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 Post subject: Lack of Updates/Burnout?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:41 pm 
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You know, I have to apologize for the lack of recent updates... but I have to admit, I'm getting somewhat disillusioned with this whole scene. Both on this board and on IRC, I've been getting frequent complaints about a number of issues... Some of which are beyond my control, I should point out... but others that serve to invalidate everything I felt I've done for SNESMusic.org.

First off, the track titles. Honestly, I worked hard on the titles I came up with; trying to fit them as best with the actual game usage as possible, and the better majority of those such games have no OST, nor are they likely to ever see one released. It's just straight up disheartening to know that the general consensus is such that people would rather have a song titled "Stage 1" than a custom trackname I come up with, such as "Deep Forest", that has the exact same effect, is much more memorable, and has more meaning to someone who has not played the game. As I said, it makes me feel like my work is just wholly invalidated; I put effort into it, and in response, I get people nagging me for everything from being "vague" to being "disrespectful".

Honestly, I don't get what the fuss is about; what's in a name? It's not like my titles are "vague" at all; if it's a forest stage, I'll use "Forest" or "Woods" or something in the title, possibly with an adjective to make it a bit more appealing to the eye. I don't name songs things like "Dreaming My Life Away" or something equally nonsensical for a forest stage. And they're outright *direct* compared to utter disasters such as the Shadow Hearts OST, which has the craziest, most nonsensical tracknames I've *ever* seen (Seriously. "But-Dad-Dead-Bed"? "Nobody Knocks the Door"? "Callback from Jesus"? "Sicking Fucking"?). Or SaGa Frontier 2, whose tracknames are all in German for the sake of paying some arbitrary homage to Hamauzu's German heritage, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that their translations have little to nothing to do with where they're used in-game. Yet people have no problems using *those*, and would in fact, bitch just as much if I dared to change their tracknames to more *accurate* ones in the PSF sets. Apparently composers can be as ridiculous and vague as they want, but someone running a music fansite can't show a little appreciation for music he likes by giving the songs official-sounding tracknames without being accused of "ruining" a soundtrack?

Oh, and for the record, only once, to my knowledge, have I ever declined to use official tracknames (Megaman X2), and that was largely because Datschge overruled it. I was actually leaning towards doing so, if only because the SPC set as it is is the only one that has those fancy tracknames. Megaman soundtracks in general don't usually do that, either, so for consistancy's sake... That said, I *will* alter official tracknames to change names to their English equivalent ("Toad" instead of "Kinopio", for instance; this is an English-speaking site, after all, and what most people will know are the English names, as a result, and this sort of localization *is* done in many cases officially anyhow) and the removal of needless "BGM"s from track titles (that it's "background music" is rather self-evident, don't you think?); that is to say, if the OST name is "Forest BGM", I'll clip the "BGM" and leave it "Forest". Other than that, if a soundtrack has official tracknames, the SPC set will be using them. If it doesn't, assume that I am unaware of the existence of them, and do feel free to submit them.

Second, composer info updates. Now, I'm all for giving credit where credit is due, but due to the needlessly complex nature of updating SPC sets, as well as both the sheer volume of the backlog I have, as well as the constant conflicts I get (So are Kyohei Sada and Kiyohiro Sada the same person or not? I've gotten reports for both Yea and Nay on that one), and all combined with the fact that they don't actually alter the set at all and I'd rather not announce their updates on the main page, yet I'd basically *have* to or risk breaking Renset, which I don't want to do... Well, that's why I haven't been doing those very often.

Third, it seems that, while a great thing for helping us along with SPC ripping, these music modifier codes that are all the rage here lately are also causing a fair amount of garbage to sneak into SPC sets. Out-of-bounds data that the game is trying to parse as music, and succeeding partially. I had accepted these as "unused music" in the past, out of ignorance, but as they're really *not* actual music, and as such, not only will I no longer be including these obvious glitches in SPC sets, I will also be removing them from every set that has them over time. Oh, and please, no more obvious sound effects, even unused ones, unless they're musical-ish. This is SNESMusic not, SNES Sound Effects.

