Understanding Chord Genome’s Limitations
I’m really excited about the Chord Genome Project – and hope you are too.
But I’m the first to admit the platform isn’t perfect.
I’m not sure it ever can be.
Chord Genome is a very powerful tool. But it will always suffer from certain limitations, including:
- User errors
- Indexing errors
- Big data errors
Let’s take a look.
1. User Errors
Most of the data in Chord Genome is pulled from user-generated sites.
In other words, we index songs that are transcribed and submitted to guitar sites by ordinary users.
We also pull genre data from popular sites like Last.fm and MusicBrainz.
Because anyone can submit to these sites, the data isn’t 100% accurate.
But we’re always trying to improve the results. It’s an ongoing process that’ll never truly end.
Fortunately, some sites use rating systems:
- 5 stars for a perfectly transcribed song.
- 3 stars if it’s playable (but not perfect).
- 1 star if the tune is just plain wrong.
- 0 stars if it hasn’t been rated yet.
We try to eliminate any songs with a 2-star or 1-star rating. But not every site uses stars, so this fix isn’t always helpful.
2. Indexing Errors
Every guitar site we index uses slightly different formatting – often within the same site. This makes capturing accurate data very challenging.
- Some songs have chords above the lyrics.
- Others have chords in the lyrics.
- Sometimes all the chords are hyperlinked.
- Other times, only some are hyperlinked.
We continue updating our crawlers to capture the most accurate results we can.
3. Big Data Errors
Even when songs are transcribed perfectly and crawled correctly, handling a database of this size isn’t easy.
We’re talking about 350,000+ songs (and nearly as many genre tags).
If you’ve ever tried to import a large iTunes library or migrate your emails to a new service, you already know what I mean.
There are lots of moving parts.
It’s a mess.
But every time we find a new bug, we try to fix it ASAP.
To understand how we address incorrect genre and decade tags, read this article.
Is Chord Genome Still Useful – Despite These Limitations?
Yes. Yes. And Yes.
Think about it like this.
When you type a question into Google, you don’t always find your answer in the first few results.
In fact, most of the results aren’t relevant at all.
But Google is still very useful.
The same is true of Chord Genome – except that the vast majority of results are legit. With this powerful tool, you can easily find thousands of playable guitar songs organized by chords, genres, and decades.
Sometimes you’ll come across errors.
When that happens, just move onto the next result.
And start playing.
And if you haven’t already, create a free account today.