Category: Site Admin


This article helped me get rid of the PHPSESSID string that appears on URLs when you first visit the site. I’ve noticed a number of sites linking to without deleting this portion of the URL first.

PHPSESSID is used with PHP sessions to store information usually handled by cookies. I can’t expertly say what is the risk in making this ID visible, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to take a chance that someone could exploit it.

If you are linking to any content on, please check that your link does not contain PHPSESSID. If it does, it’s probably best to remove it.

Audiobin connection stablized, interface tweaked

I wanted to wait a while to see whether the last maintenance visit from Road Runner worked, and I guess a month is long enough!

It turns out the modem I was issued had some major power source problems. Road Runner replaced the modem and made repairs to my connection. Audiobin access hasn’t dropped since.

I also made a few tweaks to the Audiobin renewal and upgrade pages. Switching to a free level of the Audiobin requires no prior approval — you can swtich to Audiobin Preview or Audiobin Streaming at any time!

Switching to a donated level — Audiobin Basic or Audiobin Premiere — still requires administration. I haven’t yet created a smooth way to switch between donated levels, so please forgive the quirks.

Thank you for your patience through all the modem drama.

Upgrade to Amazon shop offers more features

The Amazon @ Musicwhore shop was recently upgraded to use the latest version of the Amazon Ecommerce Service.

As a result, a number of interface quirks were finally resolved. Items that are no longer available for purchase do not offer shopping cart links, and a few changes in the database insures better interaction with Amazon’s catalog information.

All that to say the Amazon @ Musicwhore shop is easier to use! Please note adding items to a cart or wish list takes you away from to Amazon’s site.

Over the next few weeks, I hope to intergrate’s localized content with Amazon Japan’s database, allowing users to shop for Japanese albums and DVDs with an English interface.

Please remember gets a commission for sales made through the site, so if you want to throw a few cents to help out, make your next purchase through!

Connectivity continues to degrade

In the last week and a half, the connectivity problems which continue to plague my cable modem have worsened. I’ve scheduled another maintenance visit with Time Warner for Thursday, Nov. 4. Previous scheduled visits produced no results since it was difficult to anticipate when the modem would go through another round of connection problems.

This time, the intermittent connection drops happen with more frequency and with less predictability. Time Warner thinks the modem itself is having power source issues. Until this problem is resolved, I will hold off on approving new accounts or upgrade requests. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Please also remember that I will be performing a database clean-up of old and inactive accounts on Nov. 16. If your Audiobin account shows no activity in at least six months, it will be deleted. To avoid having your account deleted, please add files to or delete files from your bin. You do not need to stream or to download them.

All Audiobin Basic accounts expiring on Nov. 16 will be switched to Audiobin Streaming. You may request an upgrade if you wish to maintain your level of access.

Connection problems still plague bin usage

My Road Runner connection is still giving intermittent outages, but now I’ve noticed they tend to happen during a 12- to 14-hour window starting at approximately at 10 p.m. Central on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, continuing through the subsequent Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.

I have scheduled a maintenance call with Road Runner for Sept. 24, but I will reschedule it to coincide with one of the likely outage mornings. Untill then, it’s best you avoid playing or saving files from your Audiobin during these times:

Monday, 10 p.m. – Tuesday, noon

Wednesday, 10 p.m. – Thursday, noon

Friday, 10 p.m. – Saturday, noon

Sorry for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

State of the arts

If I had my way, I’d be ganking a lot of the entries posted to the music news.

In the last weeks, the news channel has syndicated articles about the effect of the Sony-BMG merger on both labels’ classical divisions, hearing loss among classical musicians (registration required) and a previously mentioned report about odd opera topics (registration also required, but you can get around it.) It’s a nice contrast to my daily dose of VH-1 Music Newswire.

But rather than repost work that’s already been collected all blog-like, how about I just link to the site itself? launches new design

September marks’s approximate birthday, and that means a redesign. Aside from the new look — which looks a lot like a UPS truck, now that I think about it — I made a number of changes to the content pages.

The biggest change is the artist directory. When I subsumed the old J~E site back into two years ago, I left the directory content as is. Back then, I was still positioning this site as a resource on Japanese bands, and I wanted to emphasize that content.

With this redesign, I’ve expanded the directory to include all artists who have been covered on the site in the past. Most of the directory entries are little more than glorified archive links, but directory entries with more substantive content — profiles, discography, links — have been flagged as Featured Artists.

Now that Movable Type has been powering the site for more than a year, I’ve decided to start leveraging some of its capabilities. I’ve divided the news and reviews sections into individual categories.

I’m making it something of a pre-New Year’s Resolution to write more about classical music, a genre I’ve neglected since graduating from college. I’m also making room for older albums — discs in my collection that deserve some added attention, or catalog items entirely new to me.

A few months back, I started a personal weblog which featured a number of links to music-related news items. I created a channel to cross-post — and perhaps re-tool — some of that content here. To distinguish it from the translated news items posted here regularly, old news items are now filed under the category “News in Translation”.

The site has never had a really good way to communicate down-time, bug discoveries or other announcements, so a Site Admin channel has also been created to keep users informed of anything related to the site’s operation itself.

Here are some other changes which should be more transparent to users:

  • The database now supports classical music information. The standard “artist/title” fields aren’t sufficient to credit classical performers, so content pages in the artist directory and in the review section reflect these additions.
  • The front page of the Amazon shop now features the latest albums reviewed. I got sick of seeing the same six albums on that page for the last six months.
  • Redesigned index pages follow a more blog-like format.
  • A new release page has been added to list upcoming albums entered in the database.

Why some of these changes?

Four years ago, I started this webzine, thinking it would be something of a personal site making redundant coverage of stuff that’s already reasonably well-known. It was — still is, actually — a vanity site in the worst possible sense, a spot where I could talk about music that mattered to me.

Then in 2000, I discovered Japanese bands performing rock music as good — and sometimes better — than the stuff being produced in the US market. Considering the challenge English-speakers face in finding information about Japanese bands, I focused my attention to making this site a bridge.

To reach that point, I created a work schedule that insured regular content updates. Don’t know if you noticed, but new reviews are run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s reached the point where I’m writing an average of 9 reviews a month.

It’s worn me down.

Now that the site has reached a point where its archives are indeed quite deep, I want to bring it back to something a bit more broad-minded than advocating Japanese rock. I may even be open to allowing voices other than mine on the site.

At the same time, I want to ditch that work schedule I established years ago. It’s resulted in some filler content, and when I go back to read it, I wonder, “Why did I write that in the first place?”

I’m hoping these changes, while embracing the true breadth of the site, will actually allow me to work a bit more smartly and maybe more personally.

Japanese content will still be a major component to, and I hope to maintain the level of quality to which readers are accustomed.

But I felt I needed to decide what this site was going to be — an exclusive English-language source for Japanese music, or a place for music critique of a more personal nature.

I’m going with the latter route to see how well that goes. Thank you for reading this far.