Collectors and Sellers – Your Discogs Wish Is Granted!

Quite recently I came upon an announcement from Andreas Dahl on Reddit about the latest revision of an Android mobile app for Discogs.com which he’d independently developed.  I’d tried a few of the unofficial Discogs apps in the past but had really found little use for them.  Still, I was curious and downloaded his app – Discographer, to check it out.  I am thrilled that I did! The official Discogs app is still in beta on the iOS platform and Android users have not yet received an official release, but I can say with great confidence that the need for such an app has been 100% fulfilled by Dahl’s independent project.

Discographer

The app was initially released in September of 2015 and Dahl has steadily been improving the app, actively responding to the input from his user base.  As of February 14, 2016 the app has reached version 1.3.4 and is stable and fully-functional.  I’ll outline a few of the features below.

The Welcome Panel

The Welcome Panel displays a quick-reference summary of Discogs general statistics.  This includes the total number of releases and catalog percentages of its Most Popular Genres, Styles, and Formats.

Your Collection

Android users have been waiting for a quality and fully-functional mobile means of accessing their album collections.  Discographer’s Collection feature is the solution we’ve been waiting for.  From this menu, you can view your collection as a graphical grid of album covers with artists and titles, or as a list with album cover thumbnails.  A quick menu option beside each entry lets users remove titles, move them to subfolders, add to their seller inventory, and view the artist/label page.  You can also dynamically sort your collection by a wide range of criteria – title, artist, year, format, label, Cat #, newest added, rating, or by a specific collection field such as notes or condition.  Combined with the search function, this makes navigating large collections of thousands of titles a breeze.  I was also happy to see a Manage Folders option to browse and modify the sub-categorization of my collection.  This feature was missing from other independent Discogs apps I’d tried in the past.

TIP: For sellers with particularly large inventories, if you’ve indexed the location of the titles in your library using the Notes field of your Discogs Collection, this app can tell you exactly where to retrieve the album for sale and provides every possible piece of data about your copy, right in the palm of your hand!

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Vinyl Hub Integration

A most welcome feature, Discographer includes Vinyl Hub’s searchable Google map of user-contributed record stores worldwide.  From within Discographer you can search the globe, tap to call, and open stores’ addresses in Google maps – excellent for the traveling vinyl hound.  For advanced features like the Vinyl Hub forum, there is a View on Vinyl Hub button.  This integration adds excellent value, encapsulating all your album shopping needs into one fantastic app.

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The Search Feature

The Main Menu’s search function puts all of Discogs.com’s powerful search capabilities in a single, easy-to-use panel.  And as with all of the app’s other functions, Andreas Dahl has done an outstanding job of building every menu into an impressively mobile-friendly layout.  The search feature lets the user easily search by Release, Master, Artist, Label, and Stores without the frustrating interface of a drop down menu or having to open a secondary search config settings cog.  Just tap the arrows at the upper left and right of your screen and the search heading will change to indicate the category of your search query.

Best of all, the search menu includes a camera function so that the user can snapshot album barcodes, making collection-building an absolute snap!

User Summary Panel

Once logged in to your Discogs account, Discographer will display a complete summary of your profile.  Everything is here, from contact info to collection stats to recent activity and Discogs recommendations.  

In earlier versions there was difficulty logging in to a user’s account from multiple mobile devices, but as of the latest release this has been resolved with a pair of in-app security codes which you will be prompted to enter on the second device at login.  This gives users increased accessibility while protecting the security of their account.

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Album Summary Panel

The album summary panel is a stand-out feature of incredible value to Discogs.com users. Below the album art, the panel is divided into a series of organized sections. The first presents all the basic info you’ll need to verify you’ve accessed the correct pressing – the album cover art, title, artist, label and catalog #, release date, genre and style. The next pane displays info about the user’s copy of the album, including rating and condition, folder, and notes.  This is followed by a summary of Discogs suggested pricing based on various states of condition quality, (a fantastic quick-reference for crate diggers in the wild!), and below that, a list of copies currently for sale in the Discogs marketplace.  Further panels provide track listing and album credits, Discogs catalog numbers, and barcode and matrix information.  There are also buttons to view the release on Discogs.com, to share the entry, and to explore user reviews.

