Liontamer

OverClocked ReMix Design ?'s and Issues

1,105 posts in this topic

The affiliation with zzounds is an excellent choice. I bought some music soft/hardware several years ago because of OCR, and would have liked some of that $ to go into its pockets. Gotta say though, eStarland seems pretty shady. OCR deserves attention and support of course, but a friend of mine had an awful experience with them and it looks like many others have as well.

This design is great. The page space is used so much more efficiently. Also: can't wait until the shirts are ready!

:nicework:

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Gotta say though, eStarland seems pretty shady. OCR deserves attention and support of course, but a friend of mine had an awful experience with them and it looks like many others have as well.

:nicework:

That's based off 18 reviews; keep in mind that they do trade-ins, which few online retailers are willing to do, and that that likely increases the number of folk who might be upset because they didn't get $1000 for their scratched-up old Virtual Boy.

http://www.bizrate.com/ratings_guide/cust_reviews__mid--66998.html

That's based off over 2000 reviews... as opposed to 18. Plus I met with Chris Kong, the owner, personally, and know him from before they even had a website.

They'll be selling OC ReMix T-shirts soon, if things work out, and I wouldn't be supporting them and affiliating with them if I wasn't confident it made sense. When the owner's willing to meet with you for two hours, sell OCR shirts, has an open bizrate affiliation that allows reliable user ratings directly tied to actual purchases made on the site, and the totality of over 2000 such ratings come out positive, I wouldn't call that "shady".

Thanks for the comments though, and you're right to question anyone OCR affiliates with and bring any concerns to my attention - I have faith in eStarland and cite the 90% positive reviews (high for a shop that does trade-ins) as support, but appreciate the information nonetheless.

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Good enough for me :) I'll be buying shirts from them the moment they're available.

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I too had some trouble finding the download link, but it wasn't that hard to find. I like the tab design, I just have to get used clicking on them to go back to the write-up since the green arrow will only show you the same page.

Why is the website news written in the middle of write ups?

Yeah, I've missed plenty of facts because of that too, but you can always check if there are any news whenever a new remix is submited.

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I am in total agreement with Dhsu. Nor all game soundtracks are based in square waves, pink noises and so on, and i think the term "chiptunes" isn't really appropriate.

Perhaps the most accurate term should be "source tune" instead of the term "chiptunes".

5jd4.png

by the way that universal plugin is very nice indeed.

"Source Tune" or rather "Source Tune(s)" *would* be more accurate, I'll grant you both that... so would calling the entire site "OverClocked Arrangements", for that matter. The rational for keeping "Chiptune" here is similar but not identical (although imo it *is* a cool word):

:arrow: I'm (we're) trying to build awareness of chiptunes and the chiptune community

:arrow: For this reason, I want to use the word as much as possible, in as many places as possible

:arrow: "Source Tune(s)" would actually be a misnomer for mixes that arrange songs from more than one game

:arrow: There are other options ("Chiptunes/Rips", "Original Tune(s)", "OST", "Soundtrack") that all have their own respective problems/inaccuracies

:arrow: Ultimately, I'd rather promote chiptunes and be inaccurate some of the time. The pure definition of "Chiptune" was already weakened when they allowed MODs that used nothing but very short samples.

In other news, you can now download the chiptune, or whatever you want to call it, from the chiptunes tab. There's also the same links from the chipamp.org links page, for convenience (chipamp.org uses ocremix's dynamic javascript links, so they'll always be in sync).

I do appreciate the comments, I agree in part, I gave it some thought... I reached the same conclusion I did before.

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Don't know if it has been mentioned before, but I would recommend more uniformity in the Projects nomenclature.

Maybe something like

ProjectName - Description

where Description is either the name of the game, series, or composer being remixed.

Now it's more like inverted :

Blood on the Asphalt - Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Doom - The Dark Side of Phobos

Or weird:

SMProject - Relics of the Chozo CD.rar

Also, it would be cool if said projects had writeups too.

