without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Greetings, all! It's December yet again, and that means yet another MA Virgin Reviews Challenge!
First hosted over a decade ago, this challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer reviewers are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible, with the aim to focus on albums with no reviews so far (ie. virgin albums). Every day, the reviews submitted and accepted are tallied, so that participants can see how they compare with one another and whether or not, altogether, we've been able to surpass previous challenges' totals. There's no prizes or rewards except knowing that you've given a review to an album that didn't previously have one. There's also bragging rights for the most reviews, if that matters to you. Please read this thread for the rules and to discuss the challenge!
This challenge will run from Monday December 12th @ 12:00AM EST to Sunday December 18th @ 11:59PM EST. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.
ALSO, this year we're bringing back SECRET SATAN. In addition to the challenge, you can opt-in to the Secret Santa (Satan?) bonus round. In Secret Satan you will be matched up with another reviewer by yours truly. You will exchange with one another a virgin album for review and will commit to reviewing that album for the challenge. If you want to join Secret Satan, please read what you need to do here. Got any questions? Feel free to ask there!
Looking forward to your participation! \m/
A decision has been made somewhat recently to overhaul the "Links" tab, removing clutter, streamlining and determining what is/isn't pertinent for addition to band pages. We must emphasise that third-party links should only be added if they complement the existing info on the page, or provide tertiary info for extremely obscure bands. Wikipedia, Last.FM and Discogs links generally do not belong anywhere in the links section; Wikipedia links are notoriously unreliable on all fronts, while Last.FM pages are rarely directly operated by the band members themselves and do not add much, if any, encyclopedic value either way, as multiple "artists" with the same name are oftentimes bunched together.
Motivated by the prevalence of users point whoring and taking advantage of the "Unofficial" sub-tab, users need to take a step back and consider whether or not inundating bigger band pages with dozens of fan forums, off-site reviews and other means of clutter is really worth it from an encyclopedic standpoint. These links are oftentimes temporary at best, leading to more broken links than functioning ones only after a short time. Lastly, realize that merch and label links MUST redirect to a band-specific page on the site in question.
Thank you for your comprehension.
Greetings, all! It's that time of the year again - time for our classic MA Virgin Reviews Challenge!
First hosted a decade ago, this challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer reviewers are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible... with the aim to focus on albums with no reviews so far (ie. virgin albums). Every day, the reviews submitted and accepted are tallied, so that participants can see how they compare with one another and whether or not, altogether, we've been able to surpass previous challenges' totals. There's no prizes or rewards except knowing that you've given a review to an album that didn't previously have one. There's also bragging rights for the most reviews, if that matters to you. Please read this thread for the rules and to discuss the challenge!
The challenge is currently running from today (June 20th) until 11:59PM EST on June 26th. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.
Looking forward to your participation! \m/
Attention, band submitters!
Did one of your submissions get rejected for non-musical reasons and you find yourself unable to provide the needed information/evidence? Did you come across a potential addition, but are hesitant to submit because there's a crucial piece of info missing? Whatever the case, try posting in this useful thread on the forum dedicated to digging up music samples, proof of release and the like for obscure bands. Someone else might be able to help you out and in doing so further enrich the Archives for us all. Or maybe it's you who can fill in some gaps for any of the thread's many bands in need of some online (or RL) detective work.
Seriously, give it a try, it works more often than one would think and -needless to say- is vastly preferable to having a potentially valid band entry slip into oblivion forever.
As always, thank you all for your contributions. This site would be an impossibility without you.
We find ourselves at a turning point - should we forge forward with our pledge to accept all reviews, without moderation, and stay committed to that cause? Or, should we turn our back on change and return to the time-tested practices of the past? We have witnessed naysayers make claims and accusations that border on the insulting; arguing that the inclusion of reviews is without merit and that our moderators are lazy workers that should "fuck off and resign." What can I say but that a future without reviews on this site is no good future at all! We will not and shall not accept a reality where reviews are stripped of their permanence and albums laid bare of their acclamations and refutations. No, metal brothers and sisters, you can rest assured that we would not remove all reviews, nor would we accept all reviews without proper vetting... at least you can be certain we wouldn't do so outside of jest. And, yes, jest it was.
Happy April Fools' Day, folks. The fun is over. Everything is back to normal now.
