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Folkinfo has closed-Dec 2012.

RTim 07 Dec 12 - 10:45 AM
Ed. 07 Dec 12 - 11:13 AM
maeve 07 Dec 12 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,999 07 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM
Artful Codger 07 Dec 12 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Grishka 07 Dec 12 - 12:50 PM
DMcG 07 Dec 12 - 01:40 PM
DMcG 07 Dec 12 - 02:00 PM
Artful Codger 07 Dec 12 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Grishka 07 Dec 12 - 05:12 PM
gnu 07 Dec 12 - 05:20 PM
DMcG 07 Dec 12 - 06:39 PM
Geoff the Duck 07 Dec 12 - 07:16 PM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 12 - 08:01 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 07 Dec 12 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,999 07 Dec 12 - 08:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Dec 12 - 08:42 PM
Sandra in Sydney 07 Dec 12 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Dec 12 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Jon 08 Dec 12 - 09:01 AM
DMcG 08 Dec 12 - 09:23 AM
nutty 08 Dec 12 - 09:46 AM
pavane 08 Dec 12 - 01:57 PM
Artful Codger 08 Dec 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Dec 12 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Jon 10 Dec 12 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Joe Offer, at work 10 Dec 12 - 05:57 PM
Geoff the Duck 11 Dec 12 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Jon 11 Dec 12 - 06:19 AM
open mike 11 Dec 12 - 01:17 PM
Artful Codger 12 Dec 12 - 02:10 AM
Joe Offer 12 Dec 12 - 03:52 AM
Nigel Parsons 12 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Mary in Kentucky 12 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM
Ed. 12 Dec 12 - 12:31 PM
DMcG 12 Dec 12 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Jon 12 Dec 12 - 05:01 PM
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Subject: Folkinfo has closed.
From: RTim
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 10:45 AM

So today I see - Folkinfo has closed.

Anyone know the story of why who where??

Tim Radford

Try this link: http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/index.html


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Ed.
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 11:13 AM

I'm very sorry to hear that. I was quite closely involved with the site at the beginning, but I'm sorry to say that I haven't contributed to it for years.

Dave, who posts here as DMcG did a lot of work on it, and is possibly the best contact for any further information.

Jon Freeman who ran the site no longer posts here.

Jon, if you happen to read this, I hope all is well. It was a really good project.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: maeve
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 11:23 AM

This Mudcat thread
from 2011 contains some very useful links including one to Jon's downloadable PDF file of songs with dots.

Thanks, Jon.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 11:49 AM

Songs available here.

When you open the above link to that excellent site, you'll see a sentence that reads

'The song database and associated threads are still available for viewing here '

The last word in that sentence is a blue clicky. That will provide access to Jon's lyric collection.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 12:03 PM

Apparently, the demise of folkinfo.org (and jonbanjo.com?) has taken with it a number of old Mudcat MIDIs that were cached there (not part of the folkinfo database). Fortunately, the existing database of songs is still accessible, at least for the time being, as is the massive PDF of database songs (snapshot from 2011?)

The demise has also taken with it access to the best online ABC converter I know of. The last time I tried the one at Concertina.net, it had not been updated in years and was quite limited and buggy. So it's back to bare-bones melody-only ABCs with no embedded guitar chords, at least when I post them here.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 12:50 PM

Artful, what is the problem with embedded guitar chords? Do they convert them to concertina chords?

Actually those web services do nothing else than process ABC text through free and small software that most users could download and use at home. The problem may be that the graphical user interfaces such as ABCExplorar are considered too heavyweight.

Persons with contact to the ABC scene (e.g. Jon himself) may ask the programmers to create a tiny user interface software similar to his web site, but working on the user's computer. Or would that be too difficult?


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 01:40 PM

I am one of the main contributors to songs at Folkinfo, having posted over 900 or so over the years. I will leave Jon to say as much as or little as he wishes, but there is nothing major: it is simply people's time and commitments vary over time. For example since my first post there I have had four jobs and five houses!

