After a 7 week pause, we're once again releasing new albums!
Why the pause?
A perfect storm of bad timing occurred, when in the same few days I killed our main server, and got a bad case of mushroom poisoning:
1) KILLED THE SERVER: I managed to completely destroy the main Magnatune server by installing a badly written count-the-beats-per-minute program I'd downloaded off the 'net. The main server, tweaked over many years with lots of custom bits and bobs, took a while to get perfect again. I had a backup from the night before, but when rebuilding the server, I took the opportunity to upgrade the Linux version (which was 7 years old) and so, getting the server working became a nest of new versions of dozens of programs, all working subtly differently now.
2) MUSHROOM POISONING: I bought some mushrooms from the farmer's market, that had been "picked in the wild". I've always read that when preparing mushrooms to eat, you should gently brush and then lightly cook them. That turns out to be great advice for cultivated mushrooms, but those harvested in the wild have a strong likelihood of high bacteria levels and require a very different treatment. 45 minutes after eating a mushroom omelette, my girlfriend and I felt very, very ill. It took us about 2 weeks to get over it, during which time we didn't manage to eat much food. I consulted the mushroom picker who sold them to me, a pharmacist, and an expert friend, who all told me that wild mushrooms need to be extensively washed, and then boiled, submerged under water, for at least five minutes! Part of the worry about mushroom poisoning is the concern that you might have eaten something really toxic, that will kill you or destroy your kidneys. When in bed after eating a bad mushroom, you have plenty of time to read all about mushroom poisoning on wikipedia! I've learned that mushrooms which make you ill right away are likely less dangerous (they're not a neurotoxin) and that it's the ones that take a few hours or more to take effect that are really bad news. Nonetheless, two weeks worrying about "is this it?" isn't much fun, and you don't get much work done. I'm sticking to supermarket mushrooms from now on!
So... my apologies for the delay. We're back to doing new releases now, and I'm also back on task of programming to improve the new Magnatune. My main goal over the next few months will be improving how the music on Magnatune is organized, to make it easier to find what you might like. More news on that when new features get close to shipping.