Every feature offered from the desktop Discogs.com website appears to be fully accessible from this app, and its clean and well-organized interface make finding the information you need easier than ever from your tablet or smartphone.

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The Marketplace

The Marketplace menu is divided into three primary screens with a navigator at the top of each.  The first details all of your Orders, including all related communications and details.  The next screen contains Purchases, and the last a mobile-friendly Inventory of all titles you have listed for sale in the Discogs Marketplace.  A search panel is featured at the top of each of these menus, so any title you need to recall is only a few taps away.

Additional Features

The Main Menu also includes buttons to browse the marketplace, view and modify your Wantlist, and to build public Lists. If there are any other features you’d like to see integrated into this wonderful app, please contact the developer.  Dahl has done an outstanding job and been great at responding to community feedback and requests.  I absolutely recommend supporting future developments by purchasing the ad-free version for just $2 from the Settings menu of the app.

It’s all right, Discogs team.  You don’t have to worry about developing an official app for the Android platform.  Dahl has got us covered!

Download Discographer here!

Published in: on February 14, 2016 at 6:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Results of the Innerspace Labs’ Music Discovery Survey

The results are in for the Innerspace Labs Music Discovery Survey!  A huge thank-you to all who offered their input.

I created the survey out of a personal curiosity.  Sadly, I have very little contact with the general public outside of the few members of my digital publishing team at the office, and I wanted to know what impact the web has had on the ways listeners discover new sounds.

I suspected listeners utilized multiple media resources in their musical explorations and that certainly proved to be the case.  Contributors cited an average of 6.44 sources for new music data.  The majority of the music sources I offered as options for the survey were widely-used, save for rateyourmusic.com, music subreddits, Gnoosic, and Usenet groups which each accounted for fewer than 3% of users’ musical resources.  I found this particularly interesting as I visit RYM frequently as my primary ratings and review aggregator and find its information invaluable when researching artists and genres.

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As expected, Youtube ranked as users’ most-used resource when sampling new sounds.  I was surprised, however, to find that radio, motion pictures, television, or other forms of mass media were the third-highest ranked information resource, right behind user’s own friends.  While I only see ~3 new films annually, and have no exposure to television or radio, it still appears that mass media is still a significant part of most people’s lives.

Spotify and other streaming services were the next-highest ranked source, accounting for 10% of listeners’ discoveries.  While they are not a viable source for non-commercial or analog-only recordings, they still offer an incredible convenience for quick-and-easy personalized radio stations and there is no shortage of articles proclaiming streaming the new standard for mass media.

Crate digging was another significant source, as were vinyl Facebook communities and private music forums.  I’m curious whether this is representative of the public at large or just for Innerspace readers, but it is exciting nonetheless.

I was similarly please by the results for music lit and other periodicals, which accounted for more than 5% of musical discovery.  While 5% doesn’t sound significant on the surface, bear in mind that users cited an average of 6-7 sources for new music, so I’m considering 5% a threshold for this survey.

Other sources of note are independent music blogs and local music performances, both of which were a delight to see still holding their own in the survey.  After attending the latest concert at my local university, I will certainly be visiting their music library for further research into works by their professors.

I’m also curious to see if torrenting will grow in popularity for general music research in the years ahead.  Personally, torrenting is a critical step in my music purchasing process.  I’ve yet to find a better system, whether for surveying the catalog of an artist or to compare various masters before investing my hard-earned cash.

I consider the survey a success as its certainly given me a better understanding of how users find new music.  Thanks once again to everyone who contributed!

How Innerspace Readers Discover New Music