I sell a lot of Australian records, and in Australia in the 80s the mini-lp was a really popular format. A typical mini-lp was a 12" record with artwork as thorough and rugged as an lp would have, but the record had about half the material of a standard lp - 15-25 minutes long, 5-6 tracks. The ethic at the time was that with a limited budget it was better to make a short and powerful record of well recorded versions of a band's best tracks than to rush through a full lp that includes material that could use more polishing.
There's no really good media category on MusicStack for these records - it's either call them an lp - which misleads customers into thinking they're getting more, or call it an ep, which undersells the record.
I think generally collectors are aware that "mlp" is the standard abbreviation for a mini-lp. Can that be added?
My best luck is either looking under the 12 inch, singles or EP's markets. I know it sounds quite ridiculous if you ask me as to why there wouldn't be a MLP section, however, if you have to list an MLP, you might be stuck listing it under a 12 inch, or EP or LP, unless Mr. David Stack decides otherwise. I think out of both of these categories, the EP or LP would be the best to list them under, being that these are the formats the MLP is the closest related to.
In the end, I do agree MusicStack should have a MLP category, especially since this was also a popular format for some Heavy Metal bands in the 1980's from the U.S. who didn't exactly always make full length LP's. According to the Metal Archives website database, there were some 435 EP's/MLP's recorded in the United States alone, and there could be quite a few more here in the States, as this probably doesn't include demos of recordings on the MLP format, which there could be a couple thousand of or so, again if not more.........
There is a wider issue that makes this subject more complex...
By adding a new format, MiniLP... would mean that sellers would need to determine it to be a MiniLP, and then hope as much as possible that potential buyers will be aware of the format.
There has been some discussion with sellers regarding the EP status, as some sellers have heard from their customers that they were unable to find certain releases... but this was because they were searching all the 7" format items.
An EP most commonly is 7" and plays at 45... but there are many exceptions to the rule... and before you know it... we will have hundreds of formats, listing all over the place, and the upshot could be customer confusion.
10" mini LP
... often I find it easier to set my prefrences to searching for either vinyl or CD and take the time to search the list... I get more results and a better idea of what is available.
If a 12" miniLP is listed in LPs, with a comment that it is a miniLP in the description, this should ensure your customer base will find the item and know what it is.
I say, just forget about all of the categorizations, and just list everything under: "ALL VINYL FORMATS". I think this will cut you through almost all of the crap! Besides, even if you did a thorough search under all formats, I think you would still be able to find what you are looking for anyway regardless.
With that said, I think Jason, it could be narrowed down quite simply......
33rpm EP's, if they are a 12", should be listed under 12". If they are a 7", then they should be listed accordingly under either 45rpm's or 7", regardless, to make things less complicated in this area.
Now, I can see Steve's point though as to why there should be a MLP place for listing purposes. This would definitely cut through the crap of some confusion, but not all, as you mentioned Jason.........
I think MLP's should be a listing option for those sellers who want such a choice in the matter to do so. I think, for example, that MLP's, which are a larger format to fit more songs, should all be considered 12", due to the fact that an LP I.E. "Long Player", is much more associated with the 12" format. But, then again, as was mentioned by you Jason, being that an MLP is still considered a 12", 10" or 7", they could be listed in all of these aspects!
I dunno, why not list them all by size? But, there lies another issue......What usually constitutes an MLP is the not exactly the speed per-se, but mainly as to how many songs you could put on it, which as Steve mentioned is about anywhere from like 3-6 songs. Heck, even some heavy metal LP's that have 8 songs that are still considered an MLP, or perhaps the songs are just more lengthier at 33rpm's? Go figure, right?
Let's look at what would constitute an MLP. Well, first off, we have already established here, they must have anywhere to at least 3-6 songs, and the time length should cap off roughly at 15, 20-25 minutes or so. Alright, so my suggestion to make this simple..........
Any 12" that have 2 songs, should be listed under 12". Most 12" MLP's are rarely played at 45rpm's, so my suggestion of where to put those is under MLP. All 10" records, if they have more than 2 songs, could be still filed under MLP, or to make that less complicated just file anything 10" under 10". All 45rpm's should be filed under 7" or 45rpm's as they always have, so as to be less confusing. Finally, any 12" that has more than 2 songs, in general, should most definitely find a home under MLP.
Confused yet? Well, maybe either you or Steve have some better ideas? I think I am running flat on them about right now........