Finally, I've been getting complaints mostly on IRC about the file name scheme. No, I have no idea why we do it that way; it was a standard that Datschge had in place even before I joined the site back in 2001. But just as much "No" is that I can't change it. I may be an admin, but I'm *not*, contrary to popular belief, the site owner. I'm basically "second-in-command", but even I have rules to follow. I apologize about this one. I'd like, one of these days, to overhaul the entire site to allow easier updating, searching, and archiving, but I don't control those things.

tl;dr version:

1) I worked hard on those custom tracknames, and it stings somewhat that people hate them for some reason and would rather have generic titles, which is what SNESMusic has been actively trying to *avoid* for over a decade. It further hurts that I'm being accused of "ruining" soundtracks and being "disrespectful", which is the exact *opposite* of what I intended.

2) Several problems keep me from wanting to do composer info updates, but it's not out of disrespect to anyone.

3) Music modifier codes are great, but don't submit out-of-bounds junk data as "unused songs". And enough with the sound effects unless they're musical-ish.

4) Some things are just beyond my control.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:23 pm 
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YK: don't be too hard on yourself. Ten years is a long time to be doing something. Continuing the SNESmusic scene really benefits everyone in some way such as reviving an old memory... more people are content with your work than they share dislikes for it.

I'm only going to make a brief comment on number 3 because I really want to explain music modifier things because they are new and all the rage.

Sound Effects:
I only put sound effects in the set if they are obscure enough to the point where the average listener will never know about them nor be able to access them otherwise. NSF and GBS rips often include sound effects, though at the very end as a bonus and only sometimes. They don't really serve a purpose other than that idea. I understand why they wouldn't be wanted though. Jingles and stuff I include. BS Busters Digital Magazine is my example of this.

Yeah, the music modifiers are all the rage; here are two examples of good and bad uses of them (SNESmusic related).

Good example of a music modifier:
Many unused songs are legitimately unused such as the ones in Waterworld, and Toy Story, so I would obviously include them.

Questionable example of a music modifier:
The Ice World Beta song found in Jelly Boy that was right next the actual Ice world is questionable though the other world themes are short like it and it may actually be a beta version, though it does have a questionable nature.

Bad examples of a music modifier:
The glitched-out piece of music at the end of Jelly Boy is definitely the game crapping out. Yoshi's Island and Super Tetris 3 have weird variants of many songs stored in ARAM. These are likely glitches.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Sometimes I myself get a bit fancy with the tracknames, but most of the time I don't do so...

When I utilize a music modifier, typically I know when it's glitched (AKA a no-go)... though sometimes it's less obvious.

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Just consider me your friendly SPC dumper. Also a bit of a perfectionist (though not too literally)... I make sure my dumps are at the first note. I might even hack away the SFX if needed.

Want a music modifier for a particular SNES game? All you need to do is ask via PM (or you can check out the Music Modifiers topic and post there) and I'll be on the job. ^_^

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:19 am 
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I'm not a fan of the music modifier stuff myself- the worst example I can recall is "Frogger" where the music modifier tracks were just messed up-sounding or stolen Mark Van Hecke tracks. Like, what the hell? That doesn't belong in "Frogger". That game had no music on SNES, even though it may have in its preliminary development stages as filler.

I will admit, though, that "You Got a Friend in Me" being unused in "Toy Story" was pretty nifty.

YK, I know you're burned out, but at the very least, I hope you can post the updated Final Fight set on the site: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=532 . The current version on the site has some incorrect track names and order issues.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:32 am 
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I've been offering to help with the updates for quite some time (including when I was with the spcdumpers)... and I know what type of files you use just to get 'em up there... they're .m3u files.

The only thing that's holding me back is an application that can generate these type of files with #EXTINF in them...

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Just consider me your friendly SPC dumper. Also a bit of a perfectionist (though not too literally)... I make sure my dumps are at the first note. I might even hack away the SFX if needed.

