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  • Apr
    25
    2011
    • 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
    7
    2011
  • Dec
    10
    2010
    • 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
    23
    2010
    • 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
    12
    2010
  • Nov
    11
    2010
  • Aug
    27
    2010
    • 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
    26
    2010
  • Aug
    20
    2010
  • blog post Report Uvumi Is On The Cloud!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Mar 24, 2010 - 9:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Hi everyone! We have officially moved to The Cloud! (unrelated song reference: Dark Cloud by Mod Laser)

    Uvumi.com is now hosted on Amazon's EC2 service, and while it's not quite as powerful as the server cluster we had at our old facility, it does offer the advantage of allowing us to scale up with future growth quickly and easily.

    Anyway, things seem to be working well right now, although we are having some issues with email notifications. It seems Amazon doesn't allow its customers to send out mass amounts of email messages, and Uvumi.com sends a lot of emails, all those comment notifications and daily updates to thousands of members. I am working to resolve this issue and I expect to have it figured out by the end of the day.

    Coming up soon is a fresh new release of Uvumi.com that will fix a couple of small issues and add some minor tweaks and improvements throughout the site. We still aren't ready to launch Uvumi Groups, sadly, but that is definitely still in the works. At this time we are just too strapped for resources, and Olivier doesn't have as much time to write code for Uvumi due to his day job. We apologize for the (massive) delay in the release of this highly anticipated feature, and we hope you all understand that we're doing the best we can!

    Thanks for all the support, this has been a trying time for the entire Uvumi team, and we're looking forward to continuing to pursue our mission with Uvumi.com :)

    Marshall

    ps - don't mind my song links, i just thought it would be fun to add a little music to this post! ;)
  • blog post Report MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Downtime Ahead!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Mar 15, 2010 - 7:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Hi Everyone,

    You may have noticed that we have been a little quiet for the past week or so, and that Uvumi Groups have not yet been launched. Well, here's what's going on, and this will affect the entire website in the coming week or so.

    The data center where our servers are located is changing locations, which, needless to say, is potentially disastrous for Uvumi.com. This news comes on such short notice that it has created a Do or Die situation here, mainly because their new location does not have space for us to move along with them. Also, the servers are located in northern California, yet we are based in Austin, Texas. Clearly, this is a big issue for us. We are faced with quite a dilemma, and our options seem to be either physically moving our servers to a new colocation facility (which would involve a lot of expensive travel as well as major downtime) or migrating Uvumi.com to "the cloud".

    We have decided to go with the cloud option, and I am currently working on getting us up and running on Amazon's EC2 platform. This is a very, very big task and I will be working as many hours as I can physically handle over the next week to make it happen. Hopefully things will be smooth and I won't run into any major issues with this move, but there is a good chance that Uvumi.com will be offline for as long as 48 hours some time in the next 7-10 days. Obviously I will do the best I can to ensure that our downtime is limited to no more than an hour or so, but migrating from physical servers we own to virtual servers in the cloud may not be very easy, as Uvumi has a LOT of custom code and systems running on the back end and I am unsure if everything will port easily to Amazon's cloud.

    Needless to say, Uvumi Groups will be put on hold until this move is complete. We have to prioritize the migration at this time, as it's more important to keep us up and running than it is to roll out new features right now.

    I will post another announcement when I know the exact time we will be going offline for the final migration, and I expect Uvumi.com to be down for at least 1-2 hours when that time comes.

    I sincerely hope you all will bear with us during this unfortunate situation. Frankly, this kind of thing is not supposed to happen. Data centers aren't supposed to change locations, ever. But we have to deal with the situation in front of us, and we have to do it fast to keep this thing alive.

    Thanks for listening, and thanks for being part of Uvumi! We fully appreciate the fact that it's you, the community that resides here, who make up Uvumi.com, and without you we wouldn't exist! If you have any questions or anything, you can always email us at support@uvumi.com, though at this point we're going to be focusing on the migration, so we may not have a lot of time to respond for the next week or so.

