I also thought that Gramofile was the most useful facility on the old
site but cannot agree with many of the comments in this thread.
Through the Gramophone player we can now listen to excerpts from recent
recommended recordings. Over time this will build up to be even more
useful than reading reviews, which after all, are someone else's
opinion. I have just become a Mahler convert having listened to the
sample movement from this months issue.
If anyone spends a bit of time they can stll find the reviews
they need, albeit with a little more effort. But that extra effort is
more than worthwhile as you have access to all of the issues from 1926.
Too many people in this thread seem to think that the
technical solution of integrating 90 odd years of archived printed
matter with easy access whilst simultaneously giving us digital access to modern records
is both trivial and inexpensive. Given that it is not, I for one would
prefer Gramophone to concentrate on the future rather than the past.
As to accusing Gramophone staff of not having the technical
competence - I wonder what competence the accusers have in this field?
Perhaps they could simply email Martin with their solutions?
I have just read the whole thread and seen Martin's responses. I do not think he is being evasive, or unresponsive. He has clearly stated the reasons why things are as they are, and given some information about we can expect in the future. We may think that it less than ideal, but we have to accept commercial reality.
Like PJTuck I agree that what would be great would be to search all reviews since 2000 by composer or artist and what would be absolutly brilliant would be to have the search answers linked to digital samples. If that is what Gramophone have in mind then I would suggest leaving the archive alone and giving us the new system sooner.
We are currently working on providing a solution to this problem - please answer our survey to give us your views on what a new digital archive should look like.
Gramophone Publishing Executive
Another vote strongly in favor of restoring Gramofile. Apparently there was a survey about it, the link currently still appears on the home page but the survey is already "closed" only a week after it was opened. Did Gramophone really want input or was this just an excercise in cosmetic PR?
Apologies for the confusion but we have now closed the survey having had over 2,000 compelted forms from our readership. Thank you for pointing out that the news story was still on the home page which should, as of 5 minutes ago, no longer appear.
A huge thank you to all those who took part in the survey and to the 50 or so who offered to come into the office to give us some face to face feedback on the work we are currently undertaking. We are all really looking forward to getting the new look reviews database live but these projects do take time so your continued patience is very much appreciated.
Luca Da Re
Brand Manager, Gramophone
Well, failing Gramofile, could we at least have the Archive back? Whenever I've clicked on a search result in the last two or three days, I always get 'Sorry, that page can't be found'. If work is being done on the database (restoring Gramofile search capability? -- if only!), couldn't users at least be told that it's useless to search for anything for the time being?
Any update on Gramofile Luca? It's now three months since the last communication from the team.
After a frustrating search for an earlier review of a recording of Il Trovatore I discovered the Gramophile no longer exists. It wasn't perfect but it served a valuable purpose and it is sorely missed. Bring it back, warts and all as it was the only game in town.
There are plans to return a reviews database to Gramophone - we are currently exploring how best to build it and to make it available to you. Your emphatic vote of support for its return has been noted, but for now I beg your patience.
There is a very comprehensive 'reviews database' available now - the complete archive of 90 years of tha magazine. It's just not free - but is that so unreasonable?
Sadly, it is not a reviews database, and that is the problem.
The search facility in the new archive is too general and simplistic which makes it unfit for purpose when searching reviews. As others have pointed out in this thread and elsewhere it is simply impossible to target reviews in the detailed and flexible way that Gramofile allowed - for example, searching for reviews of Karajan's recordings of Beethoven's 5th Symphony on CD.
Gramophone now seem to be suspiciously silent on this matter - like others, I suspect that they no longer intend to pursue a discrete reviews database.
You have got a point. The search functionality indeed leaves something to be desired. I have often had to do some detective work, using record numbers etc, to get to where I want. But thus far, I have always succeeded.
With the demise of the print version of the guide(2012 was the last) something is needed. I'd gladly pay a yearly sub for Gramofile. Can someone from Grampophone explain what their plans are?