We decided from the outset that to keep a reasonable side of copyright issues we would post no more than 10% of any book and as a result of that round about three years ago my personal resources started to run a bit dry, which led to a gradual falling off in the frequency of my posts: I used to upload at last one song every Saturday morning, but that started to slip, and slipped more, until we got to the point where I probably only made about four or five posts last year, none of them songs. There was no excuse there, by the way, because over that time I've acquired quite a lot of new material, most recently the excellent Loomis Press 'English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians'. But the impact of moving house especially ate into my free time, so my posting went way down. Indeed there was about a year where I barely used the internet at all.

We are looking at what long term hosting options might be, and Joe Offer has agreed to host the files for the moment (I'm not breaking confidences there: the web address if you follow the link from folkinfo is a bit of a giveaway). Many thanks, Joe, and I am sure Jon is most grateful.

There is one problem that we are still thinking about, namely the online Vaughan-Williams Memorial Library contains links to the folkinfo site based on the Roud Index of the song concerned.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 02:00 PM

There is one problem that we are still thinking about, namely the online Vaughan-Williams Memorial Library contains links to the folkinfo site based on the Roud Index of the song concerned.

I stand corrected: I see Jon has set up suitable redirects so the EFDSS VWML links still work.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Artful Codger
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 02:58 PM

Last time I tried, the Concertina.net converter treated dominant 7th chords (e.g., G7) as major 7th chords, and it had a limited vocabulary for other types of chords. Nor did they support the extensions which allow one to (re)define chord names, so there was no workaround.

You greatly overestimate the tech-savviness of most users. Anyhow, why should every user have to install and maintain software on their own system when one public site with a web interface would suffice for most folks?


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 05:12 PM

You mean the chords did/do not come out properly in the MIDI files? That would indeed be a problem.

As for tech-savviness, I imagine the following: people download an executable file, double click on an icon representing it, and find a user interface resembling the now-defunct folkinfo converter. Not a bit more difficult than entering "www.folkinfo.org" into the correct place of their browser.

What I might be overestimating is the willingness of programmers to write so trivial a programme - compared to ABCExplorer. Sorry that I cannot help myself, for lack of knowledge. Are there any serious technical problems?

Of course some of us do not want to use any executable files from the internet - a different problem. Ideally, no "installation" should be required, but I am not too confident about that, since Ghostscript seems to be part of the deal (or am I wrong, dear Santa?).

Do not get me wrong: as long as web services are available free of charge, I have no personal objection, quite on the contrary. Thanks, Jon, for your work so far.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: gnu
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 05:20 PM

Well... I can only surmise but that is that. Sad day.

Jon... thanks and I hope things are cool with you.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 06:39 PM

There are a lot of programs you can download that will read ABC, display and print the music. There's a handful of threads listing options. For the better programs you have to pay a little or quite a lot depending on your requirements. Almost all the folkinfo songs I created using Myriad's Harmony Assistant with subsequent hand editing to meet some standards we agreed in the early days. That software cost if I remember £75, though there is a cheaper version- Melody Assistant that is sufficient for most stuff. So you have choices: you can download the abc specific programs and learn to use them, or pay for something like Melody Assistant, or read through the old threads and find one that suits you.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 07:16 PM

Folkinfo was a site I always appreciated.
I didn't really have anything much to contribute, but valued the work put in by the people who did.
For simplicity of use, I did find the ABC converter better than other ones online. I am well aware that if such a resource is maintained by someone who actually knows what the hidden programmes can do, and can adjust the options for best results, I will end up with optimum output compared with what I will get by downloading and running the programmes on my own computer (But not knowing which options I should select).
I would like to thank Jon for all the work he put in to keeping the site going.

Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 08:01 PM

Very adtute observation, DMcG. As he said:

Try this link: http://www.joe-offer.com/folkinfo/index.html

I can't get the "search" feature to work. Does it work for the rest of you? Maybe I just need to clear my cache.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 08:08 PM

Joe - the search works for me, though you must use the go button to do the search. Return seems to just clear the field.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 08:10 PM

I opened your link, Joe, then went to Browse and opened the A's. It worked.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 08:42 PM

All seems to work.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 07 Dec 12 - 09:29 PM

it's been a long time since I looked at Folkinfo, I'm sorry to see it has gone.

thanks to Jon & all the contributors, & to Joe for hosting the songs.

sandra (who once posted a song!)