All automatically accepted reviews have been set back to drafts. If, by chance, you're one of the very few who sent in a serious review today, you can now re-submit it for formal approval (through our lovely, moderated review queue). For everyone else, you can delete your silly reviews or keep them as souvenir drafts.
On a serious note, though. Over the last week tempers have flared, and some individuals have made some rather passionate posts in the forum - whether they were "in" on the joke or not - on the state of our moderation and whether reviews are worth keeping. Regarding the first point, moderating the review queue - although at times painfully tedious - is not difficult. This is a task that many of us actually enjoy, when we can get around to it. We wouldn't be here if we didn't enjoy the work we do on the site. Regarding whether reviews are worth keeping, though? Well, folks, if you value reviews as a way of giving you a glimpse into the features, sound, and style of an album, that value holds true regardless of the availability of that album. Not to presume that any one reviewer is objectively correct (oh, goodness no!), but a single person's glimpse into an album is better than none at all. The inclusion of reviews might not be "objectively" and "neutrally" encyclopedic, but they can offer valuable information you may not find elsewhere. That's certainly better than the alternative. Sure, the 35th "Master of Puppets" review is obstensibly redundant, but that's beyond the point. We recognize as a site that reviews serve a useful, informative purpose and are here to stay.
We hope you've enjoyed this year's joke as much as we have enjoyed your reactions. \m/
Given the massive public outcry at our decision to no longer host user submitted reviews (not to mention the deep divides this decision has created among our own staff), as well as the amazing level of support many have shown for the reviews, we have decided to reverse our previous decision to remove reviews from The Encyclopaedia Metallum. We will be restoring all of the reviews from a previous backup of the site, so no information will be lost.
While we now realize that we underestimated the scale of support for user reviews, the reasons why we initially reached that decision remain. While it is a relatively straightforward process to moderate the veracity of information submitted to the main site (though it is admittedly time consuming), things get much more complicated when it comes to the moderation of the inherently subjective nature of user reviews. In the end, it is ultimately impossible for our staff to moderate user-submitted reviews in a way that reflects the Metal Archives' devotion to neutrality. Our increasingly strict guidelines and rules for user reviews often served as a barrier to entry for beginner writers and for those for whom English is a second language. In addition, we do not want our staff spending valuable time moderating an often contentious review queue when they could be working to help keep our database complete and accurate.
With these things in mind, we will, from this point forward, no longer be moderating user submitted reviews before they are posted to the site. All reviews will be automatically accepted. To prevent point abuse, users will no longer be able to earn site points via user submitted reviews. We instead encourage those looking to contribute and increase their ranks to work on adding new information and, if user rank is high enough, working on the report queue.
The Encyclopaedia Metallum was envisioned to be, and has remained throughout its fourteen years of existence, the go-to resource for accurate, neutral information documenting the global heavy metal scene. We are proud of the work of our countless contributors and the incredible dedication of our staff to making the Metal Archives the comprehensive resource that it has become.
From the outset, the Archives were designed to be an encyclopedia - rich in factual detail but neutral in its documentation of these facts. While we recognize that the site is often used by bands and fans alike for promotional purposes, that was never our intention. Similarly, we never wanted the site to be a news outlet, webzine or review blog. While we have and have always had a discussion forum and staff-moderated user reviews, these were never meant to be defining features of The Encyclopaedia Metallum, but rather extensions of the community of staff and contributors who have given so much of their time to the main site.
The landscape of the Internet has changed since the Archives' birth, and while we have been slower to embrace things like social media and digital releases than many would have liked, we have come to the decision that, as a neutral informational database, it is vital that the Archives distance itself from the growing sphere of review blogging. For many years it has been difficult to reinforce the site's public image as a neutral database of heavy metal while simultaneously playing host to publicly available music reviews that are often the source of great controversy. Though it is clear to us that the opinions in the user reviews are those of the writers alone and do not reflect beliefs held by The Encyclopaedia Metallum or its staff, too often the site itself is judged based on the content of these reviews. This becomes particularly troublesome with regard to reviews that contain offensive materials or those which endorse recordings with controversial subject matters.
