Feedback Request – Review formatting issues

Some Patchouli would be appropriate here

I’m at the cusp of finishing yet another review (those of you who’ve been following my activities via Twitter should be able to guess which OST I’ll post about next) and I thought now would be a good time to ask a few questions and hopefully get a good amount of feedback from this. There’s one more issue I’d like to discuss, but that’ll go on a different post since I need to think about it more.

Review Formatting:
After taking a peek at j1m0ne’s blog entry on the Ga-Rei Zero Soundtrack, I noticed that she has sample music files that readers can click on, but the arrangement is different from mine.

Now, if you’ve been reading any of my soundtrack reviews so far, you’ll notice that I tend to put the music clips down at the very end. My original reasons for doing so was to put different components of the review together (so CD information, followed by the tracklist, followed by the text, followed by the sampler pack) for accessibility reasons. What I’d like to know whether it’d be better if I embedded the music clips within the text of the review itself. So if I were to implement this, the way it’d be handled is like so: when I talk about a certain track(s) in a paragraph, immediately following that paragraph will be the sample track(s) before the next paragraph starts. That way, when readers are actually reading the text, they can follow along with the music if they wish instead of reaching the end of the review, clicking on the sampler pieces, and then going back to the text of the review to find out where exactly I talk about the piece (if at all).

What this boils down to is an issue of functionality. The status quo allows visitors to scroll down straight to the samplers if they wish to just listen to snippets of the music to judge for themselves without my opinions getting in the way. The suggested change puts more of an emphasis on the text of the review itself, but can be a bit harder to find if all you’re looking for is the music. Maybe I should do both embedding and then aggregating it all towards the bottom to satisfy both camps? What do you all think?

(Note: I’m not attached to the current format and I’m willing to change it from here on out to suit the general consensus’s take, though not retroactively. Laziness will always triumph in the end there.)


Anime Instrumentality's Founder and Editor-in-Chief. As you can probably guess, I'm a big anime music junkie with a special love for composers who've put out some beautiful melodies to accompany some of my favorite anime series. I tend to gravitate towards music in the classical style with Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno being a few of my favorite composers, but I've come to appreciate jazz and rock as anime music has widened my tastes.

0 thoughts on “Feedback Request – Review formatting issues

  • March 21, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I have no problems with having the clips at the bottom of a review, your reviews are not so long that scrolling down to find a preview is troublesome. If you do decide to make some extended reviews, however, this would be an issue. Functionally speaking, putting the track under question below the paragraph is a good move.(I would prefer above, so we see it immediately and can start buffering it). It’s great to hear the music as reading the review, and it would be really neat to see the use of audio clips the same way other blogs use images. Actually, I have some rough plans to make a review in a similar manner.

    Organizationally speaking, it would be a bit less tidy, but I think it’s something you should try first before deciding. If it is something that doesn’t work out as well as you hoped, I would suggest to embed the clips in the track listing – previews are a big benefit to any review site so presenting your clips early on is… a benefit.

  • March 21, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I just wanted to point out that j1m0ne is a she. And I just added you on Twitter, no idea you were there as well. 🙂

  • March 21, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Perhaps you can bold or somehow stylize the song titles to make it stand out.

    Then name the tracks in the sampler?

  • March 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    That may be for the better. At least I think it would make the reviews seem a bit more focused and tidy.

    And an even more radical motion would be to split up the soundtrack into categories, battle songs, ballads, “pass the time” songs, etc. The problem is that typologies often phail quite horribly… At any rate the suggestion you pose is a sound one!

  • March 22, 2009 at 3:37 am

    There are pros and cons for both ways of display.

    With the new style it’s easy to listen while reading the text. But if you just want to have a try listening to the OST you’d need to scroll multiple lines of text. With the old style the pros and cons are basically the inverse.

    Another way would be to do both, functionally it has no cons, BUT visually it looks a little messy and not elegant.

    Ah, it also depends on how in-depth is the review. The new style is only plausible if you write a lot for one track (enough to fill a paragrah).

  • March 22, 2009 at 10:24 am

    OK, so it looks like the consensus is that I at least give it a shot. I’ve given thought to the argument that it’ll be harder to locate the tracks and concluded that because of the color scheme of my media player, that it’d be hard to miss. So expect my next review to be organized with this new layout and you can comment as to whether it’s effective.

    Will try the bottom method first to experiment and see how it goes. I might do a track first paragraph second approach and see if that works better.

    I’ll have to correct that. What a misleading username 😛 Also, I hadn’t quite advertised my twitter account, so you can hardly be blamed for not knowing of its existence.

    I’ll see if underlining it helps and yeah, with this new layout, sticking the track title would be useful (I didn’t do it before because you could see the track title after clicking on the media player.

    I’ve tried grouping the pieces into stuff that’s stylistically similar instead of going through the album in track order. But yeah, typologies oftentimes don’t work too well.

    Well, the reviews will stay the same in the information I want to convey. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.


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