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    746 sounds
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    General info about public beta


    Hi everyone,

    As some of you will know, we have been mostly silently working on a new UI for Freesound during the last years. Even though it is not completely finished yet, we are extremely happy to announce that, from today, you can start using the new beta UI and give us some feedback so we can make it better, finish it, and eventually replace the current UI.

    Just as a brief bit of context, in mid 2017 we contacted a UI/UX designer and asked him to design a new Freesound UI to give it a fresher look. What initially was only going to be a small update of the UI, ended up becoming a full rebuild of the Freesound frontend and parts of the backend. We have now ported most of Freesound pages to the new UI and are ready to open it for for beta testing. While we call the current UI (now old!) Nightingale (NG), the new UI is called Beast Whoosh (BW). We expect to continue working in the new UI during the first half of 2021, porting the missing pages and incorporating your feedback, and we expect to completely replace NG with BW at some point in 2021.

    >>> How to participate in the public beta

    • Everyone can participate in the BW public beta at any time by following this link: http://freesound.org/?fend=bw
    • Once entered the public beta, you can navigate Freesound with the new UI. If you’re trying to visit a page that has not yet been ported to BW, the UI will simply fall back to the NG-version of that page and you’ll be able to continue browsing normally.
    • The new UI is NOT a test site. BW uses the same database and backend as NG so everything you do in BW is the same as if you did it in NG (for example, if you make a sound comment in BW it will also appear in NG).
    • You can leave the public beta at any time following the “Switch to old UI” button that you’ll find in BW “three dots” menu, or following this link http://freesound.org/?fend=ng

    >>> How to provide feedback

    • While in the public beta it is possible that you find some things that do not work as expected. Also, you might have suggestions for improvement. We want your feedback to complete the development of BW!
    • To provide feedback, you should use this forum and create new threads/participate in existing conversations.
    • Before opening a new thread, make sure that no thread already exists discussing the same topic.

    >>> Pages not yet ported to BW

    The pages below have not yet been ported to BW and will be ported in the near future:

    • Messages
    • Upload and describe
    • Browse tags
    • Remix groups
    • Moderation
    • Attribution
    • Downloaders
    • Activity stream
    • Probably some more smile

    >>> Overview of the new features

    At first sight it you’ll see that BW looks completely different to NG. However, most of the functionality works exactly in the same way, as well as the site structure which has not really changed too much. Compared to the change from Freesound 1 to Freesound 2 back in 2011, BW and NG are much more similar as they share the same backend. However, some nice new features have been added to BW that hopefully you’ll like:

    • Show spectrogram images instead of waveform by default. In your “account settings” page you’ll see an option to show spectrogram images by default. This is game changer for those who find spectrograms more informative than waveforms smile
    • Timestamped sound comments and sound descriptions: you can now add timestamps to the sound comments and sound descriptions. If you type something like “#1:34” in a sound description or comment, this will be rendered as a small play button that will play the sound at exactly that time. Example here: https://freesound.org/people/frederic.font/sounds/516565/.
    • Charts page: the “people” tab has disappeared, but instead we added a “charts” page (https://freesound.org/charts/) that will show most active users, top uploaders, etc. Please, fell free to propose new charts for that section and discuss about it.
    • Tag filtering in geotags map: In the geotags page (now renamed to “map”), you have not the option to filter the sounds displayed by a tag. For example, you can listen to nightingales form different parts of the world: https://freesound.org/browse/geotags/nightingale/
    • Pack searching: in the “advanced search” section of the search page, you’ll now have the option to “display results as packs”. This is slightly different from the current “group sounds by pack option” (which is still available) and provides a way to effectively search for packs instead of searching for sounds. This option is also used to replace the old “browse packs” page with the new “search packs” feature. There are some things to improve here (like sorting options which are not optimized for packs).
    • The “random sound of the day” is now moved to the bottom of the front page and turned into a sort of game in which sound information is only shown after clicking the “reveal details” button.

    We hope you enjoy the new Beast Whoosh UI!!!

    frederic
    the freesound team
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    506 sounds
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    I don't know what that is, but I'm excited!

  • avatar
    2747 sounds
    2193 posts


    frederic.font wrote:
    ... today, you can start using the new beta UI and give us some feedback so we can make it better, finish it, and eventually replace the current UI.

    I'm not sure if the typical Freesound user is even aware there are spectrograms available,
    so this may be a moot point, but, IMO, the new ones are not as clear: as if lower-res, lower-contrast versions ...

    Beast Whoosh (BW)

    Nightingale (NG)

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    746 sounds
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    Hi, thanks for the comment! that issue is already on the list of issues to fix smile

    frederic
    the freesound team
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    2747 sounds
    2193 posts


    Some of the pale-grey text is difficult / impossible to read, e.g. "Attribution Noncommercial" ...

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    78 sounds
    27 posts


    Nice! I hope there will be a dark mode.

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    506 sounds
    226 posts


    I think you and the team knocked it out of the park. Everything is going so much faster and it looks terrific.

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    78 sounds
    27 posts


    https://snipboard.io/xFrhlw.jpg
    I tried to dark mode the website.

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    746 sounds
    253 posts


    Thanks for your comments! Dark mode and issues with contrast have been reported in other threads as well, so we'll take that into consideration smile

    frederic
    the freesound team
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    9 sounds
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    New UI looks 'cleaner', but is less descriptive and very inefficient. The classic UI is compact and informative with much less wasted space and clicks, the changes feel like a step backwards in usability for unnecessary polish and simplification.

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    2 sounds
    15 posts


    Looks much more modern, lightweight, and easy to use. The waveform player is also easier to use. The license details are more exposed to read at glance. It all feels more wholesome.

    FreeSound remains an indispensable resource for my projects. I'm using it so much. Thanks to all the organizers and sound providers.

    Great job.

    11 posts