    Sincerely,
    Marshall
  • blog post Report Groups are coming!

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 26, 2010 - 14:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Ok, it's taken longer than we hoped, but we're finally ready to start developing the Uvumi Groups feature to provide the functionality that so many of you want and are currently trying to get from band profiles.

    Olivier has already laid the groundwork for basic groups, and we plan to launch the feature in (hopefully!) about 2 weeks. Here's what Uvumi Groups will have in the first release:

    * Control - Group owners control if the group is open to the public or if new members must submit a request to join.

    * Moderators - Owners can define certain members as moderators of the group, with varying permissions (approve new members, remove members, remove comments/discussions, create/edit photo albums, etc)

    * Spam Control - group members will not be able to mass-message the entire group

    * Upgraded comments wall - We're considering a "quote" feature, and we're also trying to decide how to best implement comment replies. Are you happy with the current comment system? We like nested replies, but sometimes it's tough to find comments that have new replies... what if the original comment (with replies) was moved to the top of the list when a new reply is posted? Any ideas you guys have for upgrading the comment wall in groups would be greatly appreciated!

    * Group Discussions - Forum-style discussions (more on this as we develop it). Any ideas or requests regarding this feature would be greatly appreciated!

    * Photo albums - will be similar to existing photo albums for normal profiles, except group owners will be able to create public albums so any group member can contribute photos. Albums could also be private, so only owner/moderators can post photos. We haven't entirely figured this feature out, so, again, any suggestions or requests on that from you would be great!

    We're going to start with this, and because we won't be spending weeks and months testing it and rooting out all the bugs, we're hoping that the community here can help us find bugs and upgrade the base group system to meet your needs.

    After we launch the initial base features, we'll quickly start working on the music features of Uvumi Groups. Stuff like group charts, group playlists, and recommended songs based on group listening habits and/or defined genres. More on that later, but please feel free to give us your ideas on this area of Uvumi Groups, too!

    We realize that the whole idea behind groups is to share music, but we want to get the base features launched as soon as possible to resolve the current issues that have come up from using band profiles as makeshift groups. We figure it's best to just get something out there as fast as we can, and improve and upgrade it as a community effort.

    And of course, we will convert the current "groups" to real Uvumi Groups once the new system is launched.

    So, what do you think? Is everyone ready for this? ;)
  • blog post Report Feb 21, 2010 - Site Updates

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 21, 2010 - 10:45 by Marshall Stokes
    Just a few minor improvements today:

    - Added function to add currently playing song to playlist (expand player queue to find that link)

    - Minor layout changes to player queue area to accommodate new "Add to playlist" link

    - Added support for adding entire play queue to existing playlist (this was actually launched a while ago, we just forgot to announce it!)

    - Fixed bug that prevented band photo to be set when selecting image from personal photo albums

    - Fixed bug that prevented comment replies from being expanded on profiles where comments are limited to friends only

    - Changed minimum play time to 5 seconds before a song is added to listener history

    - Added more buttons in various places to remove yourself from a band, as it was difficult for some users to find this function

    I think that is about it. There are a few more bug fixes we are actively working on, as well as the design specs for the upcoming Uvumi Groups feature. So, check back here for new announcements!
  • blog post Report Spam on Uvumi

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 18, 2010 - 14:30 by Marshall Stokes
    As many of you have already noticed, some members are abusing the private messaging system to mass-mail lots of users at once to promote their profiles and songs. While this is a promotional platform, and we fully expect people to push the limits of what can be accomplished with Uvumi.com, obviously there needs to be more control for this type of thing.

    Here's the issue right now: In lieu of a proper Groups feature, hundreds of members have created band profiles as a temporary solution for forming groups to keep in touch with one another and share songs and comments. We think this is really cool, but it has led to the spam issue because we built the bands feature with real bands in mind, and made it possible to send a private message to all members of a band very easily. Easy communication for bands is good, right? Anyway, this is the aspect of the private message system that is being most abused right now.