Want a music modifier for a particular SNES game? All you need to do is ask via PM (or you can check out the Music Modifiers topic and post there) and I'll be on the job. ^_^

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:11 pm 
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oh i thought this was all done with :(

sometimes the fancy tracknames are even more confusing to people who have and haven't played the game. Earthbound is a good example ~ "Boy Meets Girl" is ambiguous compared to "Twoson", which isn't a generic title to begin with. same with "Hi Hi Hi" vs. "Saturn Valley", "You've Come Far" vs "Coffee Break" and others. the obvious titles are often the best - most recognisable, most meaningful, descriptive and functional.... they're perfect honestly, so that's why it's confusing to see the need to reach for alternatives.

the reason it can be construed as disrespectful is because it's a creative decision being made about someone else's creative work, especially as the soundtracks are being published in a way that give them some gravity and officiality. really and truly, only the original authors/game developer can make these decisions. if they have, just follow their lead, and if they haven't, it's best to be as objective about naming as possible. it seems the only real benefit to improvised titles is in making sets look "showy", but it's a pretense in reality, and often times they're designed with one person's own coloured perspective of a game and the meaning/experience they personally derived from it (confusing to people who may not have had the same experience.)

i agree in the case of kinopio -> toad, that makes sense, since it's just localisations. with that i'm indifferent either way i guess... if an OST used romanisations of the japanese names, i wouldn't be disappointed if they were kept or translated. that seems less crucial, because it's the same semantic ultimately.

it's a bummer about not being able to propegate composer changes... datschge should fix that. there's many things that hold this site back :( as brilliant a resource as it is it could be even better if only the user base were able and encouraged to contribute information.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:12 pm 
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And that's why I have this really big composer TODO list here. So they don't get lost... especially since some of them have been there for more than a year!

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Just consider me your friendly SPC dumper. Also a bit of a perfectionist (though not too literally)... I make sure my dumps are at the first note. I might even hack away the SFX if needed.

Want a music modifier for a particular SNES game? All you need to do is ask via PM (or you can check out the Music Modifiers topic and post there) and I'll be on the job. ^_^

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:56 pm 
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blitzlunar wrote:
oh i thought this was all done with :(

sometimes the fancy tracknames are even more confusing to people who have and haven't played the game. Earthbound is a good example ~ "Boy Meets Girl" is ambiguous compared to "Twoson", which isn't a generic title to begin with. same with "Hi Hi Hi" vs. "Saturn Valley", "You've Come Far" vs "Coffee Break" and others. the obvious titles are often the best - most recognisable, most meaningful, descriptive and functional.... they're perfect honestly, so that's why it's confusing to see the need to reach for alternatives.


Before I go any further, I'd like to state that in this regard, you're right. I did not name the Earthbound SPCs, nor do I know who did; at one point, we *did* have more direct names. I assumed "Boy Meets Girl", "Hi Hi Hi", etc. were OST names, given some comments field entries, so I left them as is. They're not the kind of track titles I'd come up with myself.

But again, how "confusing" tracknames are is subjective; whether they're made up by someone on the internet or the composers themselves, confusing is confusing. Unless you're lobbying for *all* SPCs to have basic descriptive tracknames, ignoring the OSTs entirely, that argument is, has always been, and will always remain moot.

Now, moving right along...

blitzlunar wrote:
the reason it can be construed as disrespectful is because it's a creative decision being made about someone else's creative work, especially as the soundtracks are being published in a way that give them some gravity and officiality. really and truly, only the original authors/game developer can make these decisions. if they have, just follow their lead, and if they haven't, it's best to be as objective about naming as possible. it seems the only real benefit to improvised titles is in making sets look "showy", but it's a pretense in reality, and often times they're designed with one person's own coloured perspective of a game and the meaning/experience they personally derived from it (confusing to people who may not have had the same experience.)