In addition to these problems, the high standards which we have forged for our review moderation process has put a heavy burden on our staff. Too often our staff members' free time is consumed moderating the review queue and getting into disagreements with users (and other staff) about the acceptability of individual reviews. We would rather our staff and our userbase spend their time maintaining the accuracy of information on the Archives itself and adding more information to the site than spending time with a tangential feature of the site and its community.
While we are incredibly thankful for the massive number of often excellent reviews submitted to our site over the years, we have reached the decision that The Encyclopaedia Metallum will no longer host reviews submitted by users or written by staff. This means that currently posted reviews will be removed, and that reviews will no longer be able to be submitted to the site. We understand that many will be disappointed by this decision, but we feel that it is the best step we can take toward maintaining our reputation as a truly neutral and unbiased source of information for all things heavy metal. We encourage our many excellent review writers to post their reviews in better venues than ours, and likewise encourage readers of reviews posted here to follow their favourite writers to whichever outlet they deem most appropriate for their music reviews.
While the reviews will be removed from the site immediately, we will be returning the text of all reviews to you via the email address listed on your account. Due to the large volume of reviews on the site, please understand that this process will take some time, but you will have your reviews returned to you.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this difficult decision.
A reminder that when adding label/merch links to band pages, the links should direct to a band specific page on the site, not simply a label or merch site homepage. We are suffering from a growing issue with users simply adding redundant links en masse that serve little purpose other than facilitating point whoring. This extends beyond the realistic scope of the site, especially for bigger-name bands that have a multitude of online vendors handling their products. In the end, this results in countless broken links (at worst) or at least a convoluted disarray of largely useless links. Exercise reasonable judgement and only add links that complement the existing information on the band page. This is why the addition of Last.fm and Wikipedia links are also strongly discouraged.
Thank you for your comprehension. \m/
Attention users who use a Microsoft-related e-mail address, such as Hotmail.com, Live.com, Outlook.com, MSN.com, etc.
It seems that Microsoft's mail servers have decided to block e-mails coming from this site for reasons that are still unknown. I'm trying to investigate and resolve the issue, but it's unfortunately not really a simple process. In the meantime, if you wish to continue receiving MA-related e-mails, you can add our domain name to your "safe senders" list by following these steps in Outlook's web interface:
1. In your Outlook inbox, click the gear icon in the top right corner.
2. Click "Options".
3. Under "Junk email", click "Safe senders".
4. On the "Safe senders" page, type in "metal-archives.com" in the box that says "Enter a sender or domain here," then click the plus (+) icon.
5. Click the save button at the top of the page.
It should look something like this.
If you've recently registered on this site with a Microsoft e-mail and have not received an activation e-mail, you can use this page to get it resent once you have followed the above procedure.
Just a quick note: You can now search within the "additional notes" of albums. With this new addition we're hoping you might be willing to help us out with some clean-up. For example, there are a lot of useless, raw URLs placed in album notes.
For more tasks involving this new addition, see this thread.
Thanks for your assistance! \m/
Greetings, all! It's that time of the year again - time for our classic MA Virgin Reviews Challenge!
First hosted almost a decade ago, the Virgin Reviews Challenge is a time-honored tradition among our reviewers here. Every winter and every summer folks are encouraged to spend a week writing and submitting as many quality reviews as possible... with the aim to focus on albums with no reviews so far (ie. virgin albums). This challenge is meant to encourage people to make reviews for albums that don't have any! Every day, the reviews submitted and accepted are tallied, so that participants can see how they compare with one another and whether or not, altogether, we've been able to surpass previous challenges' totals. There's no prizes or rewards except knowing that you've given a review to an album that didn't previously have one. There's also bragging rights for the most reviews, if that matters to you. Please read this thread for the rules.
The week of the challenge is from Friday December 18th @ 12:00AM EST to Thursday December 24th @ 11:59PM EST. Everyone is welcome to participate - all you have to do is submit reviews as usual.
ALSO, this year we're introducing SECRET SATAN. In addition to the challenge, you can opt-in to the Secret Santa (Satan?) bonus round. In Secret Satan you will be matched up with another reviewer by yours truly. You will exchange with one another a virgin album for review and will commit to reviewing that album for the challenge. I will try to make sure that the matches reflect reviewers' genre preferences, though that is not guaranteed. If you want to join Secret Satan, please read what you need to do here. Got any questions? Feel free to ask there!
