The Racks and Tags blog

New features, announcements, and weekly tips

Archive for the ‘announcement’ category

Scheduled downtime tonight

Tonight we will be moving Racks&Tags website to a new server and it requires disconnection of all services resulting in extended downtime. The move will begin at midnight PST (3 AM in New York, 8:00 in London) and will take about 6 hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Website speed improvements

Last night we have deployed a number of performance improvements to Racks and Tags website and bumped server RAM. Speed increase should be immediately noticeable across many pages. Please let us know if some of your collection pages are not blazingly fast.

Last but not least, there’s an mild update to Pro features coming soon! Stay tuned.

Survey! How many of you have own websites?

We certainly have some critical mass of people using Racks and Tags already. Things are looking pretty well, so we consider adding some integration features that will allow you to embed Racks and Tags updates in your website.

This very informal survey will make some decisions easier for us, so please take a minute to respond. You can reply either in comments or in this forum thread:

1) Do you have your own website? (yes/no)

2) Would you be interested in embedding some of the information in your Racks and Tags database in your website, and what kind of information:

– your top artists
– recently purchased albums
– recently played albums
– new album ratings
– multiple choices/all of the above?

3) What method of embedding would you prefer:

– WordPress widget
– generic JavaScript widget
– image
– swf
– something else (json, xml)?

4) any other comments/suggestions?

Maintenance notification

Server power upgrade is scheduled for tomorrow, August 1 @ 7AM EST. During this time, all Racks and Tags services will be unavailable. Anticipated down time is 2 hours.

We’ve got new name and new design

Today we switched the website to new, cooler design. As if it was not enough trouble, we decided to change the name as well. We believe the new name is easier to remember and it better represents the purpose of the website – catalog all your music, regardless of the media it’s on, and even regardless of how thick is the layer of dust on it (in case you haven’t listen to some albums for months.)

So, welcome to Racks and Tags.

Besides the name and design change, there’s a number of smaller changes here and there:

  • There are new user profile fields – feel free to add info about yourself. It’s entirely optional of course.
  • Now you can actually upload your photo or avatar, and it will be displayed on your collection page.
  • Front page has got a recent updates display. Whenever you add something new to your collection, link to it pops up on the front page for other folks to see.
  • Album pages display photos of users who own, rated, or play that album.
  • Now you can search artists in your collection from any page, not just the artists page.
  • User collection pages display recently added/rated/played album covers and ratings. Pretty neat.
  • Friends page has also changed – instead of viewing friend updates one by one, you can see them all together, in one combined feed.

That’s all for today. Don’t forget to update your bookmarks, and have a great weekend.

Website update tonight

In preparation for big update the website is being shut down. I expect the downtime will be between 2-6 hours.

New features

Yesterday’s update introduced new features for fellow music collectors. As of now, user collection pages display lists of recently added, recently played, and recently rated albums. All of these are updated automatically when local database is synchronized with the server. Individual album pages display lists of other users who own, play or rate the album. In addition, there’s a new cool friends feature which allows choosing individual users who can view your collection. For everybody else, including guest visitors, your collection will be hidden. It’s a great way to make your online collection publishing more private and secure, so if you haven’t created your account yet because of these concerns, nothing should stop you now.

In addition to new features, album and song list rendering performance has been dramatically improved. It may be not a big deal for most folks, but it should be immediately noticeable to users with huge collections. I know there are few collections with 20K+ albums uploaded, now you can actually browse these heavyweights with little or no performance lag. offers FreeDB access

We are now offering a complimentary FreeDB server for all OrangeCD Suite users. From now on, this will be a permanent unofficial FreeDB mirror and it will be updated with fresh data from the official server on regular basis.

To access our new FreeDB mirror via HTTP, paste the following URL in the “CD info download URL” box in View – Preferences, Internet tab:

Access via CDDB protocol is also available using the hostname and port 8880. (Note that HTTP access is still the recommended way to use FreeDB.)

If you are using a different FreeDB-aware application, you are also welcome to use the new mirror. Check with your software documenation on how to re-configure it to use a different FreeDB server.

Performance and server maintenance

Our database server experienced pretty serious performance problems over the last few days. We are investigating the issue and making routine maintenance. Short periods of downtime are possible on Thusday 5/17 and Friday 5/18 nights.

Update 5/19: Diagnostics complete, performance issues fixed. The website is operating normally.

Artist search box

I have just added a search box for artists. It looks like a gray box on top of the artists view, but it’s really a search box where you can click, type the artist name, and press Enter to go directly to the list of the artist’s albums and links. It’s faster and more convenient than scanning a huge list of artists. It’s a regular search box.

Oh wait. That’s not a regular search box.


You can type first few letters of artist name in the search box, and in few moments, another box will appear underneath, displaying the list of possible artist matches. For example, if you typed ‘rad’, it will display Radiohead, Radio Massacre International, and all your artists with names starting from ‘rad’. All you have to do is select one match (either by pressing Up and Down keys on keyboard or using your mouse) and hit Enter. You can see a working example here.

Stay tuned for more cool features this coming weekend.