I do see Jason's point here too though, and this is where you can definitely start to split hairs. I do think though that an MLP listing could be an option, but then because of customers who may not always exactly know what these are, as Jason mentioned, you might end having to list them in more than one place!
I don't know Jason, help me out here, am I losing it??????? Lol
Only joking... no, it's strange with many of these seemingly simple questions, putting them into practice is a whole different kettle of fish.
If you had one miniLP and listed as an MLP and also listed it as an LP... you have problems with stock control, you sell one, you must remember to remove the other, which can be much more difficult for those with 100,000's of items and employ button pushers to do this.
A similar problem arises when discussing genre, as a seller I can define some of my own for my pages, but MusicStack provides a fairly good comprehensive list as well... but for the specialist in any field, folk, rock, pop might not really cover it... there are many instances I have wanted to list an item in three or more genres because I think it would appeal to people who collect in each area... but the only way to do this, is to list multiple times for one item... not something I want to do... so us sellers are faces with many problems and issues.
With MusicStack seller try to fulfill orders, if an item sells and you no longer have it in stock, it counts against you... I sell very few items here and on other websites, and remembering to delete stock because it's sold elsewhere can give me a slight headache.
Generally I agree with the overall dimension being a fairly good rule of thumb, it's either 7" 12" or an LP (maybe a 78)... but, this is why it is important to buyers and sellers... description must be put with an item if there could be any doubts... a sellers responsibility to provide relevant information, but also the buyers responsibility to ensure what they are buying is what they want.
I list my items with the format in the title, in the format column and if relevant, I will try to cover it in the description... but with less stock and small turnover, I can afford to spend a little more time on these things.
Yeah, I guess with the MLP thing, it might just be about trying to get the majority of the public to understand or get used to what an MLP is in the first place, which may never happen, especially when you consider that most people have just been content or comfortable just calling them an LP, EP, 12", 10", 7", 78, 45, 33 or whatever the case.
I think the biggest problem is getting people to understand change and mostly it isn't within human nature to understand much of that, although the concept or idea of an MLP listing might be music to our ears, however, the labor behind doing it for most sellers may not be! :-(
These kind of categorizations always leave grey areas - it's not much different than genre definitions like "punk", "metal", "garage", "new wave", etc. But the fact that the definitions don't have crystal clear boundaries doesn't mean they aren't useful. When a record is in the grey area, that's the time to use the description field. But if 90% of the time a shorthand descriptor like mlp conveys something understandable, it's got value.
I'm not terribly bothered about the general public who have never heard of an mlp - most of them (but not all, of course) are not looking for records by the bands that made them. But I have never yet heard anyone use mlp to refer to anything other than a 12" record - maybe this is done in genres other than what I'm used to - for example, I'm not a metal fan and was totally unaware that there were a lot of metal mlps. But in punk, garage, new wave, psych, grunge and power pop, I've yet to hear of a mlp that was not 12".
Similarly, I think that 90% of what people into these genres (maybe others think differently about it) would call an mlp is 3-6 songs, 15-25 minutes.
I'm not asking for other sellers to have to change their listings to show mlps - I just want the ability to do it myself. Right now, I use mlp in my catalog but I have it mapped to 12" when my catalog uploads.
np - Rain Parade - Explosions In The Glass Palace mlp (5 tracks, 33-1/3, 12", 20:17 total running time) I had this playing before I even logged onto MusicStack tonight, so this is a totally coincidental example!
The Mini-LP/MLP format addition UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!
I chatted with Mr. Dave Stack, the owner of the MusicStack website about adding the MLP format to the website database. After asking, Dave thought it was an excellent idea to add the MLP format to the website as an option for the sellers who wanted to use it as a marketing tool!
Here is how Dave proposed we use the MLP listings & searches on the MusicStack site:
The EP & Mini-LP is a category that will now be used under the format choice menu for 10" & 12" MLP's, which now sellers can use as a listing option.
So, you might wonder: How will they come up in a search?
To answer your question, this is actually quite simple.........
Whether it be the 10" MLP or the 12" MLP, the searches for 10"LP's, 12"LP's, LP's or EP's will come up under any search you type in for the EP & MLP.
Anyway, this is good news for all you sellers on MusicStack who now want to start implementing the MLP format on the seller pages!
Thank you Dave Stack for your help & assistance with this minor issue........
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