    Not to worry, however! We are already in the planning and early development stage of a proper Groups feature, and it will definitely solve this issue by giving each member control over the kind of communications they receive via groups, and also by giving the group owners and moderators control over how each group operates.

    We will post an announcement and description of our design for Uvumi Groups in the next few days, and we hope to get as much feedback as possible very quickly so we can start finalizing the code and making sure it suits the needs of the Uvumi community. We will also be converting current makeshift "groups" (band profiles being used as groups) to real Uvumi Groups once the system is launched, so it should be pretty easy and seamless from the user perspective.

    Anyway, it's going to be great, and pretty soon all that spam should be eliminated, leaving you to carefully manage your friends and weed out those who send you unsolicited messages.

    Also, in case you don't know about it, be sure to glance over the Notification options in your Account Setup, as there are some useful options to control the notifications you receive via Uvumi.com.
  • blog post Report Ad System Launched

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 11, 2010 - 20:30 by Marshall Stokes
    Here it is! The new advertising system is up and running!

    You may notice that our ads don't look very traditional, and maybe don't even look very much like ads. That's what we're going for. Uvumi's graphic designer, Lloyd Winter, posted on his blog about the designs, which we hope you'll read to get an idea of where we're coming from.

    So, back to the topic of supporting Uvumi.com by purchasing ad space. If you are an Uvumi member who would like to help support the website with your hard-earned dollars, we invite you to purchase ad runs for whatever purpose you would like, either to promote your music, promote someone else's work, or drive traffic to your personal blog/website/whatever. We ask that you keep your ad designs simple and minimal, so they fit nicely into the existing Uvumi.com design.

    We are capable of scheduling ad runs for specific days and times, and we have five different ad zones you can choose for your campaign:

    Ad Zones on Uvumi.com

    Front Page - Upper right-hand corner of the home page, below the site section icons

    Charts Page - Upper right-hand corner, on all Charts pages

    Member Profiles - Upper right-hand corner of all public pages of member profiles

    Aggregated Content - Includes all browse/search pages (songs, people, events) - Upper right-hand corner

    Profile Management - Right side of user avatar box at top of every profile management page

    Ad Sizes on Uvumi.com

    http://img.uvumi.com/photos/1/big/sample-wide.gif

    http://img.uvumi.com/photos/1/big/sample-square.gif

    Pricing

    Non-corporate Uvumi Members: $2/Thousand Impressions

    Corporate Advertisers: Email advertising@uvumi.com for quote

    How to purchase

    At this time we don't have an automated system to submit new ads and make payments. We are going to operate via email and PayPal until we grow a little more, so if you would like to inquire about buying some ad space on Uvumi.com, please email advertising@uvumi.com to get started.
  • blog post Report Discovering Music on Uvumi

    Michele
    Posted on Feb 11, 2010 - 17:00 by Michele
    There are a lot of ways to discover music on uvumi, once you get the hang of it. Click on the Charts icon (next to the Inbox icon just below the player) to see the current charts. Charts go pretty far back, so if you search previous charts (daily, weekly and monthly, and in various genres) you can find some good older stuff. Keep in mind that charts are only generated when there are at least 10 songs in a genre, so there isn't always a chart for every genre.

    Music discovery on Uvumi.comIf you click on the little notes next to the chart icon it takes you to Browse Songs. Sorting by Play Count lets you know what songs have been played the most, which is some indicator of popularity. We tweaked the genre search recently, so that's a good bet for finding songs of a particular genre.

    The next little icon (looks like a list) takes you to all of the Playlists on uvumi. We plan to add a feature in the future so that people can "favorite" a playlist. Sort by Comments to see what playlists are generating buzz.

    You can also check out the Play History and Playlists of other users. If you like someone's taste in music (Marshall, for example), take a look at their Play History (from the Playlists tab on the user's profile, click on History) and click Show Favorites and then queue them up in your player.

