More than a redesign, AIG online has been upgraded from the world of traditional, static HTML pages to what is known as a Content Management System (CMS). Don’t worry, we’ll spare you all the gory technical details. What this means in real terms, besides a great deal of work for Webmaster Aaron Marshall over the past several months, is that the site now runs off a database, and is capable of a great many more things than it was before. Some of these capabilities are already being tapped, and many more will be deployed in the future.
The CMS, in our case a great piece of open source software called Wordpress, makes possible things like RSS Feeds, a simple, yet slick category system for organizing and archiving content (see Archives), Keyword Tags for further sub-categorizing content, things like the “Related Reviews” list at the end of each review, and much, much more.
The system also makes it much easier and quicker to post updates, reviews, news items, and links; all of which you’re going to be seeing a great deal more of. As we enter the era of web-only publication (more on this below) AIG Online will be updated weekly (at the very least). We’ll also be making much more content from our 25 year archive of product reviews and features available online.
There’s more white space, faster navigation, new features, and lots of exciting new things to access and experience. One that excites me is the chance to create Audio Ideas Radio, our coming series of podcasts, featuring music, outdoor sounds, interviews and commentary. As an old radio hand and voice (CBC, CKFM Toronto), I’m already having fun with this one, and our first edition will be up on the site shortly. We’ll also have A/V News on a regular basis, with Links to other interesting stories and ideas, and Opinion Editorials on issues of interest to all of us.
Aaron Marshall will be continuing his focus on the overlap between computers and consumer audio, as well as portable and budget audio, while I’ll be focusing a little more on Pro Audio, both classic and contemporary. For example, a comprehensive Test & Review Feature on 3 legendary portable analog recorders by Uher, Nagra and Stellavox exemplifies the former, while a look at the amazing ZOOM H4 portable 96/24-to-MP3 recorder is coming in August (after I take it to the cottage and record storms, trains, etc.), which is already consuming my recording time. I’ll also be offering a feature on our new Romantic Organ recording sessions with Ian Sadler at St. James Cathedral in Toronto, where we used both a Nagra IV-S in 15 IPS NagraMaster EQ and our 96K digital recording gear on the organ’s 3 walls of ranks, including 32-foot pipes. We’ll find out which sounds better!
Andrew Marshall, editor and publisher
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