without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
So a partition on our server was corrupted earlier today. Our host worked hard at rebuilding the system and getting the site back online, and we had a backup from this morning, but unfortunately some data entered in the few hours after the last backup may have been lost.
As of right now, some parts of the site are still broken: the search isn't working (except the Google search), label pages are not loading, among other things. We are doing our best right at this instant to fix all these problems, so we ask for your patience.
We know the site stability hasn't been the best lately, and we apologize for that: this is the biggest issue we've had in a while, but hardware failures are random and beyond our control (in other words: "shit happens"). Hopefully this is the last of our problems for a while.
We will post more updates as soon as we have them. Thank you for your patience and comprehension.
EDIT: the search is back, at least. Still working on other issues.
Just a heads up that the site will be going down soon for a short time while some maintenance is going on the server. It should be back quickly.
EDIT: Everything is fine now.
### IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR ALL BAND SUBMITTERS ###
As of this new year of 2013, we have now changed our policy concerning the band approval process.
Before today, bands were required to have a physical album before being eligible. Since digital distribution is becoming more and more widespread, we have decided to now accept bands who release their music entirely through digital medium.
However, this does not mean we accept any bands with a few songs on Myspace or Youtube. Only bands with serious digital albums will be accepted. I urge all band contributors to revisit the rules and guidelines page for the details of what kind of digital albums are considered acceptable.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused to the contributors who may have recently deleted their drafts of bands which, despite having no physical album, may have had a valid digital album. If you had a very detailed draft and deleted it recently, it might be possible to restore it. Please post in this forum thread about such a matter.
Note that after much time spent rejecting a number of non-metal bands, we have also put in writing some additional examples of what kind of music we do not consider acceptable for this site (j-rock, djent, post-hardcore, etc.). This is not a change of policy, but just a matter of clarification for those confused users out there who may think these styles as metal.
To all our contributors and visitors: thank you again for all the great work, and we hope 2013 will be another great year for the Encyclopaedia as it continues to grow and prove itself to be the greatest online resource for heavy metal.
A few new features have been deployed today:
The site will be down for a short time starting around midnight EST (5 am UTC) while the server team replaces a hard drive. Sorry about the inconvenience; it's a simple procedure and shouldn't take too long.
EDIT: The drive has been replaced and the site is back. There's a small problem with the forum that will be fixed soon.
EDIT 2: The forum is back. Everything seems fine now, but let me know if you see any errors.
I'm upgrading our search engine so you might get some errors or odd behaviors when using the search in the next few minutes.
EDIT: Well that was quite painless. Everything should be fine now, let me know if you see anything unusual concerning the search.
No, the FBI did not seize our domain. No, no one was indicted with racketeering, money laundering and other nefarious activities. This was all, of course, an April Fools prank. Nothing illegal or criminal has ever been going on here, obviously.
I admit, the prank was a lot more successful than I expected, based on various reactions I have seen all over the Internet. I had written the date in the browser's title and allowed the clicking of the image to make it disappear and lead to the site normally, yet apparently many people failed to notice any of that... Sorry if we caused any heart attacks ;) but this goes to show that people tend to be very reactionary instead of stopping for a second and using a bit of critical thinking.
Sorry again for that wee bit of trolling. But hey, that's what April the 1st is for! Until next year. \m/
As stated in the previous post, we're continuously adding new features and settings, and the latest one is the "Complete lineup" tab on the band and album pages. The default behaviour is unchanged, and shows the "Current lineup" (or "Band members" for albums) tab. But you can now check the complete member list on one single tab, and if you prefer it that way, you can go into your settings and select the lineup sub-tab you prefer to load by default.
You can also completely disable tabs for lineups, and always show the full artist listing, by ticking the appropriate checkbox(es). Choosing this setting will override the tab choice above it, obviously. For those who would never bother to filter the lists using the tabs, this may be useful.
This was requested a while ago, so here it is: logged users can now use the internal bookmark system to add bands, labels and artists to a list of private bookmarks. Click the star icon on the respective pages to add the item to your bookmarks. You can access and manage your bookmarks under My bookmarks in the top-left menu. For now, the list doesn't do anything beyond that, but we might use it as a starting point for a "watch list" or a notification system. We'll see.
