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Review of the Year (part 1)

We started the year with a partial list of composers and we used the blog to promote the individual composers and their pieces.

In February we started Podcasting and in March we announced that a complete collection had been published. In April the realization dawned that people were collecting our clips - particularly those which had been podcast and we engineered a substantial change to the site. We bought a Flash application to enable us to stream samples without revealing the samples URL - this doesn't stop those determined to record the streaming sample while it is being played but it does stop the easy rip offs and the volume of sample downloads reduced quite significantly. This change also resulted in nearly 200 new pages being added one day which had very similar content.

Over the subsequent months those files have progressively been differentiated from each other as we have experimented to try and find the optimum phrasing and presentation to encourage purchase from those pages. We were worried about the compatibility of the streaming software for a while - not least because one of our browsers kept giving us problems. The evidence suggests that rather elderly version of IE is not used by may people now and there are no real compatibility issues.

It was around this time that we launched our Ragtime collection - mainly Scott Joplin but augmented by a few other favorites. This was followed shortly afterwards with the collection of Bach Toccatas building on the success of the Widor and Schumann Toccata in the original collection.

In July the next big development was the Multi-Track store based on the osCommerce database application. For the most part this went well although we failed in our attempt to simplify the purchasing process at that stage and the product loading task was extremely tedious. Then at the end of the month we largely abandoned the use of the term remix - although it still remains in the titles of many of our recordings. It just seemed to be too confusing.

Part 2 tomorrow with some reflections on lessons learned.

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