We simply didn't have a standard for how Album Projects were laid out, including the torrent titling. I believe we're not changing anything because stats would be reset and links floating out in the wild encourage sharing of the torrents would 404. I believe we'll be going for something more uniform in the future though. Before Project Chaos and Summoning of Spirits come out, we'll try to have something more concrete figured out.

Project writeups would take quite a while. I'd rather the project coordinators provided something like that.

Dunno where else this should be posted, but..

As you know we get spambots here and there. Do you think making it so when you sign up you have to enter in a keykode from an image will prevent these spambots?

Very aware of it (it's really annoying). When we eventually switch to vBulletin, keycode image will indeed be a part of the signup process to eliminate bots. If I have the time, I'll be looking through the forum records trying to delete old spam accounts for a couple of days before the switchover.

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I believe we're not changing anything because stats would be reset and links floating out in the wild encourage sharing of the torrents would 404.

Well, the tracker could display something different for the links at least, even if the torrents themselves stayed the same. It would certainly be an improvement over what we have now.

If you are coming up with standards, make the site projects release in some CD quality format. Besides for giving the remixers a chance to shine using the best possible format, it makes the tracker stats go up faster, which is almost as important! ;-)

-Aubrey

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Of course, I don't spend a ton of time here, and don't have the time to spend reading this whole topic along with the previous one - but the way the Google ad banner stretches the width on the first page is just outright irritating. I'm on 1024*768, so this shouldn't be an issue.

I was already very satisfied with the previous layout, and still haven't gotten used to the new format. I understand that many people were calling for additional functionality or fixes, that it must have become apparent a redesign was in order - I still have grown accustomed to the older design, and wish you could have left out so many unnecessary changes to the layout. As a person who's a bit distanced to the site, it's easy to see how the previous format was just superior in ease-of-use.

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Of course, I don't spend a ton of time here, and don't have the time to spend reading this whole topic along with the previous one - but the way the Google ad banner stretches the width on the first page is just outright irritating. I'm on 1024*768, so this shouldn't be an issue.

I was already very satisfied with the previous layout, and still haven't gotten used to the new format. I understand that many people were calling for additional functionality or fixes, that it must have become apparent a redesign was in order - I still have grown accustomed to the older design, and wish you could have left out so many unnecessary changes to the layout. As a person who's a bit distanced to the site, it's easy to see how the previous format was just superior in ease-of-use.

Sorry you feel that way; I don't think your being "distanced to the site" gives you 100% credibility in determining what is or is not superior, however. The google ad in question was there prior to this recent redesign, and only creates layout problems in Internet Explorer. The horizontal space that the other, vertical ad takes up is WELL worth the tradeoff in vertical space that the horizontal ad across the top consumed, imo, and puts far more information above the fold.

And, frankly, it's not really your place to tell me what is or isn't "necessary" in terms of modifying the site design. Regaining vertical space was in fact necessary to work better with vbulletin, for example, which chews up more header space than PHPBB. Perhaps if you spent more time here you'd be in a better position to understand the site's requirements.

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Chipamp is a free bundle of existing plugins for Winamp that lets you play a variety of chiptune and tracker formats, including music from classic game consoles like the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Gameboy, and Playstation.

I *tried* to point out in that initial description that some of the formats aren't truly "chiptunes", but ultimately this distinction is unimportant to the target audience, which is the average user who doesn't really care whether emulation or sample-playback is involved.

I realize this, but I feel a site with an actual focus on the subject should set the example by using the correct terminology. Otherwise, it'd be like Digitally Imported referring to all electronic music as "techno." :P

needs more metroid metal

So I am guessing that there won't be a "spotlight" section anymore? I remember back in the day, djp would do a tiny write up about each project as they were released.....now the projects seem kinda lackluster.

I probably am only pointing this out because I was hoping for a write up like the "og" projects.

Bias aside, site looks good.

