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buddhabeats says

Hello AJ and fellow authors!

I don’t want this to come off as sounding like a complaint or rant, but it may. I’m hoping to improve the overall experience of new authors and make everyone’s life a bit easier.

I’ve been using AJ for a very short time and “learning as I go”. For many things in life, this can be quite fun and even rewarding. However, learning as you go in the context of a marketplace such as AJ is certainly NOT something you should be forced to do.

I uses the word “forced” because I feel that’s exactly what AJ is making me and others do. Either that, or there’s some serious communication gaps between the different factions of this marketplace.

I suppose I’m not being entirely fair, as I’m specifically expressing my own experience with the Sound Effects side of the business; perhaps music uploaders are having a peachy experience. But please let me air my difficulties here thus far.

First off, this marketplace is definitely geared more towards music. And that’s totally fine. I’m sure the money being made here is earned far more from music than sound effects. But the problem with that is with the rules/policies/guidelines. Things seem to be written more towards music submissions than for sound effects.

For example, what prompted this current post is a recent soft rejection – the reason being:

“previews must always contain the full sound or track in entirety”

I’ve just now searched through AJ to find out where I missed that little gem of wisdom, but haven’t found it. It may very well be written somewhere, but where? Is this a case of a rule being handed down to reviewers but never officially being published? A reviewer error?

At the very least that rule should be in the General File Preparation Guidelines: http://support.envato.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/353

Why is it not?

To continue on, I was also told:

“For future reference, please note that if you ever include variations, these must be played in full on the preview too, with a short pause between each sound or track”

I’m totally fine with that and I’m not trying to argue…but where does it say we need to do that?

You can find:

“If you are submitting a music file submission and have included variations, you must include any that are not direct excerpts from the main track in your preview .mp3” (Yes, even “music file” is bolded in the rules)

So this statement kind of eludes to the rule, but not exactly since they specifically mention ‘music file’... (and not “played in full”, but just “must include”. Playing 10 seconds could be considered included)

So why must I have to learn as I go here? It’s really wasting my time and the reviewer’s time. It’s really not surprising that the queues are backed up. I feel sorry for these poor reviewers.

Secondly…

Variation or Sound Pack?

What criteria do I use to determine if I should be uploading a sound pack or one file with several sounds split up with a small pause?

The only answer I’ve seen for this is from a fellow author who posted his experience (learning as he goes). In his experience, if the total time is less than 10 seconds, then go with one file. Otherwise split them up into a pack. If that’s how it works in practice, great. But it would be nice if some hard guidelines were written.

Third…

I’ve posted about a “gray area” in sound effects uploads. To summarize, if I were to record the sound of, for example, a pen click to be uploaded here (Sound A) and five seconds later record the exact same pen (Sound B) being clicked in the exact same manner, with the exact same microphone, preamp, room, etc…everything the same, then I could in theory sell Sound B elsewhere and violate no rules here because it’s technically a different recording – despite them sounding exactly the same to a casual listener.

It seems those who posted a reply to this gray area were under the impression that we can do that, although it might somehow not be in the spirit of using this marketplace.

But how would I know if it’s OK or not? Again, it seems like rules here were written for music, with sound effects as an afterthought. A situation like that certainly wouldn’t come up with music.

I’d like to say again that I’m not complaining really. I’m saying this with all happiness and smiles on my face. But I honestly don’t like the learn as you go experience that I’m having here. It’s unnecessary and wastes everyone’s time.

To end this, I would like to submit that a separate set of rules be written specifically for sound effects uploads, or at least an update to the current rules. Or, if I’m really a complete rock (which I’ve been known to be on some occasions) please point me in the page that explains all these things.

Thank you for your feedback

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buddhabeats says

Forgot to mention…

What about preview mp3 bitrate? I’ve been [successfully] uploading 128kbps files. But honestly, there should be an established standard. Would I get rejected for uploading a 64kbps preview file? What about a full on 320kbps? Or some offbeat strange bitrate 111kbps?

Another gap as I see it. Thx

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buddhabeats says

All that and not a single reply in 10 days? “Wow” is all I can say….

I guess I must be the only one with this thinking?

I just learned something new today: If I’m uploading a variation of a sound, then I should write the length of the longest variation in the “Length”; not the combined time of all the variations. A rule that some reviewers apparently missed in a couple of my uploads – but not this most recent one.

I’m still getting inconsistencies with what’s considered a variation and what’s a sound pack. Someone wrote a very intelligent answer to my question on the difference between the two. But it appears it wasn’t quite on the mark, as I’ve had some more soft rejections saying I need to split up the file I sent into separate files. I somehow get the feeling this will be an ongoing saga…

Please be honest with me….am I being a little over-reactive about this whole thing? Is there really no problem with the system and I’m just having trouble adapting? I’m open to criticism and happy to hear it. Maybe it’s my military background; in the Marines everything was well laid out and there were rules, regulations and SOP for the tiniest things – nothing was left to question.

One thing I learned in the military: If there is a problem with the soldiers (authors/reviews) the fault ultimately lies with their officer in charge (staff/management).

