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So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage?

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:03 AM

Hi Folks,

We have more and more JPF members on Ourstage every day. In the Newport Folk Festival Channel, our members are dominating the top of the charts. So I thought it might be interesting for folks to post how they are doing here and we can track.

Please tell us what category you are in, your song title and where it ranks currently.

Let the success stories (and the not so successful yet stories) begin!

Brian
Posted By: Papaya Boy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:28 AM

Ok, 4-13-08

Folk It's a cold day in Bradenton 23
Newport Folk Fest 20008 Whut I learned at work 31
Radio922 Earthfest H'oponopono 41
Newport Folk fest 2008 Broken Shells 128
New age/World El Maskara,the luchadore song 170
Folk Depleted Uranium 267


PB
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:34 AM

What is the Newport Folk Festival station all about? (I really wish they had a better on-line description of the stations, versus just the little bit in the FAQ).

My stuff:
Let That River Flow 162/339 in Folk (high of 44)
Sitting By The Fire 520/577 in Country (high of 282?)
Dark Recess 522/1199 in Alt Rock (high of ?)
Roll Daddy Roll 992/1164 in Indie Rock/Pop (high of 676?)

I guess I am not making much of an impact over there. The only one I am disappointed with is Sitting By The Fire. I realize it is an old style country waltz, but I thought it would so a little better.

Back to the drawing board.

Kevin
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:42 AM

Kevin, I think the winner gets to play at the festival.

"These Old Shoes" 51st at Newport folk festival
Posted By: Larry Williams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:44 AM

Jazz: "I Remember Your Smile" is currently 38th out of 354.

My best month for it was February where it ended up at 17.

Once I upgrade the production quality for my AI songwriting submission, I'll set it in motion in the pop category.

Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:59 AM

At Our Stage:

"A Hot Day In Havana": Latin, #18
"Ivory And Steel": Jazz, #87
"She's Hot And I'm Bothered": Jazz #109
"Escuchar A Mi Corazon": Latin #117
"Boonoonoonous JA": Reggae, #130
"Blue Monday": Blues, #224 (This one has been up & down quite a bit"
"Nefarious Noise": Techno/Club Dance #365
"Joyous Insanity": #377


I have nothing at the Newport Folk Festival. I assumed by its title that it was primarily oreinted to Folk muisc Music, one of my least favorite genres. So, I have not checked it out. Maybe I should?

Al
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 04:08 AM

Last months results....

'Alienlandscape' - 38th in Electronic
'Sad Song for Your Baby' - 68th in Blues
'Synthetic Salsa Blue' - 184th in Jazz
'Someones Got A Better Hand' - 195th in R and B / Soul

There were a couple of surprises, but I'm happy with the results. It's probably in line with a random audience sample.

Don't think I'll bother entering them again. Sort of know how the field lies, and I now have an idea about what a non-targeted audience thinks.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 04:49 AM

Currently:

The Graveyard of Songs
40th in Folk
Played: 143 Favorited: 4


Solve My Problem
297th in Rock
Played: 39 Favorited: 0


Just Another Day
1407th in Rock
Played: 37 Favorited: 0
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 04:52 AM

Kevin,

Do you get the Just Plain Folks Newsletter? (If you don't then you're not officially a member as that's the official member list). We covered the Newport Folk Festival channel in it last week. You can read the full issue in my blog.

Brian
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 05:02 AM

Here's how my current entries are doing...

"Throwdown" - Electronic - 4th
"Antigravity" - New Age/World - 6th
"The Art of Zen" - Instrumental - 4th
"Breathing You In [feat. Jillian Goldin]" - Techno/Club/Dance - 45th
"Mindbender" - Techno/Club/Dance - 75th
"Warhead" - Electronic - 168th
"Drum and Bossa" - Instrumental - 263rd

It's interesting... "The Art of Zen" did pretty poorly last month, not even making it close to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, "BYI" was #3 in the FINALS (#1 in semis) and Mindbender was #2 in the semis. This month, they're not even top 20.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 05:12 AM

Different judges and different head to head competitors should produce different results... if the results were the same every time, those folks who won would never lose. It should serve as an educational experience really. It shows how you can get rejected over and over and then suddenly someone "discovers" you and you're a big hit. And in the end, you are the same person and writer/artist you were before the success after it.

Brian
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 05:16 AM

Some of my best recent enteries:

Indy - 18 in New Age/World, April 18, 2008 (still in progress)
Lion & The Lamb - 78 in Christian/Spiritual, February 2008
He Once For Me Did Bleed - 102 in Christian/Spiritual, March 2008


My "problem" is that I have other tracks that are just as good or better, but there's no suitable channel to enter them yet. For example, I have an instrumental pop/jazz fusion (Cafe Gourmet) which wouldn't do well in mainstream Jazz or Pop, but would do better in a Sub genre like Smooth/Pop jazz.

Another example is "Tower Of Bable" which is composed and arranged in a film soundtrack style. Other channels such as New Age/World, Instrumental and Experimental might work, but still not close enough to contemporary classical with a strong leaning towards Film score or maybe video game.

I also have some classic style hymns which are instrumentals, so they won't fit in the Christian/Spiritual channel which requires lyrics and vocals; and these won't do so well in Instrumental because everything gets tossed in there from folk, rock and jazz to bluegrass and hip-hop. There's a bit too much variety there now.

News Flash Update!
I just found out that now Covers are supported on OurStage. That's great news for me. I've got a few like: Adagio For Strings, Unchained Melody, White Bird, Be Thou My Vision, Carol Of The Bells, Claire De Lune, Good Tidings To Zion, etc.
Technically, only the first 3 qualify as legal (current day) cover tunes while the rest are already in the public domain.

If OurStage had these additional channels: Contemporary Classical, Children's Music, Film and maybe Instrumental Hymns, it would open more opportunities for much of my material.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 05:40 AM

I put up one to get the lay of the land.

"Arizona" is currently 32nd in Folk. It was at 130ish for ages, then jumped to 70ish. A few days ago it was 50ish.

Since most things naturally tend to oscillate, I expect it will start moving the other direction soon smile

Maybe I should probably put up a picture for it smile

Scott

Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 10:46 AM

Falling In - Music Video, ranked at 253 as of this posting.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 02:40 PM

Jody,

How come you don't have any of your songs entered?

Micheal,

You should enter those 2 songs into Jazz and Instrumental. They fit there and there's no reason not to. We have film soundtrack music in our instrumental each year and before we had Inst. Jazz, we had instrumental jazz songs in our Jazz category. If there's not a sub category yet, they won't add one if there's no evidence of people entering enough of that type of music to need a channel. So you're making a self fulfilled prophecy by not participating.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 02:41 PM

Definitely put up one of your cool photos Scott. It makes a difference... those generic Ourstage photos can confuse repeat voters into thinking they're voting for a different song (or against it).

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 02:48 PM

One of our members is currently #1, 5, 6, 7, 11, 23 & 28 in the Newport Folk Festival channel meaning it's pretty likely one of our folks is going to get submitted for consideration to play there.

Brian
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 03:59 PM

Hi Brian

I entered my song "Don't push my button" on "Ourstage" today, under country, I am a bit confused by it all, but I will see how it goes. One question I do have is I ticked a box that said do I want Ourstage to sell my song, and I ticked yes, should I have done that cause I don't understand it. Do I get money, or is that just if I win the competition?

Michele
Aussie girl from down under
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 06:26 PM

My song Burning Down is currently #1 on the Newport Folk Festival channel!

I haven't added any other songs to OurStage yet, but I plan on it later today. grin
Posted By: Steve West

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 07:19 PM

My song "Lonely Man" is 159th in Contemporary so far this month. It did terrible last month in the Alt. Rock channel. cry I just entered my song "Rivertown" today, 577th in Americana / Alt Country. It looks like no where to go except up for it right now, that is until more folks enter. grin
Posted By: Jack Swain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 07:29 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
One of our members is currently #1, 5, 6, 7, 11, 23 & 28 in the Newport Folk Festival channel meaning it's pretty likely one of our folks is going to get submitted for consideration to play there.

Brian


One person has that many highly ranks songs? That is excellent!
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 09:23 PM

Aw, number 2 now... but the week is young! wink
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 11:09 PM

Jack,

I meant that "one" of our members were ranked that each. Actually Seth Horan was both 6 & 7 at the time.. but they change a lot.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 11:10 PM

Darn Juliana! But I bet you'll make it to the semi finals and that's all that matters.. being number one in the early round isn't as important as being number one at the end!

Brian
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 11:31 PM

Thanks Brian!
Ok, so Cafe Gourmet is now in Jazz channel (for all of April) but since it doesn't have vocals, it can't compete as well in this category.

So if I understand you correctly you're suggesting I try it in the Instrumental channel, right? Probably I should also try "Tower Of Bable" in Instrumental channel.

I think I'll wait till May 1st to do all my channel switching at the same time, or maybe I should do it now and get a little head start! smile

Michael
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/14/08 11:36 PM

Originally Posted by Michele Bolton
I am a bit confused by it all, but I will see how it goes. One question I do have is I ticked a box that said do I want Ourstage to sell my song, and I ticked yes, should I have done that cause I don't understand it. Do I get money, or is that just if I win the competition? Michele

Hi Michele,
No need to be confused... look, it's simple:

When you elect to make your songs available for sale it has nothing to do with the monthly song contents. Selling your songs to "fans" for downloads is just like selling your music at SoundClick or any other place around the internet. It's just a .99 cent song sale which enables your customers to download a copy of your song, that's all.

This works regardless of whether or not you enter your songs into the contest or whether you win or lose, etc. Doesn't matter, they're two seperate things. Obviously it's in most artist's interest to win as many contests as possible and sell as many songs as possible. Why limit yourself? wink

Hope this clears things up a bit for you!
Please let us know how it goes.
Cheers,
Michael
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 08:51 AM

OK .. well I just joined .. I just put on my first song to the Newport Folk Festival channel.
Now I better go back and learn my way around the site! crazy
Lots of good music to listen too!!!
Joanne
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 02:04 PM

I wish I could listen, but listening to high bit songs while on dialup is next to impossible.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 05:56 PM

I'm surprised. In the first week or so, all the standings changed a lot and quickly. This past week, things seemed to hold their ground more, and "The Graveyard of Songs" was holding steadily somewhere in the 40's in Folk.

It was #40 yesterday, but it's #14 today. smile

So, just to see what happens, I threw in a late entry to the Singer/Songwriter category, "Hold On Strong To Your Love".
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 06:02 PM

Hey Mark,

Yeah, it takes awhile for them to get listened to enough to make a difference. Mine didn't show up much at all until it had been up for a week and now it's between 1 and 2 off and on.

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 06:17 PM

Hi Juliana, and congrats. I love your song.

I've been monitoring this process with interest...it had 140 or so votes yesterday when it still hung in the 40's...now it's had 158. I think that has a lot to do with which songs it goes against at which time.

Are you changing strings in your avatar? grin Good luck to you, Juliana!
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/15/08 06:25 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman

Are you changing strings in your avatar? grin Good luck to you, Juliana!


Yeah, that's a picture my boyfriend got of me preparing to play at the Bele Chere festival. I'm bad about changing strings at (nearly) the last minute, so I figured this avatar would remind me to do it.

Come to think of it, I have a show tomorrow... grin
Posted By: Andy K

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 03:38 PM

I personally find OurStage to be one of the clumsiest and most user unfriendly sites around.

The doesn't appear to be any way to delete a song or video once it has been uploaded. The first time I loaded my video, it didn't play too well on their player. So I saved the video with a different codec and this new one played OK in OurStage. But I can't delete the old one. I've also remixed some songs previously submitted but can't delete the old mixes. Does this mean that our songs and videos become their property forever? I don't like that.

I wanted to have some of my songs available for free download but can't figure out how to do it. It is apparently possible as they have free song advertisements on my OurStage page all the time.

I'm getting spammed (like 2 to three emails a day by one jerk) by some "friends" from this site but can't seem to remove them as "friends."

These are just some of the many problems I've had with this site.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 04:25 PM

Ok I will give it a shot.
Trying to figure out which channel to put the song in seems to be the biggest challenge.
I opted to put up my song (This Would Be) His Last Time

I first thought it should be in the Hard Rock or Rock channel but I have decided it is probably more suited to Singer/Songwriter. Even though it has a more distorted guitar driven sound.
We will see how it goes. It is my wifes least favorite song. Actually she plain does not like it. So this will be a test.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 04:40 PM

Looks like a test for an impending divorce Bill ! Good luck. ( with the song, not the wife, that is ) smile

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 05:40 PM

Andy,

I am sure if you ask to be removed from their site, they'll remove you completely. If you do and they don't, let me know and I will call them directly.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 05:45 PM

Originally Posted by Andy K
I personally find OurStage to be one of the clumsiest and most user unfriendly sites around.

The doesn't appear to be any way to delete a song or video once it has been uploaded. The first time I loaded my video, it didn't play too well on their player. So I saved the video with a different codec and this new one played OK in OurStage. But I can't delete the old one. I've also remixed some songs previously submitted but can't delete the old mixes. Does this mean that our songs and videos become their property forever? I don't like that.

I wanted to have some of my songs available for free download but can't figure out how to do it. It is apparently possible as they have free song advertisements on my OurStage page all the time.

I'm getting spammed (like 2 to three emails a day by one jerk) by some "friends" from this site but can't seem to remove them as "friends."

These are just some of the many problems I've had with this site.


There are some probs for sure and I do not like the idea of having songs up there forever. I think we should have an option for editing our profile and removing songs. All songs should be removed from the boards after a month and it is up to individuals to re enter in the next months battle if they wish.
Otherwise categories are going to be unmanageable and voting will not work properly due to high numbers of entries.

I do not get the whole friends thing either. It is creeping into every site. I am getting Soundclick and Ourstage requests from folk who want to be my friend. Some of these folk judging by their profile have very little in common and I have never even heard of them. It's some form of networking idea that they are using to publicise themselves.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 07:35 PM

Originally Posted by Big Jim Merrilees
I do not get the whole friends thing either. It is creeping into every site. I am getting Soundclick and Ourstage requests from folk who want to be my friend. Some of these folk judging by their profile have very little in common and I have never even heard of them. It's some form of networking idea that they are using to publicise themselves.

AWWWW! C'mon Big Jim
Don't be such a prude.
They heard you was a Scot and Scot's don't wear anything under them Kilts. The want to be your friiieeend.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 07:38 PM

Hey Nite
She just rolled her eyes when I told her which song I was gonna put up.
I said "well, I figure it's one way to find out if you are right about the song".
Then I ducked, LOL.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/17/08 08:06 PM

Hey Bill the latest was bi-sexual. Could not tell from the pic if it was male or female. Listened to some of its songs as well could not tell what they were either. LOL

BTW there is a way to remove songs I just found it out. It comes under edit profile when you have clicked on your name.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 01:06 AM

About removing songs...

Your song will only be entered in the month and competition that YOU chose...it will not be entered in any other month unless you do so yourself. The issue with "removal" is that your song does remain on the site, searchable and playable, and there does not yet appear to be a function to take it down.

I say YET. Danny Palmer has been very interactive and appears to be keenly interested in bettering the site in any way possible.

Hey, "The Graveyard of Songs", #10 and holding for two days now. This close to the quarterfinals I am starting to think about maybe getting a little excited. Not for winning, but for being in that smaller group of songs that gets so much play. Fingers crossed for a week. smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 01:12 AM

I was under the impression that removal was from the site but I think you are correct. It seems to be a problem if you cannot remove songs altogether. My other question is what happens to songs that are flagged as being off topic or offensive or copyright violation? I have reported a few.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 01:21 AM

They review whatever has been flagged, and if they agree, they pull it from the competition.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by Andy K
I personally find OurStage to be one of the clumsiest and most user unfriendly sites around.

The doesn't appear to be any way to delete a song or video once it has been uploaded. The first time I loaded my video, it didn't play too well on their player. So I saved the video with a different codec and this new one played OK in OurStage. But I can't delete the old one. I've also remixed some songs previously submitted but can't delete the old mixes. Does this mean that our songs and videos become their property forever? I don't like that.

I wanted to have some of my songs available for free download but can't figure out how to do it. It is apparently possible as they have free song advertisements on my OurStage page all the time.

I'm getting spammed (like 2 to three emails a day by one jerk) by some "friends" from this site but can't seem to remove them as "friends."

These are just some of the many problems I've had with this site.


First of all, read the terms of service of any website before uploading your music. You can't complain about them after the fact.

Second of all, if you DID read the TOS, you'd see OurStage doesn't own anything of yours. Your music and videos don't become "their property". Don't be so paranoid. It makes you look bad.

Third, how are you being spammed by anyone? They removed the "mass mail to friends" option. You can only mass mail your FANS now. So if you are that person's fan, you should remove yourself from their fan club (takes one click.) If they are actually messaging you repeatedly and you're NOT their fan, then you need to report them to OurStage - simple as that.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 01:56 AM

I'm with Big Jim on the "friends" thing. I like the idea of having real "friends" like people who I know from JPF, but a lot of people "friend" farm or "friend" fish for the lack of a better term. In other words I get requests from hip hop artists mostly, I check their site and they have thousands of "friends". Why do they need me?
I'll tell you why. As a networking tool it is a way to build up a sort of mailing list. The more "friends" they have the more announcements they can send out. Chances are someone will bite and become a fan. It's the same way on Myspace.
I don't have a problem with the "friend" system but it is not my cup of tea. I will only accept people who I know, or have similar taste in music. And I do want to know what my real "friends" are doing. Anyone else is a phony "friend" as far as I'm concerned. Ben
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 02:03 AM

I feel the same way, Ben. Except sometimes when the spammer is kinda hot.

OurStage provides a "Block Sender" option in the messages console. I've used it a couple times now.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 02:08 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Andy,
I am sure if you ask to be removed from their site, they'll remove you completely. If you do and they don't, let me know and I will call them directly.
Brian

Brian & Andy,
Actually, it's NO problem to request to remove any song or video at any time. I did a little customer service (tech support) test and they got back with me very quickly. Actually, I just wanted to "weed out" a few songs and a video that I didn't need displayed anymore, so it was also based on a real need. They removed my requested files and then sent me an email to confirm deletion. I had one song which was still entered into a contest (which I'd overlooked) so they even reminded me to first remove it from the contest so they could then delete the file for me.

So there's really NO need to remove your whole profile and completely leave the site. Each month just upload the few songs you want to enter into a contest. Then, after the contest is over (or even before), you can request to have those files removed.

It would be nice if in the future they would allow us to do this ourselves, just like at other sites like SoundClick. It's very easy there to overwrite new recordings over existing song files and also remove them (completely) at any time.

With OurStage, they have to be careful about "overwriting" existing song files if they've already been entered into a contest and are being actively voted on. It wouldn't be fair to change the recording in the middle of the contest, so they don't allow that, though you could remove it from the contest, ask them to delete it and then upload a new file with same or similar song title, and re-enter into a contest.

So that's what I've learned there in the last month or so! smile
Michael
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 02:29 AM

I've written a couple times about how I understand not letting you change your song due to the voting process.

But now that I think about it, I can no longer think of a good reason...if it was improved and began to do better after being updated...how is that unfair...? Maybe they should allow it after all...
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 04:05 AM

The voting on the Newport channel has been fickle for me. My song was around #200, went down to #51, then down to #21 now it's back up to #140 all in a few days. I just reentered it for next month for another roller coaster ride. Ben
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/18/08 04:49 AM

In my experience, if your song is jumping around it's because the channel has received relatively few votes. Thus, one vote carries more weight than it would elsewhere. Techno used to be like that two months ago, but this month has been quite stable.
Posted By: Andy K

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/19/08 06:34 AM

All the other sites I've posted music or videos on (Soundclick, MySpace, Songramp, etc.) I've been able to delete or update material myself. If the material was being rated or scored, the update would start from scratch (or zero, score for previous version not counting for new version) on most sites, which seems right. This is the first time I've had to request that the site creators remove old material. This seems kind of primitive.

I haven't received a message from the artist who was spamming me the most. I must have stumbled on a switch to turn him off, assuming OurStage management didn't ban him or something similar.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/19/08 06:22 PM

Well it seems like my song is doing pretty much what I expected.
It is one of those either you like it or you hate it songs. no middle, LOL.
It is hanging right around the middle in the singer songwriter channel. so I'd say its getting about a 50/50 split
But it has only been there for two days. with 17 views.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 04/19/08 07:07 PM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/19/08 08:16 PM

Hi Tammy, I copied this from the "Terms And Conditions" sub-section "Posting Submitted Content"

No Illegal, Infringing or Abusive Message Content: You understand and acknowledge that you are responsible for your Submitted Content, and agree not to post any content that is unlawful, harmful, tortious, defamatory, libelous, obscene, invasive of the privacy of another person, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, racist, infringing, pornographic, violent or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate as determined by OurStage.

The words obscene, pornographic, objectionable and inappropriate are there but they are determined by OurStage. So bringing this to their attention seems appropriate. I wouldn't think that the artist in question could know who reported them. Maybe Danny can give a definite answer. Ben

Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/20/08 01:29 AM

Tammy,
It's Ok to report abusive/offensive things as well as Off Topic. I think the adminstrators will know which "judge" reported, but our identity will not be shared with the offending parties, so it's completely safe to offer any helpful & honest feedback.

I think it's important to immediately report anything offensive or off topic, etc. Let's keep on doing the right thing. It helps keep the site cleaner and operating more effectively for the great majority of artists and fans.

Michael
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/20/08 02:16 AM

Thanks Michael, I thought I should but I thought they could see. Someone said they were seen for doing that. I will have to find where I saw that and show ya.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/21/08 11:13 PM

I uploaded a few tracks last week, in different categories. So far, Please Emmalene has fared the best. Last I checked it was #6 on the folk channel.
Plenty of time for it to plummet though!

http://www.steverobinsonmusic.com/
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/21/08 11:51 PM

I've seen some unexpected shifts in some categories in the last 24 hours including some songs that came totally out of nowhere to the top of one channel when I hadn't seen then even in the running (i.e. the top 100) all month. That seems very bizarre. I am curious if it's temporary or if they will stay. Especially in the cases where songs aren't that good and still rocket to the top.

I think it's really going to take some time for genres to clear up, people to understand what belongs where and of course for Ourstage to grow and adjust to that growth. I think they are very responsive and don't shy away from tough questions. Do they do everything the way I (or anyone else for that matter) would do it? Of course not. And I do things with JPF that few agree with as well. In the end, they've gotta serve their needs so they can move forward as a company. There are always going to be times where compromises have to be made and things can't be perfect. But as long as their heart is in the right place, I think they'd continue to be a more and more important and useful tool for everyone.

Brian
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/22/08 02:05 AM

Brian,
What about this point that Tammy is asking about judges giving feedback to OurStage? The "feedback" in this case is for reporting Off-topic songs or Offensive words in the lyrics during the judging process. I'm pretty sure it's anonymous and only for the administration to have to deal with, otherwise everyone would be afraid to volunteer their honest feedback/reporting on these issues.

I'm thinking there may be other sites that do let everyone see the comments, but that sounds more like open forums and not a quality control tool that's used strictly on an administration level.

I'm pretty sure we'll figure this out and put it to rest. If not, we may need to ask Daniel Palmer for some clarification.

Thanks,
Michael
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/22/08 02:14 AM

I don't know. But I have no problem with people knowing I reported them being off topic or violating copyrights. A fact is a fact. Now I am sure that some people don't really understand the genres and may falsely report something, or they simply may not like something and report it. For example, certain genres often include profanity (Gangsta Rap for example) and it would be pointless to report that. I think a way to solve this issue in general is to have a standard that it has to be radio friendly. If you don't have that standard, then I can't see how you can reasonably exclude songs for profanity. Frankly. some songs use it well.. others don't. Let's not get into musical censorship.

The genre thing is more straight forward. Every type of song should have a home in a genre and right now they don't quite have enought to cover everything. In those cases, they have no choice but to be very broad in their definition and tolerance. I listened to the Top 10 Pop songs... 7 of the songs are pretty decent, but only 2 of them really qualify as "Pop" as we would define it. Most were some variation of Rock.

I called Daniel about another issue earlier but he's likely swamped with it being a Monday. He's usually in meetings all day and it often takes us a week to connect via phone because one of us is nearly always in a conference call or some meeting.

I think if you're making a solid judgement, then I am not sure what you have to worry about in reporting something. Often folks simply aren't educated in what is what and it may actually help them define their music. Musicians are nearly ALWAYS horrible at choosing what "genre" their music fits into. That's why we don't let artists choose in our awards.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/22/08 08:22 PM

Originally Posted by Steve Robinson
I uploaded a few tracks last week, in different categories. So far, Please Emmalene has fared the best. Last I checked it was #6 on the folk channel.
Plenty of time for it to plummet though!

http://www.steverobinsonmusic.com/
I don't think you're going to plummet, Steve...#3 today with only two to go for the quarterfinals.

Now I totally plummeted to #54 after hanging in there in the top 20 for all of last week. So did some others that were solidly in the top ten all month. Folk is an interesting one to watch, as it has fewer entrants...it's easier to see the effects of voting.

Good luck! "Please Emmalene" is a rock solid song. smile
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/22/08 10:05 PM

I feel your pain, Lyle. smile

Mine was in the 30's and did a slow climb to as high as 23. Then a couple of days ago I blinked and it fell like a rock to number 59 smile

Hope it sticks too, Steve!

Scott
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 03:35 AM

It is interesting to see the songs rise and fall. Mine was at 20 the other day....then it dropped to 98 and now it had been in the 40's a couple of days. I just try not to keep my hopes up. lol

Tammy

www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
www.tammyedwards.com
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 07:56 AM

This is the last day of voting before the quarter finals.. we have quite a few JPF members in striking range. If any of you are going to do more voting, do it before midnight Wednesday to get those votes in before the deadline.

Brian
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 08:29 AM

Thanks Brian for your input about the "Offensive" and Off topic issue.

And yes, tomorrow is the last day before we head into the quarter finals. It's an exciting time and then we get to vote for the top 20 in each channel we dedice to participate in. There's some tough calls, but it gets even harder during the semi-finals.

By the time we get to the finals it's fairly easy to pick songs because we tend to choose from among our favorite genres/styles, but even then some surprises may pop up! smile

Michael
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 03:25 PM

Well I guess my wife was right. She never liked the song, Hah.
The song is at 962 out of 1442 songs. It went to 645 but has been on a steady decline since. But only 28 listens, don't know how many battles.
Is there a way to know how many have judged it?
Of course I doubt anyone went looking for it so most of the plays were probably battles.
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 06:57 PM

Man, I'm kinda bummed. I was in the top 2 or 3 all month and now I'm #22 in Newport Folk Fest channel. Drat!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 08:36 PM

Juliana,

Better get some folks voting. I don't understand why you've dropped so much either. Your song is clearly better than most of the top 10. Maybe there's still a chance to pop back up.

Bill: Those aren't battles. Your number of plays should be fairly the same as all the other songs.. probably off by no more than 1 or 2 compared to any others entered around the same time as yours. I think they go through rotations of voting.

I am happy about a few shifts and disappointed by a few others (such as Juliana who's been at the top all month until the last 24 hours). I can't see how a song can be doing so well all month and then suddenly drop so low (down into the 40's). It seems a little odd to me.

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 09:14 PM

Hi Juliana, I voted for your song twice because it was better that the other both times. My song dropped from #22 in Newport to #177 in a few days. I don't get it either. I'll try again next month. Ben
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 09:26 PM

I still maintain that people are voting draws when there is a song clearly better. This could be just laziness, different tastes in music or possibly tactical. My song A waltz made for two is dropping and to be honest a lot of the songs placed above it are not deserved IMO. I fail to see the need for a draw. There must be something to separate two songs whether it be the arrangemnent, performance, quality of recording or artwork. I think the draw option should be stopped. I deliberately voted some songs the same to test this out and was surprised that a huge percentage agreed.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 09:43 PM

If I hear two really bad songs, I usually vote draw. Why give either song a boost if they suck? I bet some feel the same about 2 songs that are really good. The odd thing that has happened in my judging is I rarely get one of the very best songs against one of the very worst songs. It's usually one of the best against another of the best or 2 of the worst.

Jim, are there any songs better than your UNDER your ranking? If so, then you have to say it balances out. I do know that a JPF member, Bob Sima, is all the way up to number 10 in the rankings and he only posted 2 days ago. It will be interesting to see if someone who enters that late can hold onto a top 20 spot. That would certainly suggest that you can enter any time and still make the top 20. I am the most surprised by the fall of Juliana's song so quickly after spending the whole month in the top 5. It seems odd that 1 day of voting could drop a top song all the way down into the 40's and that people suddenly and overwhemlingly started to vote against it, unless it's people trying to trash the top ranked songs on purpose.

Brian
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 09:52 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney


I am the most surprised by the fall of Juliana's song so quickly after spending the whole month in the top 5. It seems odd that 1 day of voting could drop a top song all the way down into the 40's and that people suddenly and overwhemlingly started to vote against it, unless it's people trying to trash the top ranked songs on purpose.

Brian


Brian,

I think it also might be a case of people really pushing their fans to vote in the last day. I'm guessing that people are voting "draw" or not listening to most of the songs that aren't the one they are looking for, y'know?

Maybe I'll still make my way back up. Who knows.

(Also, I vote the same way if both songs are equally bad. Draw.)


I'm curious about the effects of voting "by far" rather than "slightly more"... does that count more somehow with ranking? I wonder how that's calculated?

I'm also wondering why I've heard some songs more than ten times in battles when there are 403 entries in this channel!
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 10:09 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I am the most surprised by the fall of Juliana's song so quickly after spending the whole month in the top 5. It seems odd that 1 day of voting could drop a top song all the way down into the 40's and that people suddenly and overwhemlingly started to vote against it, unless it's people trying to trash the top ranked songs on purpose.


It looks like that happened to a number of us. In my case, my song didn't get any additional plays over the time it fell - so it moved because people were voting on other songs. Makes sense - it's a bowl of jello smile

Let me repeat myself that Ourstage is the best system I've seen. But I also think that any system can be gamed. I suspect with a few months experience, it would be possible to do enough experiments to figure out how to maximize your song's chances. I won't do so because that's not where my interests lie. But I do think it would be interesting to see what effect, if any, the following would have:

(1) Don't let people know where they stand. Or, maybe let them know where they stand but not where anyone else stands. This would eliminate the temptation to score songs above you lower than those below you.

(2) Do not allow to vote "same". I think Juliana has a point. It seems to me that if you rate your own song higher when it comes up (as rare as that may be) and rate every other battle equal, then you can maximize your song's rating.

(3) Require listens of 30 sec rather than 15. For people who enjoy listening to music, this isn't asking much. But it would probably lower the effect of gamers.

Again, none of us are privy to the algorithm they use. But there is one. And if there is one, it can be determined empirically. smile

Scott
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 10:11 PM

Quote


"(3) Require listens of 30 sec rather than 15. For people who enjoy listening to music, this isn't asking much. But it would probably lower the effect of gamers."




I think this is a great idea. 15 seconds can tell you some, but not much, about the overall quality of a song.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 10:54 PM

Ironically I'm making those exact suggestions today to Daniel. (i.e. not having the Top 10 listed overall... but I have a twist on that.. because if you don't list the top 10, then what do people see when they want to hear good music.. I have an idea on that). The 30 seconds also may be effective in some ways, but would also likely drop the voting... it's clear that when you have 1000 or more songs in the running, they need a LOT of judging to cycle through the system and get credible results. We were on the phone most of yesterday it seemed discussion a lot of these issues and how to address them and we came up with a lot of ideas some of which will start being implemented next month. This is still a young company with a young model. They are tweaking it constantly to fix areas that can be improved.

I agree, it's impossible to have a "game proof" system. They certainly have one that CARES if they are gamed and is doing what they can to stop it. And that's far more than other sites with rankings and contests bother to do. They really WANT to find the best music.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/23/08 11:00 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
If I hear two really bad songs, I usually vote draw. Why give either song a boost if they suck? I bet some feel the same about 2 songs that are really good. The odd thing that has happened in my judging is I rarely get one of the very best songs against one of the very worst songs. It's usually one of the best against another of the best or 2 of the worst.

Jim, are there any songs better than your UNDER your ranking? If so, then you have to say it balances out. I do know that a JPF member, Bob Sima, is all the way up to number 10 in the rankings and he only posted 2 days ago. It will be interesting to see if someone who enters that late can hold onto a top 20 spot. That would certainly suggest that you can enter any time and still make the top 20. I am the most surprised by the fall of Juliana's song so quickly after spending the whole month in the top 5. It seems odd that 1 day of voting could drop a top song all the way down into the 40's and that people suddenly and overwhemlingly started to vote against it, unless it's people trying to trash the top ranked songs on purpose.

Brian


Brian I am sorry to disagree with you yet again. I am not talking a few dozen places I am talking hundreds.
You judge for yourself. Either I am way off beam here or there is a problem with the voting system when same is allowed. I suspect that the draw, to which you freely admit voting for, has a lot to do with bad placings. Think about it, if a whole stack are voted same same same then a heelava lot of song places are wrong especially in a large entry pool. I wish people would be honest and say that one song even marginally was better or worse than another. Or do only the really good songs count for anything. This practice of voting the same makes a mockery of the minor places and whole concept of the site. Everybody wants to see how accurately there offering is compared to others. It can be a great learning tool. But not if people do not vote fairly.
(Edit)
In the last two hours my song has dropped over two hundred places. That defies any logic except PERHAPS that all of a sudden a vote cast as anything other than same has had a devastating effect. I checked the first 10 songs and there has been a few changes as well. Some of these songs are in no way deserving a top ten place regardless of what method of voting is used. My forty years in the business tells me that. I have judged nearly two thousand battles and have heard most if not all of the songs. I know the difference between good and bad.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 01:30 AM

I agree with all of Scott's suggestions, and I might add one more: enforce the minimum listening time even though you've heard it before.

Example, I judged a lot in folk, and since there were only a few hundred entries I eventually heard them all. But once you've done that, you can FLY through the judging, without having to listen to them at all. This allows the competitive types to quickly do what Juliana suggested, just judge "Same" over and over until you see the song you want to vote up. You could whip through dozens of match-ups in minutes. And Newport is another sparsely populated channel...maybe this is what's happening.

Still, I do see Brian's concern: as many votes as possible is a good thing.

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 03:56 AM

I've offered some serious adjustments in a call today to Daniel which would address 100% of the concerns of everyone involved. I think this open discussion is very helpful and I am happy that the site is willing to adjust based on real world usage. When you build a model for something you base it on how things SHOULD work sometimes without really understanding how things WILL work. It's hard to build in the awareness of cheating and intentionally bad judging to a system that is based on integrity and doing the right thing. But my years in the business and dealing with musicians in the US and Europe has taught me that there's a lot of desire to succeed which will allow folks to sell out their own integrity in order to win something or do well. Ourstage could be the perfect system ever, AS IS, IF and only IF people were honest. Then by the end of voting the songs that most people liked the best would succeed. But we all know that folks simply want to win regardless of how good their song is and just as much, don't want others to do well. So I have offered up a solution to that problem and a way to improve the enjoyment of the voting system AND to also bring more positive attention to the songs which win in a given month. We'll see what they think of those ideas. (I think Daniel is pitching them to the CEO as we speak).

The best part of all of this is that it's costing our folks nothing to participate and we're all finding cool new music and discovering artists we didn't know before. In addition, if you're smart, you're making direct contact (and personal, not generic form letters) to those who seem compatible with your own artistic visions. I think when you folks find an artist you really like, you should invite them to join us back here as well. Let's expand the network. We're bringing our people there, let's bring some of them back to us!

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:18 AM

That's very cool Brian.

Life is good when we can all be a part of something like this. It's especially nice to see any sort of organization actually respond to...well, anything. grin

I'll try to pull some people in the fold. There are a lot of good musicians out there.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:29 AM

Yeah, very cool!

It would be fantastic if there was someplace one could go to get a realistic idea of where his/her music stood relative to that of other independent musicians. Ourstage comes closer than most and anything they can do to bring it even closer to this ideal (recognizing that it can probably never be fully met) is a good thing.

Thanks!
Scott
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:57 AM

Wow, that's great Brian & Daniel!
Glad to hear that OurStage (which is already very good) still has room for improvement. I think that's a great attitude and will likely help bring even more success and respect over time.

Re: The top 10 - 20 songs that are at the top of each channel during each live contest month could be hidden & replaced by the top 20 (in same channel) from the previous month whose contest has already closed. That way people can always hear the best songs while not having it sway their current voting for the next month's winners.

Just my first impressions without having fully analyzed the rest of the implications, but something like that might work.

Michael
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 02:33 PM

All kinds of JPF members in the top 20 and in the running for 5K still in a bunch of categories. Very cool!

Brian
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:31 PM

Has anyone else experienced hearing the same song 20 or more times and never hearing others??

After 200 battles, one of my fans *never* heard one of my songs but said he heard others many, many times. How does that work?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:39 PM

Juliana,

I literally voted over 5000 times in the Newport Channel (we're in a holding pattern on the awards stuff, so I spent the day on conference calls and waiting for follow ups voting). Your songs came up quite a bit and certainly the appropriate number of times as any other. I think there's clearly some fan voting that is causing this.. people are intentionally trashing the top songs in order to move them down to give their favorites a better shot. So the fact you spent all month on top, you had a giant target on you. I did notice you finished in the Top 20 in another category. So focus on that and perhaps you'll win that channel. At this point, there's 190 possible votes in each category which if you finish, will match all the songs against all the others in the running. I've finished 2 categories already. In the Newport Channel, the entire top 6 are JPF members.

Brian
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:46 PM

That's awesome.

Now that I think about it, I think some of the top 20 have probably been in the category for awhile, too. I re-entered for May, so we'll see what happens.


I'm really enjoying the judging, too. I've already gotten in touch with some great musicians about playing together. So it's not like it's all for nothing!

It's a fun way to pass the time at my day job while I work on the computer. smile
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:54 PM

I can't access the judging while I'm at work .. IT'S KILLING ME!!
Joanne
Posted By: Juliana Finch

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 04:58 PM

My boyfriend's work recently blocked Pandora Radio (Why? NO idea.) so he's dying, too.

Personally, I can't work in silence.
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 05:14 PM

"Better get some folks voting..."

I've not really investigated the ins and outs of the site and its workings, but one of the reasons that I even uploaded anything was that I was under the impression that the system didn't reward the whole "get all of your friends to vote for you" thing, since I'm not really interested in doing that. Am I wrong?

http://www.steverobinsonmusic.com/
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 04/24/08 05:14 PM

Post deleted by Steve Robinson
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 05:25 PM

The system, if people vote fair, will always reward the best songs. The trouble is that humans will do anything they can to cheat anything. I offered some new ideas being discussed that if adopted, will further protect people from fraudulent (i.e. intentionally not picking the best songs) voting from working. These folks already do more to TRY and keep it honest.. but you have to stay ahead of the scammers and the idiots. It's a sad reality. But if you have fans who like your work, they should vote (and vote honestly) and it will likely help you out because any system of any type will obviously track people's preferences and if your fans are voting for you, you'll do better. The hope is that the other great songs ALSO do better.

I think if there were 10,000,000 voters in every channel.. then the fan thing would have little impact. But the site is new and growing and so I don't think it hurts to get fans involved. Hopefully they'll ALSO find other cool music they like and become fans of other artists. That's really the end point of all this. Finding great new music. I don't love ALL the songs in the top 20 or even agree with who made it, but I always find new songs I really like when I vote from artists I'd never heard of. Those are GREAT people for you all to network with and by voting, you'll hear them.

So, get out the vote.. for many good reasons.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 05:25 PM

By the way, I can't get the Ourstage site to load.. anyone else having trouble?

Brian
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 07:15 PM

It's OK here, but someone else I know is having trouble. Probably a high server load.

Jillian and myself made it into the quarterfinals again with a co-write, "Red July", in New Age/World. We're very happy! I have a track in the Electronic genre as well, "Throwdown", which I think is really accessible.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/24/08 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by Juliana Finch
Has anyone else experienced hearing the same song 20 or more times and never hearing others??

After 200 battles, one of my fans *never* heard one of my songs but said he heard others many, many times. How does that work?


Yes I have voted on nearly 2000 battles in rock and singer/songwriter and keep getting the same songs over and over. Some songs I have not heard YET. I make a habit of checking positions after I vote just to see their relevance to each other and whether I agree with the positions. There does not seem to be any logical reason for the same songs cropping up. I may add that some songs are way out of position IMO and are grossly over or under rated sometimes by several hundred places.

Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 04:30 PM

Here's what Brian Bergeron at MySpace is asking his "loyal" fans to do at OurStage:
Quote
This is a call for help unlike any other. I know we've been in contest after contest this year but these opportunities are career changing for us, so if you want to vote, here's how:

1. Sign up for a FREE account on OurStage.com (takes only 1 minute).
2. Click judge up top and select (Radio929 Earthfest—1st priority, or Newport Folk Festival—2nd priority).
3. You have to listen to listen to each song for 15 seconds but once you listen to it once, you don't have to listen to it again!
4. For artists that aren't us, vote 'same' and when we come up, vote for us "by far". Also, vote against those that are ranked above us! You can see the rankings by clicking "Music Channels" on the homepage and searching for the channels that we're competing in!
5. It's easy! Enjoy some great music but make sure to vote for Brian Bergeron and The Late Greats.
6. Also, be sure to join our 'fan club' on OurStage.com and add us as a friend and 'favorite' our songs!

You can vote up to 190 times IN EACH CHANNEL, which I know seems like a long time but you only have to listen to each song once for 15 seconds. That means only 5 minutes to listen to ALL of the songs. If it takes only 5 seconds to click on each round then you can go through the WHOLE round of voting in less than 20 minutes.


Sort of a shame.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 04:40 PM

Yep
If you can't win on talent win on a scam. Cool. Just the kind of folks we all want our kids to look up to. A great roll model.

Of course you could turn that around and spend the time to vote AGAINST him
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:13 PM

If this is really happening they should be banned for life. They should start a campaign to expose cheaters on the Internet so everyone knows who they are. How would that be for a "career changing opportunity".
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:22 PM

Ben: I don't know about a lifetime ban, but I think a disqualification for this month is definitely in order. While it doesn't seem to be against any actual rules (yet), it does destroy the spirit of what OurStage is trying to do.

Although, if he did get banned for life, I guess you can say he deserves it.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:27 PM

I haven't researched any of the others but I would bet he is not the only one doing this. Word gets around pretty fast.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:37 PM

This is a great case for eliminating the "Same" option.

I understand that sometimes you can't decide if one is better than the other...but if you HAD to, you could. And that would take away the effectiveness of this cheap ploy.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:50 PM

I still don't understand the 15 second ruling.
If you are truly interested in judging I would think more time would be required. Some songs the intro lasts longer than 15 seconds.
I would think in the semi or quarter finals, even the finals more time should be spent.

Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 05:59 PM

Bill,

I agree. I have judged about 1800 pairs of songs. Unless it is really bad, I always listen to at least 30 seconds; often skipping ahead, afterwards, to the 2:00 and 2:30 spots, approximately. Sometimes a chorus or bridge can really add something to an otherwise decent but not special song. And, as has been poiinted out, most intros are close to 15 seconds...many much longer.

But, if the song gives me absolutely nothing but intro, or even less, for more than 30 seconds, I am done with it. Just my take.

Al
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 06:10 PM

It's really terrible that anyone would ask their fans to "game" like that. I have asked people I know to vote, but I only ask them to vote honestly - if they like other songs besides mine, they should vote on them too.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt for me to ask the same of people here. I have a song "Throwdown" in the Electronic category, as well as a collab with my girlfriend Jill Goldin in New Age/World. You might not normally judge these categories, but if you enjoy music from either of us, I'd appreciate if you dropped in and did a few rounds (there are only 45 total). Plus there's really some great stuff in both categories, such as Stephen Brannen's "Lord of the Dance" in New Age/World.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 06:11 PM

I have to admit all this talk of cheating and the exposure of an actual case has turned me off from voting.
I'm a lousy judge of music anyways.

I agree Al, 30 seconds of intro is to much. But it seems some Genres that is acceptable.

There have been a few that I knew within 15 seconds that I did not like what I was hearing.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 06:15 PM

Andrew
There is nothing wrong with promotion. It is your job to promote yourself. It is expected.
Had you not mentioned it I would not have known you were there. So go ahead, Promote as much as you want. that's a good thing.

But asking someone to cheat for you....well...that's just wrong.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 06:23 PM

The intro to "Hotel California" is pretty long. But it's compelling and fully engages the listener. The boring two-chord lick that plays 8 times, on the other hand...
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/28/08 08:43 PM

I am getting a lot of emails about this. Please hold off a bit and give the Ourstage folks a chance to investigate this and react accordingly. No matter how honest of a system you try to create, people sadly will always seek to get an unfair advantage, whether it's Major League Baseball (Steroids), the National Football League (The Patriots Spygate), NASCAR (Some Toyota teams trying to cheat), The NYC Marathon (where they took the subway most of the race) or any others. (Politics anyone?). Daniel is aware of this issue and I've made some suggestions I think could dramatically limit the impact of this type of effort. If the site had millions of voters, even this type of cheating would be fruitless, but remember, Ourstage is a new and growing site. You can build a great system but you can't predict how people will try to cheat it. All you can do is react to it when it happens and do the right thing then.

Let's give them a chance to fix this.

Brian
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 03:41 AM

Brian Bergeron is at #2 in the Newport category!

Edit: It seems to be a pretty decent song, though.

Kevin
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 03:58 AM

This guy Bergeron should be disqualified if it can be proved he asked people to deliberately vote songs down that were above his position. This will just encourage other people to do the same.

I am totally in favour of not knowing a songs position till after the contest to prevent this sort of thing. I also think voting songs as the same should be abandoned. In fact I do not agree with degrees either it should be a straight choice of which song is better one or the other. This would remove temptation to cheat and get fairer results. I know for a fact that a lot of people are voting same to lump many songs together so that a song voted far better jumps many places.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 04:06 AM

Big Jim: Go back to page 2 on this thread where I posted Brian's blog at Myspace. In it he says:
Quote
4. For artists that aren't us, vote 'same' and when we come up, vote for us "by far". Also, vote against those that are ranked above us!


If he wins, it will be a major black eye for OurStage.

Kevin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 04:38 AM

Karma is a funny thing.. quite often those that have bad karma find it catches up to them before the end. Read into that anything you want. = )

Within the stuff presented to solve this problem was to stop showing the rankings. The rankings are an important part of their site, so of course they're hesitant to do so. They, for good reasons, feel that it keeps people coming back to check in on the stats. So I offered a solution for that as well as a few other things I think will improve the experience for voters and contestants alike. But we're musicians.. not tech people. We can't expect the tech minded folks to relent as quickly as we'd like. But I know Daniel is working very hard to get these points across. Feel free to email him with your thoughts as well.

In addition.. feel free to let the person in question know what you think of his attempt to cheat. (At least, that's how I see it anyway). If he realizes people are on to him, perhaps he'll see the light.

And remember... Karma.. Karma.. Karma...

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 04:47 AM

Well I just checked his profile and no one is leaving any comments about it. Not sure what that means. Maybe it's not as big a deal as we think since no one has told him how they feel.
I figure there is probably a lot of other folks doing the same thing.

I think you are right Brian. Humans are basically a deceitful species.
Posted By: Jack Swain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 06:00 AM

Bill,

What profile are you looking at?
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 06:06 AM

His Profile on Ourstage.

http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/brianbergeronandthelategreats

At least it looks like you can leave comments there. If you click a persons name under the song avatar it takes you to their profile.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 07:37 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
The rankings are an important part of their site, so of course they're hesitant to do so. They, for good reasons, feel that it keeps people coming back to check in on the stats.


If you tell people how they rank without telling them how anyone else ranked you could have the best of both worlds. If I only know how I'm ranked, it really doesn't help me game the system.

This guy's behavior is a little disappointing but hardly surprising. I suspect many others do the same kind of thing.

Scott
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 09:28 AM

Andrew Aversa (my boyfriend!) is currently #2 in Electronic with "Throwdown," and our collaboration "Red July" is sitting at #1 in New Age/World at the moment. Michael Borges' collaboration is in #2 there! Glad to see so many people getting involved.

There are still some kinks in the system, of course, but I am sure OurStage will continue to improve. I was admittedly surprised at some of the tracks that made it to the Top 10 in New Age/World this month above so many others that seemed more deserving...
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 10:05 AM

HI Jillian,

Nice to see you on the site and congrats on your win last month. It's clear that some really weak artists have figured out how to make the top 10. It's unfortunate because in every category there's far more deserving songs than many in the top 10's. Let's hope that at least some deserving songs win their categories and a truly deserving song wins the 5K. If they ever have a really weak winner, that will be a signal that there's a big problem that has to be addressed. Let's see how it plays out.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Big Jim: Go back to page 2 on this thread where I posted Brian's blog at Myspace. In it he says:
Quote
4. For artists that aren't us, vote 'same' and when we come up, vote for us "by far". Also, vote against those that are ranked above us!


If he wins, it will be a major black eye for OurStage.

Kevin



Hi Kevin I read your post and that is what made me respond by saying the guy should be DQd. This sort of behavious should not be tolerated. If steps are taken against him it would be a major black eye for him. I was trying to start a thread with a poll to see how others felt but could not get the poll thing to work. I think a lot of people are unhappy with the voting system and feel it should be altered. This latest BLATANT CHEATING has added fuel to the fire. Something has to be done otherwise people will lose faith in what has been up till now a great site.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 01:31 PM

Big Jim: He's at #1 right now in the Newport category.

Kevin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 02:05 PM

We've uncovered the same issue with another contestant. Nicole Berke is doing the same thing and instructing her fans to as well.

As for letting these folks know that everyone knows they are cheating, you should all send them a note to that effect.

Brian
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 02:19 PM

Nicole -- that's too bad. I liked her song and I think she won one of the few battles I have been able to do this month. I think OurStage needs to place a front page comment that they have discovered that "gaming" is going on and that is giving a select few an unfair advantage.

I was wondering if OurStage could be sued if they suspended the folks that are doing this (since, technically it might not be "against the stated rules"). However, it looks like Ourstage says (in the terms and conditions) that they have the right to block/terminate anyone for any reason.

I did send a comment to Daniel about the "cheating", but I haven't commented directly to Brian B or Nicole. I probably won't.

Kevin
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 02:49 PM

If they cheat and win, it will leave a bad taste in their mouths and every-one's mouth that know they cheated. The prize money is not that great and the prestige will be tainted. If they win fairly in the future, people will think they cheated again.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 03:48 PM

Kevin
"I did send a comment to Daniel about the "cheating", but I haven't commented directly to Brian B or Nicole. I probably won't."

You are correct not to comment directly. It is not up to us to start wars or get involved with individuals it is up to Ourstage to sort this matter out. The ball is in their court.

Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 03:55 PM

Originally Posted by Everett Adams
If they cheat and win, it will leave a bad taste in their mouths and every-one's mouth that know they cheated. The prize money is not that great and the prestige will be tainted. If they win fairly in the future, people will think they cheated again.


Everett
I am sorry but I don't believe that. Cheaters don't care. If they did they would not cheat in the first place.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 03:59 PM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Kevin
"I did send a comment to Daniel about the "cheating", but I haven't commented directly to Brian B or Nicole. I probably won't."

You are correct not to comment directly. It is not up to us to start wars or get involved with individuals it is up to Ourstage to sort this matter out. The ball is in their court.



Ahhhh! yes,
Not my job. Lets all sit back and let the Government (Ourstage) handle the problem
LOL
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 10:34 PM

Bill You know me by now. If I think somebody is wrong I tell them. However it is up to Ourstage to take official action on this one. I am sure they know about the problem and comments from us to individual cheats will do little to stop the practice. It has to be nipped in the bud before it escalates.
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/29/08 10:58 PM

This is precisely why I never mentioned this contest to anyone via my newsletter. I hated the idea of it being just another "Vote for me !" fest where people would go to the site and vote for me regardless of how my song stacked up to others. So silly.

http://www.steverobinsonmusic.com/
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 04/29/08 10:58 PM

Post deleted by Steve Robinson
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 12:55 AM

Bill,

I rarely disagree with you, 'cept maybe on politics...rarely, however, on issues of music. But, this time, I'm kinda on the other side...with Big Jim. OurStage is their show. It is up to them to decide how to handle it...if they do at all. Since it is their site, their investment, they have to make the decisions. But, we as participants have the option to NOT participate if we are unhappy with the way it is handled....or NOT handled. In this case, our inaction (no future participation) would be far more effective than ranting to them. They are aware, so, as Big Jim said, the ball is in their court.

I am going to initially give OurStage the benefit of the doubt and see how it is handled. It cannot be done instantly. In fact, I am not sure if there is anything they can do for this month at all. But, if they do not address the issue before next month's contest, then that is a much different story. I would then be much less willing to participate.

Just my thoughts. Take care, Bill. Hello to Sylvia.

Al
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 12:57 AM

Everett,

Bill is right. Those who choose to cheat rarely have any guilt aboutit. It is noble to believe that all men realize their transgressions and will atone for them. But, unfortunately, that is not real life. Win at any cost is very prevalent in today's society. But, I wish you were right!

Al
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 02:07 AM

I had something else to bring up that I think could be improved on OurStage, actually. What do you guys think? Brian, maybe you would consider bringing this up with the staff?

I'd really like to see a public list of the people who are getting selected for all those various industry prizes offered each month. I think anyone making it to the finals would really benefit from seeing that information! Neither Andrew nor I were contacted despite having been in the top 3 for March. I'm not complaining, but it does seem as though the sponsor companies could theoretically get away with not following through.

Along with my cash prize last month, I was supposed to receive a wardrobe of clothing from a company called BC Ethic. When I hadn't heard from them after a couple weeks, I decided to give them a call myself to see what was up (also because they only do male clothing, and I'm a gal). The people I spoke with over the phone hadn't even heard of OurStage, and they connected me to an answering machine. I left a message to the company CEO, but he never returned my call.

Granted, I DID eventually tell Gloria Utzig from OurStage that I would rather defer the wardrobe prize to a high-ranking band that could actually get use out of it, since I don't wear grungy mens clothes. wink But I still never heard back, so it just seems a little fishy that they never got in touch...

Also, on a side note, Andrew still hasn't received his gift card for winning the Techno channel prize. Maybe things are just very slow?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 03:53 AM

Steve,

I think that is the eventual goal of the site. It's just going to take some time to determine how to deal with people being dishonest. Someone will always look for the short cut to success, especially those short on talent and long on desperation. The good news is that clearly the system is working more often than not as you made the top 10 (and it was well deserved). I found 4 very strong songs in your category, 2 middling songs and 4 weak songs. I think as time progresses (and the quality of music uploaded improves) we'll find that the top 10 songs are all worth of attention and in those cases, it's hard to find fault with any song that would win. I think the 4 strongest songs in your category would all be respectable winners. And when there's something out there that is bringing attention to great music that otherwise might not get noticed, that is far more positive than the actions of a few cheaters. If all the artists involved encouraged their fans to vote, the results would balance out and even the cheaters eventually couldn't succeed because all the other fans who would be voting honestly would put them in their deserved spot.

We do our awards based on the idea that we're bringing attention and recognition to a lot of deserving songs. Do we make mistakes? Sure. But in the end, if our nominees are all songs that deserve attention, then we've won the war we're fighting. It's very difficult to get unbiased praise these days. Magazine reviews are fixed and fake, (like the famous review of the latest Black Crowes album done before the reviewer at a large magazine had even heard it), Radio play is still paid for in a variety of ways and TV is a whole other world filled with back door deals and favoritism and schemes. Our awards I think are the best and most honest attempt to recognize music for no gain to those doing the work. Ourstage, in the context of a company trying to eventually make a profit, is clearly doing the right thing to try and do the same work. (I think Pandora net radio also is trying to do the right thing by the way).

We need to keep the honest people involved long enough to overcome the actions by a few cheaters. It's rare to find a company so responsive to the comments and opinions of their users (try getting MySpace to change something.. ha!). Let's all work together to help them get it all right because if they succeed, we all win.

In the meantime, we still have a lot of JPF members in the running in a lot of categories.. let's hope the most deserving ones win!

Brian
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 06:53 AM

We are going to address the delete issue. We know its important. Won't get into all the reasons we aren't comparable with those other sites in terms of that functionality, but suffice to say, it's something we plan on addressing.
Originally Posted by Andy K
All the other sites I've posted music or videos on (Soundclick, MySpace, Songramp, etc.) I've been able to delete or update material myself. If the material was being rated or scored, the update would start from scratch (or zero, score for previous version not counting for new version) on most sites, which seems right. This is the first time I've had to request that the site creators remove old material. This seems kind of primitive.

I haven't received a message from the artist who was spamming me the most. I must have stumbled on a switch to turn him off, assuming OurStage management didn't ban him or something similar.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 06:54 AM

No Tammy. Nobody knows but us who is reporting material. We encourage our community to help police the content. So much to review!
Originally Posted by TAMERA64
hi guys!! I have a couple of questions about reported offensive material on OurStage.

1. If you report a dirty song that seems offensive does that artist know you are the one that turned them in? (Because I heard from someone who said that artist was told they were the one who reported it)

2. Can people retaliate on you if you do say something?

I have heard a couple of really bad things but I didn't turn them in because I wasn't about to have someone crucify me for doing that. I think someone is suffering a little retaliation which is wrong.

I don't want to cause problems but a few songs say F.....You!! Alot!! And one girl has a song that says Dont you love my a..s?? Don't you want to lick it like a lolly pop? I was a little shocked. Anythoughts on this?

Most of my songs are in the 200's right now but I do have one that is doing well.

On the pop channel my song LOVE ALWAYS KNOWS is at #29 out of 1,100 (Highest #20)

Thanks!

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 07:10 AM

Good folks of JPF!

I want to respond to every post, but I didn't know about this thread in time and it will take me WAY to long to do so and I've run out of my energizer bunny batteries. Finals week, as you all know. But let me try my best to make this as short and sweet as possible.

When humans are involved there is always risk for poor judgement. Either apathy, or otherwise. That said, we do a pretty good job, best I've seen, of real-time online ranking of content in a fan driven model. Sure you can argue there is better stuff that didn't make it into quarters, but that's a reflection of who is doing the judging. More people judge, more people judge by their taste, the results may very well change. Some changes you'd agree with, some, perhaps not so much. Its as varied as the people's tastes and connections using the site.

The bottom line is we are always looking to improve and make our service to emerging artists better. That mission doesn't change. That's why we feel so grateful to be a part of JPF, a community that shares our values. But as we evolve its important to remember to support what we do and continue to suggest ways we can improve.