Looking forward to your participation! \m/
Some pointers regarding digital releases:
The site will be down for maintenance starting at 6 am EST / 11 am UTC. I'm told this should take about 30-60 minutes.
EDIT: It's done. Let me know if there are any issues.
As some of you may have noticed, over the past few years we have significantly tightened our policy on accepting non-metal exceptions, particularly side-projects. Our previous approach to this was increasingly viewed as having degenerated into something overly mechanistic and inclusive, contrasting starkly with what one might call the spirit behind allowing them in the first place. Essentially, far too many arguably irrelevant entries were "lawyered" into the site based on criteria that seem too broad for the purposes of a heavy metal encyclopedia and as such largely unconcerned with the intrinsic notability of the project. We have been trying to flesh out more reasonable parameters for such entries, but unsurprisingly these guidelines are tricky to put down definitively and continue to be a point of (external as well as internal) contention. Nevertheless, we have been slowly, but steadily, going over/re-evaluating all the accepted side-projects/other exceptions and while many of the more egregious entries have been deleted already, this process is still ongoing. It's a work in progress, but one thing that can be said for certain is that it's always going to come down to case-by-case treatment in some way or another.
In any case, as a consequence of this higher level of scrutiny (and the ongoing clean-up), we have decided that the addition of exceptions of any kind is to be restricted to staffers only, so that we can better manage and gauge (and contain) this ancillary, delicate part of the database.
So again, while the written rules have described it as "discouraged [for regular users]" for a long time already, submission of non-metal side-projects or other potential exceptions is now 100% off-limits for non-staff. Metal only, please. Side-project submissions have been comparably rare, but they do trickle in and in order to save time and effort for both users and mods please desist from submitting them.
Minor detail: "digipak" is the preferred (and technically correct/patented) spelling, NOT "digipack". Please try to stick to the former as a single standard. That is all.
A number of you might have already noticed that we've added new options to the "status" field for band pages and the "release type" field for album pages. These new options, "Disputed" for band status, and "Collaboration" for release type were introduced to help clarify some issues with bands and albums:
Disputed should be used when it's known that band members disagree about the status of the band. There are numerous situations where this status would be useful: when a band is currently undergoing a legal dispute over who owns the band (ex. formerly Gorgoroth, Queensrÿche); when band members go separate ways but still lay claim to the band (ex. Tank, English Dogs); when band members decide to continue or revive a band against the wishes of other members who have claims to the band (ex. Pungent Stench, Black Death); and when it's known that band members can't make up their mind whether their band is active, on hold, changed name or split-up. Unlike the unknown status, disputed should only be used when it's known that there's a disagreement among band members.
Collaborations are albums comprised of material that is mutually developed jointly by multiple, often unaffiliated artists. Unlike a split album, or a various artist compilation, a collaboration doesn't normally have tracks that belong to one artist/band or another. Nearly all tracks in a collaboration have been produced in tandem by all contributing artists/bands; essentially, the album "belongs" to both artists/bands. Please be careful when judging whether an album is a collaboration or not. If the album is marketed as a joint effort by multiple artists/bands, it is likely a collaboration (for example, the Metallica/Lou Reed album "Lulu"). On the other hand, if the album features an unaffiliated artist, and the album is marketed as belonging only to one artist/band, that's not a collaboration. That's a regular album with a guest invited to play on it. It can be a bit tricky, but hopefully that makes sense and seems sensible.
A note about collaborations: Like with split albums, if a collaboration features a band that's not on the site, or an artist without a solo-project, you can still add the band or artist as an "unlisted band" to the collaboration. If a contributing artist is already listed on the site, please add him or her under the appropriate band in the collaboration album's line-up.
Thanks again for your understanding! \m/
A recent decision has been made to streamline the manner in which track-specific contributions are added to album lineups. Some of the userbase has adopted a procedure wherein the track titles are spelled out in full:
Bruce Dickinson - Vocals (on "The Trooper," "Flight of Icarus," "Aces High")
It goes without saying that this becomes very messy and difficult to navigate as more artists/credits get added, let alone the erratic nature in which the syntax is interpreted. In order to retain readability and consistency, please add/modify the relevant credits based on their position in the track order. So the aforementioned example would become:
Bruce Dickinson - Vocals (tracks 1, 3, 5)
For credits involving tracks that are not present in the regular (parent) entry of the album like bonus material, additional credits can be added on album child entries under "additional lineup;" follow the above-mentioned protocol for these as well.
