Upcoming changes

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Rob Peters
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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Rob Peters » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:06 pm

imslp wrote:I welcome thoughtful constructive criticism from users (I've responded at some length to e-mail discussions with non-contributor users), but just saying "shame on you" or "I don't know why you need paid staff, oh and by the way, fix this problem for me" (which is doubly ironic as the poster is apparently disinclined to contribute himself) is not too constructive I think.


There's a lot of constructive criticism by concerned users (yes, the ones with enough edits to their credit to make their voices worth listening to) that wasn't addressed properly yet. The pleads for financial transparency, the alternative ways of fundraising, the issues with CC licensed scores, the feelings of those hundreds of hard-working volunteers who feel insulted because you pretty much called them unreliable (in comparison to paid staff) in your last reply...
I'm not one of those (only have about 7000 edits to my name, which is peanuts compared to many of the best volunteers here) but I spend enough time here to feel a bit worried about both these radical changes in IMSLP policy and the lack of transparency thereabout.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Bruckner8 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:47 am

imslp wrote:Why am I bringing up these numbers? I think in all the emotional discussions in this thread there lacks a certain quantitative aspect to put things in perspective, which I think also helps explain a bit of my thinking process and why I reached the conclusion I did. A major difference between Wikipedia and IMSLP is domain specificity - the music library/copyright aspect of IMSLP causes it to be hyper-specialized which in turn means significantly fewer users can meaningfully contribute, whereas you can almost always find your niche on Wikipedia. This also I think explains my response to Notenschreiber


Why do you (or anyone else) keep comparing IMSLP to Wikipedia? THERE IS NO COMPARISON in scale, mission, or otherwise! I couldn't care less about the "wiki" aspect of IMSLP...it's just a frent-end technology as far as I'm concerned. IMSLP will NEVER be the scale of a Wikipedia, so stop comparing them.

imslp wrote:I absolutely want to make sure IMSLP does not get "unplugged". I would otherwise have wasted at least 10 years of my life. But I can't just hand off IMSLP to the next random person who passes by, now can I?


Of course you can, and the fact that you frame it this way just adds credence to the selfish act in which you've embroiled yourself. IMSLP, stands for "International Music Score Library Project," as you state on your home page (Do you like how I'm calling it "yours" now? I think you do.) It's not called "Edward Guo's Music Free Upload but Membership Selling Business Unless You're Willing to Wait 15 Seconds And Only After it's Been Uploaded for More Than 2 Days" It's an international project, of which the name itself implies collaboration, never-finished, fully open operation.

imslp wrote:My vision is to have a strong IMSLP supported by both contributors and paid staff - an IMSLP that is immune to the whims or personal circumstances of crucial people. Life happens - people move on, get married, find a new job, and so forth. Not having any income means contributing to IMSLP is the first on the chopping block. And as I mentioned before, unlike 10 years ago, IMSLP is not a new or novel thing anymore - as IMSLP gets bigger and bigger and people start to take IMSLP for granted, contributing to IMSLP also starts to look more and more like a profession.


Awesome! IMSLP has grown! Good! Everything you say above means it needs to be converted to a proper charity, with a board of directors, or some other multi-person governing entity, all of whom do not profit in any way.

As soon as IMSLP goes in the direction of Choral Public Domain library, I will contribute, as I have done there. I have no problem supporting charities. I do have a problem supporting bait-and-switch egomaniacs.

I am a web and database developer. I own space on internet-accessible servers. I fully understand all of the technical challenges faced by your product. If I weren't retired (at age 45!), I'd start a new project to compete directly with IMSLP, with much better features. But in the meantime, I'll wait my 15 seconds when IMSLP proves useful.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby imslp » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:24 am

Bruckner8 wrote:
imslp wrote:Why am I bringing up these numbers? I think in all the emotional discussions in this thread there lacks a certain quantitative aspect to put things in perspective, which I think also helps explain a bit of my thinking process and why I reached the conclusion I did. A major difference between Wikipedia and IMSLP is domain specificity - the music library/copyright aspect of IMSLP causes it to be hyper-specialized which in turn means significantly fewer users can meaningfully contribute, whereas you can almost always find your niche on Wikipedia. This also I think explains my response to Notenschreiber


Why do you (or anyone else) keep comparing IMSLP to Wikipedia? THERE IS NO COMPARISON in scale, mission, or otherwise! I couldn't care less about the "wiki" aspect of IMSLP...it's just a frent-end technology as far as I'm concerned. IMSLP will NEVER be the scale of a Wikipedia, so stop comparing them.


Thank you for agreeing with me. I never wanted to compare IMSLP and Wikipedia, other people did.

imslp wrote:I absolutely want to make sure IMSLP does not get "unplugged". I would otherwise have wasted at least 10 years of my life. But I can't just hand off IMSLP to the next random person who passes by, now can I?


