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  • Apr
    • 1 comment on blog post New Usability Features Released
      • 9:01 - olivier: I'd like to add that the quick search is still a work in progress. I still want to make the suggestions more effective. Also, I'd like to extend it to the music search, based on songs you liked
  • Apr
  • Dec
    • 1 comment on blog post Minor Updates Released Today
      • 8:12 - SilentK: I don't know when you added (or maybe it's always been there) this feature; but the "Play next" option on the queue drop-down is really great. Thanks for a really great listening environment!
  • Nov
    • 1 comment on blog post Minor Updates Released Today
      • 8:05 - Christina Horn: I just wanted to say thank you for all your work. I don't speak up enough...so I am now! There are lots of people out there enjoying this service who never will, but know we are out here! I check back regularly to see what's new! Keep it alive!
  • Nov
  • Nov
  • Aug
    • 1 comment on blog post The Future of Uvumi
      • 7:56 - Ark Arsenal: Solid performance, Uvumi team. I've only been a member for a little while, but I am psyched to use the site every single day.

        Hope your break involves some serious vegging out, with a huge emphasis on letting your brains turn to mush. Best remedy out there.
  • Aug
  • Aug
  • blog post Report So We Had Some Downtime

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jul 31, 2015 - 23:15 by Marshall Stokes
    Uvumi.com was offline for nearly a week (thus the gap in our charts). The problem began as very strange networking issues, which originally were attributed to an issue on our primary server. But then the symptoms spread to another server at our data center (kindly hosted free of charge by Sprux LLC, my consulting firm).

    I have been traveling with my family for the past couple of weeks but when I realized this was a potentially serious issue, I got on the phone with staff at the data center and they helped me identify the issue. The backbone network switch had experienced a partial hardware failure. I literally grabbed the next flight back to Reno, NV where the servers live and replaced the failed device with a backup unit.

    Anyway, sorry for the downtime, and I have implemented measures to address situations like this more promptly in the future.
  • blog post Report We're still here!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Mar 21, 2015 - 20:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Wow, it has been some years since our last post to this blog. Not much has changed here at Uvumi, and that's both a good and a bad thing. It's good because it shows just how stable and well tested the existing platform is, holding up to the test of time despite the fact that we built features here from scratch that literally did not exist back in 2009 when we began this project. On the other hand, it's unfortunate that we haven't had time or resources to add any new features or fix some of the minor bugs that we have known about for quite some time. Such is the life of an idealistic project that truly had no long term business plan, which is of course necessary to keep the bills paid and the platform evolving to meet the needs of its users.

    All that said, I have pushed a number of small improvements to the code base over the last couple of weeks, though they are primarily fixes and hacks to help curb the recent problem we have been having with spam accounts.

    Uvumi is only still here because I personally moved it to its own dedicated server in my private company's rack at my local data center years ago. All these years I have kept this site online out-of-pocket because, deep down, I believe Uvumi has a very bright future. Much of the technology we developed was not only way ahead of the curve (and has since been copied or recreated by countless major websites and online services), but the community Uvumi attracted remains impressive to this day, in my opinion. We may not see a lot of traffic or tons of new artists signing up regularly, but there are still active users and, no doubt, loads of talented artists out there who still would like a community-driven platform like this to use as a way to connect with fans and build their brands.

    So, Uvumi's future, while somewhat uncertain at this point, isn't necessarily bleak. I will continue to host the site as long as possible, respond to user support inquiries, and dream of the day when we can resume work on the project in a way that benefits the community and also pays the bills.


    Marshall Stokes
  • blog post Report New Usability Features Released

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Apr 25, 2011 - 5:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Over the weekend we released some new features! We believe these updates make Uvumi more user-friendly and will help cut down on some of the confusion that many new users experience:

    * Player song queue now auto-expands on mouseover. For many new users, it wasn't immediately clear that the player window could be expanded by clicking a hard-to-notice icon on the black bar beneath it. So we changed the way it works, and we think it will help novice and advanced users alike. So far I am a big fan of this change, especially since the player queue can be "pinned" open (look for the red push-pin icon when expanded) and you still have the ability to re-size the queue height if you want.

    * Profile management tabs! Finally, a solution to the confusing nature of managing band profiles alongside your personal profile. Have a look at your Dash to see how this works. Basically, you always know which profile you're working on based on which tab is active at the top of the content part of the page.

    * Quick search: Olivier made the search box at the top of each page much more useful! Give it a try! It pre-loads your friends and favorites so you can get to their profiles MUCH faster when you search, completely bypassing the search results page!

