From reading all the comments and the survey results, it seems that there is a pretty good consensus as to how to proceed. People definitely are voicing the importance of quality over quantity. It seems that brand name, while nice, is not worth the premium to most donors.
With this feedback in mind, I'm going to proceed to schedule the recordings as quickly as possible. The only delay will be trying to offer everyone a chance to listen to samples of the orchestra choices in advance.
One thing to keep in mind is that a project like this one hasn't really been done before, so it is as a proof of concept. As one commenter pointed out, the Czech musicians play concerts daily and are well known for their sight-reading ability. If it so happens that I can get more music out of the orchestra than I planned, we'll either add more while in Prague, or we'll know for a future project what is feasible with high quality standards. If we shoot for too much music now, we may be prevented from ever being able to do this again.
One of the latest comments summarizes my feelings: "Perhaps more importantly, Musopen's initial release of music is going to set a standard. Setting the standard high will encourage others to match your work. It will also encourage or discourage support accordingly. Releasing free music to the public is good. Releasing quality music will demonstrate the power of Musopen to both supporters and skeptics."
Survey results: http://goo.gl/mSmWb
To see all user comments live: http://goo.gl/7ZFfk
(easier to read PDF: http://goo.gl/Q3ftf )
Based on the comments, I will also be modifying the current rating system, splitting it up into three categories:
- rate piece
- rate performance
- rate sound quality
Soon after we get some data for each, you will be able to browse or filter all music based on these criteria.
pledged of $11,000 goal
seconds to go
Aug 15, 2010 - Sep 14, 2010 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Get early access to the music online before its released publicly
Pledge $25 or more
Get a master copy of the CD before its released to the public
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All the previous + the entire Musopen library on DVD (lossless quality) + a Musopen Pro account for 1 year (normally $45 a year, unlimited downloads, music before its released publicly and more)
Pledge $75 or more
All of the previous + a Musopen t-shirt
Pledge $250 or more
All of the previous + Receive a printed copy of the Musopen music theory textbook + be added to a list of benefactors on Musopen.com + DVD of the music recording and behind the scenes
Pledge $450 or more
All of the previous + a signed copy of a cd by the conductor + pick the piece of music this purchases (separate from the voting system)
Pledge $1,000 or more
All the previous + Be named as a permanent benefactor to a particular piece of music (Beethoven Symphony 5 thanks to a generous donation by:John Doe) + choice of iPod pre-loaded with all the music we record or Shure headphones (high quality music requires a good set of headphones).
Pledge $3,500 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
All the previous + you get to pick at least one of the pieces guaranteed to be recorded.