A nice website for gear addicts

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portemanteau
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A nice website for gear addicts

Post by portemanteau » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:04 pm

I found is a nice website for anyone wondering what his favorite musician uses or how a specific sound was made :
https://whatgear.com/music , basically it's a database that link influential musicians and the equipment they use. There is a keyboardist category that may interest people here : https://whatgear.com/music/keyboardists

What are you thoughts about it?

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desmond
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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:03 am

I looked the the "keyboardists" link you provided.

It said "Explore 622 keyboardists"...

Then it showed me a page of about 50 thumbnails of guitarists playing guitar (I think three of them had keyboards in, the rest were prominent guitarists).

Zakk Wylde? *Keyboardist*..? No.

I then closed the page.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:48 am

I went to the last page and saw some actual keyboardists. Lousy search mechanism, since anyone who plays keys as well as any other instrument shows up the list. There is no concept of "show me keyboardists who are not guitarists, bassists or drummers" for example :?
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by portemanteau » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:07 am

desmond wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:03 am
I looked the the "keyboardists" link you provided.

It said "Explore 622 keyboardists"...

Then it showed me a page of about 50 thumbnails of guitarists playing guitar (I think three of them had keyboards in, the rest were prominent guitarists).

Zakk Wylde? *Keyboardist*..? No.

I then closed the page.
well, Zakk keyboarding:

I see what you mean, its because these artists are guitarists also playing keyboard (some as a secondary instrument) and they are displayed by popularity order, guitarists being more popular than keyboardists, it makes a loosy search engine.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:20 am

Most musicians can make music on any instrument, to varying degrees. It doesn’t make Dave Gilmore a drummer, Phil Collins a bass player or Howard Jones a saxophonist.

If I say “show me keyboard players” and I get pictures of 50 guitarists, all notable guitar players and pictured playing the guitar, the experience is not a good one, whether it’s technically correct or not.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by portemanteau » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am

desmond wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:20 am
Most musicians can make music on any instrument, to varying degrees. It doesn’t make Dave Gilmore a drummer, Phil Collins a bass player or Howard Jones a saxophonist.

If I say “show me keyboard players” and I get pictures of 50 guitarists, all notable guitar players and pictured playing the guitar, the experience is not a good one, whether it’s technically correct or not.
It's exactly what i said. Anyway, you missed the point of the website, hope you aren't quitting everything so easy in life

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:34 am

portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
It's exactly what i said.
I know. And it results in a poor experience.
portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
Anyway, you missed the point of the website
I'm aware of the point of the website, and already said there are other long-established sites that already do this. A lot of them have info sourced from my site, I see them in my referral logs.
portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
hope you aren't quitting everything so easy in life
No need to get snippy - you asked for opinions... :roll:

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by portemanteau » Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:05 pm

desmond wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:34 am
portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
It's exactly what i said.
I know. And it results in a poor experience.
portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
Anyway, you missed the point of the website
I'm aware of the point of the website, and already said there are other long-established sites that already do this. A lot of them have info sourced from my site, I see them in my referral logs.
portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:51 am
hope you aren't quitting everything so easy in life
No need to get snippy - you asked for opinions... :roll:
Oh, didn't know your site, thats a very great initiative ! Good idea to scan long established magazine to make archives. Hope the search engine is perfect so i wont have to ditch it from my fav bar.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by madtheory » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:08 pm

portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:05 pm
Hope the search engine is perfect so i wont have to ditch it from my fav bar.
Ironically, it is perfect :lol:

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by KayBur » Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:08 pm

portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:05 pm
Oh, didn't know your site, thats a very great initiative ! Good idea to scan long established magazine to make archives. Hope the search engine is perfect so i wont have to ditch it from my fav bar.
Generally, a search engine works great if you enter the correct search term. If your query is incorrect, then you will not find the necessary information in the search results and you might think that the problem is in the search engine, and not in the correctness of the query.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:30 pm

portemanteau wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 3:05 pm
Oh, didn't know your site, thats a very great initiative ! Good idea to scan long established magazine to make archives. Hope the search engine is perfect so i wont have to ditch it from my fav bar.
Thanks. And indeed, I had exactly the same problem to face. Here's how I *chose* to implement it:

Hypothetically, say we have an interview with Pete Townsend, the bass player with the Who. Now, if you asked someone, "Hey, you know that keyboard player Pete Townsend?", they'd likely go "Ugh, you mean the bass player, the guy from the Who?".

He's known as a bass player. But yes, he's into synths, has a bunch, and even played synth stuff on the Who recordings. I've no idea what his keyboard skills arelike, but he certainly plays keyboards.

Do I mark him as a keyboard player on the site?

I do not. He would get tags of Musician, Bass Player. Maybe songwriter. Other things depending on the context of the article (obviously, some artists I'm more familiar with than others, and I can only work with the info available to me, and the odd quick google if I need something clarified.)

Because it doesn't make sense that when the user goes "Show me articles with keyboard players" that Pete Townsend shows up in that list, because he's not a notable keyboard player.

As I said above, most musicians have played other instruments in various degrees. In an artist is commonly known for something, they'll get a tag for it. Otherwise they won't. Dave Gilmour can play the drums. There's the odd YouTube video of him playing the drums. But he should not come up in the search results when a user says to the site "Hey, show me articles with drummers."

That's how I would expect it to work, and how I chose to implement this - but the details are "fuzzy" as often the case when it comes to real life. The main criteria is "when someone looks for this, what are they expecting to see", and working within that as a framework.

