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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 Today: Tuning the Back End

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jun 7, 2010 - 11:15 by Marshall Stokes
    Uvumi is blowing up today! We were featured on the front page of LifeHacker (here's the story), and as a result our servers are getting hammered with all the traffic. We haven't had any down time, but things were a bit rocky when this morning when the listeners started pouring in. One issue that has cropped up is our dedicated song transcoding server, which hit a snag a few hours ago and didn't recover on its own. This has left dozens of freshly uploaded songs waiting in the queue, but not to worry, it's back online and doing it's job, grinding through the uploads as quickly as it can!

    Thanks to LifeHacker.com and MakeUseOf.com for featuring Uvumi recently, and I hope that all these new listeners will keep us informed of their opinions and complaints! Uvumi is nowhere near perfect, but we continue to work hard to improve the service and implement requested features to the best of our ability!
  • blog post Report Fixed: Non-working file uploads on Linux

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jun 6, 2010 - 11:30 by Marshall Stokes
    Thanks to members who contacted me about an issue with posting songs and photos from Linux operating systems, the bug has been fixed and I am now happy to announce that (based on my testing) Uvumi members can once again upload files from Linux systems!

    The issue seems to have been introduced in a recent update to the Flash plugin for Linux, and it went largely unnoticed due to the very small percentage of members who use the operating system. If you still experience the issue, please be sure to clear your browser's cache and reload the page, as some browsers have odd caching habits and it's possible that some relevant resources won't be refreshed without a cache flush. If you still experience issues, please let us know as soon as possible! support@uvumi.com

    There is one additional update in today's release: we changed the group profile photo behavior so that owners and managers who click the photo will return to the main group profile page instead of bringing up the cropping tool to set a new group picture. To change the group profile picture, use the link near the top of the Management box in the right-hand column.
  • blog post Report Uvumi Groups Are Officially Live

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Jun 1, 2010 - 8:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Uvumi.com went offline for a few hours late last night as we rolled out the code for Uvumi Groups and converted existing band-groups and content. Some server maintenance was also performed in preparation for future upgrades, and everything seems to be up and running without any major issues.

    Group owners and members should be aware that groups which were converted last night will need to be examined, as the new group profile image size is different than the old one, and for simplicity's sake we reset it to the system default image, which is rather boring. Also, groups are private and moderated by default, so if you want everyone to be able to create discussions and/or post new photos, owners and managers should update group settings on the main page for each group.

    You will also notice that we removed the 'Songs' link from the handy dropdown navigation menu (hover your mouse over the username just beneath the player), and replaced it with a link to your Groups management page.

    I'm sure there will be questions, complaints, bug reports, etc, so please send those my way, either by leaving a comment here or emailing support@uvumi.com, and we'll work to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

    Your feedback is critical to the success of this project, so please let us know what you think!
  • blog post Report Uvumi Groups: Let's Do This

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on May 24, 2010 - 8:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Yes, finally, Uvumi Groups are ready to launch! First things first, we need to convert existing bands that are being used as groups into real Uvumi Groups, and that has some implications for members.

    First of all, under the new Uvumi Groups design, you can only be in a maximum of three groups at a time. So for those of you who are currently in more than three band-groups, it would be best if you trimmed it down to your three favorites before we do the conversion, because if you don't, the conversion routine will simply decide for you. You can always fix it later, so no big deal.

    Other concerns are that some content from existing band profiles will be tossed out during the conversion: songs, events, press reviews, press kits, videos, and fans. Items that will survive the conversion are members, invitations, join requests, blocked users, photos, profile comments, photo comments, and blog posts and comments. Blog posts and their comments will be converted to Group Discussion threads.

    Next, it's important that everyone understands that this new feature is a very basic design. There are no fancy bells or whistles attached yet (like music integration or advanced sharing features), it's basically just like what you're already using with bands, only there is an additional "Discussions" section and there is no function to allow mass messaging to all members. However, the interface is a bit different and there is no separate management area since all management functions can be performed directly on the group profile pages.

    Also lacking in this initial release are notifications of any kind. Currently there are no email notifications or even Dash notifications of new activity on group pages. I will be working on getting Dash notifications up and running as soon as possible, and after that I will implement optional email notifications.

    The following is a list of bands that will be converted to Uvumi Groups:

    * T61 refugees
    * Lost and Found
    * Electro Freaks
    * Beat Geeks
    * Space Monkeys
    * The Goons
    * Audiophilia
    * Cheesy Taters
    * Ladies First
    * Parents Who Still Love Music
    * The Good Traveler
    * Lovers Of Music Collisions
    * Emoters in UV

    Please let me know as soon as possible if any of these groups should not be converted!

