without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
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!
You can now attach external links for artists and labels the same way you can for bands (see the help page for more details).
The link categories are a bit different than for bands:
For labels, we (tentatively) have "official" (to include links such as the official label site, the youtube channel, the Facebook/Myspace sites, etc.), and "merchandise" (to link to the label's webstore), but we might merge all that under the same "official" category later.
Note that labels still have a generic field for "homepage". You can add the label's main official website there AND in the external links, but only use this field for the label's main site. Any other links should go under the new Links tab.
For artists, we kept mostly the same categories as for bands, minus the "label" one obviously. Again, these categories are tentative; we're not sure that merchandise or tablatures are a valid category for artist (maybe for some famous guitarists, but that's probably a stretch), so they might be removed later. But the other categories allow you to include an artist's Myspace, Facebook, official website, youtube, etc. but also fan sites with more detailed bios and the likes (but NO interview links, please, this will just create huge clutter).
We are currently updating the site with an important security fix. This mean you might get login errors or expired sessions in the next few minutes, so do not be alarmed if this happens. Simply relogin normally if this happens. We apologize for the inconvenience.
As most of you are probably aware, today marks the sad anniversary of the passing of heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio.
You all know who he was, what he has accomplished, how much he is missed, and the great debt everyone who enjoys metal and hard rock owes him, so I won't attempt to put it into insufficient words. I was instead hoping we could try to accomplish something worthwhile in his memory.
As you might know, Dio was a strong supporter of the charity organization called Children of the Night, whose mission is to help children that have been forced into prostitution. They are based and act in America, but they also help advise similar agencies across the world. As evidenced by many songs throughout Dio's discography, speaking out and acting against child abuse was a cause very important to him.
There is also the Ronnie James Dio "Stand Up and Shout" Cancer Fund, created by his wife Wendy after his death in order to support programs for cancer prevention and education. Its goal is to reduce the risk of developing life-threatening cancer.
I would invite everyone who is willing and able to make a donation to either or both of these organizations, thus doing a bit of good in this world while honoring the memory of this great man. I am certain that even a few dollars can be put to good use, and I am hoping that with the significant traffic going through this site, the accumulation of all our donations will make a noticeable impact for these charities. Any other metal website interested in making a similar request to their visitors should definitely feel free to do so; perhaps we can get a kind of unofficial donation drive going in the metal world.
Thank you all for reading and considering.
We are still working with our new host to make the server as smooth as possible. This currently involves some server setting tweaks that may or may not cause periodic downtimes or PHP errors. So if you see this... please do not be alarmed, it's all for the greater good. :)
Thank you for your comprehension.
There will be some server maintenance done at 10 pm EST in order to try to improve performance during peak traffic. The site might be down or display some errors during that time. It should not last very long.
Also, our apologies to those who experienced downtime in the past couple days. Our old V1 server that was still used for redirection to V2 went down without warning, we're still not sure why. We had to quickly switch the DNS to point to the new server, and so the site was unreachable until that change propagated to your local Internet routing. Everything is now moved to our new server (and new hosting company) so things should be much smoother from now on.
EDIT: There may be some more downtime during the night for additional maintenance.
You may have noticed that we have made some slight changes to the ranking system.
Since v2, the points thresholds for the ranks of Veterans, Metal Freaks and Metal Demons have increased to 1000, 5000, and 15000 respectively. This is because with the new version, with the artist and label pages, getting new points is easier than ever.
Don't worry, though; all users who formerly carried the ranks in v1 but didn't have the currently required points have had their score "bumped". So if you were a Veteran with 613 points, for example, your score has now been raised to 1000 and you retain your access. (You may need to re-login to see the changes.)
The most important change, however, is the addition of a new category of rank: "trusted" users. In v1, there was no difference between Veteran, Metal Freak and Metal Demon, but now, there is a slight difference. Metal Freaks and Metal Demons fall under the "Trusted" category.
Trusted users have the following additional permissions from Veterans (previously limited to moderators): they can now edit label names, artist names, and album titles; they can delete tracks from albums; and they can add albums to bands with locked discographies.
So this message is addressed to all our long-lasting contributors: enjoy your new permissions, but use them wisely. With the modification history tracking, you are 100% accountable for your actions, and any abuse of these additional permissions will have consequences. Remember: with great power, comes great responsibility. ;)