I have heard several small business owners complain about Yelp’s “sleazy” and “crooked” (their words) tactics. I think that while ruled legal, Yelp advertising itself as a fair and honest ratings is deceptive. It is clearly a conflict of interest that they control the order of listings, and take money for advertising and placing advertisers higher in the results. When they tell businesses they can increase their star-rating by buying ad-space, or decrease it by not, that is hardly fair, nor honest. People have been led to believe Yelp star rating are accurate—they keep advertising it as such. But when Yelp is free to manipulate the listings, it is clear that “hard bargaining” is corporate speak for “manipulative coercion.” Despite its legal standing, Yelp’s practices are far from ethical—especially since it advertises ratings it publishes for businesses as genuine.
This past year saw another significant increase in page hits, which is cool in some respect. However I value interaction more, and comments are few and far between. Still people seem to care mainly about music and bluetooth headphones. The great thing is, BT headsets are now in the realm of “very affordable.”
FYI, the prior post generated a few “corrections” as to the song title of Squeeze’s “Another Nail For My Heart.” After a short discussion, and seeing both versions in print, with most favoring the one I thought to be inaccurate, I decided to write the songwriter to ask because it was starting to bother me. After listening to that song for a good 3 decades, I was convinced it was a mistake someone made, who was not familiar with the song. The lyrics said different, while the old saying says something else. It would have been natural for someone, early on, to favor the familiar saying, instead of the more subtle lyric. I alway interpreted it as if the “nail” was either a love song or a drink, or both. Here is a guy heartbroken over a breakup, drinking his sorrows, while the piano player sings songs, each love song, another nail for the writer’s heart. This is conjecture, unless the songwriter weighs in, but it is my interpretation of it.
I figure, you can strive to be right or you can strive to be accurate. Favoring the former will mean less of the latter, whereas striving for accuracy will often net you being right more often. I was well prepared to be wrong, learn yet another small thing and wait a week while whomever intercepted the message, hopefully passed it on. To my surprise, about 5 minutes later, the songwriter, Chris Difford, answered, and wrote back:
Thanks for the email, it is indeed – for my heart…..
its been many years and it has chopped around on set lists, but from the original this is the real title
That, in and of itself was pretty damn cool. Sometimes I love the Internet, and being able to reach out and ask someone whose songs you have been listening to for over 30 years a question and get a fast as light answer, definitely falls within the realm of cool. By the way, I will leave readers with my summary, and a new axiom:
You can strive to be right, or you can strive to be accurate, but trying to be accurate instead of being right will get you both more often.
Someone probably already said this. If not, this one is mine. That, and I appreciate people who actually take the time to look things up — unfortunately, in the above case, the info is mostly wrong. Thanks for reading.
So, the last few weeks, in my spare time between installing a new WiFi system and reading up on various programming techniques and best practices, I have been re-ripping all my hundreds CDs into lossless because I finally have the space on my laptop. I am not sure how many CDs and LPs I have, but I would estimate between 600 and 800 CDs alone. This means that the upper limit of my CD collection would be 560GB uncompressed (assuming 800 CDs completely filled with 700MB of music each). I think the actual number will only be around 200GB though after accounting for compression which usually squeeze things into a third of the space, if you add in about ~60GB worth of Vinyl digitized. But I am not going to write about the numbers, since those are just enjoyable for statisticians and math geniuses and algorithmic fun. I might post the final stats for fun, and do something with the data.
No, instead I want to talk about the meta data my computer has been pulling down from Gracenote’s CDDB. Initially, when CDDB came to life I had to submit the CD names and track info to it more often than now. But I took the time, knowing it would help someone else out later. But as time went on more people used the service and less cared about the quality of submissions. So, I noticed I had to correct more errors.
If one is only ripping one or two CDs at a time, corrections are fast and simple. But when one is literally ripping hundreds of CDs these small errors add up to a lot of time and frustration—especially when I noticed the old tags on my MP3s and the AAC files were conflicting with CDDB’s tags, and my original tags were more accurate than the new tags CDDB suggested. So, I have continually had to correct quite a few things in order to have iTunes smoothly replace the lossy files while keeping the good metadata, including my star ratings and hard to find album covers. So, I now present to you my list of grievances with CDDB and people who submit info to it.