We're going to be piloting a new release schedule and some standards in hopes of getting music out quicker. Rather than releasing 20 albums every couple months, we're going to try to release albums as we receive them and run them through "quality control".
Some major changes you may notice:
- no .sfv: This was used to maintain the integrity of the releases but with a faster release schedule and data integrity checks built into the Torrent protocol, it's not needed anymore. Many of you likely didn't even know what they were for.
- no .nfo: This was just legacy from the days of old. mIRC file trading, primitive id3 tags and the lack of a web presence meant we needed some way to identify and promote our releases. With the advent of torrents, advanced id3 tags and a decent web presence, we don't need this anymore. Anyone seeking additional performer credits not normally credited in id3 tags can use vgmdb or ask in the comments section.
- One Release / One Torrent: We are going to try not to batch torrents into a torrent of 20 albums at a time. It's a lot more work to try and work on 20 albums for release than it is to individually work on one album at a time as they're received. Additionally, there is some confusion about how to find old(er) torrents on the site via search or on the tracker, so this should make it somewhat more intuitive. This is one of the larger reasons releases took so long. The longer we wait, the more piles up and the longer it takes to release a giant batch of things we've been slacking on.
- Remove custom <Copyright> id3 tag: Not useful
- Remove custom <Encoding Settings> id3 tag: Redundant with current lame.exe mp3 headers
- Additional Contributors: One of the bigger reasons releases take so long is it's all funneled through one person (Originally, the_miker, then myself, then Godai, then Msia). It's a significant amount of work for one person to do. Receive the files, translate, tag the files according to standards, torrent, update website, etc. We're going to try having individual suppliers release their own releases as time permits so there is not a large backlog created by everything being funneled to one person.
- Less Standardization: You might see varying id3 tag formats between releases because of additional contributors, this is okay. The poll we did a while back shows us that you really don't care about tag standardization and most of you change them after you download them anyway. And they inevitably end up changing every couple years due to new technology (portable mp3 players, id3 tag standards improvement) and new APIs (last.fm). We'll try and make sure that all releases contain track title, album title, album artist, performer (if applicable), composer, track number, disc number, total discs and comments. Some releases may invariably have additional tags (<ARRANGEMENT>, <LYRICIST>), some may not. Since you're retagging these and are generally indifferent about them anyway, this shouldn't be an issue.
Potential Future Changes Being Discussed
- No more "Fix" releases: Barring some sort of major catastrophic typo in a release that requires a complete re-release of an album ("Final Fatnasy", "Nobo Uematsu"), we're probably not going to release fixes anymore. We will note them in a post and you can update your files (if you care), and if you don't then don't. If we typo "taht" or forget to lowercase a conjuction or we didn't strictly follow the track formatting on an album, then I think we can all live with it.
- No more "Archive" releases: These literally kill our tracker and are a pain to package, validate and maintain. If you want an older album and can't find it in an already existing archive torrent, previous batch torrent or on the tracker, then ask in IRC and someone may be able to help you. Ultimately, our goal is not to give you an archive of thousands of albums of game music, it's to create a community that sparks discussion and interest in video game music. With an improved release schedule, hopefully we'll see more activity and more than just a passing once-every-three-months interest.
Without further ado, we bring you the soundtrack to "Soul Sacrifice" for PS Vita. It's composed by the legendary Yasunori Mitsuda and a lesser known but equally impressive Wataru Hokoyama (seriously, check out Afrika). It's performed by The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra who some of you might recognize from inFAMOUS 2 and StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm.
Let us know your thoughts, concerns and comments about the album and the new release schedule, we're interested in what everyone thinks!
-- The Management