And no - my search engine is not perfect, search is an eternal black hole of never-ending improvements and detail and observing what people search for and trying to always tweak and improve to try to give the results the user wants to see - but a lot of those things are edge cases, and I have the usual list of general bugs, edge-case bugs and general improvements to make, which I will get to when I'm next in the zone to go and improve search (there's only so much I can do as there's only one of me), but at the moment, I'm focusing on content as things work well enough, as long as a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes things. I'd rather spend the next six months adding 100 issues of content to the sight, than spending that time marginally improving every edge case search issue I can find, because that has minimal returns for the majority of useage.

Hope that clarifies where I'm coming from...

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:39 pm

KayBur wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:08 pm
Generally, a search engine works great if you enter the correct search term. If your query is incorrect, then you will not find the necessary information in the search results and you might think that the problem is in the search engine, and not in the correctness of the query.
It's a problem, because people enter any old garbage and expect the computer to figure it out. I've had search terms like "tell me how to make my bass better". Effective searching is a skill, but you wouldn't believe the lengths that developers go to to try and "help" the user find what they are looking for.

For Google, it tries really hard to *understand what you are looking for* from what you type, and delivers results based on that. That is *incredibly* hard to do and is beyond the resources of small independents.

Instead, I do a variety of things when you type a query. There is always the first option of just doing a text search for the entered query (but that in itself is complicated), but I also try to pick out metadata and present those, so you can for instance type "SOS jan 92" to have that issue come up in quick search, or "yamaha dx7" to give a shortcut to "show me all articles about the dx7" (which is different to text searching for "yamaha dx7", which would bring up articles when people say stuff like "I really hate the Yamaha DX7!" when you're after a review of the DX7).

I do all kinds of fudgy meta-data matching on gear, models, authors, topics, mags, tags, artists and so on. And on a lot of those things, I also include mispellings and other similar terms so that incorrect gear names will still match the correct thing - so you don't have to type "jupiter-8" to find it - "jupiter8", "jupiter 8", "jp8", "jp8a" etc will all match it.

But it's difficult to make much sense of some of the queries people type - I can't take responsibility for providing meaningful results when a user can't engage their brain to search for something meaningful. Thankfully, the internet at large has educated people into these things a lot more, but ironically, the excellence of google and it's ability to understand your queries means quite some people expect *all* search engines to work like that, which is a bloody high bar to try to match!

I try my best, and I evolve and improve over time, and strive to provide useful results for the majority of cases - that's about all I can be expected to do really.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by KayBur » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:15 am

desmond wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:39 pm
KayBur wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:08 pm
Generally, a search engine works great if you enter the correct search term. If your query is incorrect, then you will not find the necessary information in the search results and you might think that the problem is in the search engine, and not in the correctness of the query.
It's a problem, because people enter any old garbage and expect the computer to figure it out. I've had search terms like "tell me how to make my bass better". Effective searching is a skill, but you wouldn't believe the lengths that developers go to to try and "help" the user find what they are looking for.

For Google, it tries really hard to *understand what you are looking for* from what you type, and delivers results based on that. That is *incredibly* hard to do and is beyond the resources of small independents.

Instead, I do a variety of things when you type a query. There is always the first option of just doing a text search for the entered query (but that in itself is complicated), but I also try to pick out metadata and present those, so you can for instance type "SOS jan 92" to have that issue come up in quick search, or "yamaha dx7" to give a shortcut to "show me all articles about the dx7" (which is different to text searching for "yamaha dx7", which would bring up articles when people say stuff like "I really hate the Yamaha DX7!" when you're after a review of the DX7).

I do all kinds of fudgy meta-data matching on gear, models, authors, topics, mags, tags, artists and so on. And on a lot of those things, I also include mispellings and other similar terms so that incorrect gear names will still match the correct thing - so you don't have to type "jupiter-8" to find it - "jupiter8", "jupiter 8", "jp8", "jp8a" etc will all match it.

But it's difficult to make much sense of some of the queries people type - I can't take responsibility for providing meaningful results when a user can't engage their brain to search for something meaningful. Thankfully, the internet at large has educated people into these things a lot more, but ironically, the excellence of google and it's ability to understand your queries means quite some people expect *all* search engines to work like that, which is a bloody high bar to try to match!

I try my best, and I evolve and improve over time, and strive to provide useful results for the majority of cases - that's about all I can be expected to do really.
You are saying everything correctly, only the inability of people to use search networks in 2021 is more of a problem for them than a problem of website optimization. After all, you cannot put all possible search perversions into some informational article.

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by desmond » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:50 pm

KayBur wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:15 am
the inability of people to use search networks in 2021 is more of a problem for them than a problem of website optimization.
Sure, but part of the task of computer systems is solve problems for people to empower them without requiring them to learn complicated procedures.
KayBur wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:15 am
After all, you cannot put all possible search perversions into some informational article.
Nope. But you can have a general understanding of how people use these things, and use that to try and create a tool that's more helpful than unhelpful.

But as I say, you can spend *all* your time improving search systems, but at some point you have to say "works well enough", give power users some additional tools that they might find useful, and move on to other tasks...

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Re: A nice website for gear addicts

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:11 pm

As someone who worked in computer and network design for over 35 years, including the early days of web design (when people actually had to write pages 100% in HTML) I find the design of far too many websites to be total garbage.

Simple things like generating an error message telling the user that the password they chose must be fewer than 16 characters and not include punctuation rather than stating that up front, pages that display radio buttons off the edge of the screen with no way to move the popup so the button can be reached and pages that won't work at all in some browsers so users must keep at least three browsers (Chrome, Firefox and Safari for me) around, there's really no excuse for pathetic page design.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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