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VocaDB Vocaloid database public beta

#1 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:58 PM

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I've been working on a Vocaloid-related website project for a few months now. It's a database for Vocaloid artists, albums and songs. The main goal of the site is to have translated entries for as many artists, their albums and songs as possible. The users may also add lyrics and PVs to songs. Artists and albums may be tagged with specific genres and other meta-information.

Your first question may be "Why create yet another music database? Isn't this just reinventing the wheel?"
Well, the truth is, this began as a hobby/practice project, but after positive feedback I decided to expand it, and then more people joined the project.
I know there are multiple more or less similar projects already in existence. Last.fm, Discogs and VGMdb all have their entires for Vocaloid music, and there are also dedicated sites such as the Vocaloid wiki, Vocaloid Music Encyclopedia and Vocaloid List. However, I think that VocaDB is able to provide features that none of these other sites does. Many similar sites are implemented as wikis because the existing wiki platforms are easy to set up and let people start contributing. However, wiki platforms like the Vocaloid wiki and Hatsune Miku wiki are really bad for managing large sets of interlinked content, because they are mostly unstructured and don't allow programmatic interfaces to other sites. A structured approach based on a real relational database makes the presentation and filtering of the content much more flexible. The way I see it, the biggest benefit of VocaDB is that it's completely structured and designed for the Vocaloid community in mind. It has public programmatic interfaces that can be used by other services to query information (and in the future, update as well). For example, a Vocaloid-centered file-hosting site like MikuDB could get artist's information such as translated names from VocaDB. With some code, this could even be handled automatically and transparently. A proof of concept of this integration is my IRC bot, MikuBot, which is able to query artist information from VocaDB. I should stress that VocaDB is NOT meant to replace informational wikis such as the Vocaloid wiki. Instead, VocaDB could be used find for example a specific album based on names, artists or genres. The entry for that album should provide the essential basic information and links to other sites if the user wants to find out more.

Link to the site: http://vocadb.net/ .

The site is currently in public beta testing and under constant development (but nearing completion), so please tell me if you notice anything strange, or have ideas on how to improve some things. I've been trying to slowly increase the visibility of the site to get more feedback and contributors. If you're interested, you should at least check it out and possibly create an account as well. An account is needed in order to edit the database. Entries that are missing information are marked as drafts to make them easier to find. Registered users may set their preferred display language and video service, so you may for example choose to see translated names instead of original ones and prefer Youtube over NND if you wish. Registered user can also add albums to their personal collection and songs to their favorites.

And as a clarification, VocaDB is not supposed to be:
- A site with every piece of information about artists or albums (wikis such as the Vocaloid wiki are better for encyclopedia-like content). VocaDB is supposed to link to existing sources such as Vocaloid wiki whenever possible.
- A Vocaloid news site.
- A site for educating about Vocaloid (again, wikis/blogs are better for this).
- A file hosting site (you can't upload albums to VocaDB, but you CAN link to informational blogs like MikuDB or Miku;Zen). In fact, Zakudono and I are working together to link these two sites.

Other people working on this site are Zakudono (the owner of MikuDB), digited (from mikuchan/VO) and SaLaNoS (from our IRC/VO). We also have a few active contributors, which is really great. Zaku has kindly allowed me to import the 1000+ albums from his site to VocaDB. We might also import albums and artists from KarenT at some point. Obviously those imported entries are missing some information and some of that information might be wrong, so all imported albums are automatically marked as drafts.

Techical details (for those who care):
The site is based on Microsoft ASP.NET MVC 3.0 and jQuery, programmed in C# and Javascript. For data access, I'm using a Microsoft SQL Server database and NHibernate 3 ORM library. The code is open source and available at our Google Code project ( http://code.google.com/p/vocadb/ ).
Join VocaDB and help us create the most extensive possible catalog of Vocaloid/UTAU songs and albums!

VocaDB Vocaloid Database
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#2 User is offline   newtypefag Icon

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:13 PM

So like, VGMDB or Baka-Updates.

#3 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

View Postnewtypefag, on 03 December 2011 - 05:19 PM, said:

So like, VGMDB or Baka-Updates.

