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Rarewares 2007 redesign (from Vorbis thread), From Topic ID: 53148
Spikey
post Apr 12 2007, 07:28
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Very, very interesting. Dare I say that the majority of posts in this thread are what Emmett was criticising- people talking about minutiae and the average person is totally jumping off the ship because they want an easy encoder to use.


I like vlada's post. I use Ogg Vorbis for my website, Sierra Music Central, and use the latest Blacksword Lancer build.

QUOTE
I think this is one of the major problems. There are some people (just average users) who read about Ogg Vorbis, they heard it sounds better then MP3 and they want to try it. So they get to the official webpage and they hope to get an official tool to convert their CDs to Ogg Vorbis. But what do they find? An outdated CLI encoder and obviously they have no idea how to use it. Then there are links to many programs and they have no idea which one to choose.

Many people need to be told what to do. Use program X to create, tag and play the Ogg Vorbis files. This is all what they need. They are confused if there are more choices.

Ogg Vorbis format has all the advantages you can imagine. So why only a few people (including me) use it? Wrong marketing and missing easy to use tools and guides. All the development is not concentrated in one places and there are no good informations for end users. If you want to be successful, you have to concentrate on end users.

Totally agree! It's INSANE to have such an easy to use program (you literally drag and drop with the Lancer build, way easier than using LAME, or at least as easy as LAME/EAC!) put in the 'too hard' basket and dumped because instead of using the best, most highly optimised Ogg encoder builds, people are still using encoders from 2003 or can only find an old download or a harder to use encoder.


To be honest, I put some of the blame on RareWares- why the hell does their Ogg page look like that. I tried navigating it to find some Mac decoders for a composer who visited my game music site and used Mac's. There wasn't a separate section for differing OS platforms, and obviously worst of all the encoders weren't ranked in any order, meaning the average person was lost in a sea of encoders/decoders. Totally useless.

All the 2004 or older builds should be removed (2005 or older, really) and the Lancer builds should be linked to at the head of the page. After all, they've been proven the best, right?

Only reason I used OggDropXPd for so long was because it was very hard (even for me, someone who searches hard for such info) to find information about Vorbis encoders, and it was only from searching these forums and Wiki that I turned up some info. Incidentally, Wiki's are really out of date last time I checked codec info (MP3/Ogg).

My main rival site, QuestStudios, uses Cool Edit with some 2002/2003 Ogg encoder, I'm fairly sure. The assumption is, Ogg is Ogg. If we don't show the new encoders with pride/ease of access, what else are people to think.

I don't understand. RareWares should limit the number of encoders/decoders to 10, or less, ranked with ease of use, platforms, etc. That would make it dead simple to figure out for the 'average joe' user and if people started using Lancer, you'd be amazed how many people would ditch crappy Ogg encoders/other encoders, I'm sure.

I also agree about being careful about TOS #8- I've had long held views about Ogg qualities, and they're slowly being shattered (I use q7). That to me is where the hard part of codecs should be, deciding which one is best, testing them, not figuring out which encoder to use because there's a zillion of the same one, with no rhyme nor reason as to which one is preferable over any other.

Sorry to go on so long, I feel strongly about this.

- Spike
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kanak
post Apr 12 2007, 07:41
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QUOTE (Spikey @ Apr 12 2007, 12:28) *
I don't understand. RareWares should limit the number of encoders/decoders to 10, or less, ranked with ease of use, platforms, etc. That would make it dead simple to figure out for the 'average joe' user and if people started using Lancer, you'd be amazed how many people would ditch crappy Ogg encoders/other encoders, I'm sure.


I disagree with this. Let's say a person just heard about Vorbis and is now interested to find more. Googling the term "ogg vorbis" or "vorbis" gives:

1. VORBIS.COM
2. Wikipedia entry for Vorbis
3. Xiph's site
4. dpoweramp Vorbis codec
5. free codecs.com and so on.

So, if a person is that unacquainted with Vorbis, he will probably go to the above sites before he goes to rarewares (which isn't even in the first page). So why should the onus of ranking and all that extra effort to cater to the newbies be on rarewares? People who go to rarewares know what they're looking for, and would be pissed off if the content was limited just to "simplify things" (i know i would).

All this "educating the user" business can and should be done at Vorbis site itself.

This post has been edited by kanak: Apr 12 2007, 07:42
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xmixahlx
post Apr 12 2007, 08:21
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the last thing rarewares caters to is "the average joe"

although a new look is in the works.


