I’ve avoided posting personal things on this blog, but I can’t figure any other place to post this. I also want to avoid complaining, but I feel that it’s necessary this time.

When I got into Vocaloid in 2009 I was overwhelmed by all the artists and their music. For someone with no Japanese skills it was really difficult to keep track of everything. So I started collection information, first in private Google Docs documents. Then I realized that I should share it with the rest of the world, make it a website and allow others to contribute. VocaDB was launched in August 2011.

Since then it has grown much bigger than I expected. That makes me happy, knowing that the project has been at least somewhat successful. At first it was ok that I was in charge of everything on the website, but as it got bigger, it became more and more difficult.

It’s impossible to understand what it’s like managing a huge project like this unless you’ve experienced it yourself. At least now we have plenty of editors, even some people making sure that the guidelines are followed.

Still, even that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot of hidden work. Someone has to create those guidelines, write the wiki pages. Doing that requires understanding the big picture, making sure that the guidelines are fair and work for everyone. There’s a huge number of things to consider, different use cases, corner cases, exceptions. It’s always a compromise for everyone. The main problem though is that there’s also a lot of responsibility. It’s impossible to please everyone, so there will be negative feedback no matter what you do. It’s a very thankless job.

To be clear, feedback itself isn’t the problem, it’s the unconstructive complaining by people who only see their own point of view and don’t have the patience to consider a compromise. I guess on the internet it’s too much to ask for adult arguments. In the ideal situation there would be some sort of committee, a group of people making those decisions, but all the people mature enough for that are too busy with their own things.

VocaDB is a hobby project for me. I also have a day job that’s mentally demanding. Additionally I’m the only one taking care of VocaDB’s technical side. That work is usually completely invisible. Implementing something that sounds simple can be days of work. Just planning how it should be done can take hours. I don’t even want to think how many hours I’ve spent programming VocaDB. I realize drawing, blogging and music making also involves hidden work, but at least there’s some kind of concrete end result.

All this would be fine if I felt there was a purpose. I created VocaDB so that others wouldn’t be as ignorant as I was. But I still see that majority of the fans on forums and other communities aren’t interested in being informed. I see the same questions asked over and over. Questions that would be answered by VocaDB. But I see far less people referring to VocaDB for the answer. I can see other groups successfully raising money for blogs, concerts and forums. VocaDB can’t raise money for running the server. It’s not about the popularity of Vocaloid, this just shows where the priorities are. Database isn’t “fun”.

I realize that no one owes me anything. I went into this out of my own free will. I try to keep that in mind. In fact the main reason I’m still working on VocaDB is because I personally benefit from its existence. I can’t imagine being a Vocaloid fan and not having VocaDB around. But VocaDB won’t keep running by itself. It doesn’t help that if I know there’s something broken, I feel obliged to fix it, even if no one is asking. I know there’s people using VocaDB and I don’t want to be the one to provide a poorly functional service. That’s a huge source of stress, but that’s my own problem, can’t blame anyone else.

I’m not asking for “thanks” and I don’t think that there’s anyone who could help with the programming or maintaining the guidelines. It’s been tried, didn’t work.

I should mention that actually editing VocaDB isn’t that bad most of the time. It can actually be enjoyable. It’s all those other things (educating others, resolving conflicts, development, management), that I wish could be distributed more.

It’s just that I don’t know what to do with VocaDB. To be clear, I am proud of what we (myself, all the editors and other people who have helped with translations and art) have achieved. I have received help from many people, and I’m thankful. VocaDB is by far the biggest source of Vocaloid discography information. But for me it’s also a constant source of stress, a burden.

14 thoughts on “My stance on VocaDB”

  1. I’d like to say thanks. I use VocaDB probably every single day, and cite it almost every time I talk or write about Vocaloid. It may sound silly, but it’s become such an invaluable resource to me, I literally do not know what I’d do without it.