Oh, and just in case the star icon does not work, please hit Ctrl + R to hard-refresh your browser cache.
We added some new preferences/settings under "my profile" (settings tab). To summarize:
We've added a new section in the rules about the use of multiple accounts.
Fair warning to those who ever intended to register multiple accounts to rig the "similar artists" recommendation system; if we catch you doing that, we're banning you instantly (and, of course, wiping your voting record in one click, making your efforts useless). This behaviour was never allowed in the first place, obviously, but now there's the bonus of no longer having ignorance as an excuse, as it is written down rather plainly. If you have been doing that and haven't been caught (yet -- you will be, trust me ;) ), I suggest you quietly remove your duplicate votes before someone notices.
Multiple accounts, or sock puppets as they are called, are often used for other purposes, from sending misleading reports to skewing review scores. Sock puppets are always caught in the end, and it's a lot less effort for us to undo their damage, so just don't do it.
You can now search for multiple countries and band status in the advanced search. Just click the "multi" link to toggle the country/status list from a dropdown to a multi-select box.
You can also search by location (city, state and/or province) in the album search. This is useful to check out (for example) new releases from bands in your area.
It is now possible to enter* the cause of death for artists listed as deceased (e.g. marked with a date of death). For deceased artists whose date or cause of death is unknown, non-moderators can still report the artist as dead and a moderator will update the artist page.
A list of deceased artists can be found here, or by clicking the "R.I.P." link in the left menu.
*Important: when entering the cause of death, please keep the description as brief as possible , and write down further details (if publicly available of course) in the artist's biography or trivia sections. Examples of valid entries include (but are not limited to) "Brain cancer", "Murder", "Suicide", "Heart attack", "Car accident", "Hit by a drunk driver", etc. Non-valid examples would be "Stabbed 27 times by Varg Vikernes" or "Died after a concert in Los Angeles when the band's tour bus ran over him." This kind of details belong in the bio/trivia section at best. Also, please only capitalize the first letter (e.g. "Car accident" and not "Car Accident").
By now, most of you have probably heard of the SOPA and PIPA bills being considered by the US government. These are poorly thought out "anti-piracy" laws backed by corporate lobbyists that threaten freedom of speech and information on the Internet. This is especially worrisome for sites that rely on user-generated content like MA, because it gives the authorities the right to take down a whole domain due to complaints against content posted by a single user. Though this is an American law, it unfortunately has the potential to affect the whole world, as a major part of Internet infrastructures are US-based. While SOPA has been put on hold for the time being in the House of Representatives (though who knows when it will return?), PIPA is still going forward in the senate and the vote on it is scheduled for January 24th. You can read more details about this issue and why this is really detrimental to the Internet in this article on the Electronic Frontier Foundation website.
Now, many sites (led by heavyweights Reddit and Wikipedia) are organizing a planned downtime or "blackout" on January 18th to protest against these bills and raise awareness for the situation, and MA will be joining in. This means that the site will be inaccessible for a period of 24 hours starting on the 18th at 05:00 UTC (or midnight EST). We apologize for this inconvenience, but we hope you agree that this is a worthy cause and give us your support. Please spread the word about this issue and, if you are American, consider contacting your local representative or senator to voice your opposition to these bills. The website americancensorship.org has quick forms that make it very easy to send your comments to the relevant authorities, as well as a petition for non-US citizens, plus other actions you can take and information about the subject.
And we're back to normal.
The site will be in read-only mode and the search will be disabled for a few minutes while I update some software. Sorry for the inconvenience, it shouldn't take very long.
The site had some issues during the last two days, but everything should be back to normal now.
Thank you for your patience.
Just in case some of you hadn't noticed, we have added a small (but, according to some, significant) improvement to the advanced search for albums and songs: it is now possible to select multiple release types at once, instead of picking just one from the drop-down. So just hit your Shift or Control key and click on the release types you want to search for.
I've updated the rules and help pages regarding the new External Links feature (see previous post).
Please make sure you follow those guidelines for adding external links, especially for artists, so we can avoid clutter. Thanks!