Thank you for your comprehension.
We have seen contributors use the "Other" format category for discography entries as the equivalent of "I don't know, but I have to select something". However, that's NOT what that option is for. It is intended for comparably rare and "exotic" formats not covered by the usual categories, like for example 8-track cartridges or USB sticks. As such, releases categorised as "Other" should always include additional information in the version description field (and optionally the additional notes for yet further details), specifying what exactly this "other" is. Example. Again, it is not to be used for when the format is simply unknown to the user. If the format is not known or not reasonably certain, the entry shouldn't be added. The format is -along with the title, release year and complete tracklist- a minimum requirement for a discography entry. If one of those things is missing, use the additional info field on band pages. Example.
On a related note, I have observed an alarming number of cases where people select "CD" for entirely digital releases. While plain old laziness or error is obviously not to be ruled out, I assume that this is at least partly based on the practise of referring to any sort of release as a "(demo/full-length/etc.-)CD" in casual speech. While that is hardly a surprising phenomenon in natural language use, for the purposes of this site, when we say "CD", we mean an actual compact disc. Be specific and literal. Otherwise the whole release categorisation becomes a misleading mess.
Looks like the announcement below scared a few people. :) Don't worry, as many others have surmised, it was just an April Fools prank. Rest assured, you will never have to pay to view the site, and we will never sell off site privileges.
Thanks for some amusing reactions, everyone.
As many of you know, late last year Metal Archives hit the 100,000 bands milestone. Back in 2002, when the site was founded, I doubt anyone thought we would ever reach this mark. Unfortunately, these achievements come at a price - a very literal one. As the site grows bigger, requiring more and more server space, and traffic increases, requiring more and more bandwidth, the associated costs have increased as well. Back in 2002 it was no big deal to run the site for free - but now, 13 years later, the costs run hundreds a month, even after factoring in the revenue from referals and the donations of a generous few. The owners and staff aren't interested in profits, or we wouldn't have gotten this far, but when it comes to taking money out of our own pockets there's a limit. This means that unfortunately, it's just not feasible to run the site for free anymore - at least, not without making some changes.
However, as we have always tried to be open with you, our fellow metalheads, we will try to be as frank with you as possible during this transition period. The question is, how can the site best support itself? Short of selling the site entirely - and some very lucrative offers have been made - the most obvious answer is through selling adspace. There's really no way around it. Going forward, we will be introducing some unobtrusive banner ads, which won't obstruct anything important but will bring some much-needed revenue to offset costs. Don't worry, no popups!
Still, we know a lot of people hate ads, and Metal Archives has always tried to be ad-free, so in the spirit of that we will also be introducing a few compromises that we hope will keep people happy. These will come in the form of a subscription service. Before we get into the details, we would like to stress that all the basic features of Metal Archives will and always will be available for free - no paywall, now or ever! What these subscriptions will do, however, is provide an easy way for members to help support a site that provides services we all use, while also providing some conveniences they might appreciate.
Firstly, to conserve bandwidth, all non-subscribers will be limited to 15 band page views per day. This should be plenty for most people to get the information they need, while cutting down on pointless (and costly) aimless browsing. All subscription tiers meanwhile will allow for unlimited* browsing, and provide the option to hide the upcoming banner ads. All reports, reviews, and bands submitted by subscribers will be highlighted in their respective queues. Finally, all subscribers will have access to a members-only forum!
Now, on to the tiers! All prices given in USD.
Silver tier: Metal Soldier - $1.99/month
This is the basic package that provides the member services described above. A forum badge is also included, allowing you to show off your contribution!
Gold tier: Metal General - $6.66/month
This tier comes with all the basic perks, along with giving subcribers the ability to edit site info as if they had Veteran status. In addition, their reviews will be accepted automatically. As before, a special forum badge is also included, to display to the masses your love for metal!