A bit, yes, but with some important differences. I don't know about Baka-Updates, but for example, at least VGMDB doesn't offer PVs or entries for individual songs in general, and their features for translating names are limited.
Join VocaDB and help us create the most extensive possible catalog of Vocaloid/UTAU songs and albums!

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#4 User is offline   digited Icon

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:57 PM

bump for Great Justice!

VocaDB already is a truly awesome project that keeps becoming better with constant development.
Just don't miss it.

#5 User is offline   Hentai Icon

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:55 AM

I applaud you for your effort.

I was planning on making a similar DB myself but I think you have done it better than I ever could have.

Suggestion: A method for translating/romanizing track titles.

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#6 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:07 PM

View PostHentai, on 20 December 2011 - 06:01 AM, said:

I applaud you for your effort.

I was planning on making a similar DB myself but I think you have done it better than I ever could have.

Thanks! I hope you and others find the site useful...at least for me and a few others it has been useful already.

View PostHentai, on 20 December 2011 - 06:01 AM, said:

Suggestion: A method for translating/romanizing track titles.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. All entries are translatable already (albeit only to Japanese, English and Romaji for now - we might expand this later), but you need an account to edit the names. This is one of the core features of the site. Of course many entries are still untranslated, but if you can, you're welcomed to help with that. :)
Join VocaDB and help us create the most extensive possible catalog of Vocaloid/UTAU songs and albums!

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#7 User is offline   TanukiShadow Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:31 AM

Maybe you want to add both the 'official' English names and the 'translation' English name for the songs? For example, Koi wa Sensou is translated directly to Love is War, but according to supercell, the official English title is Eager Love Revenge. Another example, Enbizaka no Shitateya. Its direct translation is Tailor Shop of Enbizaka, but mothy gave it the name Levaiathan Slope as the English title.
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#8 User is offline   digited Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 08:36 AM

TrueShadow, it's already there - a song entry may have any number of additional names (Non-English, Romanized or English), and you can find those songs by any name, view YT/NND embeds while reading lyrics.

Love is War
Tailor Shop of Enbizaka

#9 User is offline   Hentai Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 09:50 AM

Aha! So you guys were way ahead of me. That is precisely what I had in mind.

While browsing the site I just never saw it in application.

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#10 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

View PostHentai, on 21 December 2011 - 01:56 PM, said:

Aha! So you guys were way ahead of me. That is precisely what I had in mind.

While browsing the site I just never saw it in application.


Yeah, due to the huge number of songs obviously most of them (especially the new entries) aren't translated. It's more useful to translate the names of artists and albums than songs anyway.
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#11 User is offline   Hentai Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:47 PM

I only mention it because the song title romanization helps my MP3 player.

When I buy albums off of KarenT most of the time the track titles are left in moonrunes which my oldschool MP3 player can't handle.

I got to either find translations or at least romanize everything before transferring it. Needless to say a DB like yours might prove useful.

I been relying on google and the odd blog to help but it is kinda hard without a central place for this kind of information. I, for one, will make good use of the site.

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#12 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 01:49 PM

View PostHentai, on 21 December 2011 - 04:53 PM, said:

I only mention it because the song title romanization helps my MP3 player.

When I buy albums off of KarenT most of the time the track titles are left in moonrunes which my oldschool MP3 player can't handle.

I got to either find translations or at least romanize everything before transferring it. Needless to say a DB like yours might prove useful.

I been relying on google and the odd blog to help but it is kinda hard without a central place for this kind of information. I, for one, will make good use of the site.


Yes, same here. My phone (which I use as a mp3 player) has no IME making it impossible to type moonrunes. Thus I prefer romanized or translated names.

I've been thinking of ways how you could automatically tag existing mp3 files based on information on VocaDB. Currently it's possible to download track names as a .csv file, which can be read by mp3tag and applied to mp3 files. Implementing a freedb interface would also be possible, so you could for example tell foobar to read track names from VocaDB. To put it another way: you can use the translations on VocaDB by manually copy-pasting the track names, just like with any other similar site, but we're trying to make it as easy as possible to tag whole albums.
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#13 User is offline   Samuel Icon

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:41 PM

Hello riipah,

I have started recently to update my albums on VocaDB and would like to thank you for this initiative. I wanted to put some suggestion on the Mikuchan board, but apparently it is not working properly. Therefore I'm using this thread with the hope it will be appropriate.