Also, remember, that yes, the cash prize is nice, but LOTS of opportunities, including festival slots, AOL promotion etc. go to high-ranking artists. And also the industry is starting to use us as a litmus test and evaluation tool. Check out some of our recent artist success stories: http://www.ourstage.com/go/artistsuccessstories

The choice is ours. Its up to us to embrace the platform and support it through its various evolutions and make OurStage a viable destination for advancing careers of emerging musicians. So yes, try to win your channel. But try to encourage your fans to be honest about ranking other artists as well. And yes, some will not. And yes, we will always look to improve upon what we do. But look at the positive too. Its free. Its making a difference in people's lives. You can get feedback on your songs (win or not). Its another way to network. Its another outlet to share your passion. And mine. Hey, a wise man once said: "We're all in this together".

On to the finals.

-Daniel
Posted By: Steve Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 02:33 PM

You make some good points Brian (as you so often do). I'm still not interested in campaigning for votes, but the bottom line is that my song "Please Emmalene" has had over a thousand listens so far. That's a thousand more than it would have had, had I not taken the few minutes to upload it; I have to be happy with that.

You're also right about them being responsive to feedback and suggestions--Danny certainly seems to be on the ball in that respect. One suggestion I might have is that maybe news updates concerning the voting (who made the next round in all of the categories etc) might be more prominently displayed on the home page. This may be a Luddite-like oversight on my part, but when I visit, I never know who actually made the next round. I do see the blurb announcing that the Finals voting ends tonight, but I don't see an announcement about who made it there. It's all a little vague to me. Like I said, this might just be that I haven't investigated enough to become comfortable with the workings of the site. I'll have to study more.

I'll leave the last word to you Brian...

" Let's all work together to help them get it all right because if they succeed, we all win. "

Cheers to that!
All the best then,
Steve R.

http://www.steverobinsonmusic.com/


Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 07:07 PM

Great suggestion on promoting a link to the music finals on the homepage. We'll look into that. Also, I really like this quote from an OurStage artist that makes the points I made above even more succinctly.

"We do not upload our songs to this or any other independant music site to compete for prizes, rather we upload our music with the hope that it will be heard and perhaps gain some fans. Well, during April our song received nearly 3,000 plays and was favorited 32 times!!! That is more plays than all of our uploaded songs combined since we started uploading to OurStage nearly a year ago! NOW THAT'S EXCITING!!"

Originally Posted by Steve Robinson
One suggestion I might have is that maybe news updates concerning the voting (who made the next round in all of the categories etc) might be more prominently displayed on the home page. This may be a Luddite-like oversight on my part, but when I visit, I never know who actually made the next round. I do see the blurb announcing that the Finals voting ends tonight, but I don't see an announcement about who made it there. It's all a little vague to me. Like I said, this might just be that I haven't investigated enough to become comfortable with the workings of the site. I'll have to study more.
Posted By: Jack Swain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 07:20 PM

So, in regard to someone posting guidelines for gaming the system, is Ourstage taking any action on that, or simply letting it go?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 07:22 PM

Yeah and what about changing the voting system to disepense with "same" is this ever going to be implemented?
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 11:21 PM

Our T&C's cover this I believe. Users of OurStage have agreed to refrain from the following behavior, else risk at our sole discretion, the deactivation, suspension, or termination of our services:

"Interference: Interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the OurStage site, communication between users on the site, or any other activities conducted on the site, including the ranking of entries while judging."

Individuals of course have the free will to vote as they so choose. And they did so in our April contest as in the previous contests. Again, we offer the most fair, free, fan-driven, realtime ranking system on the Web. As with any system, it will continue to evolve to meet the needs of our member community.

Originally Posted by Jack Swain
So, in regard to someone posting guidelines for gaming the system, is Ourstage taking any action on that, or simply letting it go?
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 11:23 PM

Its a interesting suggestion. The converse of that is even more volatility in the rankings for those judging with a specific agenda. That said, we do, and will continue to, evaluate ways to enhance our services and improve the user experience whenever possible.
Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Yeah and what about changing the voting system to disepense with "same" is this ever going to be implemented?
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 11:31 PM

Originally Posted by Jack Swain
So, in regard to someone posting guidelines for gaming the system, is Ourstage taking any action on that, or simply letting it go?


Looks like they are letting it go
but the truth, we'll never know
I guess privacy laws and lawsuits
will stop us from learning
if someone got the boot

As for me, it doesn't really matter
my songs don't make anyone's heart go pitter-patter
I guess I just take the advice I heard
and be happy when my songs
make it consistently to the top third

Kevin
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 04/30/08 11:58 PM

Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Here's what Brian Bergeron at MySpace is asking his "loyal" fans to do at OurStage:
Quote
This is a call for help unlike any other. I know we've been in contest after contest this year but these opportunities are career changing for us, so if you want to vote, here's how:

1. Sign up for a FREE account on OurStage.com (takes only 1 minute).
2. Click judge up top and select (Radio929 Earthfest—1st priority, or Newport Folk Festival—2nd priority).
3. You have to listen to listen to each song for 15 seconds but once you listen to it once, you don't have to listen to it again!
4. For artists that aren't us, vote 'same' and when we come up, vote for us "by far". Also, vote against those that are ranked above us! You can see the rankings by clicking "Music Channels" on the homepage and searching for the channels that we're competing in!
5. It's easy! Enjoy some great music but make sure to vote for Brian Bergeron and The Late Greats.
6. Also, be sure to join our 'fan club' on OurStage.com and add us as a friend and 'favorite' our songs!

You can vote up to 190 times IN EACH CHANNEL, which I know seems like a long time but you only have to listen to each song once for 15 seconds. That means only 5 minutes to listen to ALL of the songs. If it takes only 5 seconds to click on each round then you can go through the WHOLE round of voting in less than 20 minutes.


Sort of a shame.

Kevin


Danny, are you saying that item #4 above is not "Interference with the proper working of the Ourstage site"?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 12:04 AM

Folks, there are a lot of things a company can/cannot say, or will/will not do in a public way. Anything posted as a comment or declaration on this web page can and will be used against them in litigation, if that were ever to arise.

Remember Brian saying a little something without really saying it? Something about karma?

How about we take the longer view and see what happens? I wouldn't expect them to jump like a cat on anything we point to.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 12:26 AM

Maybe so Mark but there are unanswered questions and they may risk losing membership and angering the ones who play by the rules. Let's see what happens next month. Ben
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 01:37 AM

If I'm not mistaken, Brian Bergeron didn't make it into the finals, so what does it matter? In my time at OurStage I have seen two instances of deliberate cheating/gaming. In both cases, OS took action - whether it was an automatic system detection or something manual, I'm not sure, but in any case the songs that were benefiting from these activities did not get far.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 02:55 AM

Hey Daniel, did you see this post I made before? I think this would be something that could be easily put in place, and really beneficial - especially to the finalists!

Originally Posted by Jillian Goldin
I'd really like to see a public list of the people who are getting selected for all those various industry prizes offered each month. I think anyone making it to the finals would really benefit from seeing that information! Neither Andrew nor I were contacted despite having been in the top 3 for March. I'm not complaining, but it does seem as though the sponsor companies could theoretically get away with not following through.

Along with my cash prize last month, I was supposed to receive a wardrobe of clothing from a company called BC Ethic. When I hadn't heard from them after a couple weeks, I decided to give them a call myself to see what was up (also because they only do male clothing, and I'm a gal). The people I spoke with over the phone hadn't even heard of OurStage, and they connected me to an answering machine. I left a message to the company CEO, but he never returned my call.

Granted, I DID eventually tell Gloria Utzig from OurStage that I would rather defer the wardrobe prize to a high-ranking band that could actually get use out of it, since I don't wear grungy mens clothes. wink But I still never heard back, so it just seems a little fishy that they never got in touch...
Posted By: danwalker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 04:29 AM

Hey folks,

The question could not come at a better time.
Currently, my song 'Stumble & Fall' won 1st (April) in Americana last night and has been in the top ten all day! I don't know what will happen with the 2 and a half hours left, but I can only hope that some real nice folks might pitch in here and there to get my song to the top. Thanks JPF for everything you do!
Dan
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 05:07 AM

Hey Dan,

Wow! Didn't realize you were a member of the boards here. I guess I didn't put 2 and 2 together. I really liked your song - best of luck to you. I've been voting positively for it.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 06:03 AM

Dan, your song was a rollercoaster ride this month, wasn't it? I was really happy to see it prevail, and it deserves to be right up there. Good luck! -Mark
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 07:14 AM

Yes. And we're working on something like that. We done so much its taking some time to compile.:)
Originally Posted by Jillian Goldin
Hey Daniel, did you see this post I made before? I think this would be something that could be easily put in place, and really beneficial - especially to the finalists!
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 07:24 AM

Oooh, yay! Looking forward to it.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 07:27 AM

Awesome month. I'm really happy for my friend sgx, who won... another member of the OverClocked ReMix community taking first!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 09:03 AM

It appears another JPF member has won the 5K prize again on Ourstage. Electronic Winner SGX won the overall prize. I sent him a note and asked him to join us here, so hopefully we can learn more about him. I think it's the song that edged out Andrew Aversa's song in that category, so at least Andrew got beaten by the overall winner... if you're going to lose, might as well lose to the champion.

So now a new month starts. I spent a lot of time on the Ourstage site while waiting to move forward on our awards judging. But now that we're in full gear on that, I doubt I'll have as much time to check it out. So hopefully all of you will keep me (and everyone else) up to date about who is doing well.

We had a LOT of JPF members do well last month. I expect that trend to continue.

Brian

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 09:04 AM

Mark,

Yeah.. Karma can be a friend or a real bitch. Looks like the right thing happened in this case.

Brian
Posted By: sgx

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 09:39 AM

My song Coactive ranks 1st in April finals.


...


grin Woo!


Hi! Brian sent me a very nice email congratulating me and suggested that I join the forums. So I came here and remembered that I already had a login from a while ago!

Hope you enjoyed Coactive!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 10:54 AM

Good to see you on for the first time since 2006! Hopefully you'll come and hang out. Congrats again on the win!

Brian
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 02:01 PM

Congrats sgx! Very cool!

Scott
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 03:12 PM

Congrats to all the winners. I think the site is going to be a good one.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 04:37 PM

Congratulations. Thanks for dropping in. Continued success!

Al
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 06:12 PM

Congrats hope to see you active on the boards.
Posted By: danwalker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 07:40 PM

To Andrew and Marks posts earlier,

Thanks for the ongoing support and yes, it was an unexpected roller coaster ride, but a very positive one at that. I had know idea that I was even ranking until I got the quarter finals email from Ourstage. The most exciting part of it for me, was to see 10,000 views/listens/votes happen to the song in one day. We ended up taking 9th in the Music Finals! Thanks JPF.
Posted By: danwalker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 07:43 PM

Congratulations on the big win!
What a ride it was.
Dan
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/01/08 08:31 PM

DIdn't know SGX was a JPF member too! Wow...what a lot of talent here. I was judging in the quarter-finals and SGXs track was one that I didn't want to stop listening to and thought was really a stand out. I'm pleased that it won the big Grand Prize. Not only is well deserving, but it shows that the fans DO get it right. And hats off to all JPF members in the finals and otherwise. You're helping to expand the JPF mission by supporting OurStage. Also, congrats to the JPF organization for creating such a great community of talented artists.
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
It appears another JPF member has won the 5K prize again on Ourstage. Electronic Winner SGX won the overall prize. I sent him a note and asked him to join us here, so hopefully we can learn more about him. I think it's the song that edged out Andrew Aversa's song in that category, so at least Andrew got beaten by the overall winner... if you're going to lose, might as well lose to the champion.

So now a new month starts. I spent a lot of time on the Ourstage site while waiting to move forward on our awards judging. But now that we're in full gear on that, I doubt I'll have as much time to check it out. So hopefully all of you will keep me (and everyone else) up to date about who is doing well.

We had a LOT of JPF members do well last month. I expect that trend to continue.

Brian

Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/02/08 08:25 AM

O.K, I'm taking the plunge and joining this thing monday. Being the simpleton that I am, anyone want to walk me through the process? I want to enter the Americana and Singer/Songwriter catagories.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/02/08 02:21 PM

Put thumb on little button. Move the little arrow on the screen til it hovers over OurStage.com (upper right hand corner of this page).
Click the little button.
Follow instructions. That's how I did it.

Hi Bob
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 12:36 AM

I posted a song called "Indy" which won 3rd place for New Age/World channel in April! This song was done in collaboration with Martin Stoyonov. My contribution was some arranging, production and recording the violin parts. The song was entered on April 1st, so it did pretty well for only 30 days of contest exposure!

You can see our listing here:
http://www.ourstage.com/bestof/25-world
Look under April 2008, 3rd song down. Here's the lineup:
1. Red July by: Zircon/Jillian Goldin)
2. Cibola by: Red July
3. Indy by: Martin Stoyanov & Michael Borges

Most of the songs in the top 10 were all pretty good, for example I also enjoyed: Awakening, Lord of the Dance, Viva and Pure and divine.

Currently I'm working on some new projects to post later this month. One will go in the Cover songs channel and the other probably in the New Age/World channel.

Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 12:41 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
Awesome month. I'm really happy for my friend sgx, who won... another member of the OverClocked ReMix community taking first!

Andrew,
Good deal... please send my congrats to your SGX friend Danny Adler! I also sent him a message at OurStage and would like to see if he'll be doing his own music publishing and licensing. I'm sure he'll do fine!

Michael
Posted By: Dave Stanley

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 02:58 AM

To my great surprise my song "Sour in the belly" is #4 in the indie
rock Channel!We will see how it bounces around.I had another song go as high as #9 and now it is at #509 or something.I don't really get how it works.

I don't ask fans to vote for me.If they ask,I tell them to vote for the best song.

Good Luck to everyone in May!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 03:23 AM

Dave,

Early in the month especially stuff will bounce all over the place. And even late, you'll see big swings. As more and more voters and artists get on board, I think you'll see slightly more gradual changes up and down. When there's less voters, a vote makes a much bigger difference and a string of 10 votes even more. So a patch of good or bad results for your song makes a big swing.

I think as time goes folks will learn to use it for more than just the ranking or prizes, but to test out new songs, to decide which songs might be more popular for an album project, and to gauge if they've reached a general audience or not. It's clear that a better song may not always win.. but a better song won't often finish near the entire bottom of everything either.

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 03:30 AM

Good luck Dave, There's no problem with asking fans to vote for you. Just don't ask them to vote down higher ranking songs to help push you up.
If you have a large fan base and they all register to vote, they will most likely have to spend a lot of time on the site just to find your song. Once they do and they think that your song is better than the other they can vote for you.
Once they find you, they can do anything they want as far as the degree of favor. But never instruct them in how to vote in degrees ex: Same, More etc. Ben
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 12:36 PM

I just tried to enter a song. When I clicked on the enter button a message said that as I already had an entry in that category I could not enter another one as you can only enter one song in each category. That is fine and I can accept that. Meanwhile whilst judging I come across countless people with multiple entries in the same category. WHAT GIVES? Is it one rule for all or do some have different rules.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 12:50 PM

One other thing puzzles the hell out of me I vote a song as being better than another and over 60% agree. When I check the respective positions the "better" song that most people agree with is way below the "poorer" song and remains there. This has happened a number of times. If a song is voted better than another by the majority then why do the positions not alter accordingly?
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 02:02 PM

Well Jim

I don't get it, yesterday it said my song was ranking at 273, and today it's saying it's ranking 452 in country. I think I will look into entering my songs over here in Australian competitions.

Confusing!

Michele

Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 02:14 PM

Michele: It's early in the month, I wouldn't get concerned about its position right now. Plus I wouldn't get down if it doesn't get the rating it deserves. It's a good song -- just let it ride.

Kevin
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 03:04 PM

Michele.... Kevin is right there is a lot of jumping about early in the month and your song should settle to its proper position. However I feel that there is a big discrepancy in some of the places going by last months final positions. As I already stated some of the positions do not IMO reflect the concensus of popularity. There is a glitch in there somewhere that needs sorting. Going by my judging opinions which in the main agree with most people I fail to see how some songs are way below others or way above for that matter.
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 03:39 PM

Thanks Kevin & Jim,

I just a bit confused by it all, but I am only learning, and maybe I am just not understanding it. I don't understand about the Banners & all the other things on my profile page, also the box where it says, can you do better, I've not been ranked, what does that mean? Told you I'm confused. Any way I am not really worried about where it comes now, cause I know it is a good song.

What I couldn't understand how it could go from 273 yesterday, down to 452 today, maybe I was reading it wrong, I don't know, that's what got me confused. Hmmm! Golly gosh!

I'm cool about it!

I'm off to bed now, it's my cute hubbies birthday, so I am going to spend some quality time with him. So Goodnight, and thanks for the vote of confidence.

Bye!

Michele
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 04:04 PM

Big Jim
I think that little banner that pops up and says how many people agree with you might be a little misleading.
It may be more specific than that. It might be tied to which button you clicked Same..Slightly more...More....By Far

If you pick "slightly more" and 70 percent agree but the other song got "By far" and only 30 percent agree the algorithm may place the "by far' song higher even though it had less people agree.
You see 70 percent agree. That may only mean agree "Slightly more"
My guess is the algorithm that computes the standings is a lot more complex than we think. I wonder if a simpler "winner/loser" system would be easier.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 04:10 PM

Michelle
I would not worry too much about this.
My song went from 120 to 480 in less than 24 hours and only 6 people listened to it. The only thing I can figure is if half the people like it and half the people don't it must have been the don't like it bunch that heard it.
Cause I like the song. HA.... So there.
Posted By: Samuel Harris

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 04:52 PM

I have never visited the site but I have a question. Does a rise up the "charts" there have any relationship to the quality of the song or songwriting? Soundclick seems just as likely to push a bad song to the top as a good or mediocre one.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 05:30 PM

Sam
I don't think there is any comparison to soundclick. It is pretty easy to manipulate the charts there. I have never paid much attention to them.

Ourstage seems to be more difficult to manipulate it. You do not choose what you listen to when judging.
Judging is what determines the charts. It is random.
If you have 1000 songs in a genre you would have to spend a lot of time waiting for a specific song to come up to judge because you have no control over the playlist.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 06:28 PM

I have a song called "These old Shoes" in the Newport contest. There is another song with the same title in the same contest. The other is Bluesy and mine is more upbeat. I like the other song as well. Would love to see them paired. Ben
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/03/08 06:44 PM

Bill I think you may be right I have said that the same should be abolished. It is a cop out and can be used easier to manipulate results. I think there should just be a straight choice as to which one you think is better. Degrees should not come into the reckoning.
Here is a typical example to illustrate why. Take two bad songs but one is miles better than the other. Why should you be allowed to place then the same. Brian A Whitney freely admits that he votes this way. Is this fair on the song that is better AND how much is this song's RIGHTFUL place devalued by?
I have done a lot of judgements and can say with confidence that songs voted by the majority according to the stats as better are often placed well below. If 70% or more vote the same as you I would hope that the song actually places higher.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 02:13 AM

I think their logic is that if someone is not going to vote honest in the first place, it's better to have a tie where neither song gets an advantage than have them randomly pick a dishonest winner and damage the better song while helping the worse song.

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 02:22 AM

WHY DO OUR SONGS JUMP SO MUCH?

Here's what I think. In these first days, when there are 1000 or so songs...remember that a great deal of these songs have not yet been judged, so they likely are placed in the order they were posted. Your song at #200 goes up against a song at #800, and if #800 wins...they're both gonna jump...drastically!

But after a couple weeks, things begin to stabilize more, and by the end of the month, I think it all gets very close to an accurate picture of public opinion.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 02:43 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I think their logic is that if someone is not going to vote honest in the first place, it's better to have a tie where neither song gets an advantage than have them randomly pick a dishonest winner and damage the better song while helping the worse song.



I see your point BUT if someone is going to be dishonest then they can go for the worst song all the time. Either way it makes little difference if they are gonna cheat they need a lot of people working for them. I think it would be fairer to honest judging if there is only a vote for which song is preferred. The temptation for voting same all the time is removed.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:01 AM

I think you can easily vote honestly for a tie. I do it. There are clearly really bad songs that have no advantage over the other. If two songs are sung badly, recorded badly and written badly, I don't feel I owe either of them the excruciating time it would take to find some minor reason to vote one over the other. Now, if they gave me an option to say "both songs are terrible and don't deserve positive feedback" then I'd check that.. but I think that might hurt some feelings.. so I vote tie instead.

I don't think someone who spends little or no effort on their craft and offers nothing of value in their work deserves special attention. I'd rather spend that same time on songs that show some merit and deserve legit boosts.

If you were voting on the best painter and you had 2 people who turned in blank canvases, or two people who turned in canvases they'd simply dumped a can of paint on with no other effort, it would be pointless to say "that blank is better than that blank" or "that dumped can of paint is better than that dumped can of paint." The same goes for music. If it were photos and both photographers had not bothered to take off the lens cap, I don't think I owe it to them to determine which black photo was better.

Really bad music doesn't deserve people's time. Music with some effort and demonstrated craft deserves that time. It's not like there's a shortage of deserving music.. why spend a lot of time on the stuff that hasn't deserved it. When I first started writing songs before I knew anything about craft or writing or recording something well, I don't think that work deserved equal attention with excellent recordings where people have worked hard to improve their talent and demonstrate it via the recording and writing.

So I guess we'll have to differ on this. But I think forcing me to pick a winner among two very bad songs would result in my clicking one slightly better over the other in a fairly random fashion.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:33 AM

You know Brian you are onto something there. I do not think we differ on opinion, maybe just about the degree of what is not very good or what really sucks. I am of the opinion that if somebody is really bad then they deserve to be told it is really bad and to some extent know how it compares to other bad stuff. I think it is a valuable part of their music education. As somebody once said how can you fix it if you do not know it is broken.
I think all people of all levels should be encouraged but there are some people who should think first and actually listen to what they are going to enter before they do. I have heard some hum dingers. I often wonder is it a bad joke or are they really that bad and just do not realise it. I listened to ninteen seconds that is all it lasted of some blond drunk bimbo saying, not singing happy birthday la la la several times over. I reported it as off topic and offensive. I said it offends and is an insult to anyone who appreciates music in any shape or form. My biggest bug is the people who send in an unlistenable recording of what is actually a fairly good song and performance.
All that effort gone to waste. Perhaps with the Ourstage tie in some of these people will join JPF and better themselves.

I am sure there must be something that makes one entry choosable over the other even if it is ONLY the photo or artwork. As I say pity some people spend more time on photos or artwork than on writing performing and recording a song. LOL

Nice chatting we should do it more often. I would really like to meet you and shake your hand. Maybe if I win the lottery or sell one of my songs to Rod Stewart. LOL
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:42 AM

Jim,

Sadly, I suspect a lot of people DO vote for (or even against) the photo supplied. That's a pretty terrible reason as it's not relevent to the song or recording. It's exactly what labels learned long ago.. i.e. most of the challenge is the quality of the marketing, not the quality of the music. Oddly enough, I'd have thought you of all people would be vehemently against the notion of someone voting based on the photo.

Brian
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:46 AM

What's an EPK?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:49 AM

Electronic Press Kit
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:55 AM

Case in point regarding my last post: an hour ago, "The Graveyard of Songs" was at #11 on the Newport Folk Festival channel, after debuting at #2. It is now #99. D'Oh! grin
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:56 AM

Thanks Brian.
I've got one at 147 in New Age/World and one at 170 in Reggae.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:58 AM

Are you folks registering through the JPF link? I want to make sure they understand how many of our members are joining, but I get a feeling that many are just going to the site domain instead.
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:00 AM

I didn't register through the JPF link (didn't see any link).
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:02 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Jim,

Sadly, I suspect a lot of people DO vote for (or even against) the photo supplied. That's a pretty terrible reason as it's not relevent to the song or recording. It's exactly what labels learned long ago.. i.e. most of the challenge is the quality of the marketing, not the quality of the music. Oddly enough, I'd have thought you of all people would be vehemently against the notion of someone voting based on the photo.



Brian


Hey Brian have you seen my avatar? LOL
At the end of the day artwork is part of the package. I remember people buying albums in the seventies just for the cover. I never did that (says he lying)
Seriously though if everything alse cannot be separated then yeah go vote on a photo of a busty blond.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:07 AM

Brian, I tried to get to the ourstage site via your link but it takes me to their registration page. I'm already registered. If it brought me to my home page then I wouldn't have a problem. maybe you should talk to them about the landing page. Ben
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:09 AM

My one photo is pretty obscure there. I posted a song titled, "The Fields (of Balbriggan)" in New Age/World - an instrumental based on a short visit to the small fishing community centered between Dublin and Belfast. I spent a lot of time with kids there. One of the things I did was "clowning," so I posted a pic of me putting my makeup on. Has nothing to do with the song really, but it's from the trip.
Posted By: Michele Howlett

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:14 AM

Hi All

My song today, is ranking 385, I will keep checking on it, to see how it goes.

Bad songs, I just vote the same, if one is a little better to me, I vote little more, some I have voted more as I think its a good song, but not quiet there yet, and the songs I really think deserves it, I vote by far.

I think they need to sift out the worst songs, cut back the songs, cause it takes ages to vote, there is no way I have the time to keep voting all day. It is very frustrating to keep listening to bad songs, and it detours me away from voting, cause of how long it takes.

Thanks

Michele
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:39 AM

Brian,

Reference you comment about voting based on graphics.:

I have about half a dozen times. Why? When the songs are equally bad or equally good musically, I look to see if there is anything else that might separtae the two enough to avoid the "Same" vote. Why the graphics? It suggests to me the pride and attention they pay to both their music and their careers. No, it does not make their music any better, but it strongly suggests to me that these are folks who truly are seriously interested in furthering their careers. I am inclined to favor someone who takes his/her career more seriously than someone whom appears to not be as attentive to the details of their musical career. Those who take pride in their overall presentation in every way deserve the benefit of the doubt, as far as I am concerned. But, as I said, I have done this but half a dozen times or so out of over 2,000 judgings.

Al
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 05/04/08 04:41 AM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 07:27 AM

I am talking registration.. as for the link on our page at the top right (are you not seeing it Tom?) I have told Daniel multiple times to change that page so it takes registered users to the site, but he (or his tech team) haven't changed it. So we're leaving the registration link up so at least we capture the registrations that are new... better than nothing.. I am not as worried about using that link to get to their page, though I'd rather it worked for that too...

The truth is that their membership has exploded since we partnered up and both months the winner has been a JPF member. I think Daniel realizes the value of it all, but I know that corporate folks are often only paying attention to a number on a hits page and not neccessarily reality...

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 10:35 AM

Hi Tammy. Whilst it might be reassuring to think that a high percentage of people agree with your decision to vote songs the same think about why some people would do that and how people feel who have entered a song that is in the bottom half of the positions. They want to know realistically where it stands so will compare it to similar placed songs. So their song is not as good perhaps as the crackly recording of the guy with the lisp yodelling. I adopt the principle that if we judge songs we are duty bound to give an honest and proper decision. If everybody votes same then songs could be hundreds of positions out of placement. A bit unfair IMO. I would urge everybody to think and try to vote for the slightly better song rather than just say they are the same because they do not like either that much.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 12:59 PM

If you vote "same" then a song doesn't move up OR down.. so it would be in the position where the voters put it. Your theory doesn't hold up Jim.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:07 PM

when it says how many times a song has been played does that include how many times it has been judged?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:13 PM

Sorry to keep harping on but if you vote a number of sames and so does everybody else what happens then? Nothing moves up or down THAT IS EXACTLY MY POINT I think you will find my theory does hold up. I have experienced it with my songs a Waltz made for two and Just another day. Both finished way way way below where they should have. NEITHER MOVED MUCH FOR DAYS.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:41 PM

well back to my question about the number of plays.
My song has not been played for 36 hours but it is still jumping around.
So, do number of plays include number of times judged?
Because if it has not been judged how can it move?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 03:50 PM

Bill the number of plays has nothing to do with the number of times judged. It is just how many times someone has chosen to play the song either by visiting your page or playing it from looking at its chart position. The number of judgements is an unknown factor. It would be interesting to find out this info however. It might answer some of the questions about voting anomalies
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:16 PM

So nobody is listening to my song?
I think I'll go sit in the corner and sulk.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:30 PM

Jim,

You have to be willing to accept that it's possible people didn't like your songs as much as you think they should. But I don't think you are willing to even consider that possibility based on your comments. So you'd rather people randomly choose one song over the other which may well result in you ranking even LOWER than you do now.. which would make you even MORE unhappy. On the other hand, if they chose your song instead, then someone else may be ranked lower than they deserve. That's not good either. By voting a tie when you have no opinion of which is better than the other, you don't harm or help anyone who doesn't deserve it.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:31 PM

Bill,

Number of times played is totally separate from judged. Judging numbers are not included. The number of plays you get indicates the people who chose to just listen to your song for the sake of listening to it outside of the judging process.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 04:55 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Jim,

You have to be willing to accept that it's possible people didn't like your songs as much as you think they should. But I don't think you are willing to even consider that possibility based on your comments. So you'd rather people randomly choose one song over the other which may well result in you ranking even LOWER than you do now.. which would make you even MORE unhappy. On the other hand, if they chose your song instead, then someone else may be ranked lower than they deserve. That's not good either. By voting a tie when you have no opinion of which is better than the other, you don't harm or help anyone who doesn't deserve it.

Brian


Brian Please do not think I do not know my place or worth. I have been in this business too long to have delusions. I can accept better songs than mine are plentiful and know where my songs should place after hearing the opposition. What I have difficulty accepting is songs that really suck being placed better.
Re the randomly judged songs above each other. I cannot accept that you of all people cannot judge two bad songs against each other and come up with a proper winner. I would like to think that most people with any music background can assess each song regardless of how bad it is against another and pick the best one. As for people with no backround in music I would rather take my chances than just let them be classed as all equally bad.
I thought judging was meant to be judging ALL and not just looking at the best.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 07:48 PM

At least you guys get to play, I can't. Boo hoo.
Posted By: Dave Rice

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 09:17 PM

I have not posted any of my songs on "OurStage" and truly wish all who have the very best. I'll be lurking in the wings listening to some of my fellow JPFrs songs. Everett... we've gotta do something to get you better "net" service. I know how frustrating dial-up can be.

Dave
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 09:36 PM

Here's the one thing I do not understand...No one is required to post anything at OurStage. You post there, enter "music contests" there, participate in whatever activities they offer, exclusively by your choice. It is an opportunity to have your music heard by hundreds or thousands of new listeners at absolutley no cost to you. Why are you complaining? If you feel the judging is not fair or has too many flaws for your comfort...don't do it! You can simply load your song onto their site and not participate in any of the other activities. Or, you can just not do anything there.

It's their game. If we want to play, we play by their rules. If we do not like their rules, we should find a different game! You certainly are not getting ripped off in any manner. Your music is not being inappropriately distrubuted or misused in any manner what-so-ever. You are not being being denied any just royalties according to current law. They are not doing anything with your music that you have not given them permission to do.

It's kind of like me inviting you to dinner...I purchase, prepare and serve the food...then you complain that I have ugly china and that my salt and pepper shaker don't match!

Come on guys and gals. A friendly recommendation to them would serve the same purpose, and in a more gracious manner, than constantly beating them up here on the boards. They cannot tailor the rules and the contests to meet the wishes and wants of thousands of people. If they implemented everything that you wanted, they would have a thousand other people complaining whose ideas are different than yours.

There are several things I do not like about the way they run their "contests". But, I choose to play knowing what their rules are. So, I shouldn't complain too much.

Just my thoughts.

Al

PS: Other than a contract, what do we want most for our songs, once they are ready? Exposure, right?? Guess what, at OurStage, you get LOTS of exposure. One of my songs has already been listened to 600 times. Only "favored" twice, though...can't have it all! But think about that.
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 10:04 PM

Brian - I saw the Community Partners logos, but I guess I never realized that they were links to their sites. I just discovered that last night. When I lclicked it, it did take me to the registration page as you pointed out.

And my one song "The Fields (of Balbriggan)" has moved up into the top 100 in New Age/World. I posted some songs just to see how they'd do. I haven't listened to them in a long time, and when I did, I kept thinking, "Why did I mix them like that?" I continually hear ways to improve them, and it's really hard to release anything. I'm not thrilled with my own stuff, but I'm not in any position right now to be able to record them "right." So I only posted stuff as a whim.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 10:25 PM

Al you are correct the minute wads of cash are involved the competetiveness of everybody comes out. It can sometimes be pretty ugly. My comments are only designed to try and improve what I think is a great site. I enjoy listening to all the great music. I would post stuff regardless of cash prizes. I admit that I sometimes have a good laugh at some of the not so good stuff as well. Shame on me.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 10:31 PM

Big Jim,

This wasn't aimed at just you and you alone! Yeah, you've been pretty vocal...but it applies to all who participate and then get upset with the process. We simply need to apprecaite the opportunity for "new ears" the site provides and just go with the rest, if we choose to be there.

No need for shame, Big Jim. You have spoken your opinion and I just offered mine. You will always be one of my favorite JPFers. Heck, it wasn't your fault thay you were born a Scotsman!

You ugly? With an adorable face like that...never!

Take care, Big Jim. All the best.

Al
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/04/08 11:25 PM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
I admit that I sometimes have a good laugh at some of the not so good stuff as well. Shame on me.

Shame on me too Big Jim. I do get a chuckle out of some of the songs. You should hear the one where the guy is verbally introducing the song. I should have voted him better for his shear nerve to bore me before the song started.
But what the hell, people might be laughing at me too. Ben
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 12:53 AM

Re: Use of photos/images to effect song judging.

Problem:
I think sometimes a "bad" or off-topic image could hurt a song more than help. And other times, a really great photo or image could maybe help a song, even though it's not that great or well produced.

Possible solution:
One possible solution is to take the image completely out of the judging criteria. That would be very easy to do and might also speed things up with the song loading for each battle between two songs. All that's really needed is the song title. They already strip out the song description, so that doesn't effect the voting. I'm not sure, but maybe they could also strip out the name of band or songwriter to provide for a truly "blind" vote.

The result would be that the music would have to be judged only by these two criteria:
1. The song itself.
2. Name of song. This is fairly mute because a least some reference is needed to identify the song.

Again, ideally there would be NO images displayed during the judging/voting process and possibly NO songwriter, band or composer identitity as this could also influence the vote based on the popularity of the artist.

Currently I bet many fans are voting for their favorite artists based on their image, name and past contest reputation with other songs. For example, they may have heard a great song by an artist and then later vote for the artist again in another contest or channel because they're already familiar with that artist.

If OurStage was purely a marketing & popularity contest, it could work like that. Just encourage every artist to bring in droves of friends and fans from MySpace, SoundClick, PureVolume, Garageband, Broadjam, CD Baby and JPF, etc. and then see who's got the biggest crowd of fans and loyal supporters.

It would be a "no brainer" to predict who's going to win these kinds of popularity contests. Boring, boring... but that's how real music marketing often works. The artists/labels with the biggest promotion budgets and fan clubs will normally win because they know how to play that game.

Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:02 AM

Yes blind contests do work. They have been doing this for years. For example the Telluride bluegrass festival has a blind guitar contest. The judges are not allowed to see the performer, know his or her name etc. Their only job is to listen and judge accordingly. Ben
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:08 AM

Originally Posted by ben willis
Yes blind contests do work. They have been doing this for years. For example the Telluride bluegrass festival has a blind guitar contest. The judges are not allowed to see the performer, know his or her name etc. Their only job is to listen and judge accordingly. Ben


Thanks Ben!
I think that would be a great idea for OurStage to do. It would be very simple, they need only "hide" the artist image and name. The song description is already removed from the voting "battles", and all that's needed is the song title to accompany the sound track. This would also help good songwriters that don't have the talent or resources to prepare great looking images to represent their songs.

Michael
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:14 AM

The judging is based on talent alone and no one can use flashy clothing or dance moves and attractive people have no advantage.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:17 AM

Originally Posted by Al David
Big Jim,

This wasn't aimed at just you and you alone! Yeah, you've been pretty vocal...but it applies to all who participate and then get upset with the process. We simply need to apprecaite the opportunity for "new ears" the site provides and just go with the rest, if we choose to be there.

No need for shame, Big Jim. You have spoken your opinion and I just offered mine. You will always be one of my favorite JPFers. Heck, it wasn't your fault thay you were born a Scotsman!

You ugly? With an adorable face like that...never!

Take care, Big Jim. All the best.

Al


Hey Al I did not take it that you were referring to me alone.
I just answered your post as honestly as I could. Whilst my opinions may be misconstrued by some as sour grapes or perhaps delusions that I think my stuff is better than it is my real intention is to help improve the system which in itself is great but could be better with a twaek or two.
Al if you keep prasing me like that you better watch out you may turn into a born again caveman.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:28 AM

Originally Posted by ben willis
The judging is based on talent alone and no one can use flashy clothing or dance moves and attractive people have no advantage.

Ben,
Ok, good "tongue in cheek" point, but of course real show biz does depend on ALL factors being in place: Great music, stage appearance, clothing, dance, choreography, talent, image and marketing, etc. Again, in the real marketing world every advantage needs to be exploited to gain fan favor and beat the competition.

But if OurStage wants to be a "venue" to help the public find the best songs, they might decide to eliminate a few secondary criteria such as the artist's image. The image would of course still appear on their personal profile and on their music player, but not in the voting chamber, that's all. This forces people to judge the song's audio track rather than external things like a pretty or "sexy" photo.

If they want to judge images, they can vote in one of the video channels. For example, the music videos would be a good place to vote for the best "looking" and "sounding" bands. A bad video could ruin a great song and a bad song could ruin a great video production, etc. That's a whole different "ball game" than just writing and producing a great song for a music contest.

And I bet that's how every major song contest judging is done including Just Plain Folks, John Lennin, USA Songwriting Competition, and all the rest. None will give any points for having an attractive image on the song cover. That's Ok for marketing but NOT for judging in a serious song contest. If artists could win song awards at JPF (or anywhere) by having great images, they would simply hire the best graphics money could buy. wink

Michael
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 02:04 AM

The world pipe band championship judges stand in small tents so they cannot see the bands and are therefore unbiased. However it is worth noting that this is a pointless exercise as they are such experts they can tell what band it is just by hearing them play.

No bagpipe jokes please !!!!!!
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 02:08 AM

Good point Mike and I agree, but we need to differentiate a "Song" contest from a "Talent" contest. In my opinion, a song contest involves the lyric and melody of the song being judged and not the attractivness of the writer/artist. A talent contest is of the performance of the song weather the artist wrote it or not and the attractivness factor comes into play. The dancing also is judged in the talent contest. Ben
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 02:29 AM

A bag of pipes?
is that like a box of hammers?

I wonder if people really are influenced by the pictures or graphics? I suppose they could be but I can't believe it would have that much impact.

Of course my song has a picture of a spoon....hmmmm maybe I should consider some nudity. Maybe that would help.

Whoa.. announcement...I just looked and I got favorited...Woo hooo...
Ahhhh I bet it was one of you guys....trying to make me feel special.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 02:49 AM

The only reason that I don't agree on the graphics thing is that I listen to the song and the song only. Anyone can make a pretty picture. But can anyone produce a good song? Ben
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 02:50 AM

Bill,

You ARE special! That said, if you go the nudity route, I hope it's not a picture of you! Sorry, but.......!

Al
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 03:00 AM

I have had a number of songs make it into the quarter, semi, or straight-up finals using nothing more than a picture of my album art; the text "zircon - Antigravity" with a green design, an upside-down iguana, and some bamboo. It's really not that amazing. sgx, the April grand prize winner, won with nothing more than a shot of his album art too, and while it's quite cool, it's not so amazing that it would have propelled him that far.

Having the album art shown is a great idea. It makes judging go a LOT faster, for one thing, because it's easier to see an image and associate it with a song than to actually read the smaller text underneath the image.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 03:15 AM

I don't know Andrew. Are we judging audio or a vision? I would assume that we are judging an audio sound. Adding visual only complicates things. Some people, me included don't care to add an audio effect to our music. The song should be judged on it's merit alone. Ben
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 04:19 AM

I have to agree with Andy... and I was going to say it before I even saw his post, I swear! I think that having images is a positive thing for two reasons:

1. It helps to vote more quickly when the contest is narrowed down into the quarters, semis, and finals. I find it much easier remember a given song by its image, and then I don't have to spend hours and hours getting through all the possible match-ups when I've become familiar enough with the pool! smile

2. I would also look on the picture uploading option as another opportunity to market yourself. People are more likely to remember you as an artist if you have some sort of visual that identifies you. Pixelated or poor quality photos do lack a certain appeal, but serious musicians should know to always put their best foot forward.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 04:37 AM

[Linked Image]

Ha!!!
And then there's
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 04:45 AM

Ben, Andrew & Jillian!
I totally understand the benefits of using some nice pictures, and I'm really not against it. Matter of fact, I work very hard at finding nice images to go with the "mood" of my songs; or sometimes I use one of my own cover images such as "Michael Borges On Violin" featuring a still photo of a violin, notes, bow and candle to highlight the romantic mood of my musical style.

Anyway, I was just commenting that some songwriters/composers will not be "image experts" and sometimes a bad picture could hurt more than help. If OurStage wants to hide the images, then we'd have to go with their rules, but probably that won't happen so not much to worry about. wink

Meanwhile lets enjoy the music and yes... also the images which can help us connect with some of the great songs we are hearing! smile

Michael
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 04:49 AM

Jillian,

I agree with both of your points. In your second point, you did a much better job of explaining my view than I did. I performed/played for over 35 years. During that entire period, I have repetitively heard it: "Always put your best foot forward...always. You never know who is in your audience". I think what you said pretty agrees with what I said, just different terminology. The care you put into your presentation of your musical package, which includes graphics for any public display of your work, says a lot about your approach and attitude of how you want to be perceived as an artist/performer.

Perhaps it all seems rather insignificant to some folks; but I feel it is an important part of your entire musical package. I truly believe that producers, A&R folks, labels, etc., do look at the whole package. I am 61 years old; so all of it means little to me as a performer. But for younger folks looking to move their careers ahead, I say leave no stone unturned. It certainly won't hurt; and it could help. Your insignificant item may be an important consideration for the guy or gal that has the ears of the publisher or the label. You have no way of knowing. So, why not cover all bases?

Certainly, one should NEVER vote for or against a song simply because of the graphic arts. My point was that when all else is equal, that might be ther difference.

And a belated congrats on your win last month!

Al
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 05:02 AM

Thanks Micheal, and Jillian, I think that visual effects have their place. But not in a song contest. Period. What are judging anyway? The song. Not the writer nor the performer. The only thing that is at stake is the song itself. There is no reason to enhance it with a visual display. The song should speak for itself. Anything else is bells and whistles, and that's not fair. Ben
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 05:33 AM

So.....
Has anyone been judging in the singer/songwriter channels?
They have them separated Male and Female.
I have had to report several being "Off Topic" Male in the female
and female in the male.

Anyone else have this happening?
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 06:24 AM

Ben

I cannot disagree with you on the judging. The music speaks for itself 99% of the time. The main point I am trying to make in my comments is that IN ADDITION TO THE JUDGING, you have an opportunity to catch the eye of someone in the business with the benefit of nice graphics. Why not help yourself out with this indirect opportunity. Somany times, folks aspiring to success get the break the need/want in a most unconventional and unexpected manner. Why not be ready for the unexpected.

We as judgee should vote on the music. But, at the same time, the artist might be the benefactor of some ancillary factor. The people with the ears to the "big boys" can be pretty quirky sometimes!

Alan
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 01:55 PM

Well, for anyone graphically challenged, you could always create an "image" that is nothing more than the song title, and maybe some text about it. If you save it as a graphic file, then we could READ something about the song as we're listening.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 03:06 PM

I have said this a few times and nobody seems to have picked up on it. I have been impressed with the artwork generally. Some people have gone to great lengths to produce a pro picture or graphic to accompany their music. It is sad however to see a great picture or image and then listen to some of the worst recorded stuff I have ever heard. Perhaps they should have spent a bit more time writing, arranging, performing and recording their music than worrying about image. Some songs are almost unlistenable because have been recorded so badly.

Some examples of the things I hate most.
Several seconds of hiss pops and clicks before the intro.
People talking to each other before the song starts (ARE YOU READY. yeah lets go for it. DO YOU THINK IT IS GONNA BE TOO LOUD. no 123.)
No sound from one side. (How did they not notice that one.)
A white noise snowstorm with a faint sound in the background (is that music they are playing)
Distortion Distortion Distortion everything recorded on max volume possible.


Do some of these people actually listen to what they have recorded before posting it?
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 03:36 PM

Jim,

Yeah,I have encounteredall of that. You would think, given this opportunity, that they would do at least a little bit of clean up before posting. And, how hard is it to cut 15 seconds of silence from the beginning.

The ones that really get me arewhen the vocalist or someone in the band takes 36 seconds to introduce the song...before we hear one single note!

Of course, all of that is professionally unbforgiveable errors of the artists, not OurStage. I think my overall biggest heartburn with OurStage has nothing to do with the judging per se. They just need to have more relavant genres/categoroies/channels. In Jazz, one of my most prolific genres, you will hear everything from, fusion to smooth jazz, to latin jazz to straightout jazz to beautiful vocals to cheap sounding lounge music to rap etc.

Perhaps a good analogy might be in the rock genre where you could have The Carpenters, ABBA, AC-DC, Grand Funk Railroad, Pink, The Stones and Maroon 5 competing against each other. They're really not very similar; but all are classified as one sub-genre of rock or another.

Other than that, I think that the judging is about as fair as we can expect. Take care Big Jim!

Al
Posted By: Hummingbird

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 06:04 PM

I entered my tunes for May... I'm wayyyyyy down in the stats

1) Lady's Mist - New Age/World (287th out of 289)

2) Space Station Sunrise - Instrumental (I would prefer to be in Orchestral, but they don't seem to have it) (340th out of 695)

http://www.ourstage.com/epk/vikkiflawith

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 06:43 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
If you vote "same" then a song doesn't move up OR down.. so it would be in the position where the voters put it. Your theory doesn't hold up Jim.
I haven't read beyond this post yet, but if you vote SAME in a contest between the #1 song and the very last song, doesn't it stand to reason that this vote would boost up the bottom song and pull down the top?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 07:03 PM

Regarding photos, I think that judging a bunch of songs with no visual to look at would be more boring. Yes, more fair...but not as random and colorful.

Rather than get immediately flushed down the toilet by posting bad pictures of myself, I've opted to do a quickie Photoshop piece on each of mine. I'm hoping it gives a visual cue they can remember, but hopefully not too "homemade". Here are a couple:

[Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 08:08 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
If you vote "same" then a song doesn't move up OR down.. so it would be in the position where the voters put it. Your theory doesn't hold up Jim.
I haven't read beyond this post yet, but if you vote SAME in a contest between the #1 song and the very last song, doesn't it stand to reason that this vote would boost up the bottom song and pull down the top?


Yes Mark I agree. There is another way of looking at it if you vote a bunch of songs the same and most other voters do like wise then there is no way of telling which song is slightly better than another. Then some, not many, come along and do not vote same but vote better by far. That can make a huge difference on positions especially if there is a large entry.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 10:13 PM

No.. it's a zero sum game. Think of it this way... a vote for "Far Better" would result in +3 points for the winning song and -3 points for the losing song. A vote for "same" would result in no points for or against either song. It's like the vote never took place.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 10:14 PM

Mark,

I like the first and fourth images. The bomb going off and the superimposed car look a bit cheesy and typical of home mage graphics. At least that is how I see them.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/05/08 10:51 PM

Thanks Brian...considering they are ALL cheesy homemade graphics, I'm very pleased to hear that! grin
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 01:35 AM

Here's the songs I've entered for May:

[Linked Image]
Claire De Lune - Solo Instrumental

[Linked Image]
Flower Duet (aka Aria) - Cover Bands

[Linked Image]
New Every Morning - New Age/World

[Linked Image]
Walking In The Rain - Guitar Solo


Michael's Profile on OurStage

I also posted this in a new "MAY OurStage Contest Entries" topic in the General Message Forum, but evidently Brian wants us to post these here. That's fine, but it's probably a bit early to discuss rankings for May since they will keep changing until the last day. Might be better to discuss May rankings at end of May or in June when all the votes are final. smile

Michael
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 02:52 AM

Originally Posted by ben willis
Thanks Micheal, and Jillian, I think that visual effects have their place. But not in a song contest. Period. What are [we] judging anyway? The song. Not the writer nor the performer. The only thing that is at stake is the song itself. There is no reason to enhance it with a visual display. The song should speak for itself. Anything else is bells and whistles, and that's not fair. Ben

Ben,
Good points, and generally I can't disagree! For one thing, I DO upload some nice images. It can be very time consuming to find the "perfect" image to go with each song's theme.

I'm not a professional photographer, so I have to license royalty-free images from places like iStockPhoto and ShutterPoint, etc. This is of course an additional expense, but I don't mind for general promotion purposes. I can license standard web-size images for .99 cents a piece which work perfectly fine on OurStage, so it's really not a problem, and if I wish, I can also add some text. But I've seen other artists post pure images with no text which also makes a nice impression for certain kinds of music, especially for instrumentals and certain channels such as New Age/World.

Beyond that, nothing needs to be changed except that the OurStage management could "gray out" images during the voting process. I've judged JPF song awards a number of times and have never seen any images, so if it's good enough for JPF, John Lennon, Great American Song Contest, USA Songwriting Competition, Unisong and all the rest, why not also for OurStage? Because the FANS decide! So you'll have to talk to the management... ha ha! grin

Anyway, interesting discussion!
Michael
Posted By: sgx

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 11:03 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
I have had a number of songs make it into the quarter, semi, or straight-up finals using nothing more than a picture of my album art; the text "zircon - Antigravity" with a green design, an upside-down iguana, and some bamboo. It's really not that amazing. sgx, the April grand prize winner, won with nothing more than a shot of his album art too, and while it's quite cool, it's not so amazing that it would have propelled him that far.

Having the album art shown is a great idea. It makes judging go a LOT faster, for one thing, because it's easier to see an image and associate it with a song than to actually read the smaller text underneath the image.


Hey, buddy! The art on my Coactive track is not album art. It's a screenshot from the interactive remixing flash toy I made also called Coactive: www.sgxmmusic.com/coactive.htm smile

I do think good art is important if you are trying to win. People are affected by superficial things. You wouldn't show up to court in shabby clothes, so why enter a competition and not put up a good appearance?

I do a little graphic design and I've been using ourstage as a little exercise for myself: every time I add a new song, I do a quick 15 minute design for the track's ourstage image that I think will represent how the track sounds.

Of course, not everyone is a graphic designer, but not having a quality image or album cover kind of just suggests that you're not serious about your music enough to present the whole package well. Ideally, the music should speak for itself, and it does to an extent, but in reality other aspects affect perception too.

Other things I think helped me:

People are impatient. Your song needs to get awesome or sound like it will be awesome within that first 15 seconds of required listening.

My winning track Coactive is actually 5:30 long on the album. I entered my 2:30 edit on Ourstage and won the grand prize. I am SO glad I did that. This short edit gets the point, keeps your interest, and concludes itself in a tight, effective package.

Having fans that are willing to spend time voting for you is helpful also. I've got folks on a couple of message boards, visitors on my website, and people who've signed up for my mailing list that I asked to visit ourstage and vote for me. I think I would have done well, but maybe not won if I didn't have the help. Some people may not like that some artists with a following might have a bit of an advantage, but to that I say:

1) Ourstage encourages this. They sent an email (or was it a message on the site) to all quarterfinalists in March's competition suggesting that we do things like that to get fans to sign up and vote for us. It gets them traffic which is what they want. This is how Ourstage expects it to be played.

2) I earned those fans and I will use them. I didn't happen upon my listeners by luck - I've worked hard on music for about 7 years having a continuous online presence with a website I built myself, lots of free mp3 downloads, lots of online community participation, answering emails asking me advice on gear and technique, and most of all, making what I would call good music. Dues have been paid, I think smile


Oh, also remember, that it is probably futile to try to vote for yourself or get others to vote for you before the quarterfinals. Your song won't come up often enough in such a huge pool to make it worth anybody's time. Just hope you get into the quarters, but that's often a crapshoot since you'll only get maybe 10 listens. I had a track (which was a collab with a rap vocalist) in the hip-hop genre finish something like 2715th! The song doesn't suck, but I think the five people who listened probably hated the electronic sound in there and the track got buried to hell!

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 05:06 PM

Hey Andrew and SGX,

You guys should help me expand the Electronic, Techno and Ambient genres in this year's JPF awards. We have a HUGE amount of Electronic based music this year and I think we may want to expand to other sub-genres (house? trance? bass and drum? etc.)

Since you guys live and breath this world, you're likely a good resource to hash this out with. (Perhaps Ourstage will then take the lead as well).

Brian
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 06:28 PM

Brian, I'd be happy to help in whatever capacity you need. Just let me know what to do or where to go. smile

Danny; Whoops, sorry for misrepresenting the Coactive pic, it's been awhile since I used the Flash "game" (which is still just as slick as it was when you first made it!)
Posted By: sgx

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/06/08 10:31 PM

It's cool, andy smile

Brian, I'd be happy to help.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/07/08 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by sgx
Having fans that are willing to spend time voting for you is helpful also. I've got folks on a couple of message boards, visitors on my website, and people who've signed up for my mailing list that I asked to visit ourstage and vote for me. I think I would have done well, but maybe not won if I didn't have the help. Some people may not like that some artists with a following might have a bit of an advantage, but to that I say:

1) Ourstage encourages this. They sent an email (or was it a message on the site) to all quarterfinalists in March's competition suggesting that we do things like that to get fans to sign up and vote for us. It gets them traffic which is what they want. This is how Ourstage expects it to be played.

2) I earned those fans and I will use them. I didn't happen upon my listeners by luck - I've worked hard on music for about 7 years having a continuous online presence with a website I built myself, lots of free mp3 downloads, lots of online community participation, answering emails asking me advice on gear and technique, and most of all, making what I would call good music. Dues have been paid, I think smile

Oh, also remember, that it is probably futile to try to vote for yourself or get others to vote for you before the quarterfinals. Your song won't come up often enough in such a huge pool to make it worth anybody's time. Just hope you get into the quarters, but that's often a crapshoot since you'll only get maybe 10 listens.

SGX,
I agree with your insights and experience. They are pretty much proof that one of the important factors to winning an OurStage contest (besides good song quality) is the fan/popularity support factor. Your fans are not likely to vote for me (different style & genre) and my fans are not likely to vote for you for the same reason. In the end, every artist has to build up their own fan base to get the kind of support that's needed to sustain the "wins" all the way to the top in the finals.

Nothing wrong with this, because this is how it works in "real life". Ok songs and acts might get ahead of great songs just because there are other factors involved such as: fan base, popularity, image, entertainment value, marketing dollars, connections in "high places", blah blah blah, you get the picture. There's always more than meets the "ear" and artistic beauty is in the "eye" of the beholder.

So the message is, build up your fan base and don't be "ashamed" to get tons of support because if even one artist is doing this, then everyone has to do it to be able to compete. Am I saying song quality doesn't count... No, because without generally good music quality, it's harder to build up a fan base in the first place, but once you have a strong fan base, you can get support for relatively weaker material that can still get you pushed to the top.

There's nothing new here... keep improving your writing and production skills, but that's "dead in the water" without some great marketing and promotion to back it all up. grin

Michael
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/09/08 04:26 PM

Seems like this post has been abandoned
BUMP

What's up with Ourstage
I had my song entered in singer/songwriter/male and was watching it slowly make it's way higher each day.
then;
I log on and it has been switched to a new channel Singer/songwriter
Now my song is clearly Male and I am the only singer so who and why was it moved.
If I move it back I lose all the ground I have gained.
They should have to at least warn you if they are going to move a song so you have a chance to argue the point.
Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/09/08 11:43 PM

I took the plunge today!...

www.ourstage.com/profile/bobcushing

Here are my contest entries..

C'mon Big Brother---Male Singer/Songwriter

I Need a Lover{Not a Mother}--Americana/Alt-Country

The Next Best Thing--Bonaroo

Middle Aged Crazy--Indie Rock
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 12:50 AM

Send Daniel a note.. I know they are working on cleaning that channel up.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 12:51 AM

Go Get 'em Bob

They won't know what hit them.

Good luck buddy
Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 09:25 AM

Brian..which Channel are they trying to clean up?, for I will probably sully it even more! {LOL}? Thanx Bill!
Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 10:02 PM

O.k, Now that I'm up and running, any advice on how to increase traffic?
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 10:27 PM

Bob I don't think you can actually increase traffic on the judging. It is completely random. If your fans are willing to sit there and work through the judging until you pop up they can then give you a great vote but that's about it.
Of course you can get the number of plays to increase by just listening to your song but it does not seem to impact judging.
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/10/08 11:30 PM

The Blue Island Beer Club jumped on the bandwagon (or Our Stage) today and posted one of my instrumentals....

Stocking Island
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 03:42 AM

I am a little confused about where we are suppose to post our good happenings on the OurStage site. But I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! To all of those who have voted for my song. I know some of you have been doing that. Follow Your Dreams has been hanging in there at #6 on the country channel. I know it is still WAY to early to tell what will happen. My goal at this point is to make the top 20 by the 25th. I have a couple others that are creeping up there. Thanks again everyone! I wish you all big success on the site there! It really is fun hearing all the talent!

Happy Mom's day to all you moms!!

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Steve Vaclavik

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 04:24 AM

Hey 'Folks...

Just signed up....right now they're dredging the river for where my songs are...I could use some extra love if you have some to spare smile

http://www.ourstage.com/music/channel/67-americana/WRXUANRMPDYH-run-mary

http://www.ourstage.com/music/channel/19-country/HPXHUWNPLVGU-long-grass-and-the-tall

http://www.ourstage.com/music/channel/81-folk/SVULNFAXBNVO-when-that-water-comes-running
Posted By: striker123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 07:50 AM

how did you find out nicole berke was cheating on ourstage? i saw she had some banners up on her myspace, like "vote for me," but i think ourstage gives you those to put on your myspace...was she doing something else to get votes?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 02:08 PM

She was giving instructions on how to rig the system to vote for her no matter who she was competing against and to ALSO vote "same" on all the others without fairly judging. Another artist used a similar tactic but told everyone to intentionally vote the leading songs as losers (even if they were better) every time they came up to hurt them in the rankings, thus raising his own. Both are sleazy tactics in my opinion and violate the terms of service on Ourspace which says something to the effect that you can't do anything to harm the fairness of the voting.

Brian
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 02:45 PM

My masterpiece, "Hey, American Dream" is only 593/917 in Rock. I guess the listeners have a different concept than I do of what a masterpiece is (LOL!). One of these days maybe I'll be able to write/record a tune that will resonate with the listeners of a OurStage channel.