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 08:55 AM

Thanks all.

Just a couple of loose ends.

The pdf download is up to date and is at http://www.jonbanjo.com/songs.zip

The epub download us up to date but when I try to add the link here, my post bounces. It's at www.jonbanjo.com slash folkinfo-epub dot zip.

There are likely to remain there for at least 6 months.

As far as I remember, I only held the Mudcat Midi's Artful Codger mentioned as a temporary solution and I believe they are now at Mudcat.

I have had a couple of emails about the converter but I don't know if these will lead to somone else taking it over. I'll notify the abcusers list and the abcnotation forum if it does restart.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 09:01 AM

I had meant to say I've changed the format of the epub version. This one works better with Pip's e-reader. I didn't have a reader available to try when I produced the original version.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 09:23 AM

Before anyone invests in Harmony/Melody Assistant or any other software be aware that a decision we made way back which causes some problems with lyrics, and it is largely my fault. As I am primarily a singer, most of the songs I posted split the staves at the end of vocal lines. As a result the relevant bar is typically split across lines. Some programs, including Harmony, then get confused working out how the lyrics and notes are related. As a rule, music software assumes bars are not split and aplit the lyrics instead. It is not a major problem but it might be something to check if you are exploring alternatives.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: nutty
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 09:46 AM

I'm sad to say that I'm another who has not visited Folkinfo for ages.

I'd like to wish Jon and Pip all the best for the future and I hope Jon is relinquishing this site because he has far more worthwhile things to do.

Cheers
Hazel


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: pavane
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 01:57 PM

My program HARMONY (Not to be confused with HARMONY ASSISTANT) does a reasonable job with importing ABC, does the chords correctly, and can deal with aligned lyrics. It has a wealth of features for MIDI export, including MIDI styles which can for example add bends to notes.

Note that importing and parsing abc files is not a simple task, as some people have assumed above. It is highly complex if it has to import lyrics, multiple voices, and chord symbols.

My program is found at http://www.greenhedges.com but unfortunately it is only available on Windows platforms. I would love to rewrite it in a more suitable language for browser or Linux use, but it would take many months of hard work just to port to vb.net, with no guarantee that it would be fully functional even then.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Artful Codger
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 04:11 PM

Jon, it may be that the MIDIs formerly at jonbanjo are now somewhere on Mudcat, but all the original links to them in old posts are now broken, and I didn't notice new ones posted. Then there's the problem of finding them (since the Mudcat MIDIs list appears quite incomplete), and something has happened to the Mudcat respository (-ies?), causing a great many of the DigiTrad links to now be invalid. (Fortunately, the mirror MIDI links still work.)

Do you still have those MIDIs cached away on a backup? If so, could you send them to me? With Joe's permission, I can rehost them on Joeweb and attempt to provide new links in the (most) relevant threads.


Pavane: Grishka was not implying that writing programs to interpret ABC was simple, rather that installing built programs for the purpose should be simple (with packages like ABCExplorer and EasyABC, for instance—or yours, for the Windows-dependent). And in truth it is, nor is using them really that complex. However, people are much more inclined to use a simple web utility they don't have to install than to try to install and learn to use a program of unknown complexity, particularly if they only want to use it infrequently. And they certainly don't want to have to pay for something they use only infrequently and spend more time updating than using!

That is why I (and I assume many others) greatly appreciated Jon's making the converter available. Even though I bought Finale and Barfly, I hardly ever use them because, for most things, extended ABC and Jon's converter produced cleaner scores and handled many real-world musical notation situations much better. I've now installed EasyABC—a good, free, downloadable Mac/Windows alternative to Jon's converter.

