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#1 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:21 PM

---edit---
Liontamer's post (http://ocremix.org/f...8754#post758754) definitely addresses everything discussed in this thread so far.

---original for posterity's sake---
This was posted in the review thread for the latest album release, "Pokémon: The Missingno Tracks". Since I wanted to discuss this further, but not in relation to that specific album, here we are.

I really like OverClocked ReMix, but there have been problems with some of their big releases. You would think that with all the time they have to prepare these projects that it wouldn't be an issue, but in some of their latest releases some tracks aren't in .flac, some .flac files don't decompress correctly, and in this case an incorrect version of the remix was used in the final release.

From what I've seen in the project threads the person in charge asks for .wav files from the people working on remixes (at least for the final submission), so why do only some tracks come in .flac and others don't? I understand lossy for the day-to-day remixes, but you would think for the big releases they would have everything in .flac and not just some.

I'm not trying to complain, it's free and the remixes are usually very good. It's just a shame that in the final stages leading up to release is when they seem to drop the ball.


This is troubling to me.

Is there some set of guidelines for accepting an album to be posted on the site, similar to how individual mixes are judged? I mean, why include a FLAC folder if any of the tracks are going to be missing from it? Is including FLAC formats just a gesture of goodwill to the listeners, an "extra", and it's up to the downloader to figure out all the inconsistencies in the torrent and files?

In the video game industry, it seems to have become a standard practice to release a game with glaring problems and bugs, sometimes even crippling issues, just to make some release date. I don't think the same should be allowed here, especially considering how much thought and deliberation goes into allowing individual songs to be admitted.

I know, in respect to quality, albums are not judged like single mixes. However, would it be unacceptable to require a certain degree of quality in how it is released?

I propose that some more stringent guidelines should be implemented for the torrents on ocremix.org's album section. Like how the albums are perfectly fine with tracks that may not individually meet OCR judge's standards, allow the project websites to deal with additional formats and links however they wish. But to have missing tracks, unburnable files, corrupted files, old versions, etc. seems just sloppy. And users who don't browse the forums may never learn of corrections.

At the very least, if you can't preserve the whole of a project into another format, don't bother including it in the torrent. Anyone wondering if it is available in FLAC can go check the project website and find that, yes, some tracks are. Then it won't seem like the actual release was incomplete. As things stand now, I am going to start ignoring the torrents altogether, just like when the album art wasn't included. If I have to pick and choose and listen and research each song to figure out what is going on, I really don't save much time downloading the torrent.

#2 Neblix

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:24 PM

At the very least, if you can't preserve the whole of a project into another format, don't bother including it in the torrent.


You can choose not to download it.

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#3 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:33 PM

You can choose not to download it.


I think this is a very poor attitude to take. Also contradictory to the position the site takes toward individual remixes, and removed tracks. OCR doesn't keep removed mixes in the torrents just because "you can choose not to download it".

In fact, I prefer to deselect one of the formats in the torrent, so I don't have each track twice on my HDD. It seems unnecessary. I wouldn't have thought, after spending so much time working on the actual music, so little disregard would be given to the release.

If it's just something extra and "You can choose not to download it." is the attitude, why not just have the links on the site and not included with the torrent? If an album was missing tracks in mp3 format, would that be acceptable?

#4 Rozovian

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:53 PM

Who here has a poor attitude? In defense of those who have had hard drive crashes or file corruptions or otherwise lost their project file(s) when their works have been almost complete and no high-quality render had been made, I say: screw you and your inflated sense of entitlement. They're part of the community, they're part of the projects, they're us. OCR is walking a line between quality and community, and for all the complaints that we're so elitist and exclusivist, you're saying we should be more so?

And nobody says you have to listen the whole album anyway. Hey maybe we shouldn't release FLACs at all? Hey, I'm a project lead, that's actually within my power. 96kbps, here we come! On that note, maybe ALL OF OCREMIX SHOULD BE IN THE LOWEST COMMON BITRATE!

