The problem with comments

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that there have been more ‘hater’ comments, to put it in the words of one commenter, and it has started to get to me.

I have no issue with people expressing their views on apps, music or whatever is posted here. But when it is put in very negative terms I don’t think it helps anyone. Let’s face it, developers aren’t, for the most part, in iOS development for the big money. They’re in it because they want to make something great to create music with. Some apps will be fantastic for one person and the worst thing ever for another, and I’ve heard views that polarised in the last week.

A few developers have already been in touch and expressed their concerns as have readers about some of the comments that have been left. It puts people off being involved and ultimately damages the community as a whole.

I don’t propose to moderate comments except for spam and anything that is utterly offensive, which only happens extremely rarely thankfully.

All I’d ask is that if you have a negative view or you want to be critical of an application, video, track or whatever, please express it in the same way as you’d like to hear your own work discussed.

If we all had the same views life would be very boring, so let’s play nice. Clip to Evernote

33 thoughts on “The problem with comments”

  1. thank you… was feeling sad about some of the comments on the soundcloud pieces as well… not good for the community to be non-constructive… its all subjective… i'd suggest 'this is not for me' rather than 'i know it all – this sux'…


  2. Classy post.

    I've been feeling the same way. There have been a few discussions in particular that have really bothered me.

    When commenting about songs, apps, and videos, I always try to be mindful of the possibility that the author reads my comment.



  3. Thank you for this.

    As a one-person development “team” I certainly get a bit of a kick in the guts when I get the good old “this sux” comments.

    Not only that, but I can hardly improve the app based on this comment 🙂

    So, bring on the constructive criticism and I will bring on the better apps!


  4. I missed that, ok noted. I have not noticed this but I will personally try to not do this. Any particular examples of what conversations were not kosher?


  5. Tuff one, I personally would not knock someones music's subjective.

    But I will speak up if I think developers are being greedy or ignoring users requests for essential features.

    I do hope you dont sensor these views.


  6. Any dev doing what they do is alright with me. With out you all these gadgets would be useless.

    Will most def watch what I say in the future, but will still call it how I see it. 🙂


  7. So ur bitching about people bitching. How ironic. Altho I agree with u, so I guess that makes me a kindred hypocrite 😉


  8. Matt I've only ever deleted spam comments to date.

    There are a few developers who come in for a lot of very harsh comments.

    I'm fine with people making negative comments, but it is just how they do it that bothers me.


  9. I would put it this simply – if you don't like the way it looks or sounds – look away – don't listen to it. If you think it can be improved offer your feedback constructively. If you really have to say something that negative do it privately and don't publicly humiliate someone who is in almost all cases attempting to make something that benefits us all and allows us to be more creative. I'm sure everyone remembers the old saying that “if you can't say something nice…….”, well as I said, it is okay in my mind to offer constructive feedback, but if you must remain a “hater” then please “shut the hell up, stop visiting this forum and go pollute another community on the Internet because this one is too precious to all of us who are serious about moving the mobile music making platforms forward”.

    I implore everyone to try to help developers and musicians become better. Show them that you care.


  10. Sometimes when all feedback is ignored and things dont
    work while no support is given or no attempt to improve is made, there is nothing positive to say and you are unwillingly made to look like a hater I think.


  11. Consumers are a tough audience. I think the most criticism I've seen here are feedbacks on inflated descriptions developers attach to their list of features.



  12. I'm afraid Ashley, IMHO, you just have to take the rough with the smooth. I'd hate to see comments moderated just because they were occasionally 'negative'- free speech is so important in this modern day world, yet many are trying to put an end to free speech. If you don't agree, just ignore it. If you can't ignore it, then try not to let it worry you so much. The last think I personally would like is a bland society where everyone just agrees with one another. Think how tedious that would be?!

    FWIW, just look at the awful comments we get for our ring modulator app. If I took all these ridiculous comments seriously like “don't buy this ****, cos it sucks”, or “I've been ripped off, I want my money (59p!- about the price of a can of Coke!!!) back”, I would be an utter wreck by now, (and the pitiful amount I've made from sales wouldn't even cover my psychiatrist bills!!).

    Criticism, even if it is negative criticism is an important part of the society we live in. Don't be passive, challenge it! Criticism keeps the world alive and fresh, and it should be encouraged that people are honest about their feelings about how they feel or think, even if it may actually not be a direct criticism of what they are criticising at that point in time. They may perhaps just be venting anger, and on an open comment forum, that has to be expected. 🙂

    I'm afraid to say, but it is true that Palm Sounds does post some really awful stuff, but then it also posts really great stuff too! And vice-versa, ie stuff someone else will dislike (that I love) or even hate (although 'hate' is a very strong word, it does exist). Palm Sounds is acting very democratic, very much like I must say, like the great late Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who you could always guarantee would play mostly stuff you hated, but there would always be something that he would play that you liked, even loved, and most of all, it was highly likely that you'd never even heard it before! Perfect! keep up the great work! 8) 😀


