As some of you have noticed, we've been working hard (especially LilJim) on the Audio Portal.
I made a brash decision recently that has caused some alarm among users... I decided we should clear out all of the sound effects. This was a tough decision, because there were a lot of good sound effects. However, I just didn't like where things were going. Most of the sound effects weren't created by the persons submitting them - so they weren't really worth crediting anyone for. There were so many gunshot sounds being uploaded that it was becoming redundant. People were uploading movie quotes, popular video game sounds and quotes, and although they may all be useful, it would have become infinitely over-filled.
We are currently debating one of two things:
1) Rely on people to contribute only their own original sound effects... Which would be easier with our new screening system.
2) Scrap the sound effects category completely, and instead offer a few pre-packaged ZIP files with select sound effects.
If we don't allow users to submit sound effects, it will limit the growth of the archive. However, having some select zip files would be much more organized. For example, there would be a zip file of "guns and explosions", a zip file of "swords and fighting", and stuff along those lines.
What do you think - should we continue to let users submit sounds, or should we just offer some pre-made packages? Should we allow users to submit sounds that they did not make?
One more thing to debate. The Audio Portal currently accepts submissions in WAV or MP3 format. We recently added a preview button, which was made in Flash. If the audio file is MP3, the preview button is able to import it and play it with ease. If it is a WAV, however, the button is unable to import it - it has to call on the file to open in your browser some other way (my browser has a little media player sidebar that pops out).
Users are starting to find this annoying. We all want consistency. There is software for porting audio files into Flash files (Swish), but even that only looks like it accepts MP3s. Does anyone know a valid way we can automate the process of playing WAV files from the preview button?
If not... We are considering the option of not accepting WAV files. MP3 files are more bandwidth-friendly anyway, but the downside is that this may make more work for some of our contributors. Most of the audio is in MP3 format anyway, but I don't want to count anyone out.
So this question is especially important to those who work with audio - what do you think? Should we only accept MP3 files? Do you have any issues with that?
Any feedback is greatly appreciated!