I was considering the Discogs API earlier, but it was a bit easier to just cherry pick the first cover image using regex. I hacked something together that borrows code (and probably conflicts with) the other cover art plugin. It worked on a few releases I tried, but has to be cleaned up still. http://pastebin.com/ZbCXpHC2
Looks good; I'll play with it tomorrow.
One thing: You're grabbing the first image off the viewimages page. That does seem to at least usually be the front cover, but is that guaranteed, or do we have to actually look at the release page and see which one matches the thumbnail found there?
Now I'm wondering how accurate parsing a search would be, to fallback to if there's no Discogs AR on the release.
Well, I've used the "Search at Discogs" plugin quite a bit, hacked up to put quotes around the artist and album, and it's not bad.
Obviously, nothing's going to fix the problem where variations of a release have different covers and you get the wrong variation. (Well, nothing short of some AI that scans all the releases and tries to match up track titles through guess-case and so on.) And likewise, when Discogs and MB disagree on what's an artist name variation/alias/different artist you're not going to get a match. But beyond that, since the last site upgrade, I get a lot fewer false positives than at any other site I search on, and not many more misses.
If you do an artist search followed by a within-artist release search, there are even fewer false positives (but you do get more false negatives--that search seems to be less tolerant of minor spelling variations than the global search).
Maybe that's not ideal because it wouldn't encourage people to just add a Discogs AR. ;)
Good point. The only time I've ever added a Discogs AR, other than when I'm adding new releases or verifying questionable info, is when I go there to hunt down cover art. So, it would at least discourage me.
It might be cool to pop up a messagebox that helps add the AR. Something like this:
* The icon is the thumbnail.
* The text is the search result text.
* The title is the release name.
* Button 1 is "Match". It pops open a browser window to add a Discogs AR to the release, with the link pre-filled-in and ready for me to click "Save", and also saves the image to the metadata.
* Button 2 (default) is "Maybe". It pops open a browser window showing the Discogs page, then loops back to fire the mbox again.
* Button 3 (cancel) is "No Match". It pops open a browser window showing the Discogs search, then tosses the image.
That's a horribly hacky UI that any of my designer friends would shoot me over, but it would work for me, and be pretty easy to code up....