(and the mp3 comparison is a really dumb example, as a lossy format can't magically recreate the lost information whereas converting _to_ mp3 from a higher quality format is just fine)

#5 PROTO·DOME

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:04 PM

As we're talking about The Missingno Tracks then it's already been explained. The project has been in the works so long, with so many different remixers and various project leaders, that mixers weren't around to supply a .WAV or project files were lost or even deleted, various things. Rather than simply release an MP3 version and get all kinds of "cut me some FLAC bro wtf i wan lossless" and have to explain WHY not all the tracks have FLACs case by case, it was easier just to bundle it all together with a choice.

As for the corruption thing, all the tracks have been fine on my machine.

As for the incorrect version thing, said two versions were incredibly similar. He posted some mp3s as WIPs then the final thing in .WAV. Don't tell me it's not stupidly easy to think "oh, that MUST be the one I converted to mp3" after a quick listen.

Yes okay, things messed up. Remember that this isn't a bunch of guys in the same room, heck even the same city, it's a project arranged and sorted from all over the world.

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#6 Level 99

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:14 PM

There is no such thing as a perfect release, no matter how close things come to it. First, let me point you in this direction: http://ocremix.org/i...ject_Guidelines

Those are the general guidelines for OCR albums. As you can see, there is a quality bar, and there are required items for release. These requirements are updated from time-to-time, so anyone running a project is expected to keep up-to-date with what is going on.

As Pokemon was an extremely long running project, there were some issues that cropped up. FLACs are considered a courtesy, generally, though there is a high preference for it. With this album, some FLACs just did not exist. Album projects are evaluated before posting to make sure that they reach the required quality bar as well. As for the incorrect files, that was a mistake somewhere down the line, not something due to the ball being dropped, since the FLAC included was of the correct version. It was quickly caught after release and it's been heavily posted pretty much anywhere people can look if they want the artist's preferred version. Protodome is right in that the two versions were super-close and it is very easy to get some of these things confused. I've not personally seen or heard any of the corruption or corrupted files people are talking about.

That should have answered pretty much all of your questions and concerns.
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#7 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:30 PM

As we're talking about The Missingno Tracks then it's already been explained.

I know.

The project has been in the works so long, with so many different remixers and various project leaders, that mixers weren't around to supply a .WAV or project files were lost or even deleted, various things. Rather than simply release an MP3 version and get all kinds of "cut me some FLAC bro wtf i wan lossless" and have to explain WHY not all the tracks have FLACs case by case, it was easier just to bundle it all together with a choice.


This is actually the most reasonable response I have heard regarding this. I understand that, but I personally think they should have been left out of the torrent, and just available on the site.

Alternatively, since the tracks are already lossy, there is nothing more lost by "upconverting" to FLAC. Just for consistency's sake? This also prevents future artifacts when, say, copying the files, or burning to a data cd to transfer the files, right?

As for the corruption thing, all the tracks have been fine on my machine.

Several of the (FLAC) tracks on disc 2 do not play well with cd burners.

As for the incorrect version thing, said two versions were incredibly similar. He posted some mp3s as WIPs then the final thing in .WAV. Don't tell me it's not stupidly easy to think "oh, that MUST be the one I converted to mp3" after a quick listen.

Yes okay, things messed up. Remember that this isn't a bunch of guys in the same room, heck even the same city, it's a project arranged and sorted from all over the world.

I understand this, yes. I do realize mistakes get made, and I remember a similar thing happening back with Chrono Symphonic. I'm not sure how to avoid these mistakes, to be honest.



...

Who here has a poor attitude?

From your tone and wording, and neblix's, as opposed to Protodome and Level 99 right above, I would regard that as a "poor attitude".

In defense of those who have had hard drive crashes or file corruptions or otherwise lost their project file(s) when their works have been almost complete and no high-quality render had been made, I say: screw you and your inflated sense of entitlement.