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:arrow: I'm (we're) trying to build awareness of chiptunes and the chiptune community

:arrow: For this reason, I want to use the word as much as possible, in as many places as possible

This is an admirable goal, but I'm sure there's a way to do this *without* spreading blatant FUD (I suppose "misinformation" is a more accurate term but "FUM" just doesn't have the same ring to it).

:arrow: "Source Tune(s)" would actually be a misnomer for mixes that arrange songs from more than one game

Could you elaborate? The parenthetical 's' should cover multiple source tunes. If you mean that the page will only display the tunes from one game, I don't think it's any more of an inaccuracy than listing the mix itself under a single game, and is an understandable limitation.

:arrow: There are other options ("Chiptunes/Rips", "Original Tune(s)", "OST", "Soundtrack") that all have their own respective problems/inaccuracies

I don't see any sacrifice in accuracy or convenience associated with using "Source Tune(s)" or simply "Source(s)".

:arrow: Ultimately, I'd rather promote chiptunes and be inaccurate some of the time. The pure definition of "Chiptune" was already weakened when they allowed MODs that used nothing but very short samples.

I'm not even talking about the "pure definition"; I actually don't mind if people gloss over the technicalities and use the term to refer to SNES music, since it's still considered "oldschool." And like I already said, I think the line between "remix" and "arrangement" is fuzzy enough that using the shorter and more popular word was justified. However, the very spirit and meaning of "chiptune" is destroyed and rendered nonsensical if you start inexplicably using it to describe the music of World of WarCraft or Morrowind. At that point you aren't promoting "chiptunes" at all! How would you react if you were engaged in a conversation with someone who claimed they loved chiptunes and cited Guild Wars as an example?

I do appreciate the comments, I agree in part, I gave it some thought... I reached the same conclusion I did before.

And I will respect it, but I implore you to reconsider yet again.

Edit:

The google ad in question was there prior to this recent redesign, and only creates layout problems in Internet Explorer.

Which is used by "only" 85% of Internet users. ;)

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Which is used by "only" 85% of Internet users. ;)

This is going to sound bad no matter what, but I'm really only meaning it to be informative.

Since my server displays tracker information that gets posted on the main page of this site, I can (and do) check out the browser stats for the several hundred thousand uniques that visit this site each month.

Internet Explorer has not been the browser of choice to view this site for quite a while now. Here is the break down for last month:

52% - firefox

39% - internet explorer

4% - opera

3% - safari

2% - other (netscape/mozilla/camino/konqueror)

Kinda neat huh?

-Aubrey

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Internet Explorer has not been the browser of choice to view this site for quite a while now. Here is the break down for last month:

52% - firefox

39% - internet explorer

4% - opera

3% - safari

2% - other (netscape/mozilla/camino/konqueror)

Kinda neat huh?

-Aubrey

Confirmed - IE loses to Firefox on OCR. Thank god, frankly. IE7 may fix the ad problem @ 1024x768 or, if it supports min-width and min-height correctly, allowing me to try something else. I've got an MSDN subscription, and as soon as they give me Vista RC1, I'm doing a VMWare session for IE7 browser testing and Chipamp testing, too.

Now, on to Dhsu's continued chiptune semantic concerns. I've got some options. One option is to not display the chiptune tab at all unless a chiptune (or something like it) is available for that game. As I understand it, the objection is to having a "chiptunes" tab appear for Morrowind, etc., but it's just as inaccurate for any redbook-audio only system (e.g. Sega CD) or what not. I could implement something at the system level, and only show the chiptunes tab when the system itself supports some sort of chiptune format (or close enough), but that'd be a problem, as many modern games for the PC would display a chiptunes tab, seeing as there ARE old Adlib, etc. formats for the PC that could count.

The downside of not displaying the chiptune when there's no chiptune hosted on OCR itself is that there's rather large PSFs that we don't intend to host due to bandwidth issues, but then when viewing a game like FF9, people wouldn't see the chiptunes tab, and wouldn't have the links to Chipamp and Zophar's where they could get the PSF. Some of those same links are on the "links" tab, but if users expect files to be there...

