Here is something that has been bothering me lately: human singers on VocaDB. In case you’re unfamiliar, there is a large number of amateur singers, usually called Utaite (singers in Japanese), on the Japanese NicoNicoDouga and also Youtube. It’s not uncommon that Vocaloid producers themselves cover their own Vocaloid songs. The results vary: some of these singers can be very good, basically professional quality… others not so much. Originally we allowed albums with only human vocals, provided that the artists or songs are somehow related to Vocaloid. The justification was that there’s a lot of overlap between the Vocaloid and Utaite fandoms, and that Vocaloid fans might be interested in what non-Vocaloid songs their favorite producers are involved with.
Earlier this year, we first made it clear that the main focus of the site is Vocaloid, and that users should focus on adding Vocaloid songs and albums instead of albums without Vocaloids. We wanted to discourage human-only albums, but not forbid it, so that the exceptionally good or popular albums, that might be relevant to Vocaloid fans, would still be allowed. However, it’s very difficult to determine what albums and songs should be allowed, so we finally decided to disallow these albums altogether. The reason is simply that we want to be the best database for Vocaloid discography, and no matter how you look at it, Utaite albums are not Vocaloid. There are so many of these albums where one of the artists has produced Vocaloid songs before, or where some songs are covers of Vocaloid songs, that allowing them would clutter up the site, making finding the relevant material more difficult. Sure, there are ways to filter out the non-relevant content, but it would still cause performance issues and make the site more complicated to use. Adding too many unnecessary features is bad in the long run, making the implementation of actually useful features more difficult.
I want to stress that personally I have nothing against amateur singers. I’m personally a fan of nano, MARiA and XenonP and I have bought their (non-Vocaloid) albums. I would like their solo albums to be on VocaDB, but I see no justification for that.
We will not remove old entries, and human-sung songs are still allowed if at least one song on the album has Vocaloid vocals. However, new albums with no Vocaloids can no longer be added. Individual songs with only human vocals are also forbidden, even if they’re covers of Vocaloid originals. It’s also important to note that, in this case, when talking about Vocaloids, I also mean related voice synthesizers such as UTAU and Satou Sasara – those are and will always be allowed and highly encouraged. Instrumental versions of Vocaloid songs and Vocaloid-related videos such as MMD dramas also still allowed.
There seems to be demand for an Utaite discography site such as VocaDB, based on the observation that some users are still adding Utaite albums and songs on VocaDB, two months after it was disallowed. Usually we politely contact these users and ask them to delete the entries themselves. I don’t want to blame them, considering these albums were allowed for a long time – allowing the community to accept such a significant change will take time.
I’d be happy to set up another site for Utaite discography, based on the VocaDB codebase. Howeve, hosting such a site on the same server as VocaDB would take up too much resources, and in no case I want the new site to disturb or harm VocaDB. We’d either need a completely separate server, or a more powerful server, for hosting this Utaite database. Servers cost money, and I’m not willing to use my own money for this project. If someone else steps up, offering a suitable server, or sufficient funding for a new server, we could set up a site. Until that happens… unfortunately you’ll have to go Utaite wiki or something similar for information about Utaite albums.