  2. VocaloidDB helped me alot when I was new in the whole thing. I don’t know anymore how I found it but I remember being happy af when I did. And it still helps me finding new songs and producers. It would be a pity for me if it disappears.
    I think you have all right in the world to be proud of this. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s basically daily here to look for some songs. And, like you said, it’s the biggest source of Vocaloid. If that’s nothing to be proud of… I don’t know. I think I’d have lost the patience after 2 years, haha
    Long comment, what I wanted to write was: I don’t know how many people actually use VocaDB but I think these people are really happy with you and the whole DB.
    (And the Vocaloid community became generally more uninformed over the years (Electric Angel *hustle*))

  3. You have done great work here at VocaDB! I applaud and commend what you do, and found your site to be a valuable resource for the info on album names, songs, and artists since I became a Vocaloid fan in ’09.

    I also tried my hand at a database-type site focusing on listing Hi-Res music focusing on Anime, Video Games, and Vocaloid albums, but my struggle was more of a commitment, lack of web programming skills, and too many silent fans. I am going to end mine soon though.

    Anyways I hope you keep up the good work, maintaining stuff on the back end is never easy and not appreciated from those who has not done something similar. But you have made an invaluable source for every Vocaloid fan out there.

  4. I personally find VocaDB most useful in keeping up to date with the latest hits for songs and artists. Frankly, I cannot imagine being a vocaloid fan without it, it is just like you said. I visit vocadb often to check out new song releases and if I am interested in the style I find it easy to click on links to hover over to the artists profile and see his other works. It is really all thanks to your time, energy, patience and commitment that vocadb is able to run fully functional. I really appreciate the database because that has probably kept fans like myself around for so long (though I only discovered this site a couple years back). Although I may not be able to help with work on the site, I have become a patron to help with the financial side of things. Just know that you have my support and hopefully the support of fans who frequent the site a lot !

  5. Hello Riipah, I can’t help much more than supporting you on Patreon, but be aware that I’m very grateful of the existence of VocaDB.
    Oh Also I’ll be very careful in reading the guidelines *go check previous blog post*

  6. Did you consider moving from windows hosting to linux one? -25€/month for license.
    Or the code is strictly windows-bound?

  7. VocaDB is based on .NET Framework which is Windows only. Now there’s also .NET Core which runs on Linux, but that didn’t exist when VocaDB was created. Anyway, it’s just 25€, not that much in the end.

  8. I’m so thankful for the existence of voca.db, it’s been useful for renaming entire albums with proper names of compositors and singers and discovering new discography, I don’t know what I would do without it.
    Your work, in this case hobby, is pretty useful, thank you very much for all your efforts in this project!

  9. I love VocaDB. As a Vocaloid fan, it opened me to a world undiscovered. It did more than visualize just how widespread Vocaloid has become, but it fueled me to dive in. I’m a Vocaloid producer now, and though my music isn’t Top 100 Billboards, it’s invaluable knowing some are there, right now, and that they are powered by Vocaloid software.

    What started off as an quirk became an interest. From there, it became an obsession, grew healthier, and now remains an unexpectedly titanic community. A world that never was, and you’re in the middle of the history of it. If nothing else, I offer my condolence to the countless hours of struggle that you must’ve endured to make a world like ours a better place to experience.

    You’re completely right about VocaDB having all the answers, but you deserve more credit than that. VocaDB is the hub for a Western Vocaloid world. There is no site more complete, not even combinations of other sites designed for the same purpose.

    As a producer, I lack programming skills, and all I can do is try to up your mood. But if it gets there– if it grazes your shoulder, I can find contentment. It’s melodramatic, it’s overdone, it’s extreme, but this is our culture, there’s nothing like it and there never has been in the history of the world. I’ll probably right a song from phrases in this post. If you find it, know it was for you, and you alone. The one tiring to support a behemoth.

  10. If I have to be honest, when I really got into Vocaloid my Japanese was basic enough to carry me through looking on NND, so I didn’t rely much on VocaDB. However, whenever I’m recommending resources to people newer to the scene, I list VocaDB as a great way to search producers and find links to their songs and albums.

    For a lot of people, learning Japanese isn’t a priority or something they have a lot of time for, so I think resources like VocaDB will continue to be valuable in the future for the community. I’m also impressed by the reach the editors seem to have. I don’t think I’ve ever had any confusion in navigating the website either.

    So thanks for all the work you and the editors put into this site!

  11. Wow, there’s been a lot of responses here. Thank you everyone. Remember that you can post comments about the site on our discussion board on VocaDB too. Constructive suggestions and feedback are welcome!

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