OurStage: http://www.ourstage.com/music/channel/17-rock/KBYRGWFKJGKT-hey-american-dream

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 03:59 PM

Kevin
You are being voted better than 314 songs.
My song "His Last Time" is being voted better than 405 songs in the male singer songwriter channel. Ha!
Posted By: richard murrey

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/12/08 05:30 PM

nightcandy - 11th in Guitar Solo

the ipod, xbox, cellphone, laptop blues - 88th in JVC Jazz Festival Newport

sexasaurus - 94th in Blues
Played: 110 Favorited: 0

over my head - 151st in Alt. Rock

moolah be praised - 211th in Indie Rock

if jesus wore shoulder pads - 231st in Folk

l.e.o. ain't high enough - 265th in Music Videos

sunset - 274th in Pop

fut the shuck up - 293rd in Rock sponsored by First Act

darwin's rosary - 344th in Hard Rock

viva la cerveza - 355th in Experimental

what's mine is yours - 389th in Christian / Spiritual

slide in slide out - 600th in R & B / Soul

funkyjooze - 1640th in Hip-Hop

6 feet away - 321st in Rock sponsored by First Act, August 2007

angel of death - 519th in Hard Rock, April 2008

rock on,
r.
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 12:08 AM

Currently hovering in the twenties in country and about 150 in the folk category. Highest finish was 2nd in country last year before most JPF folks knew about the site. Only entered those three songs so far.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Both are sleazy tactics in my opinion and violate the terms of service on Ourspace which says something to the effect that you can't do anything to harm the fairness of the voting.

Brian

Brian,
Minor point, but in your last post (see quote excerpt above) you said "Ourspace", but you probably meant OurStage! blush

Michael
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 02:40 AM

Brain,
Everyone here agrees that those are sleazy tactics, but the job/challange that OurStage has is to program their sytem so it's virtually impossible to "bypass" their fair judging process and ranking system.

All kinds of scam, phishing and virus emails are outright sleazy and evil, yet these can be almost entirely eliminated with good computing practices and server measures. The weakest chain in the link will always be attacked first, and I'm sure OurStage is aware of this problem and continue to tweak their system to avoid all attemps (ranging from "Jr. High" to High-tech) to compromise their ranking process.

Here's another potential "hole" they might need to plug. A band of 4 guys could share the same band profile (login account), but then each could also register their own personal "fan" login account. So now all four (plus their managers & street teamers) could work as a team to bump up their song rankings in any given contest channel. As might be expected, they could vote on a "curve" against competing songs while giving their own songs the highest "By far" votes.

I don't think there's an easy way to plug this hole, but the best way is to have literally thousands of fans whose collective votes would way outnumber the attemps of any artist or band to "bump" their own songs. Only problem is that some bands might have a very loyal fan following, so it will be difficult to get them to vote for other competing artists or bands.

But all in all, OurStage is probalby still the best online voting alternative around, so we might as well use it and make the best of it! smile

Michael
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 01:08 PM

No idea where I rank now at all. My computer at home is down (no internet) and can't access the Ourstage site here.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 04:18 PM

Maybe you should not have a chance to vote for yourself, just let fans do the voting.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 10:34 PM

None of my songs has moved an inch for about 3-4 days. I miss the volatility I've come to expect. grin
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 11:02 PM

There is one thing that I wonder about. And that is, if you do vote your own song better than the one against which it is paired...are you penalized for doing so? Here is why I wonder about that.

During the month of May, I have been presented with the opportunity to vote on my songs paired against another five times...once on one song and twice each for two other songs. On the song which came up only once, I actually voted the other song better than mine, because it was. On my other two songs, each of which came up twice for my voting, I voted one of them "slightly more" and "more"; and for the other one of mine that came up twice, I voted "more" both times because I thought that was legitmately true.

The song for which I voted against myself, because the other song truly was better, has stayed, more or less, at the same position...up and down less than ten positions. On the two songs for which I voted myself a more favorable vote, "more" or slightly more"...both to of those songs took an immediate and severe nose dive within 24 hours.

I had a similar incident in last month's voting. When I voted against my song, it maintained a fairly steady ranking. The song for which I voted myself a better rating dropped dramatically the next day.

Is this simply a matter of coincidence that repeated itself, or is there really a penalty if you do vote yourself higher higfher than the song against which it is paired?

If the other song is better than mine, I will vote it accordingly. I have done that twice already. However if I honestly feel mine is better, I feel I should vote it that way. But now, I am very reluctant to vote for my own song. I am inclined to vote "same" when one of mine came up.

I have been a very vocal supporter of OurStage, so there certainly is no axe to grind on my part. But, I am now a bit suspicious. Should I be?

Al
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/13/08 11:51 PM

Al,
No need to be suspicious. I think the best policy for OurStage would be to simply NOT allow anyone to vote/judge their own songs, period. This is how all other song contests work including the JPF awards. Volunterr judges can NOT judge on their own stuff, period.

I've had the same experience with my songs coming up against others, but it's a real dilema for me as well. Technically, this shouldn't even happen and there's no excuse for it. They know when artists are logged in and artists should not have their own songs pop up in the voting process to be "tempted" to vote on, period.

I thought it was an error or that maybe they're still working on this. So if this is not a "bug", and their policy is to allow all artists & bands to vote on their own material, then they might want to review their voting policy. It's a huge numbers game so maybe the votes those won't matter much in the final outcome, but maybe they do. It all depends how many artists vs. fans are voting.

Maybe Daniel Palmer can fill us in about their voting policy.
Michael
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 02:02 AM

So far my song has only come up a few times and I have voted it by far. Most people agreed but it is hardly surprising as the songs against me were pretty bottom of the pile in ratings and. Interesting to see what happens if I ever get to vote my song against anything in the top half I wonder how many people would agree. I am currently in the low twenties however JMO I should be a lot higher there are several songs I feel are not as good and are undeserving the position. Nice to be positive. LOL
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 04:51 AM

Thanks Jim for sharing... and see, again there's my point which I can phrase in a question: Why does OurStage even allow artists who have entered songs into contests, to vote on themselves? I thought that the cardinal contest rule was that artists and songwriters can NOT vote for themselves and best NOT AT ALL in the channels they have entered songs into.

This month I have four songs in four different channels, so if I want to vote, I could vote in all the other (approx.) 30 channels, but maybe NOT in the ones I entered. It would be a very simple thing for the software program to monitor.

Quit simply, if they know you entered into Folk for month of May, you can't vote anything in that channel, period. Because if you cold vote in that channel, even if your song doesn't appear because it's blocked out, you could still vote artifically low against all your competitors, see?

So I think we should bring this point up to Brian, Daniel and the OurStage management team to make this basic point very clear:
There's NO need for OurStage artists & bands to be allowed to vote in any channel for which they have entered a song for any given contest month. Note: they should also monitor additional account profiles that artists & bands can set up using other email addresses, etc.

Before a song is entered or after it has been withdrawn, it's Ok, to vote/judge in that channel again. I know JPF follows this same high standard, and if they didn't, their song awards would be compromised and would not be nearly as valuable or meaningful.

Well, let's see where this might go, but I think if they did this right, it would elminate such potential conflicts of interest.

Michael
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 07:59 AM

I've been voting, but so far haven't seen our songs, although just entered two today, (Two live performance songs), "You Girl Only"", and London's Ferris Wheel".

My question is: How do you get to see all the songs in any channel?
I have clicked on "Charts", and just the top ten for each month come up. Is there some secret code I don't know yet?! Or don't they have the list as before, with page after page of the complete rankings?

Thanks, John
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 10:33 AM

It would be silly to tell people not to vote on their own songs. The cheaters would simply log in as someone else, so the honest people would be faced with becoming cheaters or being punished for being honest. Instead, let everyone vote on themselves. If the system is built to prevent (or at least significantly decrease the value in) cheating, it shouldn't be relevent. That said, I know there are people on there voting day and night all month long. I was one of them for about 10 days while I waited for our own awards database to become available and found myself with the very unusual dead time to do so. I voted in over 5000 matches and got every single song dozens of times if not more in the category I was voting on. I had every song notated so I knew where I ranked each by the end. (Of course my rankings had almost zero to do with the end result once Bergeron and the other cheaters got done). BUT.. by doing so, I learned about a lot of other artists and some were JPF members that I didn't know or hadn't met before. I have to think there are many artists, especially who aren't gigging or don't have families to deal with, that are voting constantly (honestly or otherwise). Why punish the honest people?

As for you voting against yourself Al, I am not naive enough to think that most people, when no one is watching, are actually voting against their own song. Everyone can SAY they are.. but I've been doing this long enough and have known too many artists to think that would be the normal behavior regardless of what song is better. If you build the site knowing that artists will vote for themselves and still keeping it fair, I think you're far better off. And if you don't have time to invest in voting at all, then it's your loss, but a fair one since those that do help keep the site going. If you removed all the voting done by people using the site for their own songs, I bet you'd lose the majority of all votes at this point. That's just the real world. But I know a lot of folks who vote in channels they have no songs in, and that is valuable input into the system. In our own awards, we don't let people vote in their own categories, but we also don't have 50K people voting on thousands of songs. When we open the flood gates in the final round, we very carefully control what genres people access and vote in and we watch closely for irregularities (which we've found and fixed in the past). Ourstage can't possibly do that. So they have to build the system with reality, and not pure honesty, in mind. In my opinion, I think they underestimated the lengths people would go to try and cheat. The reality is that people can be evil and selfish and obnoxious and until you've dealt with them one a wide basis as those of us who do so with large communities that we interact with over a long period of time, you just can't understand it to the level it happens. I think they are learning a few hard lessons quickly and it appears that in most cases, they are adapting to these lessons where possible. Staying ahead of dishonest people isn't easy sad to say. That's why there will always be crime in the world no matter what efforts society makes to keep it in check. Best, in my opinion, to accept certain global truths (such as artists voting for themselves) than to punish only the honest.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 12:36 PM

Michael it all depends on how many people are judging. If there are thousands then 1 person voting for their own song will not make much if any difference. It would be interesting to see just how many people are judgeing in the categories. It is not like normal voting on other sites where you can vote for you song sometimes multiple times. It is very hard to jack up any song just by judging one song against another. I think the biggest thing that causes problems and unfairness is being allowed to vote same. This should be stopped. I am sure that there is always something that can influence you to vote on a song being better than another. Whether it is tune, arrangement, lyrics, performance, recording or even artwork there is always something to seperate each entry.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 01:03 PM

The people that excessively use "same" are generally those who don't really care in the first place. All you'll do is force them to randomly vote one over another. With "same" it has no effect on either song.. it's like the vote never took place. That's far better than thousands of false randon votes you'd get instead.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 03:03 PM

Brian I am puzzled by your logic. You say that voting same has no effect. I have spent many hours voting and it is clear that I get the same songs over and over yet other songs appear infrequently. So if a merit point is scored each time I vote a song better the fairness of the system is totally dependant on EACH song appearing and being voted on the same amount of times as all the others. This is almost impossible to achieve allowing for the random factor and also that some people may only vote a handful of times. I suspect that the system is more complicated than you imagine and certain that voting same does have a profound effect. Logically it has to have an effect regardless of what points or positioning system is in operation.
Do you have this opinion that voting the same has no effect on overall positioning on good authority or is this just your own personal opinion?

I am also puzzled at the false random votes statement.

You are also assuming quite wrongly that thousands of people have no judging ability and are unable to express an opinion other than random. If this is the case why bother voting in the first place. Provided people are fair and honest I trust them to pick the better song most of the time. Obviously personal opinion and tastes differ.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 03:30 PM

I have one song in folk that entered at 400 plus and as of yesterday is 78 on about 90 votes. Is this good or bad? I can't vote because on dial up it is like watching paint dry waiting for the songs to load.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 03:57 PM

I get to be at both ends of the spectrum...... No7 in electronic, and No 218 in blues,..... is there something I should be learning here ? Oh, I got it, no one likes a sad song I guess ?

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 04:06 PM

well I don't vote that often but I have yet to see my own songa. But there is over a thousand songs on my channel.
All I know is so far it looks like I really suck, LOL.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 04:16 PM

Big Jim, Brian mentioned before that "Same" is calculated as what he called "a zero sum game". In other words, it is not the case that the bottom song when judged against the top song will pull both closer to the middle. Instead, a "Same" vote does nothing for either side. Brian, please correct me if this is incorrect.

This seems pointless to me, and I still have trouble believing it. In essence, it would mean every "same" vote adds nothing to the contest...and I would venture to guess that "same" is probably the most selected option of them all. However, if "Same" counted for something, then there would be some significance when a new song arriving at the bottom of the heap is heavily voted "same" as top ranking songs.

Brian, did I understand you correctly?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 05:05 PM

Mark that is my point. I understand Brian's theory. However it is flawed because each song must have the same amount of fair judgements for the system to be fair. Put another way a song with few contests voted on the same has lost potential votes to boost it or lower it so it has little chance of moving. A song that has more contests has a greater chance of picking up votes whilst neither gaining or losing ground if votes are cast the same.

I think the system is based on percentages. If a song has a higher percentage voting it better than another song then it moves to one above that position. Therefore positions are constantly changing. even this system cannot be completely fair as some songs get more contests or only contests against the lower ranking songs whilst others come against the top or have fewer contests. Just to throw another spanner some people only judge a few contests anyway. How does that affect the judging.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/14/08 05:30 PM

Let me simplify this.

A song can get +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3 depending on where the scoring ends up. If you vote a song By Far better than the other, you give one song +3 and the other a -3. That's fine if it's a true vote. It really sucks if it's not. If someone is on there simply to vote until their song (or their friends song) comes up, and they are voting SAME.. it's 0 points for or against either song. If they are forced to vote one way or the other, then some song is going to get screwed over and drop in the standings simply because people were forced to choose one or the other and if they aren't really listening to the songs in the first place, they'll be doing it randomly. It's reality.

In a perfect world, people would listen to the entire song each time and make an honest vote. But we know people won't do that. Jim himself has admitted that some songs he can barely make past 15 seconds. That's not a thorough judging evaluation at all. I come across really good songs all the time that would never do well based on the first 20 seconds of it. But I understand the reality of mass judging.

So, if you had it your way Jim, the voting will be even worse than it is now with even more cases of good songs losing to really bad ones. And so you know, I once felt the same way as you do.. but in talking with people involved in Ourstage, it became clear to me that the SAME vote serves an important purpose. That's about as much as I can say on that matter.

Brian
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 06:49 AM

I knew the competition was tough but I just checked the comments of the song currently leading in the Americana group and the dude had Richie Furay sing backup vocals. I mean rock and roll hall of famer, lead singer of Buffalo Springfield and founder of Poco. Yikes.
Posted By: Steve Vaclavik

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 08:34 AM

I think Ourstage gives good insight into how tough the task of an A&R person, music publisher or Taxi screener can be. Here are my 'average Joe' (or Steve) observations on the Ourstage submissions I've 'judged' or listened to:

- Most intros are too long
- More emphasis is placed on musicianship on most songs than the vocal
- Folks are using way too many effects - on the voice, on the instruments
- Not a lot of attention is being paid to recording quality by some submitting - I'm not saying a recording has to be studio quality, but the listener should be able to hear it clearly
- Really strong songs (lyrically) are few and far between

With that being said, I enjoy the Ourstage process and enjoy listening to the various songs and artists.

Steve V
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 08:34 AM

Originally Posted by checkerboardkid
I knew the competition was tough but I just checked the comments of the song currently leading in the Americana group and the dude had Richie Furay sing backup vocals. I mean rock and roll hall of famer, lead singer of Buffalo Springfield and founder of Poco. Yikes.

Interesting!
So OurStage is starting to attract some pro-level artists! That would be more like the JPF song awards which gets a good "mix" of amateur and professional artists and songwriters. Good thing for everyone... certainly raises the bar and could attract a wider public!

Michael
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 06:00 PM

I thought I'd try an experiment. I uploaded my May entry into the soft rock category almost two weeks ago. When I entered it, I didn't upload a picture to go with it, just let the default OurStage "no picture" logo come up. For nearly two weeks, the song settled slowly toward the very bottom of the pile. Then I uploaded a colorful, unusual looking picture. In less than two days, the song jumped 347 places.

You need the whole package.

Mike
Posted By: Jack Swain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 06:21 PM

Yes, that foot is such an attention-grabber!
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 06:30 PM

I am afraid my song "Hey, American Dream" is flopping in the Rock By First Act category. it seems to be in the bottom third - waaaaahh!

Kevin
Posted By: Dave Derbes

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/16/08 08:30 PM

I uploaded "His Song" in Instrumental as my experiment with OurStage. I was pleasantly surpised to see it go from the 30's to the 20's. Disheartened to see it fall to the 40's and now laughingly shocked that it is in the low 300's. I know my simple piano improv based on a theme i wrote that day is not perfect, and I know from my judging that there are clearly some outstanding instrumental pieces.

My challenge in Instrumental (not based on my song) is the difference in judging compositions which are musically based versus those that are looped based (and often one chord throughout). When I hear something looped based, i will randomly click ahead in the song and score lower if I hear the same thing over and over no matter where I advance. I'm also amazed when judging and seeing how my vote compared to others. It's been eye opening.

I'm not sure if I will enter any vocal songs. The jury is out on that one. I'm confident in the song, but not confident in my productions. The singer/songwriter competition for April was amazing.

it's been addictive and fun.

Dave
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/17/08 06:27 PM

Is anyone else having trouble getting the songs to load on the judging site? I haven't been able to do it for days. It just shows the spinning disks without the pictures or music loading. I was just wondering if it is my computor or not. Thanks!

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/17/08 10:17 PM

Hi Tammy Yes sometimes I have to refresh or come out and go back in. It only happens intermittently. I think it is just down to excessive traffic.

One thing I find bizarre I voted my song as better by far against another and 97% of the people judging agreed with me. Now that is conclusive by anyones measures. Yet the song that 97% think is far worse than mine is still 18 places higher. How can this be? I thought that it might take a few hours to sort out but no a day later and it is still the same. Personally I do not think the system is as accurate or reliable as we are led to believe.



Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/20/08 01:03 PM

OK - I'm really stuck. I can't access Ourstage from here (it's blocked). At the place I stay when I'm in the Philly area, I don't have internet access, unless I can tap into someone's wireless network, which doesn't last for very long.

I think I'm the only one here that entered a song in the Reggae category. My song "Many a Man" is not true, traditional Reggae arrangement, and I use some weird instruments and vocal harmonies that are not common in Reggae. So if anyone wants to listen to a different style of music, let me know how I'm doing. THANKS!
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/20/08 06:27 PM

Tom,
Your song is currently 118
Posted By: Tom Tracy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/20/08 07:54 PM

Thanks for letting me know!
Of course, there's probably only 118 songs in that category. smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/21/08 04:37 PM

I have now on several occasions voted my song as better by far and each and every time most people ranging from 60% to 97% agree however all of these songs are still many places above me. How can this be?
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/21/08 07:31 PM

Most likely because those only represent opinions of a small percentage of the total songs competing against you.

Say you vote on songs 1, 2, and 3. Maybe most people think those are weaker than your entry. But there are 700 more songs on top of that. The other 700 could have public opinion leaning in the other direction.
Posted By: Dave Stanley

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 06:12 PM

My song "Sour in the belly" is #36 in indie rock.I do not think I have the strongest song in this category but I have listened to the #1 song and I feel it is much weaker than a lot of songs I have heard.This seems to be a common sentiment from what I have read here.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 06:22 PM

I'm floundering in all categories this month. However, I anticipate a much better result next month when I reveal my new picture:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 06:30 PM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
Most likely because those only represent opinions of a small percentage of the total songs competing against you.

Say you vote on songs 1, 2, and 3. Maybe most people think those are weaker than your entry. But there are 700 more songs on top of that. The other 700 could have public opinion leaning in the other direction.


Sorry Andrew You have lost me I do not understand what you are saying. If 97% think my song is better by far than another song then it should be placed higher regardless of what other people have voted on other songs.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 06:44 PM

I put a song in folk last month and was surprised at how well it did - 52nd out of 400 entries.

This month I put a song in the same category that I think was better and it is getting clobbered! 350/400 last time I looked. grin

Gonna do some experimenting with genres and pictures - this really can be useful in learning how to present yourself, I think...

Scott
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 06:54 PM

I'm at a bit of a dilemma here, because I entered 4 songs in 4 different catagories. 2 are doing really well, and 2 are languishing at the bottom of the pile.

What I think, doesn't correlate to what the listeners think.

I think that's the difference. What a musician thinks, doesn't have a great deal of bearing upon what the public thinks.

I think it's a very good tool to seperate yourself from your own pre-concieved and sub-concious views of your own material, and is a good tool in the tool kit to decide which tracks you are going to persue further, and which should be given lesser attention.

We do, after all, write for an audience, and it's a good indicator of what a general audience is looking for in their listening tastes.

I'm quite surprised at my own current rankings, ( good and bad )and personally have different views on the matter, but as a fair system, will take in the opinion of the audience. The same audience who either like or dis-like what we create.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/22/08 08:58 PM

I think the jury is still out as far as I am concerned. Yes it is a great place to showcase your music. However like Niteshift and Scott I am not sure if the discrepancies are down to my own judgement, flaws in the voting system or perhaps bad/unfair/corrupt judging of the kind that has been hinted at in previous threads. What I do know is that in most cases I agree with most of the others judging sadly this agreement does not appear to be the case when it comes to actual positions.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:00 AM

I am beginning to think there is some odd things happening with the judging.I can rarely judge because the site won't let me. And a song I have had in the top 10 for 3 weeks straight has suddenly dropped and may not even make it in the top 20 by tomorrow. Somehow I sense some kind of fowl play possibly. It just seems odd that within hours of making the top 10 where I have been since May 5th the suddenly I am dropping quickly. I just wonder if people are on there purposely voting against some that have been in the top 10. Hmmmm just rather odd for a last minute thing right before the semi finals tomorrow. Any thoughts on this???

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:10 AM

Tammy, I'm with you. I've noticed this since I've known about Ourstage. I'm ready to just write it off as just another web site. Good bye Ourstage. There's too much crap on there anyway, It takes way too much time to download. I don't need all of that junk. Bye Bye. Ben
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:36 AM

I stand by my word and took any song that I had in competition off.I'm not mad at Danny or anyone else associated with Ourstage.
I think that they have fallen prey to manipulation and cannot have a fair and balanced contest as they claim.
I tried to give them a chance. And they deserve that.
Something just ain't right, and when you get that feeling the best thing to do is run away, and that's just what I'm doing. Getting the hell out of there. Ben
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 12:05 PM

Hey Tammy,

I had a similar experience, with the top 10 in 2 diferent channels, Electronica and Instrumental. Dropped like a stone in both to high teens from single digets.

Then I noticed that the quarter-finals have started. It makes sense, that since there are only 20 songs in each voting category, they will bounce around like yoyo's once voting gets under way. ( I'm guessing they reset the counters here )

Don't know if they'll settle down, but the next 4 days should be interesting. I would expect a slower movement as the voting numbers increase.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 02:47 PM

Well my cover song The letter made it to number 19. However I too have noticed discrepancies. I checked the last couple of months positions and there are songs placed in the top ten that do not deserve their position based on my judgement and comparisons to other songs that did not make it. I too believe that something is wrong. Either the system is flawed or people are cheating or abusing it.

I agree with Ben there is a lot of crap to wade through and some sort of audition process is needed to weed this out. I also see songs running for months on end AND EACH MONTH THE ENTRIES GET LARGER sooner or later meltdown will occur with the sheer numbers. Perhaps songs should be removed from competition after a certain period and entry numbers limited on a first come basis. The whole thing needs an overhaul. I also do not like to see songs entered midway through a judging period as this must have an unfair effect on the judging system. Some songs were only entered a day or two before the Q finals.

However I do not believe that running away is the thing to do. I would rather keep chipping away at Danny to try and improve things. He is a nice guy and is receptive to suggestions and Rome was not built in a day.
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 03:03 PM

Originally Posted by TAMERA64
I am beginning to think there is some odd things happening with the judging.I can rarely judge because the site won't let me. And a song I have had in the top 10 for 3 weeks straight has suddenly dropped and may not even make it in the top 20 by tomorrow. Somehow I sense some kind of fowl play possibly. It just seems odd that within hours of making the top 10 where I have been since May 5th the suddenly I am dropping quickly. I just wonder if people are on there purposely voting against some that have been in the top 10. Hmmmm just rather odd for a last minute thing right before the semi finals tomorrow. Any thoughts on this???

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2


My song in Country was also bouncing between position 9 and 13 for over two weeks and all of a sudden dropped to the mid twenties.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 03:37 PM

Hey Jim,

I see your song is coming in at No6 on the covers channel. Of course we all know it's the ladies playing the system, on account of that god awful, but true to life mug shot ! grin

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 05:19 PM

Hi Guys! It is strange trying to figure this out. I am growing more frustrated. I keep getting spinning disks. I can judge like two songs and then the next ones won't load. I have been in the country catagory and the same girl came up 3 times in a row against a different person each time. I just thought the songs would be shuffled better. It's all still a mystery to me. And you can never think your song is safe or locked in because the next thing you know it drops out of nowhere. Hmmmm...

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 05:56 PM

A flawed system...You can't really believe that..can you? Ha!

I don't know how it works.
I have yet to see either of my songs when Judging. But I don't spend much time there.
My guess, If it is a random thing and no one controls when the song will pop up.....well, your song might not come up for judging for two weeks then it might come up every couple of hours.
It would be like spinning a roulette wheel with a thousand numbers on it.

One of my songs did not move for a week then it moved UP 100 places in a day, then another 50 places later that same day. then stopped moving.
My guess, it did not even appear for judging for that week then it did and somebody liked it. So it moved up. If it comes up again and somebody likes it it will move up more, if they don't it will drop.
My other song.. It doesn't move more than a couple points either way every day. Either it never gets judged or it is always getting judged the same.
In either case I don't put much stock in any of this.

I get more listens and action on My Space than anywhere and I never talk to anyone there.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 06:53 PM

Hmmmmm....

Let's see if we have this all straight. Cost to participate on Ourstage: Zero. Requirements once you enter to win: Zero. Rights you give up to your songs by participating: Zero. # of JPF Members who have made the finals in the last 3 months: Over 100. JPF Members who are message board users who have won the $5000 grand prize the last 2 months: 2. (i.e. BOTH winners). And.. Ourstage is now a JPF sponsors, helping make the entire organization possible.

And here we have Big Jim among MANY other JPF members in the finals for THIS month. And the BIG problem is WHAT exactly?

If this company/site is the enemy here, I sure wish our friends were as supportive of our grassroots community.

Have they had problems? Yes. Have they worked for fix them? Yes. Have they shown good faith and good will towards not only ours, but the entire grass roots music community? Yes. Find any other site out there who is doing more for less in return. And here everyone is biting their hand because of what exactly? Because you don't like how people have voted? And that is THEIR fault?

People here spend day and night complaining about how terrible pop music is. That is ALSO controlled by fans. You realize you don't agree with their choices there.. but you expect to agree with their choices here? Remember all those deluded idiots who audition for American Idol who can't sing at all but are positive they can? Those are the same people who are posting the horrible music on Ourstage and they and their friends and family who have told them they are amazingly good are the same people who are voting. What do you all expect? When you make a system "fair" for the Democratic masses.. you get these types of results. Look at the US political system. Ever wonder how some of the complete idiots and liars and cheats get elected? It's the same people making the judgements as are voting on Ourstage. THAT my friends is an open democratic voting system. The music industry has long tried to take it out of the hands of the public and artificially control what music we get to hear and people scream bloody murder because of it. So here we have the masses voting for whoever they want and you guys aren't happy with that either.

Why blame the messenger because the message is not what you hoped? Ourstage has been gracious to every complaint and problem and comment made here. I am pretty disappointed to see them attacked unfairly.

Who else out there is doing more for less for the community other than JPF? And who is one of the sponsors of JPF? Right.

Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 06:56 PM

A few things.

1. If you are having trouble judging songs it is very likely a problem with your computer, your web browser, or your internet connection. The site makes use of a lot of Flash and advanced coding. I've been on it since early February and it is pretty rare to see an actual site technical problem, except in the middle of the final round, where thousands of people are voting on the same songs at once. You cannot blame them if you are having a problem with your computer.

2. Before the quarterfinals (eg. any day before today), foul play is simply NOT possible. There are hundreds of songs in even the smallest categories, and thousands in the biggest. If you wanted to somehow vote down a high-ranking song, you would have to vote hundreds or thousands of times to even see it once - and then when you do, it's only one vote that you contributed!!! Considering all the votes that songs get throughout the month, one vote simply doesn't make a big difference at all. The only way anyone can even attempt to cheat the system prior to the quarterfinals is using an automated system. Jill and I know people that tried this two months in a row. It didn't work; their songs were reset to the bottom of the pile.

3. For those of you complaining about your songs dropping, excuse me for being blunt, but you need to get thicker skins. In a contest like this your song is NEVER locked in. OurStage is a very popular site with a ton of users, and a flood of new people coming in all the time. It is not as if everyone votes within the first ten days and then stops. There are constantly new people voting, or old people that only choose to vote towards the end of the month. I for one didn't vote at all this month until yesterday, at which point

4. Why would you ever withdraw your songs from the site or stop participating? That is one of the silliest things I've ever heard. There's NO cost of any kind to enter. It requires no maintenance, no time investment, nothing. You just upload your songs, enter them, and check towards the end of the month to see if you made it into the quarterfinals. Even at this point, you're not required to do anything, though it's advisable that you take the 5-10 minutes (wow!!!) to send an email to your fans or post on your site asking your friends & fans to vote for you. By removing your songs from the contest you are literally doing nothing except hurting yourself. Even if you only had a one in 50,000 chance of winning, it would still be worth entering, because there is no risk or cost to doing so, only the possibility of massive gains.

5. Both myself, Jillian Goldin, and our friend sgx are proof that the site is fair and that it works very well. That is not to say that all of our songs are always in the top 10. This month, many of our songs did not make it into the quarterfinals. In fact, none of mine did. I am not complaining. I know that the voting population shifts and changes every month, people might get sick of hearing the same song, etc. But Jill entered a couple new songs this month in new categories (including some highly competitive ones) and DID make it into the quarters.

The only time OurStage's voting system is at all exploitable is at the end of the contest when there are very few songs left. This is the part where unscrupulous artists can ask their fans to "vote down" competing music. We certainly do not endorse this practice and encourage our fans to vote for us, but vote honestly. More importantly, those who rely on voting down never seem to get very far. After all it didn't hurt Jillian or sgx when they won the grand prizes.

6. It can be surprising when your songs that you think are weak or merely average rise high above those you entered that YOU thought were amazing. But again, this really has little to do with OurStage. Artists are notoriously bad judges of the quality of their own music; no offense to anyone here, as it's true for me as well. Several songs that I am quite fond of that I enter each month continue to not make it into the quarterfinals. I'm finally beginning to accept that maybe, after hundreds of votes, the average listener on the site just doesn't like it as much as I do. You can't accuse that many people of being biased or having the "wrong" opinion. If nothing else, as Brian once pointed out, OurStage is a great way of testing the waters with a song to see what the average reaction is to it.

Edit: It appears that Brian beat me to the punch by three and a half minutes wink
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:25 PM

I do not see a problem in pointing out weaknesses or flaws. Otherwise how could these be corrected. Every business and service relies on feedback to iron out flaws and make improvements to make it better. That is a fact of life.

I am positive about Ourstage it is a great site. That has never been in question however I think that THERE ARE FLAWS in the whole system that need sorting. JMHO

If people have a problem with that then I think it is them that are thin skinned SHORT SIGHTED or not facing reality.

Brian I do not understand your attitude on this one. Just cause a thing has flaws or does not appear to be working properly does not make it an enemy. I rather adopt the approach that Soudstage is a friend. If it has problems then it is up to us to identify that problem through advice and feedback.

I am in the finals. However I still identify some operating problems with the engines and software this site uses. It is a fairly easy fix but impossible to even diagnose without people like me pointing them out.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:38 PM

Originally Posted by niteshift
Hey Jim,

I see your song is coming in at No6 on the covers channel. Of course we all know it's the ladies playing the system, on account of that god awful, but true to life mug shot ! grin

cheers, niteshift


If you've got it flaunt it as they say. Song is now at number twelve must be the mens turn to vote and they hate voting for a guy more handsome than them.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:42 PM

Well, I won't be joining in on the bank run...I saw "It's a Wonderful Life" after all, and I know how those things work.

Since fowl play is suspected, I'm going to enter my new song, "Twenty Chickens for a Saddle"!

Seriously though, voting volume intensifies just before each of those deadlines, and songs shoot up and down. One of mine that was floundering all month shot way up...not enough to hit the top 20. Is that foul play? Nope. Just a bunch of voting joggling the status quo.

This isn't the KGB we're talking about, it's a legitimate website. No need to tear it down in public and smear its reputation out of paranoia.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 07:58 PM

I'm not being Hasty, free or not, It's turning out to be just another music site as I said. Nothing special. The more crap they add on the longer it takes for the page to open, just like MySpace. I don't want the aggrevation. Ben
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 08:59 PM

So if you enter a song halfway through a month, is it doomed because other songs received many votes earlier in the month, or is everything prorated in such a way that the time in the contest is not relevant?

I entered two songs partway through May but have them scheduled to compete throughout June......(Blue Island Beer Club)

Colin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 09:08 PM

Jim,

I wasn't addressing people pointing out problems. But the site is FAR different from other music page sites out there. Do you really think MySpace could give a crap about ANY grassroots artists out there? Do you think they'd EVER listen to a single comment you had to make? Do you think they'd come to a site like ours and individually answer concerns and take action? Ha!

There's a big difference between pointing out issues and tearing something down or suggesting they are no better than anyone else. That is simply not true on any level. I get approached by similar sites literally every week. All of them say the same things, but in the case of Daniel and Ourstage, I could tell he was actually LISTENING to what we were saying in return. They are actively seeking ways to create more opportunities for artists.. all sorts of performance opportunities, all sorts of mentoring opportunities etc. Plus there's the money.

What's the worst possible thing that can happen on Ourstage? Your song gets listened to several thousand times in a given month and doesn't rank very high at the end. That's the worst case scenario. From there, it can gain fans, it can be discovered by any number of people, it can rank well enough to get in the finals, it can then help you be chosen for a performance opportunity, it can win a channel and win some money, or it could win the grand prize. In the meantime, you can also discover some cool artists, find people to network with, make some new contacts with artists in your genre who make similar music as you and thus probably have very relevent contacts and experiences to share with you. You can target specific prizes like a slot at the Newport Folk Festival (at least 1 JPF member will be getting a full set there.. maybe more).

So Ben, if you'd won $5000 dollars last month, would you still be quitting? If so, then it's simply impossible to please you.

Brian

Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 09:46 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
What's the worst possible thing that can happen on Ourstage? Your song gets listened to several thousand times in a given month and doesn't rank very high at the end. That's the worst case scenario. From there, it can gain fans, it can be discovered by any number of people, it can rank well enough to get in the finals, it can then help you be chosen for a performance opportunity, it can win a channel and win some money, or it could win the grand prize.

The amount a song gets listened to probably is skewed. I'm in a category with roughly 1200 entries. How many times did my song get counted as listened? 43 and it finished in 438th place - nowhere close to several thousand listens. To be sure, I'd even bet that of those 43 listens maybe 50% made it halfway through the song. In fact the only thing you're being counted on for a listen is the first 15 seconds.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 09:50 PM

Maybe so, but the higher you get, the more listens you get, and if you compete in smaller categories you will definitely get way more listens overall. More importantly, if you make it into the finals, you are practically guaranteed 10,000+ listens. A shot at that is a no-brainer when it doesn't cost any time or money.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 09:58 PM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
Most likely because those only represent opinions of a small percentage of the total songs competing against you.

Say you vote on songs 1, 2, and 3. Maybe most people think those are weaker than your entry. But there are 700 more songs on top of that. The other 700 could have public opinion leaning in the other direction.


Sorry Andrew You have lost me I do not understand what you are saying. If 97% think my song is better by far than another song then it should be placed higher regardless of what other people have voted on other songs.


Big Jim,

It's not that 97% of the voters think your song is better than the other songs...97% thought it was better, worse, far better...whatever the rating indicated...than that particular song against which it was paired...that song only. The vote percentage is only for that pairing...not how either of the paired songs faired against all the rest. At least, that is my understanding.

Alan
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 10:34 PM

OK so now I have realized that there is a FLAW in the system on OurStage. IMHO...I took a break and have come back to the country catagory. I have been keeping track and I have done 6 sets of country songs. The same girl has come up 4 of the 6 times. Some of the 20 I have never seen come up, much less myself. I have dropped from 3 to 18 in one day. I am just pointing out that the shuffling process, at least on my computor is FLAWED! I have friends who have been pulling their music off OurStage for various reasons. I have noticed that a couple of catagories that had over 1000 entries in April have dropped to less than 500 in May. TO me that says something. People will demand to see some kind of way to make this seem more fair. I don't know what that would be but consider this a warning or a heads up from some discruntled musicians. I hate to see the site go backwards from where they are trying to head.
Thanks!

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 10:43 PM

The shuffling process is not flawed. On the OurStage FAQ it explicitly says that it will often give you the same song several times in order to get an accurate opinion from you. For example, lets say you vote on Song A vs. Song B. You love both songs, but Song B is just slightly better than A, so you vote Song B as better. However, that one vote doesn't really tell the OurStage system much - what if you thought both songs were really bad, and song B was just marginally less bad than song A?

So, it clarifies your opinion by giving you more matchups to see what you REALLY think of any given song. This is not to say you will continue to get the same song in a row many times, of course, just that it is built into the system to have the same song matched up in a row if it needs clarification.

But more importantly, you'd have to do thousands or tens of thousands of votes to get a statistically valid picture of the rate of any given song(s) being presented. If you flip a coin five times in a row it's possible that it will land on heads every time. That doesn't mean the coin is broken or weighted. It's not LIKELY that would happen, but it's well within the realm of possibility.

Of course, during the quarterfinals, you are GUARANTEED to get every song the same amount of times. That's why you have a limited number of battles in the final rounds. You get every song matched up against every other song exactly once, and no more.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 11:00 PM

I can't improve much on that last post by Andrew. But it seems like we're focusing on a tree and calling it the forest. I'm willing to bet you have never seen the same match-up twice. The same song several times? Sure. In a category of 500 songs, you will eventually see it 500 times. But everyone else is experiencing an entirely different shuffle than the one you see, and I believe the balance comes out in the whole of the process.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/25/08 11:54 PM

Yes, I have seen the same match up twice. Funny you should say that. It happened this morning with the same two artists. That girl and another guy and it came up again a couple later. I just proved your theory wrong.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 12:18 AM

Well, sorry to hear that...and even more sorry that I came off all snarky. I apologize for that.

But I love what those guys are doing, don't have the slightest belief there is anything sinister going on, and I think it's wrong to broadcast accusations against an organization that supports our interests.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 12:30 AM

As I said before we should be pointing out any flaws or problems so they can be rectified and the system improved. To throw our toys out of the pram, run away, or go in the huff is not productive or adult.

I am sure we all agree that Ourstage is a great site and we welcome it as one of our partners. We should be patient and understanding and offer constructive criticism and suggestions.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 12:35 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney


So Ben, if you'd won $5000 dollars last month, would you still be quitting? If so, then it's simply impossible to please you.

Brian


Thanks for reading my gripe Brian, but the truth is, I'm not trying to be pleased. It's a great concept but it is not "Grass Roots". The JPF MP3 and Lyric boards are grass roots. It is an overloaded web site that is subject to corruption by musicians who can't depend on their talent alone to rank high.
I am not disgruntled, I happen to like Daniel and think that they are doing a Nobel thing.
I simply chose to withdraw until I am convinced that everyone is dealt a fair hand. It just doesn't look this way to me right now. If you or anyone else here knew me than you would know that I am not a quitter. I think that they need some time to do a little house cleaning. Until then, I will carry on as if they never existed. Ben
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 01:51 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
Maybe so, but the higher you get, the more listens you get, and if you compete in smaller categories you will definitely get way more listens overall. More importantly, if you make it into the finals, you are practically guaranteed 10,000+ listens. A shot at that is a no-brainer when it doesn't cost any time or money.

Which is part of the flaw in the system. If a song catches someone at the wrong time - it might be better than the song it's showcased against, but that person will vote according to a feeling at that time. Thus it lowers the value and such. I've noticed that having put the same video up twice (the video that won the JPF awards) it has finished around 50th both times. This month it got about 150 listens and favorited as well. It never cracked the top 10, but it did crack to 15. But I will keep entering it, because it's free.

The other song (finished 438), started off much higher and dropped. This is a song mind you that has been getting extremely positive feedback from consumers and industry types alike - not from my ego. I'll keep entering it until I officially release it.

On the flip side, I'm not about to go writing electronica or tackling a small genre for the sake of doing something on a website. It's not yet struck my fancy to write that type of music.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 05/26/08 02:06 AM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 03:23 AM

Jody,

The number of listens that you are looking at has NOTHING to do with the number of times it was judged. That number tells you how many ADDITIONAL listens people requested outside of the judging process. That means that 43 times someone decided they wanted to hear your song just because they wanted to hear it.

A lot of "assumptions" are being made by people that simply aren't true. Why damage a company simply because you feel it's okay to "guess" what you think they are doing wrong? I am pretty disappointed that some people who should know better are making inaccurate commentary here without really knowing facts.

I've done over 6000 judging sessions on there and I've never had the same two songs come up against each other more than one time. That included voting the max number of times in the semi-finals where I got every single combination mathmatically possible (I kept track on a note pad just to see it work).

Also, the reason Tammy that the numbers dropped is because people were no longer allowed to have more than 1 song in a given channel. It took a while to clean it up, but now that they have, you're actually seeing MORE people competing, but less songs per person in a channel. There were some channels where people were posting their entire album song by song in a channel.. or multiple albums worth of songs. So again, you're claim, which suggests people are leaving Ourstage in large numbers, is not only false, but the truth is they have more folks on there right now than ever before and it's growing constantly.

Folks.. we don't allow false statements to be made about anyone here.. including companies that are scammers. So let's not make false statements about an ally. It's truly unbelievable to read some of the bogus accustations being made here. Get your facts straight, or shut up until you actually know what you're talking about. Asking a question is one thing, but taking a guess and then turning it into a negative is simply not acceptable. We don't do it to scam companies and we're certainly not going to do it to honest ones.

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 03:42 AM

Originally Posted by TAMERA64
I can understand your point Ben. I understand both sides. I am trying to be understanding with what is happening, but it is so frustrating. I am not sure what to do. Maybe I will give things a little more time.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2


Please don't let anything that I've said influence you Tammy.
Brian is right, but I am still stepping back for awhile until some matters are straightened out.
I know they aren't perfect and even if they were, people would still complain. Right now I am hearing complaints that I have thought of myself but never mentioned. So that tells me that something is not right. As Forrest Gump said, "That's all I got to say about that".
Posted By: Jody Whitesides

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 03:53 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Jody,

The number of listens that you are looking at has NOTHING to do with the number of times it was judged. That number tells you how many ADDITIONAL listens people requested outside of the judging process. That means that 43 times someone decided they wanted to hear your song just because they wanted to hear it.

A lot of "assumptions" are being made by people that simply aren't true. Why damage a company simply because you feel it's okay to "guess" what you think they are doing wrong? I am pretty disappointed that some people who should know better are making inaccurate commentary here without really knowing facts.


Usually assumptions like this are made strictly because the information is not clearly posted or easily found. With how a song is "tracked" on a users profile - it does not state anywhere that those listens are over and above the "judged" results. Maybe this is an oversight they ought to look at. Since the claim is made that people are supposedly getting 1,000's of "listens" where are people seeing/getting those numbers? Because I'm not finding them.

The question posed on this thread is "Where is your song at on Ourstage?" That's what I posted based on the information that I saw. I wasn't slamming them or damaging them, but I do believe there can be flaws in the system. There is no perfect system and I've already told you what I did think of it - that hasn't changed.

If it's this damaging, it's probably time to delete the thread and start over.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 04:38 AM

Originally Posted by TAMERA64
Yes, I have seen the same match up twice. Funny you should say that. It happened this morning with the same two artists. That girl and another guy and it came up again a couple later. I just proved your theory wrong.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2


Tammy,

This is simply not possible. If you look at the quarterfinal judging system, you are given a maximum of 190 rounds. This is EXACTLY enough rounds to pit each of the 20 songs against each other once. (20*(20-1))/2 is the math. The -1 is there because you can't compete against yourself, and the /2 is because Song A vs. Song B is considered the same round as Song B vs. Song A.

It is very possible that there are two artists with similar cover art, or the same artist has two songs with the same art, which might lead you to assume (at a glance) that you are judging the same song. But it is simply not mathematically possible that you would have gotten the exact same matchup twice. I have voted over 1,500 times during the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals since I started participating in February. Jillian I believe has voted over 2,000 times in that period, and collectively, fans we speak with regularly have voted several thousand more times. None of us have ever observed the same matchup happening twice during the quarterfinals, semifinals, or finals.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 05:37 AM

Hey Brian
I hope you did not take my post as being a slam against Ourstage.
I think what they offer is great. I was only telling what my songs have done. I was not passing judgment on Ourstage.
The statement my song in the Male Singer songwriter category has not move all month is true. I has not moved more than a few point up or down.
By the end of the voting this month it was 726. I think it started out at 716. It stayed within a few points of that. Same as last month.(except when they were making the changes)
So it either isn't get judged much or it it's about a 50/50 split, LOL Either you like it or you don't. It's that kind of song.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 05:53 AM

We've discussed the number of listens on the Ourstage partner post I believe. This is why I wanted 1 single Ourstage post to discuss all this stuff. It gets too confusing when we're carrying on multiple discussions it seems. Originally this was supposed to simply be a place to tell folks where you had songs posted and how they were doing, but it got off track and has been all over the place. The post on the mentor board was better suited for tech discussion, but that has also gone all over the place. Then there was a new one on the general board for May songs.. which fortunately should have run it's course.

Any listens you have come from folks clicking to hear your song outside of judging. I wouldn't post the vote totals there because then folks would complain if one category had a larger number of votes (or one song over another) and who needs that drama. The number of votes will not likely be exactly the same. There's going to be variation.

If there's 2000 songs in a channel, I think it would take 1,999,000 votes for each song to face each other 1 time. You can imagine as the site grows and grows it will be very tough to generate the votes required to get multiple matchups for every combination. This month they cut it to 1 song per channel to help some with that. I think the next move, when needed, will be to switch to 1 song period. But they might have a while before they need to do that. I do know that membership is growing steadily there since Daniel got involved (as well as JPF). Now people have heard of them who never had in their first year. As any software starts ramping up with exponentially higher numbers, there are always glitches and problems. Something that works pefectly with a few thousand users will work very differently with 10K or more.

I think we've aleady had enough JPF members doing well to indicate it's a beneficial site for our members. There are so many positive ways to use the site that go beyond just the final results that I think you need to look at the bigger picture. And don't forget, for those of you who have entered the JPF awards this year, their support (along with TAXI, CD Baby, Disc Makers and BMI) is critical to even making it possible. Let's help them make the site a really positive thing for the community and perhaps be a little less focused on condemning it when there are problems. Believe me, I've brought more problems and issues to their attention than anyone else. Certain things are easy and obvious to fix, other things are much more complicated technically and also politically within any company. (Anyone who works in a corporation knows that just because one hand wants to change something, someone in another area may have their reasons they don't want to change...). Daniel has been working very hard to win the battles he can win and move the other issues closer to resolution where possible.

We have quite a few JPF members in the running right now... so lets hope another one wins the 5K again.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 05:54 AM

Bill,

I actually wasn't referring to your posts at all.

Brian
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 06:15 AM

First, I really like Ourstage and what they are trying to do. I agree it is much better than Myspace.

I'm no rocket scientist but have worked with several friends and co-workers who have that type of implied IQ. Folks, there aint no way to write a perfect algorithm on judging something so subjective as which song is better. Else, wouldn't we all have the same favorite song? I'm sure the engineers at Ourstage are looking to make the algorithm better but it is a fairly new site. I saw from their last newsletter that some folks even got publishing deals. Not too bad for a free site.

On the other hand, I got a chuckle when I see the box that says "People who liked your song also like the following" and see that my country song is liked by people who like gangsta music, hip-hop music and jazz.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 06:48 AM

Originally Posted by checkerboardkid


On the other hand, I got a chuckle when I see the box that says "People who liked your song also like the following" and see that my country song is liked by people who like gangsta music, hip-hop music and jazz.


Why do you think that is? It's not revelent to your music. Just wondering.
I constantly get MySpace "Friend" requests from Hip Hop artists, Porn Stars, and Hollywood Glammies. I play acoustic American traditional music. What does my music and these people have in common? Nothing. They are trying to promote themselves by throwing Sh** at the wall and hoping that it will stick. Ben
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 08:29 AM

The reason that people like your song and they like Gangsta Rap is because most people under 30 years old have little concern for genres. It's not at all unsusual to find Faith Hill and Kanye West on their iPods and they don't find that odd in the least. In my own case, I like all but a couple of the 100+ genres of music we have in the awards this year and have artists I like across all those genres. And now that such a massive amount of music is available for free or nearly so, kids are free to pick and choose anything they like without worrying about listening to a formatted radio station for example.

The real reason radio has always been so format strict has never been to please the tastes of their audiences. It's always been so that they can control the demographics of the most likely listeners for advertising. Now that kids and most everyone else for that matter are rarely listening to terrestrial radio to find new music or to listen to music at all, they've been freed from formats. That's not to say that even those who love all genres don't like to HAVE genres... because one day you're in a Classical mood.. another you're in a German Death Metal mood. And when you're in a particular mood, you want to easily be able to find that type of music. Genres have always been about making it easy for a consumer to most quickly find something they want. It doesn't mean they'll only like acoustic American traditional music... it means when they're in the mood for it, they want to be able to dial it in quickly. The younger the listener, the less they discriminate against any type of music. So don't be shocked at all.

As for MySpace.. that's a different thing. Those random "Be my friend" requests are simply to build stats and nothing more. The entire "friends" phenomena was a great idea for MySpace to build networks and numbers, but it means nothing. I know artists with well under 1000 friends who sell a LOT of CD's and get a LOT of people out to shows.. I know people with literally 50,000 friends who can't sell a single CD to any of them or get anyone to ever see a show. MySpace is a useless waste of time and as I predicted, the MySpace Music scam has finally exposed itself for what it is. They built it on the activity surrounding Indie Artists so they could have FREE musical content on the site.. and now that they've hit critical mass, they are pissing all over the indie community to kiss the ass of the majors. If all the indie artists pulled their stuff off tomorrow.. the site would collapse and disappear. But they won't. Musicians rarely do what is really best for them. They prop up scam artists and those that abuse them and they tear down their best friends and their best resources and would stab them all in the back if the "industry" ever batted an eye at them. It's always been that way sadly enough.

Brian
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 09:36 AM

Ben,
Brian's theory makes more sense than the spam theory. I went back and checked on the artists in question and none of them had more than four fans, none of them asked to be my friend and none of them had more than six 'favorites'. Basically, they just added my song to their favorites list.

On myspace, I don't accept just any friend request and as soon as I see any spam, I will block them and delete them from my list. Haven't got any porn requests as of yet, how did you get so lucky?
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 09:56 AM

I think Brian is right about the younger folks being less discriminate about music genres and styles. I do not know for a fact that it is for the reasons he gave; but I have no reason to doubt him. His explanation makes sense to me.

I have my son's iPod here with me. He is 39 years old. Here are twenty artists in sequence:

1 - Maroon 5
2 - CDB (Charlie Daniels Band)
3 - CCR
4 - Bruce Springsteen
5 - Norah Jones
6 - Diamond Rio
7 - Heartland
8 - Brice Springsteen
9 - Willie Nelson
10 - Me!!!! (Al David)
11 - Norah Jones
12 - Phil Collins
13 - Brad Paisely
14 - Tim McGraw
15 - Martina McBride
16 - Martina McBride
17 - Me Again (Woo Hoo!!!)
18 - Meatloaf
19 - Alabama
20 - Foreigner

So, if that is any indication, it lends some validity to Brian's assertion. I am much the same way. I like a great majority of the the major genres in music. I grew up listening to and playing nothing but Country music. It is probably my fovorite; but I like a lot of the other stuff that's out there. I could listen to Steve Tyrell and Diana Krall all day...sometimes do! If you would choose to do so, you could go to my OurStage page and look at my favorites. There are 6 or 8 different genres there.

I'll stay out of the My Space debate. Go there if you like it; don't go there if you don't.

Just my nickel's worth.

Alan
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 10:55 AM

So where do my songs rank ?

Currently.....

4th in Electronica
12th in Instrumental
165th in Blues
311th in Indie Pop

No fan email lists, ( actually no fan base that I'm aware of) , no bulk mail outs or advertising. Heck, I don't even own a mobile phone.

What does it all mean ? Beats me, I'll figure that one out next week. To anyone that has voted positively, thanks. ( I'll give you the hard sell if the first two progress any further LOL )

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Steve West

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 04:18 PM

Rivertown is 164th (out of 1,026)in Singer/Songwriter (Male) smile

Lonely Man is 370th (out of 574)in Contemporary/Soft Rock cry

And I was going to enter my "Do You Want to Dance" cover, but from what I read, that catagory seems to be only for folks who only do covers. Did anyone else get that impression?
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 04:33 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Hey Brian
I hope you did not take my post as being a slam against Ourstage.
I think what they offer is great. I was only telling what my songs have done. I was not passing judgment on Ourstage.


Same here.....

Actually, if someone told me a year or two ago that any song that I was playing and singing on would finish in the top 6th of anything, I'd have laughed silly....

I'm beginning to look at this as a great way to experiment - change things and see what works.....

By the way, I agree with all of you that suggested that we are not the best judges of our own work....still another good reason to participate....

Scott
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 06:59 PM

Quote
By the way, I agree with all of you that suggested that we are not the best judges of our own work....still another good reason to participate....


Truer words were never spoken.

If you wanna know how good my songs are just ask me...
Better yet

ASK MY MOMMA!!!!!

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 07:21 PM

LOL. Them Ourstage judges sure are fickle. The best song IMHO in cover bands which has held the top position for most of the month all of a sudden has crashed out of the top ten. The songs currently at the top positions IMHO should not have even been in the top twenty. I hope this situation changes before the semis.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 07:36 PM

Hey Jim,

Nope, they're not fickle. They just saw you, and ran screaming from the room. grin grin grin

I'm currently playing yoyo's, every position between 4th and 20th.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 08:07 PM

I have been yo yoing since the start of the Q/fs. LOL

Hey maybe we could write a song about it. Enter it into the Eurovision. Well it could not be any worse than the rubbish on Saturday night. I normally have a laugh at the Eurovision. But it has gone even beyond that. Cheeky Cheeky... they have a cheek!
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 08:15 PM

I haven't seen it yet Jim, but have seen the press reports. Sounds like the show that everyone likes to hate, and gets great ratings along the way. Them Germans are not impressed, so I hear.

Mien Got !, time for zzz's . Catcha if I'm still floating face up in the morning.

cheers, niteshift

Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/26/08 10:50 PM

I got another MySpace friend request today pointing to a porn and/or dating site. That's three this week.
I also got an e-mail on my web site from a nice lady saying "Your life is crap". At least I have one fan. Ben
Posted By: Stag

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 12:33 PM

I got a couple questions regarding this site. I checked it out, but couldn't really come away satisfied after reading the Faqs or the terms of condition.

Firstly, if you place a song on that site, do you lose the right to play it when and where you want? I saw kind of contradictory statements on that subject, though I might have misunderstood.

Secondly, is the service free? I was told its free signup, but does it cost to actually upload the songs, or anything? Again, I searched....but I may have just been temporarily blind.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 12:36 PM

And the current rankings are....

"Alienlandscape" by niteshift is floating face down in the water at No 11 in Electronica and needs reviving

"Synthetic Salsa Blue" by niteshift is tempting the taste buds at No 6 in Instrumental

"The Letter" by Big Jim has been posted by snail mail, sitting at No 16 in Covers, but through rain, snow and sleet in the dark of night, it will be delivered

"Follow Your Dreams" by Tammy Edwards is following the path upward at No 14 in country

"Avalon" by Jillian Golden is the apple of eveyone's isles at No 2 in New Age, while "The Winds of Change" has a storm brewing in Contemporary/Soft Rock at No 18

and finally, a new day is dawning in New Age with Michael Borges taking the No 4 spot with "New Every Morning".

Did I forget anyone? Best of luck folks..........

cheers, niteshift


Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 02:26 PM

Originally Posted by Stag
I got a couple questions regarding this site. I checked it out, but couldn't really come away satisfied after reading the Faqs or the terms of condition.

Firstly, if you place a song on that site, do you lose the right to play it when and where you want? I saw kind of contradictory statements on that subject, though I might have misunderstood.

Secondly, is the service free? I was told its free signup, but does it cost to actually upload the songs, or anything? Again, I searched....but I may have just been temporarily blind.



Ourstage is completely free to use. There are no hidden charges or catches. The song and all its rights remains the property of the user and there are no strings attached. So no fears on any of your worries.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 06:37 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney


As for MySpace.. that's a different thing. Those random "Be my friend" requests are simply to build stats and nothing more. The entire "friends" phenomena was a great idea for MySpace to build networks and numbers, but it means nothing. I know artists with well under 1000 friends who sell a LOT of CD's and get a LOT of people out to shows.. I know people with literally 50,000 friends who can't sell a single CD to any of them or get anyone to ever see a show. MySpace is a useless waste of time and as I predicted, the MySpace Music scam has finally exposed itself for what it is. They built it on the activity surrounding Indie Artists so they could have FREE musical content on the site.. and now that they've hit critical mass, they are pissing all over the indie community to kiss the ass of the majors. If all the indie artists pulled their stuff off tomorrow.. the site would collapse and disappear. But they won't. Musicians rarely do what is really best for them. They prop up scam artists and those that abuse them and they tear down their best friends and their best resources and would stab them all in the back if the "industry" ever batted an eye at them. It's always been that way sadly enough.

Brian

I have been thinking about this all weekend. I feel that I WAS hasty in my decision to step back from "OurStage" and am ready to "Eat Crow".
Brian can write the reasons why we should support them until he's blue in the face and some of us still won't listen.
Here is why I changed my mind. I have been a part of JPF for a couple of years now. I come to this site every day and have made who I consider "Real" friends even though I have never met anyone. I believe that this organisation is truly "Grassroots" and have been able to have my music listened to by others who are more discriminating then the average music fan which gives you a more honest assessment of what you are offering. MySpace doesn't do that. OurStage probably does that in a way because you are being judged by other writers and musicians along with the regular fans.
The most important reason that I changed my mind is that OurStage is a JPF sponsor. Daniel has posted answers to questions. I don't believe that this "Tom" guy from MySpace has ever done that. Daniel even commented on one of my songs.
MySpace is looking phonier to me every day. I may drop them if I keep getting Spammy friend requests.
After my hasty retreat from OurStage, I began thinking about what I did and reread this whole thread. I will reenter my song "The Rainmaker" in the Americana contest for June. Ben
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:03 PM

Ben,

May I compliment you? Not necessarily for deciding to go back to OurStage, per se. I do think that they may be the best site of that type. I am not sure what all the negative hype is about My Space, other than the aforementioned arbitrary friends requests. There is, apparently, something going on there regarding Indie artists that I am not aware of. So, I cannot comment intelligently on that. I'll have to look at that.

