Reviews - Search User Interface

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Reviews - Search User Interface

 

Dear,

I have some difficulties in using the Reviews Database search engine

Don't know if its me or the system ;-)

For example a simple query :" dvorak kubelik " doesn't return any review ???

(on Amazon this query returns 20 pages of CD's)

we pay money for this, can this interface please be made better searcheable ...

any hints on using the search would be apreciated.

thanks and regards,

Eric Putmans (Belgium)

The review search page is a

The review search page is a shambles. I have emailed gramophone serveral times but have had no reply. At the very least the result set needs to be sortable by date order. The result set should show, artist/conductor/label etc. Don't get me started on the vagaries of the result set, it is beyond rubbish.

Unacceptable Reviews Database search

It's distressing that the important points raised by the previous posters in this thread remain unaddressed. Having just paid a considerable premium over the print-only subscription in order to be able to access the Reviews Database, I'm appalled to discover that the promise of "90 years of Gramophone now at your fingertips" is very nearly false advertising—the lack of search categories and filters, not to mention nonsensical results, makes it quite impossible to find relevant content.

The Gramofile search facility of old was vastly better ... and that was free! Devising a functional search facility should be a top priority.

I'm so glad it's not just me!

I'm so glad it's not just me! 

 

 It's better than nothing (just) but I doubt I shall renew my subscription if a better search engine isn't implemented.

The search facility

 

I share the frustration expressed in all the previous posts.

 

I find the seach 'facility', in its present form, completely useless. If the publisher is not able to spend the money needed for (paying) customers to obtain some value from it, I suggest that this non-service be withdrawn.

Although the digital archive is a valuable resource, the ability to search within it is very limited. But at least it works - within its own limitations.

John Purbeck 

This is a copy of part of an

This is a copy of part of an E-mail I sent to 'The Gramophone' more than two and a half years ago.  Some memberrs may find it helpful.  It goes without saying that in the meantime nothing has been changed even though the main problem could easikly have ben solved by any remotely competent programmer:
"I've been looking into why so many items that should be found are not. I'm pleased to say I think I've found the two main causes, both of them quite simple once you've seen them and, one of them at least, easily correctable, I believe. So here goes.
"The first one.  I mentioned as examples not being able to find the Boulez Bayreuth Ring cycle, and Böhm's Bayreuth Tristan und Isolde.  Also Klemperer's Cosi fan Tutte.  I'll take this last one first because it's the simpler one.  No success with a search for Cosi, nor for Figaro, but Don Giovanni Klemperer came up straight away.  Open it and you find the review not only  of Don Giovanni but those of Figaro and Cosi too!  Also the recording details of both Don Giovanni and Cosi - but not Figaro. With the Wagner examples the same happoens. Only with a search for Das Rheingold or Fliegende Holländer do you get a successful search but what you find inside is a review of CD sets of ten Wagner operas, including those that don't show in a search!  Again, only two show under the recording details heading.
"Another case of the same occurs with a search for Mozart Die Zauberföte Klemperer.  What it comes up with is Beethoven Fidelio Klemperer. But click on it and you find the review of Zauberflöte too - and Fliegende Holländer!
I don't know how easy it will be to sort this one out, but the good news is that the reviews are there all right. It needs to be done because there are lots of reviews of two or more sets comparing different versions, or different works with the same conductor etc.
"Now the second one. This was a real puzzle until the obvious penny dropped!  As it turns out, it affects both Zauberflöte,  Holländer, Böhm and countless other composers, works and performers.
I discovered it by accident.  A new Forum member asked about the best recording of Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel. OK, I thought, I'll remind myself with the Reviews Database. A search for Hansel and Gretel yielded only one recording, in English.  That was the clue. I typed instead Hänsel und Gretel (including the umlaut) and all the recordings magically appeared.  Eureka!!!!  I checked lots of others:
Böhm works, Bohm does not;
Zauberflöte works, Zauberflote does not;
Fliegende Holländer works, Fliegende Hollander does not;
Pelléas et Mèlisande works, Pelleas et Melisande does not;
Così fan Tutte, not Cosi fan Tutte;
Janácek, not Janacek (a serious one, most recordings of his music left out!)
.......and thousands more!!!!!
"It seems your search programme is set so rigorously as to require all or most of the diacritical marks to be there for a successful search.  It really should be simple to lower the stringency to exclude these.  Almost every other search programme on the internet is able to do this - even in Word you can do it, I believe. Even in German or French you can't expect users to be so precise, and in Czech?
"I reckon that if you can deal with these two issues you will recover 99% of the missing reviews. There will still be a few awkward ones, for example where there are alternative spellings of names, like Mussorgsky and Moussorgsky, but these are trivial compared with the present state of affairs."
Hope this helps.
Another elementary programming error prevents one searching for, say individual mahler symphonies. Like most programmes searching for a single character is blocked, but the programmers forgot that such a search should be possible in combination with other words!  I've never seen this elementary error in any orther database.  You will notice that works number 10 or more (i.e two characters) are retrieved correctly.  
Such ineptitude! I'm truly astonished that the publishers have the gall to charge for this product, and that after all this time they can't or won't be bothered to correct these basic errors - no more than a few minutes work for a competent programmer.

Chris A.Gnostic

I subscribed to Gramophone

I subscribed to Gramophone last year primarily to gain access to the reviews database.

 

Without exception, the reviews themselves are beautifully crafted and written. Reviewers demonstrate their love of the music, clearly declaring their sentiments for composers and artistes alike. Where they feel censure to be appropriate, they voice their disapproval.

 

We don’t have to agree with their views, but there is a tangible sense of being informed and educated.

 

However, finding such jewels requires the archaeological tenacity of Indiana Jones and the semiotic talents of Robert Langdon. Sherlock Holmes would struggle with the baleful interface that purports to be a comprehensive review database.

 

I notice several subscribers, over a period of years, have voiced their concerns and disapproval of the search facility – so this is not a recent situation. It seems clear that Gramophone have no intention of listening to these complaints. Thus, inevitably, questions are raised about its will or desire to make improvements.

 

Looks as if Gramophone can’t be bothered to do anything about it. That being the case, I can’t be bothered renewing my subscription when it falls due in the spring.

 

Written with sorrow

Brian Ritchie

Brian

Reviews website

I agree with all the previous comments: this is the least useful website I have come across. It's so badly organised that finding anything other than a small fraction of the reviews I know are there is almost impossible, and today I could not even find a link to log in from. I regret having added digital to my print subscription, and will go back to print only when it is time to renew. The publishers really need to do something to fix the incompetent programming unless they are happy to lose subscribers.

the search engine

How sad that there has still been no response from the publisher to the very helpful 'reminder' posted by Chris Johnson last January. If the editor really wants to maintain the (modest) increase in subscibers to the magazine, he needs to persuade the owner to address this unacceptable lack of service.

John Purbeck 

Search engine, part....?

John Purbeck wrote:

How sad that there has still been no response from the publisher to the very helpful 'reminder' posted by Chris Johnson last January. If the editor really wants to maintain the (modest) increase in subscibers to the magazine, he needs to persuade the owner to address this unacceptable lack of service.

I second that. April 2018 and I cannot find anything. The search results make no sense at all. For a classical music novice like me, that´s a real downer.

Very disappointing

Having just been persuaded to upgrade to the Club membership to access reviews, I concur with these comments. This is a very poor experience, and less satisfactory than simply searching on the digital edition.  I shall be withdrawing my review membership.

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