Author Prototyping subtitled Drama CD support - feedback wanted!
Teasday OP
Developer
Avatar
Check it out: https://mangadex.org/drama

Partly out of interest in branching out from serving just manga, partly out @ixlone wanting to host a translation of one of the Onii-chan wa Oshimai! Drama CD tracks, we decided to try figuring out both if there's interest for audio drama subtitles (among viewers and translators alike) as well as how to structure and present this new service.

Since we don't still have clear expectations of what a so-called "DramaDex" should look like or even if there's an audience for it, we didn't want to commit to implementing a full working system yet. Instead, what we have right now is a simple prototype that showcases a single track with two translations: one in English, by the group Doki Fansubs (that you've hopefully heard of) and myself, and one in French translated from the aforementioned by @Shyning.

The new drama pages mimic the manga listing and title pages in their general style. There are no views (listens?) tracked, there's no editing or uploading or anything similar – for the moment, the data is all hardcoded so that I don't have to write a whole new chunk of database stuff for something we're not even sure people care about. Similarly, a whole bunch of metadata that we could be adding just isn't there yet. As some obvious examples, links to both internal (franchise relations) and external sources would likely be useful, as well as listing some people relevant to the product such as voice actors. Tags, too. All this wasn't strictly necessary, so I just left it out for now, although it makes the prototype drama page look a bit sparse by comparison to the manga title pages.

The player itself uses the browser's default HTML5 audio player, which depends on the browser. At first I wanted to build a consistent custom player, but decided against it because I didn't want the feedback for this prototype to be bogged down by various potential usability issues with the player itself. This doesn't mean we'll stick with it forever, but it's better to start off with a simplistic, functional version with few moving parts and improve on that based on the feedback.

Speaking of feedback, we're definitely going to need some, both for the design and the concept as a whole. As I alluded to, it'd be important to know if there are groups and translators that would be interested in uploading their own stuff, and I'm sure they're curious to know if there's an audience for it. Supply and demand are going to dictate how much focus we should be putting into this experiment.

---

As a bonus update, I made some fairly significant changes to how the reader works internally. Visible improvements include the long-requested reloading of individual images and one or two other things. Please post your feedback (and bug reports) for that in the reader support thread. Also, if all went as planned, this update should hopefully fix some JavaScript-related issues on older browsers across the site, although probably not everything.
Avatar
Thonk. Drama makes it sound more like scanlation drama instead of CD dramas
Avatar
This is extremely dope and entirely unexpected. I think it's a good move to Branch out more, it'll give people the opportunity to enjoy these drama CDs using your already convenient platform, and probably bring in new users.
Avatar
Would be really interested to see this! So you could count me as part of the audience. For uploading it will be harder because think (Not sure about this.) that there is a smaller base for translators or teams that are interested in this in comparison but if they are can only rout for them. But I can only approve of doing this. This platform is already great to read manga and having more branches will only make it better so long one or the other branch does not suffer because the team gets spread too thin.
Avatar
This would be very cool, much excite if this were to be implemented
Avatar
Damn, now timers have another job other than anime subbing
Avatar
Very interesting. Would be great to have drama cds compiled into one place since they're all very scattered around. While I'm not going to translate any drama cds anytime soon, I could see myself doing a few eventually.
Avatar
Doing drama CD translations has always appealing, but without a central hub for audio drama (at least none that I know of), there's hardly an audience or large demand. Creating a place for them would help grow the audience while also encouraging more translations, so I'm all for it. All piracy-related concerns aside, I'd love to see this continue, both as an audience member and potential contributor.
Teasday OP
Developer
Avatar
Of course we already found some issues that magically didn't happen on the development server. What a world.

Fixing bugs will have to wait until tomorrow.
Avatar
+1 to interested audience from me.
Avatar
I'll admit, I too saw the name and thought it was about scanlation conflict like @Xunder commented. This could make for a good occasion to rehabilitate the word Drama though.

There will be some initial confusion until the term Drama CD is more well known, if that's the generally accepted term within the current community or a direct translation of the Japanese product.
Avatar
I think we are definitely the first to even attempt at doing Drama CDs. As far as I know, there has never been an attempt before at something like this.
Avatar
Love this, also if it happens you should make a different tab for the script to make the reading a little les awkward
Teasday OP
Developer
Avatar
@Makinbaconpancakes "Drama CD" is literally what they're commonly known as. It's not even a translation, they use that exact English term.

I don't really feel like it's a term that should cause much confusion after the first few seconds, since compositions/plays like this are exactly what the word drama refers to. It shouldn't really matter that in modern slang it may also sometimes mean interpersonal disputes, especially since MD hosting disputes makes no sense as a concept, lol.
Avatar
i would be interested in doing the audio dramas associated with the series i translate
Avatar
This sounds like a good idea. I don't think I'd contribute but I'd definitely use it.
Avatar
Thanks for sharing the background @Teasday.

You're right that the confusion shouldn't last more than a few seconds. Funny how my mind went there that quickly.
Avatar
I would 100% be interested in seeing this concept grow further. Having a larger variety of offerings on MangaDex would pretty interesting and--far as I know--fairly unique, as I don't think many other sites branch out like this. +1 support from me, for sure.
Avatar
DramaDex... Sounds like we catalogue 4chan outrage. 🤣
Avatar
I'm happy even if it's at least a catalogue of translations. For example in this blog they compiled all the drama CD translations available like a catalogue.

It's easy and fast. I still use it but the person running it has stopped updating since 2016. So newer translations are hard to find.

So yeah. It's cool