However, what I wanted to compliment you on was the fact that it is difficult for most folks to do an intelligent reevaluation of a position they have taken on any issue and then decide reconsider that position after looking through the information they have. When someone makes a public statement on a position they hold about anything important and then publicly say that they have changed their position after further evaluation, that says a lot about their character.

I don't call it eating crow. I call it simply exercising your rational judgment, as you see it, and responding to it accordingly. As I said, it's not that you decided to to reenter the OurStage arena that I compliment...it is that you are bold enough to say, publicly, that you are willing to to reconsider your position. Not a lot of folks would do that...particularly in a public forum. My hat is off to you!

Good luck with your song next month.

Alan
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:34 PM

+1 on Ben's character.

It's not common for people to share their own thoughts and decisions that way, or to ever admit they've changed their mind about something after some consideration...it takes a certain kind of strength to do that, and when you do it publicly it ends up teaching other people something valuable.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:34 PM

Hi Ben I agree with Al there is no weakness in changing opinions or reconsidering options. In fact it shows strength of character through a willingness to rationalise.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:43 PM

He's a waffler. A flip-flopper.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:44 PM

I am not sure I understand all this hate for Myspace.

I am trying to figure out why a friend request from a total stranger is better on Ourstage than it is on Myspace. On one it's spam on the other it isn't?
On Myspace I get friend requests from fans, non musicians. Are there any non musicians on Ourstage?

Brian, would you care to share with us who this person is who has 50,000 friends yet cannot sell a single CD. I might go buy one just to try to help the poor guy out, LOL.

I don't think I have had more than two "Spam from Porn sites" in the couple years I have been there.
I don't solicit friends or listeners but my songs get played. Not a thousand plays a day. Just a few a day. But they are playing my songs. I am usually listed in the Top 100 in my home State Michigan. More often than not in the top 50.

Why is that a bad thing? What is it that Myspace is doing to me that is so terrible? They don't ask me for money, I don't get spam E-mail from them, And I have never been solicited for anything.
I get more plays of my songs than Ourstage, Soundclick, and JPFolks combined. If I post and solicit a song on JPFolks I will get listens for a few days, same with Soundclick. I use to get more plays on soundclick when I was active on the boards.I had more plays yesterday on Myspace than I have in the last week from the others combined. And I never solicit for plays or fans.
Why is that a bad thing?

And can someone explain for me why Ourstage has sub Genres for rock, metal, and Rap but none for country. They lump all Country under one channel. Traditional, Southern Rock, Classic, Modern, bluegrass, etc. Why is that?
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 07:51 PM

Thanks guys. accolades were the last thing on my mind. I believe that things that I or anyone else write can influence other people. If we write irrational or negative things, especially concerning a third party, it can have a domino effect and people begin taking sides. I don't want to be responsible for that. The best thing that I can do is look at the good compared to the bad and reevaluate accordingly. The good out weighs the bad in this case. Ben
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 08:13 PM

Hi Bill.

"And can someone explain for me why Ourstage has sub Genres for rock, metal, and Rap but none for country. They lump all Country under one channel. Traditional, Southern Rock, Classic, Modern, bluegrass, etc. Why is that?"

I am very interested in seeing the answer to that question myself. Another question I have is that what can be done to stop all those off topic songs that keep appearing on different categories? Every time I judge a category it seems full of stuff totally inappropriate to that category. Makes a fool of the whole idea of having categories.

Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 05/27/08 08:38 PM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 08:42 PM

I don't have a lot of time at the moment, but here's 2 big points on MySpace.

1. The "friends" thing on there has become a waste of time. If people really invited people they have any knowledged of or interest in to become "friends" then it might be relevent. But what actually has happened on MySpace is that most people simply are collecting #'s rather than real people they have a connection to. They want to increase that "friends" number in any way they can simply for the sake of doing it. It's a status thing. A lot of people think is means something to have a larger number. It doesn't. It DOES mean something if you have a number that actually represents people you've met, people you've formed an ACTUAL friendship with and people who might actually have an interest in your music. That applies often to people with low numbers of friends... but those who simply go about trying to hoard numbers from strangers are being dishonest and inflating their popularity for bogus reasons. The number isn't important.. the real people behind them and how you form real relationships does. MySpace teaches kids and adults alike the opposite lesson and it's damaging to the artist community to keep the false facade of that myth alive. Even Bill is clamoring to know who has the 50K members, when he REALLY should have been curios as to who the person with 1000 friends who sells CD's and gets people out to shows is.. then he might learn something useful. (Sorry Bill.. but you took the bait hook line and sinker and made my point perfectly).

2. MySpace is simply a mega corporation (owned by Rupert Murdoch) who is collecting data and hits to sell to advertisers. That's their entire model. They use music as a free lure to get people to use the site and they pay ZERO to anyone in return. Sure, some people have been able to use the site to promote what they do, no question. But that is simply an accidental by product, not the intent of the site or company. Ourspace would also like to increase traffic and numbers. They are focused solely on the music as a method to build the community and they are offering real life tangible benefits all along the way to the artists involved for their participation and help in doing it. It's a partnership where the more you use it, the more value you get out of it and the more value they continue to put into the system. It goes beyond just the cash they pay out. They are building relationships with venues and promotors to book talent. They are working with experts to offer mentoring sessions. They are engaging directly with the artists themselves regularly to improve the site and find more ways to make it mutually beneficial to both parties. MySpace has never and will never do that for the indie artists. When they finally decided to break off and become a stand alone entity for the music portion of MySpace.. did they come to the artists who helped build it with their music and fans to get them involved? No. They pissed in our faces and went instead to the Major labels who have always shunned them and gave them part ownership and let them set up all the rules to benefit themselve and excluded the entire base of users from the process. Now, at best, the community will get a few table scraps of benefit solely as a by product while the majors use the site and cash in.

I think MySpace and Ourstage are about as different of their pathway to get to the same place as is possible.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 08:44 PM

Thanks Ben.. I appreciate you posting that. Info like this comes up in search engines and there's a lot of value for folks to DO change their mind to say so to include that in the record of the discussion. Often folks leave the negative without the corresponding positive and people coming in from outside only see that and are influenced by it. Hopefully they'll read the entire thread and see your thought process and it will help them make an informed decision themselves.

Brian
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/27/08 09:07 PM

Niteshift,
Very nice... thanks for the update!
Let's see what happends this Thursday when we head
into the semi-finals!

Cheers,
Michael
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 12:04 AM

Originally Posted by TAMERA64
They are taking care of that, believe me. I got a song booted out of a catagory they didn't think it belong in. They sent me and email saying they had removed it. I think it just takes time to weed through them. ha! but they found mine.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2




Sod'S law Tammy LOL

I would like to see an audition. Each song submitted for a competition category should meet certain minimum criteria.

1. The song should be recorded to a certain minimum standard.

2. It should be relevant for that category.

3. The performance IE vocals and playing should be up to a certain standard.

This would weed out the unlistenable stuff. There is a fair share of it about and it would discourage the JOKERS.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 12:38 AM

Big Jim,

Where the problem comes in for a review or criteria for acceptance is that that process, too, is purely subjective. As an example, I think Kris Kristoferson is one of the most talented lyricists we have ever seen. He rates very high in my book. At the same time, I would pass a law that says he should never be able to get within half a mile of a micrphone. I know that a lot of folks like that rough, slightly off-pitch voice. I cannot stand it. So, using my criteria, Kris could never have a song on OurStage. That would be unfortunate. And, I am sure that there are vocalists whom I like a lot thast other folks think are horrible. So, there really is no way to take the subjectivity out of it. And I am sure that they are not going to have a panel of 5 or 6 folks review every one of the several thousands songs submitted each month and take a majority vote for acceptance. That would be virtually impossible. I think that we just have to accept that there is going to be stuff that we, as individuals, would call pure trash and unworthy that other folks think are fine examples of music. It's a noble idea; but it simply isn't possible to do.

I have a couple of reservations about the way I preceive that some things are handled at OurStage. But, I still think that it is the best site of its type out there. I'll give them an opportunity to smooth things out for a few months. if some of my concerns appear to assauged down the road, I'll continue to participate. If not, I'll reevaluate whether or not I want to continue participation. I am not expecting everything to be to my liking. That isn't going to happen. But, there are some changes I am hoping will evolve in time to maintain my interest in their site. As I said, I'll give them some time before I reevaluate. A couple of my concerns have already been addressed to Daniel. I'll see how that plays out. The political machines at the site are probably more difficult to adjust than the technical gear.

Good thought, Jim. But, I don't think that it is possible. All the best to ya!

Alan
Posted By: Stag

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 03:03 AM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
Originally Posted by Stag
I got a couple questions regarding this site. I checked it out, but couldn't really come away satisfied after reading the Faqs or the terms of condition.

Firstly, if you place a song on that site, do you lose the right to play it when and where you want? I saw kind of contradictory statements on that subject, though I might have misunderstood.

Secondly, is the service free? I was told its free signup, but does it cost to actually upload the songs, or anything? Again, I searched....but I may have just been temporarily blind.



Ourstage is completely free to use. There are no hidden charges or catches. The song and all its rights remains the property of the user and there are no strings attached. So no fears on any of your worries.



Thanks for the speedy reply Big Jim. Much appreciated.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 04:52 AM

Hey Big Jim
My vote musta helped. you are at number 4...woohooo

It must be them lovely curly locks.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 05:07 AM

Jim & anyone that's getting into the top 10, good going!
I'll take some time later this week during the semi-finals to vote in categories that I haven't entered for this month. Actually, right now I still have a good chance of getting into the semi-finals for my song "New Every Morning" in New Age/World channel. I'll be able to vote for the rest of you in whatever channels you're in! I'll never know if you voted for my song, but if you did, just let me know... it'd be nice to hear! smile

Looks like we're going to earn some achievment awards this month!

All the best,
Michael
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 05:15 AM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
He's a waffler. A flip-flopper.


I didn't know that Big Jim worked the grill at a breakfast bar!
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 07:05 AM

Hey Guys, listen up !

I overlooked Ernest Whaley, who is at No 16 in Soulfest with "Children".

http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/ernestwhaley

Sorry Ernest, you must have slipped under the radar.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 08:46 AM

Well, got my very first spam "comment" from somebody named Honey Brown on Ourstage. Is there anyway to turn off posting direct links in the comments?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 09:57 AM

Honey Brown is a real artist. In fact, she's a JPF member and previous awards nominee. What did she spam you with?

Brian
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 10:20 AM

As of right now, my song "Avalon" is 3rd in New Age/World. The collaboration with Andrew (zircon), "The Winds of Change," is 18th in Contemporary/Soft Rock.

Lots of great songs out there this month! I'm enjoying listening to entries from JPF peeps. grin
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 12:36 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Hey Big Jim
My vote musta helped. you are at number 4...woohoo

It must be them lovely curly locks.


See I told you there was some weird voting. LOL

I have been almost every position between 4 and 18.
My thanks to all who voted for my song. But please vote honestly for the song you genuinely think is best.
JPF's reputation may be at stake if we just vote for our own.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 02:24 PM

I was thinking that too Jim, but I don't think a few votes coming from JPF folks ( although they are very much appreciated ! ) will make a great deal of difference. There's whole armies of street teamers out there who are rallying the troops. I'm not so sure if it will get them anywhere. I would like to think that the songs will stand on their own merit.

As I said before, I have no email lists or fan base, so am surprised at the results.

It's good to see your song up there, I'd go and vote for it, but am too scared I might fall for your picture ! grin cry grin :/

The standard is exceptionally high in the genres I have been listening too, both in terms of compostion, production and muscianship, with only the odd dud song which is, um, a little out of place, so I look foward to the semi's.

The semi's will be VERY intersting. I hope a few of us get through to keep the interest alive.

PS - to anyone who may have thrown a vote at "Alienlandscape", thank you ! It has revived itself to
No 2 and is floating face up, having a bit of a rest from the rough seas. Well, for now anyways......

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 05:51 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Honey Brown is a real artist. In fact, she's a JPF member and previous awards nominee. What did she spam you with?

Brian


Brian,
I agree that she is a real and talented artist. But on the comment she left, all that was there was:

http://www.t2000ultra.com/?rid=43790
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 06:05 PM

Originally Posted by checkerboardkid
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Honey Brown is a real artist. In fact, she's a JPF member and previous awards nominee. What did she spam you with?

Brian


Brian,
I agree that she is a real and talented artist. But on the comment she left, all that was there was:

http://www.t2000ultra.com/?rid=43790


Uh oh... It sounds like she may have been phished. That's not good - does anyone know her email address?
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/28/08 06:19 PM

Jillian,

That's exactly what it appears to be. It happened to me on <My Space once. jack Swain, and couple of other folks, were receiving a lot of crap about cell phone...sent from my account. We reregistered my account and I've had no problem for 6 or 8 months. But the the damage is that once you are perceived as a spammer, even though it really wasn't you, your professional rep takes a big hit that is very, very difficult to repair. Hopefully, mostly for her, she will get this rectified soon.

Alan
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/29/08 09:28 AM

Alan: yes, it's a terrible thing. I think I too may have been phished on MySpace, and that' what caused my old account (/jilliangoldin) to lose all its content. I received an angry PM from someone I'd never met in my life, so it seems as though someone had taken over and abused the account. frown

In other news, the semifinals have officially begun. Less than 48 hours left! Who here has made it into the Top 10? Michael Borges and I are both there in New Age/World.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/29/08 11:11 AM

Hey Jillian,

Yep, I wandered over to New Age today to have a listen, and cast a vote, and the first 2 songs out of the barrel where yourself and Michael ! I beat a hasty retreat, cos I'm too scared, LOL. I'll go back this evening, but if the same combination comes up, you guys will have to be content with the "same" button. grin

I just scraped in to Electronica, and Instrumental, so we'll see how the next 48 hrs go. One's going good, the other not so good, but I reckon a lot can change in that time.

Best of luck folks !

cheers, niteshift

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/29/08 11:32 AM

Well overnight my song has bounced down 12 places and so have other songs that were at the top for most of the month. Looks like tactical voting to me. The two songs voted best songs for most of the month ar not even in the top ten now.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/29/08 07:06 PM

Know how you feel Jim. I was doing OK, but now have a lead weight tied to both ankles, on account that I have 2 songs, ( that's one for each ankle ) which are sinking without a trace. I'd call in the cavelry if I had one, except I don't know if they have horses which can swim, and also do mouth to mouth at the same time. Perhaps tomorrow will be a different story. Of course, if I had your ugly mug up there as my graphic, I'd be going great ! Ha !

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: jazzbrain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/30/08 03:34 AM

Greetings....all from Canada ..in the top 10 this month in the Jvc Jazz...look for Zack in the Box
http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/geofflapptrio

and Yo Bo in jazz genre. [Linked Image] .No.45
http://www.ourstage.com/entry/FDEFMZESGUPE-yo-bro-geoff-lapp-trio


The trio has been in the Top Ten since April.


Cheers
Lorraine
www.geofflapp.com

http://thejazznetwork.ning.com/profile/GeoffLappTrio http://thejazznetwork.ning.com/profile/GeoffLappTrio
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/30/08 07:52 AM

Hey Jazz,

Welcome ! Cool stuff to make it in the top 10 in jazz. Very difficult field. Best of luck to ya !

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/30/08 04:54 PM

I'm currently judging in a variety of genres on OurStage. The New Age/World and Instrumental categories are both strong. Pop has about 3 or 4 songs that could go radio. Some genres though are weak(IMO). I have had numerous battles with JPFers(my votes are classified info)- some head to head. I think the Instrumental category seems to be determined by one's instrument preference. If the arrangement and performance are both top notch, it would seem the the featured instrument would be the hot button. Best wishes.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/31/08 07:27 AM

My song, "Avalon" has made it to the music finals! If anyone will be voting, I'd be grateful if you'd keep your eyes peeled for me. smile
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 05/31/08 08:57 AM

I quickly scanned the winners and saw at least a half dozen JPFers. I don't have time to go through all of them though (been working 20+ hours the last several days getting ready for the trip). Good luck to all of you and I hope a JPFer makes it 3 months in a row!

Brian
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/01/08 07:56 PM

An awesome round. Jill made it to #2 (!) and our friend Audix, with two entries in the finals, had one at #6.

There's an important lesson that we learned yesterday. The rankings are NEVER final. The person who actually won the grand prize only appeared at #1 in the last hour or so of the voting. For the entire day, people were in and out of the #1 spot and the top 10 consistently. Jill pulled up from #30 to #2. So if you're voting, never give up, there's always hope.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 06:58 AM

Actually Cobalt and the Hired Guns are also JPF members. So that is 3 months out of 3. Congrats to everyone who did well!

Brian
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 07:54 AM

Wow, bravi!
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 01:46 PM

Congrats to those who have won or placed High in the rankings. I have listened to most of them and they definitely deserve to be there.

What I am learning from this is either my taste in music is really weird or my songs really suck, LOL. I have listened to dozens of songs that rank higher than mine and I think my song is better. Yet my song continues to drop.
One thing I have noticed is in the category's I am in most of the songs sound a lot alike. Maybe that's the secret. Don't do anything different or unique.
I think it's time for me to take a hint and drop out of there.
Posted By: Rayshun LaMarr

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 03:56 PM

Never give up on something you feel strongly about being different makes the music more interesting.

I rank in R&B 70 and will keep tryings and now in POP and Songwriter.

All we can do is stay true to what we feel and are passionate about. The MUSIC
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 03:59 PM

Bill you are not alone. I have experienced the same thing. I think there is more tactical voting and "cheating" for want of a better word than we are being led to believe. I saw some great songs which had held the top place for most of the month drop out of the top ten and remain there during Q/finals. These songs were replaced by quite poor songs which did not deserve to be there. Some songs were only added to the category with a day or two left in the comp yet overnight jumped into contention I think this is unfair. All songs should be entered within the first 48 hours of the start of the month.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:12 PM

I don't know Big Jim. For that many folks to resort to cheating would be a little dificult to believe.
I do agree on some of the songs that seem to drop out of contention. But there is no accounting for public taste. You just never know.

I am not really bothered by my own songs position. It is what it is.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:14 PM

Ended up at.....

No6 in Electronica
No9 in Instrumental
No195 in R&B
No312 in Blues

Quite a spread....

As Big Jim has noted, there does appear to be tactical, or what I would refer to as predatory voting at certain points along the voting time scale.

The most marked example of this was the song I entered in Instrumental, "Synthetic Salsa Blue", which after being in the top 20 for most of the month, and floating around 6-15 th place, suddenly took a nose dive to No 125, a couple of days before the quarter finals started. Statistically, that's very improbable. It did recover over half a day or so, and ended up in the top 20 for the quarter finals.

Is anyone allowed to register and vote at any point ? If so, I would suggest allowing registration only before the top 20 are announced, to prohibit would could be construed as "stacking the odds" once the contest becomes heated.

I'm fine with the final positioning, so please don't take these comments as sour grapes. Just a suggestion to ensure a more even state of play.

cheers, niteshift

PS - Bill, when there's $5,000 riding on it, it sure makes sense to get as many votes as you can, which ever way you can.


Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:20 PM

I wonder how much of it has to do with marketing? Do some of the folks actively persue voters, court them for votes.
Nothing wrong with marketing yourself to help you become more successful.
I am terrible at that. I don't market myself at all, No fan base, no mailing list, nothing.
Maybe I need an agent or a manager, LOL.Or a PR person.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:23 PM

Hey Bill,

Same with me, no mailing list no fan base, so I have to be content that the 2 songs that made it into the top 20 actually did it on their own accord. As for the other two ? , well, public taste is very fickle, LOL.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:42 PM

It's really not possible to do any kind of tactical downvoting in the pre-quarterfinals. Was that being implied by anyone? You'd have to judge hundreds of songs just to get to the one you're looking for, possibly thousands, which would take a great deal of time. When you finally did get it, you'd still only have ONE vote on it, which wouldn't make a huge impact.

Seriously, try it yourself. Sit down at, say, 1PM then go into Electronic and try to vote for your song *once*. Though it's possible you'll get a song you want to get early on, I can just about guarantee you'll be there for hours before you do.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 04:55 PM

Hey Andrew,

No, it's not possible by one person, but it is possible by large cohorts of likeminded individuals, or semi-automated systems. Unlikely I know, but possible.

I'm more concerned about mass sign-ups after the posting of the top 20. I think there is room for playing the system, especially after the top 10 have been announced. Any ideas on this ?

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 07:57 PM

Jill and I know a group of people that tried to cheat in the pre-quarter final rounds using some kind of a script system. They tried it two months in a row, as a matter of fact, and OurStage caught them both times. The cheaters were removed the first month, and the second month their songs had the illicit votes removed, sending them down to <250 in the rankings. So, I'm pretty sure OurStage has a handle on that kind of thing.

As for mass signups in the top 20/10, well, I don't really see what the problem is there. OurStage encourages you to ask your fans to vote. They want traffic, and after all, the site is supposed to be a complete democracy with votes drawn from "the fans" in general. My fans are certainly part of that population, and so are yours! Jill and I ask our fans to vote each month in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals, should we make it there, and there simply isn't anything wrong with that.

We always tell them to be honest and to NOT use downvoting or proxy accounts, for example, and through our efforts we have encouraged numerous artists to sign up for OurStage themselves AND vote in the pre-quarterfinals (not for us specifically, but for fun.) Some people have accused the site of being a popularity contest. So what? sgx put it best earlier in the thread. If he earned hundred of fans through years and years of hard work, he deserves the reward of encouraging those fans to support him in a contest like this.

Inevitably some people will say, "But the people with the most fans aren't necessarily the best musicians." Maybe so. However, fans are the best metric of finding good music, short of having an elite panel decide what's best. Not that there's anything wrong with that method at all, but it's the exact opposite of the point of OurStage.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 09:46 PM

That's right Andrew.
I believe if you have worked hard to develop your fan base it is perfectly ok to be asking them to support you. After all that is why you develop a fan base.
Nothing wrong with that at all.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/02/08 11:05 PM

FANS! So that's what I have been missing (LOL).

Today I decided to enter "Town's On The Edge" in Americana, but I ended up loading the wrong file. So I had to withdraw it and reload the correct file -- it's now "It's A Town on the Edge". I think I can be my own worst enemy sometimes.

Town's On the Edge: http://www.ourstage.com/music/channel/67-americana/LNYGFTNZEVAV-its-a-town-on-the

Look's like another bottom-feeding month for me.

Kevin
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 06/03/08 05:26 AM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 07:03 AM

Yes, to tack on to what Andy said... Encouraging your own fans to vote in the last round is definitely important, considering how many people actually participate for that final 24 hours! At that point, all the music genres are pitted against each other; genre bias can play a huge role for listeners, because most people tend to lean towards the more "accessible" genres like Acoustic, Rock, Pop, etc. You may have noticed that Rap and Heavy Metal tracks tend to wind up at the very bottom of the finals rankings - even though they are the best of their channel and usually well made.

OurStage ran a contest back in March: artists who got the most new fans to join in the span of one week would get their music submitted to AOL for consideration. Well, Andrew and I both wound up on that list - but there were over a dozen people who recruited more fans than us, and still didn't place as high in the finals. So to summarize... having your own fan base can only help in those last 24 hours, but that alone may not be nearly enough if your track were not actually very good! (Luckily, most tracks *are* good in the finals. smile )

Asking fans to vote earlier on in the month - on the other hand - is basically pointless, because there are so many submissions in each channel; the chances are slim that your own song will come up. At least we can all be generally satisfied that the songs making it into the Top 20 deserve to be there.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 12:38 PM

I do not know how many fans we are talking about here but it seems to me that it would be better asking fans to support the artist by buying their Cds or purchasing their downloads.

Personally I would prefer doing well on Ourstage because the general public genuinely thought my music deserved it rather than a few biased fans rigging a vote. I do not see any mileage or integrity in doing otherwise. Ourstage should be used solely as a yardstick to see how the public feel about your songs.

It is always difficult voting for songs from different genres put against each other. Most people I suspect vote for the song from the genre they prefer even if technically it sucks compared to another song from an alien genre.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 03:37 PM

I wonder how many folks on Ourstage are Non-musicians or Non-artists. I don't think there is a way to tell.
It would be interesting to see if this is just a peer group site or if there are large numbers of "Fans".
Seems like most internet music sites are primarily musicians.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 04:13 PM

Jim,

I understand where you're coming from. The thing is, how do you get a good representation of the general populace? In a perfect world, using statistical methods, you'd select a random sample from different areas of the country - the same way political polls are conducted. This would be the most fair thing. But OurStage is not like that, since such a website would have to be closed to any new visitors. By nature, OurStage can't be a perfect representation of the public at large. That much is clear, because if it were, hip-hop would do far better than it does now.

So it's the next best thing. If you let anyone make an account at OurStage, you're basically inviting the general population to participate. Maybe more country fans will end up joining. Maybe techno fans are in the majority. Who knows? What I do know is that MY fans are part of the general populace. So are yours, so are Bill's, and so are the fans of every other artist on OurStage. The invitation is extended to all of them equally.

Of course I agree that actual rigging of the results via intentional downvoting, or other forms of cheating, is despicable and I don't support it at all. I explicitly ask my fans not to do that, and if they want to support me, they still must vote honestly.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 04:59 PM

In an ideal world, Jim, a contest like that would be possible... somewhere. But that's not what OurStage is actually about. They WANT artists to solicit their own fans. So yes, if you have a fan base, you are completely entitled - and encouraged - to use it. If you're personally using OurStage as a thermometer, that's great for you. But PLEASE don't put down others' integrity who are in it to compete and still playing by the rules. It's a little rude, frankly.

Here are a few samples from official OurStage emails about soliciting your own fan base to join in, if you need convincing:

Top 10 email, 5/29:
"You've earned the right to show off: Recruit everyone you know to check you out on OurStage.com. Show them how far you've come and get them interested in the next great revolution in music and video. You, my friend, are at the forefront of that revolution."

Top 10 email, 3/29:
"A little encouragement can go a long way Now's the time to make sure your fans are doing all they can for you. To help facilitate the possibility of you moving up a notch, we've included a sample email you can send out to your fans, or post as a bulletin, or have tattooed on your forehead. However you use it, it's there to encourage your fans to register for OurStage if they haven't already done so, and to come back and vote again for next round.

May luck shine on you,

The OurStage Team
Hey fan of us,

It's Semi-Finals time at OurStage.com, America's great independent music and video discovery destination, and we're shooting for top act of the month. There's quite a bit at stake here, such as gigs at festivals and other career-making goodies.

And this means, of the thousands of bands competing to be #1, (your name) stands a decent chance of taking it. If you already voted us into the Semi-Finals, we hope you'll come back and support us again. If not, hope you'll vote for us now.

So thanks for your vote, if you did - it means a lot. And please vote for us again. If you're not yet an OurStage member, you can easily become one right now, right here. It's fast, easy and free.

Yours very loudly,

(your name)"

Top 20 email, 3/25:
"Most of you, I suspect, have fans who are not connected to you by DNA or marriage. As much as you depend on your fans, we here at OurStage also need their involvement to see us on to bigger pastures. So here's a special opportunity, offered exclusively to our esteemed quarter finalists. Between now and the end of March, any artist who adds 20 or more new fans into your fan club will be automatically submitted to AOL for promotional consideration (musicians only), not to mention a passage in our beloved newsletters and other promotional announcements.

The best way for you to earn the honor is to tell ALL your friends and devoted fans who are not on OurStage to register for OurStage ASAP and join your fan club."
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 07:28 PM

So it is a popularity contest to see who has the most fans. I am sorry I did not realise that. I thought let the fans decide was a general term meaning music fans not particualrily loyal to any artist to judge what they thought was the best song.

Well I apologise for being rude but stick to my guns. If what you say is the case then that sucks. THAT is being rude to people who are relying on fair and impartial voting. No wonder the results are all over the place.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 07:45 PM

Nowhere does it say, "Get all your friends to sign up so they can vote only for you and down-vote everyone else!" As Andrew has already stated, we and our other friends (who have some overlap in fan base) only ask people to vote HONESTLY. They have to rate all the other songs as they would anyway - can't just skip to us, the way the system works to begin with.

There is simply nothing wrong with encouraging people who have been longtime supporters of your music to join in the fun - especially considering OurStage ASKS the finalists to do so. If you have a problem with it, maybe the site isn't for you. Complaining won't change things, and I've seen an impressive amount from you in all these OurStage threads.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 08:11 PM

To expect long time supporters of your music to remain impartial is naive to the extent of being silly. I have no problems with asking friends to join in the fun but it has to be pointed out that this can account for unfair voting and unjust winners if enough people are recruited in this way. That is all I was saying.

Perhaps it is you who have caught the wrong end of the stick and this site is for people like me.... not for people who manipulate to win at all costs.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 08:16 PM

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 08:27 PM

Jim, are you really accusing three fellow JPF members of manipulating to win at all costs? I hope you're referring to other people (like the one sleazy guy who was mentioned who encouraged his fans to cheat.) Again, it bears repeating that there are quite a few other artists who have significantly more fans (on AND off OurStage) than the previous three winners, yet those artists have not won the grand prize or placed as high as us in the finals.

I heard one of your entries last month that had ranked pretty high. I enjoyed it and I think it has an excellent shot at getting into the quarterfinals. Keep entering your strong material and if people really do like it, you really will make it into the later rounds. The first month I entered, my song "Breathing You In" (feat. Jill) did not get into the quarters. The next month, it placed 3rd in the finals! The following month, it was back to not making it into the quarters again.

Remember it is really impossible to do any sort of manipulative voting in the pre-quarters. As I said earlier, we've seen people try, and they were caught. OurStage is good about that.
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 08:59 PM

I've been away from performing for four years. So now I'm building a fan base again. OurStage is just one avenue to use. If one is looking for the voting there to confirm whether they write good songs or not, I would suggest performing them live where they stand on there own and see the reaction.
With these contests there are so many apples to oranges comparisons that occur. For example, I do novelty songs. Is there a novelty category? No. So I must compete in categories where I'm at a disadvantage because of genre conflict. However - say for example I put a song into competition in the Pop category. Since that is one of the more high traffic categories, I reap the benefit of reaching more people with my music. And one thing I've learned about the music I write - whether people like it or not, they do remember the songs - and that's the power of a good hook. Do I need to win to benefit? No. If I acquire fans, I win. If I acquire enough fans, I win big. Look at it as a business. This business is not for the hypersensitive. I like what OurStage has done in avoiding a lot of the abuses I've seen at other sites. Yes there's a lot of material that's low quality. And some of it floats(you know the saying). But that's life. Some Top 40 songs are low quality. One can win with crap. But could one take pride in it, if they did - and knew better?
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 09:10 PM

First off, I don't have much of a fanbase or any. Given that, my goal is just to reach the top twenty. My only suggestion is to cut off submitting entries at some point much earlier than the start of quarter finals. As Jillian has suggested, it is very difficult to manipulate voting during the early rounds due to the sheer volume of competition. However, what about entries that are entered just a couple of days before quarterfinals? (Speculation on my part to follow). Wouldn't the algorithm in this case try to 'catch up' by trying to pit the new entry with as many matchups as possible to get a more accurate reading? In that case, it would be easier to 'cheat' your way into the quarter finals as the new entry would show up in more matches. As Jim and others have suggested, the last few days seem to have more movement of song placements that one might expect. Even I thought that the last couple of days in the 'country' category had some very odd movement and entries that I hadn't seen before in the top ten suddenly show up. Just my observation and suggestion.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 09:13 PM

I like the idea of a novelty and/or comedy category.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 09:43 PM

I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am just stating my opinions on Ourstage. I apologise if anyone has got the wrong end of the stick but that will not change my opinion. There has been some weird voting and not always does the system seem fair IMO. I am only suggesting ways in which the system can be improved. I am not alone in exposing a number of flaws in the system and pointing these out. I always maintain that anything can be improved. This is usually done by complaining or making suggestions as to how it can be improved. To state that complaints will not change things is an insult to anyones intelligence and counterproductive especially Ourstage. We have been encouraged to make comments and suggestions and promised that all will be considered. Is this suddenly now not the case?

It has to be pointed out that due to the fickle nature of the human being and a wide spectrum of taste there is no perfect system of music competition. That said we should all pull together to try to improve Ourstage to be the best it can.
I will also repeat that it is naive to expect fans of any individual to vote fairly and impartially. That being the case measures should be taken to prevent judging abnormalities and irregularities. I am not convinced that there is enough being done at the moment.

Please do not get the wrong idea I do not have sour grapes about winning or not winning competitions. That part of music is not very important to me at the moment. However I am positive in attitude and like to see fair play for all. I will fight for a cause and ways to improve it for others as well as myself.

So far I have only entered a couple of songs as a bit of fun and to test the waters so to speak. Debatebale if there is much mileage in taking it as serious as some people. However as was stated previously extra exposure and a wider audience for your music is important but personally I would prefer to sell my music than give it away.
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 09:43 PM

I'd second that motion!!! Never tried to write comedy myself, but I love listening to it.

"I have a sad story to tell you
It may hurt your feelings a bit
Last night when I walked into my bathroom
I stepped in a big pile of...SHAVING CREAM"

Eric
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 10:43 PM

Jim - it's not naive to think my fans can, and do, vote honestly. Andrew, sgx, Audix, and myself all come from an online community of amateur musicians similar in some ways to JPF: www.ocremix.org. All the music there is completely free, and we and the other artists make it solely because we like to. We're not in it for money or prizes, and we have been actively participating for years.

The fans on ocremix.org admire our music, yes, but they are used to critiquing and evaluating other artists because there are over 1500 songs on the site, and there is a public reviewing system. We didn't just tell them about OurStage so that they could vote for us, but so that they can enjoy the community as a whole. They are hungry for new music, and genuinely enjoy having a hand at evaluating it because that is how ocremix.org works. And many of them are entering there own songs now, too!

I would appreciate it if you could try not to pigeonhole me (or anyone else here) into your views of "fickle humanity" unless it's completely warranted. I haven't been posting here for very long yet, but hopefully you will give me the benefit of the doubt... that I'm an honest and friendly person.

Making reasonable and constructive suggestions is great, but your complaints have been edgier - and you're only offending people in the meantime. There should be a way to make them that isn't insulting or generalizing. And the people who matter (like OurStage staff) would probably be more receptive if we can pose our suggestions in that way. smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/03/08 11:46 PM

I was referring to all fans not just yours. It is incredibly naive to think that any fans are impartial, a fact of life, a human failing, call it what you will but people are influenced by favouritism and nepotism even subconsciously and with all due respect and the best will in the world all fans are guilty of human nature. It may be true that your fans are more impartial than others but my point is still valid. You have obviously not considered that other peoples fans are not so honestly inclined as yours and it was them I was referring to.

This is not a personal attack or pigeonhole or calling honesty or friendliness into question. I have no idea why you have taken this so personally. I am stating my opinions generally on Ourstage not pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I see flaws in the system and am trying to bring these to peoples attention to try and improve the system for all of us.

You are entitled to agree or disagree with these opinions and suggestions on how to improve these things. I have a feeling that I am not alone in my feelings. Perhaps I just am a bit more outspoken than most folk.

I would appreciate it if you could point out what it was about my complaints you found insulting or offensive. I only made general points and made no personal references.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 12:07 AM

Um, maybe because you have been responding to my posts this whole time and telling me the way I (and others) do things is unfair, lacking in integrity, and naive? I'm rolling my eyes at this point. I never said that ALL fans of any artist are impartial, but no need to try to reason with you... You really don't realize how rude you come across, I guess.
Posted By: Steve Vaclavik

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 12:38 AM

Here's my one gallon of gas worth....

Music is a popularity contest....you develop fans - those fans then request your music on radio and buy your CDs (or download them) and you gain more popularity/more fans. Those who develop and have a large fanbase should definitely use it to their advantage. That's what keeps the artist popular. I don't think there should be any expectation of anyone's fans to be impartial on Ourstage or anywhere else. They're fans because they like that particular artist. It would be kind of like expecting New York Yankee fans to cheer for the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Ain't gonna happen.

Ourstage is a click and move site much like other click and move sites (probably carried out in a much fairer fashion than most). Folks with larger fanbases will probably do better. I enjoy being a part of it and have no expectations. Maybe that's why I enjoy it. I've heard some really great artists I would otherwise never have heard. I've heard some real clunkers too. Are the best songs always winning? Maybe, maybe not. Are the best songs always at the top of Billboard and being played on radio?

Steve V
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 12:54 AM

Sorry you got it wrong. Way wrong. Nothing personal was ever meant. I never once said that you or anyones integrity was in question. I just said I did not like the rules. I myself was rolling my eyes at your responses and attack on my opinions. I did not know that Ourstage was that big a deal. Maybe you are right it is not for me. I prefer to win alone without help from friends influencing the vote. Then I feel I have achieved something by merit. But as they say let the fans decide and the person with the most biased fans wins the prize.
If you think that is OK then you are welcome to that opinion.
You are doing NO wrong playing by the rules I just do not like the rules or the way people are abusing them (no reference to you meant)

During the q/finals my song jumped about from 18 up to 4 and then back up again finishing at 16 a similar pattern happened to other songs. The really good songs that were in the top positions all month dived finishing out of the top ten during that period. You do not have to be a genius to work out that tactical voting was responsible for this. Again I will state my reasons for this stance nothing personal against you just a dislike for rules that leave themself open to abuse.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 02:07 AM

Originally Posted by Steve Vaclavik
Here's my one gallon of gas worth....

Music is a popularity contest....you develop fans - those fans then request your music on radio and buy your CDs (or download them) and you gain more popularity/more fans. Those who develop and have a large fanbase should definitely use it to their advantage. That's what keeps the artist popular. I don't think there should be any expectation of anyone's fans to be impartial on Ourstage or anywhere else. They're fans because they like that particular artist. It would be kind of like expecting New York Yankee fans to cheer for the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Ain't gonna happen.

Ourstage is a click and move site much like other click and move sites (probably carried out in a much fairer fashion than most). Folks with larger fanbases will probably do better. I enjoy being a part of it and have no expectations. Maybe that's why I enjoy it. I've heard some really great artists I would otherwise never have heard. I've heard some real clunkers too. Are the best songs always winning? Maybe, maybe not. Are the best songs always at the top of Billboard and being played on radio?

Steve V

Well said. Similar to the earlier question about whether pictures should be included with the songs, I think absolutely that an artist is a package deal. They come with music, yes, but they also come with an image and (hopefully) a fan base. Those things cannot be overlooked because they are equally important in an individual's path to success. Nobody claims that the music business is fair; I think we all know that by now! But at least OurStage has a much better voting system. Most other sites let you just skip right to your favorite entry, instead of forcing you to explore, vote on, and enjoy other music. wink
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:37 AM

Here's my take, and I'm not here to make a "fuss" or disagree with anyone, but only to share some of my insights.

First of all, OurStage is a great FREE resource! Since I'm not paying a penny to use any of their services, I can't really complain about anything. Also, they are amazingly open to suggestions, input, feedback and discussion. Danny has done a great job trying to make everyone "happy", but the bottom line is that as much as he'll try, it may still not be a "perfect" system, probably the closest thing to perfect to is enjoy replaying your favorite music by your favorite artist or composer, even if that includes your own tunes. wink

If I'm paying $30 (or whatever) per song entry, I might expect & demand the best possible service. I would want a fair judging pannel and preferrably an experienced, professional one at that.

Amazingly, this is what Just Plain Folks offers, and though it's completely FREE (told you it's amazing!), it only comes around once every 2 years or so because it's gotten so huge.

So really there's plenty of choices for all of us to get our tunes heard here, there or yonder. There's paid contest services and FREE ones. We need to choose wisely and then try to learn from all the feedback we're getting, whether good, bad or indifferent.

Generally, music does have to be good to attract and sustain a long-term relationship with our "fans", otherwise they'll lose interest and support other artists.

Best,
Michael
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:48 AM

Wether its free or not I think most of us would like to think things are fair. I know there are things going on behind the scenes wether one wants to believe it or not. I have personally received emails as to the "goings on". At this point I am laying low and not saying anything just yet. You are NOT imagining things Big Jim. I usually go with my gut instinct and it serves me right 99% of the time. I had thought something was going on with a particular artist. Then without me asking another artist emailed me some evidence. There are email trails. HAHA! I guess I have to take the site not so seriously and look at it as exposure of my songs and hearing and meeting other great artists. But as for being fair. I really think not. Sorry, but that is how I feel. I have evidence too. But, it only takes one bad apple to ruin it. Maybe in time we can weed out them bad apples. :)But it is not the fault of the person running the site but definately of those not playing fair on the playground if you know what I mean.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 04:25 AM

Good points Tammy,
And I did mention at top that... they (OurStage) are amazingly open to suggestions, input, feedback and discussion. That's why we have this forum and why Danny, the OurStage representative, is here to get feedback and discuss these issues with us.

If there are problems with unfairness we suspect or have proof about, these should be reported and discussed. Evidently they have a lot of priorities to deal with including bugs, spam, program edits, new rules & policies and cheating to contend with, etc.

Some problems are more obvious than others and most of the "issues" I've had were only based on theory of how people could try to "game" their judging system. Beyond that, I haven't personally seen any proof, but no evidence is needed to perceive basics like anyone artist could create numerous fan accounts (with alias e-mail addresses) to vote for themselves.

But the reality, as Andrew pointed out, is that it's virtually impossible (and much too time consuming) to vote for oneself against thousands of other fans and judges.

On another note, I'm curious how many successful full-time professional artists and bands would use OurStage? Would it interest them or would they feel like it's a "step down" for them, or maybe just a "risk" if they don't win 1st place each month or something like that?

How many major "brand name" artists and bands have you guys seen on OurStage? Maybe they would consider it more like playing in the little league rather than in the big league. I think they would rather invite their fan base to their own web sites and concert events, etc. But I know a lot of them have pages on MySpace and videos on YouTube, etc. but there's not as much "head on" competiton there.

Michael
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 06:18 AM

Can someone please tell me how to navigate Ourstage? Someone suggested I put up a lyric, so I did (last week). It's loaded (..I played it...but I can't figure out how to get to all the songs in the category. Whatever category I click, it takes me to 2 songs that I guess are going head to head, but that's it.

I'm sure it's in this thread somewhere, but I can't stare at this screen for that long. If you could just point me to something.

Thanks.

Well, I just went to the site and saw that I've gotten some votes, but I have no clue how this works. People wanting to make friends. Yikes!
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 06:27 AM

OK,

I messed around and at least figured out a little. One is 26th in country..."If You Were Here With Me" The other says untitled. Don't know how I screwed that up. It DOES have a title....
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 08:37 AM

Hey everyone!
This month I'm entering only two songs for the JUNE contest:
(You can click the images to go right to the song.)

[Linked Image]
Suave Lluvia (Gentle Rain) - New Age/World

[Linked Image]
White Bird - Cover Bands


Post your tunes & see you guys there!
Michael
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 02:07 PM

Ben: Don't forget to add an image to your "If You Were Here With Me" song. Every little bit helps. Good song, by the way.

Kevin
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:10 PM

Hi Everyone. There's no category that defines what I do on OurStage but for fun I have entries in Pop and Reggae. Yes, that's not a typo. I said Reggae maun. Best wishes.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:23 PM

What have I learned from Ourstage?...well
If I'm in this for the money I might as well quit now, LOL

I put my song "Crazy Redhead Woman" which went to number 1 on soundclick (WITHOUT any promotion. I just put it there and it went to the top) in the acoustic channel.
Now I am sorry but that is a decent song, everyone has liked it. The production isn't the best but it isn't bad. The prosody is good and I sing on key.
Right now it is sitting at 522 out of 699 songs. below RAP, Bluegrass instrumentals, Rock, Metal, and any number of songs that should not even be in that category. There are songs well ahead of it where you cannot understand a single word of the song being sung. The singer is pitchy and off key, and the production sucks. Yet my song sits at the bottom of the pile.

If my songs can't do any better than this then I better rethink what I am doing. I think I am wasting my time.

I admit I am pretty new at this. I am NOT a performing artist and that may be the problem. I mainly focus on songwriting and Ourstage is really for Performing Artists.
I have noticed a few songs that are ranked pretty high that I am pretty certain are demos. The (Author) is not the singer and the music is done by a demo studio. I was not sure if you could do that.
Is it violating your Demo agreement to win money with the song? I know you are not supposed to sell the Demo.

Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:35 PM

Well, I have the camera, Kevin. Just don't know how it works! Thanks.


Bill,

That's interesting. I thought once you paid for a demo it became your exclusive property. That's what common sense tells me, but I could easily be wrong.

As far as "selling" it, I don't know how you would do that. I mean, Milli Vanilli is proof that if the singers are shams, it won't sell (once that becomes known, of course). So, without pictures and info on the real singers, it ain't gonna make the hit parade.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:45 PM

I'm not sure Ben
I have a few Demos here of a couple of my songs. I cannot legally sell them, Put them on a CD or put them up on I-tunes for paid download.
They are DEMO's, for Demonstration purposes only. I am not sure if putting them on Ourstage is legal if you can win money.
I think there is a way to have a demo done where you can sell it but it has to be specific in the contract.
Might need someone like Mike to explain that.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 03:52 PM

Bill,

I checked out your tune -- it has only had 4 plays (OK 5 with me), so maybe only 2 or 3 "judging" listens. Therefore, I wouldn't worry about it too much right now. If you song doesn't make a move all month long, then you just gotta say that the listeners on the Acoustic channel (this month) don't appreciate what you have to offer. Next month or next song could be quite different.

Quote
If my songs can't do any better than this then I better rethink what I am doing. I think I am wasting my time.

I thought the exact same thing yesterday. I was hoping some of my tunes could "move" somebody on OurStage, but that hasn't happened for me either. I do believe it is worthwhile to "try" and do a song that succeeds on OurStage. It seems to be the most unbiased review system that I have seen. Soundclick is basically the number of listens (but, of course, I still like to get a top 100, top 50 or top 10 soundclick song I have had quite a few top 10 sub-genre tracks, but those top 10 overall stuff seems to be pretty hard).

Quote
I have noticed a few songs that are ranked pretty high that I am pretty certain are demos. The (Author) is not the singer and the music is done by a demo studio. I was not sure if you could do that. Is it violating your Demo agreement to win money with the song? I know you are not supposed to sell the Demo.

I would wager that you are 100% right here. If you pay for a demo, then you probably can't use it here unless you pay for those "Master" recordings.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 04:08 PM

Hi Kevin
Thanks for taking the time to listen.

I don't want to give the impression I am complaining about Ourstage.
It seems like a pretty fair system and what they are trying to do is a good thing.

I'd be curious to find out about the Demo thing.

I'm probably just having a Van Gogh moment...Hmmmmm checking ear
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 04:15 PM

Thought I'd have just one shot this month in another genre. Please say gidday if you stumble across it.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Marc Novoselec

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 05:10 PM

Hi all, I just got up on ourstage yesterday via a friend's computer with a high speed connection. A noob question here; how do I check my rank? I can't seem to find it anywhere.
M
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 05:22 PM

Marc,

Good to have you with us here at JPF.

To find your ranking, near the upper right corner of the home page, click on the tab that says "My Profile". it will take it a few seconds to load. Once it loads, go down the right side iof the page and you will see your song(s) listed with its ranking in the genre/channel that you entered it. Hope that helps!

Alan
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 05:22 PM

Deleted...duplicate post.

Alan
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 05:58 PM

Hi Bill.

Re paying for a demo. It would all depend on what agreement you have with the studio. I pay for studio time that includes mixing and mastering and what I take away is mine to do with as I want. Any musicians who I use are paid on a work for hire basis and their contribution becomes my property to do with what I want. I have worked for studios on work for hire projects where my vocals are now the property of the songwriter who paid for the studio and my time. It is the preferred system. Sometimes as we are all pals we will work free for each other and the favours returned as required. It is a neat system but relies on mutual trust.

Things should always be spelled out before going into a studio or hiring musicians so that there are no disputes afterwards.

It may be worth while checking with the studio you used exactly what you can do with the demo they produced.
Posted By: Paul Street

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 06:25 PM

Breathe Love In and Love You Anyway finished 15th and 16th respectively but were as high as 5 and 6 at one point in the month for Country. Confusing numbers to say the least, but still cool that somebody's listening.
Posted By: Marc Novoselec

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 06:53 PM

Thanks Al!
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 08:09 PM

Big Jim
If you have a studio do a DEMO it is my understanding it is exactly that. A DEMO, short for Demonstration. It can be used for pitch purposes to publishers, etc. It CANNOT be released as a song, a single, or on a album.
You cannot put it on a CD and sell it, You cannot release it for radio play, you cannot put it up for paid downloads.

Now if you go into a studio and record your own songs that is a different matter. You are paying for studio time. If you pay for mixing and mastering that is also different. When you leave you own the song. If you have their musicians add parts that is a work for hire but I believe you should have releases from them for their work. Otherwise you will owe them royalties.

If you send a rough work tape to a demo studio and they create all the tracks and have a demo singer do the vocals that is a DEMO.
Now if you put that song on Ourstage and it wins who has won? You or the Demo studio, the musicians, and the singer?
My way of thinking it was NOT YOU. You just won a contest with someone else's music.
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 08:41 PM

I agree that demo's should not be sold for download, however what is the difference in entering a demo on ourstage.com for cash/merchandise prizes versus entering a demo in songwriting contests for cash/merchandise prizes? I know the latter is allowed and done all the time.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 09:17 PM

Kevin,

It is my understanding that the number of plays listed is not connected to judging, but rather the number of times someone requested the song outside of the judging process. Daniel told me that way back at the start. So if Bill has 5 listens, those are above and beyond the judging numbers.

Brian
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 09:24 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
I'm not sure Ben
I have a few Demos here of a couple of my songs. I cannot legally sell them, Put them on a CD or put them up on I-tunes for paid download.
They are DEMO's, for Demonstration purposes only. I am not sure if putting them on Ourstage is legal if you can win money.
I think there is a way to have a demo done where you can sell it but it has to be specific in the contract.
Might need someone like Mike to explain that.


Bill,

Well, the USGA says that an amateur can win a limited amount in a golf contest, I believe the amount is $750 or less. Of course this is only somewhat similar.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how winning a prize for a demo would be a problem. Maybe you could post at the Mentor Forum and see if Stu has an opinion.

By the way, a recording that has a work for hire agreement is not a demo, it is a master. Once the parties agree it can be sold, it is no longer a demo.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 09:25 PM

Originally Posted by checkerboardkid
I agree that demo's should not be sold for download, however what is the difference in entering a demo on ourstage.com for cash/merchandise prizes versus entering a demo in songwriting contests for cash/merchandise prizes? I know the latter is allowed and done all the time.


It is? I will have to find out. I was told I could not use my Demos for anything other than Pitching to publishers or the like. Or for my own personal listening pleasure. I would also be able to put the songs on my site for listening purposes only.
Time for a post on the Mentor forum.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 09:51 PM

So Mike
We are talking two different things?
A work for hire Vs. a Demo?
I wonder how many folks actually know the difference?
I posted a question on the mentor forum.

I have been reluctant to use my demos for anything other than pitching purposes. I don't see how making $5,000 in a song contest is any different than selling 5000 copies of the demo for $1.00 each.

So if I took the Demo you did for me and entered it into a song competition and it won...ooooh say $5,000. You and the guys that did the demo would not be entitled to anything?
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:03 PM

Bill,

I'll be interested in hearing what they say. I know you and I think alike in many ways. Am having trouble understanding your not being able wrap yourself around the idea of the person who payed for the demo "owning" the demo.

ie You might pay $600 or more for a demo. That's THEIR $$$ to keep no matter what happens thereafter. They were paid for a service rendered. Let's say you hire a a landscaper to renovate your lawn. He does a jam up job and eventually it wins awards which lead to some $$$. Is that landscaper entitled to more compensation? No, but he sure as heck is gonna get a TON more business if you acknowledge he did the work.

I should think a demo is no different. Think about the number of demos done...say annually. Probably tens of thousands. How many lead to a record deal??? Maybe .0001 per cent? The odds against you (the one paying for the demo) scoring with it are infinitesimal. The odds of the demo itself making mega bucks are virtually non-existent.

That's how I see it, but well see what someone who actually KNOWS has to say. smile
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:07 PM

Ben: I believe the Nashville Union pay scale is different for demos versus "master" work. Therefore, you pay more for a song you want to sell versus a pitchable demo.

Kevin
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:14 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
It is my understanding that the number of plays listed is not connected to judging, but rather the number of times someone requested the song outside of the judging process. Daniel told me that way back at the start. So if Bill has 5 listens, those are above and beyond the judging numbers.

Brian: That an interesting tidbit. One thing would be really nice for the artist would be to see the results of all the judging for their entered songs. Heck just a data dump of the one by one results would be great.

Your Song vs Song A -1 (..., -1 =other slightly more, 0=same, +1 =Yours slightly more, +2 =Yours More....)
Your Song vs Song B 0
Your Song vs Song C +2

That would be great to see. I think it might be useful.

Kevin
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:14 PM

Not sure what you mean, Kevin. Well, I suppose if your talking about organized union workers who do demos (shocked to hear there's a union for that).

Like Heather, you pay her and do whatever you want with it. She doesn't say a thing about restrictions, and I'm guessing that's the case with most folks (independents, for sure).

I mean, Geez, ANYBODY who can sing and pick can run an ad to do demos, and there would be no regulations whatsoever (aside from Uncle Sam wanting his cut).
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:21 PM

Ben
I cannot speak for Heather so I am only using her named because you did. I have a Demo with Heather as the singer. I would not even consider putting it on a CD for sale without written permission from her.

I think if you have Heather sing a Demo for you and you put it on a CD and start selling it you will hear from her lawyer, along with the rest of the session players on the song..
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:32 PM

Some info: http://www.rmanashville.com/index.php?p=afm%20scales
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:36 PM

Ben,

What Kevin said is correct. if you enter into a demo contract with the musicians, it can be used ONLY for demo purposes. It cannot be sold in any way, shape or form unless every demo player on the session agrees to it in writing. that is unlikely to happen. yes, the players in Nashville, fo rthe most part, are all union members. they work at union scale. the scale for a demo recording is at a lower price than the scale for commercial songs, ie...being sold for profit.

A work for hire is separate from all of that. A work for hire is a mutually agreed upon price between the conractor (person wanting/paying for the demo to be done) and the musicians on the demo session. With a work-for-hire agreement, the session players are paid for the session work an that particualr song and are not entitled to any compensation thereafter unless the contractor chooses to be generous...which they usually are not.

Work for hire, demo session and commercial session are three different beasts. Each must be handled according to law, mutual agreement and union dictates if union players are used. And the great majority of players used for demo sessions in Nashville are union players.

Hope I helped rather than hindered.

Alan
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:48 PM

Well, then that's a GREAT question to put before Heather.

But, Bill, you're acting as though someone has a really great chance of selling scads of records and making mega bucks...if it were that easy, Heather would quit doing demos and sell the heck out of her own stuff. We all know that if you plan on making significant money from a record, with nothing BUT the record behind it, you'd be far better off collecting aluminum cans to earn some dough. smile

I'm a total bush-leaguer here, though. Just tying to apply common sense. I'm wondering how much dough any JPFs have earned hawking records independently? Any idea? Again, if it's that easy (obviously, I'm talking about quality product here), I might start paying for something more than a demo. Get a whole band to play and have a written contract that the finished cd is my exclusive property. Sure sounds "out there" to me that they would say, "If you want us to perform the same service we would normally perform, but you want it for more than demo purposes, we'll have to charge an arm and a leg.

That just seems VERY strange to me. I know of someone in Nashville who does demos. Think I'll write him.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 10:55 PM

I've never seen a contract. Heather will even do the music ()if you don't have any) and NOT consider it a co-write. I just can't imagine these people turning down business because of all this minutia!

Once again, all it amounts to 9999 times out of 10,000 is Chicken Little syndrome. These folks who demo know the odds are WAY stacked against you. They make their living doing demos. Why should they worry that something they recorded hit it big. Seems to me that would only help them make a ton more. And, in case I forgot to mention it, they KNOW the chances of that happening are ridiculously minute. I mean, what are they gonna do...say, "Uh, well no sir, we won't accept your $600 if you intend to make money with this", Hell, if it were THAT dang good, they oughta say, "We're gonna do this for free, we'll market it together and make a killing!
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 11:06 PM

Ben,

John Heinrich, one of the best session pedal steel players in Nashvile...and sax, dobro, flute, clarinet, etc...is a good friend of mine. He is on a lot of the songs you here on country radio. We played in a band together some years ago. John does get paid more for his work on songs intended for commercial release than he does for demos. He and I discussed that last year in Nashville.

It is vaguely similar to using loops for recording your songs with your computer. you can download loops from dozens of sites on the Internet. If you sign an agreement to use them for non-commercial purposes, ie, your own demo, they cost less than if you are going to use them on music that you intend to sell or play publicly. You must digitally sign an agreement for the intended use of the loops before you download. If you use a demo/personal loop purchased at the private use price and then use it for a commercial release, they can sue the pants off of you and the law is on their side. The loops for private and commercial use are identically the same...just like the session musicians' work...but you pay more for the very same loop if it is going to be used commercially rather than for private or demo use. It is pretty much an industry standard.

Yes, you might find/know someone who does not use that same set of procedures/rules...but he/she is in the great minority.

Alan
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 11:17 PM

Well, obviously, as I said earlier, Alan, I have no knowledge/experience in this. Still, if independents are in the vast minority, I would think the opportunity is beyond ripe for an independent who can produce an excellent demo to invest in getting the word out, doing it below union scale, and saying he doesn't care what you do with it. Again, if it becomes a hit (which for the life of me, I don't see how that could happen! see Milli Vanilli), he can spread the word that he did it and start knocking down the big bucks now that he's "discovered." After all, a little exposure will open the big door, ala Idol.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 11:32 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson

So if I took the Demo you did for me and entered it into a song competition and it won...ooooh say $5,000. You and the guys that did the demo would not be entitled to anything?


Bill, I'm not a lawyer or an expert on union regulations, but the way I see it, you didn't sell the song. Nobody downloaded it or copied it, you just won a prize for it. But again, I may be wrong and would be interested to see what an attorney would say. Maybe Stu will chime in on the Mentor board.

Mike
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/04/08 11:36 PM

Ben,

Sounds good on paper. But, the big boys can put a lot of pressure on the little man. They have the bucks, the lawyers, the power, etc. But, if there is one independent who can take all that on and offers a superior product, I guess there is a chance it could happen in a big way. But, I'm not expecting to see it any time soon.

Oh, BTW, I'd rather NOT see Milli Vanilli! thank you, just the same.

