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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:56 am 
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Re: Participation on Piano Society.

Polls? They're a cliche of how society brands things - analogous to sending a knee-jerk quick text message: "Awesome, OK, or Gaff." Then it's end of any further discussion! Music shouldn't be a public opinion poll for a Piano "Society." It doesn't offer the poster a convincing explanation of WHY something sounds the way it sounds. How then can one improve? Or reveal a new discovery? The intent of a forum is to share ideas, clarify issues, etc. There is always room for improvement, and music is no exception. In many ways, people who contribute through participation are providing an unintended service to the original poster, AND to those who are learning passively from the "participation" of many that is taking place. Hopefully, this motivates others to chime in. Surely one can offer an opinion, as in a poll, but a bold statement should lend itself to further discussion based on the basis of history, genre, musicology, and issues relating to style, thematic interpretation, acknowledged intentions of the composer/music based on experience and/or research, etc.

Having a poll places a scorecard on the submitter. The unintended human reaction to polls are that it can induce competition, jealousy, or intimidation among some musicians. This form of pop culture is perhaps more appropriate for youtube. The end result is that it may scare away or deter further submissions, let alone participation. This defeats the goal and this isn't what we're about.

There are a lot of ideas being thrown here by many members. To make sense out of confusion, doubt, disbelief, or frustration, there inevitably is a need at some point to reduce a complex or charged topic to its common denominator. Relating to participation, as can be said of anything that involves human behavior: There are givers and there are takers. There isn't anything we can do to affect a change in attitude of the takers to increase participation as one's behavior is ingrained in the psyche. The "Givers" will contribute through participation; The "Takers" won't contribute, but will expect to receive the "service" upon every submission - another set of ears. I've seen even rude and selfish levels expectations for acknowledgment and appraisal of some submissions. Egocentric and arrogant behavior is the equivalent of the 'common cold' in music. I believe that this characteristic can even permeate into one's recording, heard often as that stuffy-nosed, aloof, impersonal, uninspiring interpretation. This is perhaps even more revealing on a video as body language.

I think the intent for every recording on PS should be communication and evaluation. It promotes dialog and discussion which leads to discovery, dissemination of new ideas, clarification, and improvement.

Moral of the story to the Takers (you know who you are!)
It's always better to give than to receive. Why?... You'll have more real friends here and in real life! It will give you what you're lacking - receiving more unexpected 'services' than expected ones for a change. It's far sweeter to be pleasantly surprised in receiving an unexpected 'service than an expected one from someone. N'est pas?... :wink: So return the favor, chip in where others need your advice - Participate in the brotherhood of music here on Piano Society. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:07 pm 
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Location: UK
What a coincidence to see this post - I've just come back here after months (or is it years?) of inactivity, but haven't been removed from the main site because I was never there in the first place. Encouraging participation in this way sounds like a good idea. I remember that the other members were very helpful to me when I asked for advice and posted an awful recording a while ago, so I really value this forum. I will try to visit this site more often and spend less time on Facebook from now on.


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:02 am 
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Location: torino, italy
while i understand the need for more active participation, and i think to interpretation and technique discussions on the board as an outstanding peculiarity of this website, i would like to point out an obvious thing, that artistic quality has nothing to do with commenting skills. i think everyone is aware that many of the best recordings on this website come from non active posters. i would not be happy if they were to be replaced with lower artistic quality recordings from more active posters! this would turn out in giving overall poorer resources for students an pianists. artistic and commenting skills are totally different matters, and i think this issue has to be dealt differently. well, just my two cents, with no polemical intent of course.
have a nice weekend
Mr Duffy


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Hi Mr. Duffy. It's been some time since we've seen you! :) And while I'm glad you chimed in here, I have to say that I feel a little bit slighted by what you said. Maybe a few 'not-so-great' recordings have made it up onto the site in the past, but these days we are much more choosy, careful, and accept only very good recordings. I don't believe I have put up a certain member's recording only because he/she participates on our forum, since I strongly believe that PS should host only quality recordings with interpretations at least somewhat close to the composer's intention. Besides that, those members whom we have eliminated were basically one-hit wonders with insignificant recordings. One more thing - several of our 'active' members these days do in fact submit highly-artistic and fine recordings. Which reminds me, will we ever get to hear you play? Come on....don't be afraid....just jump right in! Have a nice week. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:22 pm 
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May I say something?

