Road from Beta, Continued

Discussion in 'News & Updates' started by Hentai, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Hentai

    Hentai Technical Admin Administrator Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    So a bit of an update moving into 2015. I had planned on removing the BETA™ tag since November/December but a number of issues had gotten in the way.

    First of all there was the major hardware transition where after buying a new server over Black Friday/Cyber Monday I had to migrate some two dozen accounts from three different hosting plans. It was a major hardware upgrade on my part where I was able to merge my development server, my reseller plan, and my VPS into one (slightly more expensive) but much more powerful server. Stability is up, speeds are up, and I am overall happy with UtaForum's and every other site I host's improved performance.

    Secondly I wanted to get the backer rewards to the Kickstarter folks before any official "launch". There was a bit of miss-communication between Myst and myself and the backer surveys were delayed, and with the late surveys we needed to give sufficient time for our KS backers to answer their surveys, provide the requested info, their credit name, their credit URL, the UtaForum account to send their tokens, etc. So the delayed survey and survey responses tacked an extra couple weeks.

    Last but not least I personally, had a crazy last semester. Beyond the holiday shenanigans that clogged up most of the latter half of December (and the following flu I caught at a family gathering) most of November & December was caught up with me trying to graduate. I had taken an extra stressfull load with each class being hard requirements for my degree and had I not passed I might have missed transfer application deadlines that would have delayed my ADT (Associate Degree for Transfer) and my transition to a Uni by at least a year.

    With school, the holidays, and backer rewards finally issued we are almost ready to remove the Beta tag, in fact I would feel comfortable removing it right now and calling things done... except one thing. The centerpiece of our 4.0 transition the "Showcase" is soon to receive a major overhaul. The next big release "2.3.0" has passed Beta and is currently in its Release Candidate 1 stage. This update is significant in that it not only has bug fixes and new view styles, but several major features that I had suggested to the developer that would help the plugin better suit UtaForum's needs.

    When 2.3.0 is finally production ready it will include a new features that I had suggested including more detailed Showcase item review criteria, one of the features I had suggested. Instead of the Pros, Cons, and Comments fields on UTAU reviews we will now be able to make our own custom review criteria, the exact details of this criteria to be decided later. With the new review system all current reviews will be purged and I hope that together, we can come up with a new set of standards, to make the new review system something really high quality.

    So with the update to Showcase and revamp to Showcase what sort of criteria do you think Showcase items should be reviewed under? Design, Configuration, Originality, Clarity, etc. what do you think is important to an UTAU? Do you think these fields should be text based, star ratings, or maybe numerical? If there is a minimum text review length in characters how many characters do you think we should require?

    In the end the Showcase system is meant to serve you, the community. Your feedback on the coming changes is greatly appreciated and well help me roll out 2.3.0 and the review revamp as soon as possible once the plugin developer deems the new version of Showcase ready for release.
     
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  3. WendytheCreeper

    WendytheCreeper (>☉ ͡ヮ☉<) Defender of Defoko

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    Some Showcase criteria I have in mind, though they might get specific:

    Ease of Use- How easy is it to get a good sound from the UTAU? Can you just "plug and play" into an .ust? Or do you need more work? This quality is not inherently a good or bad thing. However, not being simple to use can drive off people who aren't good with UTAU yet. It's kinda like when people are finding their first Vocaloid and are worried that they'll drop their money on something they can't figure out(except that this is free but...whatever).

    Pronunciation and Accents- What is the pronunciation like on this UTAU and how are they accented? With pronunciation, it includes things like how much the consonants are enunciated or how the vowels are pronounced. Especially important in languages like English, where there are many accents that must be accounted for: is it American? British? What kind of British accent, anyway(not all of them are the same!)? Or maybe Japanese?

    Personal Use Recommendations: What is your preferred way of using this bank? What settings, flags, and resamplers do you like to use with this bank? Genre recs? How do you like to mix the vocal? Also, what would you advise against with this bank?

    These are fairly specific, but they could be potentially lumped into other criteria. Can't wait to see what comes up next!
     
  4. Terindie

    Terindie 日本語 Patrol - Active Duty Defender of Defoko

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    I would suggest a text-based for each "box", along with a numerical rating, because while the numerical rating is highly subjective, there can be an overall easy-to-glance-at "average" score.

    I like the idea of the following categories:

    • Design
    • Configuration / Recording Quality (are the oto's good? is the background noise absent, tolerable, or enough to warrant a rerecord? these questions can determine how much an individual user can "tweak" the UTAU to improve it.
    • Pronunciation - most of us are not fluent Japanese speakers. most of our utau are Japanese. with this (and the other non-native languages of UTAU, it'd be good for the recorder to know where to improve.
    Not sure how I feel about Originality or Recommendations (originality is subjective, and I think leaving a blank slate instead of recs is better for creativity), but i'm sure there's plenty of good options out there for other categories.
     
  5. adriann

    adriann Ye Olde Fart Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Congrats on graduating and good luck with the transfer shenanigans! :smile:

    I agree, a numerical rating system of, say, out of 50 or out of 100 if possible, sounds like it could say a little more than a system of out of five stars? I feel like looking at a rating that's 3 stars doesn't have the same connotation that a rating of 60-75 out of 100 has. Or is that weird?

    Ease of use as a criteria is really interesting, as WendytheCreeper points out. I agree with configuration and recording quality as criteria as well.

    Out of curiosity, what of UTAU mascots with multiple voicebanks? How would the reviews work?
     

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