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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. ;)
I have set up a copy of the V1 site at http://v1.metal-archives.com that can be consulted for reference as we update the information in V2. We will start progressively redirecting part of the traffic from metal-archives.com to the new V2 site in order to incrementally test performance under load. The domain name itself should be transferred over for good later this week.
Welcome to the long-awaited version 2.0 of the Encyclopaedia Metallum.
This site will be migrated to our domain name, www.metal-archives.com, in a few days, but it's fully functional, so please use it as you normally would. All changes made to this database will be preserved.
Please note that we are still testing out this new server, so performance might not be optimal just yet. We will work out all the performance tweaks during the next few days.
There are many new exciting features for v2, and listing them all would be tedious and futile, so please take some time to revisit the new HELP PAGE when dealing with new features such as labels, artists, or even the new and improved search engine, which is more powerful than ever.
This site has been through several days of beta testing, and should be fairly stable, but it's possible that a few bugs still remain. Should you encounter any, please post here.
We're very proud to present this new site and we hope you continue enjoying and enriching our ever-growing database.
Many of you have surely noticed that the site was down again for a while yesterday, with the message "bandwidth limit exceeded". The situation is nearly too ridiculous to explain. The fact is that our host moved us to a new server following the hardware problems of the previous day, but he apparently forgot to set the bandwidth limit correctly, resulting in a tiny limit that was busted in less than a day. That sounds simple enough to fix, you might say, and I would agree, but for reasons unknown it took many hours for the host to react to our messages and actually resolve the issue.
We apologize profusely for the trouble and hopefully that will be the end of our server problems.
Or nearly the end, please note that our e-mail accounts are still unavailable, so hold on on sending anything to @metal-archives.com addresses. Please use the forums for any site-related questions. The sending of registration e-mails and forum notifications should work as normal now, though.
EDIT: Actually, there are still intermittent issues with e-mails sent from the server.
As you surely noticed, the site was completely dead for the last 24 hours or so. This was caused by a hardware issue; the database hard drive crashed, and rebuilding the RAID caused issues with data corruption that took a long-ass time to repair. Sadly, this is an unfortunate disaster completely beyond our control.
If your friends cannot load the site, please tell them to refresh their DNS cache (we have a new IP) and restart their router and/or even their browser; failing that, they must simply be patient for the DNS propagation to take effect.
The site is not 100% yet: images uploaded from March 16th onwards are missing as of this hour. They are currently being synched back from the old server, but the ETA is not certain. Feel free to re-upload missing images, but note that they might be overwritten by a later restore.
IMPORTANT: EMAILS ARE NOT WORKING YET. This not only means the owners's email accounts (webmaster etc.), but also all the email notifications are broken, including the activation emails for the registration of new accounts, and the forum notifications. This will be fixed later. In the meantime, feel free to browse normally.
Once again... thank you for your patience. We'll post updates as soon as possible.
As you've no doubt noticed, the server has once again been plagued with massive slowness, and sometimes even times out.
We're expecting an upgrade to the server in early February. We suspect the search is causing the performance issues, so in the meantime, we've temporarily disabled it for the public while we monitor the server performance. You can still use the Google search, but if you want to use the normal search, you must be logged in.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
We've finally jumped on the Facebook bandwagon. Here is the first and only official Metal Archives page on Facebook. Enjoy!
To your left is a new "random band" link that will, believe it or not, take you to a random band page. Some people find it useful and/or amusing.
Over this way is an impressive collection of statistics about bands, genres and reviews (and more!) based on the site data, compiled by the heroic MA user sisters_of_merciless.
You might have noticed the new "add-ons" link in the menu on the left. This will give you a list of third-party tools relating to this site that have been developed by some of our users. This includes browser add-ons and a couple other things. Some of you might find them useful.
The previously mentioned Metal Archives Android application is now publicly available on the Android Market. Users with Android devices might be interested in checking it out.
Note again though that the MA team is not involved at all in the development of this application, so please don't contact us for questions or support regarding this.
It seems our mail server was having some problems late last month and we lost some e-mails has a result. If you sent an e-mail to Morrigan or myself (including the webmaster address) between October 23 and 29 and haven't received a reply yet, please send it again.
Sorry about the trouble.
We have just passed a new milestone: 70,000 bands in the archives!
Who would have thought there were so many bands even in existence? We are pleasantly astonished. And this is all thanks to your collective efforts. Thank you again, Metal-Archives users, for your great and massive work over the past seven years.