Platinum tier: Metal Dictator - $66.60/month
This tier is reserved only for hardcore metalheads only! Along with everything the previous tiers get, this tier also gives honorary moderator status. This means you get an email address using this domain (firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as having access to the moderation queues just like a real moderator! Finally, you'll have access to the moderator-only staff forum, giving you a chance to weigh in on all Metal Archives decisions. Does one of your favorite bands deserve to be on the Archives? This is your chance to get them in!
Bands and labels
We are also working out the details of a sponsorship system that will allow full access to edit your own data, as well as priority placement in search results, among other things. Starting at only $16.66/month!
Keep in mind that all of this is pending review and may be subject to change before it goes live. None of this is set in stone, and we're also interested in getting your feedback directly! Come discuss with us using this thread.
We've noticed some misunderstandings with when to include a country in the "version description" field on album pages. While we're working on fleshing out the guidelines on this issue, please keep the following in mind:
Country tags should not be added to the description field unless separating two otherwise identical versions. Please do not add a country tag to every version of an album to match the label that released it. We are not Discogs. Adding a label to the album precludes the need to add the label's location in the description field. For example, it is redundant and silly to add "Mexico" to every Scarecrow Records release. Unless it's useful to distinguish identical versions of an album, it's best to leave out the country tag.
The only exception to the rule are Japanese pressings, which are consistently and markedly different enough to warrant always including that tag. When you do put down a country tag, just use the country/region name (ex. Canada, Japan, Europe, Germany). DO NOT write "Japanese" or "Japanese version." That's redundant.
Thanks again for your understanding! \m/
We now have the option to mark releases with material on only one side of the medium (mostly applying to vinyl or cassette) with a specific checkbox situated near the release tracklist ("No B side"). Note the orange info box on the bottom of the edit page as well. Please make use of this feature and transfer version descriptions such as "single-sided" or "one-sided" accordingly (don't forget to also delete the description afterwards). If you can't, file a report asking other users to update it for you.
Be aware that this is NOT the same as a release having the music repeat on both sides. There is a separate checkbox for this and obviously the two are mutually exclusive options.
Moderator Diamhea asked me to convey the following to our userbase:
We are having a rampant issue with unintended duplicate album versions, coming universally from users who are under Veteran and looking for a way to edit parent entries. Since the implementation of the other versions feature, users who would otherwise be forced to flag a report to execute changes concerning existing album data are now somehow finding their way to the add a version (+) icon, thinking erroneously that this is the correct way to make their intended edits. Please realize that if you have under 1000 points, you cannot modify existing data fields and must use the report system to get these changes made. "Modifying" the album via the other versions feature just adds unnecessary/unwanted album duplicates and is not a valid way to circumvent the system, done consciously or otherwise.
Thank you for your comprehension.
We keep coming across instances of painters, writers, etc. (usually long-dead and from the public domain) being credited for albums they did not in any direct way participate in, often with extensive artist pages. Examples include English painter/poet William Blake or German painter Caspar David Friedrich, both artists from the 18th/19th centuries whose work has since been used by a number of metal bands for their releases, usually cover art, but sometimes also lyrical passages or entire poems.
Please be aware that we don't allow the usual artist entries for these individuals, a short mention about the used work and author in the album's additional notes is enough. Any such artist pages that we come across are going to be deleted. If you are aware of any, please either flag them via the report function or post in this forum thread, which was created for this very issue.
The rule of thumb here is that any author/artist whose work has not been created specifically for the album in question should not be credited in the lineup. Said section is intended for people who had an active part in the creation of the release, not those whose past work has simply been appropriated for a new context.
An exception is made for copyrighted material from more recent/contemporary artists the use of which has been legally paid for, ex. H. R. Giger. These are usually acceptable, though there are always some grey areas. Above everything else, if you are unsure, please ask in the thread I mentioned earlier before creating any new entries. Thank you.
A new milestone has been reached today.
If you asked me, 12 years ago when we launched M-A, if we'd ever reach 10,000 bands on M-A, let alone ten times that number, I would probably have scoffed.
Yet here we are. And it's all thanks to you, our contributors. Thank you everyone for your hard work. Without you, this site would have never grown into the #1 resource for metal fans worldwide.
Please note that the site will go down tonight around 1 am EST / 6 am UTC for some planned maintenance on the server that will hopefully let the site run smoother. We will be back as soon as possible.
EDIT: All done. Report any issues to me.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.