2020 Metafile Legend

Two data files, meta.txt and rmeta.txt, the former for new releases, the latter for reissues, compilations, vault music. Fields separated by '|':

  1. Points: Make does a numeric sort on this field as first key.
  2. Artist: Last name '_' first name, such that make can do an alpha sort on this as second key.
  3. Title: Album title.
  4. Label: Label; may be preceded by dates (e.g., 1972 or 1972-74) and comma; may be followed by format (e.g., EP, or 2CD).
  5. Release date: Written as MM-DD, including '0' to pad to two digits. "-2016" indicates a 2016 release date.
  6. Flags: Used to specify genre, also whether I have heard the record. More than one may be set:
    • 1: I own a hard copy of the album (could be CDR).
    • 2: I've heard the record from a streaming or download source.
    • B: Blues/Gospel/R&B
    • C: Country/Americana/Folk
    • E: Electronica
    • H: Hip-Hop/Rap
    • J: Jazz
    • K: Classical
    • M: Metal
    • W: World, both pop and folk, including Latin
  7. Data: Multiple segments, each separated by comma (','), preferably sorted alphabetically. Each segment consists of a key (alpha abbreviation), optionally followed by colon (':') and a number, which is the rank position of the record on the list, or a plus ('+'), which indicates an unranked point, or '*N' for N points. There are two series of data: one from major sources which are scored 5 (1st place), 4 (2-5th), 3 (6-10th), 2 (11-20th), 1 (anything above 20th); then following a semicolon, one from minor sources which are generally scored 3 (1st place), 2 (2-5th), 1 (anything above 5th). The keys are listed in the legend data file (legend-data.txt). Ties aren't marked this year (in previous years they were marked '*'; sorry, I screwed up). If a list contains multiple records in a numeric slot (often by same artist), each are credited (subject to notes below). The distinction between major and minor is somewhat arbitrary, but long lists tend to count as major (even if by idiots), and short and/or unranked lists as minor.
  8. Comment: Anything else considered a comment. These appear in the output, but aren't counted.

The legend-data.txt file also consists of fields separated by '|'. They are:

  1. Key: The key for the list, used in data above.
  2. Type: How the list is counted, if any rank in the list gets more than one point: empty means everything gets one point; extra points are noted by the cutoff rank, with comma separating each tier -- e.g., "20,1" gives 2 points to everything ≥ 20 except 3 points ≥ 1.
  3. Name: The plain name for the list.
  4. URL: Where to find the list (often just the top of the list.
  5. Alt URL: An alternate (unofficial) source for the list (often these are easier to work with than the actual URL.)
  6. Comment: Any additional comments. Within this the following subfields (comma-separated) are noted:
    • Mc:#: Metacritic.com average score : no points.
    • AM:#: Acclaimed Music's Albums Spreadsheets Updates (Feb. 6, 2019): points 200,20,10,5,1.
    • RM:#: Robert Mitchum's Top Albums 2018 spreadsheet: points: 100,20,10,5,1.
    • PJ:#-#: Pazz & Jop Rip-Off Poll: points 250,20,10,5,1.
    • RC:# Robert Christgau letter grades (1-3 stars are divisions of B+, B+ counts as ***)
    • MT:# Michael Tatum letter grades (same)
    • TH:# Tom Hull letter grades

Since I don't have corresponding lists to work off of, and since I value their reviews highly, I've decided to score RC, MT, and TH as: A/A+ 5, A- 4, B+/*** 3, ** 2, * 1; omitting the 2014 (and earlier) releases. I haven't sucked up all of TH's letter grades -- only those mentioned by others.

