We’ve just rolled out some exciting changes to properly support collaborations by multiple artists on Tunefind.
OK, so that doesn’t sound all that exciting. But trust us, it is.
Tunefind has been around since 2005. That is eons in internet years, y’all. In fact, iTunes was just an awkward toddler of 2 years old when we started out, using iTunes to run our song submission engine. And iTunes does this super awkward thing where “benny blanco, Khalid & Halsey” is one artist, and totally not associated with the artists “benny blanco,” “Khalid,” or “Halsey.” Weird, right?
Since those ancient times, fun things like Spotify and Apple Music have come along, and the music industry has gotten (somewhat) better at managing metadata. And there are a ton more multi-artist collaborations in music.
Tunefind has changed, too. We added song preview clips, include Spotify and Apple Music in our song submission engine, have automated scripts that check to see if a song has been released, other scripts that re-verify and automatically update song and artist data when it changes (which it does, shockingly frequently), and we cross-match across those three services using ISRCs to ensure we’re linking to the right version or remix of the song in all locations for all the hardcore perfectionists out there.*
Scintillating stuff, I know. But it’s what keeps Tunefind the most accurate and up-to-date resource for tracking down the almost 200k songs in our database. All without our teeny tiny team manually churning through this mind-numbing work. And it’s complicated stuff.
But we still had that tricky issue where iTunes didn’t play nice with multiple artists on a track. And over a decade of songs in our database. So if you checked Tunefind’s artist page for Halsey, you wouldn’t see ‘Eastside’ listed there. Or in some cases you would only see one artist, out of several collaborators involved with the song. Or if you searched for Calvin Harris, you would see him listed a bajillion times.
What We’ve Changed
We’ve just fixed all that.
You’ll now see all of an artist’s tracks that have had sync placements listed on that artist’s page – including collaborations with other artists. This gives you one consolidated view into that artist’s sync activity across the thousands of tv shows, movies and games covered on Tunefind.
You’ll also be able to click on any artist’s name and go direct to their artist page. Even those listed alongside their collaborators, where each name will be a separate link.
You’ll see these updates rolling out across the site over the next few weeks as (yet more) scripts update tens of thousands of artist records and re-verify song links. So patience please, for the artists and industry folks out there eager for this to be complete. We know you’re excited, but please give us a few weeks before you alert us to any issues on your new, consolidated artist page.
And that brings us to one very important caveat: we are limited by the metadata that exists on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes. If there are errors there, we can’t fix them. At least, not without breaking other things, like all those fancy scripts that maintain all of our links and data updates.
We know it will come as a total shock to those of you in the know, but music industry data is still very messy. (We can hear those snorts of laughter.) Across different services you can find completely different artist credits, track titles (hello, feat. artists) songs with multiple ISRCs, and tons of data entry errors and typos (like those fun multiple artist credits in the image). Apple doesn’t even create an “artist” ID until they have a certain minimum number of songs. And any unreleased track artist collaborations may be tricky if those individual artists weren’t previously on Tunefind (until the track is released, anyway).
We have been able to get Spotify to fix their data errors. Apple has been less interested. It will be up to the labels and artists to fix any errors with their track metadata on Apple Music or iTunes. Once updated there, the changes will automatically update on Tunefind the next time our song and artist maintenance script queries the music services for changes.
But this still marks a massive improvement for ensuring artists get proper recognition for their work on Tunefind.
Keep an eye out for these improvements to Tunefind’s artist pages, and stay tuned for more to come!
* Note that Tunefind buttons that link to Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify are all direct links to specific tracks, based on the unique ISRC track ID number. Our buttons to Amazon and YouTube simply search those services for “artist name + track name” and they provide matching results (or not). Unfortunately, Amazon and YouTube do not currently support the same type of precise ISRC-based matching we can do with Apple Music, iTunes, and Spotify. We’re happy to add this to Tunefind if and when they offer this feature!