Songslide: Pick Your Price

June 26th, 2007

Ever since I came across Jane Siberry’s online store I’ve wanted to try offering that same kind of flexible pricing – when you buy her music, you decide what you want to pay for it. From what I hear, even though everyone who buys has the option of getting it free, generally the average price per song tends to stay much higher than a dollar. That is, until she gets some press – then the non-fans come out and screw up the curve.

I don’t have the chops (or the time or the will) to figure out how to set up a shopping cart that does that, so I was happy to hear about Songslide – they do pretty much the same thing, except there are high and low boundaries. When you’re picking the price you can see exactly how much money the artist gets. Most of my music is available there now, and they were kind enough to make me the artist of the week for this week. If you’ve been meaning to buy music from me but thought a dollar per song was too expensive (or cheap), now is the time…

Afraid to Move, Moving Anyway

June 25th, 2007

It’s been several days and no website problems – I may not have mentioned, after that whole thing with deleted data there was also a situation with a bad network card. There were some unexplained outages that went away once they replaced that sucker. It’s running so smoothly now I don’t know what to do with myself.

Mailing list is not rebuilt yet, but I will say here that it’s official, we’re (that is to say me and Paul and Storm ‘re) going to Texas in September. I’ve just added a Houston show to the calendar, and there will be a couple other shows in other cities that get added around that. Texans: please do not kick me in the shins with the sharp toes of your cowboy boots.

I’ll also be doing a show at Union Hall in Brooklyn on July 10th, along with Graham Smith and The Petersons, the evening to be MC’d by the ever explosive Dave Hill. This will almost certainly sell out, so buy your tickets ahead of time.

Popsci Video Contest Winner

June 20th, 2007

They’ve chosen a winner – I won’t spoil the surprise, just go here. Thanks to everyone who entered, there were some really great ones in there. I’m honored that you would all spend so much time working on something like this (even if you only did it for the iPod).

Progress

June 20th, 2007

We managed to recover my old mysql database, and I managed to rescue all the missing comments and put them back where they belong. And the mailing list data, which was even more important, though I will probably have to go in and re-install and re-customize all the php because those files appear to be gone for good. I could attempt to rescue forum activity, but I’m afraid to touch that data structure – best to leave well enough alone at this point I think. So all in all it’s been mostly a loss of site uptime, man hours, and faith in computers; thankfully no serious permanent data losses.

This job as an independent musician has been looking suspiciously like my old job writing database software lately – not a bad thing really, it’s nice to get a code fix once in a while. Now if I could just remember where my guitar is…

Disaster

June 18th, 2007

You may have noticed a distinct lack of, well, everything here at jonathancoulton.com. On Friday I realized that I had done enough work on the new server that I was starting to feel a little nervous about not having a decent backup – some files and data are thoughtfully still made available to me by my old host, the incredibly reliable and non-hard-drive-deleting Hostbaby, but it’s about a month old. So I purchased a backup hard drive from my new host and asked them to install it on my fancy dedicated server. In doing so, they somehow erased my original hard drive. Oops!

So I’ve spent the weekend in contact with a very competent tech wizard who’s been trying to rescue the data (hint: he is NOT the same guy who erased my hard drive). In theory this should work pretty well, but in practice it doesn’t seem to be working at all. So I’ve spent a bunch of time putting month-old data back on this site, and recovering recent posts from the Google Reader feed (which Google caches). All your comments from the last month or so are currently lost (i.e., belong to us), also anything that happened in the forums in the last month. The former may change if we actually do recover the data, the latter I think is not worth the trouble of attempting a crazy data merge. And my new mailing list was just set up and imported and cleaned when disaster struck – I don’t have the stomach to do all that work again at the moment. I’ll wait another day and see what if anything gets recovered. But all mp3s should be back where they were, and the store should work again. I’m sure I broke a few things, so let me know if there’s a page or a link that’s not working.

This sure was annoying, but I understand that these things happen sometimes. And I know from experience, but forgot this time, that when it comes to hardware upgrades and backups, you should always expect something ridiculously improbable to happen. Once when I wrote software for a living, I was typing so fast in DOS that I somehow managed to fire off “del *.*” when I was in the root of our office’s shared directory on the server. They had a good backup so we only lost a few hours – I was not fired, but I was certainly very embarrassed. Hopefully after we get the data all sorted out, these guys will step up and show me enough love to make me feel better.

A friendly reminder from someone who just got screwed: back up all your data today…