I joined some time ago at first after listening to Bortkiewicz. Having done that I went on to securing his sheet music. In less than 4 months I went from someone who had never even heard the name to being the owner of his complete existing piano oeuvre, a priviledge only shared by Mozart.

It was also here I managed to hear for the first time a recording of one of Bach's Toccatas - and I have played it now for over 20 years!

Have I made any criticism of the works here present? Well, no, because I am still hoping to be able to post some of my own recordings, but I am aware that they are not up to the standards required by the site and I feel that to comment on recordings by others I should also be out there to be commented on. As my resources at present are an MP3 portable recorder and an East German upright I wonder If anything will ever be done.

I must say I am at times surprised by the high quality of some of the new recordings: not only are the pianos in impeccable tune, but the recordings compare very positively to "studio" ones. I am thinking of one of Bortkiewicz's consolations, recorded by Pianolady.

I would be sorry to be given the order of the boot, though I will understand if it comes.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Thank you for the kind words, Richard, not just about my recording, but how you like our site's quality of recordings. In-tune pianos and good sound-quality are secondary to the quality of the actual performance, but they are also important. And you do not have to worry about getting the boot. It pertains to members of Piano Society's main site - those who have recordings (or hardly any recordings) on the site, but never bother to visit the forum besides submitting their own recordings. Forum-only members who take a moment to comment are as much appreciated as full-members, so please feel free to continue doing so - even if you do not have recordings on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Location: Lyon, France
Hello Monica,
Just to bring a very small contribution to this discussion: before kicking out some people (and their recordings), let's make sure there are no jewels going to the bin. For instance, I discovered some months ago on this site a concert recording of Beethoven's Diabelli variations by a gentleman who was educated at Julliard School, and who does not seem to show up these last years. But the recording is not only the single one we have of this chef d'oeuvre, but it is also immense as a piano performance. Please, have mercy for great art ! :cry: Regards,

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
Hello Monica,
Just to bring a very small contribution to this discussion: before kicking out some people (and their recordings), let's make sure there are no jewels going to the bin. For instance, I discovered some months ago on this site a concert recording of Beethoven's Diabelli variations by a gentleman who was educated at Julliard School, and who does not seem to show up these last years. But the recording is not only the single one we have of this chef d'oeuvre, but it is also immense as a piano performance. Please, have mercy for great art ! :cry: Regards,

I have taken that into account when doing a cleanup some time ago, and I don't think I have removed any great/unique recordings.
I assume you mean the O'Doan version ? Or was there another one That's now gone ? Mr. O'Doan has never been here, his recordings were taken over from a no defunct label called Pandora.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:55 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I assume you mean the O'Doan version ? Or was there another one That's now gone ? Mr. O'Doan has never been here, his recordings were taken over from a no defunct label called Pandora.

Yes it was. OK, I thought he was a early, but now gone member.

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:50 pm 
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richard66 wrote:
Have I made any criticism of the works here present? Well, no, because I am still hoping to be able to post some of my own recordings, but I am aware that they are not up to the standards required by the site and I feel that to comment on recordings by others I should also be out there to be commented on. As my resources at present are an MP3 portable recorder and an East German upright I wonder If anything will ever be done.

I have the same problem really. I have an excellent Steinway D to record on (though our piano technician frustrates me with his shoddy tuning) but no recorder. A friend was nice enough to lend me one and I only managed to use it as a practice tool as I got obsessed with Chopin 25/11 and convinced myself I could work it up before I had to send the recorder back. Which, of course, I didn't. So I often feel stupid commenting on others' recordings since I don't have any of my own.

Also, I am much better at offering criticism than I am with offering compliments. Part of that is because I am extremely picky and not even likely to compliment a professional recording much.

Edit: I meant to say that I am happy PS has decided to clean out some. There are just too many recordings to go through, and no way to tell which ones are good and which aren't. Of course there need not be any such discernment for the regular members of the forum beyond the usual, but it always bothered me that PS had to spend so much money for bandwidth and such for random people who drop halfway-decent recordings in the Audition room and then disappear. Every so often, submissions are good enough that the admins have been grateful for them despite the non-fraternization of the pianists in question, but from my experience this has been rare. And of course, it's also different if said random people submit unique recordings to the site, but it's the repeat recordings of the same piece that are bothersome when browsing through the home page.

