After a week’s hiatus from this blog in honor of the success of the pre-release of Songs of the Victorians, I’m ready to get back to providing weekly updates on my digital projects.
First, I’m pleased to report that in the two weeks Songs of the Victorians launched, it has received approximately 710 visits from 545 visitors spanning 5 of the 7 continents, 23 countries, and 282 cities! I’ve been thrilled by all the positive feedback I’ve received. Thanks to everyone for the support! I will endeavor to add a new song for each of the next three months. In the interim, iOS users (iPod, iPad, etc.) can now enjoy Songs of the Victorians as well (previously, the audio file would not play properly on the archive or analysis view). Please let me know if you have more feedback on the content or design: I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I also have some exciting news about Augmented Notes, my tool that will enable users to make their own site like Songs of the Victorians (read this post for more information)! Although I don’t yet have a release date scheduled for the beta version of the site (that info will hopefully be ready next week), I did make some important design decisions and finish building the first half of the project. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the logo I designed and wrote about in this post and that I wanted the background image to incorporate music. I also wanted to use a similar layout to Songs of the Victorians as an implicit way of branding my work and reminding users that Songs of the Victorians is made through Augmented Notes. Once I found a public domain scan of the manuscript of Franz Schubert’s “An Die Musik” (1817), I knew I had found my background image. The song uses as its lyrics a poem by Schubert’s friend Franz von Schober, and is a song in praise of music and its transformative power: since Augmented Notes facilitates music and text scholarship, this song perfectly encapsulates the project’s goals. Here’s a draft of the homepage:
When users visit the site, they will upload an mp3 and ogg vorbis version of the audio file of the song (.ogg is necessary for the music to play in Firefox), an MEI file containing the position information for each measure, and pages of the score. Clicking on the “submit” button will take them to the next page, where the files they uploaded will be used to help users generate the time information for each measure:
The “Set Measures Times” page contains a score, audio file, audio controls, and a bunch of text input fields, each of which corresponds to a measure of music. Users will hit the play button to start the audio file and then hit the “save” button at the end of each measure. This action will fill in the corresponding input fields with the end time of each measure, and users can hit “previous” or “next” to play the preceding or ensuing measure to refine their time data. Once each measure time is accurate, users can click the “submit the times” button, which will save the data. For its beta release, Augmented Notes will then output a zip file that contains all the necessary html, .js, and css files necessary to create a page like the archive page for “Juanita” in Songs of the Victorians. After that is released, I will also create an excerpt page that lets users customize excerpts for analytical arguments like those seen in the analysis page for “Juanita” in Songs of the Victorians.
I know I still need to tweak the logo to find a better font, but I’d to hear love any suggestions you might have, either for that or for any other component!