Alan
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 12:21 AM

Ben
I am not talking about becoming a mega star with a demo. But I would bet you could take a well done demo and put it on I-tunes and make money from it.
I don't understand the Milli Vanilli comparison. they were lip singing to someone else's track.

There are musicians who make a living off their music. A good living. To say you could never make any money off a demo isn't saying much.
I Loved Her First was an $800 demo. The band Heartland was unknown before the song and it went to number one. It did not matter who they were. The song made it on its own.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 12:43 AM

Sideman,

Code
I'd rather NOT see Milli Vanilli! thank you, just the same.


grin grin grin

Heck, I think you'd have to reach another plane for one of them anyhow!

I am quite intrigued by this though. So you're saying someone like me, you or any other person not directly associated with "organized demonstrations" might have Guido pay us a visit? WOW!

The part (which I can't seem to get ANYONE to respond to!) that fascinates me most is the contract stating you aren't allowed to use it except for those purposes. I can't help but wonder, has there EVER been a single case of that happening. Someone taking a demo and turning it into a top 20 hit?! I can't imagine that it has. Not ONCE!

IF that IS the case, it seems like a whole bunch o' "much ado about nothing." It would be more of a, "By gosh, if you find a way to do something impossible previously, then we want a piece of the action since we sang it! BUT, IF you pay us extra, then we'll release you to pursue that thing that has less than a snowball's chance in hell of happening." crazy
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 12:51 AM

Ben,

Any plane I get on doesn't go there!

Yes, there has been a demo turn into a #1 hit. last year Heartland's song "I Loved Her First" was #1 on the country charts. The song everyone heard on the radio was the actual demo. However, all the players were on the demo session were the actual band members of Heartland. So, there were no contract issues. this is from Walt Aldridge...who cowrote the song and produced the demo.

That technically answers your question; but I know that that is not what you were really getting at. I do not know the answer to the real question you were intending to ask in your reply.

Not much help. But, it is a real answer to your question, as stated.

Guido? No...but Guido knows attorneys who do his dirty work. They're even nastier than him, sometimes!

Alan
Posted By: checkerboardkid

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:11 AM

I think Mike Dunbar's reasoning makes the most sense. If one wins a prize, it isn't because one is selling the song. Just like the JPF member who won a cash prize in the American Idol songwriting contest. He didn't sell his demo, he won on the merits of his song.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:12 AM

Well, Alan, that does a complete end run around my whole premise. I mean, if Elvis went into a studio just to practice (and of course it would be recorded)and it turned out so good they decided to use it, well that's just a whole 'nother deal. In fact, "That's Alright Mama" WAS born similarly to that. They were messing around during their "break" and Sam Phillips ran out and told 'em to keep going while he set up the recording device.

I'm speaking STRICTLY about a demo, done by a bunch of behind the scenes guys, AS a paid demo, that was turned into a hit. That's why I kept referring to Vanilli. Once it was out they weren't the singers, the whole thing went up in smoke. BUT, at least in that case, they had front men PRETENDING to sing.

How on earth is Joe Blow gonna take a studio recording, with NO ONE to stand up as the artist, and turn it into a hit...USING THE ORIGINAL STUDIO RECORDING?!

Man, if I ain't clear this time, I'm done. I say I'd love to talk about it, and that's true. But this is TYPING, and that's a whole 'nother deal, too!!!
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 06:24 AM

Ben,

I won't bug ya any more. The Elvis scenario you used is accurate. But, that was in the 1950s...60 years ago. The business has changed a tad since then! How is Joe Blow gonna do what you asked? He probably isn't. Just giving ya the answers as I know them to be. Sorry they didn't coincide with what you wanted to hear!

Alan
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 06:40 AM

Code
Sorry they didn't coincide with what you wanted to hear!



Aw, come on, Alan. Now I didn't play like that...sarcastic.

You semi acknowledged my "Joe Blow" question and that IS what I was trying to get a response to for like my LAST 4 OR 5 POSTS. That, friend, is the nexus of my whole premise. Were you to re-read my previous posts with a mind not predisposed to assuming I'm arguing for the sake of argument, it should make perfect sense.

All this talk of contracts (the only song I was involved in with a pro demo outfit, there WAS no contract), and how if you go off and knock down big bucks with their demo, they will sue...well, I had trouble VISUALIZING the idea in the first place. NOT that some would require a contract, but the latter.

I have yet to hear (other than what you just said) any comments on the veritable impossibility of the guy with the demo striking gold WITH the demo, thereby resulting in a suit by the demo folks.

That's all.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 12:56 PM

The way I see it....it all depends on the agreement and any contract signed. We do not have specialist demo companies in the UK as per the way you operate in the states.

We pay for studio time and any musicians used are paid on a work for hire principal so what we walk away with is ours to do with as we like. I do not know anyone in the UK who uses a package deal service to produce a demo

Most of the people I know and work with are live performers. They make their own CDs which they sell through various sources especially at live gigs. It is not unknown for a couple of dozen or more CDs to be sold to audiences at a gig. People do make money from selling their own stuff this way.

Each studio has a list of sessionists who can be used to add parts to songs. There are singers, guitarists, drummers etc etc. Most work on a set fee for a part or are paid an hourly rate. This is all considered work for hire. Even composing tunes to lyrics is done on a work for hire basis and there are plenty who would jump at the chance for a few quid.
I can sum it up by saying the attitude of most musicians I know here is I would rather be paid something now for my work than wait endlessly in vain for my 50% share of nothing. If the song does become a hit and make any money then my name will be on it as a cowriter and I will receive the publicity. Royalties would be down to generosity. I will take my chances.



Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:18 PM

Hey Jim,

Similar scenario over this way. Book the studio, hire who you're going to hire, and that's it. Musicians are paid, and that's the end of it. No contracts as to what is a demo and what is not. The tracks are then owned by he who forked out the dosh. End of story, nice clean and simple I reckon.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:29 PM

Niteshift and Jim: The question I would ask you then is -- what is the relative cost of a recorded song/demo then? I am assuming that the US had the similar situation back when things started out (I guess there were no demos in the old days -- demos were live!).

However, I have to assume that the "demo" and "limited release" concepts arose to be cheaper (and then let's make it up in volume). If "master" session prices are equivalent to your recording prices, then that make sense. Of course, this whole argument really applies in the US to large recording markets, Nashville, NY, LA, ...) where union musicians rule the roost. I am sure if I could find some talented guys locally to do a demo, then it would be a work-for-hire and I could do whatever I wanted with the tapes.

Kevin
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:41 PM

Kevin It would appear that some people have muscled in so to speak and will produce a sort of demo but not only do they want to be paid for this they want the credit and any royalties as well. My attitude is avoid these sharks like the plague.

If you want a good studio and musicians with no strings then see Sub. I also have contacts who operate the same way he does.
As far as costs are concerned then it is down to how much you want to invest in your music and what you think it is worth. It might be a tad more expensive than a flat rate bog standard demo BUT it will be better quality customised to suit you and YOUR PROPERTY.
I can understand why some people mainly amateur hobbyists would use a demo service but serious musicians avoid them like the plague.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 01:49 PM

Hey Kevin,

Running costs for pro studios run at about $100/hr with engineer, and then there's the cost of studio musicians on top of that. So, about $1000 a day. These are the studios that the majors use for commercial release. Then it goes all the way down to about $20/hr for a guy with a small "home-style" studio, who will play some or all of the instruments and work your song up for you. Understandibly, there is a great difference in quality of workmanship, and you need to pick and choose wisely for the intent ot what you're doing with the material.

There are union rates, but they generally only apply to the symphony orchestras, the pit guys in a musical/opera/ballet, and anyone else who is "properly" employed on a full time basis in a "real" musical job. Otherwise, it's all negociable, and generally speaking, the charge rate of the studio guys will be well above whatever the recommended hourly rate determined by the union.

PS - I argee with Jim here, that if you write the song, book the studio time, hire the musicians ( including the vocalist ) and produce the number, it's your property, full stop.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 02:01 PM

Big Jim: I am only talking about reputable demo shops that take a work tape of yours and produce a high quality demo. I have never done it, but if I come up with a great song that might have a chance, then I would probably get a demo done. If it was a country song, then I would probably use a Nashville demo service. I have read that Nashville publishers expect "Nashville quality" demos. I would only pay for the "master" or "limited release" if I was going to sing the lead on it (shuddering at the thought!).

I agree that Sub would be a great choice for doing a demo/work for hire.

Kevin
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 02:03 PM

Just a warning. Do not assume that a recording is your property unless you either get a "work for hire" agreement or the work was recorded under an appropriate union contract. Are you likely to encounter a problem? No, not hardly...only if you get very lucky and your song is wildly profitable. In that case, it is possible you may spend a lot of that money you make on legal woes.

Of course you may have a different opinion, so go ahead and do what you wish smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 02:04 PM

£35 around $70 US per hour is the average studio cost here in the UK and that usually includes an engineer who can set up drum loops plus play keys and guitars on request. They will sometimes work on a cost per song rate if you work a lot with them and they will take your song as far as it needs to go. I get great deals because I work with them a lot. I also know a few great guitarists who will lay down a guitar part pro recorded for around £100 ($200 US) again negotiable depending on how much work you give them and how well you know them. The same with drummers and keyboar players etc.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 02:20 PM

Hey guys, how about moving the conversatioon to.....

http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/622763/page/1#Post622763

We're getting thread drift !

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 02:35 PM

Big Jim: Based on your numbers, If wanted your songs recorded with vocals and 4 players, it would cost you around $70 + 200*5 or just over a $1,000 per hour. Is two songs per hour unreasonable if these are top notch studio musicians? Or does it take a vocalist longer?

Edit: Nite, your right, this detailed discussion probably doesn't belong here.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 05:22 PM

I only wanted to know about song contests, Ourstage, LOL.
Guys I posted this question in the mentor forum...Please move the discussion there. We don't need to hijack this thread.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 05:50 PM

Hey Bill, We did ! Scroll up !

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/05/08 11:10 PM

Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Just a warning. Do not assume that a recording is your property unless you either get a "work for hire" agreement or the work was recorded under an appropriate union contract. Are you likely to encounter a problem? No, not hardly...only if you get very lucky and your song is wildly profitable. In that case, it is possible you may spend a lot of that money you make on legal woes.

Of course you may have a different opinion, so go ahead and do what you wish smile


LAST tangent..

Mike, I cannot fathom what legal principle the musicians would use to justify any claim to a track where their performances were recorded. The writer pays them to perform. They didn't write anything whatsoever. Again, unless there is some sort of union imposing rules, by *default*, I don't see how the musicians would really have a position.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/06/08 02:50 PM

I logged on to Ourstage today to find that my song Summertown has been moved from Americana to Singer/songwrter.

LOL - like it will have a fighting chance there grin

Funny - I thought that song is as Americana as you can get. I reckon maybe the definition has migrated some since I first started hearing people use it. I should have been suspicious when I saw that the genre is really titled Americana/Alt Country.

The irony of the fact that I was one of the ones complaining about people putting songs into the wrong genre is not lost on me. grin

I was thinking about having it pulled - then I watched Vikki's video and thought, "Lighten up, Bro" grin

Scott
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/06/08 04:44 PM

Scott,
Trying to figure out the Genre's is lost on me.
I saw one Artist that had a song in several category's and they all sounded the same, and the songs were all pretty high in the rankings.
I have a song in Acoustic and it is face down at the bottom....behind some that are Rap, Rock, Metal, Instrumentals, ETC and some that I don't have a clue what they are because they are really bad, LOL.

Have you noticed they only have one Country Channel, everything is on there. Southern Rock, Rockabilly, Traditional, County Pop, Bluegrass, You name it.

I'd just go ahead and put it where you think it will do best and let them move it if they want.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/07/08 03:19 AM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson

I'd just go ahead and put it where you think it will do best and let them move it if they want.


Yeah, I agree Bill. Just wish they would have chosen something other than singer/songwriter. I'm going in with, at most, half of those grin

Scott
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/07/08 03:34 AM

I have entered a song "Play that funky music" in Cover bands. So far it is doing OK jumped up to twenty for around 50. It would stand a chance if all the non cover stuff was removed.

They really need to get the categories sorted out and weed out the of topic stuff. I am fed up flasgging stuff. Never hear if anything gets done.

I also noted that some artists against the rules still had multiple entries in a category. This prob seems to have been sorted after I reported this so we are getting somewhere.

I think there should be a stop to late entries. I notice that some people are removing songs not doing too well and replacing them with another song. Surely that should be against the rules.

I maintain that all songs should be auditioned and vetted for quality and topic suitability before being allowed to be entered into a category. All songs should be entered before the start of the month and no late entries should be allowed. That makes sure that all songs are on a level playing field. The Q/finals should be stopped. That is when the fair voting ends and tactical voting TAKES OVER.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/07/08 03:49 AM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES

I think there should be a stop to late entries. I notice that some people are removing songs not doing too well and replacing them with another song. Surely that should be against the rules.

I disagree. I think your chances are much better of doing well with an early entry. But if another song that's better than mine comes in late and does well, that's fine with me.

But I have an entirely different view of OurStage than you do...and it's not because of all that whisky you drink...I view it as a showcase, whereas you view it as a contest.

If I won $5000, I'd be very pleased and surprised. $100 I don't care so much about. (Being from Scotland, of course, you'd happily bash my head in with a golf club for a hundred bucks...but I feel pretty safe over here in Minnesota. wink ) What I do care about is getting my work in the public eye, and I think this is great for that. Winning...that's overrated.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/07/08 03:53 AM

Hey Mark It is a showcase and nothing more. I view it as a bit of fun. However I have the sort of mind that likes to see people play fair form a level playing field.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 12:59 PM

Originally Posted by Scott Campbell
I logged on to Ourstage today to find that my song Summertown has been moved from Americana to Singer/songwrter.

LOL - like it will have a fighting chance there grin

Funny - I thought that song is as Americana as you can get. I reckon maybe the definition has migrated some since I first started hearing people use it. I should have been suspicious when I saw that the genre is really titled Americana/Alt Country.

The irony of the fact that I was one of the ones complaining about people putting songs into the wrong genre is not lost on me. grin

I was thinking about having it pulled - then I watched Vikki's video and thought, "Lighten up, Bro" grin

Scott


I had a song taken out of Americana too, they tried to place it in country but I already had a song there,so now my song sits as unentered. I thought traditional country would fit in Americana, I guess not. They are splitting up others genres into subgenres, why not do the same for country, there are certainly enough country styles out there.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 05:57 PM

I see they have a Southern/Blues Rock channel now.
Not sure I get that. I'll have to check the definition of it.

Seems they like lots of Rock, Metal, and RAP Sub-genres.
Not much interest in Country Subs.

Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 05:58 PM

Hey, have any of you folks been having trouble with the Ourstage page over the weekend? When I pull up my profile page, everything is out of place and the "Ourstage Live" window won't load. And when I click on the "show all" button under the songs, it takes me back to the top of the page. Weird. Anyway, I can't figure out if it's a problem on their end or on my end.

Eric
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 06:14 PM

I had problems getting Ourstage to load. I was also having Problems getting logged on to JPFolks.
I was getting could not connect errors.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 06:26 PM

Bill...and all,

The only problems I've had with OurStage is that the paired songs for judging are taking a lifetime to load. So, I sometimes just give up rather than often wait as much as two full minutes for one pair of sings to load.

As far as JPF, for the past couple of months there have been multiple times when the site simply would not come up. And, on occassion, if it, I couldn't migrate among the various threads. The process weould just time out. It gets pretty frsutrating! If it were my computer, I would have that problem all the time. I can come back an hour later and the site comes up fine with normal navigation...and I haven't done one thing to my computer, other than clicking on my Internet icon. All other sites, SongRamp, OurStage, Soundclick, AirPlay Direct, etc, load normally. Whio knows!

Alan
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 06:49 PM

Al
I have been having the same problems. Usually I just go do something else and check back later.
I do check other sites to make sure it is not a problem on my end.
Myspace, soundclick, Google, my own site, all seem to work just fine.

I have waited as long as one hour to get on JPF.

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 07:25 PM

I also have experienced the same.

OURSTAGE is taking ages to load and sometimes just silver spinning discs appear while it is loading the page and stay there eventually I have to come out and visit back later.


JPF Sometimes nothing happens and the system freezes up when trying to change page or post a thread the spinning icon in the browser just spins. It is frustrating I have to copy paste thread and log off then log back on. It seems to be happening more regularily.

It is possible that the site engines of both are not capable of the heavy traffic they all of a sudden are experiencing.
Posted By: Scott Campbell

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 07:46 PM

I have had a really weird thing happen here at JPF. A few months ago I clicked the donate button to make a donation and my computer froze up. A little message at the bottom of the screen said "trying to load images from Paypal" or something like that. I kept trying and got the same message all the time.

Now the "Donate now" button is on the main forum page and it locks my computer up every time. So I downloaded FireFox and use that instead of Explorer and there is no problem. And I use Explorer on my machine at work and there is no problem. So something is wacky on my machine at home.

Yeah, I lose patience with the loading at Ourstage too....

So as to not be accused of thread drift, my song "Summertown" was moved to Singer/Songwriter and quickly fell into the 500's. But it has started to rebound and is currently 335 or so...

Sadly, my song in the folk category, "Bid Adieu, Gwendolyn" has fallen to the 200's after being as high as 9th. grin

One other interesting thing - for the first time, one of my songs came up while I was judging. Purely as a test (honest grin ) I said that I liked it very much more than the other entry. It fell four places grin

I have to admit, Ourstage is pretty fun - I'm enjoying it. smile

Scott

Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 08:13 PM

My song "Tropic Of Candy Corn", in the Latin Channel, is currently at #34. The other three are all 166 or lower, but, at one time, a couple of those three were in the top 20 in their channels.

"Tropic Of Candy Corn", over the past several days, has charted anywhere from 9th to 91st...quite a variance in just 3 or 4 days!

Jim, yeah, the two spinning silver discs is what I get when the songs will not load. I think it is simply a case of the traffic overloading the bandwidth. I would do as lot more judging, as time allowed, if I didn't have to wait so long for the danged songs to come up.

Scott, I have experienced the same thing that you just mentioned. I have voted on my songs (2 of them...one five times, one 2 times), and I have voted what I thought was an honest vote. I voted against one of my songs once because i really thyought that the other song was much better. the other six times, I voted either "slightly more' or "more" for my song. Each time, my song fell in the ranking. I had a private discussion with Michael Borgess about this. If it happened occassionally, I would totally dismiss it due to other voting. But, when it happens "every" time, I have a certain amount of suspicion.

there are other issues that concern me. But, all in all, I enjoy having my songs there and
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 08:13 PM

My song "Tropic Of Candy Corn", in the Latin Channel, is currently at #34. The other three are all 166 or lower, but, at one time, a couple of those three were in the top 20 in their channels.

"Tropic Of Candy Corn", over the past several days, has charted anywhere from 9th to 91st...quite a variance in just 3 or 4 days!

Jim, yeah, the two spinning silver discs is what I get when the songs will not load. I think it is simply a case of the traffic overloading the bandwidth. I would do as lot more judging, as time allowed, if I didn't have to wait so long for the danged songs to come up.

Scott, I have experienced the same thing that you just mentioned. I have voted on my songs (2 of them...one five times, one 2 times), and I have voted what I thought was an honest vote. I voted against one of my songs once because i really thyought that the other song was much better. the other six times, I voted either "slightly more' or "more" for my song. Each time, my song fell in the ranking. I had a private discussion with Michael Borgess about this. If it happened occassionally, I would totally dismiss it due to other voting. But, when it happens "every" time, I have a certain amount of suspicion.

There are other issues that concern me. But, all in all, I enjoy having my songs there and I do enjoy the process of judging. I am still a supporter of theirs. But, I have a realistic point of view, I think. I feel that it is probably the fairest of similar sites out there, but still has numerous issues. I am not convinced that the voting cannot be marginally compromised. marginal is OK, I guess. My biggest complaint is the lack of sub-genres. Country and Jazz are NOT one size fits all!

I am willing to give them more time and see what happens. It's an evolving process. But, my patience does have a shelf life.

Alan
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 08:35 PM

Al I am with you 100% I like Ourstage a lot. There are a few issues and problems with Ourstage it has teething problems no doubt. I am realistic enough to realise that there is no perfect system. I think they are listening but perhaps taking too long to respond to the main probs. The problems are not going to be resolved however if people claim it is fine and hide their heads in the sand or criticise folk for highlighting the problems and concerns.
Like you I am not bitching just trying to get the thing working better and fairer by pointing out flaws and problems.
Posted By: Barry Winslow

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 10:31 PM

Wow Brian, I thank you for the OurStage opening too. I want to thank those who are listening to my tune and voting.

"Yielded Vessel" off my first CCM project "Transition" started off at #453 a week ago, and is now at #30.
Again, thanks everyone.....it's appreciated greatly.

Barry Winslow
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 11:05 PM

Big Jim,

Yeah, we're in agreement. Not really bitching a lot...just expressing where my concerns are and that I am willing to them a reasonable amount of time to take care of some issue. And I know that they will not all be resolved to my liking. But, I'm hoping that Country and Jazz will have a couple of sub-genres real soon and that they will have a better system of dtecting who has loaded more than one song in a particualr genre/channel. The rest of it is of lesser concern for me. Take care, my friend!

Alan
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/08/08 11:08 PM

Barry,

Welcome to JPF! And I'm happy to hear that your song is doing so good. Congats on that!

Do you mind saying what of Missouri you are from? I live 30 miles west of St. Louis in Lake Saint Louis.

Continued success with your music!

Alan
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 02:19 PM

My problem is getting played, one song has had only two plays and we are 1/3 of the way through the month.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 02:59 PM

Hi Everett the amount of plays has nothing to do with voting it is the amount of times your song has been played by people not judging but just having a listen to your song. Similarily if a song is selected as a fav this has also nothing to do with voting. It is just someone who has listened to your song independantly of voting they mark it as their fav.

The actual amount of times any song has been voted on is not published. I think it would make interesting reading though.
I suspect that some songs get more battles than others and this accounts for some songs being well out of position.
Posted By: Barry Winslow

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 04:30 PM

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the kind words my friend. I was living just east of Springfield, but now moving to Sault Ste Marie MI......yeah, a bit of a weather change.
Great success to you too Alan. Keep up those great chops. Shout anytime.
Barry
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 04:42 PM

Barry,

Yeah...big change! Were you down around Strafford; or were you out on 160 towards Rogersville? Almost all of my family lives in or near Branson. My father is buried there. My mother, two brothers and a sister all live in Branson or very close. I'm the only musician in the family and the only one who doesn't, and has never lived in Branson! Take care. The coming winter should be interesting for you!

Alan
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 05:03 PM

I am curious how they initially rank a song when they move it from one channel/genre to another. They created a new channel. "Tropical Music", which is appropriate for my song "Tropic of Candy Corn". Before they moved it, it was in the top 12% of latin, floating between 21st and 30 most of the time. When they moved it to "Tropical", yesterday, it was put dead last.

I wouldn't have a problem with my song being moved if it had been my error in channrl/genre placement. But, I don't think it should be moved, just because they created a new channel, in the middle of a competition. If the new channel existed before the competition and I overlooked it, bad on me. But, according to the email I received, the three new channels, including "Tropical", were not employed until June 6th...after the June competition had already begun. I had not originally entered the song in the "wrong" channel, because "Tropical" did not exist when I entered my song on June 1st. The new channels should have been initially employed at the beginning of a new monthly competition, not in the middle of one. That is what really rubs me wrong.

I have been a very strong and vocal supporter of OurStage from the very moment they came aboard as JPF partners. I always try to support those ewho support my interests. I am now very unhappy with OurStage. Rather than go on a big rant here (which is so tempting), other than the breif explanation I gave above, I think I'll just refrain from participating in the future and leave it at that. I'll not make a big deal of my dissatisfaction unless someone asks my opinion about them. Then, I will be honest about my feelings, saying no more than what I have said above.

Alan
Posted By: Barry Winslow

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 06:38 PM

Alan,

No Sir, we were in Houston MO....North Hwy 63,south of Rolla......nice little town. Yeah Partner, I can relate to the "only musician" deal...I spent 15yrs in Nashville, and outside of doing a few sessions, never did "get anywhere" 'till I moved away. Strange, but so are we as musicians :O)

I was hoping to meet someone thats doing CCM in Branson. Seems like that would be a great place to play.

Hope to be working in the south this winter...I hear that some winters need a snowcat to plow a way for the snowplow trucks to be able to work....too cold for this monkey.
Gotta run but talk to soon.

Barry
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 06:39 PM

Al You are just like me two old farts that like a good moan every now and then. LOLOn a serious note it would do no harm for Ourstage to have a look at the categories. I am sure there are some that are so large they could be subdivided to make life easier. It would also help if they gave guidelines and conditions as to what the actual qualifying criteria is for each category. This might persuade people to put their songs in the correct category. So far it seems that there are more wrongly categorised songs than those placed properly and correctly. There is more than one category for Rap and R&B yet this type of music appears frequently in almost every other category I have looked at. I am fed up reporing off topic songs.
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 06:59 PM

Barry said "No Sir, we were in Houston MO." How cool is that? that's my old hometown... smile

and to stay on topic, TwinnCampbell was 27 in americana last time I checked smile
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 07:04 PM

Al, I understand your annoyance. But you also should notice that there are only 46 entrants in Tropical, and you said you were as far down as 91st with "Tropic of Candy Corn" while still in the Latin category. Now I see you at 22, already halfway up from last, and climbing.

Doesn't it appear that they have actually given you an easier field to conquer?
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 07:29 PM

Mark,

I agree that with so few entries, the field is an "easier negotiation". But, that's not what I am looking for. If I were to win, i want it to be on the merit of the song, not the fact that it has limited competition. I simply abject to the fact that when I was in the top 12% of the original channel, that I was added at the very end of the new channel. I understand that everyone else who was transfered to this new channel held their respective positions in the previous channel. We should have been integrated accordingly, by the respective positions our songs held in the previous channel. I was in the top 12% in Latin. I should be behind anyone who held a better percentage ranking in their previous channels, and ahead of those who held a lower percentage ranking. That would have been fair, in my opinion. It is the proncipal that since I was, apparently, the last one moved, at that tinme, I was arbitrarily placed in the last position. That is what irritates me. I'm not looking for an "easy win". I do not appreciate the fact that it was, apparently, an arbitrary placement, rather than a placement based upon accomplishment up to the point of being moved. Any previous merit that my song received is simply ignored. That's my beef.

But thanks for offering your opinion on it. I appreciate the fact that you offered another point of view. And good luck with your entries. You're a "GREAT" musical talent!

Alan
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 07:36 PM

Barry and Louis,

Houston, MO. you say? Well I'll be danged! I have many relatives in that area. My sister lives in West Plains.

My great aunt, Lottie Jane David, married Henry Newton Price and they lived right outside of Houston almost all their married life. They both died in the 1970's and are buried there.

I have been to Houston on countless occassions doing family history research. I'm a genealogist. I have relayives in and around Houston, Allewy Springs, Emminence and Summersville. My mother lived in Rolla for quite a few years after my father died. What's that old saying about small world?

Alan
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 07:40 PM

Louis,

I judged your TwinnCampbell entry three times. Gave it "slightly more" twice and "more" the other time. Good song!

Alan
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 07:45 PM

I'm not sure you're actually "last" when you are placed into a new category. I think you might have something more like a "no vote" status, and that placement at the end of the row probably doesn't matter once the voting begins...I might be wrong about that though.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 08:07 PM

Mark,

I'll try to be optomitic and assume that you are correct! Thanks for your thought.

Alan
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 11:30 PM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
There is more than one category for Rap and R & B, yet this type of music appears frequently in almost every other category I have looked at. I am fed up reporting off topic songs.

Jim,
I've been reporting a lot of Off-topic songs, especially in New Age / World where I normally enjoying hearing some very fresh & talented work. It's mostly RAP, HipHop & Electronica that are the culprits, and a lot of them have also been offensive with their lyrics, gangsta style rap and images, etc.

I'm with you, "fed up" up with having to report all this, because if we don't, it will just stay there and make for a bad/worse experience. I think the fans are tired of having to "mop up" after a bunch of shameless, self-promoting artists that don't know what they're doing and are ruining a good thing for the rest of us, artists and fans included!

Regards,
Michael
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/09/08 11:47 PM

Well I put a song up in the new Southern Rock Category.
While judging I had three songs come up that were covers. I am not sure but I don't think they are suppose to be there so I reported them

When My song was uploaded it went to number 66 out of 77. that was it's starting point.
It stayed there while I was voting.
To my surprise it came up for a vote and it was against the Number one song in the channel.
I decided to test what I have been reading. I voted my song better by "more". Actually I liked the other song. I still think mine is better but we all know how that goes, LOL

When I checked my song later it had dropped to next to last place, 86 out of 87. Guess you can't get much worse than that..

It had also already had 47 plays in less than a 24 hour period.
Strange. I have a couple other songs that I uploaded two weeks ago and they only have 7 or 8 plays. Curious,

I think I'd rather see how many times it was judged rather than how many times it is just played.
I don't know what's going on. LOL.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 12:13 AM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
I think I'd rather see how many times it was judged rather than how many times it is just played.

Bill,
I agree! Actually, it would be nice to see both, since they are tracking everything anyway, so it would be interesting to compare how many times a song got judged over a 1 month contest period and compare with how many times it got played from visitors and fans, etc. which had nothing to do with the actual voting part.

For example, they could show it like this:
Song plays = 500 (by fans and visitors)
Contest plays = 1,000 (by judges during voting process)
Total plays = 1,500

That would be a "no brainer" for them to set up because it's just very basic statistics. I'm sure the most popular songs will go on to get many more plays from fans than only from the judging/voting part of the site.

Michael
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 12:24 AM

"I judged your TwinnCampbell entry three times. Gave it "slightly more" twice and "more" the other time. Good song!"

Hey thanks Al.... Hey we could be cousins or something. I probably knew of some of your relatives.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 12:37 AM

Originally Posted by Louis
"I judged your TwinnCampbell entry three times. Gave it "slightly more" twice and "more" the other time. Good song!"

Hey thanks Al.... Hey we could be cousins or something. I probably knew of some of your relatives.


Louis...

Being cousins would be a good thing...especially from my POV. It's just the "something" that has me a bit nervous!

Alan
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 12:52 AM

lol... well you know how it is in the hills smile
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 06/10/08 01:43 AM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 02:10 AM

Tammy
It has been explained that the number of plays listed has nothing to do with the judging.
It is only the number of times someone has sought out and listened to your song.
They do NOT list how many times your song has been judged
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 02:37 AM

We've got a song entered in Tropical genre under TwinnCampbell and it's already gotten 696 listens, man that's a lot for one week.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 03:20 AM

Tammy, Bill & Louis,
Again, as Bill reminds us, song plays has nothing to do with how many times it got played (or rotated) in the judging/voting event. That's why I would like to see OurStage clearly report both amounts of plays: how many times a song got played only in the voting process and seperately, how many times a song got played from normal vistor and fan listening usage.

That's it for today... short, sweet & simple. wink
Thanks,
Michael
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 04:30 AM

I have no clue as to how this OURSTAGE thing works...

ALL I can say is I end up voting for certain match-ups 4-5 times before I ever get to my tune....EVERY SINGLE DAY.....

I didn't see Marks "20 chickens for a saddle for 3 days"....But several other songs 10 plus times in the meanwhile..........And Michelles song came up only once, same with Bill Robinsons....Mike Dunbars tune came up 2x so at least one of us got some "love".....

SORRY GUYS I'M A HOMER.....JPF'S members always get my vote.............

Also my song in Male Singer/Songwriter has languished in the 500-700 range consistently....

Today at work it was ranked 700th....4 hours later when I got home it is at # 229.....

All of a sudden I'm picking up that many votes/spots ????? In 4 hours ????

Something's not right....

But I look at it as solely as a place to play my music for new listeners....



Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 05:03 AM

Originally Posted by Louis
We've got a song entered in Tropical genre under TwinnCampbell and it's already gotten 696 listens, man that's a lot for one week.


I'm three of those listeners! And happy to be!

Alan
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 05:15 AM

Louis
That is a lot of listens. That many folks seeking out you songs means something, even if as Al says he listened 3 times.
Someone is listening and I'd say liking what they hear
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 05:22 AM

Thanks Bill, yeah I was kindof shocked when I saw the stats...It's only been there a week maybe.

Hey thanks Al smile
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 05:49 AM

Well, heck, guys! I have one with almost a thousand listens and one with over 500. And neither of them has been "favorited"...not even once. The one with over 500 listens has only been up for 7 days. Interesting!

Alan

PS: My "Tropical" entry now stands at 23.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 06:38 AM

Hey Al
Count me in for at least a couple.

Well I don't have near that many but I got favorited a couple times.
But I think I did one by accident, LOL

Funny...it lets you favorite yourself, Ha!
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 01:04 PM

Well my cover song "The Letter" has had 1780 plays since May 2nd and was favourited 21 times. Still did not finish in top ten out of just over 100 songs. Other songs that finished well above me had fewer plays and been favourited even fewer times.

My conspiracy theory is that people check the competition in the charts before judging and deliberately vote the better songs which threaten their song down.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 05:19 PM

Well this is strange.
Maybe not strange, maybe no one is voting.

I have been watching the Southern Rock Channel.
I put my song there two days ago.
It got 47 plays in the first 12 hours or so. Not a single play in the last 36.
There were 99 songs yesterday morning. My song was at 97. I wrote down the last 5 place songs to see what they did.
My song was at 66 until I voted it better than the number one song. My song immediately dropped to second to last, LMAO.

The last 5, including mine, have not moved. The number of songs in the channel keeps increasing but the last five stay the last five, except one. It moved about 10 places. So new songs enter before them rather at the end of the list. So they start out higher before they are even voted on. Now I do understand it will probably get sorted out over time. I will watch the channel for a couple weeks.

This morning I have been judging for 1 1/2 hours in the Southern Rock Channel.
I have seen some songs come up 4 or 5 times, mostly front runners. But the last 10? I have seen three of them one time. one song came up 2 time. But it was against a song I had seen several times.
One song came up 8 maybe 9 times.
How are they supposed to move if they never get voted on?
I don't get it.

Edit
Ok in the last twenty minutes I have seen one of the last 10 come up 3 time.

But I am still seeing the same songs I seen an hour ago over and over it seems. Some songs 8 or 10 times.

I have yet to see these songs which were last when I started this morning. How are they supposed to move if they never get voted on?

Yelp
I've Had My Fill
Everybody Gets The Blues
One Hell Of A good Storm

Well It has been over two hours of voting.
I just voted on the number one song for the 6th time.
I have yet to see any of the 4 songs I have listed above.

Can anyone explain that to me?
One thing has changed, a new song has entered the last five. It was one I saw and I voted on several times, LOL. poor guy.

I have two songs up for vote right now, Both of which I have seen at least 6 times. I have still not seen the four songs listed above.

OK Last Edit on this post.
It has been about 2 1/2 hours.
I am still seeing the same songs over and over again. One I know has come up at least a dozen times.
Those four I listed above. I have still not seen them.

Now maybe this will sort itself out in the end but if this were the last day of voting it would definitely influence who gets into the Semi's. How could a song improve its position if it is never voted on.
I undersatand it is weeks of voting but if this is any indication something just seems off.
I will try again later and see what happens.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
My conspiracy theory is that people check the competition in the charts before judging and deliberately vote the better songs which threaten their song down.


Big Jim...I have thought that for quite some time. I try to ne honest with my votes. I have twice voted another song higher than mine because I honestly thought that the other song was indeed much better than mine. But, it sure is painful to do that! But, I think you are right about some (not all) folks in the Top Twenty or so will often check the raniking and vote down songs that are charted higher than theirs.

In an earlier post I had commented that I might not participate in the future. Mark's comment dissuaded me from that. But, I may not hold the contests in such high regard as I have in the past. I will stay and enter songs; but until something makes me think otherwise, it will be more for the opportunity to have my songs heard than for the sake of the contest.

I have experienced much the same thing that Bill has in his post before this one...some sonmgs coming up multiple times, others almost never. And I hasve the same observation that it APPEARS that the higher ranked songs do get more views. I haven't kept any "records" regarding frequency; but my memory tells me that. I hope I am wrong and that they will show me that I am wrong.

I am very open...even hopeful...to have my concerns disproved. I have been a big advocate and vocal supporter of OurStage up until the past couple of days. Just a few simple explanations could assauge my concerns. I leave the door wide open to have my percpetions changed back to 98% positive.

Alan
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? *DELETED* - 06/10/08 09:00 PM

Post deleted by TAMERA64
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 09:13 PM

In the finals, those top songs are the only game in town. It makes sense that you are in the spotlight then, and tons of fans are suddenly giving you another listen.

I think that's awesome.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 10:49 PM

Hi Tammy I agree with you on major flaws however I think you have missed the point re listens. The number of listens has nothing to do with judgements. It is the number of times people whilst not judging have decided to listen to your song. It stands to reason that the top twenty songs get a lot of attention during finals therefore more listens.

My conspiracy theory relates to that point. I believe that during finals people constantly check positions and vote tactically according to a song's position. They will vote favouring lower placed songs against songs they want to drop in position and then keep adjusting their votes accordingly preventing any one song climbing against their own.

To do this they must constantly keep looking at chart positions and this will register as a play.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 11:38 PM

Well I am no longer looking at this as a contest.
There have been 20 songs added to the Southern Rock Channel since this morning.
The 4 songs that I mentioned earlier are still in the last 5. That means all twenty of the new songs started out at a higher position. They already have an advantage. It is the tenth day of voting and those 4 songs have to play catch up to the songs that were entered today.
I don't see why a new song is entered ahead of songs that have been there for ten days.

How can a contest be fair when some songs are getting rotated in a dozen times and some songs none.

Maybe their algorithm is planned that way. I don't know anything about that stuff. If a song is favored more maybe it gets played more but as far as I can tell those four songs are not getting judged at all.

I think I am about done fooling with this site.
I'll try one more round of voting for a couple hours to see if I get the same results. If I do then I think I'll just leave my songs where they are and not participate any more.

I am not passing judgment on the site. This is just what I observed during the few hours of voting I did this morning.

I couldn't manipulate my song if I wanted to. It never came up for voting.

The only time it did was once yesterday and to test what I have been reading I decided to vote it better than the song it competed against. The good thing was it came up against the number one song and even though I did think the other song was darn good I still liked mine better. I voted for my song and The next time I checked my song was in last place, LOL.

I also ran into covers that were there yesterday. I reported them. They are still there. I assume you are only supposed to put covers in the cover channel. All other channels are for original music only. I might be wrong about that.

So lesson learned. Don't vote your own song better. you get penalized.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/10/08 11:52 PM

Bill I get the impression that you are not alone. I think Ourstage has some obvious problems that need fixing fast. We can only point these out and the rest is up to them.
They appear to be tinkering with irrelevant stuff or introducing gizmos and novelties outwith the competition rather than fixing the major problems. With more traffic these flaws will only get worse.

Perhaps we should ask Brian to get an official statement from Ourstage explaining what measures they are employing to fix the system to deal with our concerns and reassure us that these matters are being dealt with.
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 04:21 AM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson


So lesson learned. Don't vote your own song better. you get penalized.


Hey Bill...

I made mention of that on the previous page. Every time I voted my song more favorable than the song it was paired with, my song lost ranking very drastically. Thanks for adding a note in support of that supposition.

I am trying to remain optomistic. I guess I'll continue to enter songs, but view it as only an opportunity to get listens rather than as a contest. If I should ever win anything, so much the better. I makes me inclined to not vote anymore because I feel that I cannot vote fairly without penalty. The one time that I voted the song paired with mine better than mine, my ranking remain generally the same. Every time, without exception, that I voted my song better, I took a big hot on ranking. A couple of insatnces could eb purely conicidental. EVERY TIME...I'm not so sure.

Alan
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 05:42 AM

I just gotta ask because this seems so obvious to me. If the contest is for the month of June, why would they even allow songs to be entered after midnight of May 31? If I wanna put a team in a basketball tournament that starts on a Thursday, would they let me wait til Saturday to enter? Just skip over the first couple rounds of competition? I doubt it. Why not just have a cutoff on the last night of the month for entering songs for the following month?

Just my two cents worth
Eric
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 05:49 AM

If you enter songs during the finals at any time, they won't enter in the top rankings.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:38 AM

Originally Posted by Al David
Every time, without exception, that I voted my song better, I took a big hot on ranking. A couple of insatnces could eb purely conicidental. EVERY TIME...I'm not so sure.

Al
it may be coincidence but I don't think so.
My song was 66th out of 99 songs on the channel....After I voted my song better it dropped to 97th place. second from last.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:50 AM

I think they let people enter over the entire month until the finals start for practical business purposes. It's a free site. They are hoping to recoup to significant cost of running the site via advertising (and in truth, they keep that pretty low key in my opinion which is great). But without continual traffic and a lot of participation all month long, the traffic would be far less and any musician who found the site during the first 3/4ths of the month would likely be impatient to wait around until the start of the next month to see participation results. So they really need to keep it open at least most of the month to increase traffic and participation. Is it perfect? No. But it's reality. We accept music pretty much over the course of a whole year and people will still wait until the last second to enter. And even after that, we get hundreds of emails begging us to extend the deadline, no matter when it was set. Musicians are nothing if not procrastinators. But that fact doesn't help pay the bills when your site is run off advertising.

Ourstage has apparently added some new stuff including live chat. I haven't checked it out, but I am surprised none of you have mentioned it at all. Has anyone used it?

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:56 AM

Bill,

I suspect it's coincidence. I know other people who vote for themselves and that hasn't happened. Since the majority of artists likely vote their songs better than everyone else (whether they admit it or not) a system that moved them all to the bottom would be pointless and it would also cause participants not to vote at all. And if they didn't want participants to vote, they'd either keep you from voting in the first place in genres you were entered in (which would be easy to do) or they'd set up the system so that your song never actually came up. They aren't doing either of those things, so I doubt what happened to you was by design. It would be counter productive to building traffic and participation.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 11:01 AM

Quote
Ourstage has apparently added some new stuff including live chat. I haven't checked it out, but I am surprised none of you have mentioned it at all. Has anyone used it?


This is the first time I heard of it.
OK I went and looked for live chat. Did not find it.
I don't think it matters much when a song gets entered. If you have a song entered you can leave it entered for the next month. If it has not done well this month it may do better the next.
What I don't get is why a new song does not go to the bottom of the pile and have to work its way up. They seem to enter it any where they please.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 11:38 AM

Where do I rank ? Nowhere now ! LOL. The song I entered did so badly in Soft Rock, I thought I'd put it out of it's misery. ( N0 331 out of 630 ) Time for a tactical withdrawl, a re-group ,a bit of a rethink and a good lie down !

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:06 PM

I've spent the morning judging in the folk channel, and I can't make heads or tails out of how the system works. Over the course of the morning, there were some songs came up 8-10 times and others only once. If a song isn't getting viewed for judging, how can it move on the charts? Doesn't seem fair.

Thanks for the heads-up on late entries, Brian. That does make sense since they're a free outfit. I do agree with Bill though that late entries should start on the bottom of the pile.

Eric
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:11 PM

Eric
If you read my post on the previos page I describe 2 1/2 hours of judging in one channel.
I saw the same thing. Some songs come up 8 or 10 times and some song NEVER came up.
That channel only had 99 songs on it at the time I was doing the judging. I see no reason why some came up so often.
I have seen the same thing on other days of judging I just did not actually track them.
Posted By: TAMERA64

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:21 PM

I had the same thing happen on a channel too. It was odd. The same girl came up over and over paired with someone different each time. I guess it is just part of the system perfect or not, that's the way it seems to be going.

Tammy

www.tammyedwards.com
www.myspace.com/tammyedwards2
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:22 PM

Niteshift
Until they give us an accounting of how many times a song is judged I'd leave it there.
When I was tracking the songs I judged some got voted on often and some never came up.
I do not believe the current system is a good indicator of how good or bad your song is. It can't rise in the ranks if no body ever votes on it.
If they can show us how many times a song is played I see no reason they can't show us how many times it is judged.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:27 PM

Tammy

It may be very possible that someone else judging the same channel at the same time I did was seeing my song 10 times and not seeing the songs I was seeing.
I will give them the benefit of the doubt on that.
I am not slamming them at all, just making an observation.

I can kind of understand it when there are 1000 songs on a channel but the channel I was on had only 99 songs.

If and when they start showing us numbers on how many times a song is judged then we will know. Until then I will take a wait and see attitude.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 06:28 PM

Bill,

Seems like a business opportunity for OurStage. For $xx per year you get the "premium membership" option.

-- Full package of listening and judging statistics (including a listing of every judging event)
-- Front page splashes of your band/songs every once and awhile
-- Song critiques
-- and maybe pitch opportunities.

Of course, I would like the judging stats for free, but they are a business and gotta pay the bills.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 07:00 PM

Not sure how to take that Kevin so I will take it tongue in cheek.

I would think a feature showing how many times a song is judged would be no more difficult than how many times a song is played.
They do advertise how unique and complex the judging algorithms are(whatever that means) I would think a stat showing how many times a song is judged would be child's play for them. They already track how many battles I have judged total and this month and how many entries viewed.
The one stat I do care about is not tracked

Anything that even hints at stats being deliberately hidden would be a problem for them as a business.
And they already have the front page rotation and featured bands
And I think pitch opportunities.

I for one would like to know if my song, and others, is even coming up in rotation because from what I have documented it is not.
If you are going to hold a competition everything should be open for inspection.
As far as the competition goes I don't really give a Frack how many times a fan listens to my song outside of the judging. It has nothing to do with it.

All I have been trying to do in my posts is to understand why some songs are being judged and some are not.
I am not the only person who is questioning it.
Some of the folks here are very tolerant of these sites and go out of their way to be optimistic about them and they are wondering the same ting.

Oh and they still have not removed the cover song violations I reported.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 07:49 PM

Exactly where did we get the information that the "Plays" count does NOT count the number of times the song was judged? Wasn't this only confirmed by one source, on these forums? Not to be rude or anything, but it's possible he got the information wrong. dannyjames has gotten some minor info wrong before, regarding the existence of a "Hide" feature in the OurStage profile.

It does not make sense to me that the number does not include # of times judged. The number rises almost exponentially during the final rounds. What is more likely; droves of new people are listening to the songs, or droves of people are VOTING on them? I've monitored my songs carefully, and some of them w/ low play counts have moved in their rank after getting a play. They don't move unless the play count also changes.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 07:55 PM

Andrew if the number includes times Judged that means my song has not been judged for two days.
And during a 2 1/2 hour session I was judging I saw some of the songs 10 times and the 4 I listed not at all.
Does that make sense?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 08:42 PM

Andrew,

Daniel has told me multiple times that the number does not include the judging stats, but only the number of times someone has requested the song outside of judging. To me, that is actually a valuable stat. If someone is forced to listen via the judging cycle, so what. But if I know folks are actually seeking my song out to listen to again or because they like my stuff or because they want to hear more of my work, that has some value.

The reason (and in this case, I am speculating) for not posting the judging totals is that in some genres, people are judging a LOT. Popular genres are likely getting a lot more votes/matches than less popular. If they showed the totals, people would start bitching when tiny genre X only had X number of votes to get in the finals or win while giant genre Y had a huge number of votes to get to the finals. Then we'd have people bitching about that. In addition, it would aid cheaters to know exactly how many times they needed to get their friends to vote bogusly to manipulate the results. In the end, their voting system is proprietary. They don't want to give competitors and others inside info on stats to figure out how they are doing what they do. That's smart business. In the JPF awards, we give out a lot of info, but there are pieces of how we do what we do that we don't reveal because frankly, I have 10 years of development put into getting through a half million songs effectively in an efficient way. I don't care to give away 100% of how we do it so that someone else (the Grammy's perhaps) can swoop in and take it, like they took our judging criteria ("Music that moves you") and used it for their broadcast several years running now like it was their idea and criteria.

Now, as I said, that is my speculation, but if it was me, that's what I would do. There's value knowing if folks want to hear your music when they aren't forced to. There's value to keep the natives from getting too restless when their small genre simply doesn't match up to the larger or more popular ones (and to be clear, just because a genre is huge in entries, doesn't mean it is popular in judging. I know that one of the largest gets some of the smallest numbers of voting because those that enter that genre don't seem interested in voting on it or getting their fans to do so). And I wouldn't really want to divulge every little secret to how the system works (like how I am tracking and dealing with cheaters which some have asked they reveal.. that would be stupid as it would teach cheaters what to avoid).

Gang.. it's a free tool. And it's a very effective tool and service outside of the "contest" portion of it. People are desperate to get folks to hear their music. Even in a worst case scenario, people ARE hearing your music (even if they are forced via judging) and I know when I judged I found a half dozen new artists I really liked and have since tracked to see what they are up to. And that is in the middle of our own awards process and in those cases, they aren't even JPF members.

I am rather amazed at the continual sniping on every little possible nit picking issue when these guys have been so supportive of JPF and our members concerns. How about we reverse the tone a bit on our helpful suggestions to go from bitching to supporting for a change? I am sure most of you intend only to help, but sometimes this type of help become a bummer. How about some of you dig in a little and check out their chat systems. Did you know you can have your own listening party there where the leader of the chats can play songs for all the folks in the room for feedback or as a release party etc? It's a live critique possibility I am thinking of using for JPF. Let's view this as a helpful partner for a while rather than something to complain or be suspicious about.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 09:24 PM

Brian
You are correct
It is a tool and to get the best use of it you must use it effectively.
But, without the Contest it is no different than any other site.
Everything that makes it great is tied to the contest.
I see your point in the cheaters being able to use the stats to try to manipulate the vote. But it seems they are already doing that anyway. All they have to do is look at the rankings.
I still think it would be very hard to cheat on this.

Like I said there is no way I could have manipulated the guy in last place. I NEVER got a chance to vote on the song. It never came up in, now, 4 hours of voting...BUT the songs on the first page....I saw every one of them numerous times.
The guy in last place could have ten thousand fans but it would not matter if they never get to vote on his song.

You can call it Nitpicking if you want but something isn't right. I know what I judged.
I can't devote 24 hours a day into voting, waiting for one song to come up, and I don't think many people can. An hour or two at the most but I am on here all the time. I doubt many FANS would spend much more time either.
I still don't understand how the guy in last place can compete with the guy in first place if the song never gets judged.

If you have an existing fan base that you can call on to vote for you, you will rise in the charts, if you are showing up in the judging. That makes sense.

So Fans of performing artists are the key...well that leaves me out of the competition. I am only a songwriter. This is not a song writer contest it is a performing artist contest.
I can live with that. No complaint at all. I am what I am.

I still have not found this Chat you keep referring too. Where is it?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 09:41 PM

Bill,

You're assuming that other voters are getting the same head to head contests you are. Someone else might find they have seen the song in last place many times. OR.. (and this is speculation only) you don't know that the song in last place isn't there for "other" reasons... i.e. violation of policy for example.

I voted 5000 times in a category and saw every song come up pretty much an equal number of times overall (I actually tracked over 400 songs on a yellow pad to see how it worked). BUT.. some songs would have times where it never came up.. then came up constantly. The system attempts to balance several things... when something was entered.. how it did relationship wise to other songs and how voters rank songs above and below it during the course of voting. I also know they've put in some addition voting mechanics to deal with some issues that I can't reveal. Also, in the near future, I believe we're going to see a really cool new update to the voting system which will REALLY address many of these issues in a way that is very smart. (Again, can't spill the beans yet).

The contest itself is only one relevant thing. (i.e. winning or losing). You need to see the bigger picture. Or not. In the end it's your time, your music and your career. Do what you want. But if I was still pursuing commercial music success, I'd have a lot of different ways to use this site to benefit me. Not the least of which is networking with like artists/writers. Heck, I'd contact all the top ranking ones and get to know them. I'd find some that might want to co-write or even some artists who might want to record one of my songs. These are your peers and the good ones are moving up in the world. Why not mix it up with them. The contest is a key part of this engine, but it's not the end all to the usefullness of the site.

As for the chat.. it's interesting folks don't know about it. I told Danny last week that I hadn't heard of it either. He claims to have sent emails out about it several times. I didn't get them. I wonder how many didn't? I'll bring it up again next time we talk.

Brian
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:01 PM

Bill

The "chat" is called "Judges Chambers." Just click on the button that says Judges Chambers and it will put you in the chat room. You can even get there through the Ourstage Live window.

Eric
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:07 PM

Brian
Glad to hear I am not the only one doesn't know about the Chat.

All anyone can do is report what they experience. I did that.

I am still in favor of this site and believe it will be a good tool.
Each of us has to figure out how it will best serve us, help us reach our goals, etc.
As a songwriter I am dependent on others for my commercial success. So networking is key.
Of course I have to write something worth networking first, LOL.

Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:09 PM

Brian, I love OurStage and I'm really glad that many people I know started participating after you asked me to look into it.

I still believe the "plays" count takes into account judging. I just did a little test. A song came up while I was judging in Electronic/Electro-Pop, called "We Are Many". Before playing it there, I loaded the song individually from the artist's page and clicked on it. It displayed 61 plays. I listened to about 20 seconds. Then I refreshed the page and clicked again. Still only 61 plays. I did this three more times, and the play count stayed at 61. Then I JUDGED the song, listening to some amount over 15 seconds (maybe 50 or so.) When I went back to the song page, it displayed 62 plays.

Just to be sure, I refreshed the page several more times, hitting "play" each time and waiting at least 15 seconds. But the play count never changed. I even tried waiting over 50 seconds after hitting "Play".
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:14 PM

I don't think it counts repeated plays by the same person in a certain time frame. That way artists can't artificially make it look like they are getting huge plays. The Ourstage people use things like how many times something is favorited or played when deciding who to give performance slots to. So it's perfectly logical that it credited the 1 play you requested and that was it.

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/11/08 10:35 PM

Remember that the number of plays are progressive from the time that the song was uploaded. It never recycles back to zero at the beginning of a new contest.
If your song was uploaded in February, it will show the number of plays since Feb. Ben
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 12:42 AM

Quote
Then I JUDGED the song, listening to some amount over 15 seconds (maybe 50 or so.) When I went back to the song page, it displayed 62 plays.


So, Andrew, if I understand it right the plays are registered for Judging? Not for simple plays?

The number one song in Southern Rock has been played(judged) 460 times in 6 days, number two song 366 times in 4 days, my song has been judged 51 times in 3 days.

OK
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 12:49 AM

I still think it's separate plays. The tops songs would of course get more plays because people want to hear what is at the top. It would be stupid to exclude the separate plays... if anything Andrew's experiment showed that the play registered, rather than the vote.

Brian
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 12:50 AM

I actually believe that songs that are more popular are judged more after a certain point. I believe the OurStage system gives all songs a fair shot for a certain amount of time, but as it becomes more clear which songs are more popular (say, 50th percentile and above) and which aren't, it will give more precedent to judging of the more popular songs. After all, while a song placing #400 vs #200 does not really affect the contest at all, a song placing #30 vs #10 makes an enormous difference, as the former position will not make it to the quarterfinals, while the latter one will.

Just theory, perhaps, but the way I've seen my own songs move around, as well as Jill's, over the last few months, I think this has some truth to it...

Either way, I don't have any problem here. Whether or not they show the plays from judging has no bearing on my very high opinion of the site itself, and I don't think it's wrong or right of them to do it whichever way they choose.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 12:57 AM

I know at one time they talked about increasing the voting for the songs at the top.. but I still think a lot of those plays for the top songs are simply because they ARE the top songs, and not directly a result of judging quantity... I often go in and listen to the top few songs in a given genre to see what is up there...

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 12:59 AM

Well it's all a guess at this point.
It's still a good site.

How does Andrew's experiment prove anything. He played it and judged it and it increased 1 point. How can we know which moved it the play or the judging?
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 02:17 AM

Well, my view is that I played it about four times, and the play count didn't increase. Then I judged it. Immediately after, the play count increased. Then, I played it four more times, and the play count didn't increase.
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 02:27 AM

Well my song has held its position bouncing around the 25-27 mark for several days but in the last four hours it has dropped over twenty places. I find it hard to believe that so much voting against my song has take place in such a little space of time to alter its position so much. I also noted that a song which was in a similar position to mine for a similar length of time jumped up the order twenty odd places in the same short time. Something fishy is going on. The same thing happened with this guy's song last month.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 02:28 AM

I'm pretty sure Andrew is right about the play count tracking judging, not regular listens. When my song "Avalon" was in the Music Finals last month, it didn't make it into the top bunch until there were only a couple hours left to vote. And yet it had still gotten thousands of new plays, just like all the others there. It seems unlikely that those numbers could have been only for regular "listening", because most people visiting during that time are voting.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 02:55 AM

I've done a bit of "play" testing and noticed it takes about 5 - 10 minutes before it logs ordinary plays. Seems like I have to clear my cache and reload the page, then sometimes the results show even quicker. It's hard to know what happens while your voting, because you can vote all day long and your song never hardly comes up once, so it's easy to lose track as to how that impacts the play counts.

Here's the bottom line about these play counts:
It appears that Danny and Brian are saying it's only a fan play count, while some of you have experienced (maybe) a mix of fan plays and judging (voting) plays. Regardless, I think OurStage should clearly report what is what, and stick with that.

Example 1:
Song Preview Plays = 300 (from visitors & fans, etc.)
Contest Plays = 500 (from contest judging rounds)
Total Plays = 800 (for this song)

Example 2:
Song Preview Plays = 800 (from visitors & fans, etc.)
Contest Plays = 300 (from contest judging rounds)
Total Plays = 800 (for this song)

Note: The contest data (plays) could be made public or "hidden" by the artists. It would be great to know exactly how many times my songs got voted in any given channel throughout the month or at least by end of month. It's my own personal data which I can chose to share (or not share) with others.

If they simply did this, there would be NO more questions or confusion about where all our "plays" are coming from.

That's my vote! grin
Michael
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 03:00 AM

Songs are getting thousands of plays? One of my songs got up to #13 and the most plays that it shows are 480. My other songs are all under 100.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 03:57 AM

Ben,

That's exactly why it would be stupid for Ourstage, in my opinion, to ever post judging totals. From genre to genre the totals are way different. It's not always based on the number of entries either. Some categories, including the small ones, get judged a lot, so categories, including the biggest ones, get judged very little. In fact, I think there are cases where the smaller the entries, the more judging takes place because when artists vote, they can get their own songs up far more often and thus stay with it longer.

Jim: It's easy to explain what happened to you. You know where people are whining about the same songs coming up over and over when they judge? Well.. if that happens to all songs at different times during voting, that means your song could finally have come up a lot of times in a row and didn't do so well. Other times songs suddenly move way up for the same reason. That seems like a pretty simple explanation to me.

I spoke with Danny again tonight about this. He's going to talk to the tech people once again to make sure exactly what people are seeing so we can solve this once and for all. But in the end, if I were him, I would NEVER show the number of times each song had been judged. It just opens the door for unhappy people to complain and also to give competitors more info than they need.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 04:08 AM

You think people might complain about OurStage?

