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Monsta Entertainment creates data input Web application using Visual WebGui

New application allows song writers to easily upload their catalog of songs and have them reviewed via the web

"Thanks to Visual WebGui, Monsta allows song writers to upload their catalog of songs and get them instantly reviewed by publishers in a responsive, easy to use web based application environment." --Monsta Entertainment's Jamie Simonsen

 

Overview
Monsta Entertainment was formed in 2006 as an IT specialist company providing services to the music industry and soon discovered that the music industry was not only in disarray, but that the people running the industry were technologically disadvantaged and restricted by one major issue: how could they possibly implement technology into an industry with vast amounts of data (millions of songs) while resources (employee’s and income) were shrinking at a rate of 30% per year (the sinking ship theory).

Monsta Entertainment had to take a step back and analyze just how it was going to succeed in an industry in times like this, while resolving the problem of entering mass amounts of data without employees or financial resources. Big brains got together and a concept was born- "Data inputting to an application running on the web”- whereby 650k+ writers of songs could all upload 5 to 15 songs each and in no time the data would be up to date and relevant through organic growth.

Monsta Entertainment knew exactly what it needed to do: create a unique online plugging/pitching forum whereby song writers could upload their catalog of songs so that A&R's, film & TV executives, advertisers, record labels and publishers worldwide could instantly review writers' songs in a responsive easily to use web based application environment.

 

Business needs
Monsta Entertainment's approach to the business model was unconventional (extremely entrepreneurial). The company had no commercial requirements to consider and had no budget restrictions with a goal of 2 years to complete the product to a stage for writer use and further feature request expansion. There was only one thing that Monsta Entertainment was sure of was that a tool to manage new and old uncut songs is needed.

The design methodology was simple and had to take into consideration the following 4 factors.

  • User content upload management.
  • User application speed.
  • User interaction (preemptive use)
  • Organic accuracy (data errors organically correcting with use)

The Monsta application had two main core design service aspects came from both usage ends. On one side, the easy upload and management of songs by the writers and on the other side, the interactive high speed search requirement of A&R's, record labels, film & TV executives, advertisers and publishers who access the Monsta Hit database concurrently in search of that one, or multiple, songs.

Also, the relational data bases needed to be able to store and serve songs under many different categories such as by Genre, Mood, Temp, Language, Artist best suited for, Publisher, Manager, 30 second MP3 teaser, MP3 instrumental, MP3 of the full song and more. Monsta should even allow to store every word (lyrics) of the song so that a user can find a song by a particular genre, tempo, mood or language that contains the words 'Love' – 'Sunday' and 'Blue' within the song or create three 15 second scene teasers for advertisers or film/TV personal to review.

These songs once uploaded by the writer can be reviewed from the “Hit Songs” search engine  where A&Rs, advertisers or film/TV personal can search, rate (hit rate the songs from 1 to 10) or even forward to others in the music industry.

 

Solution
Monsta Entertainment R&D team looked for a technology that would allow it to implement the requirements and therefore to create an online forum that meets demand with request. The team evaluated several DHTML solutions and chose Visual WebGui Rich Internet Applications Platform. "By using Visual WebGui as the online portion of the Monsta solution we were able to deliver a specifically tailored and visually rich online experience that would not have been achievable with any other DHTML solution currently available," Jamie Simonsen, R&D Director.

The team saw some ups and downs during the implementation process of the Visual WebGui technology (that at the time was still itself under extensive development). However, new comers (developers) will enjoy the shortened development road paved from the initial efforts of our team and of course that of the Visual WebGui R&D Team. Saying that, the experience was worth all the effort and the end result that was achieved is very satisfactory. “I can say that the Visual WebGui support team was there for us every step of the way and put all the problems right when needed,” said Jamie Simonsen.

 

Benefits
By Using Visual WebGui, Monsta Entertainment achieved the results they originally looked for and more. The final solution introduced brand new environment that is user-intuitive and guides the user through a responsive environment that is layered on top of a very data intensive application that grows organically with accuracy.

In addition to the user-friendly UI, Visual WebGui allowed Monsta to provide end users with a responsive web based application that performs as if it was desktop based while no specific installations are needed on the client. This allows end users to quickly manage their files or search for what they are looking to watch & listen to. "Thanks to Visual WebGui Monsta allows song writers to upload their catalog of songs and get them instantly reviewed by publishers in a responsive easily to use web based application environment." Jamie Simonsen.

Visual WebGui also presented significant benefits in the development process. The main benefit of the Visual WebGui platform is the simple & intuitive development model which allows focusing on one development layer and offers a visual Form designer. "The speed of development was not only dramatically shortened but we were able to achieve user application concepts that would have never been possible prior without Visual WebGui" said Jamie Simonsen.

 

Screen Shots
This is the first user interface screen that is presented to the user after login as to define his access into the system as a Writer – Artist – A&R or Film/TV person.



This screen is the first Writer data entry screen that pertains to the Song Writer uploading the data about his song.

This screen is the Second Writer data entry screen that pertains to the Song Writer uploading the data about his song and allows the Writer to create a 30 second teaser so that when his song is being reviewed,  that listeners get to instantly hear the hook (the best part of the song – the catch).

This screen is the Third Writer data entry screen that pertains to the Song Writer uploading the data about his song and allows the Writer to enter other parties involved in the production and markets best suited for the song, you will note that you can also enter the lyrics to the song which is stored into the data base so that any user can search for a song by certain words in the song.

This screen is the HIT SONG SEARCH user interface that allows record executives to find an unreleased Song that best suits their artist.

MonstaHit Hit Song Search

Monsta Radio is a unique way of introducing record label executives to your songs as the Writer  can send a user a Monsta radio link to his FM channel and this will allow that person to hear that Writers songs by genre.

 

More Stories By Marissa Levy

Marissa is a technology writer based in Jerusalem, Israel covering the local software, wireless, and start-up markets. Prior to her coverage of Israeli hi-tech, Marissa worked as a reporter in several English language news outlets. Her writing has been featured in prominent publications such as USA TODAY, FOXNews.com, and the Jerusalem Post. She holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She can be reached at [email protected]

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