iCompositions Newsletter

In this issue:
• iC4
• "Best of Perimeter" Giveaway
Artist Spotlight
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    Introducing iC4
by powermac99

Logo After months of development, it is my pleasure to introduce the latest version of iCompositions! iC4 is an evolutionary upgrade to iC3 in which we focused on streamlining the interface and the site structure while also fixing longstanding annoyances.

There are far too many changes to the site to list in this newsletter but here's a brief overview of the more major ones:

Interface
The most obvious change is the user interface. iC4 features a brand new, more subtle design. Gone are the glaring candy-colored box headlines. In their place is an interface that emphasizes user content.

The design is also wider, allowing us to commit less vertical space to advertisements. This means that user content begins higher on the page.

We've improved the consistency of interface elements across the site's sections. For example, tooltips (the hover windows in music lists that show the song description and album art) now appear on the Homepage and Artist Pages. Also, comments and forum posts now share the same format across all sections.

The new design truly shines for users of our Ad Free service.

Restructured Song Pages
One section that received a major layout overhaul is the Song Page. It now supports larger album art (up to 250x250 px) and no longer relies on popup windows to display special content. For example, lyrics now appear inline with the song description. Music Videos and Setups appear inline as well.

Sidebar
iCompositions' sidebar is now broken up into two parts. The left sidebar features the Chat and page-specific information in much the same way as iC3's sidebar. The right sidebar is like a mini-Backstage, showing Recent Uploads, Recent Forum Posts, and Recent Blog Posts. It is customizable and intelligent: a sidebar box is hidden if a larger version of itself appears in the main page content. For example, if you're on the Music index, the sidebar will not display the Recent Uploads box.

The sidebar also provides quick access to our Premium Services, Artist Podcasts, Artist Albums, and Ad Free.

Optimized Backend
One of the most significant improvements in iC4 is one you'll never see, but you'll certainly feel it. We've gone to great lengths to optimize the code that powers the site, hopefully resulting in moderately faster page load times. The Music index, for example, now loads significantly faster.

(Of course, load time depends on the numer of requests the server has to handle at a given time so it's entirely possible that things might slow down during the post-launch excitement.)

Content Reporting
Every post on iCompositions now has a Report button, similar to the "Report Song" feature in iC3. If you come across inappropriate content, we encourage you to submit a report to the iCompositions Team. A moderator or administrator will review your report (and discuss it with other team members) and take the appropriate action.

Retired Sections
With iC4's emphasis on streamlining the site structure, one unfortunate inevitability was that we had to retire several major sections: iCompositions Radio, Marketplace, and News. These three sections never enjoyed the same widespread usage as our core features (e.g. Music) did. Futhermore, all three were very difficult to maintain and distracted the iCompositions Team from more important duties.

However, these sections were not removed entirely. The most popular aspects of each have been preserved:

Artist Albums have been moved from Marketplace to Artists. Each artist now has their own page listing all of their albums on their Artist Page. You can view all Artist Albums here.

iCompositions Radio Podcasts are now iCompositions Podcasts and can be found in the Music section, as well as on the Homepage.

Criminally Overlooked and our Jam Pack Analyses have been moved to a new, simpler Articles section. We are no longer publishing music or software news.

We know that the retirement of these sections will be controversial, but we believe a narrower focus is in the community's best long-term interests.

Wrapping Up
As I mentioned before, iC4 features far too many changes to detail here. The ones listed above only scratch the surface. Explore, share what you discover, and most of all, enjoy iCompositions!

More information » "Best of Perimeter" Loops Giveaway
Perimeter iCompositions has teamed up with Perimeter Sound Arts to offer 30 lucky members a free copy of their "Best of Perimeter" loop download, featuring 418 Apple Loops from their DVD collections. We'll randomly select one winner a day for 30 days and each winner will also receive their "Best of Gearbox Tone Sets" download.

Enter Giveaway »
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