    * Spam control improvement -- We updated our flagging system to help us remove spam comments faster and more effectively. Please, if you see spam comments on any profile on the site, flag the comment and flag the user who left the comment. We'll take care of the rest!

    There might be a couple of bug fixes in this update I forgot to mention, but the important improvements are outlined above. If you don't like it or you have any feedback, let us know!
  • blog post Report Server migration this weekend

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Apr 7, 2011 - 12:30 by Marshall Stokes
    update: I didn't manage to make as much progress on this task today as I had hoped. As a result, the downtime will occur this weekend. I'll keep you posted!

    I'm working today on migrating Uvumi.com to a new set of servers at Amazon's EC2 cloud. This move is a cost-cutting measure -- a new cluster configuration will cut our monthly hosting fees in half, and since traffic remains pretty steady these days, we can operate with a bit less computing power than we used to require.

    If all goes well this afternoon, I hope to perform the actual site migration some time this evening, and it will involve a bit of downtime. If you try to visit Uvumi.com tonight and it's offline or otherwise broken, don't fret, we're not going dark forever, and once we go down I should have things back up and running within an hour or so.
  • blog post Report Bug fixes!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Apr 7, 2011 - 6:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Hi everyone, wow it has been a while since we updated Uvumi, and today's update isn't major, it just addresses a few bugs that have cropped up with recent web browser releases. Here's the list:

    * Fixed broken "Leave Comment" buttons in Chrome browser

    * Improved photo cropping system so that, when managing a band profile, you won't end up back on your personal profile after cropping a photo from a personal album (for example when setting band avatar)

    * Private message system now allows replying to messages even if the sender is not in your friends list. This is useful when you're in a band but you aren't friend-connected to some of the other members, and one sends out a PM to all band members.

    * Fixed duplicated personal info fields in public user profiles (for example, displaying location or label twice). That was a bug I introduced in one of the more recent updates. I also removed the display of "gender" as I don't think it's especially necessary/helpful. Please let me know if I am mistaken on that one.

    That's it for this update, but we have much more planned. Lots more bug fixes and some major improvements, including a possible redesign of the front page and a potential major upgrade to the profile management interface. Also still in the works: Last.fm scrobbling and maybe even facebook integration!

    Let us know what you think. The team is pretty much down to just me and Olivier at this point, and since Olivier is the guy to go to for really big code changes, I suggest you all click over to his profile and leave him some encouraging messages to help motivate him to spend his off-hours working on Uvumi!


  • blog post Report Minor Updates Released Today

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Nov 11, 2010 - 8:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Can you believe it? We updated Uvumi.com!

    It's been a good break, we needed it. Here are some of the things that have been fixed/improved with this release:

    * Eliminated delay in loading tags and favorite status into player when a song starts

    * Added new Contact fields for Bandcamp and official label URL

    * Improved/fixed some minor issues with Group feeds (but they're still not as complete as we would like)

    * Added "Disbanded Date" setting to band profiles, for those of you who have pages for bands that aren't together anymore

    While we have taken some time away from this project, we still intend to return in full force to bust out some major upgrades in a couple of months. We're all working full time to keep the bills paid, but we're still committed to Uvumi and we promise to keep you informed about future plans and releases as details become available.

    Thanks again to everyone for being part of Uvumi! Contact us any time with questions/suggestions/complaints/whatever!

    - Marshall
  • blog post Report The Future of Uvumi

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Aug 19, 2010 - 8:15 by Marshall Stokes
    As many of you probably already know (or suspect), things aren't happening quickly these days at Uvumi HQ. It takes us weeks to prepare and launch updates to the site, and we haven't had a major feature release in months.

    I think it's important to mention that without you, without the community that has cropped up around this project, we would have thrown in the towel long ago. The enthusiasm and positivity of Uvumi's many members is what keeps us motivated to stick with this project, and we want to sincerely thank all of you for that, it means a lot to us.

    There are a number of things slowing us down these days, but what it ultimately comes down to is that we are feeling pretty burnt out. We have worked on this project non-stop for nearly three years, and at this point it's hard to make time for the daunting design and programming tasks that we have planned, particularly because we also work full time at our day jobs. But knowing that there are so many dedicated Uvumi users out there, and based on so many encouraging and sincere comments from artists using the service, we have no intention of giving up on this!

    So, we're taking some time off. Starting now. Team Uvumi needs to step back and take a break from this project for a while, in order to gather our thoughts and prepare for the future.