Inflated sense of entitlement? I didn't even bother with FLAC versions until redownloading every album after I got a new computer (with plenty of HDD space), and this was well after the Tales project. Why didn't I want the FLAC versions at first? I figured, aside from the space, it was a less conventional format. Why did I change my mind? Well, I knew my media player (winamp) could handle FLAC, and it seemed silly to think that there was any problem with downloading albums in that format. Oh, wait...

They're part of the community, they're part of the projects, they're us. OCR is walking a line between quality and community, and for all the complaints that we're so elitist and exclusivist, you're saying we should be more so?

Yes, in a certain respect. I assume that it isn't required an album be in FLAC format at all. Similarly, OCR only lists mp3 format of individual mixes. Is it so terrible an idea that official OCR torrents be similarly regulated? Also, please don't think I don't appreciate the albums. There is no shortage of examples of tracks I love but do not get allowed on OCR outside the album.

And nobody says you have to listen the whole album anyway. Hey maybe we shouldn't release FLACs at all? Hey, I'm a project lead, that's actually within my power. 96kbps, here we come! On that note, maybe ALL OF OCREMIX SHOULD BE IN THE LOWEST COMMON BITRATE!

This is exactly what I'm talking about. I would hope, if you were project lead, and then did something crazy like re-encoding everything to lowest possible bitrate, or converting everything to midi or something, OCR would refuse to list your project on the main site. Indeed, maybe you shouldn't release FLACs at all (In the torrent posted on ocremix.org. If not all tracks are in that format.)

Some of the projects have an mp3-only or FLAC-only torrent on their homepage. Perhaps mp3-only should be considered for OCR.

---edit---
Level 99, thank for the link.
"In order for a project to be considered complete, there are a number of requirements. The following need to be complete:
Music (in WAV format)"
Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have the pokemon album at all than it be scrapped because some WAV's were missing, but that is the first requirement in the list.

"When the album project is complete, contact the OCR project staff about arranging a release date, arranging torrent distribution, and selecting debut tracks. There is typically at least a two month wait between album completion and album release. 1 month is used for album evaluation, to make sure it meets our quality and arrangement standards, and 1 month is used for project release prep."
Since I don't know the exact "quality and arrangement" standards for an album, that's why I chose to start this thread, and propose a couple of revisions.

#8 Level 99

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:50 PM

Oops forgot to mention the WAV thing was added recently, sorry about the confusion.
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#9 Mustin

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:51 PM

SOMEONE GET THIS GUY HIS MONEY BACK oh wait
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#10 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:54 PM

Oops forgot to mention the WAV thing was added recently, sorry about the confusion.

So the concerns I had above are non-issues in the future? Ok.

I suppose, then, I have no further grounds for argument. Only a suggestion that consistency be taken into regard in the future.

nonsense

I don't really know what to say to this, other than that I get the sense you didn't really 'get' what I was saying, much like Rozovian and Neblix. Just because the music on this site is free, I can't make suggestions? I can't try to constructively criticize someone's work unless I pay for the right to do so? Absurd.

#11 PROTO·DOME

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:55 PM

Alternatively, since the tracks are already lossy, there is nothing more lost by "upconverting" to FLAC. Just for consistency's sake? This also prevents future artifacts when, say, copying the files, or burning to a data cd to transfer the files, right?

You can if you want, but it's kind of like taking a 300x300 picture then stretching it to 1000x1000 in Photoshop just to match the resolution of the rest of your album. Doing that just makes a small file needlessly huge and just feels more messy.

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#12 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

You can if you want, but it's kind of like taking a 300x300 picture then stretching it to 1000x1000 in Photoshop just to match the resolution of the rest of your album. Doing that just makes a small file needlessly huge and just feels more messy.


Ah, see, I admit I wasn't exactly sure if the same thing happened to audio that does with video. I kinda figured mp3 -> FLAC wouldn't introduce more artifacts, but I wasn't sure.

#13 PROTO·DOME

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

Ah, see, I admit I wasn't exactly sure if the same thing happened to audio that does with video. I kinda figured mp3 -> FLAC wouldn't introduce more artifacts, but I wasn't sure.

Oh no, not like that. You probably won't notice any difference (depending on how you do it), but it just makes a huge file with no extra quality.

