At long last, we have a new Create Digital Music. Australian gurus James Loveday (site functionality) and Nathanael Jeanneret (graphic design) have worked with me over the past few months on a grueling design and migration process, and I couldn’t be more excited about the results. Obviously, everything looks completely different, and whereas the previous site broke in major browsers like MSIE for Windows, we’re now completely committed to cross-browser compatibility. It’s more than aesthetics, however: we want to improve the way you use and read CDM.

    Easier-to-find stories: Marking stories carefully with tags (otherwise known as keywords to the non-Web world) is going to make it a lot easier to locate articles. In addition to obvious uses, like finding all the stories on free and open source software or Intel Macs, or everything written about Ableton Live, we’ve discovered some unusual CDM leitmotifs, like musical puppetry. (Really.) I care enough about this that I recataloged nearly 1200 previous stories on CDM. And yes, search and full archives (both of which we’ll continue to tweak) are part of that, too.
    More from you: Thanks to dumping our old content management system, it’s easier now to manage your contents, your contributions, stories from writers other than just me, and, of course, the new forum. And yes, I’ve learned on a whole number of issues readers here know vastly more than me; that’s part of the beauty of the Web.We’re really just getting started here, as we have other ideas to expand on this. However — and this is important — I believe that for a lot of us, the primary goal is still making music, not necessarily hanging around online 24/7. So as these features grow, we’re going to work hard to keep them manageable.
    Featured content: I believe as many of you do that blogs don’t have to be limited to endless short blurbs, that we can do some richer feature content, how-tos, reviews, and stories you can dig your teeth into, but that are still tailored to an online medium. We finally have a platform on which this is more practical. If you have suggestions for stories, please tell us over on the feedback board.
    A firmer back end: And really, who doesn’t want that? Seriously, 90% of the problems CDM has had, from browser incompatibility to inflexible and hard-to-navigate content to display problems to editing problems to the inability to implement features . . . all of these are things that unfortunately came out of using the wrong content management system for what we needed. That would be Mambo, aka Joomla, aka some other words I won’t repeat. It simply wasn’t the right tool for CDM. We’ve switched to WordPress, we’re already overjoyed about it, and we’re not looking back.
    No, we’re not done; yes, some things are probably broken: Launching a site is terrifying, because there are various things you can’t fully test until you go live, and you always wind up with to-do items that had to be temporarily shelved in order to launch. So here we are. I’m sure there are things that aren’t working at all, or that aren’t working the way you’d like. If you notice anything amiss or you’d like to comment on the way the site looks now, please tell us by visiting our new feedback and suggestions forum. I expect we’ll be making plenty of minor improvements and fixes over the coming weeks to make the site better.

Thanks to James and Nat for a truly heroic effort on this site. And thanks to everyone who gave us feedback on the old site, who suggested better content management systems (particularly those of you who lobbied hard for WordPress), to Steve for giving us guidance on the migration process, and to Michael Hampton of Homeland Stupidity who wrote our Mambo export script for us. You’ll be seeing still more from us soon. First, for anyone else trying to migrate from Mambo, we’ll have some resources for you. And second, we’ll soon have a second little surprise for you, a little something called Create Digital Motion. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the new site.

  • Here's a new comment test. Hi, folks . . . might be just the occasional construction dust today, but we're surprised to discover things are working. Mostly. Needless to say, we had to take a couple of minor things off our plate which you will hopefully see in the next week or two. But do have a look around and see if you notice anythind odd / broken. See you on the forum.


  • Looks stunning, Peter! Better than I even expected!


  • If anything is broken, please feel free to tell Peter. I'm going on holiday.

  • Okay, I've discovered the first bug, which unfortunately has nuked all the author info so it looks like I wrote posts I didn't. It'll take a while to fix as I have to do it manually, but I will fix it. Apologies to the authors.

  • This is sweet. Great colors that work very well together. Cool new fresh look! Congrats to CDM!

  • richardl

    Very nice.

    Fixed the problem with the old blog page that used to require me to scroll down three pages to get to the stories in Internet Explorer on Windows (I know it's an obscure browser, but…)

  • We tested heavily in MSIE (among others). The old Mambo bug was my fault — I edited a theme that wasn't very good to start with, and I think it had that in it, and I'm not a CSS designer.

    Haven't tried MSIE7 beta yet. That's next. 😉

    One other quirk that isn't yet working — these cartoon balloons in comments will be avatars, as on the boards. Hope to have that going next week once we determine what's wrong.

  • It's absolutely beautiful. And I was beginning to wonder whatever became of the migration. Great work! Glad I could help out.

  • Congratulations and Bravo! The site is beautiful!

  • teknoyoda1

    Looks really good! Great job!

  • LeMel

    Great job to everyone involved.

    The red icons and the headline text seem much too large in the page hierarchy to me Otherwise, really good look you've chosen.

    Thanks for all the work you put in – this will make the site much more enjoyable to interact with!



  • Yay! This was/is an amazing project to be involved with. The scope of the project was much greater than I had initially contemplated and the effort that Peter puts in behind the scenes to run CDM became quickly apparent to me. It's all custom built using a variety of web technologies, and I'm sure there will be a few gremlins to shoo out with the broom as time goes on.

    Peter and James are both fantastic to work with. And I would particularly like to thank James for his incredible work on the implementation stage, he's an absolute gun.

    We have some other things to sort out here and there, but I'm happy & proud to have been involved! Viva CDM!

  • Congratulations on the new site launch! Looks great, though I will have to agree with LeMel's comment on headline text size.

    Nice job!


  • mcsimon

    Nice work all (from a looong time lurker, also Australian …).

  • Looks great. Wish my site looked so good. Especially the RSS pages (the ones you get to when click on the link in your RSS reader). Been through the relaunch thing couple times and it always stinks for about a week but its worth it.

    I get no pics in FeedDemon, not sure who's fault that is. Path for .jpg is:… in FeedDemon, prolly supposed to be createdigitalmusic instead.

    Works well for me in IE7Beta and Maxthon btw.

    Brent –

  • well, i'm pretty impressed with what you've all done with WP. we've been working hard with Plone, integrating video, audio and other cool stuff and we're starting to use WP for our blog style CMS.

    and great to see a few more aussies working up their skills in this here international forum :o)

  • Jim

    Wow! My first impression of the new site is AWESOME. Great look and design! Nice work guys!

  • kokorozashi

    Looks good, but I must be a geek because my favorite part is that I can now see Peter's last name is Kirn, not Kim.

  • Bernie

    The graphics look great funnel – keep up the good work guys!

  • Wow. Leave the blog world for a week, and everything goes haywire. 😉

    I'm loving the new look, and am especially fond of the cool red icons used throughout the site. Awesome!


  • Thanks for the comments everyone. This has been an awesome project so far and I'm quietly confident that there's plenty more in store for you all.

    I just got back from the post-launch holiday, and there's a much smaller fix list than I expected. Here's to CDM2.1.

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  • db

    nice looking site

    which font type do you use for the headlines and menus?

    called h2 in the css.

    and how do you make the font type overrule the standard in the news headlines?