Of course you can, and the fact that you frame it this way just adds credence to the selfish act in which you've embroiled yourself. IMSLP, stands for "International Music Score Library Project," as you state on your home page (Do you like how I'm calling it "yours" now? I think you do.) It's not called "Edward Guo's Music Free Upload but Membership Selling Business Unless You're Willing to Wait 15 Seconds And Only After it's Been Uploaded for More Than 2 Days" It's an international project, of which the name itself implies collaboration, never-finished, fully open operation.


Thank you for your very constructive feedback, I will keep it in mind.

imslp wrote:My vision is to have a strong IMSLP supported by both contributors and paid staff - an IMSLP that is immune to the whims or personal circumstances of crucial people. Life happens - people move on, get married, find a new job, and so forth. Not having any income means contributing to IMSLP is the first on the chopping block. And as I mentioned before, unlike 10 years ago, IMSLP is not a new or novel thing anymore - as IMSLP gets bigger and bigger and people start to take IMSLP for granted, contributing to IMSLP also starts to look more and more like a profession.


Awesome! IMSLP has grown! Good! Everything you say above means it needs to be converted to a proper charity, with a board of directors, or some other multi-person governing entity, all of whom do not profit in any way.

As soon as IMSLP goes in the direction of Choral Public Domain library, I will contribute, as I have done there. I have no problem supporting charities. I do have a problem supporting bait-and-switch egomaniacs.

I am a web and database developer. I own space on internet-accessible servers. I fully understand all of the technical challenges faced by your product. If I weren't retired (at age 45!), I'd start a new project to compete directly with IMSLP, with much better features. But in the meantime, I'll wait my 15 seconds when IMSLP proves useful.


Thank you for proving my point.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby lekro » Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:31 am

I have waited to post in this thread for a long time since I wanted to see if any of my questions would be answered before posting a rambling reply myself. But it seems that while they have been presented and (somewhat) discussed here, much of them remain unanswered. The interrogatory void has yet to be filled.

I apologize in advance that my English does not always cooperate with me, especially when writing posts in forums such as this one.

KGill wrote:
imslp wrote:... why do you believe you have the standing to comment on the need for paid staff, when you haven't contributed a single edit?

Why did you open a public discussion if you're not going to listen to anyone but yourself and Carl?


I completely agree with what KGill said here. I fail to understand the reasoning behind this "don't say anything if you haven't contributed any edits" position. I see that the "shame on you" and other comments are not constructive, but simply ignoring people who haven't contributed to IMSLP is equally not constructive. They may have valid points too, regardless of edit count. Instead of ignoring them based on edit count, look at what arguments they are trying to make, not at the teeth through which they make them.

Rob Peters wrote:
imslp wrote:I welcome thoughtful constructive criticism from users (I've responded at some length to e-mail discussions with non-contributor users), but just saying "shame on you" or "I don't know why you need paid staff, oh and by the way, fix this problem for me" (which is doubly ironic as the poster is apparently disinclined to contribute himself) is not too constructive I think.


There's a lot of constructive criticism by concerned users (yes, the ones with enough edits to their credit to make their voices worth listening to) that wasn't addressed properly yet. The pleads for financial transparency, the alternative ways of fundraising, the issues with CC licensed scores, the feelings of those hundreds of hard-working volunteers who feel insulted because you pretty much called them unreliable (in comparison to paid staff) in your last reply...
I'm not one of those (only have about 7000 edits to my name, which is peanuts compared to many of the best volunteers here) but I spend enough time here to feel a bit worried about both these radical changes in IMSLP policy and the lack of transparency thereabout.


^^ Likewise. I was astonished to see such a subscription plan put in place without (practically) any prior notice. If this discussion had been opened perhaps in October or November of 2015, however, and a similar banner requesting comments had been displayed then, I am sure you would have gotten a lot of the same feedback from users.

I still await a proper response regarding the financial transparency and alternate funding issues. Why do we users/contributors of IMSLP not have access to financial information? How are potential subscribers supposed to trust IMSLP to use their funds properly when there are no numbers presented whatsoever, and many people's trust of IMSLP as a community project has been breached with this unannounced subscription plan? Why weren't any other methods of funding even tried? For the 4+ years I've used IMSLP, I don't ever recall seeing a single banner or call for donations, except for the tiny PayPal donate button on the left. I am sure at least some donations would have come in if something more than "Donate" was said about donating. "Help IMSLP keep music alive!" or "Help us preserve the works of music from around the world" or something similar would have worked much better. Maybe this call for donations could have even been placed on a similar page to that used by the 15 second waiting period, minus the waiting period.

Again, why was there no prior discussion open to the public, or any attempts to seek donations on the scale of the subscription plan? Why have we been left in the dark? Please do not respond with something along the lines of "The leader knows what's best for you," because that undermines the entire community effort here.

imslp wrote:
-snip-


Thank you for agreeing with me. I never wanted to compare IMSLP and Wikipedia, other people did.