Now here we have the prime example of an "opinion". You're fully entitled to it, as well, and are allowed to see things however you wish; I can't change that, nor is it my place to try. However, I feel differently; as I said, I see it as a sign of respect that I care enough about the music to want to elevate it to "Soundtrack Quality" as opposed to using generic filenames that scream "Game Rip". And moreover, most of my custom tracknames, as I've stated, are not even particularly "showy": If you've played a game, you should know what song you're looking for by the way I've named it. If you're looking for the awesome up-tempo song that plays in that factory stage, a quick bit of browsing and you'll find "Crazy Factory" or somesuch. It may even be easier to remember the theme of the stage than what stage number it is; you may not remember it's stage 5, but you remember it was a weird factory. And if you *haven't* played a game, it's literally no better or worse than "Stage 5", except that it gives the listener some idea of *how* the song is used, not simply *where*.

And then there's those instances where coming up with fancy custom titles is simply better to look at than having sixteen songs, of which one is "Title Screen" and the other fifteen are "In-Game Music ##". Due to the haphazard in-game music usage, you're no more likely to pick "In Game Music #8" as the song you're looking for than "Easygoing". In this case, a touch of creativity wins out over fifteen tracknames with the only difference being a number.

Now, if a composer were to contact us and say they didn't like it, that would be one thing. But it's never actually happened, and given the unusual case with the made-up Demon's Crest SPC titles becoming Capcom canon when a soundtrack was released... I don't really ever expect it to. I'll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

Like I said, I'm not saying I'm right or you're wrong. All I'm doing is explaining my views, why I do it, and why I will continue to do so to a limited degree. Anyone who disagrees can go right on doing so; just know that nagging me about it won't make me change my mind. I do what I can to please everyone, but if I'm not able to please myself as well, I can't do a very good job overall.

blitzlunar wrote:
it's a bummer about not being able to propegate composer changes... datschge should fix that. there's many things that hold this site back :( as brilliant a resource as it is it could be even better if only the user base were able and encouraged to contribute information.


I agree. SNESMusic.org *could* be even better than it is; perhaps if there's enough demand, a site overhaul could be in order sometime down the road. That said, I suppose I *could* "ninja-update" those composer info stuffs and just mention it in my usual "Site Update" post and not on the site itself... should work. Maybe. Hopefully? But over 100 of the things? ...yeah, I'd want to scatter those around several smaller updates. :P Or possibly I could relegate those composer updates to KFF. I'd still want to handle new sets or content updates, but it'd be nice to have someone helping with the smaller jobs.

(Heck, if I had my way, I'd allow for multiple downloads of each set. One with artsy titles, ones with more direct ones (even if an OST is available), ones with timers removed for those who like to just let songs loop endlessly, etc. A guy can dream... ;) )

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:32 pm 
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YK wrote:
I agree. SNESMusic.org *could* be even better than it is; perhaps if there's enough demand, a site overhaul could be in order sometime down the road. That said, I suppose I *could* "ninja-update" those composer info stuffs and just mention it in my usual "Site Update" post and not on the site itself... should work. Maybe. Hopefully? But over 100 of the things? ...yeah, I'd want to scatter those around several smaller updates. :P Or possibly I could relegate those composer updates to KFF. I'd still want to handle new sets or content updates, but it'd be nice to have someone helping with the smaller jobs.

(Heck, if I had my way, I'd allow for multiple downloads of each set. One with artsy titles, ones with more direct ones (even if an OST is available), ones with timers removed for those who like to just let songs loop endlessly, etc. A guy can dream... ;) )


If you have some sort of instructions for how I can do so, then I would be happy to get going with the composer info. I have a big TODO list (it's thanks to me that I have all this info for those missing composers) to get going on.

Oh, and just to let the folks know: sometimes it's not just the composer info that gets added. I've got a complete redump for Battle Cars, which has the composer info on the website, but not on the tagging (I don't mind this, but I do mind if the reverse happens: composer info in the tagging, but not on the website. Keeper would be one of those sets.).

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Just consider me your friendly SPC dumper. Also a bit of a perfectionist (though not too literally)... I make sure my dumps are at the first note. I might even hack away the SFX if needed.

Want a music modifier for a particular SNES game? All you need to do is ask via PM (or you can check out the Music Modifiers topic and post there) and I'll be on the job. ^_^

SPC Set Progress Log


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