    This launch will take place Monday, May 31, 2010, at 11:30pm Central Time (USA), and will require up to three hours of website downtime so I can also perform maintenance on our servers.

    Once Uvumi Groups are rolled out, hopefully we'll get any bugs fixed quickly, and we'll figure out what other features to integrate. Things like custom song charts based on what group members are listening to, group playlists, and any other improvements the community can come up with.

    Thanks everyone, and I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies for how incredibly long this has taken. As I gain more experience as Uvumi's new lead programmer I hope that updates will more more frequent!
  • blog post Report Fresh Updates!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on May 12, 2010 - 14:45 by Marshall Stokes
    It is my pleasure to announce some excellent, albeit minor, improvements to Uvumi.com today:

    - Added feature to intelligently scroll currently playing artist and track name in browser/tab title when you're not actively using that tab. This was requested by many Uvumi members, and was even brought up in my interview on DownloadSquad a while back.

    - Removed play/queue buttons for default songs from profile title areas, to reduce confusion. Default songs will now only appear inside profile avatars when you have a song chosen for that feature.

    - Improved player buffering: We increased the size of the buffer required by the player before it can start playing back an audio stream. This should reduce the chance of skips and hiccups due to poor network performance or other issues with the connection between the player and our servers. Please let us know if you notice any problems or issues with this change!

    - Added new column to member search results: Members. Shows the number of members in a band (or group, soon!). Also cleaned up column layout in search results area.

    - Fixed a terrible bug in playlist management pages that made it so you could not use the checkboxes or even play songs from the page. Thanks to those of you who wrote to us about that issue!

    - Fixed a bug that caused incorrect image sizes to appear in the expanded music player under certain conditions.

    - Fixed a bug that caused pages in the Events Search area to not navigate correctly.

    - Fixed a bug in event creation interface that caused event listing to be prematurely submitted when a dropdown item was clicked

    - Fixed a bug in the song genre search area that caused pages to navigate incorrectly

    - Fixed a bug that caused song play/queue buttons to not work when user clicks for "More Updates" on the Dash

    - Fixed a bug that allowed Playlists to be created with invalid names which resulted in nameless playlists.

    Whew! That was a big one! But the best is yet to come... we're expecting to actually release the new Uvumi Groups feature before the end of the month (possibly sooner). And we have quite a few other improvements coming up this summer, so be sure to check back or at least follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Team Uvumi Blog RSS feed to stay informed about what we're up to here.
  • blog post Report Recent Website Issues

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on May 5, 2010 - 5:30 by Marshall Stokes
    It seems we are having some minor issues with our servers this week, including our image server randomly failing and also an occasional "Cannot connect to database" message when trying to use Uvumi.com.

    I have traced these problems to an internal DNS issue on our production cluster at Amazon's cloud. The problem essentially comes from my lack of experience running EC2 server instances in a cluster configuration, and I am working on a solution this week. I hope to have things back in working order some time this weekend. In the meantime, I will be monitoring the cluster to make sure I can get in there and bring things back online in case there are more failures.

    Sorry if this issue has been affecting you!

  • blog post Report Uvumi News: What's Next?

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on May 1, 2010 - 11:45 by Marshall Stokes
    It's time to bring everyone up to speed on what's happening behind the scenes at Uvumi.com.

    Capital Factory

    We didn't get it. It's a bit disappointing, but then again we learned a lot from the application experience and it drove us to explore ideas and alternatives we hadn't seriously considered before. So in the end it's a good thing we did it, and all the support we received from the Uvumi community was incredibly encouraging--thank you all for that!

    What's Next

    There are some major improvements we want to build for Uvumi.com as soon as possible, not the least of which is completing the new Uvumi Groups feature. There are two reasons we haven't finished and launched this feature yet: 1) March's datacenter debacle which ultimately required me and Michele to drive to northern California and pick up our hardware (4000 mile round trip), which of course was very time consuming; and 2) Since Uvumi is currently cash-poor and unable to hire programming services, Olivier has been spending his time working on paying projects and seeking out full time employment.

    Though we did not win the CF prize (which we would have spent building revenue-generating features for Uvumi), and the team is essentially down to just me and Michele, I know that we need to continue moving forward no matter what it takes. Thankfully, Olivier has agreed to spend the next couple of weeks training me to take over the Uvumi code base, which is no small endeavor, but something that I am confident I can tackle (I do have a programming background, but Olivier wrote the vast majority of the code for Uvumi.com while I designed and built the infrastructure, and managed the overall project).