1) Romanization.
Could we adopt some rules regarding the way we should romanize the original titles ? Are we going for some classic Hepburn or a bastardized Wapuro式 ?. Also some rules regarding the use of uppercase/lower case would be welcome. I think we shouldn't add uppercase for a romanized title when it's not the english translation.
I have personally adopted the habit of using UpperCase for katakana romanization in order to retain a maximum of information when MP3tagging my songs but would gladdy align with whatever rule VocaDB would put in place.

2) Name ordering
An other pet peeves of mine. I have the habit when translating Japanese names to re-order them in the western style (<firstname> <lastname>) because that's the convention used by the newspapers anyway. Can we at least adopt a rule ? For exemple our entry 初音ミク should be translated Miku Hatsune and not Hatsune Miku. I also think that it is the convention used by most of the japanese artists anyway (i.e. 小室哲哉 sign Tetsuya Komuro).

3) Song picture
That's a request, can we add a record (or even better several) to associate a song with a picture ? I personally like to put in my MP3 the picture of the song and goes to great lengths to find something from the original illustrator that remind in the best possible way the song's PV. In a last ressort I extract a picture from the PV. I do that for most of my songs, and think it would be great to share this work with others like me who loves to have a picture of the song when it is played on their MP3 player or Home music player.
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#14 User is offline   riipah Icon

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:26 PM

View PostSamuel, on 26 July 2012 - 01:50 AM, said:

Hello riipah,

I have started recently to update my albums on VocaDB and would like to thank you for this initiative. I wanted to put some suggestion on the Mikuchan board, but apparently it is not working properly. Therefore I'm using this thread with the hope it will be appropriate.

1) Romanization.
Could we adopt some rules regarding the way we should romanize the original titles ? Are we going for some classic Hepburn or a bastardized Wapuro式 ?. Also some rules regarding the use of uppercase/lower case would be welcome. I think we shouldn't add uppercase for a romanized title when it's not the english translation.
I have personally adopted the habit of using UpperCase for katakana romanization in order to retain a maximum of information when MP3tagging my songs but would gladdy align with whatever rule VocaDB would put in place.

2) Name ordering
An other pet peeves of mine. I have the habit when translating Japanese names to re-order them in the western style (<firstname> <lastname>) because that's the convention used by the newspapers anyway. Can we at least adopt a rule ? For exemple our entry 初音ミク should be translated Miku Hatsune and not Hatsune Miku. I also think that it is the convention used by most of the japanese artists anyway (i.e. 小室哲哉 sign Tetsuya Komuro).

3) Song picture
That's a request, can we add a record (or even better several) to associate a song with a picture ? I personally like to put in my MP3 the picture of the song and goes to great lengths to find something from the original illustrator that remind in the best possible way the song's PV. In a last ressort I extract a picture from the PV. I do that for most of my songs, and think it would be great to share this work with others like me who loves to have a picture of the song when it is played on their MP3 player or Home music player.


Hi,

Yes, I noticed your edits, very good. It's good to see more people appreciating the site. I already upgraded your account to trusted, so you can also merge and delete entries, as well as add songs to pools.

We used mikuchan as the discussion board earlier... it's hardly optimal because I have no direct control over the server and it might go down again at any moment :/. Currently looking for an alternative. Digited (another contributor) suggested setting up a dedicated forum, but I'm not sure if it would be used enough, and I don't think we're important enough to get a subforum on vocaforum or VO.net.

1) Romanization
Currently there's no rule... I'm no expert in translations/romanizations and I know little Japanese, so I've allowed everyone to do as they see best... Myself I haven't romanized anything, just used existing romanizations that I've found. The idea has been to use the most commonly used name for each language setting (English, Romanized, Non-English). Yes, I know about Hepburn. I'd say the default romanization could be something like classic Hepburn, unless there's a more commonly accepted romanization for that name.

And yes, using proper capitalization makes text easier to read. I've converted many lowercase names to capitalized names. Sometimes the officially accepted name is written in allcaps though... not sure if those should be normalized. I think this is open for discussion.

2) Name ordering
I think Hatsune Miku is correct, because that's what it says in the box. Traditionally Japanese names are written lastname firstname, and that's the rule on many sites, for example konachan (I think danbooru etc. too?). I'd say prefer lastname firstname ordering, if possible, but this can also be discussed.