There's another problem with not having a good web-based converter: each converter suite only supports certain extensions, and most depart from the standards in how they implement extensions. So the only way to guarantee that the ABC you post is ABC that someone else can regenerate as you intended is if everyone can use the same converter. The abc2midi and abcm2ps programs used by Jon and several other other front-end providers are the most commonly encountered of the fuller-featured converters. They also stick closer to the proposed 2.0 standard than most other converters. Thus, they can be considered the de facto "lingua franca" for those wanting the widest portability for their notation, without being limited to the rather limited earlier ABC standards.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Dec 12 - 04:59 PM

To the best of my memory, the MIDIs were in a subdomain of jonbanjo.com that I set up with ftp for Joe Offer. I'm pretty sure I just deleted it after he was able to rehouse it. I can't find them and I can't think of any reason why I would have kept them. Joe will probably be able to help with this.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 07:11 AM

Simon Becker is now running a version of the abc converter at http://mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Joe Offer, at work
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 05:57 PM

Artful Codger, all the Mudcat MIDI files that once were at jonbanjo, are now at Mudcat. I've been changing the jonbanjo links as I come across them. If you find any jonbanjo links, let me know.
On my list of things to ask Max to do once major issues are resolved, is to do a global replace of those links.
Seems to me there was a way to use Google to search for links that have been posted here. Anybody know how?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 05:27 AM

I would particularly like to thank Jon for how helpful he is being by making available all the stuff he has spent years compiling at Folkinfo. It would have been a shame for all the work done by Jon and the regular contributors to have simply been lost.
I have just downloaded the Zip files of his song database in PDF and EPUB formats.
I have bookmarked the newly relocated ABC converter at http://mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php . I see it now handles MusicXML files as well as ABC, and can be used to convert between the two formats. This is one I will find useful, as I use MuseScore for editing dots, and it will output ABC but not import it. I can now use the online converter to translate ABC files into one I can use with the programme.

Once again Thanks Jon.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 06:19 AM

Thank Geoff,

Re preserving the folkinfo song database data. What would happen to the this was discussed at the outset. There always was an agreement that if folkinfo closed, we would do our best to ensure this remained available.

While here, just a bit of info on the converter and MusicXML. The output is pretty new to the converter but it has accepted it as input for a fair while. It uses xml2abc.py and abc2xml.py from http://wim.vree.org/svgParse/index.html and to translate between the two types of musicXML (of which the python scripts only handle partwise) parttime.xsl and timepart.xls from the musicXML website.

Anyway, I think the converter is safely in Simon's hands now.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: open mike
Date: 11 Dec 12 - 01:17 PM

thank goodness we still have access to some of the info that was there. I first discovered folkinfo when it served as a back up site for us when the mudcat was down....


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 02:10 AM

Joe, you can try this Google search:
site:mudcat.org "www.jonbanjo.com/midi"

See also this thread:
Finding Mudcat MIDI Links - please help!!

But the Google searches mostly turn up messages about the site, rather than finding the relevant MIDI links. I don't know how to get it to examine link target specs.

I had better luck using the basic Mudcat search with this string:
"www.jonbanjo.com" midi


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 03:52 AM

Thanks, Artful Codger. This Google search is what works for me:

site:mudcat.org http://www.jonbanjo.org/midi/

It will take a long time to get these all fixed, but I'll do a few at a time.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 06:12 AM

Refresh:
To put it above the 2011 (misleading) thread which says Folkinfo is back.

Maybe that thread could be locked to allow it to sink down the list?


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Mary in Kentucky
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 11:53 AM

I just tried to go to folkinfo for a new Christmas song, and of course, was shocked to see it was not there.

Jon and Dave, I appologize for not helping more --- life just seems to get in the way. I think of you two often, especially this time of year with all the carols. And I often revisit Masato's tremendous contributions --- I always learn something. Jon, give my love to Pip.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: Ed.
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 12:31 PM

Mary! Hello.

I've often wondered how you were. Do you remember me? Our discussions of the Dorian mode and such like?

I hope that you are well.


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 04:26 PM

Nice to hear from you, Mary. I've thought of sending you more postcards most times I been away. And I have learnt some more 'new' carols in the past year or two. In fact I'll be trying a couple out at my main folk club's party on Friday. Wish me luck!


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Subject: RE: Folkinfo has closed.
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 12 Dec 12 - 05:01 PM

Thanks, Mary. Pip say's she posted a letter to you the other day so you should be hearing from her soon.


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