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Showing posts from 2012

Substantial Site Overhaul Completed

Two phase operation for site wide update completed. In phase one links to 30 second LoFi clips and to complete HiFi MP3 file downloads were added to all the relevant pages - about 60 of them.  The clips are playable by the Yahoo! Media Player but the full files are not so they are available to save or play on the users media software once they are downloaded. This makes the 300  individual product pages pretty redundant but they are not pulling their weight from any point of view these days so we are concentrating on front of house. At the same time a new emphasis on the Donationware aspect of the site was incorporated. Several approaches have been tried and we hope that results will guide subsequent refinement. Also the video windows were increased to full size on as many pages as possible. The You Tube channel is looking pretty good so we are also starting to emphasise that.  I suspect that is responsible for much of the recent growth in keyword searches on our brand name. Phase

Clip Playing and Downloading from the main pages

Another significant (I hope) site wide update is underway. The composer and collection pages are being update with download buttons and clip player buttons for all recordings. Now that we have gone donation ware for our recordings there is less value in the 300 individual recording pages.  In particular they don't pay their way from an advertising revenue point of view.  But they do strengthen the overall scale and coherence of the linking structure on the site so we'll keep them until there is a problem with them. More controversially the download links are comprised of reminders to consider making a donation. I'm not sure how this will play in SEO terms but I'm willing to try anything that might have an impact on that front. It should also be possible to test whether particular words or phrases impact on download behavior. I've taken the UK Gift Aid link off because it was broken and I'll come back to that when our Rotary club has registered it

iTunes and iPad pages updated

I have summarised the results of my Apple compatibility research on these pages and tidied up the meta data a bit. Trying the iPad again last evening I'm even more convinced that the Free Music Downloader for iPad App is the way to go with the opportunities for play lists et cetera to organise and shuffle your downloads. There is also a paid for version "Free Music Download Pro" for the iPhone and iPod which is available in the App Store. To be honest the very simple filing system on the iPad is a bit of a culture shock to some one who cut their computing  teeth time sharing on a mainframe with a telegraphy terminal - paper tape and all. But I guess it is good for what it is intended for and mobile users are likely to become a progressively larger part of our audience.

Looking through the Apple glass

It has been an interesting few days exploring Apple compatibility issues for video and file download. For video HTML5 seems to offer the best hope in the long run but the current confusion makes for a very laborious process to publish videos that can be seen on all the main platforms. At the moment I think I'm going to wait a while and see if You Tube's developments deliver the goods. In the meantime I'm going to recommend iPad users buy the mobile iCab browser which enables MP3 download and also plays my YouTube videos with the reservation that they may need to be resourceful users since the help files are only available in German. More interestingly there are also free iPad Apps for MP3 download storage and playing which I can recommend - still exploring how to get them across to iTunes but I'm reasonably hopeful. I've still got to check out the Mac itself @ younger daughter's house but I'm guessing that iCab will be useful there too.

Apples on the Distaff side

In our family Apple computers, iPhones and an iPad have been adopted by the distaff side which is the majority which does it's best to overwhelm me. I bought an Apple IIe and a Mac once but that was in another century. So having eliminated Flash streaming software I am now exploring how to make the site more accessible to them. I was a bit shocked to find that the Google Ads on my site don't show on the iPad and neither do the embedded videos. I have identified a potential solution for downloading and so I'll be getting the app and testing it out.  The embedded videos will require more research. In the mean time visitors from Windows platforms have started to download in some numbers - just waiting for the donations to kick in! adopts RI End Polio Now

With the move to a free download site we have introduced requests for donations from those who enjoy the music. This is a step in the dark but the advertising revenue now pays for the ISP service we have moved to and sadly OS Commerce has become more difficult to maintain. So we have adopted the Rotary International End Polio Now Fund as our preferred charity. We have waited on tenterhooks for India to complete a Polio Free Year and that has been confirmed in the last few weeks. So we are really close - with just Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan to go. It was particularly encouraging to hear this week that Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to work together to tackle this problem - no doubt Rotary and the other NGOs involved will get in behind this with the relevant financial and technical support. Our existing Business account with PayPal means that we are able to offer the Donate button and associated facilities. For UK tax Payers we offer an alternative route where their do

300 MP3 are Free to Download

A dramatic shift in direction for the site was implemented this week. From now on the full HiFi MP3 recordings of our original arrangement are available to download free of charge. Some visitors have already spotted this opportunity and started to down load their favorites. This change has also seen the elimination of the two Flash based players for the clips published on the site and their replacement with a Yahoo! player. This seems to works across all the platforms I've identified so far but deploys cookies to identify what is going on. The other new feature is an updated Downloading Tips page which goes into the right and left click options on the four main browsers. The next job is to work up advice for Mac and iPad users who have been hindered by the flash used previously.