3) Song picture
Yes, artists and albums already have custom pictures... I was going to add pictures to songs too, just didn't know how important that is (there are tons of other features to add anyway). Another user (salanos) wanted to add custom thumbnails to PVs because he thinks the default thumbnails provided by Youtube/NND are often bad.

I'm still actively working on the site, and all suggestions and contributions are welcome.
Join VocaDB and help us create the most extensive possible catalog of Vocaloid/UTAU songs and albums!

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#15 User is offline   Samuel Icon

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:23 PM

Thanks for your replies Riipah :)

View Postriipah, on 26 July 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

We used mikuchan as the discussion board earlier... it's hardly optimal because I have no direct control over the server and it might go down again at any moment :/. Currently looking for an alternative. Digited (another contributor) suggested setting up a dedicated forum, but I'm not sure if it would be used enough, and I don't think we're important enough to get a subforum on vocaforum or VO.net.
Well I suggest then that we use this thread until some admin at VO decide we're too active or too Off-Topic. The only constraint would be that unlike Mikuchan people would need to register on VO to be able to post, but I bet that VDB's contributors are extremely likely to already have an account on VO. Maybe you could update VocaDB help page and advertise this thread instead of the defunct Mikuchan and we'll see how it will fold out ?

View Postriipah, on 26 July 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

Currently there's no rule... I'm no expert in translations/romanizations and I know little Japanese, so I've allowed everyone to do as they see best...
This is probably the wisest choice at first, especially since I noticed your data model allows a single song to have several "romanized" rows. Therefore one could provide for the same song a transcription using Hepburn, Wapuro and Kunrei. That said, providing a guideline would help to be consistent and resolve ambiguity if latter on you need to have a criterion to select only one transcription among several.
Personally I would avoid Hepburn for two reasons:
1) MP3 players not supporting UNICODE will probably also display funny stuff on Hepburn's macrons (e.g. ō, ā, etc.)
2) Most of the time the sokuon (っ) is not transcribed using Hepburn rules but Wapuro rules(e.g. こっち向いて transcribed almost everywhere as "Kocchi muite" instead of the Hepburn-appropriate "Kotchi muite"

View Postriipah, on 26 July 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

And yes, using proper capitalization makes text easier to read. I've converted many lowercase names to capitalized names. Sometimes the officially accepted name is written in allcaps though... not sure if those should be normalized. I think this is open for discussion.
Yep, this is a tough topic I remember pages of discussion about that on MusicBrainz. There are no established rules to help us, but usually it comes down to the criteria of the romanization: Is it to make the reading easy for a non-speaker or is it to keep the maximum information about the original Japanese writing while not being able to display the actual Japanese characters (again, the MP3 players constraint) ? In the first case, you will fiddle with the capitals, add spaces, translate Katakana when it's not wasei-eigo, etc. In the second, you should only use lower caps, or on the opposite only caps to transcribe Katakana and therefore not loose this information: in japanese katakana can be used to stress a word and the meaning will change compared to the same word in hiragana/kanji. But again, problem solved as long as you accept several rows for a transcription.

View Postriipah, on 26 July 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

2) Name ordering
I think Hatsune Miku is correct, because that's what it says in the box. Traditionally Japanese names are written lastname firstname, and that's the rule on many sites, for example konachan (I think danbooru etc. too?). I'd say prefer lastname firstname ordering, if possible, but this can also be discussed.
Again problem solved by your data model: we can use both. I tested that and now 初音ミク has an other entry in the western order.

View Postriipah, on 26 July 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

3) Song picture
Yes, artists and albums already have custom pictures... I was going to add pictures to songs too, just didn't know how important that is (there are tons of other features to add anyway). Another user (salanos) wanted to add custom thumbnails to PVs because he thinks the default thumbnails provided by Youtube/NND are often bad.
Well great then, one stone two birds :)

And now an other question:
Regarding the artists "role" tag when describing the autors of a song. If the song is a remix/re-arrange. Does the author of the re-arrange/remix needs to be tagged "Arranger" or "Composer" ? Because "Arranger" is a bit ambiguous and an original song may have a contributor who's an arranger but not the actual composer (like collabs for exemple).
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