    And what is that future? Well, lately we have spent much of our free time designing and planning new features and improvements. Things like song recommendations for listeners, a way for artists to easily sell song downloads, Last.fm scrobbling, and upgrades to the entire song management system. There are more, but I won't go into excessive detail right now.

    I hope you will all stick with us even though we're taking a break, and at least subscribe to our RSS feed, Twitter feed, or our Facebook page so you can be notified of our status when we start moving forward with Uvumi.com improvements :)

    Thanks to everyone for all the support, and for being part of Uvumi, it means a lot to us and it keeps us motivated!

  • blog post Report Uvumi.com Updates, August 18, 2010

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Aug 18, 2010 - 4:15 by Marshall Stokes
    We released an update to Uvumi.com last night! Here's a summary of what's new:

    - Added support for WAV format in song upload interface
    - Improved "member count" data in band and group search results
    - Added option to the Song Search page to show only songs that are downloadable
    - Fixed bug in Groups pages that caused minor browser errors under certain conditions
    - Added "Disbanded Date" field for band profiles
    - Added permanent URL system for song charts. Now you can go to http://www.uvumi.com/charts/rock and get the current Rock chart, for example
    - Fixed bug in scrolling window title in Chrome and IE
    - Greatly improved search-by-genre algorithm in the song search engine, and finally fixed the incorrect song counts on the Browse Genres page!
    - Added feeds for Uvumi Groups, so new activity that happens in groups you are a member of will appear in your Dash (only for new members and new discussions, but we'll add more soon)
    - Added email notification to let group managers know when there are pending requests to join, and also an option to disable this notification
    - Increased the maximum number of groups that can be joined to 8 (instead of 3)

    I decided to increase the number of groups each member can join because the old limit seemed to restrictive. Maybe we shouldn't even have a limit? I guess we'll just see how things go, and if group activity picks up at all once we get the rest of the notifications and dash updates in place.

    Sadly, things have not been moving quickly in terms of improving and upgrading Uvumi.com, and that probably won't change any time soon. I will be making an announcement about the future of Uvumi soon, so check back here for updates, or better yet, subscribe to the Team Uvumi Blog RSS feed.

    Talk to you soon,
  • blog post Report Fixed: UTF-8 Support

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jul 3, 2010 - 6:15 by Marshall Stokes
    Thanks to Lajos for reporting issues with UTF-8 characters in many areas of Uvumi.com. We have finally fixed this issue and I am happy to announce that Uvumi.com now fully supports UTF-8 international characters everywhere on the website.

    Example: 私たちの使命には、アーティストに力を与える広範囲の作成と芸術の消費を促進し、芸術的なコミュニティに値を追加します。

    (if the above looks like gibberish to you, your computer probably doesn't support UTF-8)

    In other news, things are not moving quickly at Uvumi HQ. Between Olivier's new full time job in Belgium, and my working full-time hours as a freelance consultant, progress on Uvumi features and upgrades are just not moving as quickly as we would like. Unfortunately, we will probably be stuck in this rut for a while, as it's going to take many weeks for us to build, test, and launch the new features we're working on, such as upgrades to Uvumi Groups, upgrades to the song management system (including increasing the streaming audio quality), and our planned platform that will enable artists to sell high quality versions of their songs from their Uvumi profiles.

    In the meantime, I hope our members will continue using the service and providing feedback whenever possible. We are still growing daily, and Uvumi remains a great way for artists to connect with new fans and to get their music heard by listeners all over the world.

    Thanks for being part of Uvumi :)

  • blog post Report Really Fixed: Linux Uploading to Uvumi.com

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jun 8, 2010 - 16:00 by Marshall Stokes
    A couple days ago I announced that the linux upload bug had been resolved, but that turned out to be incorrect. While we did overhaul the uploading system, it didn't actually solve the linux issue.

    Research and debugging indicated that the problem was being caused by a shortcoming in one of Amazon's cloud services, specifically "Elastic Load Balancer", which we use to spread traffic to Uvumi.com over multiple web servers in our cluster. I won't get into the dirty bits of this issue, but if there are any web developers out there having issues related to Amazon EC2, Flash, and file uploads, feel free to email me at support@uvumi.com for details on how we solved the problem.

    Anyway, tests run here at Uvumi HQ indicate that the issue has been totally resolved, but if anyone out there has a linux machine and would be willing to test song or photo uploads, we would love to know if you encounter any problems!

    Thanks, and sorry for the inconvenience to our linux members!

    UPDATE: A number of linux-using member have confirmed the issue has been resolved. Yay!
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