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"Z Czernym poznałem się na panie brat—na dwa fortepiana często z nim u niego grywałem. Dobry człowiek, ale nic więcej..." - Fryderyk Chopin


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:56 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Edit: I meant to say that I am happy PS has decided to clean out some. There are just too many recordings to go through, and no way to tell which ones are good and which aren't. Of course there need not be any such discernment for the regular members of the forum beyond the usual, but it always bothered me that PS had to spend so much money for bandwidth and such for random people who drop halfway-decent recordings in the Audition room and then disappear. Every so often, submissions are good enough that the admins have been grateful for them despite the non-fraternization of the pianists in question, but from my experience this has been rare. And of course, it's also different if said random people submit unique recordings to the site, but it's the repeat recordings of the same piece that are bothersome when browsing through the home page.



I didn't see this post before. I like what you said, Terez. I do not have much else to add, except there are still a few more subpar recordings I'd like to eliminate. I have in fact eliminated a few of my own too.

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:31 am 
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Location: Allison Park, PA, USA
Wow, I've been away for some time and see that the site is HUGE now! Well, first greetings to all members and congratulations on your continued work studying, recording, and reviewing. I would have loved to have been here with you all but during my absence from PS I fell in love, carried on a long-distance relationship, got engaged, bought a house, got married and spent time travelling in China and Hong Kong. Now that I am back in the US and have settled down I plan to be here much more frequently.

Having said that, I appreciate having not been kicked off of the site. I would love to submit more recordings but like many here, no longer have access to the kind of facilities that can produce the quality of recording that I would like to post. I do love listening to everybody's work, though, and will try to comment regularly.

Best wishes to everybody for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm 
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cmudave1125 wrote:
I would have loved to have been here with you all but during my absence from PS I fell in love, carried on a long-distance relationship, got engaged, bought a house, got married and spent time travelling in China and Hong Kong.

Gawd, what a bunch of lame excuses not to be here :P
Anyway welcome back. Just in time not to get kicked off :P

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Terez wrote:
Also, I am much better at offering criticism than I am with offering compliments. Part of that is because I am extremely picky and not even likely to compliment a professional recording much.

Yes we did notice that. You're also rather biased towards Chopin and Bach, if you don't mind me saying so.

Terez wrote:
Edit: I meant to say that I am happy PS has decided to clean out some. There are just too many recordings to go through, and no way to tell which ones are good and which aren't. Of course there need not be any such discernment for the regular members of the forum beyond the usual, but it always bothered me that PS had to spend so much money for bandwidth and such for random people who drop halfway-decent recordings in the Audition room and then disappear. Every so often, submissions are good enough that the admins have been grateful for them despite the non-fraternization of the pianists in question, but from my experience this has been rare. And of course, it's also different if said random people submit unique recordings to the site, but it's the repeat recordings of the same piece that are bothersome when browsing through the home page.

Yes that is the core of it. Keeping up with regular contributors is no great hardship, but the work we do for the 'one-hit wonders' seems wasted. I may well clean up more in the future (very judiciously of course). So far only one of them came back to ask why. All the others evidently don't care.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:35 am 
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Location: East Yorkshire, England
Just a few comments.

Mr Duffy said :

Quote:
while i understand the need for more active participation, and i think to interpretation and technique discussions on the board as an outstanding peculiarity of this website, i would like to point out an obvious thing, that artistic quality has nothing to do with commenting skills.


I agree with Mr Duffy. You might lose many good recordings because of someone's lack of ability to make original comments which is self-defeating in the long run.

The Audition Room is essentially Moderator driven and, in many cases, where the moderator provides a detailed criticism of a submission, there isn't anything more to be said and I don't see the point of saying "yes, that's right" or "yes, I agree" just for the sake of being visible. Making comments for the sake of it are pointless.

If you are worried that recordings from artists who fail to comment are taking up server space then why not charge an annual fee for hosting recordings ?

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:44 am 
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MarkB wrote:
The Audition Room is essentially Moderator driven and, in many cases, where the moderator provides a detailed criticism of a submission, there isn't anything more to be said and I don't see the point of saying "yes, that's right" or "yes, I agree" just for the sake of being visible. Making comments for the sake of it are pointless.

