list on MySwar detailed credits of every song from every film we have been able to get information about. Also, because our focus has been on accuracy and detail, we have structured our data in a way that lets us catalog song metadata that is a lot more meaningful than the generic Artist ID3 tag that rules the roost everywhere. This is especially significant for Indian film music which is generally attributed separately to music directors (composers), lyricists and singers.
While we’re proud of our work in cataloguing Bollywood music, we know our work is not done. We still keep finding film album releases we have missed and of course, there’s the steady stream of current releases. Also, while Bollywood was a great starting point because of its wide appeal and because it provided us a finite, manageable scope of work, we believe it’s time to broaden our horizon and go beyond Hindi film music.
From a planning perspective, cataloguing Bollywood music was quite simple – Start with each year, find out every film released in that year, determine the songs in those films and get as much information about those albums/songs as we could. Cataloguing non-film music was a lot more difficult to plan because our country has a bewildering array of labels, genres, artists and languages. Where do we start? How do we impose method on this madness? We solved the problem of defining scope by starting with the artists we already had in our database. We added to that list artists and music releases that were contemporarily significant – like Swarathma, Coke Studio, MTV Unplugged, etc. But even this was a huge list, so we had to categorize them in terms of priority. What we have published on MySwar now is just one set of artists and albums from that list.
The other problem we had to grapple with was how we showed information of film and non-film albums and songs. Do we list them separately or together? There were arguments to be made for both, so we said we would do a combination of both AND also let the users decide if they wanted to see one or the other. So here’ how you can see information organized on MySwar:
- The Artist page (like Jagjit Singh’s) will have the discography separated by non-film and film albums.
- Other than the artist discography pages, every other page will list both film and non-film albums/songs. However, users can use the Filter function (top-right of the listing, see screen shots below) to see only film, or non-film albums and song.
- If users want to see both film and non-film albums/song for a given artist together (which they can’t from the Artist page), they can use the Advanced Search feature.
We really hope you enjoy this update. There are some minor kinks we’re working on. If you have any feedback, please do let us know.