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Top 40 Guest -- March 30, 2017 10:35 AM UTC

Top 40 Tunes Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I hear the songs?
  2. How do I sort the search results/weekly charts/song lists?
  3. How do I scan through all items in search results/song lists?
  4. Why does the site only contain songs from 1960-1989?
  5. Are these rankings from the official Billboard charts?
  6. What is an exact search?
  7. What is a substring search?
  1. How do I hear the songs?

    As mentioned on our home page, the 8 Ball Software Music Archive, which was our access to the songs, is no more. We have moved to a model that will allow our charts to directly link to each your own library of MP3s using the MusicBrainz community music database. If you have already catalogued your music collection with MusicBrainz, the IDs for each Top 40 song are available on the song web page or through our web service. If you havent catalogued your collection yet, get over to MusicBrainz to get started.
  2. How do I sort the search results/weekly charts/song lists?

    The column you are sorting by is highlighted in yellow. The arrow at the top points down if the column is sorted A-Z or 0-9. The arrow points up if the column is sorted Z-A or 9-0. To sort on another column, click the column name at the top of the column. To change the sort direction, click the column name a second time.
  3. How do I scan through all items in search results/song lists?

    Top 40 Tunes shows your results in pages, if more than 20 items would be shown at once. If there are more than 20 results, you will see a line with "Matches:" at the top and the bottom of the list. You may use "Prev" or "Next" to move forward and backward a page at a time. You may also use the numbered links to directly jump to a specific page. Or, if you don't mind waiting for a large number of matches to download, you may click the "All XX matches" link to show all matches on one screen without paging.
    If you are a member, the default number of matches shown on a screen can be set on your Preferences screen.
  4. Why does the site only contain songs from 1960-1989?

    In our minds, this time period highlights the heyday of Top 40/popular music. Prior to 1960, there was little crossover between the various musical genres: rock, pop, R & B, country, and many others each had their own big hits and attempting to order these songs in one chart would not only be difficult, but would not do justice to their true popularity. With the arrival of the Billboard Top 100 chart in late 1959, tracking hits by sales and radio airplay became much easier and songs from many genres finally found a home in a single musical format. By the 90s, this trend had once again reversed. Splinter genres such as heavy metal, rap, and new wave and the decreased importance of singles sales made the concept of a single chart obsolete once more. Pop was dead again.
    The new millenium has seen a resurgence in pop music with the many genres again coming into one. So, perhaps someday, Top 40 Tunes will fill in the "dead-zone" of the 90s and present the modern pop era as well. But until then, enjoy the 3 decades of true pop when commercial radio ruled what we thought was hot.
  5. Are these rankings from the official Billboard charts?

    No. Although Billboard truly is considered THE definitive source of music rankings, their charts are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced or published here. Our rankings are based on minor regional charts, airplay, listener voting, and singles sales figures all rolled together. With that said, occasionally those numbers are misleading, especially when people want to see a true Number One song. With that in mind, we have adjusted our rankings to match Billboard's number one song list. You should find our rankings hold very true to what you would hear on the radio and find in the record stores every week.
  6. What is an exact search?

    Exact search means just that. What you type in must exactly match either the artist or the title of a song in full. If you enter "James", you won't find "James Brown" or "Etta James". Be careful, some songs are not named what you think. For example, an exact match on "I Feel Good" would not match the actual name of the song "I Got You (I Feel Good)". When in doubt, use substring match.
    Note: Exact search is only available from the "Top 40 Search" page.
  7. What is a substring search?

    Substring search is what most people are used to on the Internet. It will match anything that contains the word or phrase you type. That means if you type "Elvis", you will find "Elvis Presley" and "Elvis Costello". Unlike some internet searches though, the words must be in the exact order you specify. So if you search for "love go", it will match "Where Did Our Love Go" but not "Love Makes The World Go Round". You do not need to enter complete words. In fact, searching for "upre" will match "Diana Ross and the Supremes". Be careful with short searches. If you search for common words like "joe" or a single letter like "e", you will match thousands of songs. If you are looking for a song with a short title like "Love" and find that you get too many matches, consider using an Exact Search from the "Top 40 Search" page.