I *could* alter the database to include a flag as to whether the chiptune is local or remote, and just include links in the case of the big chiptunes we don't want to host.

But that's all a lot of work. I'll discuss it with Larry - we're working on getting more chiptunes in more formats on the site. I've already added twenty or so, filling in the SNES gaps, in the last 48 hours.

"Source Tunes" or the too-cryptic "Sources" would be misnomers if all you could find for games lacking a local chiptune on OCR was links to chiptune resources, which would be moot for games like Morrowind or Sega CD games, etc., so I'm not sure that suggestion really makes a lot of sense.

Continued thoughts appreciated based on above info.

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Thanks for the reply, djp.

Okay, so from what I've seen so far, there's already a mechanism of sorts in place for determining whether or not the game in question has a chiptune soundtrack. If it does, it provides links for downloading the appropriate file, and if not, nothing is shown at all (besides the ChipAmp propaganda ;) ).

So instead of displaying nothing, perhaps a little "catch-all" message can be shown such as "Chiptunes not available for this game, see links tab for additional resources" or something to that effect. Basically, a generic blurb that indicates that either that the term is not applicable, or that the files are simply not hosted on OCR. I think that would cover most of our bases.

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Just a random thing i noticed in the reviews tab. I dunno if this has been noticed before, or was around before the change but anyways; I just reviewed the latest track and i used quotation marks in my review. On the review tab it came up as "everything".

Just to let you know.

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Uh, isn't the 'Site Projects' forum description a little... outdated?

"announcements/info/discussion of OCR-related projects, official and unofficial including OverClocked ReCollections."

1: Doesn't the announcement bit take place in either GenDisc or requests?

2: There are only official projects in that section, unnofficial projects (ie Bound Together) are in other forums.

3: Wasn't OverClocked ReCollections abandoned? Either way, it's not there anymore.

Perhaps a more fitting description would be:

"discussion of official OCR-related projects."

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Thanks for the reply, djp.

So instead of displaying nothing, perhaps a little "catch-all" message can be shown such as "Chiptunes not available for this game, see links tab for additional resources" or something to that effect. Basically, a generic blurb that indicates that either that the term is not applicable, or that the files are simply not hosted on OCR. I think that would cover most of our bases.

Very doable, will implement shortly, seems like a good idea.

There are problems with escaped characters whenever we pull data from PHPBB that I need to fix, too - this includes '&' and ''' and '"' appearing on pages that pull data from the forum db but exist outside the PHPBB application. Once I fix it in one place, it'll be fixed elsewhere, but sometimes character escaping/XML/XSLT can be tricky.

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I was surfing and the site kinda took a while to load. When it did it looked like this. I mean, it looked normal for a while and then boom, this freaky set up. Clearing the cache did nothing. This is a pretty random occurence, dunno what may have caused it, but still, I assumed it would be worth reporting it.

untitledij7.jpg

Disregard this post, as I found the reason why it went freaky. It was entirely on my computer and not due to OCR at all.

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I'm all for JavaScript and the tab interface. It's a great thing. However, could you please not use a blank anchor as the href? I really don't like my pages to jump back to the top when I click a tab. When I'm really loading a new page it's ok, but when you're using JS that simply should not happen. A viable alternative: href="javascript:void()" or, if you really want an anchor, put an anchor just above the tabs and use that anchor name.

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Very doable, will implement shortly, seems like a good idea.

Pleasure doing business with you, sir. ;)

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This may not seem like a big issue, or an issue at all to some of you, but I would really like it if you were to put ocelot back to being next to the russian remix roulette :D

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It was removed because it looks goofy with other stylesheets.

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I'm all for JavaScript and the tab interface. However, could you please not use a blank anchor as the href? I really don't like my pages to jump back to the top when I click a tab.

Gotta second that one. I'm not gonna tell you how to do it (I know how annoying that can be), I'll just say I like my page to stay where it is when I toggle element displays.

Boy are we picky bastards.

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