Naaaa, no way. That could never happen.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 05:10 PM

Brian
If the thing is completely random then it stands to reason we would not see the same songs come up so many times and other songs not at all.
If the programming is as sophisticated as you say it is then I would think it a simple matter to prevent any song coming up more than once in any persons judging session.
I judged for 2 1/2 hours straight on one channel and saw the same songs coming up 8 or 10 times at least. Other songs not at all.
I have been watching the Southern Rock Channel for three days.
The songs in the last 5 positions have not moved yet there have been 45 new songs added. that means those song are being inserted at a higher rank than those last 5 songs.
If the new songs are being inserted in the first page or two a lot of people will see them.
Who goes to the bottom of the pile to listen to songs? Not very many people I suspect.
I find it hard to believe those last 5 songs have never had a positive vote. They might not be the best songs ever but they are a hell of a lot better than some I have heard that are ranked significantly higher.

One suggestion that songs that were "better" would get more voting opportunities is ridiculous. "better" in whose ears... Maybe today a bunch of folks would be voting that really like the song but never get a chance to vote for it because it never comes up?

I still like the site. I think it a good tool. But these problems need sorted out before people get turned off by it.

Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 07:21 PM

Brian I am not whining just applying logic. If the system is random then the results will be random and not a true reflection of mass opinion perhaps placements are down to just opinions of a few. Put another way if some songs get lots of judgements and then others get only a few this will not give an accurate picture of popularity. I also think that songs entered late on in the month can mess up any random program and the whole process. I have noticed that almost as soon as a song is entered it comes up a lot for judgements probably to allow it to play catchup. This must be unfair to songs that have been there a long time. I suspect that the system is too random and too complicated. Because of this a few flaws are occuring and not necessarily are the positions fair or accurate at any given time.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/12/08 08:05 PM

Brian,
I think it wouldn't be a problem as long as people could opt to display or hide the song plays feature. OurStage already has controls for all kinds of enable/disable options, and this way artists can see (for example) how many times their songs were actually played during the voting process for any given month. Theoretically, it would be the same for all artists (songs) in the same channel by end of each month.

For example, if you and I have a song in the New Age / World channel for June, by end of month we would both have gotten the same amount of rotations (judging plays) if we were in the same contest runs, the first 3 weeks, then the quarters for 4 days, the semi-finals for 2 days and the finals for 1 day.

It would be interesting for me to monitor how many vote/plays I've gotten in New Age channel as compared to another song in Instrumental or another channel, etc. It would give artists an idea of where the most voting is going on and which channels are the most active for any given month.

There's nothing wrong or bad about this, it's only the honest, truthful, transparent facts, and again, this info can be solely between OurStage and the artists who have entered songs into any given channel.

On the other hand, if I choose to display it (not hide it), then by end of each contest run all artists should have the same number of rotation/plays, right? The only thing that will vary is that some channels will have more plays then others, but that's to be expected because a channel with 1000 songs is likely to attract more voting/plays activity than a channel with only 100 songs, etc.

In this case I say... let the ARTISTS decide! grin
Posted By: Two Singers

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/13/08 08:47 PM

I had a few minutes to spare (hard to believe!), so I went to OurStage to do some judging. I intended to judge for about 15 - 20 minutes. There is a new (late) entry into the "Tropical" channel, where I have a song in the Top Ten.

This new song came up 17 times in a row! I am not exagerating...17 times in a row. I quite judging a that point. I'm guessing that this is a "catch up" function. If so, I do not think that is fair. If you come in late, you should get no special treatment for "catching up".

It is my opinion that after the 5th day of the month, the contests should be closed to entries...or, if they are allowed, they suffer the consequences af entering late, no "catching up" proveleges.

I am trying very, very hard to keep a positive and supportive attitude to OurStage because they support JPF. Although I've not abandoned them, it seems that continued support is getting more difficult for me. I truly hope that they will make a few changes that will allow me to continue their support. I always try to support JPF partners, when possible.

I have sent a couple of emails (contact us) to them in recent days but have not receicved a reply. I'll wait and see what happens.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/13/08 10:13 PM

Al I have only been looking at the Southern Rock Channel.
I did about an hour this morning. Many of the same songs I saw on my last judging session were coming up plus some new ones. I have a list of the 5 last place songs on that channel. I have yet to see them in 4 days. But the front runners keep coming up.
I don't understand how it all works but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt but if I don't see those last 5 place songs this month I think I'll be done with them. Those songs have not moved from their position in 4 days yet 50 new songs have been added. That just doesn't seem right too me.
But I am trying to stay positive about it

Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/14/08 07:40 AM

Hi Bill,

Daniel from OurStage here. Every song is judged but you're not guarenteed to get a song, even if you do lots of battles. They get distributed across lots of different judgers. That songs on the bottom stay on the bottom, are generally an indication of the fan preference. But you can't determine the judging fairness based only on the songs you are presented to judge.

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Those songs have not moved from their position in 4 days yet 50 new songs have been added. That just doesn't seem right too me. But I am trying to stay positive about it
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/14/08 07:43 AM

Hi David,

That can happen but I agree 17 is a lot of times! We have a high volume of tickets right now so that's why you might not have heard back from us. We try to respond to everyone within 48 hours. Not always possible given the amount of email we receive. But its possible you will be presented with the same song multiple times if that's how the system distributes it. You won't be presented with the same pairings ever.

Originally Posted by Al David

This new song came up 17 times in a row! I am not exagerating...17 times in a row. I quite judging a that point. I'm guessing that this is a "catch up" function. If so, I do not think that is fair. If you come in late, you should get no special treatment for "catching up".
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/14/08 07:46 AM

Not sure where the best place is to respond to the the Play Count question. Battle Views do not count as plays. Folks are already spending too much time trying to figure out what their rankings mean and why they are ranked where they are. That would only inspire more questing!

Originally Posted by Michael Borges
Brian,
I think it wouldn't be a problem as long as people could opt to display or hide the song plays feature. OurStage already has controls for all kinds of enable/disable options, and this way artists can see (for example) how many times their songs were actually played during the voting process for any given month. Theoretically, it would be the same for all artists (songs) in the same channel by end of each month.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/14/08 07:49 AM

The system doesn't weight on popularity. The alogrithm is designed to ensure equality throughout the contest. I can only say that any individual judging experience has no barring oo the collective judging, which is to say, one persons "rotation" is not indicative of all rotations. Does that make sense?

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
I actually believe that songs that are more popular are judged more after a certain point. I believe the OurStage system gives all songs a fair shot for a certain amount of time, but as it becomes more clear which songs are more popular.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/14/08 07:50 AM

Well.. that should put that issue (i.e. the number of plays being outside of the judging system) to rest. Thanks Danny.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 04:21 AM

Quote
Daniel from OurStage here. Every song is judged but you're not guarenteed to get a song, even if you do lots of battles. They get distributed across lots of different judgers. That songs on the bottom stay on the bottom, are generally an indication of the fan preference. But you can't determine the judging fairness based only on the songs you are presented to judge.


OK
Then I guess I have truly misjudged my song and so have the other follks below 157th in the Southern Rock Channel.
The 157th song is a spoken announcement from (I assume) ourstage introducing the new channel.
My song is ranked worse than that announcement and has been since the Day I uploaded it. I guess I was right. I am wasting my time.
I think I might be better off somewhere else.
Thanks for the opportunity.

For those of you doing well, Good luck
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 05:48 AM

Bill,

I think you could take another approach and ask why the songs aren't doing that well. I just listened to the 3 track you have posted. The problem is the vocals just aren't as good as the songs that are doing well. I've said here over and over that if you don't have at least an above average vocal, even on a demo, you're making it nearly impossible for anyone to love your work. (that includes publishers, labels, artists you want to work with or fans). Sure.. in a few cases a song might be so amazing that folks will still connect, but it's like starting a 100 yard dash 90 yards behind everyone else.

Before you take offense to this, there's a huge number of great writers out there who aren't great vocalists. And there's also a lot of singers who are limited that have to be very careful what they sing and when. If you're determined to be an artist, I'd suggest finding songs (or writing songs) that fit your vocal abilities more effectively than those 3. (the song in Contemporary is the closest to working, but that song is hardly "soft rock/contemporary" (which I would consider to be artists like Barry Manilow, The Carpenters, Bread etc.) so it's really out of genre). If you're not stuck on being an artist, then look for some folks who can sing the material you want to write better than you can. Worry less about a full demo and more about finding the right voice to present your work alongside a guitar track. That will get you WAY farther along.

Giving up or leaving simply because you aren't getting the approval you seek is a bad idea if you truly seek approval. Instead you need to learn what it is you're not doing right to connect to folks. You also shouldn't take it personally because very few if any of those voting even know who you are, so it's not personal in any way. If, on the other hand, you could care less what others think about your music, then why get annoyed when you don't rank well? Either way, I don't think your response makes a lot of sense. You've always struck me as someone who wants to get better and find ways to reach listeners and make them want more. Why not use this as a tool (of many) to do just that?

Remember.. there are almost no judges who are screening on the basis of whether you can writer a good song. If they are turned off by a vocal, they are never going to listen long enough to make that determination. And that is an honest and real world hurdle that everyone has to get over to find success or an audience for their work. Those that say recording quality, or far more importantly, vocal performance quality, don't mean anything are likely either selling you something or unaware of reality in this very competitive business.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 06:26 AM

Something about a competition...everyone wants to be the winner.

But there's always only one, and then there's a huge pile of great tunes and songwriting right behind. I still see the value of this place being in getting heard...not the number you achieve.

Hey, I just got another number one on Soundclick! For some reason, no major label has contacted me to congratulate me on that...what's up with that?

I'll keep putting songs up, but not because I'm expecting to win. If I did, I'd be whooping it up...but the reason I put songs up is to get them heard and to see how they fly. I'm glad this place is there.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 06:28 AM

Brian
I am not offended at all
But lets face it...They are voting a spoken announcement by Ourstage Higher than my song. that's pretty sad.
I am not a performer. I am not a singer. They don't have a songwriter channel. They have a singer/songwriter channel.
If the voters are only interested in great vocals or great production then I guess I am not going to do well there.
If they are interested in good lyrics or good story songs I might have a chance but we all know lyrics are usually at the bottom of the list.
I have a couple songs that are demos with excellent vocalists but I am reluctant to put them up because they are Demos, not masters.
The legal issue is still there. I don't think it is legal to earn money from a demo so I don't put them up.

As far as the position of my song in Southern Rock....well if it is that bad...so bad that it cannot even compete with an announcement by Ourstage(Hungry Channels)..... well then I do not deserve to be there.
I at least sing on key and can carry a tune. There are songs on there where the singers are so bad I cringe when I listen to them. Or the recording is so bad you cannot even understand the vocals. But that is just my opinion. You cannot argue with the vote. It is what it is.

Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 06:43 AM

Hey Bill,

Take heart mate. My current entry in Comtemporary did so badly at the bottom of the pile that I pulled it. And apart from the song itself, that song has a top notch vocalist.

Some songs work, some don't. Don't sweat it, it doesn't mean too much in the big scheme of things. Ourstage is a good tool, but not the only one.

Try another song. Rework one over with a better vocalist. ( I can't sing for sh*t, so I'm allowed to say that ) Just take it in your stride, and go write another one. But use Ourstage for what it is, it's a usefull resource.

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 06:55 AM

I'm not sweatin' it Nite.
Even Elvis had a few clunkers.
And I bet the Beatles left a few in the can. LOL.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 03:14 PM

So getting back to the original topic at hand:

Where does your song rank on Ourstage and what categories are you entered in? JPF members have won 3 straight $5000 dollar grand prizes, 2 of which are posters here on the boards. Let's go for 4 in a row!

Brian
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 04:02 PM

Currently:

Roll Daddy Roll 147th in Indie Rock (out of 790)
Sitting By The Fire 275th in Country (out of 425)
Town On The Edge 380th in Americana / Alt Country (out of 509 )
Hey American Dream 587th in Alt. Rock (out of 1012)

I'm probably in the same boat as Bill -- my vox are not winning any fans (and Bill stays on key better than I do!). It would be nice to find a local vocalist to do some lead singing for me, but I haven't looked very hard yet.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 04:54 PM

In the interest in continued participation I will post my results to date.

One Hell of a Good Storm
Southern Rock 160 out of 163
This is really a let down. I thought this a good song.It had good reviews by a couple publishers, Song-U, and a couple Pro critiques.

Remember Me
Country 271 out of 425
But...gets played quite a lot.

Girls With Big Boy Toys
Contemporary/Soft Rock 451 out of 670
Surprising me I thought the title would elicit more plays.

Crazy Redhead Woman
Acoustic 589 out of 807
Another surprise this one went to #1 on Soundclick. Maybe wrong channel?

Yesterday So Many Years Ago
Americana 345 out of 530
Another surprise..I thought this one would do better. It has been favorited tho.

This Would be His Last Time.
Singer/ songwriter 724 out of 1022
Another bit of a surprise. I did think it would do better. But I think it may be in the wrong channel. This is a gritty song. Tough subject.
It has been favorited too.

Well at least I am kind of in the middle on a couple A bit below Average ain't bad for an old man with no training. Ha!

To be quite Honest I thought I would do better. I never expected to win but I also did not expect to be this low.
I have done better on other sites...Curious.

I'd still like to know how many times these come up for judging and who is judging. Is it FANS or PEERS.
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 05:18 PM

"Thanks Again" Southern Rock/Blues 57 out of 163
"The Border Song" Folk 116 out of 437
"Perfect Day" Acoustic 139 out of 807
"Broken Mother's Prayer" Country 261 out of 425

I agree with Brian about people voting based on vocal performance quality; however, I would add that I'm glad Bob Dylan and Neil Young weren't just cast aside because of their vocals.

Eric

Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 05:18 PM

I've got one song, "Papa Hawg" that's 22nd in instrumental now. It was up to 5, dropped back to 93, and has moved up again.

Another song, "Graduation" is 183rd in New Age/World.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/16/08 05:46 PM

"Eldorado" - 56th in Indie Rock
"All I See Is You" - 91st in Folk
"Johnny Put Your Gun Down" - 112th in Hard Rock
"Twenty Chickens for a Saddle" - 196th in Country
Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/18/08 08:53 PM

I just checked on mine for the first time....
"C'mon Big Brother" is 53rd on Southern/Blues Rock
and "I Need A Lover, Not A Mother" is 149th in Americana/ Alt Country. It's a START I guess.
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/18/08 10:57 PM

I'd love to win that 5 G's....I could finish my CD no problem....It's in a holding pattern now........

Anyways New York City Cowboy has been "stuck" consistently for 2 weeks in the 40's & 30's till the last 2 days it's been 'stuck" at #28............It was #1 for most of 1 day earlier in the month and fell to where it stands today

With 6 days to go I'm afraid it's pretty much topped out...and will stay in this vicinity...

For the songs first month in the contest I guess that's good...I believe once fans are familiar with the tune they vote accordingly....




Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/19/08 04:41 AM

Currently I'm focusing on these two:

Peace On Earth - 32 out of 522 in Instrumental

Suave Lluvia (Gentle Rain) - 113 out of 283 in New Age / World

They might be do better if I switched them around, placing "Peace On Earth" in New Age/World and Suave Lluvia into the Instrumental channel. I noticed a lot of songs in Instrumental sounding like they could do well in the New Age/World channel.

On July 1st I might try switching these songs around, but first I'll see how this month goes.
Posted By: Shandy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/19/08 07:31 PM

"Come On Katy" has been hovering around #10 on the Newport Folk channel for about a week now, after slowly climbing up from an initial #200 or so. Fingers crossed... wink

"If I Had A Nickel" has been sitting at #58 or so for a couple weeks, after a pretty lousy finish last month.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/19/08 11:35 PM

I didn't realize you had stuff upt here Shandy. FYI, I think the Newport thing may already have run it's course in terms of getting a slot at Newport. But it's still a viable channel for the contest overall.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 01:35 AM

I sent a message to Ourstage querying a policy of allowing multiple entries. It would appear that some people trying to beat this are withdrawing an entry midway through the month perhaps because it is not doing too well and replacing it with another. I think this is unfair. I have stated before that entries should all be made prior to the start of the month and then all voted on equally for that month's duration. This is the reply that I got back.



"Thanks for the feedback.

People can remove something that is in competition, but cannot replace it.
When they remove it, they lose any ranking they had, up to that point. If they resubmit to the same channel during the course of the month, that new item starts with "0" zero ranking and our ranking engine will serve it up to catch it up with other items in that channel to give it an equal chance of competing, so we do not penalize or prevent artists from starting over during
the month."

I think this is very unfair and spoils the voting system and its engine. It should be stopped immediately so all entries start at the same time and are on a level playing field. Unless I have picked things up wrongly late entries do according to this reply play catchup and get more battles in a shorter period of time so they can compete equally. Where is the equality in allowing people two or more bites at the cherry then allow them more voting opportunities to catchup songs that have been there all month.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 06:50 AM

Jim,

It's fair if everyone gets to play by the same rules. Rather than be pissed about it, use it to your advantage as well. At some point folks are going to have to realize that there is no pleasing everyone. No matter what rules or system you use, there will ALWAYS be people who disagree with it and are unhappy. So at some point, they need to do what is best for their own interests, and if that turns you off, then you'll need to do the same. But as long as everyone can do the same thing, it's not really an unfair advantage.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 07:01 AM

Those late entries would only catch up to songs that have been there all month if they are voted more favorably.

I pulled a song out one month that was doing poorly. I entered another one instead. It tanked. No advantage.

No advantage...unless it's seen to be excellent. And if it was, it would only have done better had it been entered earlier.
Posted By: Bob Cushing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 09:14 AM

Well, It looks like "C'mon Big Brother" is the fan favorite among the songs I've entered. It's now 43rd in Southern/Blues Rock after a week or so.WHOO HOO!{LOL}
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 08:57 PM

I just joined this very cool site and uploaded 3 songs yesterday. So there hasn't been much time for them to be heard. At the moment, here is what I have:

"Band of Brothers" - 431st in Folk
"Agincourt" - 784th in Acoustic
"Fifty Miles Into The Main" - 507th in Americana/Alt Country

I suspect this is normal for the first 20 hours or so, no?

Ken
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 09:02 PM

I couldn't join as "Ken Theriot!" I wanted to ask if anyone else had this problem. The site has someone else already on there with that name (very weird), but there is no profile for that name. So I had to be "Ken Theriot 1."

I doubt there are that many other musicians named Ken Theriot, but Imay be wrong.

Ken
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/20/08 09:56 PM

Ken, joining later in the month hurts your chances at success. At the beginning of each month, because I enter prior to the 1st, my songs are almost always top 20 or top 30 in the early days. Also if you said a profile doesn't exist for "Ken Theriot" but you were not able to use it, it sounds like you tried to register but the registration got canceled, or something to that effect. Message OurStage about it.
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/21/08 06:34 PM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
Ken, joining later in the month hurts your chances at success. At the beginning of each month, because I enter prior to the 1st, my songs are almost always top 20 or top 30 in the early days. Also if you said a profile doesn't exist for "Ken Theriot" but you were not able to use it, it sounds like you tried to register but the registration got canceled, or something to that effect. Message OurStage about it.


Thanks Andrew!

Ken
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/21/08 07:01 PM

Well, "Papa Hawg" on the instrumental channel, slipped all the way down to the nineties, but now it's back at 26 with two days to go. Fun stuff, this OurStage!
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/21/08 11:08 PM

I'm in the same boat with "Funky Music" currently at No 20 in cover bands. It would be nice to get top twenty slots in two consecutive months with two different songs.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 08:02 AM

Michael Borges' wonderful tune "Peace on Earth" is number five in instrumentals, and my "Papa Hawg" is at number eight. There are less than two days left. The suspense builds!
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 03:53 PM

I have pulled all my songs from competition except One Hell of a Good Storm. I moved it to Country. It entered at 426 and had not moved for four days then went to 424.
I am still curios how some songs enter in the top 20 and others start at the bottom. What determines start position?
Also the number of plays on the songs I entered this month disappeared when I removed the songs. It seems they only get counted if the song is in competition. Why is that if the plays have nothing to do with the competition?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 04:19 PM

Bill I am keeping an eye on Ourstage but will probably not enter next month. I do not like some of the rules and I think there are serious issues with the way the program is running. Today the last day of judging before Q finals a whole host of new entries have joined. When judging they are appearing all the time. This catchup is not fair these songs come up many many times in the last day. people who have been voting all month now are only getting mostly the new songs. With that it is easy to jack up the positions. I am also noting that the site keeps crashing again what effect is this having on fair judging.
Posted By: Derek Hines

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 04:28 PM

Hey Big Jim

Wow hope I'm not part of the problem lol. I entered my most recent song and it started at 1180 it's up to 1138 now. I'm not sure I entered at this right time for it to ever be competitive ; however, I also find that the number of genre's is quite limited. I would classify my entry as classic rock; however, there isn't a clsssic rock category and listening to the other stuff in rock I listened to sounded nothing like my entry so I get the feeling mine will go almost completely ignored as a result. I did this as a test and if my song never reaches above the thousand mark I don't think I'll be entering again lol. There are certainly some issues. Overall I like the idea, it just seems there are still some bugs to work out!
Derek
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 05:08 PM

Hi Derek You have just about summed it up. There appears to be many probs regarding just about everything from unfair rules to genre probs which do not fit the songs and the discrepancy in size between the different ones plus the way entries are made. There are also many issues regarding the software the site uses and how it does not appear to be working very well. I think it is a great site and could be much improved but it needs a lot of work and time. They listen to feedback but a lot of the time no proper fix is available.
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 05:26 PM

Hey Guys,

Regarding the limited genres on Ourstage, I emailed them the other day and asked them to put in a bluegrass genre--listening to both the acoustic and folk channels, I've heard a lot of what sounds more like bluegrass. Plus, most of my band's songs sound bluegrassy, so I had a difficult time finding channels in which to enter them. They did get back to me and say that they'd look into it.

I gotta agree about the number of plays being related to the competition. I know Ourstage says that's not the case; however, we have on song in Tropical, which only has about 65 entries. It's gotten over a thousand plays, whereas our songs in the larger channels have gotten around a hundred or so plays. To me, that correlation is obvious because there's just no way that over a thousand people have just searched that song out on their own in the last month.

Eric
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 07:38 PM

The answer to this question about plays is probably due to people checking the positions before voting. This counts as a play. It stands to reason that tactical voters will check the competitions position before saying what song is better in an attempt to boost their song and devalue other songs. It is easier to do in categories that have only a few songs as opposed to thousands. I have noticed that many songs are deliberately being entered in a totally wrong genre because it has less entries. We should report all of these off topic songs so this practice is stopped. There must be a way of subdividing genres so that each category has roughly the same amount of entries.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/22/08 08:13 PM

Big Jim I don't have any problem with Ourstage. They can run it however they want. They don't charge anything.
My decision to pull my songs were personal.

I still see covers in the channels that I reported and they are still there two weeks later. I don't think that's right but it is not up to me. It is there site to run as they wish.
I don't think they care too much for country, LOL.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/23/08 02:59 PM

I have a problem with the lack of sub-genres. My main interest is country and gospel. There is but one heading for country and one for gospel. That would mean a country gospel song would be competing with a rap or hard rock gospel. Or bluegrass country could be up against pop country or western swing.

I won't be entering so many songs this month, there is no place to place them.
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/23/08 08:45 PM

A friend of mine pointed out this site to me last month. I didn't join then because I am already on a few of these type of sites and I don't really want to whore myself to every community/artist site out there.

However, since it is a partner of JPF, I joined today.

I am not going to prod or poke at all. We can use me as a test case. We'll see what happens with my rankings:

http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/manoreza

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/23/08 11:38 PM

Everett,

They have a pretty large number of genres already and as they can accomodate them, they add more. Country also has Americana and Folk which certainly are border genres. I know they've discussed having Bluegrass, but then where do you put Roots and Swing and (on and on). We have 100 genres in the JPF awards... and they have over 40 in their contests. Even we find folks not happy with the numbers we have. As they have enough quality material to expand, they will. The more the merrier for them remember, as they want site traffic.

I was doing a little research and found that they are, in fact, getting a huge amount of site traffic. This was from an independent source. And on top of that, the traffic they get doesn't seem to be musicians much as a percentage, which is what people should want if they hope to reach fans. So it seems to me that they're finding the success they are wanting. And they have no reason not to have 200 genres if they can support them with enough quality entries. So give them time to grow.

Brian
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 07:06 AM

Well, "Papa Hawg," a fingerpick guitar instrumental, made it to the semi-finals in the "Instrumental" category. Now, all it has to do is win that and then win the finals smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 12:39 PM

Well done Mike. My cover of Play That Funky Music scraped in and is currently at #12 in cover bands.
Posted By: Shandy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 03:24 PM

Hey, my "Come On Katy" is sitting at #3 in the Newport Folk channel...
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 04:35 PM

I entered one of my songs ("Getting Started Part 1") in the JVC Jazz Festival Newport contest (I have been to this festival a couple of times and I love it, it would be a dream to actually play it).

I'm listening to the songs at the top of the chart for this category and I have to admit...they are really good!
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 04:47 PM

I made it with two songs in the quarterfinals! "Drum and Bossa" in Instrumental, and "Rainforest Majesty" in New Age/World. I noticed Big Jim is in the quarters as well. Grats man.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 08:32 PM

Hi Niteshift,

The rules with songs are as follows:

Can be moved from a channel if its off-topic
Might not auto-rollover to the next month if it doesn't rank in the Top 50%

You can always enter a song into a channel again, as long is it hasn't been flagged as off-topic for that channel.


Originally Posted by niteshift
Hey Bill,

Take heart mate. My current entry in Comtemporary did so badly at the bottom of the pile that I pulled it. And apart from the song itself, that song has a top notch vocalist.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 08:42 PM

We took the approach we did because we didn't want folks to enter and then "forget". So to address it we invested in the technology to make sure that withdraws don't help and that all content is given an equal # of listens. There is no advantage to one strategy vs. another this way and keeps the artist and fan engaged.

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
I sent a message to Ourstage querying a policy of allowing multiple entries. It would appear that some people trying to beat this are withdrawing an entry midway through the month perhaps because it is not doing too well and replacing it with another. I think this is unfair.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 08:49 PM

FYI...Bluegrass IS the next channel to launch. Stay tuned.
Originally Posted by ebaker68


Regarding the limited genres on Ourstage, I emailed them the other day and asked them to put in a bluegrass genre--listening to both the acoustic and folk channels, I've heard a lot of what sounds more like bluegrass. Plus, most of my band's songs sound bluegrassy, so I had a difficult time finding channels in which to enter them. They did get back to me and say that they'd look into it.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 08:57 PM

Hi there,

We do review all off topic complaints. We also do our own proactive checking. Sometimes we have to allow for some "close fit" songs because we allow the artists to decide an don't pre-screen items. There are laws governing user generated content sites such as OurStage that necessitate this practice. That said, overall, artists aren't a great judge of their own genre. We do the best we can to strike this delicate balance between "ideal" and "practical". That said, please do flag anything you consider Off Topic so we can review.

Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
We should report all of these off topic songs so this practice is stopped. There must be a way of subdividing genres so that each category has roughly the same amount of entries.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 09:32 PM

Well, "Papa Hawg" is now number 3. It was number 2 this morning. Again, this is a lot of fun. Danny, you guys are carrying out an amazing task, and you're very responsive to the community here. Thanks for the good work.

Mike
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/24/08 11:53 PM

Thanks Danny for your feedback. It is encouraging to note that we are being listened to and action is being taken to improve the Ourstage site. I think it is still pretty neat despite my complaints. I am only vocalising my concerns and suggesting ways to improve.


Congrats to all other JPFs who made the Q finals.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/25/08 03:33 PM

"Papa Hawg," my fingerpick guitar instrumental, has been sitting at #2 in the instrumental section for most of the day. Based on this, I'm going to work on some more fingerpick instrumentals, but more importantly, it's served to show how important the first few seconds of the song is.

Many of my songs start with a slow groove. "Papa Hawg" cooks from the top. It's long been one of my most popular songs, but on OurStage, it's done better, by far, than of my others.

OurStage gives you a chance to compare your songs. To see what's doing better than others. It does for many what a critique could never do. It shows what people like. There may be "strategic" voting at the higher levels, but I've never sent out a message on OurSpace, and have never aksed folks from MySpace or any other sites to vote. So there must be a certain amount of validity to a song that does well. I can't think of any other resource that gives you such feedback. Peer reviews? The peer crits here at JPF are valuable, but they're not anonymous, and folks don't just vote yes or no, so they may be a bit skewed. Pro critiques also give valuable information, but not as to whether a song will be a hit, just as to whether a song, in the eyes of the critic, has good craft. The contests here at JPF have Brian's simple but genius idea to make the only instruction to judges be that they vote songs that "move" them (which has already been "ripped off" by other contests.) However, they have a huge number of entrants with a few judges. OurStage provides anonymous peer judging, combined with continuous monitoring of position.

Again, I recommend OurStage to any artist looking for feedback on their material.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/25/08 04:07 PM

Mine was jumping back and forth mid twenties to mid thirties, nosed dived to fifty (in country) and has been stuck there (50 on the button) for...I reckon, about 4 whole days now.

When is that shindig Mike?(Piney)
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/25/08 04:54 PM

This year it's the Hog Roast (Bobbie's changed jobs so is putting the official Pineyfest on hold for a year, but she'll be at the roast for sure). It's going on August 8-10 with a big party and a few informal get togethers at Bill Robinson's house, as well as some visits to some writers' nights and clubs. The Demo Derby will be August 7, and if there are several scheduled, we'll add August 6. Hope to see you up here!

Just checked, "Papa Hawg" is still at 2 in instrumental.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 12:38 PM

So who else is in the running? I browsed a couple categories and saw several JPF members there who haven't posted here to let folks know!

Brian
Posted By: Shandy

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 03:22 PM

Ooh... I'm sitting at #2 in Newport Folk now. Frustrating part is, I'm going away tomorrow and won't be home until Monday to see how I did! frown
Posted By: MichelleMR9

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 06:41 PM

Are you allowed to enter more than one song in the same category? I had two songs I wanted to enter in pop, but thought I read I could only enter one, so the second was entered in a similiar category such as soft rock, since it could be considered that style as well. Also, I entered last week. Will my songs not start competing until the beginning of July? I don't know where to go to see if they are competing and what they're rankings are, so assume they are waiting until the first of the new month? Did I get this right or am I off on this?
New to Ourstage, so confused.
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 06:52 PM

Michelle

That's right--you can only enter one song per channel (genre). June's competition is still going (currently in quarter-finals), so your songs won't start competing until July. I'm pretty sure it starts at midnight of July 1.

Don't worry--you'll get the hang of Ourstage.

Eric
Posted By: MichelleMR9

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 06:57 PM

Eric,
Thanks!
Michelle
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/26/08 07:06 PM

Go back to the contest page that you entered on and make sure that you have July checked on the drop down menu. Ben
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 07:50 AM

Wow!!!! I'm in the top 1000 for ALL the songs!!!!

LOL
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 08:40 AM

My song Peace On Earth in Instrumental missed it by only 2 ranks ending in 22nd place out 543 entries. The day before the quarters it was fluctuating (up & down) in the top 10 - 20, then it dipped down to 21 on the last day. It could have gone up one notch to make it into the quarters, but it went down one notch, so I got knocked out.

I'm thinking of placing this song into the New Age / World channel in the next few months as I believe it would be more appreciated there anyway, though for certain kinds of instrumentals tracks there's plenty of cross-over between Instrumental and New Age chennels.

Meanwhile I'm be deciding which new song to upload to OurStage that I've never posted there before. That's normally the case anyway unless I can improve the mix (master) and/or test a more appropriate channel to place a song into.

If I can get into the top with another song during the Semi-finals, I'll have won 3 acheivement awards, but I've already got 2, so 2 out of 3 ain't too bad. wink

So June is "over" for me now, but we'll see what happens in July! smile

Michael
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 11:32 AM

Well my song "Funky Music" in cover bands has been as high as #3 yesterday but now on the last day has dropped and is now at #11. That is frustrating.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 07:14 PM

"Papa Hawg" is #1 in instrumentals right now, with 12 hours left to go. This is the first time it's reached the first spot. I can't hold my breath for 12 hours, so I guess I'll just go back to drinking. I'm off to the store to buy a liter of Jack Daniels.

All the Best,
Mike
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 07:30 PM

We just missed out on the quarters in two channels--"Good Times" finished #22 in Tropical and "Thanks Again" finished #23 in Southern Rock (which I think is funny because I didn't enter that song in that channel--Ourstage moved it there. I don't think it sounds like Southern Rock at all--more like early '70's southern California country-rock to me.

Anyway, June was the first month that my band enter any songs, so I'm pretty happy with where we finished.

Eric
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 08:23 PM

All right, Dunbar! Thread Drifters Rule.

This is awesome on several levels...I especially like the simplicity of this recording and it's good to know you don't need to over-produce to get the right attention.

Win it, Mike! smile
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 09:04 PM

Thanks Mark,

"Papa Hawg" has been at 1 in instrumental for hours, but just now it's at 9. It seems like there's a "reshuffle" that takes place when results start getting logged. If the pattern continues, it should move up again in a bit. Hopefully back to 1, but at least I'm grateful that at some point it was the fave.

Thanks again, yeah it's simple. Remember what niteshift says.

Thread Drifters Rule

Mike
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 09:51 PM

I hope you make it Mike. We have several JPF members in the top 10 in your category at the moment, so it would be nice if you all made it to the semi finals.

I see that Big Jim is also back into the top 10 at number 10. But the voting gets frantic in the last hour so anything can happen. In my opinion, the safest spot to be in right now is 5th or 6th. If anyone is trying to vote down the competition, it's less likely those two slots would be attacked. Some would go after the ones barely hanging on, others after the ones at the top leaving those in the middle where they are. I know that the Ourstage people are hard core tracking cheaters though, so I hope that the best songs do in fact make the finals.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/27/08 09:53 PM

Awesome picking I love the harmonics. I listened to a few of the competition's stuff and although they are pretty good your tune deserves #1.

Meanwhile back at the ranch my song has snuck into top ten. It is fluctuating between low teens and top ten. We will just have to wait and see.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/28/08 03:27 AM

Bottom line is that we encourage everyone adhere to our Community Values. We do encourage folks to let us know if there is any behavior you're aware of that is not in the spirit of our community values, let us know at Community@ourstage.com so we can contact address it on a case-by-case basis.
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/28/08 05:50 PM

"Papa Hawg" made it into the semi-finals in instrumentals. Getting this far sure increases the friend and fan requests. You start to get more listens, even on songs that aren't in a current contest.

Again, I think one of the keys is having a song that catches attention in the first few seconds. And again, this is fun stuff.

I recommend OurStage to everyone.
Posted By: Barry Winslow

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/28/08 07:21 PM

Hi Brian,

"Yielded Vessel" is now at #23 in Christian/Spiritual......man, I'm honored to be in the company of so many talented artists.
Thanks again for the shot on Our Stage my friend.

Barry
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/29/08 07:55 PM

sgx and myself both made it into the semifinals with four songs between us, in the categories Experimental, Instrumental, Techno, and New Age/World. Anyone else?
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/30/08 07:48 PM

Who do we have in the finals this month? With just a little over 11 hours left, this is always the most intense time. "Drum and Bossa" made it from Instrumental, which I was a bit surprised about, since I thought "Rainforest Majesty" was the stronger of my two tracks. Got my fingers crossed. Any support would be very much appreciated.
Posted By: Jillian Goldin

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 06/30/08 11:20 PM

Yeah, anybody else here to look for in the finals? I'm curious! smile
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 07:48 PM

It looks like a JUNKY song won the Grand Prize. LOL I did a lot of judging this time and I had it on the upper side of the middle. Congratulations to Squid.
I noticed a category in which I can actually compete for July - comedy - had been added. Good call OurStage.
Posted By: Doug/Liszt Laughing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 07:51 PM

I had a lot of fun judging the past few days. I decided to try this out...the two I entered for this month are sitting at #8 (Solo Instrumental) and #9 (New Age World). It's early however...I just put another in Instrumental, so we'll see how it does...really, in that category, the couple I listened to fall more into techno, but there is 500+ in that catagory so I got my work cut out for me.

Squid is a good band, Junky is a good winner.

Jillian and zircon - good job with Hajime! I heard that someplace on the site and really loved it, and then later on I found out it had won overall for a month. Cool.
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 08:16 PM



I wanted say thanks to Danny. He promised a bluegrass channel and he delivered. Way to go, Ourstage.

Eric
Originally Posted by dannyjames
FYI...Bluegrass IS the next channel to launch. Stay tuned.
Originally Posted by ebaker68


Regarding the limited genres on Ourstage, I emailed them the other day and asked them to put in a bluegrass genre--listening to both the acoustic and folk channels, I've heard a lot of what sounds more like bluegrass. Plus, most of my band's songs sound bluegrassy, so I had a difficult time finding channels in which to enter them. They did get back to me and say that they'd look into it.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 08:45 PM

AWESOME!! I'M NUMBER 11 in COMEDY!!

Wait...there are only 11 entries...

...nevermind.
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 11:20 PM

LOL, good one Mark.

Since joining Ourstage last week or so, the highest I have charted so far is #80 in Jazz (with no prodding).

I have also just entered another song in the instrumental competition (stiff competition there).
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/01/08 11:22 PM

Mark. You should rise now. I voted your song over all the others.
IMO your writing is head and shoulders about the ones that went head to head with you.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 01:39 AM

We ended up with half the top 10 last month but broke our string of winners. Hopefully we'll get back on track this month.

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 01:37 PM

The winner this month is from Israel, I thought the main prize was not available to foreigners. Have I missed something?
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 02:30 PM

I too would like clarification on this. I checked the rules and could not find anything relating to prizes not being available to people outside USA. The only restrictions seem to be on age and content (it must be predominantly in the English language)The map showing friends etc is worldwide so I would reckon that there are no limits on nationality.
Posted By: niteshift

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 02:49 PM

Quote
I thought the main prize was not available to foreigners...


Too funny Everett. I suppose it all depends on which side of the fence or ocean you sit, and where your viewpoint is.......

So, as a Canadian, how exactly foreign are you ?

cheers, niteshift
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 03:19 PM

Well, "Papa Hawg" ended up number 6 in instrumental after a crazy last day semi-final bounce from 1 to 8 and back several times. Right now "Graduation" is number 1 in New Age/World, but I expect it will be gone from that spot before long. Again, it's a piece that begins with a melodic hook. Another piece which I think is musically better, "Through the Gates," is way back in instrumental. "Through the Gates" starts with a laid-back groove and doesn't get into the melodic hook until 14 seconds into the song. Andrew Aversa's brilliant tune, "Drum Bossa," which took first in instrumental in June, also takes time to get to the melody, but the cooking drum and piano rhythm track is a real grabber and gets attention from the first measure.

The OurStage judges have a minimum of 15 seconds that they can listen per song. I'm sure the judges who listen to the most songs will listen to less than 20 seconds, and if the song doesn't catch them by then, they'll move on to the next piece.

Make them cook from the start.

All the Best,
Mike
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 03:38 PM

Quote
I'm sure the judges who listen to the most songs will listen to less than 20 seconds, and if the song doesn't catch them by then, they'll move on to the next piece.

Make them cook from the start.


I can't decide if this is a major "downside" to the whole OurStage thing -- or just an acceptable condition to be in the "commercial" world. It seems like there are a lot of great songs that will fall by the wayside because of this. On the other hand, we all know of great songs that we can tell what it is by the very first note!

Kevin
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 03:55 PM

Kevin,

I think that especially for the aspiring songwriter, the OurStage 15 second minimum listening time for judges is an upside. I guarantee you that, at least here in Nashville, most professional listers and gatekeepers will give maybe 20 seconds before they hit the off button. If you can get your songs the thumbs up from the OurStage judges, you have a good chance of getting them a better listen from the pro listeners.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/02/08 11:34 PM

Mike is right about that.. you need to make them care in the first 15-20 seconds or the game is over. Sure, there are exceptions.. but the vast majority of folks screening for all sorts of things lose interest very quickly if you don't do something quickly. We're finding a lot of albums where every single song has a boring 30 second intro... by the end of the screening process on artists like those I have no interest in ever listening to them again..

If you're just getting started, as Mike said, that 15 second curve is a great trial by fire learning tool... (And by the way, when we have fans vote in the awards, they also lose interest quickly, so it's not just industry folks who do that.. everyone does...artists, writers, fans and professionals... don't bore us.. get to the chorus...)

Brian
Posted By: Paul Street

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/03/08 02:59 AM

I can't figure out that site. One minute your #365 and then your #70, then #7 ??!?!?! Highest I got was #7 for country with the Love you Anyway song. On the last day it dropped to 15th. Fun to watch though!
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/03/08 05:09 AM

Early on, stuff fluctuates more because not that many people have voted. As the month continues and more votes are counted, I think things normalize a bit. By mid-month, you should have a good idea of approximately what range you're going to be in.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/03/08 05:32 AM

I had three in the top 10 this morning...but we know all about that "saving time in a bottle" thang.

Yes, the intro is important, period. OurStage really makes that clear, but it should always be remembered. Most songwriting conversations talk about choruses and verses and bridges...but the intro is every bit as important. Too many writers just strum, as if to say, "Excuse me, while I warm up for a bit...okay...I'm almost ready...aaaand: here we go."

And then you listen to "Revolution".

Or "Hey Jude".
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/05/08 12:23 AM

Hi everyone!
This month I'm entering only one song in the contest. This is a new song I never posted before on OurStage, so here's the details:
Song Title: Shir Hashirim
Link: http://www.ourstage.com/entry/DBJCNIHHGDTH-shir-hashirim
Description: Title translated "Song Of Songs" (from Hebrew) portrays the passion of a longing for a pure love. An original composition by Michael Borges includes flute (Latetta) harp, drums (Mike "Sub" Caro) and strings.

I just uploaded it late last night, so no special (or meaningful) ranking yet, but I hope it will move up over the next two weeks.

Gotta say Tee Latteta did a great job with her flute playing on this song, and SubStudio really "rocks" with his percussion performance, especially starting at the 2:20 mark. Thanks Tee & Sub for your talented contributions on this project! smile

Michael
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:18 PM

OK I moved my song from the genre where it was stuck at the bottom and put it in country It is slowly working its way up. it's broke the top 50% mark, LOL. hey at least it isn't last. Ha!

On a different note.
I tried judging in the Country channel today.
I made it through 5 battles before I gave up.
I had to flag 4 of them for copyright violations or Being Cover songs in the Country genre.
One of the battles BOTH songs were Copyright violations. One used the music and melody from a past Number one hit and added their lyrics, the other was a straight up karaoke cover.

Of course I don't know how we can claim copyright violation unless we have proof they don't have the right to cover the song.

Not much point judging under these circumstances. wink

seems the interest has dropped off here. I had to go looking for the post.
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:32 PM

Bill

Yeah I flagged the KARAOKE version of GENTLE ON MY MIND (with changed words)....That one got me really mad.....

I have flagged the KENNY CHESNEY song 5 times but it is still there...........I'm kinda thinking ole KENNY doesn't really need the exposure of our beloved OURSTAGE...........

Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:38 PM

HA!
I just logged off Ourstage. the last song I judged was

STEVE ALTONIAN

Must be Karma. I moved you up a notch Steve. Good song was why.

I guess it takes a few days for the Ourstage folks to get caught up with the flags. I am surprised there are so many
Posted By: Louis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:41 PM

I just entered one in singer/songwriter, It's sitting at #666 Doesn't look good, lol.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:46 PM

Anyone notice the cool new change? If you play a song, you can see how many times it has been judged.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/06/08 09:52 PM

Here's what I have going on this month:

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle

5th in Comedy
Eldorado
39th in Rock
Indigo Eyes
98th in Americana / Alt Country
Johnny Put Your Gun Down
119th in Hard Rock
I Wrote This Song for Cash
304th in Country
All I See Is You
422nd in Folk
Lemonade
594th in Indie Pop
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/07/08 06:54 PM

This is kind of exciting:). I entered 5 songs at the beginning of the month. One thing I noticed is that is makes a huge difference what genre you choose! I made a couple of switches on the 2nd day of the month to try to better match the few genres my music could conceivably belong to. I actually entered one of my songs into Indie Pop because I already had songs in Acoustic, Folk, and Singer-Songwriter (Male), and I was shocked at how well it is doing so far, even though it is most definitely NOT the kind of thing you'd hear on the radio (it does have a chorus/hook, but it's 8 minutes long and tells the tale of Agincourt;)). I also put a song in New Age/World for lack of any other viable genre. At least I tried to evoke an early Native American vibe with a flute/whistle in the arrangement (that one is about the Lost Colony of Roanoke...called "50 Miles into the Main."

Anyway, here are today's results:

-"Son of the Sea"
143rd in Singer/songwriter (Male)
-"Agincourt"
150th in Indie Pop
-"Band of Brothers"
107th in Folk
-"50 Miles Into the Main"
99th in New Age/World
-"Everything that Matters"
173rd in Acoustic

Based on the number of entries in these genres, all of my positions are in the 70th percentile or better:). That makes me feel better about having only one song in the double-digits;).

Ken
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/07/08 07:32 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Anyone notice the cool new change? If you play a song, you can see how many times it has been judged.


Mark,

Thanks for posting this! I just checked to see how many times my entry "Everything That Matters" has been played, since it had the best percentile ranking this morning ("best" being relative...it was 173 out of 914:)). It had only been played 5 times! Does this mean that it was "judged" 5 times? Does it not count the times someone goes directly to it to play it?

Ken
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/07/08 08:05 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Anyone notice the cool new change? If you play a song, you can see how many times it has been judged.


Mark.....Are you sure you are not confusing this with how many times a song has been played ????

Cause I don't see anything that says how many times a tune has been judged....Plays have nothing to do with rank is my understanding.....
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/08/08 04:25 AM

Something weird happened today. The folks at OurStage removed "Agincourt," from the Indie-Pop channel, apparently because they felt it didn't match the genre very well. I didn't know they did that. Good to know. I kind of agree that it didn't (more of a long-ish war ballad), but there was nowhere else to place it after I had placed other songs. The funny thing was that it was doing pretty well (150th out of 836)!

One thing I don't understand is why I keep hearing songs in other channels that clearly don't match the genre either. I just assumed that it would be a self-correcting system. If an Indie-Pop audience thinks a song doesn't hold up against its competitor, it won't rank high on the chart, I assume. It seems odd that there would be any oversight, content-wise, that did have to do with violating copyright or vulgarity or some such.

Oh well. You live/you learn.

Ken
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/08/08 04:46 AM

Ken
Someone might have "flagged" the song as being inappropriate for the channel. If Ourstage agrees they would move it.
I don't quite get it though. I have flagged a few and they never got moved and they were clearly NOT in the right channel or were copyright violations. Some are still there.
Go figure

I don't get it.
My song One Hell of A Good Storm has bounced all over the place in Country. It has moved down 150 points since this morning.
How does it go up 200 points in one day then back down 150 points the next, LOL.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/08/08 06:32 AM

For those frustrated by artists entering covers and claiming it to be theirs.. this is the type of stuff that artists try to pull all the time. It's why musicians in general have bad repuations because often, if left to their own devices, some will lie, cheat and steal. Are they just like everyone else? Sure... but often artists seem to view themselves, as a collective, as above the fray. Add to the dishonesty the complete delusional state which many others are in about the quality and mass appeal potential of their music and you'll see why people at Labels and Publishers etc. put up so many barriers between them and the masses of musicians. As someone who has submerged himself into the often murky waters of the grassroots music community, I of course see way more amazingly nice and honest people in our community than outsiders often see. The reason is that it's sadly common for those who lie and cheat the most to get the most attention and go the farthest before being caught.. or in some cases they are never caught and find mainstream success instead. I think it's why so many big music stars turn out to be such horrible people (i.e. drug addicts, sleazebags, irresponsible jerks and so on). Our industry seems to encourage that behavior as a right of passage towards success. The nice honest folks often get nowhere doing it the right way. I think we see the exact same thing in Politics and Business in general. Fortunately for me, I chose a path where I get to spend most of my time with the honest and good people.

= )

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/08/08 06:36 AM

Bill,

It's a tidal wave of issues. Though your reports may have been exactly spot on, I am willing to bet just as there are idiots entering covers and claiming they wrote them, there are the same types of people filing bogus claims of wrong genre or covers when they aren't. Ourstage is getting well over a million unique visitors a month so you can only imagine how many of those flags are being filed each month and each has to be checked out by a real person. Then there's the reality that many folks don't have the first clue about what belongs in a genre, and that goes equally for those flagging as well as those entering. And in some cases, songs really are sort of in that grey area so a judgement call has to be made. But since the same person isn't making all the judgement calls, even those deciding may have different opinions. I see that all the time in our awards where I can't find 5 people who agree on a definition of a genre or where a song or album belongs.. let alone over a million...

I know from talking to Daniel it's a nonstop, neverending process. They do the best they can on it.

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/08/08 02:52 PM

I have two songs doing well in the two new channels, comedy and bluegrass. One picked up two favourites. WOW!

Just another day #12 Bluegrass

Tax payers blues #6 comedy 2 favourites

A note to web master of Ourstage, these two new channels does not appear on the list that shows on the home page.
Posted By: Doug/Liszt Laughing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 10:07 AM

Well, I checked out Everett's stuff, and to my surprise there was the "Rarely Herd", a bluegrass band a local guy plays in.

And somehow, in a roundabout way, I came across the guy below...this guy is just plain funny! And he has some really clever music across several genres...he is my find of the month, I've really enjoyed listening to his stuff.

And Big Bob Cushing, you should learn "The Cigarette Smokes". That's a Bob Cushing song if I ever heard one...He should have put it in Comedy instead of Americana...

Anyway, this guy is cool because he is so himself...

http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/mickeymikesell
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 11:13 AM

I am seeing a lot of JPF members doing well again this month.. good to see you got on there Everett.. even with your slow connection!

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 01:29 PM

Thanks Brian, I have to upload my songs in lower quality or else it would take too long.

Tax payers blues moved up to #4, just another day is now #14
Oh well gain a little, lose a little.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 04:48 PM

Well
After a bit of soul searching I have decided to give it til the end of this month. If my songs don't do any better in the rankings I will be asking Ourstage to remove all my songs and close my account.

It seems obvious to me that either I am not playing songs that the Ourstage community likes or I suck big time. Not much point in continuing either way.

Of course to my ears I don't get it because I have listened to a lot of songs in the Genres I am in and IMHO my songs are better than about 80% of them. And my friends and family must be a bunch of real idiots because I hear the same thing from them, including folks right here on JPF.
The only thing I can figure is either they are woefully wrong or I am just playing to the wrong crowd.
What is truly discouraging is there are at least a dozen clear cut copyright infringing covers ranked higher than my songs. If the listeners cannot tell the difference then I don't think I even want my songs being judged by them.
I guess this might be a wake up call for me. I am not as good as I thought I was. My momma is gonna be so disappointed. smile

Oh well. I am off to Tennessee to work on my house. I am expecting visitors there next month, LOL.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 04:58 PM

Bill,

I don't have to do much soul searching -- my songs are plain just doing lousy in any genre I stick them in! I think the 15 second rule sinks me, so I am just not commercial enough. Of course, I plan to continue -- I just need to write/record a song that really grabs the listener right away and stays good throughout. Better singing would also improve my chances -- which means getting someone else to sing my stuff.

Kevin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 05:12 PM

I kind of feel the same way Kevin
What is really interesting is I was at a local music venue that had internet access. There were a few people there so I asked them to do something for me.
I logged into Ourstage and played my song without telling them it was me. Then I played 2 of the top 10 songs in the genre.
ALL of the people there ranked my song better.
Go figure.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 05:18 PM

Bad vocals will pretty much kill your chances with the general public no matter how well written your song is. This is definitely not a case of "we'll hear past the bad demo" to find your great song. In fact, that's a completely bullshit lie that industry and those wanting your money will tell you. (There's a couple of exceptions, but they are rare and few). Your vocalist doesn't have to be a superstar, but if they aren't at least reasonably pleasing to the ears of the majority of listeners, it's going to be really tough to make headway.

As for people not knowing what is and isn't a cover, I think that's a little overboard. To the average music fan they don't even know the difference between a cover and an original most of the time. If they are country fans it's even more confusing because a lot of country artists do other people's songs in the first place. I bet some of the covers that are obvious to you Bill aren't even obvious to most of us, just as covers that are obvious to me may not be songs you've ever heard in the first place.

Certainly having a song that grabs someone quickly is a valid concern if you want to find any level of commercial acceptance or success. 15 seconds is an eternity if the listener isn't into what they are hearing. We have folks here (I think Big Jim was one of them) who said it was tough for him to even listen to 15 seconds of many of the entries. I also remember that for a while he wasn't doing well on Ourstage, but for the last couple months has been in the running to win the cover channel. There are songs that do well one month and plummet the next. That's because a different batch of listeners are judging so of course the results will be different. If they weren't, the exact same song would win every month. It's a bit of education for everyone to see that dynamic and how it can affect things. It's the same reason why every label passed on the Beatles and then someone finally "got" it and made history. Had they given up 1 person earlier, they'd never have seen the light of day commercially speaking. And guess what? We've lost lots of "Beatles" and lots of great songs over the decades for that reason.

Music should be fun. Getting feedback is a fun part of it. Even if you're doing REALLY badly, who is to say the next song you record, done so with the knowledge of the previous results, won't do better? After reading about he passing of Janell Rock today, I think there's very little for any of us to be angry or unhappy about when we're able to make music, post it for people to hear and discuss it. Even if nothing better than that ever happens, we're still light years ahead of many others.

As for pulling songs at the end of the month, if you aren't in the top 50% of a channel, the songs now get pulled anyway. Why you need to cancel your account, which suggests some level of anger or animosity, is unknown. If you're at least 1 song above dead last, that means you're still doing better than someone else. If you ARE dead last, you can take solace in the fact that someone always has to be dead last no matter how good everyone is or isn't. I'd take it as a fun challenge to see what I could do to move up a few notches the next time. That's a learning experience that will translate to success for any listening audience. I bet Bill, even with his vocals which he says himself aren't that good, could be crafty enough to pull off something that would do better. Come up with a really intersting first 15 seconds is a challenge that sounds like a fun activity to me. Isn't that sort of challenge a creative persons reason for being?

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 05:43 PM

I guess I was dead wrong about the plays now showing...I was confused by a sudden huge amount of plays showing up on a new song. Actually, I'm STILL confused, because I could swear a couple songs showed hundreds of plays that now show less. Beats me. Either there was some technical glitch that happened, or maybe I finally got one of those flashbacks they've been promising me all these years.

Seems like all my songs are holding fast to whatever place they were in last week. Top 2 are #6 in comedy ("Twenty Chickens for a Saddle") and number 63 in Rock ("Eldorado"). The Rock song probably means more as there are 1234 entries as opposed to Comedy where there are 51 entries...but then again, Comedy is getting tons of hits, and that's what it's all about. smile
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 05:59 PM

Hi Bill just to clarify what Brian said about me struggling to listen for 15 seconds. I think I have been misquoted or taken out of context. There are some woefully bad songs on Ourstage god knows what the people were thinking about when they were producing them. Some are so bad you think it is a joke and a competition to find the worst song. You probably know what I am referring to. These are the songs I struggle to listen to. Most songs on Ourstage are not that bad considering. Some are pretty good and should have made the big time especially when you hear the crap in the charts.

I still maintain that there is some pretty poor judging and there are major problems with the system but hey that's life.

Bill I did not think you were the give up kind. You must know by now that this is a hard knock cut throat business and sometimes we have to write/perform songs we hate and do things we do not like to earn our corn.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/09/08 06:51 PM

I am not saying I'll give up.
What I am saying is I will not likely continue with ourstage.
I am sorry Brian but there are literally dozens on songs that are ahead of me which I cannot even finish listening too. They absolutely suck. The vocals suck, they are off key, pitchy, and the lyrics suck, they are obvious Karaoke tracks, there are covers of well known songs.
I am not a professional singer but I don't sing that bad. I have never been told my vocals were bad. Not professional maybe but certainly not bad.

Whatever it is that the people judging Ourstage are looking for I obviously do not provide it.
I have listened and Judged and I do not understand what it is they want to hear.
I just don't see the sense of beating a dead horse.

We have always said on JPF that we don't want false praise or Back patting for our songs. If the song sucks then say so. I don't want to hear my song is good if it isn't.

Brian you made a comment on a thread a few months back that really angered me. I almost quit JPF because of it.
Edit. I later realized I took it all wrong.
As I read the statement you basically said we (JPFer's who post here regularly) are a bunch of amateurs and pretty much suck. If we want to succeed we need to get better.
Well I have come to the conclusion you might be right( at least in my case)

If the only way I can move up in the ranks on Ourstage is to Hire a Professional singer to do my songs and then post them as my own then no thanks. They need a DEMO category for that.

My truck is Loaded and I am ready to head south to Nashville. I'll check in when I get there tonight.
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/10/08 10:55 PM

Hi there,

Battle views do not count as "plays". We do this because folks would try to use the number to determine their rank. It doesn't work that way and if we don't want to encourage counter-productive behavior. There was a (I'll call it bug, where play counts were incrementing higher than they should for entrees in finals. That issue has been corrected. Battle views don't count toward your OS play totals.

That said, Marketplace IS our cool new feature. Any thoughts on that?
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Anyone notice the cool new change? If you play a song, you can see how many times it has been judged.

Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/10/08 11:01 PM

Bill,

I truly respect your position/opinion on this. Some thoughts to consider.

1. If you view OS not a contest, but as a way for you to "gut check" songs and meet other like minded individuals you'll enjoy it more and be frustrated less.

2. The rankings change a lot over the course of a month. By the end I've found that they're pretty well accurate. At a minimum the top third belongs together, same with the middle same with back. Of course everyone will have opinions on the exact order, but the groupings are pretty spot on.

3. The new markeplace introduces the concept of a MOJO score. MOJO is a composite score. It takes into consideration historical rankings as well as fan base. This way OS consistent performers (i.e. middle of the pack, but consistently there) will have a higher mojo than the bad song that caught on for a month. Bad songs don't tend to do that over time we've seen.

4. OS will ALWAYS have the free ranking/mojo/epk. If anything, use it for the EPK. No limits on media. No fees to pay. Not sure we can do much better.

-Daniel

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
I am not saying I'll give up.
What I am saying is I will not likely continue with ourstage.
I am sorry Brian but there are literally dozens on songs that are ahead of me which I cannot even finish listening too. They absolutely suck. The vocals suck, they are off key, pitchy, and the lyrics suck, they are obvious Karaoke tracks, there are covers of well known songs.
I am not a professional singer but I don't sing that bad. I have never been told my vocals were bad. Not professional maybe but certainly not bad.