Some general guidelines on which lists were counted (and which not):

  • Where separate "international" and "national" lists are provided, only "international" is counted. Similarly, "local" (state or city) lists are not counted.
  • Most genre lists are counted, except classical, soundtracks, Christian. I have virtually no interest in metal but have almost always counted metal lists.
  • Honorable mentions or unranked extras added to lists are generally counted, with '+' instead of rank numbers. Same for unranked lists (although unless explicitly stated, unnumbered lists are generally assumed to be top-down).
  • Format-specific lists (e.g., EPs, mixtapes) are usually ignored. EPs occurring in general lists are counted, but singles are generally not.
  • Don't bother with lists that are aggregates of other lists, figuring they're just approximations of this aggregate. Also don't bother with reader polls (although I make a couple exceptions).

Lists

The following lists have been counted:

  1. [AAJ] All About Jazz () -- +4 stars(08-16)
  2. [AC] Austin Chronicle () -- MC 80+(02-26)(05-25)
  3. [AD] The Arts Desk (1) -- AOTY 80+(03-09)
  4. [Al] Albumism () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  5. [AM] AllMusic Guide [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  6. [AS] American Songwriter [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  7. [AV] AV Club [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  8. [BB] Billboard ()
  9. [Bc] Bandcamp () -- (Winter,Spring)
  10. [BG] Boston Globe () -- MC 80+(04-20)
  11. [BPM] Beats Per Minute () -- AOTY 80+
  12. [C] Crack [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(08-17)
  13. [Cl] Clash [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-12)
  14. [ClR] Classic Rock [UK] () -- MC 80+
  15. [CM] Chris Monsen (Perfect Sounds Forever) () -- 2020 favorites list
  16. [Cmp] Complex [US] () -- + mid-year list
  17. [CS] Consequence of Sound [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  18. [CT] Chicago Tribune () -- MC 80+(02-27)
  19. [D] Dork () -- AOTY +80(04-15)
  20. [DB] Downbeat () -- +4 stars (07-20), editor's picks {1-7}
  21. [DIY] DIY () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  22. [Dus] Dusted () -- MC +80(04-20)(06-20)
  23. [Em] Earmilk () -- AOTY 80+(08-10)
  24. [EW] Entertainment Weekly [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  25. [Ex] Exclaim! [Canada] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  26. [FJ] Free Jazz Collective () -- *4 stars (06-15)(07-03)
  27. [Fld] Flood [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)(07-27)
  28. [G] Guardian [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  29. [GB] Gorilla Vs Bear [US] () -- midyear list
  30. [Gig] GIGsoup () -- +80(07-27)
  31. [Gl] Glide [US] () -- MC 80+(08-24)
  32. [GTV] God Is in the TV () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  33. [Gw] Gigwise [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)(05-04)
  34. [HDX] HipHopDX [US] () -- AOTY 80+(05-10)(08-31)
  35. [HS] Highsnobiety () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  36. [I] The Independent [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-21)
  37. [K] Kerrang () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  38. [LAT] Los Angeles Times () -- MC 80+(04-20)
  39. [LBF] The Line of Best Fit [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  40. [LQ] Loud and Quiet [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  41. [Mj] Mojo [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19 none), MC 80+(06-15)
  42. [MO] MusicOMH [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  43. [Ne] The Needle Drop () -- AOTY 80+(02-21)(08-03)
