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Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible

14 Mar 23 - 08:41 PM (#4167576)
Subject: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

The old website did not work easily and rejected Microsoft edge, however, the new one is even worse. Collections are no longer accessible in geographical areas, and by singer's name. They are not in date order, nor are they filed in alphabetical order. Needless to say even if after a lot of messing about you discover a recording you are unable to play the flaming thing without a reader's pass (don't ask me!) and the incompetent digital mess still rejects Microsoft Edge. I gave them the recordings so that EVERYONE could listen. I have half a mind to construct my own website and advertise it for free use to all. The sensible list including Bob Davenport, Steve Gardham, Roy Palmer etc. is a thing of the past. I am trying very hard not to overreact, but there are times...


14 Mar 23 - 08:50 PM (#4167579)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,SB666

And much of the archives are restrictd to academics aka Ph.D. researchers such as field recordings from the Howsons.


14 Mar 23 - 10:18 PM (#4167581)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST

and filtering by location,a-z has the options ordered such as

- A folk club in Lewes, East Sussex, England,
- A public house, South Tawton?, Devon, England, UK
- Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
- Aldborough, Yorkshire (East Riding), England, UK


- Biddenham, Bedfordshire, England, UK
- Bill Leader's flat in Camden Town, London, UK
- Birtley, Newcastle and other locations in County Durham, UK
- Brenda Orrell's home at Fylingthorpe near Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire, England, UK
- Brigg, Lincolnshire, England


That's not what I'd expect in a library.

https://sounds.bl.uk/categories/world-and-traditional-music/europe?searchTerm=Europe&firstCall=true&sort=asc&view=gridview&sub_category=true&page=1 > filters


15 Mar 23 - 03:49 AM (#4167589)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Agreed.


27 Mar 23 - 09:18 AM (#4168615)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I have contacted the library and to date have not had the courtesy of a reply.
Dear Sirs,

So pleased as I am that you took the trouble to digitise and make available our recordings, I am bound to say that I did not find your previous website easily accessible to listeners, and it rejected Microsoft Edge. However, the new website appears to have rendered a search nigh impossible.
The introduction of your new website has a considerable number of pages outlining the virtues of the British Library, but I have been unable to find my recordings in their entirety. In addition, the few recordings I have found, not only appear to reject Microsoft Edge in respect of playback but appear not to be filed to any logical system. Gone is the county or performer index, and I am at a loss to discover which system has been used.
This has already caused me some inconvenience.
I was approached by a traditional singer in his eighties, who sang me a song I had previously collected. He is computer literate. I asked him to compare his father's text with that at the British Library. He and I were unable to do so. I then had to supply the recording differently.
This small example I feel is an example of a greater problem and one you may consider of some importance.
Sincerely
Nick Dow


28 Mar 23 - 10:52 AM (#4168727)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Wm

Not to mention that it seems that the URL structure for assets has change without setting up redirects, breaking all previous links. I'm sure that won't be fun to clean up for the Roud index.

Hopefully this is an intermediary step before new (old) features are reintroduced. The previous iteration of the British Library site was not exactly the most user-friendly, but this is somehow worse.


28 Mar 23 - 11:15 AM (#4168731)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

Agreed!


06 Apr 23 - 08:02 AM (#4169368)
Subject: RE: Review: B.L. sound library now less accessible
From: GUEST,Nick Dow

I received the following reply, after asking for a response.

Thank you for your email and apologies for the late reply.

The reason you are not able to find your recordings on the new BL Sounds website is, I am afraid, that they haven't been added to it yet. We had a team working on migrating content from our old website to the new one but, unfortunately, they weren't able to complete the work in the time they had and, as a consequence, several collections -including yours- have been removed temporarily from our online offering (they are of course still available in in the British Library reading rooms).

Here I should apologise again, as it was my intention to alert of this gap in service all collection donors whose collections do not yet appear on our new website. But, because my section has been working at reduced capacity for over six months now, I have failed to do so before the old website was retired a few weeks ago.

I understand your frustration and I can assure you we will do our best to reinstate online access to your collection as soon as possible. However, because we don't have a team working on this anymore, we will have to rely on existing resources within the sound archive to complete this work, meaning that it could take another 6-12 months before the collection is migrated to the new website. I will mark your collection as a priority, which hopefuly will speed up things a little, and will update you as soon as I have a date for when your collection will be back online.

Apologies again for the inconvenience.