Whatever it is that the people judging Ourstage are looking for I obviously do not provide it.
I have listened and Judged and I do not understand what it is they want to hear.
I just don't see the sense of beating a dead horse.

We have always said on JPF that we don't want false praise or Back patting for our songs. If the song sucks then say so. I don't want to hear my song is good if it isn't.

Brian you made a comment on a thread a few months back that really angered me. I almost quit JPF because of it.
Edit. I later realized I took it all wrong.
As I read the statement you basically said we (JPFer's who post here regularly) are a bunch of amateurs and pretty much suck. If we want to succeed we need to get better.
Well I have come to the conclusion you might be right( at least in my case)

If the only way I can move up in the ranks on Ourstage is to Hire a Professional singer to do my songs and then post them as my own then no thanks. They need a DEMO category for that.

My truck is Loaded and I am ready to head south to Nashville. I'll check in when I get there tonight.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/10/08 11:59 PM

Bill,

I am pretty sure I never said anything remotely like "all JPF members have no talent and suck and are amateurs." In fact, I remember a big argument where I said specifically that almost NONE of our members were amateurs. Remember? When people were throwing a fit that American Idol should ONLY be amateurs?

And I did not quote Jim remotely out of context. He just said exactly the same thing. Some songs were so horrible that he had a hard time making it through 15 seconds. There's hardly any misrepresentation going on there. He's said it several times now.

Those people who Jim thinks must be doing it as a joke would, for the most part, strongly disagree and be offended to hear him say that just the same as anyone here would feel that way if it was said about their music. I've learned that even the most shockingly bad song or performance often has a sincere person behind it who thinks they're doing well, or at least that they are half way decent. So I always find it hypocritical for someone to get angry when they don't do well when they are also comfy pointing out that something else is truly horrible. The reality is that for most fans voting, in that first 15 seconds they may well find any number of songs truly horrible. Perhaps if they listen all the way through they could determine that one song is still better than the other, but they don't owe anyone that much time if the first part of the song is terrible to their ears. As a writer or artist, if you WANT commercial success, you have to please the ears of some group of listeners. If your song is doing really poorly, it's clear you have failed at that. You can't justify a bad result saying that someone else is even worse! It's like the crooks in politics who say sure, they may have gotten caught with their hand in the cookie jar, but the guy on the other side stole more cookies! It doesn't matter!

In all serious here.. listen to the first 15 seconds of the songs near the top.. then listen to the first 15 seconds of yours. Is yours really better? REALLY? If so, then I think you have a case to make. If not, then you should LEARN something right there and then go back and apply what you learned. You may not be able to sing.. but you certainly could record a pleasing sound instrumental intro to your songs. If you did that, you'd like move up in the rankings no matter what comes later. And that is fair and how it should be. Once you displease the listener, nothing else matters. You can bore the crap out of someone for the first 1/4th of a movie and expect the masses to support it no matter how good the ending is.

Why is it so wrong to suggest someone learn something and improve what they do accordingly? Ourstage is a type of audience that is far closer to the real world than playing for friends and other musicians you know. So if you want to dip your toes into commercially viable music, use this tool to gauge what is working and what isn't. That seems like a great tool to have in my opinion. Use it. Don't try to make the audience change.. that isn't going to happen. You need to adjust your own approach. That's your only solution. And even with the worlds worst vocals, it doesn't prevent someone from having the worlds most interesting or well performed and recorded intro. I think it might be a fun experience to try a write and record the best 30 seconds of intro ever. And see how it does, even with a really week rest of the song. Wouldn't it be funny to see it rise and rise? Sure would be a practical learning experience.

Brian
Posted By: BIG JIM MERRILEES

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 01:44 AM

I think Brian you are being a tad hard. I respect all singers and performers regardless of talent. That does not mean that I have to like what they do. That said I was referring to some songs, if you can call them that, that quite honestly are a disgrace. I can cite examples. There was a drunk bimbo squealing happy birthday several times and giggling and some guy screaming into a mic as loud as he could and growling like a monster. There is a big difference when somebody is not very good but you can see they are genuine and trying to produce music and others who are just playing silly games.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:39 AM

Brian
I don't know where this is all going but this has been a huge dissapointment to me personally.
I had thought of Ourstage as a tool to guage how well my songs would do on a public forum.
If this is any indication I will have to concede I am wasting my time.


Quote
In all serious here.. listen to the first 15 seconds of the songs near the top.. then listen to the first 15 seconds of yours. Is yours really better? REALLY? If so, then I think you have a case to make. If not, then you should LEARN something right there and then go back and apply what you learned. You may not be able to sing.. but you certainly could record a pleasing sound instrumental intro to your songs. If you did that, you'd like move up in the rankings no matter what comes later. And that is fair and how it should be. Once you displease the listener, nothing else matters. You can bore the crap out of someone for the first 1/4th of a movie and expect the masses to support it no matter how good the ending is.


On that 15 seconds....There are songs ranked higher that have 15 seconds of silence. Maybe I'll just upload a silent 3 minute song and see if it does any better. smile

Posted By: Doug/Liszt Laughing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 09:13 AM

Well, I've had a lot of fun. There is some great music on here. Plus, one of my songs was favorited! By somebody! Whooo Whooo! (probably my Mom - hahah).
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 12:05 PM

Jim.. it appears you are unfamiliar with the very popular genre called SCREAMO... and I am not joking.. it's a legit genre with a very large number of fans. It's quite similar to Death Metal, though Screamo can have less metal music production whereas Death Metal is basically really hard metal with screamo vocals. The fact that you don't consider it music is no more or less legit than someone saying what you do isn't legit. It's all opinion. But in the case of someone screaming in a gutarral way where you can't make out a word, that's a 100% legit artform with a legion of fans. In fact, we may make it it's own genre in our awards. It doesn't mean I like it or would choose to listen to it, but I can also clearly make out when it's done well and when it's not done well. As for the woman with the birthday giggle.. I hear stuff like that all the time. In fact, I bet at least 20% of what we get (of the 500,000+ songs this year) is at least as bad as anything you've ever heard on Ourstage. (Some of it is likely the same people). Those folks are serious.. they have CD's out and they are selling them.. and I'll bet some, even the very worst you can find, have sold some CD's.

Each year in the awards, we have a secret category that only a handful of judges get to access. It's called "Exceptional." That's where we put the stuff that is the very worst of the worst we come across. It's stuff that is so heinously bad, it's actually got merit in that when we play it for folks it entertains them in a novelty sort of way. I can assure you that most if not all of those folks are dead serious about being musicians and think they're doing good work and at least a few people in their lives have agreed with them. Your complete joke and waste of time is someone elses favorite CD.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 12:09 PM

Bill,

Philip Glass already beat you to the silent recording. He even tried to copyright and patent silence. (Not sure I remember the result of that effort).

You should try getting a REALLY clean crisp guitar intro to one of your songs, and then instead of singing, do a spoken word performance of one of your lyrics.. and then post it on Spoken Word.. you might be surprised how it does.. or you could even do it without the music.. if the lyric is really cool and can stand alone, you also might be surprised. That's the fun thing about Ourstage, you can experiment, try different things and you'll get some response on what folks think about it.. if it's in the bottom 20% they don't like it. But so what.. .try something else.. I'd write a new song for as many channels as possible every month and post it and see how long it took me to hit the top 50%.

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 02:32 PM

What happened to the plays. I had two songs that showed as being played well over 100 times, yesterday it showed well below 100. What happened there?
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 03:15 PM

What song? What channel? That doesn't sound right.
Originally Posted by Everett Adams
What happened to the plays. I had two songs that showed as being played well over 100 times, yesterday it showed well below 100. What happened there?
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 03:43 PM

Well, do I smell omens in the air? Though two I have in the competition are barely middling, one has been rising regularly. Now, out of 511 entries (Mel Ott's total career home runs) in country, "Here With Me" has reached its high water mark at #7 (Mickey Mantle's number!). So, as anyone can see...the tea leaves seem to be aligned for something dramatic. grin grin grin

One encouraging thing, with that many entries, it would be difficult to cheat one to the top. The man hours needed for a large group to impact a given song would hardly be worth the payoff (which wouldn't guarantee the entry would win the 5 grand, anyway).
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 03:51 PM

Ben: That's a good country song! Way to go.

Kevin
Posted By: StephieCoplan

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:08 PM

Wow, the Ourstage world is a small one after all! I also have a song entered in the Comedy channel:

The Locker Song (#3-117)

And I'm #19 right now in acoustic--wowzaroonies!!!

Run Away

I also uploaded a video of myself playing a classical piece that jumped to #102 in the Live Performance category:

Rhapsody in G Minor

It's amazing how much I judge my self-worth as a musician based on how I'm doing on this website. This is my first time competing and I'm so happy I'm not in last place! (Although even if I were, that'd be okay, I guess, considering music is just a hobby for me and does not represent any kind of career goal.)

Yay! Way to be, everyone.

--Stephie
Posted By: StephieCoplan

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:09 PM

Originally Posted by Everett Adams
What happened to the plays. I had two songs that showed as being played well over 100 times, yesterday it showed well below 100. What happened there?


Yeah, that happened to me too with the song I entered in the Comedy channel. I think it had close to 200 plays and then it dropped to 30 or so.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:30 PM

Ah, so I DIDN'T get a flashback!

Yeah, I saw the same thing early in the month and that's why I assumed they decided to show total plays, battles and all. Whatever it was, everything's back to normal now.

Hi Stephie! Your songs are great. Welcome to JPF. smile

-Mark
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:32 PM

Thanks, Kevin.

OK, Stephie, you cutie-pie, I just "favorited" your live performance (in which, by the way, your hair has an auburn tint...what's up with that? smile )

"Way to be?" I LOVE it. Thought I was the onliest one who used that term, the origins of which (in my experience, anyway) are from baseball. (Guy gets a clutch hit..."Way to be!" wink )

Glad to see you getting an early start in this rat race. You can do well!

Ben
Posted By: StephieCoplan

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:32 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Ah, so I DIDN'T get a flashback!

Yeah, I saw the same thing early in the month and that's why I assumed they decided to show total plays, battles and all. Whatever it was, everything's back to normal now.

Hi Stephie! Your songs are great. Welcome to JPF. smile

-Mark


Haha, well that doesn't mean you still weren't having a flashback. =p

And thank you!
Posted By: StephieCoplan

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/11/08 06:34 PM

Originally Posted by Ben F Burton lll
Thanks, Kevin.

OK, Stephie, you cutie-pie, I just "favorited" your live performance (in which, by the way, your hair has an auburn tint...what's up with that? smile )

"Way to be?" I LOVE it. Thought I was the onliest one who used that term, the origins of which (in my experience, anyway) are from baseball. (Guy gets a clutch hit..."Way to be!" wink )

Glad to see you getting an early start in this rat race. You can do well!

Ben


Hi, Ben! I'm happy you liked my performace and my internet jargon and my hair color. smile That's actually my natural color, but I deep dying it dark brown because I think it makes me look...um, well, smarter. Or something. I guess I'm just fickle. wink
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/12/08 02:31 PM

Originally Posted by dannyjames
What song? What channel? That doesn't sound right.
Originally Posted by Everett Adams
What happened to the plays. I had two songs that showed as being played well over 100 times, yesterday it showed well below 100. What happened there?


Comedy and bluegrass. Just another day and Taxpayers blues.
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/13/08 04:26 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Ken
Someone might have "flagged" the song as being inappropriate for the channel. If Ourstage agrees they would move it.
I don't quite get it though. I have flagged a few and they never got moved and they were clearly NOT in the right channel or were copyright violations. Some are still there.
Go figure


Bill,
I think you're right! I think some folks may be using this flagging technique to get rid of certain songs. Could that be? I just had another song removed last week!! This time it was one of my "pop-iest" songs (a 3-minute love song, with a hooky chorus in 3-part harmony), and it was removed from "Indie-Pop" with the only explanation being that they (OurStage) were trying to find a "more appropriate" channel for it."

Here's the weird thing. My 1st song to be removed, "Agincourt," was #52 out of 833 (82nd percentile) in Indie Pop on July 7th, and had been "favorited." The next day it was removed! OurStage said they thought it would be more appropriate in Acoustic, so I moved it there, swapping it with "Everything that Matters," which at that time was 173rd out of 914 in Acoustic (81st percentile). Both songs moved into the 600+ positions (both now less than 10th percentile...with ETM now gone completely) in their new channels and have continued to plummet since.

So in summary, I had two songs after 1 week in the top 20% in their charts. Then they were removed for not being "appropriate" for those channels, and promptly fell to the bottom 10%, one of them continuing to plummet by the day.

I am still learning, definitely, about OurStage, and will attempt to do a better job matching genres (though that is so subjective...) and possibly re-mixing the entries to be "front-loaded" in terms of the first 15 seconds. It ought to be fun to experiment that way.

Oh well. You live, you learn.

Thanks for this forum!!!

Ken
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/13/08 04:46 PM

How possible would it be to have some folks here give me their opinions about the channels my songs should be in next month? Clearly the whole "genre" thing is an issue with me.

If anyone would like to help me out in that regard, I'll just ask for channel opinions for 3 of my songs this time. "Agincourt," "Son of the Sea," and "Everything That Matters."

If anyone is interested, I'd love your genre opinions! These can be heard at http://www.myspace.com/kentheriot , where I have put them as my first 3 songs on the page.

Thanks!

Ken
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/13/08 05:31 PM

I definitely wouldn't have put Agincourt into Pop.. there's nothing remotely pop about it. Pop music is Britney Spears and The Go-Go's and Justin Timberlake, when he's not doing R&B.

That song belongs in either Singer Songwriter or Folk or maybe Contemporary as a stretch... but Pop? Nope.

It's not a bad song though. = )

Brian
Posted By: KenTheriot

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/13/08 11:55 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I definitely wouldn't have put Agincourt into Pop.. there's nothing remotely pop about it. Pop music is Britney Spears and The Go-Go's and Justin Timberlake, when he's not doing R&B.

That song belongs in either Singer Songwriter or Folk or maybe Contemporary as a stretch... but Pop? Nope.

It's not a bad song though. = )

Brian


Thanks Brian!

Yeah, I agree with that. I think I even said something about it when it seemed to be doing well on that chart since it is a war ballad that is 8-minutes long:).

I appreciate you listening!!

Ken
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/14/08 06:43 AM

Ken I have problems with the Genre assignments as well. Most of my songs all sound more country to me. But I have a hard time defining myself..
Personally I don't understand the whole thing.
I have two versions of a song up because Brian felt it was the performance that was hurting the song. So I uploaded a demo with some of Nashvilles top session players and a professional singer. It is doing a little better but not much.
I still don't understand the judging. I judged 250 battles in the country channel and kept seeing the same songs over and over again. My song came up once. I do understand someone else may see different songs.

I put a song in the new channel Traditional country. I immediatley went to that channel to judge. My song came up first, There were only 14 songs there, so I voted it and I did vote my song better. It said only 11 Percent of those voting agreed with me. It had been less than a minute from when I entered it. I am not sure that many people could have judged it in that short a time, A little later I judged it again I voted my song better It said 70 percent of those voting agreed with me but the song I voted against was 10 places higher than me, If 70 percent agreed with me that my song was better why was it not ahead of the other song..It's confusing.

Regardless of my placing I think it is a good tool for learning howe tpresent your songs. I just wish they would tell us how many times the songs are judged.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/14/08 09:31 AM

Bill,

That simply means that only 11% ALSO voted the same score. They could have voted you the same or worse as well. It's possible to be doing better than the other song and see that result. It's possible no one thought the other song was better, but only 11% had found yours to be better. The others easily could have said tie. If 11 people vote and 1 vote that you're is better and 10 vote a tie, then only 11% of the folks are agreeing with you. (That's a simplified version). The reality is that with 1.2 million visitors who likely visit multiple times each, it takes only moments for scores to start registering. In a channel that small, it's probably almost instant that songs have votes already.

I advised against them tell people how many times songs are judged. It's a tool to help cheaters plan (or determine how worth it it is to cheat). The valuable number is not how many times someone has been FORCED to listen to your songs via the way of judging, but how many times they listened because they wanted to or they were curious. That's a good number to see.. the other is just your random number of times it comes up. It also reveals too much info on the works of their system and I don't think they owe anyone that much info, especially potential competitors. They are a free service. I don't think they owe folks that info when they aren't even charging to use their site. Even if you don't follow or care about the voting stuff, they have a free EPK (Electronic Press Kit) that I think could substitute for the mandatory paid "Service" of Sonic Bids. I've always thought that they were like Ticket Master and they had inserted themselves as a cost for offering up basically nothing in return but a simple EPK. Now that Ourstage has a free one that is just as good, those conferences and festivals and venues who say they just want the convenience shouldn't have the excuse that Sonic Bids is the only option. Accept their EPK and save the artists probably millions of dollars in useless submission fees, that in my opinion only corrupt the submission process and make it a haven for scam artists.

Ourstage is expanding and offering more and more free tools. They are by far the most responsive company of it's kind I've ever seen and they not only listen but they make changes pretty quickly when they can (and it makes sense for them of course which is only fair). But on the subject of showing how many judging battles, I think they are doing the exact right thing by not making that available. If they did, aside from cheaters and competition, artists who were in less popular channels would complain they didn't get as many judgings as those in more popular channels. Who needs that headache? I'd rather have them spending their time adding cool new servers, or finding cool new prizes and gigs for folks.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/14/08 05:05 PM

Brian
So Far everything I have seen on Ourstage has been positive.
I have no complaints about it. I still think it a usefull tool and worth the time to be there.
The only negative I have seen is the blatant copyright violations or obvious mis-use of Genre just so you can enter a song.
It does seem the site is more for Performing Artists. Although I think most write their own material. I guess that is how it should be. Songwriters do linger in the background and rarely get recognition for their work unless they are also a performer. Most people have no idea who writes the songs.

For the life of me I cannot see how knowing how many times your song is judged could help someone cheat. I also don't see how someone could be stupid enough to think a popular channel would get less action than a less popular channel.
Now I can see how someone would complain if their song is never being judged on a channel and someone else's song is being judged dozens of times.
I don't think the judging is even. I think the random system has a flaw. Too many people have said they keep seeing the same songs over and over again.
IMHO if I am judging songs on a channel with 500 songs on it I should not see the same song more than once in 250 battles. I should not see the same song 20 times. And it seems that the ones I am seeing over and over again are always ranked pretty high, at least in the top 20 percent or so it seems.
If a song is not being judged how can it move up...or down...
I have had one song that I was watching carefully. It was stuck at one spot for days. The only time it moved was when the total number of songs on the channel increased, if the number went up by two the song dropped by two, if the number went up by one the song dropped by one. If the song was being judged it would have moved.
If a song is coming up for judging every twenty or thirty battles it will get voted on a lot more. Familiarity brings recognition.
Who is going to go searching through 1000 songs to find a song hidden at number 700? Most people will figure any song that low must really suck.

On your advice I uploaded a professional demo of my song I was upset about. I put my version in the Southern Rock channel. It is doing better there. The Professional Demo version is in the Country channel. It is doing a little better than my version but not much. So I guess it wasn't my singing. Ha! or my guitar work.

But I judged that channel 250 times in one day and The song came up ONCE. Other songs came up so often I knew the words to the song and could sing along. How can that be fair?
All I would be interested in knowing is how many times my song is up for competition compared to those songs I heard a dozen times.
I'd also like to know how many people are listeners and how many are performers. If the majority are bands/performers it is a peer site. If the majority are listeners it is a fan site. That would be interesting to know.

Beyond that I think Ourstage is doing very well.
And, the songs that are winning deserve to win. From what I have seen they are very good songs.

Hmmm
I just read this again.
Quote
The valuable number is not how many times someone has been FORCED to listen to your songs via the way of judging, but how many times they listened because they wanted to or they were curious. That's a good number to see.. the other is just your random number of times it comes up.


So, the best song is not always the winner. The best song is determined by how many battles it is in.
Why not just rank the songs by how many people listen because they want too?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/14/08 05:43 PM

If every song in a genre is judged 40-50 times in a month, and in another genre they are judged 200-250 times, people will complain and say it's not fair. You're unhappy with some things and are complaining (at least in a nice way) right? Well, most people DON'T complain in a NICE way. Daniel calls me all the time asking how to deal with the unreasonable and angry people he hears from. I understand where he is coming from. Over the years I have had literally THOUSANDS of people complain about JPF, and it's totally free, just like Ourstage is. I get personal attacks so horrible I couldn't even print them on this site. So why give fuel to people spoiling for a fight? No thanks.

Their judging system gives every song a fair chance. At any given time, some songs are playing catch up in the voting process so you'll see them come up more often.. but if you judge every possible combination, you'll see that they all eventually match up to all the others. I've actually done that... it took me 7000+ judging sessions, but I got through 100% of the pairings in a category a few months back and it was 100% balanced and equal. But on a given day, 1 song could have very few contests and others a ton. And people would be complaining daily based on the current number. When you have over a thousand songs in the running, there's going to be even more discrepancies. Plus, the system is smart in that it also LOOKS for match ups that tells it more than just randomized match-ups. For example, if a song is entered late in the month, their programming will do contests that will match it up to songs with similar results.. if they do well, the the system will match it up against better songs.. if it does poorly, it will match it up against weaker songs... since it's impossible to have an equal number of judging when you have songs entered day 1 and others entered the day before it ends, it has to set up selective voting to get good data to figure out how to best rank something. That's also why you see songs suddenly plummet or go up. It's been paired against better stuff and it falls or vice versa. While all this is going on, the number will be all over the place. But of course someone will complain that their song was only judged 40 times and someone elses was judged 60 times. Believe me, it's not worth the headache.

As for cheating.. people have already been creating programs to fake judge automatically. They catch them all the time. The more info these idiots have, the easier they can craft software to try and beat the system.. it's a reality they have to deal with. Many artists are cheating, lying scumbags.. it's just the way it is.

Look at all the dishonest idiots who enter other people's songs or put stuff in the wrong genre just because they can.. heck, someone on here was saying they knew a song didn't belong in a genre.. so the question is "Why did you enter it in the wrong place when you knew better?" And they answer often is simply "because I can..." Welcome to the real world.

Brian
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 02:40 AM

Just a quick note... I received an email today from OurStage regarding the final 4 artists who won a spot at the Newport Folk Festival.
One of those winners is not only a friend of mine but also a JPF member ... Ryan Fitzimmons!!!
I am very excited for him!!
that's all I wanted to say smile
Joanne
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 03:34 AM

Where does it show how many times a song has been judged ??? I have never seen it yet and i have judged alot....Am I missing something ????

I've looked and still don't see it

Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:10 AM

Steve they do not reveal how many times a song is judged.
According to Brian it would help the cheaters figure out a way to cheat better.
Of course if every song gets judged an equal amount of times I am not sure how it would help the cheaters.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:11 AM

Hey Joanne
Hooray for your friend. I don't think I know the name but if he is your friend HOORAY for him.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:32 AM

Bill,

It helps the cheaters because some categories have a tiny number of voters and some have a lot. If a category has a small number of voters, cheating is an effective task. If there's a lot of votes, it's pointless. It also gives competitors an idea of what is going on throughout the month. Songs will rarely have the exact same number of votes at the same time because the system is playing catch up, PLUS, a song entered later isn't going to have as many battles, so the system strategically places them against certain songs to figure out a fair ranking with less votes.

The bottom line is that that's the way it is. I guess you'll have to decide if you can live with it or if the free service they offer isn't worth your time.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:39 AM

Brian Don't be so defensive.
I have accepted it is what it is. I will continue to use it as a way to evaluate my songs.
It is an interesting exercise. I have been spending a lot of time listening to the songs in the top spots and examining how the different artists are communicating with each other by friends lists and posts.
Trying to get a feel for how many actual "Fans" there are vs how many bands. It is a good exercise.

Like you said people will upload songs as their own just because they can
The Number one song in the Traditional Country channel
Cowboy's Sweetheart.
Was recorded and released by Leanne Rimes, Patsy Montana, and others. Yet it is Number one on the Traditional Country channel.
Like you said, just because they can. I don't even bother flagging them any more.
But actually it may be perfectly legal for the song to be there. But I thought it should be in Covers.
Do people have to prove they have license to do the covers?
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:54 AM

Well, "Wait in the Valley" was number one in Bluegrass for two days, then dropped to 128, went back up to 6, down to 24, was at 8 yesterday, today it's at 9.

I'm not doing any of the political stuff like I should, but there's only so much time in the day. I try to judge a bit, because, like Bill, it's an education to hear what musicians and fans actually vote for anonymously, as opposed to how they react on a public forum.

It's a lot of fun.

Mike

Mike
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 06:01 AM

MIKE DUNBAR

Meant to thank you for your insight....You mentioned long intros....

Well HOLDIN ON' had a 22 second intro & was languishing in the high 200's...Because of your advice I swapped out my song on the 3rd day & inserted a 12 second intro version...

It's stayed relatively low, so yeah watch out for the long intros guys....

Nice call Mike

Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 06:11 AM

Steve
Depending on the Genre the intro can be a killer.

Most Country songs average thirteen seconds but even that might be a little long for this competition.
I will give some songs more than 15 seconds if the intro is really good but usually if I don't hear melody and lyrics by twenty seconds I'm gone.

Hey Mike
I was in town all week but I was working like a dog trying to get the rest of the drywall up. Ran into a few snags But I got 'er done. Man I am getting old, or just fat and out of shape.
Now I'm looking for a finisher to tape the drywall. You know anyone?
Sorry I didn't call you but I'll be back next week for three weeks. I'll call you then.
Posted By: jazzbrain

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 06:19 AM

thanks...niteshift..we still are waitng to see if we got the gig

gl
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 06:24 AM

We submitted Ryan's name for the Newport Gig as our JPF representative. We also submitted 2 others who did well also. I hope he has a great show. I actually haven't heard from him, perhaps you can have him stop by here Joanne and fill us in on it all?

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 02:05 PM

I haven't checked yet today, but yesterday I had a comedy song in #2 spot, called Tax payers blues.
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
We submitted Ryan's name for the Newport Gig as our JPF representative. We also submitted 2 others who did well also. I hope he has a great show. I actually haven't heard from him, perhaps you can have him stop by here Joanne and fill us in on it all?

Brian


Hi Brian -
Ryan is very talented. He was a big hit at the JPF showcase at the Brooklyn Coffee House in Providence, RI a few years back. It's great to watch his music career take off.
I emailed him with a congrats and haven't heard back yet. Will give another holler. We have an upcoming gig together ... i'm sure he'll be more than happy to stop by and say hey to JPF!
thanks
Joanne
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/16/08 05:30 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
Hey Joanne
Hooray for your friend. I don't think I know the name but if he is your friend HOORAY for him.


Hey Bill!!
yeah! Hooray!! very talented artist! and a JPF member!
grin Joanne
Posted By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/17/08 11:13 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm elated to have been chosen as the JPF representative for the Newport Folk Festival through OurStage.com. Having lived in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for the last 6 years, I've attended Newport many times and have always been amazed at both the beautiful festival site and impressive artist roster each year. I'm extremely excited to be taking part in the festival, and I hope I do everyone at JPF proud.

I'm playing at 11:30 AM on Sunday, August 3rd on the Waterside Stage. I will be performing solo. The OurStage.com artists are opening the festival each day on both the Harbor and Waterside stages. There is one other singer-songwriter, Sydney Wayser, who will be performing during the same time slot as I a day earlier Saturday. The other artists are American Babies and The Honors, and both bands will play the same time slot (11:30 AM) on the Harbor Stage.

Thank you to Brian for recommending me, and to everyone else who may have given me a positive vote along the way. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I hope to make the most of it!!

Thanks again!!

Ryan
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/18/08 12:42 AM

Congrats Ryan! I remember you rocking us out in Rhode Island and Boston during the last Northeast Roadtrip we did and you were a Live Artist of the Year finalist for that tour. (We don't notify finalists unless they win). Our live artist of the year award considers anyone who performs at one of our live JPF events. We take the top 5 performers and then those are used to determine the live artist of the year.

Had you not come out and played live, I wouldn't have known enough about you to put your name forward. Sometimes people don't realize how valuable it can be later down the road to just get involved and do something when an opportunity crops up. Most wouldn't think a friendly little showcase of local JPF members would lead to much. This is a great example of how it always leads to something good, eventually. Sometimes directly, like this, sometimes less directly but just as important. Meeting people face to face when given a chance is always the best way to make an impression and make it POSSIBLE for something good to happen.

Ironically, though we've gotten music from over 35K of our 52K members, I don't think you're one of them this year for the awards Ryan. Make sure you get us anything you didn't enter previously before the August 31st deadline.

Have a great time at Newport and please let us know about the experience after the fact. I am curious to see how it goes for you!

Brian
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/18/08 03:42 PM

I have a couple of songs that have been staying pretty much at the same place for the last two weeks. The Meat Packer's Song in Spoken Word has been in the teens and has dropped to #20. Happy Seeing Less Of You has been in Bluegrass all month and has been in the 40s for most of it. Up For Hanky Panky is in Comedy. The odd think about this song is that I've zeroed in on judging in Comedy(there's a lot of crap in this genre right now). I've judged over 400 battles and have as of yet to judge a battle where my song was involved. There's only 60 some songs in this category and I've seen most songs in at least ten battles that I've judged. I even maxxed out early in the month - but even then - no battles involving my song. Mathematically, if I maxxed out of battles, I should have seen my song at least twelve times(there were only thirteen songs at the time). So I'm wondering what's up. I have other songs like Raise A Son and Baby Boomer Man in more competitive categories where artists who currently aren't performing probably don't have a chance.
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/18/08 05:22 PM

I'm in the top 5!

Currently my song "Getting Started Part 1" is at #5 in the instrumental charts!

I think a lot of that has to do with picking the right genre to enter the song in. I was only hoping for top 10. No wonder I started getting a ton of friend requests on Myspace.

(and with this post, I have now become a "Serious Contributor", I feel very accomplished)
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/20/08 06:40 AM

Update!

I MADE IT TO #1 IN INSTRUMENTAL. AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING, I HAVE A #1 SONG ON OURSTAGE!

Do I win a prize or something?

I made a screen-capture so that I will have proof and as a nice momento:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v377/manoreza/Mano_Number1.jpg
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/20/08 07:21 AM

Mano,

Congrats.. no matter where you end up at months end, it certainly indications that you've hit the mark with that song.

Nice job!

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/20/08 03:02 PM

I reached #2 in comedy and # 3 in traditional country, no #1 though.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/20/08 08:04 PM

This is my best month ever, so far.

ROMance: #2 in Comedy
System: #3 in Techno/Ambient
Rainforest Majesty: #18 in New Age/World
House of Cards: #18 in Rock Instrumental
Breathing You In: #20 in Club/Dance
Drum and Bossa: #35 in Tropical
Labyrinth: #40 in Instrumental
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 05:53 AM

Do yourselves a favor and listen to Andrew Aversa's music. It's excellent.

"Wait in the Valley" is number 5 in Bluegrass. smile

And Steve, thanks for the thanks.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 09:16 AM

Didn't Andrew recently turn 21? He's got a bright future in store for him it appears. = )

Brian
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 06:47 PM

Ok, so I entered a few songs last monday. Since then, I've had about 7-10 plays for each song. Most of them were in the 600s-700s at the time I entered them and have now moved up a little bit. One of my songs has gone to #220 in Alt.Country, but the rest have only moved up about 100 or 200 places.

My Question: If you enter the chart at 500+, how many plays would it take to get to the Top 10?

100 "slightly betters"?

5 "by fars"?

Thankfully, all of my songs are moving up, but not very quickly and I'm not sure what to make of it. Too many "draws" or "slightlys"?
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 07:58 PM

Hi emdub...those plays you see are independent of judging--that number of plays you see are only from people checking out your stuff. They won't show how many times the songs are actually being judged...it's a mystery. smile

Hey I'm clinging to #11 in Comedy...maybe I'll make a quarterfinal for once.
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 10:33 PM

Man, what a bummer!!! If you would have asked me, I'd say that I've really made great strides with my songwriting, performance and production. The results kind of prove otherwise however. Hmmm.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 11:04 PM

Coupla weeks ago, I got a note from a guy who said the song I posted in "Spoken Word" was touching as it described where he was a while back (It's about a homeless guy). He asked if he could do a back-up music track. I said I'd be honored.

He then sent me another note cursing and complaining about spam. When I wrote I had no idea what he was talking about, he sent this today. Hope someone can answer it clearly (I have no idea how it works!), so I can copy and paste it as a response.

Here is his note from today....

SORRY BEN I EMAILED YOU ABOUT HELPING YOU BRING OUT YOUR SPOKEN WORD...I THINK THIS PLACE IS SPAM...PS...TRY DELETING YOUR TRACKS, MUSIC, ART...YOU CANNOT...WHY...CAUSE THEY THINK THEY OWN US...I AM VETERAN NOBODY OWNS ME....I PAID MY DUES....TRAVIS

Thanks in advance,
Ben
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/21/08 11:23 PM

Ben: You can not delete your stuff on OurStage. If you have entered a song/video in the competition, they want the record of it being there. I did some test stuff at first to see how OurStage worked. I sent them an email asking them to remove that trial stuff and they did it for me.

Kevin
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 12:07 AM

I did some test stuff at first to see how OurStage worked. I sent them an email asking them to remove that trial stuff and they did it for me.

OK, so....I'm still not sure. Did they eliminate simply because it was trail stuff...or will they do it if you request it? Thanks
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 12:17 AM

Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Ben: You can not delete your stuff on OurStage. If you have entered a song/video in the competition, they want the record of it being there. I did some test stuff at first to see how OurStage worked. I sent them an email asking them to remove that trial stuff and they did it for me.

Kevin


NOT TRUE....

Here's how I got my earlier versions of songs off....

The song cant be entered in a competition...

Where your Title(s) is replace your Title with "REMOVE"....Move the song(s) to the bottom of your songs......Click on "CONTACT US" at the bottom of your page and choose technical help....Ask them to go to your profile and delete the songs titled "REMOVE".....

It will take a few days but they will e-mail you when they have gotten around to deleting your old tune......

SOMEONE HERE OWES ME LUNCH

Later guys
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 12:22 AM

Hey, thanks, Steve. I'll take you to Mr. D's next time you're in B'ham!
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 12:54 AM

Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Hi emdub...those plays you see are independent of judging--that number of plays you see are only from people checking out your stuff. They won't show how many times the songs are actually being judged...it's a mystery. smile


Mark this just doesn't sound right. Why on earth wouldn't they include the judging plays in the "plays" count?
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 01:56 AM

Originally Posted by Ben F Burton lll
Coupla weeks ago, I got a note from a guy who said the song I posted in "Spoken Word" was touching as it described where he was a while back (It's about a homeless guy). He asked if he could do a back-up music track. I said I'd be honored.

He then sent me another note cursing and complaining about spam. When I wrote I had no idea what he was talking about, he sent this today. Hope someone can answer it clearly (I have no idea how it works!), so I can copy and paste it as a response.

Here is his note from today....

SORRY BEN I EMAILED YOU ABOUT HELPING YOU BRING OUT YOUR SPOKEN WORD...I THINK THIS PLACE IS SPAM...PS...TRY DELETING YOUR TRACKS, MUSIC, ART...YOU CANNOT...WHY...CAUSE THEY THINK THEY OWN US...I AM VETERAN NOBODY OWNS ME....I PAID MY DUES....TRAVIS

Thanks in advance,
Ben


How it works? I think they can delete your stuff but you cannot. It is at their discretion.
If I remember correctly they said once a song was entered in a contest it could not be deleted because it was part of the contest results, or something to that effect.
But as far as "owning us" well they do. They sorta own the stuff you upload. It is in the terms and conditions. I expect the third party referred to might be a PRO.

Scope of License: By displaying, publishing, or otherwise posting any Submitted Content on or through the Site, you hereby grant to OurStage a limited, non-exclusive, sub-licensable, worldwide, fully-paid, royalty free license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Submitted Content without the requirement to make payment to any third party or the need to seek any third party permission. This license includes the right to host, index, cache, distribute, and tag any Submitted Content.

I'm not real good at interpreting this stuff but it looks to me like you give them the rights to do what ever they want to do with your music, royalty free. But from what I have seen this is standard proceedure on these types of sites.
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 07:42 AM

Now hang on there, Will Robinson...I mean Bill. wink

WHO is the 3rd party? That wouldn't be us...the ones who submitted it, would it? If so, this is nuttier than a fruitcake. That would mean, they can take everything they think could be a HIT song, pitch it to some heavyweights, and we get NADA??? I just can't see that, but I certainly wanna find out.

I have one in country that is 11 right now. It's high water mark was 7, then it slowly fell to about 70, reversed field and has gradually risen to where it is now. Seems odd. It never skips around...either rising for several days straight or falling. I'll just hope it hasn't risen too soon. I don't even know how it works as the month wears on...if they narrow it down to the top 25, or whatever....
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 03:12 PM

Mike & Brian, thanks for the kind words smile I did recently turn 21, about a month ago.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 03:53 PM

Andrew
I can only wish I had been making music when I was twenty one. I often wonder if I could have been a sucess at it had I started when I was young.
Follow your heart and never let anyone tell you you cannot achieve your dreams.
You have a long and sucessful career ahead of you.
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 04:04 PM

Ben
I doubt all but a very few actually read the terms and cnditions of using Ourstage. I did but put my songs there anyway because I see the same type of agreement all the time on these sites....plus I never really expect my songs to get anywhere anyway, LOL. smile
It seems to be a standard release for these type of sites. They all want the release from any responsibility to pay you for your work.
My read is exactly that. They can rewrite it, rerecord it, distribute it, whatever they want. And you have nothing to say about it. But...IANAL.

I would think party of the first part would be me...the second part would be them...the third part? anyone else, including PRO's. But IANAL

But the good thing is Ourstage actually does offer a way to make money with your music as well as a chance to play with the big boys.
This seems to be a really good site for musicians/performers.


Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 05:19 PM

What they are saying in that comment about third parties is that they do not have to pay a third party (i.e. someone OTHER than you, the person who posted it) anything to have the right to have it on their site. They are a contest site. They need to be able to say "here's the songs and where they ranked in each contest." That's part of the interest in the site is to go and hear the songs from various months that did well. And it's also informative to hear the songs that tanked as well if you want to enter and get a feel for what people like and don't like. If they didn't have that language on the site, people who are morons would be looking for any reason they could find to sue them because that is what people do.

If they let anyone remove their work after the contest, what happens if everyone who didn't win removes their songs? There's hardly any indication of what happened. It would be like NFL teams removing all mention of their season records when the playoffs started. How could anyone compare the successful ones to the ones that didn't do as well? That's all part of their sites value and interest to the non artist community. In addition, if there are later claims that something was posted illegally that didn't belong and litigation was involved, they need proof of what was posted. If they let others delete on their own, they'd really be screwed. They have good reason for tight control over that aspect. But in the end, after a request and a little time they will usually (as far as I am aware to this point) remove something you want removed.

I recently had an idiot threaten me and JPF because one of you posted a note which was 100% factually correct about his company (even he admitted it was 100% factually correct) on an unrelated post here. But because it exposed something about his company he didn't want exposed, he demanded I remove it. I told him no. He said his lawyer would be contacting me and he'd force me in court to remove it and pay him damages. I asked him how could the truth damage him? He said it would and he wouldn't tolerate it. (Oh, and he called me at 3:00 AM on my cell and I answered because we have a relative in the hospital so we're always nervous about late phone calls and he was calling from Japan where it was daytime). All this to say that idiots around the world will threaten lawsuits for the most bogus and stupid reason in the world. A company with employees and assets HAS to make sure they are protected. So they have a release/agreement that covers their butts from idiots so that at least if they DO get sued, there's no chance of losing based on the law.

You will find even worse agreements on most other sites where they host music. (Read the one for YouTube or MySpace). When we were considering partnering with Ourstage, I personally felt their agreement was one of the most reasonable I'd seen on the net.

I think before you get worried about what they might do with you your music, it's more relevant to try and improve your work to the point that there would be value in doing something with it in the first place. Most folks don't have that problem. And those who DO have that problem (like Andrew for example) don't get freaked out about this stuff in the first place. If you want to pursue commercial success, you have to realize you'd dealing in the business world and user agreements are going to be part of that.

Brian
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 09:29 PM

"I think before you get worried about what they might do with you your music, it's more relevant to try and improve your work to the point that there would be value in doing something with it in the first place. Most folks don't have that problem. And those who DO have that problem (like Andrew for example) don't get freaked out about this stuff in the first place."

So, essentially, Bill, you see, a coupla slugs like you and I needn't worry about someone stealing something as vapid as what we produce. Therefore, our rant that droned on for what?...pages and pages wasn't it? Well, it was was pointless. But let us, with firm resolve, continue to strive for improvement in our writings, all the while hoping the clock reverses itself and we somehow attain the age of twenty again! grin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 09:50 PM

Interesting you assume I am referring to your music Ben. I honestly don't think I've listened to any of your work, certainly not in the last couple years at least if ever and if I have ever heard your work, I have no memory of it's quality good or bad. You're a little paranoid I think. Trust me, people are NOT always talking about you.

My point, however, is still 100% valid no matter your age, style or talent. If you aren't writing music that already has a market and is selling, why would anyone on the planet have any need to steal it? What would they do with it? Publishers have hundreds of thousands of songs available that they can't get recorded which they already legally have the rights to. Same with hit songwriters. There's no market to steal songs from anyone who isn't commercially viable. And even in those cases, songwriting theft is actually quite rare. It's simply too hard to get anything recorded by anyone that can make money in the first place. Artist who DO consider outside songs aren't going to turn to a questionable resource to get them (i.e. from someone who would steal a song). And if there's any hint at a dispute over the song, they REALLY steer clear completely.

People need to get their music out there. If you wait until someone's paying for it, it's likely never going to get out there. Most people never place a single song in their lifetime with another artist. Even fewer ever make any money from it when they do. If people sit around afraid someone is going to steal something they could never give away if they wanted to, they have little chance to get anywhere, or to learn or to improve. If you think this is bad advice or it ruffles your feathers for some unknown reason, that's your own problem, not mine.

We checked out the user agreements from Ourstage and found them to be reasonable. If you or anyone else finds them not to be, then certainly don't post anything there. Everyone has different views on what is safe and what isn't.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 10:03 PM

Originally Posted by emdub123
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Hi emdub...those plays you see are independent of judging--that number of plays you see are only from people checking out your stuff. They won't show how many times the songs are actually being judged...it's a mystery. smile


Mark this just doesn't sound right. Why on earth wouldn't they include the judging plays in the "plays" count?

It's definitely true. Somewhere back in this very thread you'll find it stated for fact by Danny from OurStage. But before you read this whole thread, you might want to make some popcorn and grab a beverage. smile
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 10:30 PM

I'm sure you are right, Brian. Just a complete coincidence that you bring it all up right on the heels of Bill and I BRIEFLY discussing that very thing. (I think my comment was ALL of two lines, before I moved on to something else, and those 2 lines would never have been written had Bill not broached the subject, albeit a FAR CRY from, let me see...what were your EXACT words? Ah, yes, "Freaked Out!" All the while you mention specifically one person who HAS reached the point that he might worry about song/lyric theft.

Say what you want, man. There is much more than mere implication in your words. In a nutshell,

"Only those like Andrew need to be worried about the thing Bill freaked over."
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 11:29 PM

Brian
I really like JPF but this is the second time you have basically said we all suck here except for a select few.
Now you are going to get all defensive and say you didn't say that. that's OK.


One thing I have learned over the last couple years is you think Country music and country writers are the bottom of the barrel. You find any way you can to run us down.

I'm trying to figure out where I said someone was going to steal my songs, or where I freaked out.
All I did was paste a copy of the terms and conditions of Ourstage. And said it is standard practice.
I also tried to explain what I remembered them sayng about deleteing songs.

That was a response to the person that sent Ben the E-mail. That was FREAKED OUT.
And it DOES say they can use our music any way they see fit and they do NOT have to pay any Royalties. If we give them the right to do that then we have nothing to complain about.

It is remarkable to me that you run a site for songwriters and musicians then post up these threads telling us how worthless we are and we are never going to succeed no matter how hard we try. The odds are against us.
That we have no talent and never will have, That's what I read your remarks as saying.

Thanks for the pep talk Brian
I feel so much better now.

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/22/08 11:31 PM

Actually I said that people like Andrew usually DON'T worry because they understand the way sites that host music work and are taking advantage of them. And that's still true. So is the entire point I was making.

I just went back and re-read. There were several people talking about this topic and my post simply continued the discussion and addressed quite a few people's posts. In fact, one of them was the email you quoted Ben. Go back and read them in order. The guy you quoted is completely paranoid as indicated by what you included. He thinks Ourstage thinks they own him? What?

From a continued discussion where I mentioned Andrew as an EXAMPLE, not as the ONLY person who would qualify, you personalized it to be about you and Bill and suggested some kind of direct insult to your work. I don't know anything about your work Ben. And Bill knows what I think about his recording and if he has a concern, he's quite a big boy and can discuss it for himself without you dragging him into your completely off base rant.

Brian
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 12:36 AM

Let me tell you something, Brian. You have a penchant for throwing around words like "rant", totally out of context. I consider what YOU said to be far more of an indignant rant than anything I said. You make a point of saying that, to your knowledge, you have never read or listened to even one of my compositions. Was that meant to put me in my place, or do you make it a habit of not reading or listening to members songs?

Since you seem to be omnipresent on every thread, you have to glean info from somewhere. How did you discover Andrew as a talent? I have twice mentioned on this thread that I have a song in the top 10 in country. Did you just happen to miss that...the first and second time I posted it???. I could honestly not give a rat's rear that you've discounted/avoided everything I've produced. I still think my interpretation of what you said regarding Bill and me is right on.

Plus, I hardly call what I said a RANT. Since you claim to have read all the preceding posts, then you might have enough common decency about you to REALIZE the guy I made that first post in regard to, obviously has some issues. I clearly stated that he wrote me a note saying that he liked my song...I didn't go into particulars except to say...aw, hell, I'll just re-paste what I wrote, followed by his note to me.

"Coupla weeks ago, I got a note from a guy who said the song I posted in "Spoken Word" was touching as it described where he was a while back (It's about a homeless guy). He asked if he could do a back-up music track. I said I'd be honored."

SORRY BEN I EMAILED YOU ABOUT HELPING YOU BRING OUT YOUR SPOKEN WORD...I THINK THIS PLACE IS SPAM...PS...TRY DELETING YOUR TRACKS, MUSIC, ART...YOU CANNOT...WHY...CAUSE THEY THINK THEY OWN US...I AM VETERAN NOBODY OWNS ME....I PAID MY DUES....TRAVIS

So the "rant" you are referring to (one of them anyway) is from an ex-military, recently homeless man. Is that the best you can do, Brian? Even if it is a RANT by an unfortunate, paranoid patriot, HE didn't post it here. I did, but ONLY to garner information that I could send to him to hopefully appease. I could have gotten have-cocked and told him to go f himself.

Your confidence in your supreme "rightness" in all situations, admissions of error, misspeaking, and apologies be damned, reminds me of one of the FEW times I have seen you even SLIGHTLY admit to being wrong, and that was only to a pro this past WEAK (pun intended)on the mentor thread. Funny thing to me was, the entire time you were administering an undeserved "GROUP" admonishment, you were continuing to do the VERY thing that you deemed worthy of chastisement. No one should take pot shots at the poor lady in distress. Your exact quotes are in red...you closed the thread after you got last word, but you are the king, so... To wit:

At what point did it become permissible to dismiss Redlady's lyric? Most of us, in our responses DIDN'T!

While chastising the critiques in general, and lauding Pat in particular, you thought it perfectly fine to say:

"The difference is that she knows how to critique something, even a very weak lyric, and still find a way to reach a positive result. I think what was most exposed here, was not that Schantell had a weak lyric. It's that SO MANY OF US HAVE WEAK critique skills. As WEAK AS HER LYRIC WAS..."

"Her response made those comments looks just as weak and off base as the weakest link in Schantell's lyric."
((TRULY amazes me that you could say all that after jumping everyone who dismissed her lyric out of hand!)

So, I'm wondering, Brian, were all of those comments considered by you to be postmortem, thereby making them in no way hurtful? Seems to me that is tantamount to saying....

"OK. It is a well-established consensus by now, and we can all agree, that Hiram is fat and ugly, so when I allude to that fact several times in a row in just a moment (in Hiram's presence, no less), please bear in mind that even the Pro gently acknowledged that fact, so when I repeat it, it isn't meant to be construed as pouring salt in the wound!" (All the while saying how much should be learned from Pat's critique...keeping comments constructive and kind).

Very strange, but by no means could there be the slightest thing questionable about it, since you said it (again, while talking down to most of us).



Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 01:24 AM

Brian's new moniker: "Your Supreme Rightness" That's a good title. I want that title!

Kevin
Posted By: Stephen D

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 01:46 AM

Just thought I'd chime in. I posted one of my songs(She's The One) in Americana/ Alt Country and although it has not done very well, it's at 324 right now. This has been a real education for me. It is very helpful to have direct comparisons of what a marketable song is and is not. Although I'm not really sure about the genre question of where my song should have been, I have to say that I grudgingly admit the shortcomings of my stuff compared to many higher ranked songs ahead of me. In the end this has opened my eyes and now I understand where I need to go to improve my stuff. Good sight! I think I'm hooked!! lol
Steve
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 01:54 AM

Stephen: I believe that OurStage is excellent vehicle to see how people like the first 20-30 seconds of your song. If you want to do well there, you had better have a hot beginning. I have to assume that if you want to win anything you have to have a great "complete" song, too.

I am not particularly convinced that I can pull off a great enough beginning to move up through the ranks, but I still will get a try here and there. The bottom line is that I just don't have "professional grade" vocals -- and that is just the way it is.

Kevin
Posted By: Ben Burton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 01:54 AM

Stephan,

I don't know the workings of it, but if there are hundreds of songs in a certain genre, then it would be hard to cheat. My song, which is, at this moment,#6 in country, out of 539 songs was as low as 169 at one point, rose to 7, sank close to triple digits again, and came back to it's current position. So, don't give up. Heck, I view it as a fun thing, that can be helpful. I have one in Christian that's at 190+ and I thought it had the best chance of doing well of the 3 I put up. I have one other that's about 25th, but considering there's only about 50 songs in that genre.... wink
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 03:26 AM

Ben,

The rant I was referring to was simply this:

"So, essentially, Bill, you see, a coupla slugs like you and I needn't worry about someone stealing something as vapid as what we produce. Therefore, our rant that droned on for what?...pages and pages wasn't it? Well, it was was pointless. But let us, with firm resolve, continue to strive for improvement in our writings, all the while hoping the clock reverses itself and we somehow attain the age of twenty again!"

As for how I would know Andrew's music? That's easy. He entered the JPF Music awards, scored multiple nominations and swept his categories for both album and song as a 19 year old in the last awards. In addition, he was one of a large number of members, mentors and attorneys I asked to check out Ourstage before we partnered with them. I always do a great deal of due diligence before we partner with someone. Andrew checked it and out and was one of the first of our members (aside from a few that were already on the site) to join. During our first month as partners, I monitored all our members music on Ourstage very closely and acted as an advisor (which I still do when I have time) to Ourstage on how to improve the site and giving them feedback from our members and observations I was making about the site. Andrew had some new songs on there that did very well and his girlfriend and fellow JPF member won the 5K that month and Andrew was involved with her music as well. So, yes, I know his stuff pretty well. He's very talented. And beyond that, he's very smart about online websites for posting music. That's why I asked him to help check out Ourstage in the first place. And that's also why he was an obvious example of someone to mention in my statement above. Seems to be a pretty logical person's name to evoke. A multiple award winner, a seasoned online artist and someone who isn't paranoid about getting his music out there. Yup. That seems to qualify in my eyes.

As for why I don't know your music. Let's see the reasons here:

1. You've never entered the JPF music awards, even though we've gotten 40,000 albums and well over a half million songs this year alone. I checked, you've also never entered a previous year. I can't hear your music if you don't send it in.

2. You've never come out to a JPF event in person and performed like 17,000 other members have. We were even in your state last year doing a show in Birmingham. You weren't there performing. I can't hear you if you don't perform.

3. You've never gone out of your way to support JPF. You're not on the list of donors for example who are helping us get a new server so the site works faster and people can do searches again and we can host songs and videos and other content. I do try to check out music from folks who support the cost of running JPF. I don't think that applies to you.

4. You've never been a volunteer for JPF for the many different programs and things that need to be done. Most of the top Posters have given back in a variety of ways, not just financial, but with their time helping out with things. This is a volunteer run organization. No one gets paid a dime, including me. I do try to check out the music of those who help JPF out whenever I can. I don't think that applies to you.

5. I don't listen to MP3 files very often, nor do I do critiques very often. Usually when I do hear one on the site it's because I am drawn into a discussion or the file itself is relevant in some way (like the time I spent on the Ourstage site). Every now and then I will find a title interesting and check it out or there will be some other reason to click an MP3 link but those times are few and far between. I am not a big fan of reading stand alone lyrics, so I don't often read those either. If I was going to do so, however, I would likely do it in a case of someone who's a friend and a positive part of JPF. It's obvious we're not friends, and I wouldn't consider you to be a positive part of JPF. Positive people don't physically threaten the owner of the site by saying they are former Alabama football players and can kick their ass. In this case, that DOES apply to you. Remember?

So no Ben, I am not familiar with your music. But I am definitely familiar with your regular negative attitude and the level of animosity you continue to show for me, and the lack of respect you have for the work I've done here. You give very little in terms of positiveness to JPF and you're a hot head on your best day and spoiling for a fight on your worst. All of this is true. And yet I still let you come here and use the site for your own benefit as you see fit. And you think I am the problem here? Your negatives might be more tolerable if you also had something positive to balance it out. If you have it, I haven't seen it yet.

I suggest either you step away and give your negative vibe a time out, OR you simply go away and never come back at all. Is there any part of that you don't understand? Please go back and read it if you don't. There might be a quiz later.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 07:43 AM

Stephan
One thing I have learned from Ourstage is the Bar is set quite high. Especially vocals. I have listened to a lot of music on that site and there are some very very talented people there.

Use it as a way to improve. Listen to what is winning in your chosen Genre. It has been an eye opener for me. I still struggle with the genre clasification. To my ears everthing I do is Country but I think it isn't necesarily so.
Hang in there, keep workin' it.
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 08:40 AM

Good points Bill. I found that to be the same experience. I even received a couple of emails from Ourstage saying they respectfully changed a song to another category, to be a better fit. Now that's an attentive site! That means at least some staff is listening to all the songs, and actually caring about the end result. Not common at all, huh?

And Brian,,,,,Man! I can tell Ben that I know first hand what you do, from you giving me pointers here and there, and giving me an opportunity to try a song out at the showcases. And I only posted my opinions on the site, and not really giving that much in donations. I heard your voice in person Brain, and what Ben doesn't realize is the honesty and intention of your printed words. I understood your printed words more after meeting you.
Even in your latest reply here, I could hear your matter of fact way of talking, and not being mean spirited. The reserve of your temper amazes me, from some of the attacks you get. You don't demand a fee from members. You allow opinions to stand, even when they turn into attacking you personally. I would have been spitting out my words in a reply after such a rant. It's like he, or some others only hear what they want to hear so they can further attack.

I would like to try to balance the vibe above by saying a BIG THANK YOU for all you do for any member that wishes to take advantage of this site. And, to let you know that besides all the benefits of this site you and your brother created that I already mentioned, that one recent very cool thing happened:

Our band just played at a local small venue. The crowd was sparse from people being down the Jersey shore and other summer reasons. BUT, after one member from here, (Jeff Epstein), drove FROM the Jersey shore, (a long way), to hear us for the first time, he gave us all a lift. I recognized him from his avatar. He was beaming with smiles as he rush in during our fourth song and jump in the front row, dead center! ONE person who cares that much makes a huge difference. WE played our hearts out, and as I would like to think that would have happened anyway, I feel at least Iggy and I raised the performance level up a notch to make it our best night so far. If that is not making a difference, (positivity), then I don't know what else would be.

Without YOU and this site, there's no playing out for me solo in the first place. There's no band, for I wouldn't have had the momentum going when Bass2x called me just to "Jam" with him with his horn. I talked him into playing bass again, as I was all hopped up from your encouragement, and for allowing me to attend multiple showcases, whereas you could have asked me not to wear out my welcome. YOu gracously accepted where I wanted to play and even when I wanted to go on! Talk about devotion and caring to a JPF member. All I did was ask. Again, I wasn't a contributor, or any big deal, (still not). All Ben ever had to do is sign up or send in, to be heard by you, I know. From my first sending of another song 10 years ago, you kept interested. I know that goes for many here. As far as going to sites, I remember you telling me that you have a LOT to listen to with the awards, and would rather not go to site after site, having to sift though several pages that some people would have us all do, (jump through hoops to get to our songs). BUT, all anyone had to do to get listened by you was to simply send you a CD. I asked, and your answered. Done! I know it is not from NOT wanting to hear anybody's material, as it's a time issue, obviously. Can't be blamed for not hearing anyone's tunes, or reading lyrics, for sure. I don't do that much of that, and I don't have a million songs to listen to each year!

I saw you deal with the odd and nasty sound people at a certain venue, and not blow up in their face, as most would have for the way you were treated. (Really, it was the way your JPF members were treated, and you came to our defense in such a good character way about you. I felt proud and at ease at hav ing such a postive leader representing us all that night, (and really, that is how I hear you in your posts). Concerned for the whole group, and taking on individuals, either for the good or not so good for some, as the situation develops. One more thing. (And I know I am missing many more). I had asked you if you would ask someone you have good contacts with, to listen to a certain song.
To my delight, you had already done that for me weeks before, and told me exactly what the BIG guy from one BIG company said,,,,that he liked the song, but didn't know what market HE could work it in. I was happy as anything just to know you were working my promotion without letting it be known. I think that is great of you, and I know you must have done that for many others as you hear fit. If all the above about you is not being a great owner of an organization, then again, I don't know what is.

To Ben: If you met Brian, you wouldn't have had the same reaction, I'm sure. I would bet my house on it. It's like once we get a locked in defensive mode thing going, it becomes offensive, and gets blown out of proportion. All of what I said about Brian are facts, not ideas of some words here or there, or thoughts of "why not me", or similar. I can assure you, Brian is not a bad guy, or an unfair guy, or a mean spirited guy, even in the most debated discussions, which is a rare quality when just talking in print.

The end of my rant,
John
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 09:46 AM

Bill,

I just saw your earlier post. So now your claim is that I am anti-country and that I don't respect people who perform or write country music? Do I have that right? Are you serious?
What do you base that on? That I don't like your singing?