-snip-


Thank you for your very constructive feedback, I will keep it in mind.

-snip-


Thank you for proving my point.


(Quotes within quotes snipped to save space - please see the previous post to read)

I sincerely hope you are not completely sidestepping the content of the post to which you replied. In a broader sense, it is important for leaders (or administrators) to address the concerns of the community. If this is not done, the expectation of response broken, those unanswered community members can lose confidence in their leader and seek another.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby imslp » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:11 am

lekro wrote:I still await a proper response regarding the financial transparency and alternate funding issues. Why do we users/contributors of IMSLP not have access to financial information? How are potential subscribers supposed to trust IMSLP to use their funds properly when there are no numbers presented whatsoever, and many people's trust of IMSLP as a community project has been breached with this unannounced subscription plan? Why weren't any other methods of funding even tried? For the 4+ years I've used IMSLP, I don't ever recall seeing a single banner or call for donations, except for the tiny PayPal donate button on the left. I am sure at least some donations would have come in if something more than "Donate" was said about donating. "Help IMSLP keep music alive!" or "Help us preserve the works of music from around the world" or something similar would have worked much better. Maybe this call for donations could have even been placed on a similar page to that used by the 15 second waiting period, minus the waiting period.


First of all, re alternative methods of funding, you may have missed my post on page 8. It is also concerning that you do not remember the banners (and which confirms my fear in my previous post) - as I mentioned in my previous post, you will get a banner on average 1 time for every 50 downloads (which translates to ~6000 popups per day). This is regardless of whether you are logged in or not. In fact, the banner is still up because I haven't had a chance to take it down yet.

Also, just to be clear, you would prefer to have a banner that you need to click away on every download, and which will not go away even if you donate? Otherwise you may want to describe in more detail how it is different from the current setup.

I intend to address the financial issue in the next few days, don't have time right now to give a full reply (I believe I discussed it briefly in one of my previous posts).

Again, why was there no prior discussion open to the public, or any attempts to seek donations on the scale of the subscription plan? Why have we been left in the dark? Please do not respond with something along the lines of "The leader knows what's best for you," because that undermines the entire community effort here.


I discussed this in one of my previous posts - I believe the post on page 8.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby coulonnus » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:03 pm

@imslp: couldn't it be that these few destestable 0-edit ranting users made many, many edits under another pseudo? :lol:

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby lekro » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:26 am

imslp wrote:-snip-

Thank you for replying and pointing that out. I apologize - it seems I had missed the post on page 8.

The only issues I have with the current setup are as follows:
- Waiting period per download, though it is only 15 seconds, adds up if you need to download some parts or an entire set of split files. Perhaps this can be done only once per work page per session instead of once per file. Otherwise, the waiting period should be severely decreased or eliminated entirely. Although this is NOT a paywall as you have mentioned earlier, to many users, it seems like one.
- Restrictions on new uploads. I like browsing the IMSLP front page for new scores and recordings, but unfortunately now this isn't possible to non-subscribers. This also makes the new subscription plan look like a paywall. At the very least, another message should be added to that page - something like "After X days, Y hours, Z minutes, this file will become available for all users." But it will be even better if this restriction is lifted completely.

I believe everything else about the current setup is perfectly fine.

I completely agree that it is concerning that I didn't notice any of the donation banners. Maybe it's because of my personal financial situation, but there may be another reason. (You mentioned popups - many browsers tend to block popups these days, unless I misunderstood)

I'd like to thank everyone who's helped IMSLP get where it is now and in the future. It is one of my favorite websites and no doubt one of the most useful.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Sallen112 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:06 am

lekro wrote:
imslp wrote:-snip-

Thank you for replying and pointing that out. I apologize - it seems I had missed the post on page 8.

The only issues I have with the current setup are as follows:
- Waiting period per download, though it is only 15 seconds, adds up if you need to download some parts or an entire set of split files. Perhaps this can be done only once per work page per session instead of once per file. Otherwise, the waiting period should be severely decreased or eliminated entirely. Although this is NOT a paywall as you have mentioned earlier, to many users, it seems like one.
- Restrictions on new uploads. I like browsing the IMSLP front page for new scores and recordings, but unfortunately now this isn't possible to non-subscribers. This also makes the new subscription plan look like a paywall. At the very least, another message should be added to that page - something like "After X days, Y hours, Z minutes, this file will become available for all users." But it will be even better if this restriction is lifted completely.

I believe everything else about the current setup is perfectly fine.

I completely agree that it is concerning that I didn't notice any of the donation banners. Maybe it's because of my personal financial situation, but there may be another reason. (You mentioned popups - many browsers tend to block popups these days, unless I misunderstood)

I'd like to thank everyone who's helped IMSLP get where it is now and in the future. It is one of my favorite websites and no doubt one of the most useful.


