New audio demo reel service built with Meteor: ReelCrafter


#1

After over a year of hard work (as the sole developer) and nearly 19000 lines of Meteor/React code, I’m proud to announce the soft launch of ReelCrafter!

It’s been cool to see Meteor evolve over the lifespan of this project (started with Meteor 1.1.0.3!), and I’d like to thank the MDG team for all their hard work and making Meteor the incredible platform it is today!

I also want to thank several forum members who’ve helped me out by answering my dozens upon dozens of questions. :wink: @sashko, @serkandurusoy, @robfallows, @SkinnyGeek1010, @benjamn, @abernix, @arunoda, @tmeasday, and probably many more I’m forgetting. It’s been (and will continue to be!) a huge and rewarding learning experience.

Cheers!


Meteor Scaling - Redis Oplog [Status: Prod ready]
Meteor Scaling - Redis Oplog [Status: Prod ready]
#2

Congrats @ffxsam! Enabling sole developers (and small teams) to validate, develop, and ship their ideas is a big part of what motivates me to work on the framework, so it’s great to hear how far you’ve come. Thanks very much for reporting issues and asking questions along the way, and not giving up when Meteor didn’t quite meet your needs. Developers like you who build real apps and share their feedback are the reason Meteor continues to grow in the right directions.


#3

Thanks Ben! I’m a long-time developer (20 years), and never before has a library/stack enabled me to build something so quickly by myself. Truly revolutionary. :beers:


#4

This looks really nice! Congrats!!


#5

Thanks Adam!

(20 char requirement) :unamused:


#6

Contrast looks great @ffxsam!


#7

A really polished app. Congratulations! :fireworks:


#8

Looks great. I sent it on to some composer friends :slight_smile:


#9

Very nice, @ffxsam! It’s absolutely fantastic to see the projects that folks have been quietly hacking away at for months-on-end come to fruition! Your product (and style) looks great and I’m thrilled that you’ve been able to build such a full-fledged application with Meteor. It’s inspiration for myself (on my own projects) to continue to work with Meteor, especially when others are also moving in the same direction!

Very much looking forward to any potential growing pains that rise out of your app’s growth, and the GitHub issues that might come from them… so long as they come with well-explained reproduction repos – though the occasional unexplainable race-condition is okay too. :wink:

:tada: :balloon::tada: :balloon::tada: :balloon: :tada:


#10

:laughing: I’ll be better going forward! It’s hard to find time to build a repro when you’re wearing so many hats.


#11

I’m just kidding. You’re fine. :slight_smile:


#12

I’m not an audio engineer. But this is my honest feedback. I’m very happy you managed to push things forward and make a release.

Get a designer for your main website (design is simple, but does not have the wow effect), have a video with a demo of what this app does. You could hire a video animator. Focus not on the features the app has, focus on what problems it solves. That’s what your website should be about.

“Hey you are an audio engineer, you have problems doing … and … and … !!!”

I didn’t understand what your app actually does in 30 seconds and I tried. Most people won’t even bother.

Cheers, good luck and keep powering through no matter how hard it gets along the way.


#13

This isn’t really a fair assessment because you’re not the intended market. It’s a very niche tool for a very select group. We already have several paid customers who are breezing through the app, and we even had someone sign up for the annual pro plan without even test driving it! The front page of the site has a very concise pitch that composers and sound designers will instantly understand: “The ultimate tool for audio professionals to create and share beautiful, impactful demo reels.”. I know this pitch works because I am a professional composer. :wink: I built this tool specifically to solve pain points that people in my industry face.

This is fair. There’s an outdated sneak preview video that used to be on the pre-launch site (below) but we definitely have to make a new one. We just soft-launched this a few days ago, so are still polishing things up.

And again, this video might mean nothing to you, but it’s because you’re not our target market. Imagine the flip side: invite a composer to look at a website like Hexo or Kadira or any developer-related site, and they’d have no idea what it’s about, because it’s not meant for them. And that’s totally fine. Some services have very broad reaches (Dropbox) and others are laser-focused. We fall into the latter category.

This is good advice, and there should be maybe a bit more of the problems it solves, though many composers are already familiar with the problems surrounding demo reels (did it arrive? did they open it? what tracks did they skip?). And so it’s less important to focus on those problems, but I agree that addressing some of issues would be helpful to people who may not initially get what we’re about.


#14

We also face the challenge of being first-to-market. Some tools such as Postmark, Crazy Egg, etc, are competition to existing services, and so it’s easy to compare and understand what they do. There’s nothing out there like ReelCrafter—SoundCloud is the closest, but they’re an entirely different model revolving around discovery and showcasing, whereas ReelCrafter is geared towards private demos and providing basic audio editing (trimming) in the cloud.


#15

BTW, I appreciate the feedback. I’m going to have some changes made to the landing page before launching the first ad campaign.


#16

Nice service, @ffxsam. As a person who has produced a couple of soundtracks, my initial feedback resonates a little with @abernix but not as harshly.

  1. More transparency about the product itself The front page tries to take me on a “tour” but the screenshots are teeny tiny. I’d follow the model of a sites like Spotify / Apple Music that show full resolution screenshots that focus on specific tasks I can perform as a user once I’ve made an account. The tour should show me what it’s like to have an account without having to make one. I’m not a fan of walled gardens. I don’t like signing up blindly.
  2. Where’s the browsing? There’s just one example artist to view. Surely you have more than one composer signed up. What happens if I sign up? Do I have to do my own promotion to get people and search engines to find my page? Browsing existing profiles seems like a crucial missing component to this sort of service. A large browsable library of purchasable score music is not a novel idea either. By the same token, looking at a variety of other people’s pages gives me an idea of how I could build/customize my own. (Squarespace does a particularly good job of that sort of thing)

K. I hope you all keep it up. I’m a big fan of Bandcamp, and I love the idea of something targeted to people who make scores for media/film/TV/etc. It’s a good idea! You’re really close to making it awesome!

[edit] OH and one more thing. A development blog perhaps? I’m of course pleased that this was built with Meteor and I’d love to digest some wisdom.


#17

This is valuable feedback, thanks!

As mentioned above, this is not a public/discovery site like SoundCloud or Bandcamp. It’s a private pitching service for composers, sound designers, voice actors, etc. It’s an extremely common scenario in our industry for someone to request a demo reel. This service allows us to quickly and easily put together and send off a reel, all in the cloud. But there will be a web-embed feature coming soon.


#18

I realize any GitHub Issue humor I used might not have come across, but I did not criticize the product in any way.


#19

Even if you don’t provide a real browsing experience, a faux one would do just as well. As I mentioned in the previous remark, Squarespace does faux browsing remarkably well. For example, you might show an example of a film score reel, and a game score reel. Show what it looks like if it’s pretty bare and you only have one sample to share and one that’s filled up with dozens. Show the difference between a page of a user that used Test Drive vs Basic vs Pro.

The point of all this demonstration is the same as if you were trying to sell me a house. I want a house that fits my needs. Your best bet is to show me a variety of houses.


#20

Ahh I see what you’re saying. There is a live example on the landing page now (a link at the top). But I agree it might be cool to make several different ones to show different layouts. Thanks for the tip!