Could we create a searchable database of HiFi Guides user music and/or album reviews?
This idea is still very much under formation and very much open to input from the HiFi Guides community. As I am about to describe it, it’s also a large undertaking, so community members should feel free to say the idea is too big, doesn’t belong here (although please explain why) or is possibly from the department of redundancy department (as in, is done somewhere else - but please tell me where!).
What is it? I envision something like a HiFi Guides music wiki where we HiFi Guides users review music albums or possibly singles. We do these reviews as other music reviews go where we comment on the quality of the songwriting and musicianship, etc. but we also pay extra attention to and comment on the quality of the recording. Every review could come with an additional score on some scale as to the overall quality of the recording. If a certain track, or the album as a whole, represents a good way to test a specific attribute of a sound system, that can be commented on as well. Each review could also be tagged with the musical genre (broader terms such as “rock”, “hip-hop”, “jazz”, “classical”, etc.) and then style (for example, within rock there could be “classic rock”, “blues rock”, “hard rock”, “punk rock”, “prog rock”,… none of these have to be mutually exclusive either). Any given album - and I would actually encourage this - can have multiple reviews and multiple scores given for sound quality. Then, a database could be created that is searchable by artist name, album/song title, genre, and style. The search results would also show the average sound quality score as assigned by this community, and possibly list what a given album/track is good for in terms of sound system testing.
Why do I want this? I enjoy discovering new music. I enjoy reading or watching album reviews from other websites. But, as an audiophile, I’m often left wondering how good the sound and production qualities are. I think this HiFi Guides community is building trust among it members to the extent that, even if we don’t agree, we at least respect and appreciate each others’ insights into how a piece of gear sounds or feel confident in enlisting this community in helping us make informed decisions about gear purchases. Why not also do that for music? Supposedly we all know a fair bit about music too. Granted, we’ve done well as a community sharing our music with each other (shout out to @Ohmboy for starting “Listening to Tonight” thread - it’s been a beauty), I see this as going a few steps beyond what that thread and a few others have started. Also, it allows HiFi Guides to, over time (probably lots of time), become a one-stop-shop for music lovers: get informed community opinions about music AND how to reproduce that music at a high level and in a way you enjoy.
I realize a few things. One, this is a potentially huge ask from moderators to set up a searchable database. Two, I don’t have the programming chops to set up such a thing. Three, as reviews will all be voluntarily posted, it will take a long long time for a database to really become a useful tool. Four, all of these things are complicated by the fact that each of us is a real person behind that username with some combination of responsibilities to significant others, children, other family, work, school, other passions, and a whole host of other things. So, this idea may not make sense at all. I guess it’s sort of a dream, but I’ll still throw it out for consideration. If anything like this takes off though, I would like this community to organically shape it into something that will be helpful and useful to this community. If you have ideas, please share them.
What do you all think?