Wow. What an ordeal. As you probably know, Kompoz.com was offline most of the day yesterday. The cause? Our trusted, beloved, amazing, uber-redundant, cloud-based hosting provider -- the same one used by the Web's powerhouses, such as Foursquare, Instagram, Flipboard, and countless others -- took a dive. It was widly reported (here and here and here and here) that Amazon's cloud services suffered a very embarassing outage.
What started as a small issue affecting some instances of Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) in North Virginia became a full-blown outage of AWS in North Virginia. Major services, such as Reddit, Foursquare, Minecraft and Heroku, were down.
Two of the primary Amazon services we use Elastic Computing Clould (EC2) and Relational Database Service (RDS) experienced "degraded performance" (Amazon's words). We now know "degraded" means totally ph*ked in Amazon-speak!
Long-time Kompoz members probably remember that Kompoz once had a feature called Project Folders. The idea behind the feature was that you could organize your tracks within each project by grouping them into folders. A good idea, perhaps, but the implementation was flawed. And, the name "folder" was a very poor choice on my part, because that word has a strong association with PC file systems. With file systems, you move files from one folder to another, but that's not how Kompoz used folders.
So I ditched Project Folders a few months ago.
Today, we are introducing Project Tags -- the right way to organize your project tracks. Tags are labels, which you define within your projects. You can then apply the tags to one or more tracks. A track can have more than one tag. Tags can be used for anything. Here's a short video that demonstrates how to use tags within your projects.
We're happy to announce the official release of Kompoz Konnect -- an application for Mac OS X users. Konnect allows you to upload files directly from your Mac to the Kompoz servers. Drag-and-drop files from Finder to Konnect, then upload them in one step. Konnect also allows you to download files from Kompoz to your Mac. Features include:
Upload files from your Mac quickly and easily.
Auto-detects track information, such as track type and suggested title.
Drag-and-drop from Finder to Konnect
Download files from any project
Download tracks from Kompoz, and add them directly into iTunes (including album art).
I am happy to report that it was fixed yesterday. And I'm even more happy to report that we didn't stop at just fixing the button -- we also added more cool Facebook sharing options.
The biggest change is that the Kompoz Player can now be embedded within your Facebook post. As you can see in the screen cap to the right, Facebook will show the project art with a playhead overlaid. When you press that, the project art is replaced by Kompoz audio player so that listeners can enjoy the song without leaving Facebook.
Actually, that's not the biggest change. The biggest change is that embedding the player is automatic for any track. You don't have to do anything special to make it work. In fact, you don't even have to share from Kompoz to make it work. You can simply update your Facebook status (like you might normally do) and include a link to a Kompoz track (must be the track detail page -- the page with the Kompoz player on it) in that status update. Facebook and Kompoz will do the rest.
One more thing: we also added Facebook "Like" buttons throughout Kompoz. You'll see them on the project pages and track pages (of course), on Finished (published) song pages, and on your blog pages.
It's official -- science has essentially proven, with a study, that Pop music is indeed both getting louder and diminishing in variety. A team of researchers in Spain headed by artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra have run a set of songs from the last 50 years through a set of complex algorithms that have yielded the following results: Pop songs on the whole have become more bland in terms of chords, melodies, and types of sound, and are intrinsically louder to boot than they’ve ever been before.
Hey Kompozarians, we're currently finishing up the next Kompoz Podcast. Want to be in it? It's easy.
Simply record a shout out, and upload it to the Kompoz Radio Sounds project. Your shout out should be 15 seconds or less -- something like "Hello Kompoz, this is (insert your name here) from (insert your country here). (short optional message here)". You don't have to stick to that format. Be creative, but keep it clean.
With the addition of these two new options, Kompoz now fully supports all six Creative Commons licenses. These apply to both Public and Private Projects for all members.
For Kompoz PLUS members only, we have added a traditional "(c) All Rights Reserved" license option for Public projects. Up until now, this was only available in Private projects. Thanks for all of the input.