Back Online!

I’ve spent a good part of my spare time this week trying to get Wire to the Ear back online. The trouble started when I tried the automatic upgrade to WordPress 3.5. I’ve never had any issue just clicking upgrade. However this time I ended up locked out of the backend admin panel where I create posts and moderate comments. The upgrade would just hang on a white screen with the WordPress logo on top. The site itself was still online and I had a full backup so I wasn’t too worried. I received some amazing help from esmi who is a moderator. We tried many things such as disabling the plug-ins using phpMyAdmin, disabling the Wire to the Ear custom theme, re-uploading the 3.5 core files, checked the site’s errors using a debug mode, removing cookies from my computer that could have choking the upgrade and repaired the database. When none of those things worked I then created a new database, used the backup file and a rolled back version of WordPress (3.4.2). Then I think we found the problem. During the upload of the backup file one part was generating an error. I had to remove 2 lines of code from over 5000 to get the upload to work. After pointing to the new database the backend came to life again. So here I am again happy to post music tech, synth and strangeness. The next step is fix all the site errors, update the old theme to be compliant, figure out what those two lines where exactly and try and upgrade again! You may think that all this would discourage me from WordPress but actually the opposite. I love the customization, control and the community was there to help me.

“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.” –

For more info:

Spam Storm

I apologize if you posted a comment and it didn’t go through recently. As Wire to the Ear continues to grow the site is getting hit quite hard by spam. It almost all gets caught by Akismet and some other plug-ins however some of your own comments end up in there too. I’ve noticed a lot of larger blogs either turned off comments or use a third party system like Facebook connect or Disqus. For now I’m going to keep things as they are. I like the idea of having control on my own server. I should point out that most of the comments on each of these posts mostly takes place on my Facebook page with Twitter and Google+ trailing. Anywhere you create the discussion I enjoy it.

“The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Spam’s gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock.” – Wikipedia

Here I am: Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Shopp Digital Download Store

Last night I attended the WordPress NYC Meetup Group at NYU Poly. The theme of the evening was ecommerce. I wanted to see if there was a good solution if you wanted to skip iTunes, Beatport and Amazon. There were three presentations covering the popular WordPress solutions: WP-eCommerce, Shopp and Ecwid. A representative for each product showed off what the products could do. Next, the WordPress Meetup Group broke into three parts everyone following whatever product they liked best into a separate room.

WP-eCommerce and Shopp were similar but I thought Shopp was cleaner and the develeper really knew his stuff so I followed him into the Shopp room. Ecwid was the only product with a monthly subsciption and it was based and hosted your files in Russia. I actually won a rafle for a free year of Ecwid but I still skipped past it. I’m sure it could be a great product but the entire idea of my night out was to find a free or pay once self contained solution.

Years ago I ran an online store script off my own website called the Easybe shop. Shopp is far simplier and more powerful to use. You can sell digital goods quite easily. Download links expire and are encoded so your source url is never revealed. You can send out coupon codes. You can sell physical goods. You can sell digital and physical goods within the same product using variables (such as a CD or MP3 download). You store lives on your Wordpres site within a link but there are sidebar widgets or shortcodes to put any product or product category into any WordPress post (nice!). There are options to host your files on your own server or if you’re a huge site you can use Amazon S3. There are language plug-ins and much more. The price seems very reasonable to me at $55. The only time you pay more is when there are full version point upgrades.

Because Shopp is a full store not specifically an mp3 store it doesn’t have a built in audio player but you can use SoundCloud embeds or a Wordpres plug-in like Audioplayer for your sample clips. I really liked what I saw and I’m going to set up a sample shop here on this site over the weekend. I still think you should have your stuff available for sale on iTunes, Amazon and Beatport. However, why not have a one click away store where no one get a cut of your action?

“Shopp seamlessly integrates into your WordPress website from administration to your online store’s shopping experience. It looks and works like it was meant to be part of WordPress all along. And Shopp plays well with other plugins by adhering to the WordPress plugin development guidelines.” –

For more info:

Threaded Comments and Gravatars.


I am happy to announce I finally implemented one of WordPress 2.7’s best new features Enhanced Comment Display (threaded comments) into the Wire to the Ear theme. You will now see a Reply button below each comment in a thread. Therefore, you can reply to any specific comment and it will show up directly below and slightly to the right of said comment. I don’t like hacking apart my theme unless I really understand what each line of PHP is doing so it took me a late night coffee reading session at to get it working. If I haven’t mentioned this before the comments are what make this blog worth it to me. I really cherish the daily all things pro-audio conversation I am having with you.

Another addition to Wire to the Ear today is the use of Gravatars. This is simply a small photo that represents your identity. As you can see when I leave a comment my sideways head shows up. You can create your own Gravatar which can be used universally on many sites here: If you don’t see yours show up on the blog give it a little time and if still it doesn’t show let me know and I’ll see if I can help figure out why.

“Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars. An avatar or gravatar is an icon, or representation, of a user in a shared virtual reality, such as a forum, chat, website, or any other form of online community in which the user(s) wish to have something to distinguish themselves from other users. Created by Tom Werner, gravatars make it possible for a person to have one avatar across the entire web. Avatars are usually an 80px by 80px image that the user will create themselves.” –

I have this blog set so if you have already left a comment and it got through moderation the next time you leave a comment it will automatically be posted. Sometimes when I upgrade to a newer version of WordPress this gets reset so even if your a regular poster your comment may end up in the moderation que. I try and moderate comments as they come in and I am hoping the next WordPress iPhone app adds that feature so I can moderate on the go.

If you have a WordPress 2.7+ theme and want to code it up to speed with Enhanced Comments check out the how to documentation over at click here

Comments have been fixed.

I was wondering why it was so quiet around here the past two days. Then it hit me. Something maybe wrong with the comments since I upgraded to WordPress 2.6.1. Sure enough several things went strange. First, all the comments were turned off. When I set them to back “on” only new posts comments were on. So after reading how to run a certain command in phpMyAdmin I was able to turn all the comments past and present back on. Yet I still only heard crickets. After some examination I found that WordPress 2.6.1 also set “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” on. There’s no need to have register here. Sorry for the inconvience and confusion.