History:What Not To Link To
links AR - this is a BadWikiName
There are some websites that should not be linked to albums/artists in MB, or which needs a special way of doing it.
Links you should *not* add to artists are itunes, last.fm, cdon.com or cdbaby.com
well first itunes is proprietary, so a moderator that doesn't live in the right country/doesn't own itunes/doesn't have the right OS etc wouldn't be able to access this link, to even asses if it is correct or not, let alone utilise it for anything. Second it's ugly and usually includes session data.
It is pointless to link itunes to artists or releases.
Exception is when a release is an itunes exclusive to which it makes sense to add this link.
Please add that link *only* in the format http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=80505691&s=143441
and explain that in the addmod for the AR and in the annotation of the release.
(hopefully we might get an AR type for these particular releases.)
because last.fm uses MB data, so linking artists or albums to last.fm is recursive, and unnecessary.
Secondly last.fm is not a discography site, nor does it let you download things for free or money (they offer this as a service, but it is simply a link to those that do, not last.fm itself offering it)
last.fm is neither useful as proof in modnotes, a place to draw releases from to add to MB nor to take as an legitimate info-site, because last.fm's data is based on the people submitting their tags and MB's own data. The data submitted by the label-companies are simply some numbers and the allowance to play their tracks. Proper official or fan-made discograpies are much much better informational tools.
First, cdon.com is a great site with the ability not just to send things in the mail, but to send the bill in the mail with it, something that makes it literally risk-free to buy from it. It is specialised in Scandinavia (and also the EU) which is something amazon and yahoo! lacks sorely.
However it is not very useful to link to for 2 reasons: firstly the only way to link something to cdon.com is to use the 'search url' you get when you search for something, which is ugly and is liable to change over time.
Secondly, it always includes session data. because of the way that cdon.com works: at the http://cdon.com/ portal site, the first thing you choose is your locale, which all the other links thereafter is based on, for example a link to a release made by a user in Sweden, would be unbuyable to a user in UK for example, they would have to go and change their locale, then navigate back to the the release. Which makes linking pointless.
finally cdbaby. note that cdbaby is slightly different than the other sites in this list, as it is completely OK to add links from cdbaby to releases in MB, but not artists.
The reason for that is that cdbaby is album centric, not artist centric, and it doesn't really have any 'artist pages' to link an artist to*.
Please link albums with "music can be purchased for mail-order at" to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/somename where somename is the name that cdbaby has for the release
(hopefully we'll have a 'has cdbaby page at' AR in a little while)
- note however, that in some rare occasions, cdbaby has artistpages which are simple listings of the website and the albums they have of the artist. The name they use for the artistpage can be a little tricky to find though, if you want to link an artist to cdbaby's list of albums, try to find an url in the format http://www.cdbaby.com/all/somename and enter that (where somename is whatever name that cdbaby has for the artist) do *not* link artists to cdbaby's 'searchlink' for that artist, as it's a searchlink, with info and search-terms, it may very well include other artist's releases.
(compare linking google search-links to artists for example)
in general you should probably link sites where albums can be bough, to albums, and only when that is an unusual album or rare artist, where the release is not easily acquired elsewhere (linking Metallica, Queen or Pink Floyd to itunes or cd.com or musicbuy.com or whatever is completely pointless : )
Usually indie artists and things will have a separate store or an artist-page at an indie record-label site, then you should link that. But pay attention though, if the label's site does not give a good 'artist' type link, then it is probably better to just link each album, in general that is usually the case.
Please do not link releases or artists to topleveldomains where a lot of other artists's music can be bough (ie http://somedomain.tlc) as that is pointless.
It's the same as saying 'you can buy this and that at amazon.com' (yea we know that : )
Also always use "music can be purchased for mail-order at" *unless* what you are buying are files you can download, to which there is usually track or album specific links.