Put it like that, you are right. But in many cases it's *only* the moderators that provide detailed feedback. Even then, I can't imagine that no-one feels like they can add something of their own, or provide a contrary view, or simply say they enjoyed it - or not. I do not pretend that we are always complete or even right in our assessments.

MarkB wrote:
If you are worried that recordings from artists who fail to comment are taking up server space then why not charge an annual fee for hosting recordings ?

We've thought about that. But we fear that this might drive people away more than anything else. Maybe the best feature of PS is that it's free for both artists and listeners, and we are loath to change that.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:13 pm 
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I placed a recording of Grieg's Arietta online some months back, which is appalling. You are welcome to delete that one. I will be making a new one anon, child, wife, canary and workmen permitting.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:59 am 
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techneut wrote:
Terez wrote:
Also, I am much better at offering criticism than I am with offering compliments. Part of that is because I am extremely picky and not even likely to compliment a professional recording much.

Yes we did notice that. You're also rather biased towards Chopin and Bach, if you don't mind me saying so.

It would be strange if I did mind, since I say so myself all the time. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:01 pm 
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Posts: 246
Location: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Hello!

I'm glad I read this, because It made me realize I haven't been around much the last months... mainly due to work and also my father's illness, which has greatly worsened.

However, in life we can adapt to anything and my love for music has not diminished.

So, I will make a sincere effort to post and participate more... And also prepare new recordings, which isn't the case at the moment.

Kind regards,

Marcelo


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Hi Marcelo - nice to see you back here. I am sorry about your father.
And you don't have to worry - I'd never delete you! :wink: :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 4:11 am 
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Monica and Site administrators,

To do with forum participation. Since I'm new to the site, forgive me if I'm not understanding how this works, but looking at some of the recent submission posts in the Audition Room, it appears that some contain links to YouTube, others to some unspecified location where clicking on the link brings up an in-browser mp3 player (on my Mac, I think it's using Quicktime) and others have attachments from the submitter which have to be downloaded to my computer to be able to hear them. I assume these files exist on some ftp somewhere, and not on your server. This last is really impractical since after downloading it in order to hear it, I then have to go find and delete the file from my hard drive as well as delete the link to it that's automatically generated by iTunes. I don't have enough memory left on the hard drive to endlessly download files. If others have this same experience, it's not surprising that members don't take the time to comment on new submissions.

Once a submission has been accepted, it goes into your database, is officially posted on the site and a link appears on the "New Recordings" page so we site visitors can easily bring it up. That's great, but there is then no easy way to comment on it without manually navigating to the Audition Forum and hunting around for the initial submission posting so you can add a comment. Even then, it's hard to identify where the correct submission posting and string is for a particular "New Recording" because the artists real name is listed in the table, but their original submission was probably made under their "handle" which is what shows in the list of topics in the forum. Because the administrators can see what handle belongs to what member, it isn't an issue for them, but the rest of us don't have that access. Or am I missing something? I realize this is a site design issue, but it does go to the problem of why people aren't participating more in the forum. Again, maybe I'm not understanding how it's supposed to work.

One suggestion would be to add a column of links to the "New Recording's" table that would take the listener directly to the relevant forum string where he/she can more easily post a comment. This same link could also exist in the tables in the Composers category. That doesn't solve the problem of commenting on submissions not yet accepted, but maybe there could be a separate page or table for "submissions under review" with links to the initial entry in the forum, again to make commenting easy. That would unfortunately require that new submission files actually already exist in your database - maybe too problematic because you don't want the files on the main server before they have been scanned and reviewed - but it would save each forum participant from having to download the file to their computer.

Having built a few database driven websites myself, I realize that adding this kind of functionality isn't easy and would require a lot of additional coding and design changes. But, whatever the solution, it seems the process could be made a lot easier to encourage members to participate.

Another suggestion for the site administrator/designer - maybe for the next update - would be to make the links in the list of recordings on an artist's profile page go directly to that member's recording rather than just to the general page of all the works in a group. For some collections that include a lot of recordings by a lot of people (like the Chopin Preludes or Etudes), it's sort of frustrating to have to read through a long list to find a particular recording by a particular artist. But again, that may be impractical and require too many major changes to the code.