I'm just imagining the waveform in my mind with the Photoshop thing.

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#14 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:06 PM

Ok, I understand what you mean then.

#15 Mustin

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

I get what you're saying, dude. You are part of the 100% of people who demand .FLAC and complain about it because .MP3 isn't good enough.

I've never seen people who discuss .FLAC not bitch about it because of this, that or the other.

Just my observation.

And I totally get if you pay for something, you want to make sure it's right.

But there's so much free music out there with people putting it out there for free that when we start complaining about it we start to sound absurd.

(note: I recognize this hypocrisy of my own re: Facebook. Fucking Facebook! GRAH!)

Sorry, dude. I normally wouldn't say anything but I'm all hopped up on Red Bull and I just always think people crabbing about .FLAC sound snooty. Coulda just said, "Hey, guys! Love all the free music! I noticed something with the .FLACs - why are some missing in some projects? Anyone got any insights?" as opposed to "This is troubling me," "would it be unacceptable to require a certain degree of quality in how it is released?" and "I propose..."

YOU PROPOSE

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#16 Liontamer

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:22 PM

would it be unacceptable to require a certain degree of quality in how it is released?


Thank you for being "troubled" while framing the issues as "OCR doesn't give a shit about the album releases." I agreed with Mustin that was just the wrong way to start off, assuming bad intent.

Even though the original post read VERY DOUCHILY (which I'm making up), and I'm the one responsible for putting together the torrents of everything since album #7, this very directly is about my work. I'm treating this thread as a post-mortem of the Pokemanz package creation itself, so I'll address this as thoroughly as I can. :-)

In the video game industry, it seems to have become a standard practice to release a game with glaring problems and bugs, sometimes even crippling issues, just to make some release date. I don't think the same should be allowed here, especially considering how much thought and deliberation goes into allowing individual songs to be admitted.


No one pushed out incomplete files to make a date. One file update that I got at the 11th hour had the older MP3 version mistakenly left in while the FLAC was updated. That's a grand total of 1 file with an issue. That's not analogous to slapping together a video game to make a street date in order to not miss profit projections.

I mean, why include a FLAC folder if any of the tracks are going to be missing from it? Is including FLAC formats just a gesture of goodwill to the listeners, an "extra", and it's up to the downloader to figure out all the inconsistencies in the torrent and files?


We've always provided lossless versions of everything we've had available to us for an album. For projects like The Missingno Tracks that had such a long creation period and had some much older tracks, if we don't have a truly lossless version of a track, oh well. We still have other projects that started a while ago that may be in the same boat, and that's OK. We'll live. You'll live. :-)

Going forward though, we've already agreed that we need lossless versions of everything and that projects should be maintaining those files. We may need a more centralized area to gather those, so that's one for the next staff meeting. In many cases, it may take years before a project has enough momentum where we're fairly sure it'll be an OCR album, so it may be years after the start of a project before we then get files.

The other alternative with missing FLACs someone mentioned was to take the MP3s with no WAVs and just redo those lossy MP3s as FLACs, which 1) isn't genuinely lossless, 2) makes no sense and 3) is disingenuous, even though most people wouldn't know any better. We'd rather not do that.

At the very least, if you can't preserve the whole of a project into another format, don't bother including it in the torrent.


"If we can't give them all lossless...THEN NOBODY GETS ANYTHING!" Not having 100% of the tracks bothers us too. But that suggestion is silly and just punishes people because of a personal hangup, that's all. Nope. :-D

If an album was missing tracks in mp3 format, would that be acceptable?


Like what, a MOD file only? The primary goal is to release a complete MP3 set. If someone doesn't have an MP3 available, that means they don't want it published by us. :-)

I propose that some more stringent guidelines should be implemented for the torrents on ocremix.org's album section.


As linked before: http://ocremix.org/i...ject_Guidelines

For the completion phase, I'll take a stab at fleshing out further specifics (i.e. WAVs must be 1411kbps, 44kHz stereo, album front must be at least 600 x 600 px).