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Spikey
post Apr 12 2007, 15:46
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I'm not saying (or if I did, let me correct myself in saying) that RareWares should scrap everythign or cater to the average joe,But they should cater to the average somewhat knowledgeable user. And I highly doubt anyone that fits that category (as opposed to someone with a high degree of specialised knowledge) would know the difference between Xiph Vorbis, OggdropXPd, and the massive list.

I think it's a total headache trying to navigate RareWares' Ogg Vorbis page, and to be honest was a barrier to me providing my web users with the best quality Ogg audio. That was my point.


I agree, Vorbis' site itself lacks badly and that's what the average joe sees. It is a problem. But if you look beyond that, RareWares is a popular site, and I fail to see what good it does having old, out of date encoders noone uses anymore. All it can do is stop people like myself finding out information about good encoders to use.


Surely the point is to make it easy for people to choose Ogg Vorbis, and although I agree, the major focus needs to be on fixing the main pages listed in a recent post, to a lesser extent, RareWares is currently where slightly more knowledgeable people visit and any reasonable person (in my view) would give up on Ogg altogether, or choose the first easiest one they saw, based on the mess that is the Ogg Vorbis page. Simple as that. There's negligible useful information on that page.

- Spike
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ChesterB
post Apr 12 2007, 16:39
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You see no use hosting so many old encoders, but that's the reason it is called RareWares.
I don't think that they should be removed, maybe just moved to a new section. In fact the site just needs a new design providing better organisation of the information in it.
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john33
post Apr 12 2007, 21:12
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QUOTE (ChesterB @ Apr 12 2007, 15:39) *
............. In fact the site just needs a new design providing better organisation of the information in it.

Precisely what Roberto is trying to achieve, but it is difficult to cater for all flavours of user!! wink.gif Just for the record, oggdropXPd was just my take on what seemed like a great idea that was under-developed. I think it was Monty's child originally, and I just took it and ran with it. biggrin.gif We, at Rarewares, know it's a bit of a nightmare to understand, but it's very difficult to strike a balance between something that's simple and easy to follow and, at the same time, caters for the more esoteric requirements.

I'm sure we(maybe, I) get it wrong much of the time, not only on the ogg vorbis page, but we do try to cater for all tastes. Dumbing down is not the answer. laugh.gif


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pepoluan
post Apr 12 2007, 21:30
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One suggestion for RareWares:

Split the page into 2 sections, recent/current releases, and prior releases. Put some whitespace between the sections. Give each section an easy to understand title, e.g. "Current Releases" and "Prior Releases".


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naylor83
post Apr 13 2007, 01:50
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Apr 12 2007, 22:30) *
One suggestion for RareWares:

Split the page into 2 sections, recent/current releases, and prior releases. Put some whitespace between the sections. Give each section an easy to understand title, e.g. "Current Releases" and "Prior Releases".


Thanks for the suggestion. A good idea if you ask me.

The site is getting a new design as you already know (I'm working with RJ on that part) and he/john/we will also be dividing the download pages into more digestible bites, but as far as I know, john and/or RJ haven't yet figured out how to divide the pages yet, so I'm sure they'll appreciate your suggestion and any others' for that matter.

This post has been edited by naylor83: Apr 13 2007, 01:54


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rjamorim
post Apr 13 2007, 02:52
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QUOTE (naylor83 @ Apr 12 2007, 21:50) *
Thanks for the suggestion. A good idea if you ask me.

The site is getting a new design as you already know (I'm working with RJ on that part) and he/john/we will also be dividing the download pages into more digestible bites, but as far as I know, john and/or RJ haven't yet figured out how to divide the pages yet, so I'm sure they'll appreciate your suggestion and any others' for that matter.


I'm dividing it by applications (as the Vorbis page is now) and not by versions (as the LAME page is now). That will hopefully make browsing easier and, most importantly, updating the pages when a new version is released won't be a nightmare.

I'm reorganizing and converting the pages slowly but surely. I wish I could do it faster, but university demands that I learn Java for yesterday, and LORD GOD I CAN'T UNDERSTAND %#^!& OBJECT ORIENTATION.

cheers


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Spikey
post Apr 13 2007, 03:58
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Good compromise wink.gif

I actually really, really like RareWares. If it didn't exist, I would literally have to rely on Wiki/HA forums for all my codec info.

