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Sachiel October 20, 15:22
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Link Redundancies / 2014-09-03 15:08

Three things.

1. Please stop adding "jewel case" to the version description field. That's automatically assumed for CDs. This kind of redundancy is only one step removed from things like "circular disc" or "composed of baryonic matter". Okay, maybe a tad further from that second one, but you get the idea. The same goes for "black vinyl".

2. If a release/version doesn't have a catalog number, leave the field empty. Do not add things like "n/a" or "none". Yes, we've seen this around and it is absolutely not needed. If the field is left blank, "N/A" is displayed anyway.

3. Coming back to version descriptions, for country- or region-specific versions, use the noun form of the country/region; ex. Germany, Europe or Japan. Not German, European or Japanese. Also do not add "edition" or "version", that's redundant as well. Just the proper noun, please.

Thanks.

Further clarification and updated guidelines for the use of the chronically misused and cluttered version description field -as well as versions in general- coming soon(-ish).

-Azmodes

Link Versions update / 2014-06-18 02:04

It is now possible to select a vinyl size for releases on that format. If the size is not a standard one, just leave the size field blank and make a note of it in the "additional notes" field.

Note that the format field has been moved so that it always appears near the track listing and that you can select a different format for each disc or component.

Also, for those adding/updating double-sided formats, please note that the "side B" row can be clicked and dragged to indicate which songs are on the B side. Please don't leave all the songs on the A side for such formats. :)

As usual, report any problems in this thread.

-HellBlazer

Link Album versions / 2014-05-30 21:43

Big news today!

The site now has a system to keep track of the various versions of an album that may exist (different formats, re-issues, special editions, etc.). You can go to any album page, and click the + button under the album title to adda new version for this album. The form will be initially filled out with the parent release's info, and you can modify whatever is different in that particular version, including bonus tracks. All versions will be listed on the "other versions" tab on the album page.

There are a few new fields on the album form to support this feature. The most important is the format field, with which you can now specify if the release has been put out as a CD, vinyl, cassette, etc. Each format will have its own version in the database. The version description field can be used to specify a short description for a version if applicable, such as "digipak", "collector's edition", and the like. The band associated with the album can also now be modified, for cases in which an album is re-released under another band name. For two-sided formats, you can now specify which songs are on which side, and there's also an RPM field for vinyls. Finally, fields for identifiers (barcode numbers, etc.) and recording info (data that was previously put in the additional notes) have been added so that they can be searched for through the advanced search.

This also impacts a few other sections of the site. Reviewers are now able to select the specific version that they're reviewing, if they wish to do so (there's a button to edit the version in your existing reviews without re-submitting to the queue). Versions can be specified on your collection page as well. Label pages will also display every version that a label has released.

The rules section concerning albums has been expanded and restructured in light of this new feature. Please take the time to read it if you're going to contribute.

In some cases, an album that was previously a standalone entry will need to be transformed into a child version of another album. For instance, albums that were re-released under another band's name (The Mob's demo became Queensrÿche's self-titled EP for example), or DVD releases that should now be versions of a previous VHS release. In such cases, you can create the new version entry, and report the old one stating that it should be removed because it has been re-created as a version.

If you have any questions regarding all this, or if you find any bugs or strange behaviors, don't hesitate to post about it in this thread.

Here are a couple examples for Cathedral's The Carnival Bizarre and Totem's self-titled EP (re-released as Jex Thoth).

-HellBlazer

Link Maintenance / 2014-03-28 15:37

The site will be going down tonight for some maintenance at around 11 pm EDT (3 am UTC). We will be upgrading the database server software to a new version. Hopefully this won't take too long, or break anything, but it's hard to say with these things.

EDIT: Alright, all done, and things seem to be in order. Let me know if you see anything that looks broken. It seems like it might be a little slow, I'll see if I can adjust some settings tomorrow.