We've given out more awards to country artists and writers than to any other genre in the Founders Awards, where all genres compete head to head.. and I oversee all of that. 3 of our 5 Song of the Year winners are country songs (though technically Wide Open Spaces was in the Americana Category that year because they used electric guitar instead of Fiddle like the Dixie Chicks did), booked more country artists to perform at JPF special events than any other genre, brought on more country oriented Mentors than any other genre and so on. I used to volunteer for the NSAI for 7 years before starting JPF. We've visited and interviewed more country music industry experts at publishers, labels, studios and even the reps who specialize in it at the PRO's than any other genres. I started as a country writer myself and my first 6 songs published were Country songs. Hell I even wore a Cowboy hat for the first 2 years of JPF before we got the Red Baseball caps. How much more country cred do I need with you? Especially compared the other 90+ genres of music ALSO made by our members. Good music is good. Bad music is bad. It doesn't matter what genre it is for those purposes. And we ironically get a bad rap here because our board is so filled with country writers that the other genres often feel left out and unwelcome. That's a constant battle and if we're so anti-country, you'd think that wouldn't be the case right? And all that isn't enough?

You and Ben seem to have all sorts of complaints. But I still challenge you to show me where my advice was incorrect? You can't because it isn't. So instead you guys are now claiming I don't respect Country music. That's the best you can do? Tell that to Melody Guy, the artist with the most nominations in our JPF history and the most founders awards as well.. all for.. drum roll please.. COUNTRY MUSIC. Tell that to Chris Young who credited us for nurturing him right here on these very boards. If we are so anti-country, I think he would have noticed right? I doubt Nashville Star would have come to us year after year asking for our help getting talent signed up if we were so anti-country.

Take or leave my advice.. I certainly can only lead the horse to the water. But your claims are ridiculous and so easily disproved by simple numbers and facts that I can't believe you even tried to get away with it.

I also would like to see where I have said "we all suck here except for a select few." I can't seem to find that anywhere.

Bill.. why not use the time you're spending blaming me for somehow oppressing you to write and record some better songs? Seriously. That's what you have to do if you want to be more successful.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 07:03 PM

Brian
You said you don't think my songs, my singing, or my recordings are good enough to compete. I can live with that. I don't like a lot of people's songs.
I would hate to think the only thing being judged is vocal ability. Then again I hear some singers on there that are pretty bad, LOL.
You suggested I might use a professional for my songs and see how much difference it makes. Well I took your advice, it didn't help much. So I can only conclude the song itself was not as good as I, and most people I talked to, thought it was.

Oh! Those people were Song_U, The session players who did the song, Barbara Cloyd, and a few others in the Biz.
Why it has not done well on Ourstage is still a concern, and a mystery, for me.
I have been watching Ourstage very closely to try to figure out what is happening.
I have a few theories but I will keep them to myself. I don't want to look like I am complaining.

I would like the ability to question things without always being told to quit complaining. I think I have a right to ask why something is the way it is. I ask why we cannot be told how many times our song is judged. You say it will help the cheaters. I don't see how so it is a difference of opinion.

I think it smells like the Government saying that information is classified, it's a matter of National security.

You said I should be more interested in how many people actually seek out the song and play it than how many times it is judged. OK I did that. I was watching numbers of plays versus the ranking of one of my songs.
Well, to my surprise the song was getting played more times than some of the songs in the top spots. Now I have to figure out why the song has not done better in the rankings. People like it enough to seek it out and listen to it but not enough to vote for it? I find that strange. I would like to understand that.

My questioning these things don't mean I am complaining. It means I want to know why.

Some folks will sit back and watch things happen and never question it. Some folks won't. I won't. When something seems out of whack I question it.

Whether or not JPF has chosen Country songs as winners should have nothing to do with what you like or don't like. At least I hope it doesn't. I would hope that the contests and awards were being judged and determined by JPF Members, not by you.
That is what makes JPF such a special place. You allow the members to decide things.

I won't argue with you about what you did or did not say. It is only my impression and it may be far from correct. But it is my impression non the less. I can't put it in "quotes" because there is no exact quote. So maybe I should keep my impressions to myself.
In the meantime I am going to try to figure out what it is I have to do to move to the next level in my persuit of writing a hit Country song. And to be honest I think I am doing pretty good for an old man who didn't write his first song until he was 58 years old. And that's only been five years.
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 09:01 PM

Has anyone noticed the new "My Dashboard" that comes up when you log into OurStage. I like it, I get to see how lousy I am doing without a lot of hassle.

Kevin
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 09:54 PM

Bill,

The Founders awards are called that for a reason. (Remember, this has nothing to do with the Song or Album winners in the general awards.. we're talking the Founders Awards that are above and beyond those others). It's takes someone familiar with ALL the music who can take all the results, choose a small number of folks who are informed and open minded and whittle it all down to the final Founders Awards winners. We make that all 100% clear and we even NAME it the Founders Awards. No one else has heard ALL the nominees. No one else has spoken to ALL the judges. No one else has seen ALL the results at every stage and read every single judges comment. I do 3 primary things in the awards. I initially screen 100% of the entries to determine genres (and also to remove the bottom 10-30%), I then switch to overseeing the entire screening process all the way down to the nominations by coordinating ALL the judges, answering questions, double checking to make sure people are doing a thorough job and then compiling the judges results into the nominations. Then, after all the voting happens among the Fans, Peers and Industry folks, I take those results and combine them all into a manageable process so that a smaller group of trusted and proven judges (i.e. the cream of the entire crop) can determine their recommendations for the Founders Awards winners. Once I have all those opinions collected (and they rarely agree with each other) I have to make final judgement calls on those Founders Awards winners. This is the only way it can work without it simply being a popularity contest. In the case of the Artist of the Year winners, we ALSO have to consider if they are the right people represent the entire organization. So character and involvement with the org. is part of that. Usually I am the only person who actually knows these folks directly. Who else can make that judgement call? So we name those awards The Founders Awards for a reason. It wasn't random. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to make all of this work. It's not done lightly or carelessly and it's definitely not done with any level of bias. If it was, we wouldn't see such diversity across the various winners. But, one category HAS in fact done better.. Country. And that's only possible because I have no bias for or against anything.. I just pick the best work and if Country or Rap or Death Metal is what moves everyone the most, that's what is going to win.

Your comments are frankly deeply offensive by the way. You throw around false accusations based not on fact but on your "impression" with no facts at all to back it up. What you've done is no less offensive to someone who has dedicated his life to helping Musicians and Songwriters for no personal gain than falsely accusing a civil rights worker of being a racist or bigot. I really thought you were better than that. On that, apparently, I was wrong.

Now.. since you and Ben have completely hijacked this post about Ourstage so you could hurl personal attacks against me, I have to do something about it. I suppose I could start a new post and simply move this one off line. It's sad that you've screwed over a post that was about supporting and discussing a great new company who is helping make our awards and everything else here possible so that people can use it for free and participate whether they have money or not. I was going to create some new message boards for the Community Partners, so perhaps I will use this as the motivator to do that. If I do move this post off line, it's not because Bill and Ben have attacked me (which is why I didn't and never do remove posts where people attack me personally), but rather it's off topic and most folks want to talk about how cool Ourstage is or ask questions about how it works or how to use it.

Brian
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 10:56 PM

Well Brian I would never intentionally do anything to hurt JPF or screw up a forum. If that is the case then do what you must.
Delete me and anything I have said that hurts this or any other thread, post, or forum.
That I have my own opinions are just that, my opinions.

This all started because someone made some accusations about Ourstage, I thought I was defending them.
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/23/08 11:55 PM

HEY!! MY SON'S BAND, THREE TALL PINES, "STILLHOUSE ROAD," IS #1 ONSTAGE BLUEGRASS RIGHT NOW!!!
COOL!!
Joanne! grin
Posted By: Bill Robinson

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 12:18 AM

More good news from Joanne.
Those guys can play. Congrats. I hope they stay on top.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 12:55 AM

Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Has anyone noticed the new "My Dashboard" that comes up when you log into OurStage. I like it, I get to see how lousy I am doing without a lot of hassle.

Kevin

It definitely saves on extra clicks to find out how your songs are doing. I only wish it included all songs you have entered for the month...it only shows me three out of seven.

But yes, very cool feature.
Posted By: Johnny Daubert

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 05:23 AM

Cool Joanne! If they get to your house to play or nearby, let me know, so I can tell Kathy Eckert, who lives down the other street near you. She and her late husband, (my growing up best friend), used to always go to the Philadelphia Folk Festival. She loves all kinds of good ole American music, including of course, Bluegrass! She would get a kick out of it, I know.

Wishing your son and his band all the best!
John
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 06:17 AM

Three Tall Pines absolutely Rock! They deserve it. Number one with a day left to go, they've got a good shot.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 01:37 PM

My bluegrass song reached the top five but has slipped lately, 19 yesterday. Oh well.
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 03:01 PM

Hey Bill -
it sure is my pleasure to share good news.. Hope I can keep coming up with things to share grin
thanks
Joanne
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 03:03 PM

Hey John -
I remember that sad time for you. Hope your friend, Kathy is doing well.
TTP does have some gigs coming up in RI ... i'll keep you posted ... or you can check their website
www.myspace.com/threetallpines

Thanks for your well wishes. smile Joanne
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 03:07 PM

Hey Mike!!! -
I told Joe to be sure to check out your bluegrass!!
I am leaning about ourstage ... still in the dark ... one day to go for ???? what???? if it's something good ..hope they can hang on!!! grin Lots of info on this thread .. i'm gonna spend some time surfing through and get up to speed.
Joanne

Posted By: Paul Street

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 03:13 PM

When you realize what writing a "hit" country song involves......I mean writing one and getting it placed are two separate accomplishments. You still may have a "hit" on your hands but unless it's placed, cut, released and pushed it won't be recognized as a hit. You have to listen to critiques as well as accolades in this biz. You can choose to agree or not. I've been writing and recording for over 20 years and I'm still learning everyday.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 04:13 PM

Paul,

Smart writers keep learning. When I talk to those with many big hits, they are the first to say they learn more about writing and the business constantly and that it's always changing so what worked even a year ago doesn't any more. These hit writers are very practical artisans that are sort of like custom furniture designers or architects. They can use their talent to give the clients exactly what they want. If you find that distasteful, keep writing what you want, but don't lament that no one else cares. Either you're serving the commercial market, or you're serving your ego. Either way, you have to live with the results.

Brian
Posted By: Three Tall Pines

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 04:20 PM

Mike, Thanks for the supportive words. Looking for to checking out your website once I get through the thread.

Also, these thread is huge and has so much good info, thanks to all the people who built it. It is going to take a while to get through all of this info but I am sure it is worth it.

Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 04:34 PM

Quote
Either you're serving the commercial market, or you're serving your ego.


Is it really just that black and white? I would love to write songs that resonate with the public, but maybe I don't have it in me, or maybe I do -- I have only been writing for 1 1/2 years. My take on OurStage is that if you can consistently place your songs in the top 10%, then maybe you've got something.

Of course, I realize that OurStage rewards good performances of good songs. Until I can get someone else to perform my songs (or suddenly, I get better) I know that I don't stand much of a chance. I understand that and accept it, but I still hold out hope that I can slip a song or two in there that might do pretty well. I plan to keep trying.

Kevin
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 05:29 PM

It's a great tool for me. I had some initial success, with my first two entries ending at #22 and #34 in April. I thought, Great!! What I'm doing is working!!

This month I entered those same two songs and five others. One is at #220 and the rest are between 300 and 700 with very little movement, including the one that finished #22 in April (which, truth be told, has now dropped to about #1000).

What makes it a great tool, is that it gives you a good reality check. In my case, it forced me to come to terms with the half-assed aspects of my recordings. There have been lots of takes that were "close enough". There have been arrangements that when all was said and done, just didn't have any "sparkle." There is MIDI that is just -slightly- out of sync.

This really came to the forefront when I started judging other people's work. The "home productions" have a lot more errors, arrangement issues, pitch problems, etc. when compared to (what sound like) "studio productions." I think that what I'm hearing is not the difference between home production and professional studio production per se, but the difference in where people are setting the bar for themselves.

So, what made me think that if I can hear "close enough" in other people's songs, no one would notice that in mine?

While the fundamental appeal of the song itself is a major factor, the importance of a well-executed production cannot be understated. It's been said many times before, but I'm finally seeing where that bar is set as far as my own work is concerned.

Thanks, OurStage!

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 05:37 PM

Kevin, the comment has to be in the context of you desiring to have commercial success. It's like opening a paint store. If you put the pain in a container that works for your customers and makes them happy and they buy it, you're serving their needs as your customers. If you put it in some type of container that they hate, simply because you like it that way, then you're serving your ego and you're not going to do very well. Same with music. If you WANT to pursue selling music, you HAVE to give people what they actually want. It's not a social experiment where your goal is to change the entire worlds perceptions. Sometimes that actually happens by accident.. (i.e. someone does something very different but people catch on to it and love it) but I think it rarely happens when 1 single person plans it that way. I know a lot of folks who take that approach.. most aren't selling CD's or getting gigs or airplay.

I actually appreciate weird approaches to music. That's because I do this for a living and it's a specific area of interest. If I go to McDonalds.. most of the time I want a hamburger and fries. Sure, they could stop serving those and instead serve soybean burgers exclusively. They might feel that is more politically correct or healthy. And that's great. I just would't go back there nor would most other people who eat there. Instead, they give us what we want, even if it's not the healthiest or most environmentally/socially positive thing they can do. And of course they sell a LOT of hamburgers.

Music is no different. To you, it's your life and heart and soul. To most, it's just another choice of hamburgers or soy burgers.

Make your choice and be happy with the results. Don't like the results? Change your approach. But many want to do it their way only and then want to blame everyone else for their failure.. (the labels, the radio stations, the public.. blah blah blah). I see how people vote in our awards each time. It sometimes boggles my mind that they choose the clearly inferior song over the clearly better song.. but it's their choice and I learned from that. I see it happening in real time and I have to accept the fact. I actually think sometimes what makes really cool art of any kind (including music) special is that only a few people get it.. when it becomes the accepted norm, people who like unique art will run it down. If you have a type of music that is unique, artists and the like will praise it's originality and awesomeness.. once the masses adopt it as well, those same folks will insult it and say it's a sell out and it sucks. But it's the same exact thing as before.

Aren't humans great? = )

Brian
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 06:23 PM

emdub123: I listened to a few of your tunes at OurStage. here are a couple of quick observations (or opinions):

A Long Way From Home: There has been lots of talk about long intros -- and that is even more critical at OurStage. You don't get started singing until 0:35. maybe try the start the "intro" at 0:29 and be singing in 6 seconds.

A Broken man: Lower in volume than the 1st tune and the vocals are a little "buried". Bring them to the forefront a little more.

As with everyone else, you have to really do a strict 15-20 second test and see if it grabs the listener. Great songs don't have to, but it seems that if you expect to do well at OurStage, the first 15-30 seconds are really critical.

Kevin
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 06:53 PM

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for taking the time to listen and give feedback! I appreciate it. Until recently, I never gave long intros any consideration. Not only is it an issue in my recordings, my wife also commented that I do it in my live show. I very often go through the chord progression once just to get the groove going before I start the vocal. Not too pro, I'm afraid...
Posted By: Kaley Willow

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 07:23 PM

Hi Y'all...I really want to try Ourstage...and I've written
asking about a children's song category. Are you hearing many kids songs on there...? (Ourstage did write back and tell me
they'd think about it....so it's still possible)....

If I did put any of them up...would I just choose the closest
feel...i.e., country...or folk etc..... Would any of you be willing to give me an ear...to figure out where to place them? ....

very best....and thanks!
Kaley....

Miss Willow's Fence Row
http://cdbaby.com/cd/kwwg2
Posted By: emdub123

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/24/08 07:43 PM

Hi Kaley, if it were me I'd pick folk.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 12:34 AM

Kaley,

I think they'll add a Children's category eventually. Probably sooner than later I bet.

Brian
Posted By: Mike Dunbar

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:07 AM

Well, Three Tall Pines is going into the semi-finals at number one in Bluegrass, congrats! My song "Wait in the Valley" is at number five in Bluegrass, and Everett Adams' "Just Another Day, is eighteen in Bluegrass.

How about the other JPFers, which of y'all is in the semi-finals?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:45 AM

I saw Jenn Cristy at #3 in Pop. She's amazing live and blew the town away at our Cincy show last summer. She left being a back up singer for Mellancamp to do her own thing. I am glad she did!

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:48 AM

I also see in Comedy:

#1: Greg Tamblyn (he won our JPF Novelty Award with that song)
#2: Zircon
#8: Everett Adams
#11: Mark Kaufman

I've only checked Pop and Comedy.. I am guessing based on early in the month we have over 200 finalists.. so many I can't keep track these days..
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:56 AM

Just checked covers for 2 I knew were entered neither made the top 20.. though both should have..

#69: Jane Jensen: Miss You (I think that performance is far better than anything in the Top 20.. play it and see if you agree with me)

#119: Big Jim Merriless: I think he should have been in the running for the top 20.. but he's at least been there before.

Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 05:07 PM

Being on dialup means I can't take part in the judging (just takes too long), do you think that hurts my chances in finishing higher in the standings. Also I have to upload my songs at a lower quality, that hurts too.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 05:44 PM

What the heck? I'm #1 in Comedy.

Do they reshuffle the decks on that top 20 once they start the quarterfinals? Quite a surprise this morning. smile
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 05:59 PM

Mark: Take a screen capture of it!!! Of course, I expect you may have a few more #1's down the road.

Kevin
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 06:08 PM

Well, the boys and I managed to squeak into the quarter-finals in Traditional Country with "Time, Peace, and Pain." I think we're running about #18 right now. This is the first time we've ever made the quarters, so we're kinda excited.

I have heard some really good tunes from fellow JPFers along the way.

Eric
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:20 PM

My highest one is #20 in Spoken Word. I guess that may qualify me for quarter-finals(It's really more of a comedy song). Congratulations to all who made the quarter-finals. As I made known I'm focusing on the comedy genre where I've seen some JPFers. Everett, Mark, and Andrew congratulations. I've judged 95 battles in the QF there and all of you are in my top 5. However, I honestly think Greg Tamblyn has these best that's there. Hey Everett, how'd you do in Bluegrass? I've liked everything I've heard from you. Andrew and Everett probably have the best chance of doing well outside the comedy genre because of production and performance. Best wishes.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:44 PM

My song "The Lighter Side Of Poverty" started out at #22 in male singer singwriter and ended up at #155 out of 963 entries. I ain't complaining. That ain't too bad. I'll run it again next month. Ben
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:47 PM

Congrats to all of you.. I was going to try and list all the JPFers that are finalists but frankly there's just too many to do that and too little time around here.. but suffice it to say that the quarters are teaming with JPF members in nearly every category.

= )

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 07:51 PM

Everett,

Your success should DEFINITELY put to rest the idea in anyone's mind that it's just those who can vote for themselves that do well. You can't even vote at all and you're rocking in several categories. The truth is that either people like your stuff or they don't. The results are a simple reflection. Sure, they can be off in some cases, but no over and over and over. If your songs are consistently rising to the top 1/3.. you're doing something right.. if they are always in the bottom 1/3 you need to re-examine your work. I am not talking just 1 month, but over several months. It's a good tool to reconsider things like 45 second intros and weak vocals. I am not saying you can NEVER find success with those things, (heck one of my favorite rock songs ever is Long Time by Boston with a nearly 3 minute intro) but if you're just repeating a guitar progression for 45 seconds, I'd definitely reconsider if you're not doing well.

Congrats again.. let's hope we get some folks in the semi finals!

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 10:04 PM

I just uploaded an instrumental guitar medley of two Public domain old time fiddle tunes on the solo instrumental channel for August. It will be interesting to see if it gets tagged. I know for a fact that the songs are P/D. One of them is over 200 years old. Ben
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 10:17 PM

I am not sure what the rules are on that. Does it say if you can post public domain stuff outside the cover category? It seems the channels should indicate what is permitted. The default should probably be originals only written by members of the band or the artist involved. But they may not make that distinction. I think if there's a "traditional" channel that would be okay. In Solo Instrumental, I'd probably flag it.

Brian
Posted By: Phil Chapman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 10:38 PM

My experience my first month on Ourstage:

I've been signed up with Ourstage since April but, due to a busy schedule, didn't actually upload anything until this month.

I'm not a performing artist but I do enjoy composing and recording instrumentals so I uploaded a short piece - Prelude (We Three Kings) - and entered it in the instrumental competition. I didn't actually get it entered till July 14th but I figure that's enough time for it to get a fair shake judging wise.

My impressions so far:

1. Due to the sheer number of entries in most categories and the structure of the competition; I believe it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to game this system.

2. The only minor downsides, in my opinion, are A. I doubt there are very many people judging that are not entered in the competition (at least in the early rounds). So, in essence, we have the choir judging the singing contest. B. The 15 second minimum "listen time" allows nauseatingly repetitive, loop based entries to do much better than they would ever do under "real world" circumstances. Many of these entries would be at the bottom of the heap if judges listened long enough to realize that it's just the same catchy loop (probably straight out of Acid), over and over and over and over again.

These, however, are minor (and I believe unavoidable) nits on what is otherwise a very slick setup.

3. I think for the most part, the judging process gets it right. I do believe it's a "give or take" outcome, meaning that your entry generally ends up about where it should, give or take. Over the long run it might place higher or lower but Ourstage seems to do a pretty good job of defining the range. To me that makes Ourstage a very useful tool.

I had some free time last week and, in total, I judged about 270 battles in the instrumental category. There was one song I judged several times that I do believe - based on the competition - should have placed in the Top 20. That was "Labyrinth" by Andrew Aversa (aka zircon). The quality of that piece is outstanding. It has a perfect groove and is one of the few entries that made me want to listen to it all the way to the end.

I also judged Mano's entry (Getting Started Part 1) several times and I'm not at all surprised that it's doing so well. It was the best "by far" in the battles I judged.

My entry ended up at #46. Considering the overall quality of the competition, I think that's probably pretty accurate, give or take.

4. The semi-finals and the finals are probably a little more likely to produce winners who have a lot of Ourstage "friends" voting for them. However, success in the real music world depends just as heavily on relationship building as it does on skill and inspiration. Why should Ourstage be any different?

The important thing is that Ourstage does a good job of winnowing the field and by the semi-finals, the cream has risen to the top.

Conclusion:

Overall, I'm very pleased with Ourstage. I plan to use it as a learning tool. Not only to assess how people react to my music in general but to assess how they react to different variations of the same material. I'm looking forward to next month.

Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 10:42 PM

Ben

I think you might be all right with that entry. There's a song currently in the Bluegrass channel, top ten, that's an old traditional fiddle tune. The song is Old Joe Clark. As a matter of fact, there's a fellow doing Black Mountain Rag in Bluegrass as well and he made the quarters. So, doesn't seem like anyone is flagging the PD and Traditional stuff.

Good luck with it,
Eric
Posted By: Phil Chapman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 10:53 PM

Hi Brian,

You raise an interesting point. I entered an original arrangement of "We Three Kings," which features a motif based on "Carol of the Bells," both of which are in the public domain.

If anyone flagged my entry, it didn't get removed.

The reason I felt the instrumental category was appropriate (as opposed to the cover song category) is that, under copyright law, I'm allowed to copyright my "original" arrangement of music that's in the public domain. I would not, however, be able to copyright my original arrangement of a Van Halen song, for instance, because none of their songs are in the public domain.

So, legally speaking, an original arrangement of music in the public domain is not considered a "cover" but rather an original work.

All that being said, I'd be interested in hearing what Ourstage has to say about this.

Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 11:15 PM

I agree Eric, and yes Phil, That's why I made it a medley instead of recording both songs separately, to make my own arrangement which I had copyrighted. I'm not trying the system, but the song is very familiar to most everyone which is why I believe it might get tagged by someone who is not familiar with P/D. But so is "Old Joe Clark" and "BMR". They didn't get tagged. Ben
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/25/08 11:26 PM

The songs are "Sailors Hornpipe" (The Popeye Song) and "Devils Dream". A little shameless self promotion, the medley can be heard by clicking the URL below.

http://soundclick.com/share?songid=5845856
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 12:10 AM

Great assessment Phil!

And I don't have a problem with public domain songs being used, as long as they are clear that it's okay to do so so that everyone is aware of what they can and can't do. If no rules are supplied, I'd likely flag it since there is a cover category and it seems that since they don't allow a cover of a country song to be in the country category, why would they allow a cover of solo instrumental song to be there? From a "rules" point of view, it shouldn't matter that one is a public domain cover and the other is a copyright protected song. I know that Ourstage pays a large fee for the permission to allow their members to post cover songs (in case anyone wondered how that worked). And all songs will EVENTUALLY be public domain.. so the real question is Can you post things you haven't written in a category and compete there against people who are doing songs they wrote themselves? When it comes especially to the general public voting, they may vote on the quality of the song more than the quality of the performanc of that song and thus be more likely to vote for the song they recognize.

So, I wonder if Danny can answer that. I think the solution is to strategically place "Tradional" categories for cover/PD performances of stuff so there's two different categories. We do that in our own awards.

Brian
Posted By: Phil Chapman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 12:19 AM

Brian said:

Quote
When it comes especially to the general public voting, they may vote on the quality of the song more than the quality of the performanc of that song and thus be more likely to vote for the song they recognize.


That's a very good point, Brian, and one I hadn't considered.

Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 12:39 AM

I agree with what you're saying Brian, but you are comparing P/D songs with cover songs. You know that a P/D song is not protected by copyright. If what I think you're saying is true, then yes Ourstage should distinguish the difference. I grew up learning P/D songs and have my own way of presenting them. As Phil said, I can record my own arrangements and register them which is perfectly legal. I've never listened to the Folk channel, but am sure a lot of P/D songs are there.
My question is, if my P/D song can be construed as a cover song, exactly what song am I covering? There may be thousands of versions out there. Ben
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:43 AM

I understand what Public Domain means Ben quite well. My point is that it's only a matter of financial issues that separates Public Domain from Copyrighted material. It has no artistic significance in that you're either performing a song you wrote, or a song someone else wrote. If they are going to allow you to post a song someone else wrote to compete in a category, then that should apply to ALL songs someone else wrote, not just the ones that you can record for free. Being free or not is not relevent in the contest.

Brian
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 04:24 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I understand what Public Domain means Ben quite well. My point is that it's only a matter of financial issues that separates Public Domain from Copyrighted material. It has no artistic significance in that you're either performing a song you wrote, or a song someone else wrote. If they are going to allow you to post a song someone else wrote to compete in a category, then that should apply to ALL songs someone else wrote, not just the ones that you can record for free. Being free or not is not relevent in the contest.

Brian


I'm not sure that I understand what you are saying Brian, yes I know that you know what public domain means, I never doubted your knowledge. If it appeared that way then I apologize. P/D songs go back centuries to the point to where no one knows who actually wrote the songs.
But it sounds like you are still comparing them with cover songs and their is no comparison in my opinion. You can take a P/D song apart and add your own artistic qualities as if you rewrote the song its self and do it for the love of the song and not because it's free. That's how we keep the old songs from being forgotten. Money isn't everything. I recorded my version of "Sailors Hornpipe"/ "Devils Dream" not because it was easy and I didn't have to write anything new. I did it because I love those songs and hope that those melodies will stay alive. Next time you talk to Dan, please bring this subject up. Maybe they can make room for a P/D channel. Thanks, Ben
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 04:33 AM

Originally Posted by ben willis

You can take a P/D song apart and add your own artistic qualities as if you rewrote the song its self and do it for the love of the song and not because it's free. That's how we keep the old songs from being forgotten.


I'm pretty sure that A.P. Carter built a family fortune doing just that, Ben.

Eric
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 04:36 AM

Excellent example Eric.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 05:30 AM

Originally Posted by ebaker68
Originally Posted by ben willis

You can take a P/D song apart and add your own artistic qualities as if you rewrote the song its self and do it for the love of the song and not because it's free. That's how we keep the old songs from being forgotten.


I'm pretty sure that A.P. Carter built a family fortune doing just that, Ben.

Eric


Ol' man Carter might have gotten rich, but without him, those old songs would be forgotten. Ben
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 05:43 AM

No doubt. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" comes to mind. I think most folks think that AP wrote it, but he didn't. It's just that it's his version we're all so familiar with.

Thank goodness for the AP Carters, Harry Smiths, and Lomaxes of the world. You're right, Ben, without folks like that, lots of those great old songs would have been forgotten

I saw a documentary on Harry Smith the other night. There were some clips of contemporary artists doing their interpretations of songs from the Anthology of American Folk Music. It was awesome. Anyway, something I saw on there is similar to our discussion about PD on Ourstage. Elvis Costello wasn't satisfied with the ending of "Ommie Wise," so he wrote his own. I thought it was pretty cool

http://www.cmt.com/videos/elvis-costello/134160/ommie-wise.jhtml

The McGarrigle Sisters do the original version first, then EC does his.

Enjoy
Eric
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 06:05 AM

I have been playing "Omie Wise" for twenty years. It's one M, not two. Elvis does the song justice. I like the Doc Watson version better. He plays it out of an eerie Am.
Omie wise is a murder ballad as were much of the songs from Appalachia of the late 19th century. Most people were illiterate and news spread through music. Only the well -to-do read newspapers and most folks relied on song for their news. That's where the "murder ballad" started.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 08:42 AM

Ben,

You seem to understand exactly what I am saying. At some year in the future all the Beatles songs will be public domain. (75 years after Paul dies basically.. though I am sure like Disney, his estate will find some way to change the system just like Disney did to protect Mickey Mouse). But there are songs that are copyright protected going into public domain every single day. When the day comes, the only thing that changes is that you can do anything you want with them for free versus needing to pay money and/or get permission.

Sure you can copyright an arrangement of a PD song, but techically and artistically speaking, you can do your own "version" of a cover song as well as long as you either have permission or don't go so far away from the original intent of the song to allow the owner to sue you. Take the court system out of the way and doing a cover and a PD song is the exact same thing.

We have people send us all sorts of "cover songs" which bear very little resemblance to originals. In the cases of PD songs, most of them have no recording made at the time it was created due to technology. (I suppose some songs have slipped into the PD since recording started for one reason or another (or by choice through something like a Creative Commons license) but not many. The movie "Night of the living dead" slipped into Public domain so now you can anything you like with it (including packaging it and selling it or showing it for a fee at a theater) for free. That's why you see it used so often.

Back to music, I don't think there's any difference between doing a new bluegrass arrangement of a Beatles song and a new bluegrass arrangment of a 12th century monk chant. Both display the same type of creativity. Only the court standing and where the money has to go (or not go) are different. The creative process of doing both is the same. Hence, I still don't see any difference.

I am find with letting people post that stuff.. but let's make sure that all songs written by someone other than the artist have the same rules. Either you wrote a song or you didn't. In the case of the "Cover" Channel, many of them do an entirely different arrangement or mash-up of those songs as well. (Perhaps in some cases they might be skirting the law a bit.. but creatively it's not relevent). I've heard Beatles songs used in the most extremely diverse ways imaginable. There's tons of creativity just as I am sure there is in your song (I haven't heard that one yet). But it's still different than if you created the song from scratch in my opinion and therefore it's a different competitive advantage to already have the idea to work with rather than coming up with a totally new idea.

Are you still not seeing my point?

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 08:44 AM

Ben,

Interesting on the Murder Ballad origins. I always thought they were folk tales for the most part, once based on a real story, but mostly just retold folk tales getting taller each time it was told. Do you think they mostly stayed to the facts of the situation or was artistic embellishment common?

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 02:37 PM

Hey! I'm very pleased that I had three songs finish in the top twenty, some fairly high up. With the deck stacked against me (no ones fault but mine, being on dialup) I know the chances of ever winning are slim, but I never entered expecting to win, just wanted to see how my songs would fare against all the talented artist and writers on there. There are only a few categories that I can enter, but I'm glad I did enter. I'm pleased to see other JPFer doing well too.

I must enter a few more for August, not easy to do when on dialup. LOL
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:06 PM

Everett,

If your songs finish in the top 50% they leave them up the next month, so you should be fine.

Brian
Posted By: Andy K

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:07 PM

I just got an email from OurStage that our song "I Can't Undo Loving You" is a semifinalist at #11 so far on the indie pop chart. I really haven't looked at the site since I entered a handful of songs about 2 weeks ago.

From what I understand, to advance in the semifinals, people have to pay money to vote for any song. I don't understand why anyone would do that, especially if they won't pay for the CD or for a download. I know I would much, much rather pay to receive something I like and would want to have than pay to have my opinion heard. This whole business doesn't make sense.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:09 PM

Huh? I've never heard of Ourstage charging for anything?

Brian
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:22 PM

Brian

I can't speak for all murder ballads, but I think the song about Omie Wise (Naomi Wise) is pretty close to the truth. I believe it happened in North Carolina around 1808. She was an orphan who was adopted by the Adams family. A wealthy young man, John Lewis, had been messing around with her, but his family wouldn't allow them to marry because of her social status. Unfortunately, she got pregnant and John Lewis drowned her. He was eventually executed for the murder.

I've heard some versions of that song that kind of make it seem like it was HER fault for being murdered because she was greedy for "many fine things."

Don't know if that answers you question or not.

Eric
Posted By: Eric Baker

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by ben willis
I have been playing "Omie Wise" for twenty years. It's one M, not two. Elvis does the song justice. I like the Doc Watson version better. He plays it out of an eerie Am.
Omie wise is a murder ballad as were much of the songs from Appalachia of the late 19th century. Most people were illiterate and news spread through music. Only the well -to-do read newspapers and most folks relied on song for their news. That's where the "murder ballad" started.


Ben--I've seen it spelled both ways--though I don't really know which is correct. I do know that her real name was Naomi.

Yeah, the balladeer as newsgiver dates back a loooooonnnnngggg ways. Epic poems such as Beowulf were sang, rather than told, around the fire. It was in existence for a couple of hundred years before it was ever written down. Now there's an exercise in memorizing. I think that poem has about 20,000 lines. Yikes. Makes memorizing all of Desolation Row seem easy. smile

Eric

Eric
Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 05:06 PM

I made the Quarter-finals!

Here is the email I got from Ourstage:

Quote
Congratulations, your entry will compete with the best of your Channel in this month’s Quarter-Finals! You’re one of July’s highest-ranking artists and you’re homing in on that coveted #1 spot AND the Grand Prize cash.

This should be a very proud moment for you, considering the level of talent competing on OurStage this month. The fans voted for your entry again and again, confirming your suspicion that you are way better than most people out there.


LOL. Wish me luck!
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/26/08 06:22 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Ben,

Interesting on the Murder Ballad origins. I always thought they were folk tales for the most part, once based on a real story, but mostly just retold folk tales getting taller each time it was told. Do you think they mostly stayed to the facts of the situation or was artistic embellishment common?

Brian


Brian, your right, a lot of the songs gained embellishment over the years but a good number of the old murder ballads were regional (N. Carolina. W. Virginia etc.) and happened in a certain era around the turn of the 20th century. When songs like this are passed down through generations before radio, thing are likely to change. To find the most accurate accounting, I would listen to the library of congress collections by John and Alan Lomax.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/27/08 12:30 AM

I've always wanted to be a modern day Alan Lomax and in a tiny way I am sort of in that I've been recording the music of local peformers for the last 10 years via video tape and have about 17,000 of them recorded. I need to start doing better audio recordings of it all though as now I just use the audio from the video tapes which is hit or miss. I'd like to do the same around the world as well. I'd really love to record at least 1 JPF member live from every single country on the planet. But some are very dangerous and some don't even allow Americans in. Not sure I want to risk my life for that.

Isn't it also kind of sad that the acts of murderers have been immortalized, but so rarely do the acts of good people get remembered? And it's no different today. Most of history is told through the acts of warmongers and tyrants, not of the great good that has been done. That's quickly forgotten.
Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/27/08 12:49 AM

Originally Posted by Andy K
I just got an email from OurStage that our song "I Can't Undo Loving You" is a semifinalist at #11 so far on the indie pop chart. I really haven't looked at the site since I entered a handful of songs about 2 weeks ago.

From what I understand, to advance in the semifinals, people have to pay money to vote for any song. I don't understand why anyone would do that, especially if they won't pay for the CD or for a download. I know I would much, much rather pay to receive something I like and would want to have than pay to have my opinion heard. This whole business doesn't make sense.

You are happily mistaken. smile It's all free.

Congratulations and good luck!

JPFers are still at the top of Comedy. ...But has anyone listened to "I Wanna Go in a UFO" in that category? I LOVE that song, just fun as all get out. And despite sort of wanting to win, I also think Russ Tamblyn's song is too good to lose...really great song.
Posted By: ben willis

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/27/08 02:04 AM

I guess that the good that happens gets passed over because we expect good to happen, and the infamous gets glamorised. It's always been that way but I wouldn't expect to hear a song about Jeffery Dahmer or Ted Bundy too soon.
It's ironic, or maybe my subconscious brought up the subject because I happen to be finishing up a song that I wrote about Edgar Watson. He was a western outlaw who moved to the Everglades to evade justice in 1880. He was a mass murderer who was shot down by a mob of vigilantes in 1910. His daughter went on to marry a railroad tycoon and bank president. Because of her, his family went on to prominence and have a prominent name to this day in my area. I have friends who are ancestors of Watson, but everybody knows the story.
I'm waiting for a private critique from a fellow JPF member before I finish the lyric. I have the melody pretty much down. It will be in the key of B with some slide guitar. Kind of Steve Earlish. Ben
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/27/08 02:34 AM

Actually they don't need to write songs anymore. Check the internet for Jeff Dahmer or Ted Bundy.. they are huge world wide celebrities.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 03:21 PM

Last day of quarterfinals...how ya doin'?

I'm clinging by my fingernails to #10 in comedy... eek
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 04:27 PM

I dropped from #1 in Comedy to #20 frown "System" is not doing well in Techno/Ambient either. However, in Club/Dance, I'm #2.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 04:42 PM

We have so many JPF members in so many categories in these quarterfinals that I can't keep track.. I Figured I'd look more closely in the semi-finals and finals. Andrew, you're all over the place!

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 04:47 PM

Andrew, I predict "ROMance" will end the day back in the top five where it has been all month. That song is too good to stay down, and just might take it all. But my gut tells me Greg Tamblyn is the one to beat.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 05:38 PM

Thanks for the support, fellas smile Mark, I thought your song was excellent. Most of the Comedy songs, frankly, are just crude or offensive, so it's refreshing to hear one that's genuinely clever, well-played, and funny.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/28/08 06:33 PM

Thanks Andrew. Meanwhile up goes you to #3 and down goes me to #12. This whole day is going to be a carnival ride. Things are jumping up and down all over.

But I'm kinda pleased to see "I Wanna Go in a UFO" hit the top after weeks out of the top ten...that is a fun, fun song, like a cross between the B-52s and the Kinks.
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 02:12 AM

WoW!! its crazy how the songs go up and down.
This judging is so addictive!! Its hard to break away to get anything else done!! yikes!!
I've been hanging in the bluegrass channel.. so manys good songs from JPF!!! I need to get to some of the other channels!

Good luck to everybody!! this is fun grin
Joanne
Posted By: Three Tall Pines

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 01:27 PM

July is now in the Semi Finals with I believe three JPFer's in the final ten for th ebluegrass channel. Nice job!!!

I am glad they've added the genre to the mix. It is probably going to grow quickly.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 01:29 PM

I've seen at least 1 JPF member in every single genre I have checked.. some have as many as 4 JPF members in the finals (like Comedy). Pop has Jenn Cristy and Wil Deynes. But all the way down I saw one after another after another. Hopefully our folks will rake in some cash this month!

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 03:00 PM

This morning I am #2 in comedy, #10 in bluegrass, and # 12 in traditional country. I wish everyone well, I'm hanging in there, that pleases me to no ends, I just wish I could listen to the other songs and vote, oh I hate being on dialup, but, short of moving, I guess I'm stuck with it. LOL
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 06:04 PM

Hi. I just finished judging the comedy genre. I have you in second Everett. It appears that some in that category are gaming the system. Beauxdensteiner has some loopsided margins against the top talent in that category - and I don't think the Chris Leyland Band would have even made the quarters without some organized voting. It's just the first month for this category. When word catches on and there are more entrants, it will be harder to game your way up in the standings. I personally like to judge the Jazz category. There's a lot of talent there. I also favorited a song in the Contemporary genre(I'm very picky).
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/29/08 06:38 PM

I don't know...I think Beauxdensteiner probably has a lot of appeal. It's a genuine comedy concept, well-packaged enough, and that voice is very unique. Not my favorite, though.

Watch this category bounce all over the place. And congrats to Andrew, Everett and Greg--all four of us are still swingin'! smile
Posted By: Doug/Liszt Laughing

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 10:24 AM

Everett dude - you made it through to the semis to in two genres - good job!
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 03:08 PM

Thanks Doug and Summeoyo, where ever I end up, they won't be able to say I rigged the votes, I can't even get a chance to vote for myself. LOL
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 08:52 PM

Well OurStage is doing what they set out to do. They enable music fans to find new talent. Here's my endorsement for Beautiful Criminal. They're semifinalist in one category and a quarterfinalist in another. The song I favorited was only 451st in the genre where it competed. But what I've learned about OurStage is that like a lot of song competitions out there, they are unreliable for predicting success. Everett has two songs that I like that are in the semis. However, as much as I like that them, I don't believe they'll ever be in rotation on commercial radio. Both are good album songs and live plays for any professional in their genres - and that's great!
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 09:07 PM

To all my fellow OurStage contestants,
Congrats to all that are in the Top 10 today!

BTW, my song Shir Hashirim made it into the semi-finals on the New Age/World channel. Currently it's #6 and we still have 10 hours of time left on this round.

If you get the chance please vote anytime today before midnight Eastern Standard time. Also, thanks to all for your support & votes over the last few months, much appreciated! smile

Michael
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 09:09 PM

Congrats Michael!
Is today another milestone day on OurStage?
Joanne
Posted By: Joanne Lurgio

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 09:18 PM

Oh .. I see!
There are 3 JPF members in the top 10 Bluegrass! Three Tall Pines, Mike Dunbar & Everett! thats pretty cool!!
Joanne
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 09:30 PM

Originally Posted by Joanne Lurgio
Congrats Michael!
Is today another milestone day on OurStage?
Joanne

Thanks Joanne!
Yes, today is the last day of semi-finals and the 1st place for each channel will go on to the Grand Prize showdown for one day, which is all day long tomorrow, the last day of the month!

I'm in California, so our "midnight" will occur at 9:00 PM tonight. All voting after that time will count only towards the Grand finals, so today is really quit an exciting day for anyone that's currently in the Top-10 in any contest channel!

Michael
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/30/08 11:36 PM

The Comedy channel has been like watching popcorn pop...seems like everyone has been in every position in the past day. Where she stops, nobody knows.
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 02:03 AM

I checked out the comedy channel.. I really think Common Side Effects is the best track.. but I saw that it dropped from 1st to 10th... not good... but I will refrain from comment until it's over.

Brian
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 02:20 AM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
I checked out the comedy channel.. I really think Common Side Effects is the best track.. but I saw that it dropped from 1st to 10th... not good... but I will refrain from comment until it's over.

Brian
I don't think that means much. I've seen so many wild shifts all day that those positions seem to mean very little at this point...I've been in #1 and #10 today, and so have a lot of the others.

Strange that you see Greg's song in #10 though...my screen has shown the exact same order for the last couple hours, with him in #5. Wonder if something's wrong on my end...

If I were a betting man, I'd still place my money on his song.
Posted By: Andrew Aversa

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 07:19 AM

I am very happy that I managed to get two songs into the finals this month - ROMance (Comedy) and Breathing You In feat. Jillian Goldin (Club/Dance). I know that in Comedy I was definitely jumping around throughout the day (as low as #8) but there were really some excellent tracks there. I think it was anyone's game. Congratulations to any other JPF members who made it into the finals, and even to those that didn't, but did well overall.

On a side note, anyone catch the announcement they made? Artists can now only enter three songs (total) per month.
Posted By: Phil Chapman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 07:50 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
I am very happy that I managed to get two songs into the finals this month - ROMance (Comedy) and Breathing You In feat. Jillian Goldin (Club/Dance). I know that in Comedy I was definitely jumping around throughout the day (as low as #8) but there were really some excellent tracks there. I think it was anyone's game. Congratulations to any other JPF members who made it into the finals, and even to those that didn't, but did well overall.

On a side note, anyone catch the announcement they made? Artists can now only enter three songs (total) per month.


Congratulations Andrew - Well deserved!

Yeah, I did see the announcement about the 3 song limit. Apparently they're trying to increase the overall quality of the songs that are entered in the competition. It'll be interesting to see if it works out that way.

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 08:03 AM

Awesome work, Andrew! A two-fer. grin No doubt about it, your stuff is top shelf.

I sort of wish they'd accept five instead of three. But I also believe this will weed out a lot of poop. If they didn't do it now, they'd definitely have to do it later as all the submissions increase.
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 02:57 PM

Congratulations to those that finished well. Everyone has different taste in music, comedy, food, clothes, cars, etc., doesn't mean one is better than the other, just different. I finished #5 in comedy and #10 in bluegrass, just missed at #12 in traditional country. I'm happy, not as happy as if I had won, but still pleased. Lots of talent out there.
Posted By: Marc Novoselec

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 07/31/08 08:07 PM

This is unreal! the last time I checked my song Trial By Style it was at 245th, then I get an email sying I'm in the Quarter finals, then the semi finals!! Now it's sitting at THIRD on the instrumental channel!!!! Holy Crap!!!!

I hadn't even heard of Ourstage before signing in here, so a huge thanks to the JPF community for making this known to new members!
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/01/08 01:05 AM

Originally Posted by Andrew Aversa
I am very happy that I managed to get two songs into the finals this month - ROMance (Comedy) and Breathing You In feat. Jillian Goldin (Club/Dance).

On a side note, anyone catch the announcement they made? Artists can now only enter three songs (total) per month.

Andrew,
First, congrats to getting into the finals again... truly amazing!

Also, regarding the 3 songs (total) per month, I think that's a very reasonable limitation. Besides the one song per channel entry limit, each artist still has three chances to win each month!

Michael
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/03/08 02:26 PM

Well I woke up this morning .... That seems like a good start to a blues song. Well I did wake up this morning (thankfully) and Foreclosure Blues is at #1 on the Blues Channel. I joked in the MP3 forum that I should take a snapshot of me being #1 and withdraw the tune -- going out on top! I'll let it ride for now.

I need to try and determine why "Wake Up" (220/674 in rock) and "Oh, Whistling Wind" (221/427 in Americana/Alt Country) aren't doing any better, though.

Kevin
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 01:40 AM

Hi!
I just posted a topic on the General Message Forum called [b]Can You Pick The OurStage Winners?[/b]

Please take a look and let me know if you are interested in particpating.

Basically we would post our most likely list of OurStage music winners by the 20th of August for any given channel. I think it will be a fun way to sharpen our talent selection skills as a way to learn which songs might have the most success potential.

It's "tricky" because some songs that will win may not be songs we personally like, but they may still have some wider success potential with fans or other commercial interests, etc.

Thanks for posting your feedback & reply!
Michael
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 03:50 AM

Since I have started out the month doing fairly well in blues, I decided to judge a few blues entries. Dang, this is going to be tough. The first few entries have had some pretty "mindless" lyrics and off-tune bends and timing issues. I know there are some great tunes in there, but man, blues are an elementary art form that require that the players need to understand the pain of human existence. The only one in pain here is me (ha ha!).

Kevin
Posted By: Kevin Emmrich

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 04:08 AM

OK, I might have spoken too soon. I am in a run a songs with that acoustic blues feel that I love so much. Lots of bands trying to impress with hot blues guitar playing, though -- hard to do unless they have got soul!

Kevin

Edit: Ya know how they are saying that if you are a "good" judge, then your vote counts more. Right now, in blues, I am in the minority a lot!
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 04:11 AM

Kevin,
Blues has 386 entries right now, so that's a good indication that there'll be at least 5 really great songs from this channel for this month. In comparison, New Age/World typically has 350 - 400 songs, which usually builds up until about the 15th of the month.

I'd like to pick some winners from the New Age channel for August by or before the 20th. There's some great new material I haven't heard before, and some of it appears to be very authentic and high-quality sounding, so it will be fun to "predict" which of these have a chance to make it into the Top-10.

I look forward to seeing your "picks" when you're ready to post them!

Michael
Posted By: Gregory Watton

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 10:27 AM

My song "Fly Away" has reached #8 in the rock category on ourstage.com

I just recently joined the site, so that's an interesting surprise.

Thought I'd share.

Greg
Posted By: Three Tall Pines

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 05:27 PM

Hey everyone, Thanks for any suipport on ourstage, we finsihed #1 in bluegrass and I think #8 in the grand finals.

Stressful watching your song bounce all over the place. Not sure I am looking forward to doing that anytime in the near future. I think we need an emotional vacation! HA!! Good luck to eveyone involved this month.

HAs anyone form JPF's ever one the Grand Finals?
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 05:58 PM

8 in the finals is really good.. congrats!
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 05:59 PM

Yes, we had 3 straight $5000 winners:

Jillian Goldin won in April
SGX won in May
Cobalt won in June

Posted By: manoreza

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/04/08 11:53 PM

What a yo-yo.

My song that went to #1 in instrumental just a week or so ago is now at 246! And another song I have entered in Funk/Groove has moved up from 200 + to #23!

Talk about a roller coaster.

Someone bought my EP from cd baby this weekend. I wonder which exposure got his interest?

Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 10:22 AM

Yesterday I noticed we had the #1 Pop and #1 Female Singer Songwriter songs with Jenn Cristy and Rachael Sage respectively.. (I am sure they've moved since then). But we're definitely seeing more and more JPF members show up at or near the top.

Brian
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 10:23 AM

My guess is that there's a smaller number of voters on those channels and so the swings are more severe when voting comes up..

Brian
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 03:38 PM

Today I'm #10 in traditional country.
Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 06:51 PM

The first week is a weird time...lots of songs haven't had much voting yet. So a song that entered at #700 with very few votes might suddenly shoot up the charts in mid-month. Lots of jockeying going on right now.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 09:37 PM

Mark,
I'm curious if you (or any of us) could pick any songs now (by or before August 20) that will end up in the Top-10 by time of the Semi-Finals? I posted a intro to this A&R challenge concept here:
Can anyone pick the Top-10 before they happen?

I think I'll go for it this month for the New Age/World channel. I've got a song there now, but I won't include it in my prediction, only other songs that I'm discovering, mostly new ones posted for the first time this month, of which a few are extremely commercial sounding!

I encourage you and others here to select a favorite channel, browse around to hear some new songs before say the 15th of August and then post your top 5 picks (or up to 5) which you think could end up among the Top-10 in the semi-finals towards the end of the month.

The key is that we post by or before August 20th because this will be about 1 week before OurStage will publish the Top-10 that made it into the semi-finals.

So the question is, do we have enough "insight" (experience, discernment, etc.) to be able to be able to pick a winner before it actually happens?!

I know back in March Brian spotted a great song in one of the Rock channels (Alt. Rock?) and it actually went on to win the Grand award for that month, so I know some of us will get pretty close to picking some of the top winners! smile

Michael

Posted By: Mark Kaufman

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 09:48 PM

I have to be honest: No. I realize that I am not a good judge of such things. In fact, I think I may be a poor judge. grin Sad but true.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 09:52 PM

Marc,
Ok, then please VOTE for all my songs...
I'm sure you'll help them all win, ha ha!!! wink grin

Cheers,
Michael
Posted By: Ryan Fitzsimmons

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 09:56 PM

Well, I'm back from the Newport Folk Festival, and to say it was a great experience is an understatement. I was treated very well, had a fantastic crowd response, and made quite a few contacts. Plus, we had fantastic weather and the line-up was pretty impressive. I've blogged about here:

http://www.ourstage.com/profile/ryanfitzsimmons/posts

You can read a review of the show here:

http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2008/08/03/newport-folk-festival-sunday-recap/#more-3312

I want to thank Brian and JustPlainFolks.com for making this possible! I hope to see you all down the road in the future!!!!

Ryan Fitzsimmons
www.ryanfitzsimmons.com
www.myspace.com/ryanfitzsimmons
www.sonicbids.com/ryanfitzsimmons
www.ourstage.com/epk/ryanfitzsimmons
617 718 1549
cell 617 763 6658
16 Banks St
Somerville, MA 02144
Posted By: Herbie Gaines

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/05/08 10:39 PM

WOW Ryan
Congrats and thanks for sharing that great story ! ! !
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/06/08 04:02 PM

The Blue Island Beer Club has finally sneaked into the top 20......this time in Indie Pop. Alita's Lullaby is one of Bruce's songs.
Posted By: Kevin G. Moore

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/06/08 09:05 PM

Can someone give me the link to submit songs to that Newport FF Channel. I Google'd it and looked around, but couldn't find anything. Thanks much, Folks!
Posted By: Colin Ward

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/07/08 10:29 PM

Well crap.....we were in the 20s out of 550 or so with our song and the Ourstage people decided to move us to a different channel (folk) and now we are 331 out of 370?

What's with that????
Posted By: Everett Adams

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/08/08 03:13 PM

Had a song in country that had climbed to #28, today it plunged to 120. What's up with that.
Posted By: Michael Borges (D)

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/08/08 11:29 PM

Everett,
It's still early in the month. When new songs are moved or entered to a channel, it seems to shift everything around, but I think on the 15th of each month, they don't allow new additions and I believe sometime after (maybe when the quarter finals start), you can't withdraw songs from the contest channel either. Within the next week the rankings should start stabilizing.

It would be nice if once you reach a certain rank, if it could stay there or go higher, but not go lower again, but that might require a different vote ranking algorithim. I wonder if they might consider that some day, but it might not be practical because everyone has to "fit" somewhere between #1 and the last song in the bunch.

Michael
Posted By: Steve Altonian

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/08/08 11:43 PM

Originally Posted by Colin Ward
Well crap.....we were in the 20s out of 550 or so with our song and the Ourstage people decided to move us to a different channel (folk) and now we are 331 out of 370?

What's with that????


COLIN

It's a conspiracy...........


Actually what probably happened was people voting "FLAGGED" you for being out of genre.....Don't know how many it takes but.......I do believe it was probably all the songs in front of you who didn't want you to have your "day in the sun"...

HATERS Colin....just plain HATERS ..........
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/09/08 07:29 AM

Kevin,

That contest channel is over. Ryan was one of the 4 prize winners and he was our JPF rep, as JPF members get special consideration in their contests and in that one case they had a definite slot.

Thanks to Ryan for posting a follow up (it's not .com by the way Ryan... it's .org) I am looking forward to reading all about it.

Brian
Posted By: scottandrew

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/09/08 09:14 PM

Okay, so I finally joined up because a certain nationally-known act is coming to Seattle, and they're using an Ourstage contest to offer an opening slot for this act. People are always comparing me to this guy, so playing to his crowd would be a great boost for me locally.

I entered one song in Singer-Songwriter (Male) and one in Indie Pop yesterday. They haven't moved at all yet, but I'll keep y'all in the loop.

Wish me luck!

http://www.ourstage.com/epk/scottandrew
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/10/08 03:31 AM

Scott,

Did you enter via the JPF link?

Brian
Posted By: summeoyo

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/11/08 04:10 PM

As of today Rude, Crude, Abnormal Dude is #73 in punk. Raise A Son is at #84 in Americana. There's two songs at opposite ends of the spectrum. I'll enter another song before the 15th in another category.
Posted By: nitepiano

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/11/08 07:00 PM

My song 'No Greater Joy' is #112 out of 465 in Christian/Gospel.

I had another song in the Dance category, but it never got one spin, even though I entered it before the month began, for August. Does that mean not much activity in the genre? Anyways, I removed it from that category.

There probably is an explanation in previous posts, I'll got look.
Posted By: scottandrew

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/11/08 09:16 PM

Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Did you enter via the JPF link?


Alas, I did not, I clicked a link in an email that was sent to me from the artist.

I've re-read this entire thread to catch up with everyone's comments on Ourstage. In some ways, it's really awesome that the system is so hard to game and they don't allow mob rule.

On the other hand, since they don't allow mob rule, it's hard to explain to your fans what to do. "Hi, I'm in this contest, but you can't vote directly for me, but sign up anyway and judge the music, even though my song might not pop up, uhhhh..." smile

I guess I can take solace in the idea that only people who really want to participate will bother signing up as judges...
Posted By: Brian Austin Whitney

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/12/08 02:34 PM

Ah.. then we can't help you with the opportunity I don't think (though I'll try if the opportunity comes up). They give special consideration to JPF members who do well which we recommend for live gigs and since I've seen you personally perform, I might be able to put you over the top for a performance slot should you finish well. Ryan Fitzsimmons got a full performance slot on the Newport Folk Festival stage via that program.

We've run the link in every newsletter since February and here on the message boards.. I am not sure what else to do to get folks to use it. It also helps us demonstrate our members are supporting their sponsorship of JPF.

Brian
Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/14/08 07:11 PM

Hi there,

Daniel (OurStage Community/Artist Rep. Guy) here. Here's a note from an OurStager that I think is important for all to read. It touts the benefit/virtue of just explaining to your fans to vote for music, not for you. That's what makes OurStage different.

Also, check out my blog post about honest judging. Read the comments too if you can.

http://www.ourstage.com/profile/danielpalmer/posts/33
-------------------------
The note:

Hey Daniel,
Thanks for the sweet comment. I'm loving OurStage so far. I haven't even had a chance to vote yet this month, and my OTHER vid is in the top 30. Awesome! wink

It's funny that you said hello first because I'd actually been meaning to say thank you for your extremely helpful write-up about the merits of honest voting on OurStage. After perusing it, I instructed all my fans to vote their true instincts as I was, and you were completely right... it ended up working in my favor.

So thank you!

Cheers,
Lin


Posted By: dannyjames

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/14/08 07:49 PM

The Community flags songs they consider off topic for a channel based on our channel descriptions in the FAQ. The OurStage team reviews these flags against the channel description before moving entrees. It used to be we had to withdraw the entry entirely. We felt that moving the item to the best fit channel was in the best interest of the artist. Better than having the song removed from competition. Disappointing artists is a drawback to allowing everyone to self-select. We encourage folks to read the FAQ and channel description when entering the contest (on the entry page). There are benefits to allowing the artists to decide as well as copyright issues as well. Drop me a note at my OurStage profile: http://www.ourstage.com/fanclub/danielpalmer and tell me what song it was. I can give it a listen and explain better why the move.
Posted By: scottandrew

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? - 08/15/08 01:38 AM

Ah, I guess I didn't realize the link was a way of tracking how people entered the site. Sorry 'bout that.

My entry is currently 165th out of 518, so I guess that's pretty good. It's been jumping around pretty wildly but seems to stay in the upper third. I entered my most popular song, "Holding Back."

I'm not entirely sure how they'll pick a winner for the opportunity. Highest score in the Seattle area? Highest artist mojo? I'm kinda hoping there just won't be many Seattle-area competitors in the channel...

Posted By: Steve West

Re: So Where Does Your Song Rank On Ourstage? -