I said some ranty things, and I apologise- I guess I just feel passionate about it and I want things to be as easy/good as they can be. Pepoluan's suggestion is a good balance.


I saw the site redesign mention- good idea guys.

- Spike
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pepoluan
post Apr 13 2007, 04:07
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 13 2007, 08:52) *
I'm dividing it by applications (as the Vorbis page is now) and not by versions (as the LAME page is now). That will hopefully make browsing easier and, most importantly, updating the pages when a new version is released won't be a nightmare.
That seems logical too. Make big headings. And as usual sort by release, most recent first. I suggest using a differently-shaded box for the most recent release.

QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 13 2007, 08:52) *
I'm reorganizing and converting the pages slowly but surely. I wish I could do it faster, but university demands that I learn Java for yesterday, and LORD GOD I CAN'T UNDERSTAND %#^!& OBJECT ORIENTATION.
laugh.gif http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/03/ex...m-of-nouns.html tongue.gif

I like this quote best:
QUOTE
advocating Object-Oriented Programming is like advocating Pants-Oriented Clothing


This post has been edited by pepoluan: Apr 13 2007, 04:09


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naylor83
post Apr 13 2007, 09:25
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 13 2007, 03:52) *
I'm dividing it by applications (as the Vorbis page is now) and not by versions (as the LAME page is now). That will hopefully make browsing easier and, most importantly, updating the pages when a new version is released won't be a nightmare.


Also, we'll be giving each category a nice and clear explanation, right?

@Pepoluan: Large headings are go!

This post has been edited by naylor83: Apr 13 2007, 09:25


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xmixahlx
post Apr 13 2007, 20:05
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lol, at first i was like "who is this naylor83 character?" then i realized...

hi david smile.gif

i agree with all the design recommendations so far. it's funny, but if you had only seen what roberto's first design was back in the day you would be so much more horrified than with what we have now.

i think it just needs a little simplification. that's what i did with the debian pages and i went a little overboard.

i'm looking forward to the changes, too!


later


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rjamorim
post Apr 14 2007, 00:19
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QUOTE (naylor83 @ Apr 13 2007, 05:25) *
Also, we'll be giving each category a nice and clear explanation, right?


Dunno, will depend on my inspiration at the moment...


QUOTE (xmixahlx @ Apr 13 2007, 16:05) *
i agree with all the design recommendations so far. it's funny, but if you had only seen what roberto's first design was back in the day you would be so much more horrified than with what we have now.


http://www.rjamorim.com/rw1.html


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pepoluan
post Apr 14 2007, 04:45
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Aren't we now OffTopic from the original post? smile.gif

Maybe we ought to split this thread, i.e. a new thread discussing about RareWares?


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naylor83
post Apr 14 2007, 12:33
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 14 2007, 01:19) *
Dunno, will depend on my inspiration at the moment...


Yeah, ok. I'd be happy to help with those if I can be of any use smile.gif

QUOTE


Ahhh smile.gif

QUOTE (xmixahlx @ Apr 13 2007, 21:05) *
lol, at first i was like "who is this naylor83 character?" then i realized...

hi david smile.gif


Ah, hi there Michael smile.gif

This post has been edited by naylor83: Apr 14 2007, 12:34


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Zarggg
post Apr 15 2007, 17:54
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 13 2007, 15:19) *

Ironically, I find this easier to read/scan than the current incarnation of RareWares. wink.gif
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pepoluan
post Apr 25 2007, 21:06
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So, howzzit progrezzzing?


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naylor83
post Apr 25 2007, 23:10
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Apr 25 2007, 22:06) *
So, howzzit progrezzzing?


Well, I know Roberto has made the mp3 and ogg pages, which is probably half the content. Apart from content there is a little graphical polish left.


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pepoluan
post Apr 26 2007, 13:57
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While the design is not finalized yet, I'll give a suggestion.

This page, for instance:
http://www.rarewares.org/mp3.html

The "Download" links should be indented too, preferably with a smallish PNG or GIF icon.


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naylor83
post Apr 26 2007, 22:50
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Apr 26 2007, 14:57) *
While the design is not finalized yet, I'll give a suggestion.

This page, for instance:
http://www.rarewares.org/mp3.html

The "Download" links should be indented too, preferably with a smallish PNG or GIF icon.


Without asking Roberto for permission, I'll give you a little preview:
http://davidnaylor.org/temp/rw.png

The colour scheme hasn't yet been decided on and may end up completely different. The logo is also just a place-holder until John, Mike and Roberto settle on one of my candidate colour schemes.