In any case, I'll continue to participate in the forums as much as time allows. Eventually, I'll be submitting some of my recordings - after I make them, or course...

:D Dave


Last edited by SFDave on Sun May 01, 2011 5:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 4:44 am 
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Some good suggestions, Dave! To clue you in on things here, we just don't have the manpower (or womanpower :wink: ) to make these sort of changes on the site. But who knows...things can always change and so I thank you for chiming in here.

As far as the links go - if you are clicking on a submission that is on the forum as an attachment, then that is when it has not yet been either accepted or processed and so you are having to save it onto your computer in order to listen to it. All the other links (besides Youtube links) are what is playing via Quicktime on your computer.

Regarding participation - We're not asking that regular visitors to the main site need to participate on our forum. It's really meant for pianists who have recordings on the main site. We want everybody to participate on the forum, and not just come here every now and then (like some members) only to submit their own recordings and then disappear again. I'm done listening and commenting on members like that.

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:38 am 
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Thanks Monica. You guys and girls are doing a great job there and overall I think the site is exemplary. Since I was a GUI designer in another life, I couldn't help analyzing how the site works and thinking of ways that might make it even better. Maybe as time and womanpower permits, you might be able to use some of my suggestions. In the meantime, good show...

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Hi Dave,

These are very valid suggestions, and we have been contemplating some similar things in the past. I realize that there are a lot of things that could be changed to make the site more accessible, more feature-packed and more user-friendly. The problem is that PS is really two websites, the Forum (using PhpBB) and the 'main site' with the recordings (using Exponent CMS). There is no correlation at all between the sites, neither in terms of technology nor in terms of data. There is also no correlation between forum members (using nicknames) and site pianists (using real names) except that we admins mostly know who is who.

The other problem is that we have no web whizkids in our ranks. We can get by but lack the time and specialized skills to make fundamental changes. Personally I much prefer making music to tweaking the site (though I do so now and then). Until we get some enthusiastic person on board who knows their way with Linux, MySQL, PhpBB, Exponent, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Shell and C programming (just to name some of the areas involved), I don't see anything structurally be changed in the near future.

As for Audition Room submissions, people are supposed to upload mp3's only, not links to youtube or other sites. We should start enforcing this rule.

Cheers,

Chris

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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
techneut wrote:
The problem is that PS is really two websites, the Forum (using PhpBB) and the 'main site' with the recordings (using Exponent CMS). There is no correlation at all between the sites, neither in terms of technology nor in terms of data. There is also no correlation between forum members (using nicknames) and site pianists (using real names) except that we admins mostly know who is who.

There was some discussion of this in the forums a while back. Personally I like it that the two are separate--the main site presents the polished "final version" of our work, and the rest stays behind the scenes--and I think I'm not alone in feeling this way.

SFDave wrote:
Another suggestion for the site administrator/designer - maybe for the next update - would be to make the links in the list of recordings on an artist's profile page go directly to that member's recording rather than just to the general page of all the works in a group. For some collections that include a lot of recordings by a lot of people (like the Chopin Preludes or Etudes), it's sort of frustrating to have to read through a long list to find a particular recording by a particular artist.

I agree that direct links would be nice, if anyone has spare time to implement them ;-) But I don't see it as being terribly urgent.

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Alexander Hanysz, http://hanysz.net


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:59 am
Posts: 268
Hello everyone,

I'm a new visitor as well so it is always possible that I am missing some of the history that gave rise to this change.

I do want to say that I would find it valuable to listen to high-quality recordings by professionals who want to donate them to this site, but don't necessarily have the time to hang around posting on the forum. Something like a version of imslp.org for sound recordings--wouldn't that be sweet? (Although I suppose imslp is trying to do that now with their performances category, but it doesn't have nearly the volume of material as they have for scores.)

cheers,
hreichgott


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 Post subject: Re: New Policy - All members read this!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:13 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 12:38 pm
Posts: 8542
Hello hreichgott,
Sorry, I didn't see your post until now...
Yes, we are happy to have recordings by professionals on our site; we just want them to participate more often on our site. But we have so many extremely good recordings by members who are not 'professionals' so there is plenty here to offer a listener. Also, IMSLP is a great site! And they have many PS recordings there too. :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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