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Link On the use of the formats "Other" and "CD" / 2015-04-12 10:18

We have seen contributors use the "Other" format category for discography entries as the equivalent of "I don't know, but I have to select something". However, that's NOT what that option is for. It is intended for comparably rare and "exotic" formats not covered by the usual categories, like for example 8-track cartridges or USB sticks. As such, releases categorised as "Other" should always include additional information in the version description field (and optionally the additional notes for yet further details), specifying what exactly this "other" is. Example. Again, it is not to be used for when the format is simply unknown to the user. If the format is not known or not reasonably certain, the entry shouldn't be added. The format is -along with the title, release year and complete tracklist- a minimum requirement for a discography entry. If one of those things is missing, use the additional info field on band pages. Example.

On a related note, I have observed an alarming number of cases where people select "CD" for entirely digital releases. While plain old laziness or error is obviously not to be ruled out, I assume that this is at least partly based on the practise of referring to any sort of release as a "(demo/full-length/etc.-)CD" in casual speech. While that is hardly a surprising phenomenon in natural language use, for the purposes of this site, when we say "CD", we mean an actual compact disc. Be specific and literal. Otherwise the whole release categorisation becomes a misleading mess.

-Azmodes

Link April Fools / 2015-04-02 00:07

Looks like the announcement below scared a few people. :) Don't worry, as many others have surmised, it was just an April Fools prank. Rest assured, you will never have to pay to view the site, and we will never sell off site privileges.

Thanks for some amusing reactions, everyone.

-HellBlazer

Link Announcing upcoming premium membership services! / 2015-04-01 02:04

As many of you know, late last year Metal Archives hit the 100,000 bands milestone. Back in 2002, when the site was founded, I doubt anyone thought we would ever reach this mark. Unfortunately, these achievements come at a price - a very literal one. As the site grows bigger, requiring more and more server space, and traffic increases, requiring more and more bandwidth, the associated costs have increased as well. Back in 2002 it was no big deal to run the site for free - but now, 13 years later, the costs run hundreds a month, even after factoring in the revenue from referals and the donations of a generous few. The owners and staff aren't interested in profits, or we wouldn't have gotten this far, but when it comes to taking money out of our own pockets there's a limit. This means that unfortunately, it's just not feasible to run the site for free anymore - at least, not without making some changes.

However, as we have always tried to be open with you, our fellow metalheads, we will try to be as frank with you as possible during this transition period. The question is, how can the site best support itself? Short of selling the site entirely - and some very lucrative offers have been made - the most obvious answer is through selling adspace. There's really no way around it. Going forward, we will be introducing some unobtrusive banner ads, which won't obstruct anything important but will bring some much-needed revenue to offset costs. Don't worry, no popups!

Still, we know a lot of people hate ads, and Metal Archives has always tried to be ad-free, so in the spirit of that we will also be introducing a few compromises that we hope will keep people happy. These will come in the form of a subscription service. Before we get into the details, we would like to stress that all the basic features of Metal Archives will and always will be available for free - no paywall, now or ever! What these subscriptions will do, however, is provide an easy way for members to help support a site that provides services we all use, while also providing some conveniences they might appreciate.

Firstly, to conserve bandwidth, all non-subscribers will be limited to 15 band page views per day. This should be plenty for most people to get the information they need, while cutting down on pointless (and costly) aimless browsing. All subscription tiers meanwhile will allow for unlimited* browsing, and provide the option to hide the upcoming banner ads. All reports, reviews, and bands submitted by subscribers will be highlighted in their respective queues. Finally, all subscribers will have access to a members-only forum!

Now, on to the tiers! All prices given in USD.

Silver tier: Metal Soldier - $1.99/month
This is the basic package that provides the member services described above. A forum badge is also included, allowing you to show off your contribution!

Gold tier: Metal General - $6.66/month
This tier comes with all the basic perks, along with giving subcribers the ability to edit site info as if they had Veteran status. In addition, their reviews will be accepted automatically. As before, a special forum badge is also included, to display to the masses your love for metal!

Platinum tier: Metal Dictator - $66.60/month
This tier is reserved only for hardcore metalheads only! Along with everything the previous tiers get, this tier also gives honorary moderator status. This means you get an email address using this domain (yournamehere@metal-archives.com), as well as having access to the moderation queues just like a real moderator! Finally, you'll have access to the moderator-only staff forum, giving you a chance to weigh in on all Metal Archives decisions. Does one of your favorite bands deserve to be on the Archives? This is your chance to get them in!

Bands and labels
We are also working out the details of a sponsorship system that will allow full access to edit your own data, as well as priority placement in search results, among other things. Starting at only $16.66/month!

Keep in mind that all of this is pending review and may be subject to change before it goes live. None of this is set in stone, and we're also interested in getting your feedback directly! Come discuss with us using this thread.

