Interview with mandrixx / plopbox (By EP)
What gave you inspiration for plopbox?
I wanted to hear the best of the demoscene music, and I was disappointed at nectarine. I was searching for a way to hear the type of music I want when I want but I was stuck to my personal collection, and there was no place to get only the best of the demoscene music online.
I've been working with Java since 2000, I made games and effects and knew we could do a cool applet. My friend Yopkool has a great experience with music players. We worked on java games together and he coded or ported many players to java. So we had all the bricks and just had to put all of these together.
What did you do in the scene other than plopbox?
I've always been coding demo effects, and released a demo in 1998, ranked 2nd at the lucky&tigrou party. I started coding in java in 2000 and explored a way to make smooth effects and games with it.
My friend Yopkool has been very active in the falcon scene, releasing several demos for the Exa group.
What do you think about Breakpoint organizers' decision to remove the tracked music compo?
That's a shame, I'm afraid that more and more coding parties will do the same. The oldschool spirit is disappearing to hit a larger audience.
What background in computer science / scene do you all in the plopbox team have?
We don't really have diploma and don't really learned anything at school. I had a chaotic shool background because I prefered coding effects and learning new languages than going to school, which was quite behind my expectations.
What do you think of nectarine's fate?
Nectarine still has some great future. I think it should be improved, maybe like offering more channels, and being able to browse the whole list, see rankings, etc...
But I know they have the same problem as us. We're all busy with our main activities and need some coding power to make some nice improvements.
What do you think about the oldskool music / demo comeback (lots of websites about oldskool stuff are around like plopbox)?
More and more people, from outside the demoscene, discover the oldschool music and like it a lot; the streaming music is now too far from the demoscene spirit and just sounds like the music you can listen on the radios, lacking of originality and I couldn't say it's linked anymore with the demoscene.
What have you planned for the future of plopbox?
Many things, like adding more formats (IT, SNDH, TFMX). Also, we need to make some external players which people can use with their own tunes on their website.
We would like to put some user screens on the main player, and do a screen browsing part. It would be cool to see and browse some oldschool demo/screen effects and have a wide choice like the guys did on flashtro.com.
We'll also do playlist sharing, and feature some good user's playlist in the main lists. For this we need some expert for each format to build and manage his format on plopbox.
We also would like to share data with some other sites, to add much more information to the tunes (comments, link to demo).
Where does the plopbox come from?
Plop sounds cool, and means cool. We've been using this word for a long time so we named the site with it.
What do you need to keep up plopbox running for long years (please don't hesitate to ask for support here)?
Zigo/Exa is kindly hosting us for now. Our system is great because it doesn't consume a lot of bandwidth, so we shouldn't have the problems the other sites can have. With the adsense and a few donations, we should be able to keep plopbox online forever. We just need to get it more popular to reduce the overall server cost, and that will only be possible if we have some people linking to us and helping us add great features.
How much time does plopbox take you per day on average?
Its quite variable, I sometimes spend a few days adding some feature but these days, I'm busy at work and can only manage the tunes. That's a few minutes a day.
How do you organise yourselves at plopbox (who does what)?
I do all the web part, and work a bit on the applet. Yopkool adds new music formats. We both administrate the site.
How to get our favourite tune played at the top?
Add it to your personal playlist, then set plopbox so it plays your own playlist when starting.
You're an expert in java, do you think in the future we will see more and more java games / applications like these excellent sites (www.mandrixx.net/java-applets.php; www.1980-games.com/us/) and why?
Java is a bit heavy and a lot of games have been released. I don't think it will expand more because you can't really make smooth fullscreen games with it. I'm now working with flash&flex and the future is there in my opinion.
Do you want to add anything? (Now it's your chance!)
We can't improve plopbox as we would like now, we need some talented graphists, php coders for web, java coders for demo effects and to support new formats. We need to make a step forward to improve a lot the site and make plopbox the best place to be to keep safe and listen the oldschool tunes.
What would you like to say to our readership (ending notes)?
You can discover plopbox at http://www.plopbox.net, create an account to see all the features, like managing your own playlists, vote and comment the tunes, talk with other people.
Et merci pour l'interview!
Merci à toi!EP & mandrixx