Your icon idea is a good way of further increasing the visibility of the download links.


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rjamorim
post Apr 27 2007, 00:22
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QUOTE (naylor83 @ Apr 26 2007, 18:50) *
Without asking Roberto for permission, I'll give you a little preview:
http://davidnaylor.org/temp/rw.png


OH NOES! The cat is out of the bag.

Now, David, I'll sue you on the same terms Sony sued Lik-Sang into oblivion (for hurting their ability to exploit the "excitement and anticipation of the market" WRT the PSP launch in Europe). Prepare your lawyers, f00!


aaaaanyway...

It seems the motherboard on my primary PC fried out of absolutely undetectable reasons - I normally turned it off to go to bed last saturday, and on sunday it simply wouldn't turn on. I'm now using my secondary PC, which is an underpowered Linux kit. I've gone from Athlon64 3000+ with 4Gb RAM to Duron with 256Mb RAM. I guess you understand that I'm not particularly thrilled to use this machine for anything other than the absolutely necessary.

So, the RareWares redesign will take a little longer. Hopefully I'll gather enough cash soon to buy me a new motherboard.

On a related subject, is there anybody out there with a spare 939 motherboard? sweat.gif


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naylor83
post Apr 27 2007, 05:10
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QUOTE (rjamorim @ Apr 27 2007, 01:22) *
QUOTE (naylor83 @ Apr 26 2007, 18:50) *
Without asking Roberto for permission, I'll give you a little preview:
http://davidnaylor.org/temp/rw.png


OH NOES! The cat is out of the bag.

Now, David, I'll sue you on the same terms Sony sued Lik-Sang into oblivion (for hurting their ability to exploit the "excitement and anticipation of the market" WRT the PSP launch in Europe). Prepare your lawyers, f00!


Lol biggrin.gif


QUOTE
aaaaanyway...

It seems the motherboard on my primary PC fried out of absolutely undetectable reasons - I normally turned it off to go to bed last saturday, and on sunday it simply wouldn't turn on. I'm now using my secondary PC, which is an underpowered Linux kit. I've gone from Athlon64 3000+ with 4Gb RAM to Duron with 256Mb RAM. I guess you understand that I'm not particularly thrilled to use this machine for anything other than the absolutely necessary.


Ouch... I'm very sorry to hear that. Didn't even know that was a practical possibility for motherboards. (Frying while turned off.) I guess lightning could do it, but apart from that...


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Artemis3
post Apr 29 2007, 01:35
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Design? who needs design? Just throw all the files in a folder and let apache do the rest tongue.gif
On the other hand you could just put up a cms and be done with it.

As for the Duron, i have a Duron, only i upgraded its 256MiB ram to 1GiB some months ago. Too bad java needs the memory, but i remember running azureus with 256 successfully...

I would like to know what motherboard brand was that, and if you had your machine grounded, voltage regulator, etc. Its possible a faulty PSU (which are so common) caused the problem.


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rjamorim
post Apr 29 2007, 02:50
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QUOTE (Artemis3 @ Apr 28 2007, 21:35) *
On the other hand you could just put up a cms and be done with it.


The problem is that there is no CMS really targeted at downloads only, most of them focus on textual content and the downloads section is an afterthought. Case in point: the *nuke download interface is a catastrophe, particularly WTR navigation. Mambo/Joomla isn't particularly better.

QUOTE
As for the Duron, i have a Duron, only i upgraded its 256MiB ram to 1GiB some months ago. Too bad java needs the memory, but i remember running azureus with 256 successfully...


Problem is, it uses PC133 memory, and these are becoming so rare here, they are more expensive than DDR2.

Besides, my plan now (as suggested by John33) is to sell my 4GB of DDR1, with the money buy DDR2, and migrate to Core 2 or AM2...

QUOTE
I would like to know what motherboard brand was that, and if you had your machine grounded, voltage regulator, etc. Its possible a faulty PSU (which are so common) caused the problem.


ASUS A8N-E. No grounding, but with voltage regulator. And the PSU still works when I short the green wire with one of the grounds. Besides, when the PSU is plugged to the outlet, the mobo makes this tiny high-pitched sound that reminds me of a capacitor being charged. Sure enough, I checked all capacitors and none of them seems to have leaked.

The PSU is a Seventeam 420, BTW. Nothing spectacular, but no brandless crap either.


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