    You've probably seen the bands featured on the homepage, but you can also browse through a blog of the previously featured bands. The songs that are chosen for the feature are a good example of the musicians' work.

    We recently added a "Now Playing" box to the homepage if you want to check out what other people are listening to right now.

    There is a "hidden" feature that lets you search for artists with certian skills or influences (not exactly a song search, but it is another discovery tool). On the RHS of a profile, below stats and updates, may be a box with the artist's skills and influences. If you click on one of the skills or influences, it takes you to a search page where you can see other users with that skill/influence and search based on skills and influences.

    Let us know if you've discovered any other ways to find some good tunes!
  • blog post Report Feb 11, 2010 Uvumi.com Updates

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 11, 2010 - 16:00 by Marshall Stokes
    It just never ends, does it? ;)

    Here's what's new in today's update:

    - Added feature to allow only friends to comment on your profile, to help control spam or unwanted commenters. It's the first box at the top of your account setup page.

    - Improved layout of Email Notification options on account setup page.

    - Added feature to allow members to hide some tabs in the profile management area, which may be useful for those who don't plan to use some of the features like Blog, Events, Press Kits, etc. It's the third box down on your account setup page.

    - Fixed a bug that caused the R&B chart to be inaccessible due to improper handling of the & character

    - Fixed some minor layout issues

    - Fixed some bugs that caused deleted accounts to still receive some email notifications and to still be visible on network pages of users and member pages of bands

    - Fixed bug on Browse Genre page that caused site to reload in browser when the search function was used

    - Fixed mixed up links to Account Walkthrough pages from profile about page

    - Fixed bug that caused band events to appear on profile pages of "hidden" band members

    Wow, that was a lot! Nice work Olivier!

    Ok, I'm sure you have all noticed our ads running across the site, so check back here very soon for an official announcement about that.

    Thanks to everyone for all your patience and for being part of Uvumi!
  • blog post Report Feb 10, 2010 - Site Updates

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 10, 2010 - 7:00 by Marshall Stokes
    Just a quick update today, nothing major. Today's update does two things:

    1 - Fixes bug that caused band relationships to remain intact after a user deletes his/her profile, which has resulted in deleted members receiving notification emails for new band profile comments

    2 - Finalizes preparation for the new ad system, which we will begin testing here later today

    We're still working on a couple of other minor bugs, and on the groups feature. I'll do a write up on our plan for groups very soon, to gather one last round of feedback before we finalize the design. We hope to roll out groups in the next couple of weeks, depending on how much testing is required to get it stable.
  • blog post Report Feb 8, 2010 - Updates, Improvements

    Marshall Stokes
    Posted on Feb 8, 2010 - 16:15 by Marshall Stokes
    One more round of minor adjustments here today. We're just trying to get everything stable before we move onto bigger and better stuff (like groups).

    - Improved song search by genre to make it far, far more useful and accurate (this is kind of a big deal)

    - Created "Now Playing" box on front page that shows a small sample of songs that people are listening to right now

    - "New People" box on front page now shows member names when you hover each avatar

    - Altered user play history formula to not count a song as "played" until it has been streamed for at least 5 seconds (requested by multiple members)

    - Added notification option in Account Setup to disable email notifications on new band comments (in case you're getting like 20 emails per day from some of the larger band-groups)

    Many props are due to Olivier for implementing these updates so quickly and effectively, in particular the improved genre search. We will also be addressing the incorrect song count values on the Browse Genres page very soon. We hope today's updates make your music discovery efforts more efficient and exciting, and as always let us know if you have ideas for improving any part of the site, or any other general feedback.

    I just noticed (just now, actually) that there is an issue with the Browse Genres page that causes the entire page to reload when you enter a search term there, which will of course interrupt your music stream if you do it. We'll have that fixed very soon, probably tomorrow some time.

    We have also been talking a lot about groups at the Uvumi office, and we are very close to announcing a design plan and making one final call for input from the community before we move forward with the implementation. Check back here for updates on that.
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