Monster Iestyn wrote:All of these sound good ideas to me for the most part, though personally I would really love it if something like #4 was finally implemented to this site, given I really don't like it when I have to fix mistakes in my MIDIs. =D
Idea #4 would likely be a huge help to submitters as well as somewhat alleviating the burden posed upon designated uploaders like Lunar, et al. I agree with Lunar about ratings not being cause for deletion and whatnot. Rather a 'Report' button (like what you see on YouTube) can be present for use when any blatantly problematic files appear, and then a staff member can take care of it if necessary (not a false report). Prevents rule by mob.
(Warning: Tangent) As for the other points, hmm... I think it's a tough pill for some of us to swallow, but MIDI has really declined as far as number of people interested in it. It really had it's heyday back in the 90's. That's not to say it's bad or not useful anymore. After all, there's still no other format like it and which fills its niche as well or as universally. You see things like .MUS or .SIB, used in Finale and Sibelius respectively, but are generally unusable in other programs. MIDI, on the other hand, functions in almost every music-editing program. It's just too universal to abandon at this point. With that said, I hope a new and upgraded version of MIDI comes into wide use, since its present form is not without limitations, especially in the number of instruments and playing-style variations on said instruments. For instance, you can't get wah guitar with standard midi, or slap guitar for that matter. I love both of those but can't write them with midi, instead having to sub in jazz or distortion guitar, or using higher pitched slapped-bass notes to mimic slapped guitar. And that's just one example, as there are many other instruments that have different playing techniques which cannot be properly rendered through MIDI.
Right now, I think the best way to reach out is to find music composers & transcribers who might also like video-game music. So I agree with your #2 point, since many of them inhabit YouTube. There are other places they can be found too, but YT is a good start. To address Lunar's point, any MIDI rendering should be done through the choice of the original transciber/sequencer person. Ideally the sequencer would do it themselves and then send an MP3 to vgmusic @ YouTube for upload to the channel. Thus avoiding conflicts that could potentially be brought about by a set standard. Lunar's idea about a favorites list is good too, but the issue with that is not every sequencer uploads their stuff to YT. A few might not even have a YT account (rare, but possible).
I can see the value of #3, as it gives original composers a venue to display some of their midi creations, and with them hanging around these parts, might help spur them into transcribing/sequencing of VG tunes. But as I mentioned earlier, MIDI is really in decline. Most composers these days would prefer to render their midi through something like FL Studio with VSTis and then upload the result to YouTube or SoundCloud to share.
I imagine few would want to display the MIDI in it's base form, but I could be wrong about that. I also fear the slippery slope of where such a change of allowing uploading original works could lead, and if it might detract from the video game-centric focus of the site having a detrimental, rather than beneficial, effect to its overall health.
Finally, for idea #1: I think I agree with Lunar. I'd rather have staff who, regardless of age, love and appreciate VG music, especially in MIDI form, rather than staff who are selected simply because they might have a little more free time on their hands than current staff. One criteria should be a broad depth of knowledge about various tunes/composers across various systems. So, someone who likes older game tunes and not just newer ones from say, 2000 or later (and yes, a younger staff will have grown up with games from 1997-present). One anecdotal example: My own younger brother, who's 18 now, never touched an SNES, let alone an NES. He only knows what a Sega Genesis is because I used to own one a long time ago. And just forget about Master System, Atari, Commodre, and so on. Those are before me even. That's not to say that one has to have played any of those consoles, however
, one should at least have listened to some of the music on those systems, or be willing to do so.
In any case, by all means, let's start with idea #4, including the alterations suggested by Lunar, since I can't see any drawbacks to it. #2 also seems decent. Ideas #1 and #3 still warrant much discussion and careful consideration.
The next step is to find a willing programmer who can implement #4. It'd be nice to find a volunteer or rather, a team of volunteers, but if we need to pay someone to put it together, we can set up a a donation thing and put up announcements on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, etc to solicit help. I for one would be happy to chip in 10 or 20 bucks to help, and I'm sure many other would too, once the donation button was set up. Payment to the programmer(s) should come after the finished product is created though, just to ensure that the money is not wasted nor embezzled.
Having read a little further down now, I like Black Jack's idea about PDF's but the problem with that is how they would be rendered. I think it would have to come down to a system of optionally user-submitted PDF's in order to work, unless we could find a willing programmer(s) to make something that would automatically spit out inputted MIDI's using license-free software like LilyPond. I don't imagine that it would be an easy thing to accomplish, since another web-forum that I used to frequent discussed that very same idea a little over a year ago and, checking back there just now, looks like they haven't made much progress on it since those initials discussion steps.