Back in the day (i.e. before 2010) 😉 we used to create all our preview audio files in 56-kbps MP3 format, with a “preview…. shockwave-sound….” voice that was mixed in at a fixed volume.
From about December 2010 onwards we started making our preview audio in 128-kbps MP3 files (higher fidelity, more clarity) and also with a “preview…. shockwave-sound…” voice that was both mixed at a lower volume generally, and that also changes in volume dynamically depending on how loud the music is at the moment. So if there is a really quiet part in the music, the preview voice is also at a low volume. And vice versa.
This did however leave our older tracks sounding a bit “second grade”. There were some 5,500 tracks, all with multiple versions / edits / mixes, and a total of 38,770 “old” preview files on our server, and with a bit-rate of only 56 kbps and with a preview voice that was, at times, way too loud, these tracks just didn’t sound as attractive as our newer tracks.
Anyway – we have now just finished the rather large task of updating all those 38,770 older preview files to the “new” format. We had some good people working on automating this task, so it wasn’t as bad as we had feared. It took us a few days of audio file processing, plus about 10 hours of solid uploading. Now all our tracks – old and new – have preview files with a nice clarity of sound, and a preview voice that shouldn’t be too obtrusive.
Just one of the several upgrades and improvements we are working on here at Shockwave-Sound.com this spring/summer.
Dear Shockwave-Sound.com users / customers,
When we first started Shockwave-Sound.com back in April of 2000 (now more than 11 years ago), the site contained basically only a few music tracks by founder/creator Bjorn Lynne, himself a musician with a nose for the emerging royalty-free music market. Everything was run pretty much manually, with Bjorn himself, or his wife, emailing with each customer individually and manually sending them the files they had purchased
In the spring of 2005 the site contained almost 1,000 different tracks, by about 30 different composers with whom Bjorn had made a deal to sell their music through this site. At this time, the software that runs the site “behind the scenes” was totally overhauled and basically created again from scratch. Now the site was given the technology needed to deliver files automatically to customers and to automatically create License Documents for each customer.
It’s now the spring of 2011 and apart from a few minor tweaks and fixes, Shockwave-Sound.com has basically, pretty much run on all the same technology for all these years since 2005. We’ve added a few things to help us along, such as the [My Orders] page where customers go any time to recover old orders and re-download them any time they want. But by now, the site has a catalog of approx. 10,000 tracks, with some 100-200 new tracks being added each new month. We’ve realized that the old search / browse structure is no longer enough, on its own, for customers to make a good and precise music search.
We we’ve gathered a whole team of talented people and we are now working on several upgrades & improvements to the site. These will include:
- Ability to browse for music not only by Music Genre, but also by Moods/Emotions, Suggested Production Types, Tempo-feel, BMP-tempo and Prominent Instruments of each track.
- For those who have ordered many files in one order, they will be able to “re-pack” all their downloadable files into one big .zip file, from their download page – enabling customers to download many files in one big download .zip file.
- We’re going to go back over all older tracks on the site and re-code the preview files so that the “preview… shockwave-sound…” voice becomes quieter, less obtrusive, and also with a higher fidelity on the preview files. We used to do them in 56-kbps MP3 format, we’re now doing them in 128-kbps MP3, and this is what we’re going to re-encode all preview files to.
- Finally, the visual presentation of tracks on the site will be simplified somewhat and we’ll try our best to make it quicker and easier to listen to the next track, the next track, the next track…
These are all things that we will be rolling out over the next few weeks and months here at Shockwave-Sound.com, and we hope to have most of our new stuff active on the live website by the end of the summer 2011.
Right now, we have 7 guys working on listening to all 10,000 tracks in detail, one by one, and inputting additional data about each track, including Moods/Emotions, BPM tempo, Tempo-feel, Suggested Production Types, and Major Instruments. In fact, as I write this, it’s almost completed.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our users, visitors, partners and friends up through the years for their interest in our music and for making Shockwave-Sound.com such a successful business. We’re 11 years old, and quite literally, we can’t wait for the next 11!
Check out some of Shockwave-Sound.com’s music used in a very cool way, in Avatar Boogie 2. Is it a game? Is it a show? Is it a dance video? I guess it’s all of these and more! Watch your own X-box avatar dance the night away with funky moves from ballet to funk, from disco to air guitar, all set to music from Shockwave-Sound.com in a really cool way. Check out the free trial version at the X-Box Marketplace.
Here at Shockwave-Sound.com we love to cross-promote with our customers, so if you write up a little story/article on your website or blog, we will do the same for you on our blog. Our site is visited by over 4,500 different/unique visitors every day and is a very active place with a lot of media people reading it, so we guarantee that it will be good promotion for you.
Should you be interested in this, please go ahead and write a little something on your website or blog that includes us. Perhaps something about why you chose this music track, why you licensed it from our site, how you feel it matches or fits into your project, and how you worked the integration between your project and the music. Basically just anything that tells a little story about Shockwave-Sound.com and the how / why / when you used us. Include a working web link to our website: http://www.shockwave-sound.com (that is a requirement). Here is a .zip file with our graphic logo in various formats, should you need it.
Then contact us and tell us about your article. Also tell us about your project / film / game / what ever type of product you’ve made, and we will be happy to give it a good plug on our website – including a picture or two, if you like. And we’ll link to your website, video or product.
We’re looking forward to writing about your baby!