  13. Very good post. It really started to bother me having the comment part turning into hater galore sometimes (and more and more often), I really hope this will change and return the place to nicer without shutting down discussions. Although I understand developer’s concerns and hurt feelings, this is one of the few places where users can voice their own concern (or appreciation by the way) in a more neutral and public space, hence more efficiently, than on the developer forum (which sometimes doesn’t exist or is so plagued by psychos it’s useless).
    About Soundcloud tracks and Internet videos, although I usually do exactly what Arpegiator asks for in his comment (“if you don't like the way it looks or sounds – look away”), only posting positive comments would be making this all look like a show at your kid’s school: a bunch of inapt musicians sounding awful in front of a loving, caring, smiling and sheering audience. I won’t try to answer the main question about people posting their tunes (why in hell are people willing to post tracks and videos?) and am just glad some of them do it (inspiring and smart use, where to go, where not to go, etc…). It’s a bit the same about the hating comments on these performances, why in hell do you think anyone is interested in your opinion about how music should sound or what is music to you? At the same time, informed, polite and well crafted negative comments can be inspiring and useful too… Palm Sounds’ request (“express it in the same way as you'd like to hear your own work discussed”) is really the way to go and the bottom line to me.
    It’s just the same about this very comment: does anyone care about my opinion? Probably not, but it’s important to me that the opinion I care the most about (mine obviously) is voiced here. What in hell makes me think you would want to read that long comment from me? Well, nothing really… besides, you just did, right?


  14. I'm the guy that criticized a dude's effort at ipad musicianship and received a ton of flack for it. I was not rude in any way, just suggesting a more creative approach to the instruments. It is common practice on music forums for people to express their views and accept criticism. I am a compulsive reader of this blog and hope to remain joyfully so.


  15. What gets to me is that a lot of the negativity seems to come from people who simply aren't educated or don't understand the differences between a sound designer, an engineer, and a musician.



  16. Yep it is true, we all have different backgrounds, yet some still manage to let go of their childhood and lead fulfilling and productive lives, others just feel sorry for themselves and live in the past.

    The whole 'poor me' thing is bullshit, if you have an internet connection then you are way better off than most, take responsibility for your life and stop being a victim.


  17. I just report my experiences,
    with some apps/dev's it's realy bad,
    but for some I do some serious promoting
    to get more people in.


  18. I like critical but polite comments. It's very nice to know if a developer doesn't fix bugs for years. Fair comments sometimes means telling the hard truth. Also if something is overpriced in your view, it should be possible to express this view. Or if there is a much cheaper alternative, please point it out. Personally I'd like to see something like the reviews in music tech mags, where they mention a view competing products and compare them a bit.


  19. I agree with you, I've got no time for haters!
    What I like about this site is that it is platform agnostic and I don't want to see it spoilt by sad and bitter people with an agenda of their own.
    There are good and not so good aspects to the things you discuss here, whether it is a device, OS, developer or musician, etc.
    What I want as a creator/maker/modder is constructive criticism not destructive, negative abuse. I can do some thing with constructive criticism and we can all move forward. Negative criticism, on the other hand, just causes harm and damage and is useful to nobody.
    I have no objection to unbalanced, negative criticism being censored.
    Keep up the great work:-)


  20. I'd like to apologize for a time when i was rude on this site, I'm not going to give the link (not because I don't want to display my rudness, because, ill admit, i can be very rude at times…) but because i don't want to expose the other person for being rude as well, it might bring up another argument… Anyway I'd really like to sincerely apologize.


  21. I'm late for the party. Good post.

    Its true, it has become increasingly hard to comment or be critical without being ostrasized or insulted.. but hey, that's life, haters gonna hate, fanboys gonna be fanboys, the same happens in every levels of society.

    We should encourage diversity of opinions instead of ramming them into the ground, as long as those opinions are expressed respectfully.

    And personnally, I just wish more people would use the Name/URL function when they post instead of just being anonymous. Its nice to know who we are talking to.


  22. My mother always said, “If you don't have something nice to say, just say nothing.” She was right.

    And, even if you disagree, you should still respect the conversation. Before posting ask yourself if your comment contributes anything to the dialog.


  23. The thing about criticism on the Soundcloud tracks is that:

    A) the haters rarely back up the insult by showing us how it should be done, and
    B) more than likely, if they WERE to show us their stuff, so rife w/ rhythm and melody, it would probably be such conventional shite that you wouldn't be able to distinguish it from any track from the 1,000 “Ibiza Chill” CD's in the cut-out bin at Border's.

    The biggest critics often have the most conventional tastes.


  24. 4chan has anonymous commenting. Reddit doesn't. Amazing what forcing people to have a handle can do (although, commenting on am idevice is a pain in the arse on this site. Just doesn't seem to work for me so I go anon and sign off at the end. Still, piss it off and you'll find an improvement). Not sure this needed a post tho, just moderation of some kind…



  25. “4chan has anonymous commenting. Reddit doesn't.”

    Yes, people never creates throwaway accounts on reddit 😀


  26. “You're being pedantic johnnyg0. Helps no-one.”

    Then please explain us the difference between an anonymous account and an anonymous throwaway account, because I thought it was the same thing, reddit does have some pretty awful commenters, just like 4chan.


  27. As a developer or producer of any work be that music, film, games, paintings, or apps, you have to grow a very thick skin. People will hate on you. The app won't do X. The app will cost too much, but still less than what you'd pay if you bought yourself and your mate a pint in your local. The App Store review system doesn't help developers as we can't respond. At least on Palm Sounds developers can respond. Ashley, don't change it.


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