I’m guessing that reviewers here are given guidelines about how to review, right? If such a document exists, could one of the reviewers please send it to me? I would love to see it. Again, I feel like I’m wasting their time with my misguided uploads.

Thanks

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urbazon says

I saw this topic of yours when you originally posted it, but I was just browsing, didn’t have the time to read it then and… I forgot about it later :/

Anyway, I did read it now and I have to say a few things:

- I don’t know the exact state of the envato wiki at this moment, but I know that many things are missing. I had a problem with finding certain info (which I was sure I read there about a year ago) regarding GraphicRiver, but when I contacted support, they told me they are still in the process of moving the wiki data (knowledgebase) to their new system… Which is very odd, if you ask me, ‘cause it’s been a while since they switched to the new system.

- regarding the rules that do exist, I agree with you – many are grey, and need clarification, OR rewriting to include the specific needs of sfx as well as music.

- I don’t quite understand what you mean about not splitting your variations. It seems so illogical that you upload multiple variations in the same audio file – customer then has to bother slicing it, right? But, on the other hand, preview HAS to include every variation, because the customer needs to know what they’re buying.

- regarding the variations VS pack thing – it is a very gray area if you ask me. From my personal experience, it actually depends on the reviewer. As well as the rule you mentioned about the total length VS the longest sound duration. Those thing really need to be clarified somewhere. But, since I’ve been for quite some time here, I can tell you this: even the staff are (or at least have been) learning/deciding “on the fly”, because not everything can be thought of in advance, without some practice.

- the only thing that really worries me regarding the variation sets is that – IMHO – they really devalue our effort. Since it’s very subjective thing to decide whether files are different enough not to be variations, why don’t just make everything with more than 3 files – a pack? Whether it’s a variation or a pack, it still needs an effort to include more than 1 sound, yet the price stays the same.

- I had some forum topics before, just like you have this one now, and I got the same response like you – only a few (or no) replies and nothing changed. SFX market is one of the least valuable markets here, so it seems like almost nobody cares about investing time or energy into it. If you take a better look, even the whole AudioJungle falls into the shadow of more lucrative marketplaces, such as ThemeForest. That’s why I decided to just follow the advices I get from reviewers (if I make a mistake) and use the Forums for asking about something if I need a clarification. Just put a hold on fight with with the windmills… Until better times come ;)

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urbazon says

Another thing comes to mind. Although it’s gonna be buried in the dark depths of Forums, I’ll still share it:

hopefully we’ll get the improved/advanced search soon, as they are talking about it for a few years now. One of the cool perks is going to be search according to the duration of the music/sound.

Now, the question: how’s it gonna work for packs (or variation sets)? I believe that we need a better tool for handling packs/sets/call them whatever you want. Both a better tool AND good/straight guidelines/rules.

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KingDog Envato team says

All good questions. You may want to open up a ticket with Support and they can get you in touch with an AudioJungle reviewer. They should be happy to give you a glimpse into the review process.

And yes, a new and expanded search is definitely in the works :)

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urbazon says

All good questions. You may want to open up a ticket with Support and they can get you in touch with an AudioJungle reviewer. They should be happy to give you a glimpse into the review process.

Thanks for the reply, Travis. Yes, we could do that (contact a reviewer through the support ticket) but it’s not only about a few of us – whoever wants to upload something, he/she has to either do the same, or learn through trial and error – both cases waste everybody’s time, authors and reviewers, as well as of those in the support team.

What buddhabeats is trying to say (if I understood right) is that we need better guidelines, better written articles in the knowledgebase wiki. Many guidelines are missing, either because they got lost in the void during the knowledgebase system change some time ago, or because they were never written down in the first place since many guidelines were set on the fly.


And yes, a new and expanded search is definitely in the works :)

Ah :) Can’t wait :)

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buddhabeats says

Thanks for the reply urbazon. Yeah, I think you captured about exactly what I’m trying to say. The guidelines need to be reviewed and rewritten. Also, they need to be EASY to find…

There was a post not long ago looking for the watermark page. It wasn’t the easiest thing for me to find within the site so I could point him to it. In the end I had to ask Mr. Google to help me find it. The same thing happened to me a couple days ago when I was looking for the “Things we want and don’t want” page. I’ve seen it before but couldn’t find it for the life of me. A google search pointed to 5 or 6 pages referencing the page that all had outdated links.

In short, I feel information here is scattered and incomplete.


- I don’t quite understand what you mean about not splitting your variations. It seems so illogical that you upload multiple variations in the same audio file – customer then has to bother slicing it, right? But, on the other hand, preview HAS to include every variation, because the customer needs to know what they’re buying.

Regarding this, it’s something I’ve seen in some of my sound effects libraries. With variations they just put them all in one file with blank space in between. I suppose at some level it makes sense to me because you may not know which variation fits your needs exactly; so import one file into your project instead of 10 separate files.

Maybe that won’t work for the end-users who frequent this market. Suppose I was thinking of my workflow at what works for me.

(or perhaps those old libraries were originally released on CD and they wanted to keep the track count down. That would make sense)

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