Thanks for all the input. I have played devil’s advocate here to see if I can understand the issue a little clearer.
I share the general concern about Pianobook becoming a site overwhelmed with submissions in such a way that it becomes impossible to find stuff that is inspiring. We are already reaching that point with over 550 instruments. We receive a lot of submissions every week to the point that we have quite a backlog to release despite the fact that we drop five instruments every week. This is a classic success problem and we are excited to have that problem!
As Christian has mentioned in a few videos recently, we are working on rebuilding the website from the ground up to help manage the growing number of sample packs. As part of that we will look at guidelines for submissions – as it stands there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to process all the submissions and provide feedback to contributors when their instrument doesn’t work or they are missing information needed for the sample pack page on the website.
We believe the community will be a natural filter over time, which will help ensure those who submit great sample packs bubble up to the top. There are a number of great regular contributors to the site but we also find some rising stars who knock it out of the gate first time.
We do believe that Pianobook instruments should always be free. It is foundational to the community it has created. We do understand, however, that musicians need to find ways to diversify their income stream, particularly in the face of low income from streaming sources and continued restrictions on live music.
Personally I am very supportive of independent sample developers trying to find an additional income stream to help them keep music as a source of income. Pianobook has the opportunity to help people make an income but I do agree that there is a balancing act between an overt advert on Pianobook vs using Pianobook as a starting point to explore whether making sounds could be a source of income.
I will pass the feedback on to the team and appreciate the open dialogue.