-HellBlazer

Link Country tags and version descriptions / 2015-03-19 16:17

We've noticed some misunderstandings with when to include a country in the "version description" field on album pages. While we're working on fleshing out the guidelines on this issue, please keep the following in mind:

Country tags should not be added to the description field unless separating two otherwise identical versions. Please do not add a country tag to every version of an album to match the label that released it. We are not Discogs. Adding a label to the album precludes the need to add the label's location in the description field. For example, it is redundant and silly to add "Mexico" to every Scarecrow Records release. Unless it's useful to distinguish identical versions of an album, it's best to leave out the country tag.

The only exception to the rule are Japanese pressings, which are consistently and markedly different enough to warrant always including that tag. When you do put down a country tag, just use the country/region name (ex. Canada, Japan, Europe, Germany). DO NOT write "Japanese" or "Japanese version." That's redundant.

Thanks again for your understanding! \m/

-Derigin

Link Single-sided releases / 2015-02-07 06:54

We now have the option to mark releases with material on only one side of the medium (mostly applying to vinyl or cassette) with a specific checkbox situated near the release tracklist ("No B side"). Note the orange info box on the bottom of the edit page as well. Please make use of this feature and transfer version descriptions such as "single-sided" or "one-sided" accordingly (don't forget to also delete the description afterwards). If you can't, file a report asking other users to update it for you.

Be aware that this is NOT the same as a release having the music repeat on both sides. There is a separate checkbox for this and obviously the two are mutually exclusive options.

-Azmodes

Link "Edits" creating album version duplicates / 2015-02-03 17:36

Moderator Diamhea asked me to convey the following to our userbase:

We are having a rampant issue with unintended duplicate album versions, coming universally from users who are under Veteran and looking for a way to edit parent entries. Since the implementation of the other versions feature, users who would otherwise be forced to flag a report to execute changes concerning existing album data are now somehow finding their way to the add a version (+) icon, thinking erroneously that this is the correct way to make their intended edits. Please realize that if you have under 1000 points, you cannot modify existing data fields and must use the report system to get these changes made. "Modifying" the album via the other versions feature just adds unnecessary/unwanted album duplicates and is not a valid way to circumvent the system, done consciously or otherwise.

Thank you for your comprehension.

-Azmodes

Link Artist credits / 2015-01-12 21:03

We keep coming across instances of painters, writers, etc. (usually long-dead and from the public domain) being credited for albums they did not in any direct way participate in, often with extensive artist pages. Examples include English painter/poet William Blake or German painter Caspar David Friedrich, both artists from the 18th/19th centuries whose work has since been used by a number of metal bands for their releases, usually cover art, but sometimes also lyrical passages or entire poems.

Please be aware that we don't allow the usual artist entries for these individuals, a short mention about the used work and author in the album's additional notes is enough. Any such artist pages that we come across are going to be deleted. If you are aware of any, please either flag them via the report function or post in this forum thread, which was created for this very issue.

The rule of thumb here is that any author/artist whose work has not been created specifically for the album in question should not be credited in the lineup. Said section is intended for people who had an active part in the creation of the release, not those whose past work has simply been appropriated for a new context.

An exception is made for copyrighted material from more recent/contemporary artists the use of which has been legally paid for, ex. H. R. Giger. These are usually acceptable, though there are always some grey areas. Above everything else, if you are unsure, please ask in the thread I mentioned earlier before creating any new entries. Thank you.

-Azmodes

Link 100,000 bands... / 2014-11-13 16:11

A new milestone has been reached today.

If you asked me, 12 years ago when we launched M-A, if we'd ever reach 10,000 bands on M-A, let alone ten times that number, I would probably have scoffed.

Yet here we are. And it's all thanks to you, our contributors. Thank you everyone for your hard work. Without you, this site would have never grown into the #1 resource for metal fans worldwide.

We rock!

-Morrigan

Link Server maintenance / 2014-11-12 11:54

Please note that the site will go down tonight around 1 am EST / 6 am UTC for some planned maintenance on the server that will hopefully let the site run smoother. We will be back as soon as possible.

EDIT: All done. Report any issues to me.

-HellBlazer

Link Redundancies / 2014-09-03 15:08

Three things.

1. Please stop adding "jewel case" to the version description field. That's automatically assumed for CDs. This kind of redundancy is only one step removed from things like "circular disc" or "composed of baryonic matter". Okay, maybe a tad further from that second one, but you get the idea. The same goes for "black vinyl".

2. If a release/version doesn't have a catalog number, leave the field empty. Do not add things like "n/a" or "none". Yes, we've seen this around and it is absolutely not needed. If the field is left blank, "N/A" is displayed anyway.

3. Coming back to version descriptions, for country- or region-specific versions, use the noun form of the country/region; ex. Germany, Europe or Japan. Not German, European or Japanese. Also do not add "edition" or "version", that's redundant as well. Just the proper noun, please.

Thanks.

Further clarification and updated guidelines for the use of the chronically misused and cluttered version description field -as well as versions in general- coming soon(-ish).

-Azmodes

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