  44. [NME] NME [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  45. [Now] NOW Magazine (Toronto) [Canada] () -- AOTY 80+()
  46. [NR] No Ripcord [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(05-18)
  47. [NT] Northern Transmissions () -- AOTY 80+(02-12)
  48. [NYT] New York Times () -- MC 80+(08-24)
  49. [O] The Observer () -- AOTY +80(02-20)
  50. [P] Paste () -- AOTY 80+(02-13); also 10-best-of-month lists {1-6}
  51. [Pf] Pitchfork () -- AOTY 80+(07-27)
  52. [PM] PopMatters () -- AOTY/MC 80+(02-13)(05-24m)
  53. [Pn] Punknews.org () -- MC 80+(02-27)(06-16)
  54. [PO] Phil Overeem () -- anything on his lists (05-01)
  55. [Q] Q [UK] () -- MC +80(02-26)(04-19)
  56. [Qt] The Quietus [UK] () [link]
  57. [RA] Resident Advisor [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19 none), MC 80+(02-27)(06-09)
  58. [RC] Record Collector [UK] () -- MC 80+(04-20)
  59. [RR] RapReviews () -- MC 80+(02-26)(05-25)
  60. [RS] Rolling Stone [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  61. [S] Spin [US] () -- MC +80(04-20)
  62. [SC] Spectrum Culture () -- AOTY 80+(05-04)(07-20)
  63. [SE] Stephen Thomas Erlewine () -- halftime report
  64. [Sg] Stereogum [US] () -- + midyear list
  65. [Sk] The Skinny [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  66. [Sl] Slant [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  67. [SMH] Sydney Morning Herald () -- AOTY 80+
  68. [Sp] Spill () -- AOTY 80+(08-10)
  69. [Spk] Sputnik Music [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  70. [T] The Telegraph [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)
  71. [TN] Tim Niland [Music & More] () -- no grades, but everything he reviews is notable (04-20)
  72. [TO] Time Out London [UK] () -- AOTY 80+(02-21 none)
  73. [U] Uncut [UK] () -- MC 80+(06-15)
  74. [Ups] Upset () -- AOTY 80+(08-03)
  75. [UR] Under the Radar [US] () -- AOTY 80+(02-19)
  76. [V] Variety () -- MC 80+(08-24)
  77. [W] The Wire () -- MC 80+(06-15)(07-27)
  78. [XLR] XLR8R () -- AOTY 80+(02-21 none)
  79. [YF] Young Folks () -- AOTY 80+(02-13)(07-27)
  80. [bc_a] Bandcamp Daily: Ambient () -- (Mar,Jun)
  81. [bc_b] Bandcamp Daily: Beat Tapes () -- (Jun)
  82. [bc_c] Bandcamp Daily: Club Music () -- (Jun)
  83. [bc_e] Bandcamp Daily: Electronic () -- (Mar,Jun)
  84. [bc_h] Bandcamp Daily: Hip-Hop () -- (Jan-Feb,Jul)
  85. [bc_j] Bandcamp Daily: Jazz () -- (Jan-Jul)
  86. [bc_p] Bandcamp Daily: Punk () -- (Jul)
  87. [bc_r] Bandcamp Daily: Reissues () -- (Jan-Feb,May-Jun)
  88. [bc_s] Bandcamp daily: Soul () -- (Mar,Jun)
  89. [scm] Saving Country Music () -- 1.75 guns up or 8/10 (09-07)
  90. [xbl] Expert Witness: Brad Luen () -- Facebook (07-02)
  91. [xcg] Expert Witness: Chris Gray () -- Facebook (07-02)
  92. [xci] Expert Witness: Christian Iszchak () -- Facebook (07-02)+(08-17)
  93. [xej] Expert Witness: Eric Johnson () -- Facebook (07-02)
  94. [xem] Expert Witness: Eric Marcus () -- Facebook (07-02)
  95. [xgm] Expert Witness: Greg Morton () -- Facebook (07-02)
  96. [xhs] Expert Witness: Hardin Smith (10,5,1) -- Facebook (07-02)
  97. [xjd] Expert Witness: Joey Daniewicz () -- Facebook (07-02)
  98. [xjdc] Expert Witness: Jeffrey D Callahan () -- Facebook (07-02)
  99. [xjsp] Expert Witness: John Speranza () -- Facebook (07-02)
  100. [xkb] Expert Witness: Kevin Bozelka () -- Facebook (07-02)
  101. [xph] Expert Witness: Paul Hayden () -- Facebook (07-02)
  102. [xsa] Expert Witness: Steve Alter () -- Facebook (07-02)
  103. [xsp] Expert Witness: Stan Piccirilli () -- Facebook (07-02)
  104. [xtj] Expert Witness: Tomand Jerry () -- Facebook (07-02)
  105. [xtl] Tom Lane () -- Facebook (07-02)
  106. [xtw] Expert Witness: Thomas Walker () -- Facebook (07-02)

Sources