beaTunes 5 is not planned to be released for another couple of months, but I'm excited to report that beaTunes 4 users can already benefit from some of the changes and improvements in the pipeline for the next major update. One of these is the data quality of the central database.
As you may or may not know, the central beaTunes database is based on user-submitted data. Basically, every time the beaTunes app looks something up online, it needs to send a query containing track metadata. The database application groups submitted data for each song and forms a consensus version, which in turn is made available to other users when they look up a song. You give some, you take some. In many ways, beaTunes is just the broker.
Unfortunately, sometimes the submitted metadata is less than stellar. This is especially annoying, when only few users have submitted data for a particular song. Luckily, there are some other reference databases, that allow us to look up high-quality metadata and fix mistakes (e.g. Discogs and MusicBrainz—if you're not yet an editor, please contribute!).
So you may not have noticed, but the for the past couple of months, a ton of entries in the central beaTunes database have been updated to reflect the spelling used in MusicBrainz and Discogs. For example, blink-182 is now always spelled "blink-182" and not "Blink 182" or "Blink-182".
Labels: Discogs, MusicBrainz