Skip to main content

Quickly finding music with Spotify

I don't make many predictions but I really think that Spotify will change music. Developed by a group of folks from Sweden, it is a P2P streaming music application with a library of some 6 million songs that you can listen to whenever you have the app running (desktop or mobile). With minimal advertising in the free version, think of it as Hulu for music. Later this year, it will be availble to users in the US (licensing issues) including an iPhone app which could really affect the whole notion of paying for music downloads.

Why is it so good? Well, you can listen to whatever you want, create playlists and even cache songs to listen to while you're not connected, but most importantly, the UI is clean and easy to use making the user experience great. Spotify has a good visual layout; screen density is low and navigation is inituitive and flexible helping users find music quickly. On the left side, for example, the Search box, recently saved searches and the album cover link each represent important navigation elements.

Also, the Search box and 'New Playlist' link are very visible and prominent functionalities for users with those specific goals in mind. Although using the Radio filter is cumbersome (later post), overall, Spotify is nice and I'm really looking forward to seeing it on mobile devices soon.

Comments

Unknown said…
Can't wait for Spotify! Thanks for getting the word out Tom!
Jacob said…
Spotify will be great, but we'll see if it is the money-maker that people are anticipating. After all, how many people will purchase premium subscriptions for access to 320kb/s Ogg streams? How many people even know what Ogg Vorbis is? I don't think higher bitrates will be enough of an incentive to make people pay.
Tom Green said…
I don't know what Ogg Vorbis is but it sounds slow. Although free is free. Since Pandora implemented their 'not so free, free' model charging 99 cents after 40 hours, watch for the lemmings to follow.

Popular posts from this blog

Buying gear on Reverb

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to buy an inexpensive stand for my acoustic guitar. I was already familiar with Reverb, which is an online marketplace to buy and sell music gear. Without knowing much at all about guitar stands, I did a search, landed on their site, and within several minutes I was able to research and purchase a new stand. From the helpful information about different stands to the last step of the checkout process, the user experience was great

After Googling 'guitar stand Reverb', one of the first results was a super helpful article on Reverb titled, 'The 6 Best Guitar Stands for Every Budget'. It listed all with all of the comparative specs I needed right on the page (saved me from having to look at each stand's page). Knowing my budget was small, I selected the On-Stage XCG4 Classic Guitar Stand. The price was right, the design was simple, and reviews were good. There's only one I caught that could be improved - when I curiously tried a sim…

Setting a price alert on Stubhub

A few weeks ago, my wife and I really wanted to see Alvvays and Frankie Rose at Metro in Chicago. But the show sold out and I was left to look for tickets second-hand. I've used Stubhub before to purchase concert tickets but up until now, hadn't tried their Price Alert feature which lets you set a ticket price max and be notified when the price goes below it. The user experience from beginning to end was really good. The feature is easy to find and provides very mobile-friendly controls to create the alert.



The Price Alert tab was prominent on the event details screen - very easy to find. Note: today (1/5/18), Stubhub has removed those tabs and you have to tap an Info button top right of the viewport to look for the same feature. It's a still a good UX once you get there but it's an additional step.

The Price Alert feature is intuitive and uses tappable numbers to let me pick the quantity of tickets (not a clunky dropdown menu or less efficient plus/minus pattern). And…

An arpeggiator made with SVG!

Before attending the An Event Apart 2017 conference in Chicago last month, I didn't know much at all about SVGs, or even what an arpeggiator was. One of the speakers, Chris Coyier, gave a fascinating talk about the possibilities of the vector image format. And some of the examples he used included things like logo animation, shape morphing, spinners, art.

He even had a music example - an arpeggiator created on CodePen by Jake Albaugh.

If you're interested, there's a great article about arpeggiators here. In short, an arpeggiator is commonly found on a synthesizer, and 'provides synth players with an easy way of playing complex synth parts via simple chords'.

Besides being built entirely with SVG, Albaugh's arpeggiator (which you can interact with) has a good user experience too.
Areas of the screen are clearly labeled and the bright yellow color stands out for selected items, The screen is laid out well - you select options in each section and finally simulate …