Category: Site Admin relaunches with scaled-down content

Sometime over the three-day weekend, I will be launching a new version of with significantly less content than the site has now. The artist directory, reviews and news items will be moved to an archive, while the Audiobin and Radio Musicwhore will be taken offline. has undergone a tremendous amount of transformation since its beginnings as a short-lived print zine in 1997. The site has grown to such a point where its continued success depends on either expansion or shut down.

While it may have been a challenge to grow the site more — perhaps even taking on a staff — I felt reluctant to go in that direction. However much I would like to perceive as simply a personal home page, the breadth of the content dispels any such notion.

Temperamentally, I’m not suited to accept much help. I make for a lousy collaborator because I’m overly exact about things. It was inevitable that my inability to delegate, coupled with a time-consuming production process, would burn me out.

And has been wearing me thin for the past two years.

I still aim to do the same kind of writing the site is known for — namely, coverage of Japanese artists — in the next version of, and I hope to write more personally about other kinds of music as well. But making a total interactive experience with full audio and e-commerce — well, that’s so late-1990s.

Yes, will become but another weblog in an vast ocean of weblogs, but at this point in my life, it’s all that I have time for.

I’ve been working on my own songwriting since the start of the year, and I’m taking some classes in Fall 2005 to keep my edge professionally. A car accident I was involved with at the start of August derailed a lot of momentum as well. So the site has been neglected as a result.

The scaled-back site will allow me to write occassionally about music without eating up the free time I wish to devote to other pursuits.

To everyone who has found a valuable resource and supported its efforts, thank you. I hope you stick around for a little while longer.

Back-end changes installed

The planned outage for the website didn’t really have to happen, but the back-end changes to the site are now installed.

The discography section has been reorganized to seperate individual formats on to different pages. It should also be easier to list different pressings of a single album, such as limited editions. I’ve also signed up to be an iTunes affiliate, and to start with, I’ve linked to the four releases Bonnie Pink has made available on iTunes.

The new changes also fixed a problem with the Audiobin. A combination of scripting error and database misconfiguration rendered the free Audiobin levels — Preview and Streaming — inoperative. This problem wasn’t brought to my attention till this past week, since the interface doesn’t seem give the impression that such behavior was incorrect.

It’s an embarrassing error, and one for which I’m truly sorry.

Hopefully now this latest round of development will fix whatever tinkering I did a month ago. Now I can get back to writing for the site! Thank you for your patience.

New users experience e-mail notification problems

I received a pair of e-mails from new users who did not receive the automated notification their accounts were activated. If you signed up for an account with or and did not receive an e-mail notifcation regarding your account after 12 hours, please contact me. It’s likely your account was approved but for some reason, the message was not routed properly.

Please also check your junk mail folder if you have spam filters enabled on your account. shuts down for maintenance

It’s been pretty dead here in the last few weeks and for good reason …

The changes I made to the site a few weeks ago didn’t produce the kind of results I wished in terms of maintenance. So I spent the last two weeks doing more development. On Saturday, May 14, 2005, I will be shutting down the site while I bring some of these changes online.

As a result of these changes, all Audiobins will be cleared out. If you’re a Premiere or Basic user, grab what you can before this weekend. I’ll do my best to preserve the bins, but at this point, it would be easier to start from scratch.

When the site comes back online, the discography information in the artists directory will be changed slightly. Aside from that, nothing else on the site should change too signficantly. (Most of the changes are on the back-end, which will give me some options for future development.)

I apologize in advanced for any inconvenience that may occur this weekend. Thank you for your patience!

Audio server goes offline April 21-26

I’ll be heading out of town starting Thursday, April 21, and I won’t be back till late Monday, April 25. Rather than worry about the server — which I wouldn’t be able to fix remotely if it breaks anyway — I’m taking it offline while I’m away. Audio playback and saving will be disabled, as will new user registration. I’ll bring the server back online when I return. Thank you for your patience.

New backend changes launched

I changed a number of things on the backend of over the weekend.

First off, I consolidated the user accounts of with other sites I maintain, which means (if you’re so inclined), you can log into and explore that content!

Of course, such drastic changes to a database means bugs will pop up in unexpected places. If you run across something that looks odd or doesn’t work the way it used to before, please contact me as soon as you can.

I also moved the review and news content to another database, which means if you deep-linked to any articles on the site, those links may now be broken.

New audio server launched

Well, I threw caution to the wind and bought myself an upgrade for my personal system. I’ve since turned my old system into an audio server, which means audio streaming and saving is back online!

I even went so far as to install the free version of RealNetworks’ Helix server, and I unearthed the old RealAudio content from an early version of the site. So now you can listen to 30-second excerpts of select artists in the directory without having to sign up for an account.

The free version of the Helix server only allows five streams at a time, so keep this in mind if you receive any errors.

Thank you for your patience during this down time. For Audiobin Basic users, your subscriptions have been extended by two months to accomodate for the downtime.

So close and yet so far

A mix of good news and bad news (naturally) …

The good news is that I upgraded my personal system, and I’ve migrated my old system to become an audio server. All the server software is installed, and the site is ready to go.

Unfortunately, a series of recent automatic updates from Microsoft has resulted in system failures on that old machine. I’m currently sifting through each update to determine which ones have a detrimental effect on my server. As a result, I can’t launch it until I’m certain the updates won’t interfere.

I’m anticipating a launch date later in the week, if not in the first half of March.

Keep your fingers crossed!

P.S. Of course, all this technical work means no new reviews. It’s still pretty slow, release-wise anyway.

Changes big and small

I’ve been looking at the state of my finances, and I may be able to swing an upgrade of my personal computer, which means the machine I’m using now can be converted to a server. But any realistic change probably won’t happen till closer to April, when I have a better idea of what my raise at work will be. Still, the timely death of the audio server — and man, did it last longer than even I expected — gives me a really good excuse to upgrade.

Till then, I’ve made slight changes to the front page. I’m doing away with the Featured Review at the top of the page and going for a reverse-chronological format for all updates. And just so the page isn’t all text, I’m using thumbnails of album covers to distinguish reviews from other content.

But really, I want to move away from needing a review at the top of the page. My schedule isn’t going to get any lighter in the next few weeks, so I’d rather not have layout dictate content need.

I hope to have a better idea of when I can bring back the audio features of this site in the next few weeks. Sorry again for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

UPDATE: Audio server down

It looks like the very old — we’re talking at least six years old here — audio server which has been powering is dead or dying. I haven’t figured out which yet. The bottom line is that audio streaming is officially down. I don’t have any extra computers to spare for a back-up, so all audio functionality has been disabled for the foreseeable future. Sorry for the inconvenience.