And now we can only wonder: how long before we reach the 100,000th band?
It has come to my attention that there is an e-mail in circulation pretending to be from this website, and asking users to download some software to back up their account. This is evidently entirely false, and you should definitely not use this software. Metal Archives will never e-mail you to tell you to download some program. Chances are, Metal Archives will never send mass e-mails period. If you have a doubt about something, always check the latest news on this page; that's where the real info about any situation will be.
Our server is being moved to a new facility within the data center tonight around 2 AM EST, so the site will be down for a short while. It should be a rather straight-forward procedure and the site is supposed to be back online within an hour.
EDIT: Also, sorry if the site is sometimes unresponsive tonight. I'm running some database tests.
The site is back on the regular server, rejoice... though ideally you won't have noticed any difference.
Hey everyone, we are currently running on a backup server because the main server had a hard drive failure. Hopefully it can hold up until our regular server is repaired, which is unfortunately taking more time than expected. We should have lost very little data as we had a very recent backup of everything.
We will keep you posted.
Metal Archives was victim of a malicious hacker earlier today (starting at around 4PM EST, lasting for at the most 2 hours), resulting in some pages being defaced with hidden iframes linking to malware downloads. We temporarily disabled the site as soon as we noticed, which explains the downtime you may have experienced in the last few hours.
The security loophole that allowed the attack to happen has been patched, and the defaced pages have been restored.
We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience. We hope no one's computer got infected because of this -- if so, please update your anti-virus/anti-malware software immediately.
Edit: one of our members suggested to follow these removal instructions if you were infected. You may also want to check this thread for useful information about removing malware.
The memory problems have been sorted out. It seems the version of MySQL we were using had some issues with memory management, but it looks like the newer version is running fine. You can report any remaining errors to me.
Sorry about the trouble.
Don't worry, we are aware of the "out of memory" errors you may find, especially when browsing the forums or loading band discographies.
We're investigating what's causing the memory leaks and we'll fix it as soon as possible. Sorry about that, we'll keep you posted.
You might experience some downtime at around midnight (Eastern time) or after that, for hopefully not more than 30 minutes. Just some routine maintenance and optimizations, nothing serious.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Uploads are back, rejoice.
Good news, everyone. As you have probably realized, the switch to the new server was successful. The new machine has been handling the site's load quite well over the past week and the real site search is back to (hopefully) stay.
Oddly enough, a few people have said to actually prefer the Google search, so I have added a "Google" option to the search drop-down, if for some unfathomable reason you still want to use it and are too lazy to actually go to Google.
Also, I will now be disabling image uploads for some time while we transfer the images from the image server to the new site server. This will take a couple of days I expect, sorry for the inconvenience.
Once again, thank you very much to everyone who has supported the site and made it possible for us to get this bad-ass server (two quad-core CPUs and 12 GBs of RAM, for the curious).
Hopefully the last one in a long, long time - this is a real deal.
If you remember the story about the senior technician who had basically saved our site from our crappy host back in late December/early January (news posts here), well, you can know that for this whole time we have been with him, and you certainly noticed the site being far more stable than it used to be. We were on a sort of semi-dedicated server hosted by this guy, instead of the crappy old shared hosting.
Still, it was not entirely satisfactory. The downtimes were rarer but still annoying, and the old search still kills the site within minutes whenever we try to put it back for everyone.
So we are finally taking the step to go on a very powerful, fully-dedicated server with better support. The migration should be finished today, but in the meantime, the site may suffer from downtime or SQL or PHP errors and the likes. If this happens, don't worry, they will be fixed ASAP. Also there is always the matter of DNS propagation (see the link earlier, it mentions how to flush your DNS cache), so if the site goes down, it may take longer to reappear back to you depending on your location.
About the search: you must realize that the old search was, unfortunately, a complete resource hog that can easily paralyse even a powerful server. It is also very difficult to optimize it further without compromising some of its features. We're hoping the new one can hold its own against the onslaught of traffic, but we cannot know for certain until we test it.
Once again, thank you for your patience and comprehension, and thank you again to everyone who donated or helped us through the affiliation links.
Our image server is in Houston, which is currently out of power due to hurricane Ike, so no images or uploads until they can fix this.
Sorry, blame Nature. :)
EDIT: It has been fixed, just in case someone hasn't noticed...