-HellBlazer

Link A quick announcement regarding album lineups / 2014-02-04 10:53

For all its awesomeness and virtues, ever since v2 went live about three years ago there has been a constant issue with inaccurate or plain nonsensical album (recording) lineups. Although this issue stems directly from the very possibility and ease of adding such data, it is not a technical concern. It lies with the userbase.

Even though it should be rather obvious that only correct and verified data should be added to the Archives, and even though there is an even more obvious reminder about this visible when editing album lineups, many people abuse this option for quickly acquiring points through considerable numbers of useless updates. This practise is hardly news, but it has found a new and very annoying instrument with album lineups.

Now, obviously the aforementioned infestation of blatant point-whores is a very important concern. However, the main reason I'm writing this is because there are some people who do have good intentions, but misunderstand what exactly is meant by officially sourced album lineups. There have been many instances of users believing it is permissible to make certain educated guesses based on a band's main lineup and the year ranges and then transmute these into a "probable" constellation of artists for (a) specific release(s). THIS IS NOT THE CASE. For starters, even with short-lived bands with no past members and only one release there can be numerous permutations, such as one member not performing on the album or others playing slightly different roles.

So yeah, there it is. Repeated failure to observe this very simple rule and/or especially unapologetic point-whoring can get your account banned, whatever your intentions. If you have added questionable guesswork lineups in the past, it would be in the site's best interest (and yours, naturally) to flag these instances for review with the report function.

So let me reiterate, very clearly: Only use trustworthy, ideally official and explicit sources for adding album lineups. That includes album booklets, discography sections on the band's website, Bandcamp pages, reviews including additional info about the release, etc... DO NOT make guesses, even "educated" ones. If you cannot be sure about a lineup, leave it blank. Having no information is preferable to having incorrect information. We do not want guesswork data to be presented as fact on the site (and inaccuracies disguised as truth to spread from here), and this is exactly what ignoring the above leads to. Let's all try to keep this wonderful site accurate and professional, as opposed to a cesspool of lazy misinformation, shall we?

Thank you for your comprehension and contributions.

-Azmodes

Link Bloodstock Festival stream / 2013-08-09 05:53

Hey, we're gonna try something new. As many of you may know, this weekend is the Bloodstock Festival in the UK. I learned today that the fest will actually offer a live stream of the shows on the main stage, and it's possible for third-party websites to embed the video. This seems like it could be of interest to a lot of MA visitors so... here you go. Also, here is the Bloodstock forum thread for those who want to comment.

EDIT: The fest is over so I removed the video stream.

-HellBlazer

Link 90,000 bands / 2013-03-31 16:06

We have now reached an incredible 90,000 bands listed in the database! Needless to say, a gargantuan thank you from the owners and the staff goes out to all contributors who made this possible.

The magic six digits aren't too far away now, onwards to 100,000!

-Azmodes

Link Still server issues / 2013-02-11 01:10

Once again apologies for the sad state of the site today. We are aware that it's very slow or even unresponsive, and our host is looking into the problem. Nothing has been perfect since the server crash earlier this month, and believe me we are as sick of this situation as you are. We will try to get everything back to normal as soon as possible.

-HellBlazer

Link Maintenance, 1 AM EST / 2013-02-04 20:47

As mentioned in the post below, there are still performance issues to take care of, as the site performance hasn't been the most optimal since the crash recovery. So we'll have a short server maintenance update tonight, at around 1 AM EST. The update should not take long, and should revert the server configuration to what it was (or closer to it, at least) before the crash, so it will hopefully help with the sporadic downtimes and slowness we've been experiencing lately.

Once again sorry for the troubles, and thank you for your understanding.

-Morrigan

Link Stable again / 2013-02-01 18:12

To the best of our knowledge, the bugs or glitches left over from the backup restoration (search engine, label pages, etc.) have been fixed and the site is now fully functional.

There may be some minor performance issues from time to time, as many of our server tweaks haven't been configured yet, but they should hopefully not be too noticeable and will be fixed in the next few days.

We once again apologize for the inconvenience.

-Morrigan

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