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What's the Deal with Harmony Central?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jazzyitalian, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    Am I imagining things, or is Harmony Central migrating into becoming a commercial outlet for Musician's Friend and GC?

    Has anyone noticed that?

    I just logged onto their site and saw all dressed up with Musician Friends banner ads, and get this...The user review section is toast! It appears that every single review posted since it's inception (since 2000-ish) has been removed.

    Can you imagine? All the effort and time some people spent in contributing a review was buried by the new managers. How insulting.

    If a forum is run by the same people that own a large dot.com then in my opinion, it's no longer relevant.

    That's sad.. Well, we still have TalkBass, BGRA.net and a few others.

  2. HeavyJazz

    HeavyJazz Supporting Member

    Jan 26, 2013
    Who do you think owns them?!
  3. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    $$$ eventually owns, or kills, everything.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I used to love their reviews and relied on them for many purchases I don't know what direction they are trying to go in?.
  5. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    Believe it or not, I actually thought they were up until recently, an independant group that was unaffiliated with retail channels.

    But now I think they were bought by Musician's Friend and if I'm not correct, I believe the group that owns Musicians Friend also owns Guitar Centers.

    I've been seeing some activity on the BGRA site now. The guy that runs that site Matt Schmill is going to update and upgrade the site. He also told me that as of recent, he has started to see an increase in reviewer posts. No doubt that this causally related to the actions taken by the new Harmony Central.
  6. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
  7. jazzyitalian

    jazzyitalian Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    Lawyer and Hobbist Bass Maker
    Thanks Jonathan!
  8. I tried to find some reviews last night and finally gave up, so I guess their review pages no longer exist?
  9. Robf


    Feb 14, 2007
    Union City, CA
    A few months ago Musicians Friend published a catalog with an Internet community theme. They listed the most popular forums (TB was number three) and a large article about Harmony Central.

    I think they did mention it's owned by the parent company of Musicians Friend and the large amount of gear reviews available. Sad to see the change, HC was really the first forum that helped me find details about instruments and playing.
  10. mogpipe


    Apr 22, 2011
    The reviews haven't been gone for long, I checked em out just a week or so ago.
  11. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Their forum software had a major crash about a month or so ago, and they were forced to roll out new software on an emergency basis before they were ready to make the transition. Last I heard (which was a few weeks ago), the transition of the review pages was planned but had not yet happened.
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
  13. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    The people making the decisions about forum software over there obviously are not regular users of forums. They have shown their hand before in the other failed move, it showed that they only support point-n-click reading but no proper conversations, read status tracking etc.

    Plus they better provide forwarding for old links. Of course they aren't good enough to actually do it and the people making the decisions don't see the "value" in making old links work. Because the google index is rebuilt quickly and no other links matter, right.

    I hope the whole GC/Musiciansfriend thing dies pretty soon. If Fender takes damage from being in bed with them then that's their mistake.
  14. Handyman


    Sep 4, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Irrelevance, I think.

    This reeks of corporate bean counters trying to "monetize their investment". Try to remember back to what happened to MySpace after their buyout...
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I used to use their reviews a lot.

    Have looked at the site exactly ONCE in the past two years. Couldn't find what I wanted.

    They "modernized" their interface to the point of uselessness. It's a common fault with people who don't pay attention to the users, only to the owners and programmers.

    They have now achieved irrelevance.
  16. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I assure you that the programmers are usually forced to dumb UIs down. They are the ones that really value computers that function well and give you what you need in a predictable manner.

    Unfortunately their bosses, who use computers less than the consumers or customers, have the opposite view. If they can't figure it out with no computer experience, nobody can, right?
  17. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Wow! It was bad enough when they redesigned the review section a couple years ago, gutting the previous version's simple, sensible functionality.

    The original HC review section was one of the most useful online music gear resources ever. NAMM coverage used to be way better organized as well. I'll occasionally check the forums for a Craig Anderton review, but that's it.
  18. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Hmm, I havent visited Harmony Central since I stumbled upon Talkbass (because of Harmony Central).
    I once wrote a review for a Digitech Bass Processor, and a rep from Digitech sent me a free tshirt.
    I dont think a forum is irrelevant just because its owned by a .com, though. I think a forum is as relevant as the users participating make it.
  19. AnchorHoy


    Dec 29, 2008
    New Jersey
    Similar situation with the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree travel forum

    Right around New Year's 2013 thay took the entire forum down and "rebuilt" it into a pathetic shadow of what it once was. A decade's worth of extremely valuable and very specific advice/observations that were not available anywhere else went *poof*, along with everybody's PMs. They're now talking about making the PM's available "for a very limited time" but a huge number of people who don't check the site every day are undoubtedly going to miss the window of opportinity for that

    The current site is now splattered with seriously annoying advertising, much harder to use than the old format, and any posts that are even slightly critical of the changes are quickly deleted by the mods

    It used to be a great place to find out about travel destinations. Now pretty close to worthless. You can do better with a random Google search

    It's almost as if they want to destroy whatever value was there originally
  20. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Also reminiscent of the "new" SoundCloud...it's amazing that the developers gutted the "Groups" feature that made SoundCloud the vibrant community it is.