To have missing tracks, unburnable files, corrupted files, old versions, etc. seems just sloppy. And users who don't browse the forums may never learn of corrections.


Users not knowing corrections is annoying, absolutely. Can't be helped. But for missing FLACs, since people apparently can't read the "Read Me" file included in the package, adding a "Missing FLACs" TXT into the FLAC folder itself will also be done going forward if the set's incomplete.

We deal with the files how we wish, but we're flexible enough to not rake people over the coals if a 4 year old track has no WAV available, because we're primarily about putting out music, not being anal about FLACs. :-)

If you're having issues with burning specific Missingno Tracks files, you need to post in this thread and give specifics to the issue to see if they can be verified/replicated.

The only other idea I'm walking away from with this is potentially pre-releasing a completed album package to the album participants before the official release, which would happen in an ideal situation. Obviously for an older project, it would prove a lot more useful at catching last minute issues. But generally speaking, that's not practical. But it's something to work towards.

#17 EC2151

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:23 PM

are flacs and .wavs really a "courtesy" when after a year or so some MP3s sound so horribly mangled in quality that there is no point in listening to them?

Or am I alone in that some MP3s I have had after a long time have this weird screeching noise in them.

#18 Daethar

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:23 PM

Sorry, dude. I normally wouldn't say anything but I'm all hopped up on Red Bull and I just always think people crabbing about .FLAC sound snooty. Coulda just said, "Hey, guys! Love all the free music! I noticed something with the .FLACs - why are some missing in some projects? Anyone got any insights?" as opposed to "This is troubling me," "would it be unacceptable to require a certain degree of quality in how it is released?" and "I propose..."

YOU PROPOSE

snootykins


Thank you for being "troubled" while framing the issues as "OCR doesn't give a shit about the album releases." :lol: I agreed with Mustin that was just the wrong way to start off, assuming bad intent.

Even though the original post read VERY DOUCHILY (which I'm making up), and I'm the one responsible for putting together the torrents of everything since album #7, this very directly is about my work. I'm treating this thread as a post-mortem of the Pokemanz package creation itself, so I'll address this as thoroughly as I can. :-)


Fair enough. I'm sorry if I come across that way to you, it's simply how I try to present my thoughts online.
The site will go on without me posting, the mixers will go on without my input, and I know that. I will still download the projects (I fully enjoyed listening to mp3 version of Missingno). I don't presume people should care what I have to say. But I saw something that bothered me a bit, not in a way that I was offended, but in a sort of OCD sense, and figured that perhaps someone (besides myself and Calatia from the review thread) might want to discuss the potential problems behind it. I spent a bit of extra time trying to sort things out for burning cds, and figured that if some precautions were taken in the future, other people might be saved time and effort in sorting stuff out.
And, I do admit, I had not read the project guidelines page Level 99 linked later. I figured that kind of info was kept secret, only known to moderators and judges and such.

rest of post

1. Excellent points
2. Even though I used Missingno as the example, I do realize it's happened before, and so that's why I wanted to discuss the whole thing in general. Because this is not really a review of the album, I didn't think it fair to clutter that thread.
3. I do like the things you suggest for going forward.

#19 Liontamer

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

are flacs and .wavs really a "courtesy" when after a year or so some MP3s sound so horribly mangled in quality that there is no point in listening to them?

Or am I alone in that some MP3s I have had after a long time have this weird screeching noise in them.


You're confusing MP3s for 8-tracks.

#20 The Coop

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:27 PM

This is actually the most reasonable response I have heard regarding this. I understand that, but I personally think they should have been left out of the torrent, and just available on the site.


Not to sound snotty, but you don't cut up albums into what will and won't be included in a torrent. If it's on the album when it's released, then it belongs on the torrent version of the album. Period. To do otherwise would make multiple versions of what should only be a single instance of a project, regardless of what format it's downloaded in. Plus, it would be pretty damn rude to the artists who put all their time and effort in a song, and get it on the album, only to have it left out of the torrent because it wasn't in someones favorite format.

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