    The first thing we will do is fix some existing bugs, then wrap up the basic Uvumi Groups feature, then design and begin implementing a feature to allow artists to sell high quality song downloads on their Uvumi profiles. We will also be increasing the streaming bitrate very soon, and we have plans to expand the amount of control artists have over their songs.

    Anyway, just wanted to keep everyone informed. I know it has been quiet around here for the past couple of months, but I want everyone to know that the team is still committed to this project, and that we are doing the best we can to move things forward and improve the service. In my opinion, Uvumi is on the come up now, it's just a matter if time before we really get things moving again :)
  • blog post Report Uvumi's Capital Factory Video

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Apr 8, 2010 - 4:30 by Marshall Stokes
    Hi Everyone! Thanks for all the support on our last blog post, it really means a lot to us to have such a great community backing us during this phase of our development :)

    I want to share the video pitch we made as part of our Capital Factory application, even though it's pretty boring ;)

  • blog post Report Uvumi Is Applying For Capital Factory!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Apr 3, 2010 - 7:30 by Marshall Stokes

    Dear Uvumi Members,

    As you know, Team Uvumi is dedicated to this website and its mission: to empower artists and promote the widespread creation and consumption of art. Ultimately we wish to become the best place on the internet for discovering new music and supporting the artists you love (for fans) and for connecting with new fans (for artists), and we believe that goal starts with fostering a strong member community from the beginning. So far, the community here at Uvumi.com has been incredible, and it is clearly the most important and attractive aspect of the site. The people who are gathering here to discover music and interact with other members are obviously the primary reason why so many artists have created Uvumi profiles.

    39515v2-max-250x250.pngWe have decided to apply for Capital Factory, an Austin-based startup accelerator that provides a unique combination of seed funding, mentoring, and professional services from real entrepreneurs who have already found success with their own projects.

    We ask those of you who believe in Uvumi and our mission, to please leave us a comment on this blog post explaining what you like about Uvumi or why you think we're heading in a positive direction. We will include a link to this post in our application, so Capital Factory can get an idea of what the community here is all about and what you, the members of the community, think about this project. We realize it's a bit presumptuous to call upon you to back us up in our business endeavors, but then again, it's not just Team Uvumi around here anymore, it's an ever-expanding community of thousands of artists and music fans!

    Many thanks to everyone for being part of this project, and thank you all in advance for your support and involvement!
  • blog post Report Uvumi Update March 25, 2010

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Mar 25, 2010 - 19:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Oh man, what a week it has been! And unfortunately for me it's still not over, but hey desperate times call for desperate measures, right?

    Some of you have have probably noticed that things have been a bit off since we moved to the cloud this week. Stuff like email notifications not showing up, or showing up in duplicates and sometimes after long delays, and also problems with the music player not connecting quickly, or not connecting at all. Well, I have noticed, too, and I have been working all day to resolve these issues.

    The music player is back to normal and functioning perfectly at this time, I was able to make some changes to the server to allow it to work from Amazon's cloud network. The email notifications are still a work in progress, though I am confident I can have it back to normal in the next 12 hours. The situation has arisen from the fact that the IP address Amazon assigned us for our mail server is permanently blacklisted at Spamhaus, so most of the major email providers won't accept connections from our server. Solution is to set up an off-site mail relay that can take care of that task, and I am currently in the process of doing that.

    We also were having an issue with our transcoding server, and artists who had uploaded WMA files had to wait until I saw the problem and fixed it before those songs became available for streaming. That issue is solved.

    Now for the good news! We launched an update to Uvumi.com today with some minor improvements that should make your experience more enjoyable here:

    - Improved song search by genre. Specifically, made it so you can do an actual sort by each column, whereas previously the sorting function was inaccurate. Also added "Relevance" column so you can see a visual representation of how well each result matches your search term.

    - Fixed a number of issues in Internet Explorer, most notably a bug that prevented proper downloading of Uvumi Press Kits and songs, plus a few other minor bugs in IE that members reported

    - Improved music player queue interface by fixing a bug that caused artist photos to disappear under certain conditions, and also by adding a method of resizing the queue window when it is expanded (you can now drag from the bottom of the queued songs area).

    Unfortunately we also introduced a new bug with this release. The Play All and Queue All buttons on the song search page are currently dysfunctional when you try to click them after you have entered a search term. We should have that fixed some time in the next couple of days! Also, the song search by genre still needs work, it currently doesn't return as many results as it should, so we're working on that as well and hope to have a fix soon because it could be such a powerful discovery tool.

    I want to give a special thanks to Hollidayrain for making such great house/trance songs. His music is just what the doctor ordered for super all-nighter technical jobs. If anyone has any other techno/house music to recommend, I would love to hear it!
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