To the right of the scanner name, if you click on the little gear option, a menu comes up where you can download a set of files (scores or parts) in one section under a single publication info section as a zip file. This will speed up the download process you are trying to do for multiple files in one section.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby StephenWest » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:29 pm

Why not start by making membership completely voluntary...with no penalty for those who choose not to become members? A lot of people here have said that the 15 second delay is not really a problem for users, so it is probably a poor incentive for getting them to pay. On the other hand it has a significant negative impact on the perceived integrity of the site, with a lot of people speculating about whether this is the first step towards a fully commercial site.

With a voluntary membership model, the emphasis would be on the 'carrot' of being a contributor to the community, rather than the 'stick' of annoying download delays. For instance, you might send out, for those who paid, a regular newsletter, telling them about current projects and telling them how their money is being used for the benefit of all.

I think this approach would send a much more positive message to the world about IMSLP and would not drive away contributors like me who want to make their work freely available to all. It would certainly be worth trying.

Steve

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Ackermanle » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:01 pm

Unfortunately there will always be those who complain paying even a modicum amount for something extremely valuable, because they want everything that is a labor of love for free. Freeloaders will always take advantage, and in my life I've notice there are more than you think (even on the classical music realm). Since Membership at such price is less than the cost of many fashion or sport magazines I'll take the offer and count my blessings.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby rtprtp » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:41 pm

there are always those who complain that they are paying for the others, and there are are always those who are working to share their work for free.


Ackermanle wrote:Unfortunately there will always be those who complain paying even a modicum amount for something extremely valuable, because they want everything that is a labor of love for free. Freeloaders will always take advantage, and in my life I've notice there are more than you think (even on the classical music realm). Since Membership at such price is less than the cost of many fashion or sport magazines I'll take the offer and count my blessings.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby jossuk » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:55 pm

"For instance, you might send out, for those who paid, a regular newsletter, telling them about current projects and telling them how their money is being used for the benefit of all". (Stephen West)

An interesting thought, but who would be the "you" tasked with doing this?

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby rtprtp » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:02 pm

Because imslp wants sustainable funding. Something one has to pay.

imslp does not need money, because " income we receive from various sources have been enough to maintain the site so far". it wants to control.

StephenWest wrote:Why not start by making membership completely voluntary...with no penalty for those who choose not to become members? A lot of people here have said that the 15 second delay is not really a problem for users, so it is probably a poor incentive for getting them to pay. On the other hand it has a significant negative impact on the perceived integrity of the site, with a lot of people speculating about whether this is the first step towards a fully commercial site.

With a voluntary membership model, the emphasis would be on the 'carrot' of being a contributor to the community, rather than the 'stick' of annoying download delays. For instance, you might send out, for those who paid, a regular newsletter, telling them about current projects and telling them how their money is being used for the benefit of all.

I think this approach would send a much more positive message to the world about IMSLP and would not drive away contributors like me who want to make their work freely available to all. It would certainly be worth trying.

Steve

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby StephenWest » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:08 pm

jossuk wrote:"For instance, you might send out, for those who paid, a regular newsletter, telling them about current projects and telling them how their money is being used for the benefit of all". (Stephen West)

An interesting thought, but who would be the "you" tasked with doing this?


There are very few volunteer projects on IMSLP (or if they exist I've not seen them). This could be one of them: so 'you' could include any member of IMSLP. That might include 'me' if IMSLP were free and without restrictions for access, but it won't if it continues down the current membership path.

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Re: Upcoming changes

Postby Boccaccio » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:27 pm

I still want to come back to the discussion about the risk of IMSLP getting unplugged from one day to the other because I feel this really connects to the root of why many people are concerned about the membership model. Basically, I see two reasons why a sudden switching off could happen.

The first one is ISMLP running out of money. As none of us (apart from Edward) has any insight into the finances, we cannot really comment on this unless we want to start speculating but this will not really lead anywhere.

The second point is that IMSLP is a one-man project, meaning it's a company owned by a single person.
As I already stated, Edward as the owner can just decide to stop the whole project at any time he likes. Apparently this is not his current interest, but there is no guarantee whatsoever that he does not change his mind one day. Personally, I suppose that other publishers/libraries being concerned about the stability of IMSLP were actually aiming at this point rather than at the funding situation.
I think that if IMSLP is supposed to have any long-term future, the next step absolutely should be to move it into a project that is really community owned. Otherwise we can still go on and discuss in this thread for months the pros and cons of having a membership model and pretty much nothing will change about the current situation (which from my point of view is characterized by people not really knowing of what to expect from IMSLP now and in the future) because in the end of the day it is Edward who does what he wants to do anyway.


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