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  1. #1

    rcronin's Avatar
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    What's a decent & free way to put very large amount of text in a site?
    Hi all,

    I'm redesigning a site for a client. He is a DJ and wants to put the list of music that he has on his site so visitors can see it. He made his first site and copy/pasted the text into the page . He broke it up by type of music, R&B, alternative, country, etc. B/c he's already done this old school, a long time ago, so he's not too keen on taking "no" for an answer from me!

    There are ~5000 songs. He sent me an excel worksheet with them all in it. Each row has the artist's name, song title and type of music, each in their own column. Ideally there would be a search feature, but I told him there's no way I'm doing that as part of my basic fee, which is all he can afford now. He's willing to upgrade later, just not now. I'm willing to put his lists into a few pages, but I'm wondering if there is a good way to do it. I've copy/pasted some sections of the excel wksht into DW CS3, but it sure doesn't like it, lol. It hangs for a while and gives me warnings that it's not recommended. I'm aware that it's not a very functional, but it's what he wants.

    This is the redesign so far.

    I was thinking of have 1 main page called "Music List" and from there having links to different pages for "country", "R&B" etc. Still each of those pages will have over a 1000 lines of text. Is that just a disaster waiting to happen? I considered a PDF, but it was 300+ pages long. Who could read thru that? At least if it's HTML someone could use Edit>Find in their browser...

    Okay, let me have it! I know this is a bit of a square peg round hole issue. Is there a sensible way to do this? TIA!
    Becky
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

  2. #2

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    You could attach it as a downloadable PDF or text file. A person can run a find/search command with Acrobat Reader to search the entire document.

    Either that, or he could simply leave it as a "by request only" to have the list of songs/genre sent out to a person via email. Just add some sort of simple webform to let a person make the request for him.


    Just some thoughts.


    Whatever you decide, I would try to explain that listing ~5000 song titles on a site is impractical and excessive. Just because he has "done it before" doesn't mean it is the best thing to do.
    He knows about spinning tunes and how to work the crowd... not about designing websites. That is why he came to you.

    Work with him and do what it takes to make him happy... but remember, he's the DJ and YOU are the web designer.
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  3. #3

    rcronin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    You could attach it as a downloadable PDF or text file. A person can run a find/search command with Acrobat Reader to search the entire document.
    I think I didn't realize that Acrobat can search thru a PDF. That would be pretty cool. And a lot better looking on the page, IMO.

    Either that, or he could simply leave it as a "by request only" to have the list of songs/genre sent out to a person via email. Just add some sort of simple webform to let a person make the request for him.

    Just some thoughts.

    Whatever you decide, I would try to explain that listing ~5000 song titles on a site is impractical and excessive. Just because he has "done it before" doesn't mean it is the best thing to do.
    He knows about spinning tunes and how to work the crowd... not about designing websites. That is why he came to you.

    Work with him and do what it takes to make him happy... but remember, he's the DJ and YOU are the web designer.
    YEP! I've been working on this issue with him for severals months, so I hope he sees it my way instead of thinking I'm just trying to up sell him.

    Thank you, D3v1L80Y!
    Becky
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

  4. #4

    PerryLynch's Avatar
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    Another thing to do would be to drop the spreadsheet into a database. Then you could simply allow the end users to search various field names. But it sounds to me like the cheaper and more expedient solution is the PDF.
    Perry M Lynch, CISSP CISA
    Mac Newbie, Security not-so-newbie

  5. #5

    xstep's Avatar
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    I'm with PerryLynch on this one.

    The PDF is likely the quick solution. Athough you may want to find a way to keep it as small as possible. A product such as PDFShrink could help with this.

    Your idea to break the list up by music type is probably easy to do. Have a link for each type to either a HTML page or PDF listing.

    I suspect the download of the 5000 entries (a 400K HTML) wouldn't be a big deal, but the browser will take some time to format those entries that I would expect you are putting into an HTML table. Also, your client could end up paying for extra bandwidth for those entries, although I have my doubts. Of course a 300 page PDF file would be costly too. Also note that PDF tends to be very bloated compared to HTML.

    Lastly, you could perhaps provide a basic search function via Google. I'm not sure how it is done on sites, but at minimum you could create a script that generates a line such as this;
    site: site:www.earlstravelingdj.com musiclist songname
    You'll need to research that possibility.

  6. #6

    rcronin's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. This is very helpful. You mentioned several basic things that I needed to be reminded of. The database is something I don't know how to do and would have to outsource, so not free, lol. The PDF shrink is a great idea. I had forgotten the PDF bloat vs. HTML. I need to check the bandwidth on his server. That google search - I think - starts at $100 year. And it's not exactly advertisement free, lol. It seems to work really well on the sites I used it, though.
    Becky
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

  7. #7

    rcronin's Avatar
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    http://www.earlstravelingdj.com/musiclist.html

    Do you guys think this is okay? I didn't do PDF shrink b/c I got too tired. Um, and lazy. Let me know if you think that's a mistake.
    Becky
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

  8. #8

    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    That looks fine to me. The PDF downloaded very quickly for me and it is easily searched.
    My Power Mac G5 manual PDF is 112 pages and 8.8MB in size, so considering the full list is 428 pages long and only 800KB, that is pretty good.


    The lack of pics and images helps to keep down the PDF bloat.
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  9. #9

    rcronin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    That looks fine to me. The PDF downloaded very quickly for me and it is easily searched.
    My Power Mac G5 manual PDF is 112 pages and 8.8MB in size, so considering the full list is 428 pages long and only 800KB, that is pretty good.


    The lack of pics and images helps to keep down the PDF bloat.
    Thank you. It seemed to dwld very fast to me, so I was psyched. They are all less than a typical photo in size, so that doesn't seem to big to me. I appreciate you're looking at it for me, D3v18OY. I've been dreading dealing with this for a long time and it was pretty painless! Yeah!
    Becky
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

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