Skip to main content

Streaming KEXP on the iPhone

KEXP-FM is a listener-supported radio station in Seattle specializing in alternative and independent music. People (including me) listen to the station from all over the world and, recently, they launched their application for the iPhone. One thing I really love about it is the ability to create playlists and add songs to favorites. These features create a unique experience not available while streaming from the KEXP.org site.

Despite the great new features, the relationship with iTunes is familiar and frustrating. Similar to other iPhone music apps including Wilco's, clicking on 'Buy on iTunes' from the Song Info screen abruptly ends the stream and takes the user to iTunes providing no clear way to return to the stream. The inability to 'multitask' on the iPhone may discourage users from clicking the iTunes link knowing that their stream will end and they'll have to manually re-open the KEXP app.

KEXP could improve the app's experience by:
  1. warning the user that clicking on the link will force them to leave the KEXP app but that they can always return quickly from the KEXP icon on the homescreen OR
  2. imploring Apple to modify iTunes so users can always return back to the app they were just using (not likely).
Changes like these would make me and Wilco happy.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Is My Jam - a well-designed, responsive web application

This Is My Jam is a music app that lets users share one song at a time with others. If there’s a song that you absolutely love right now and want to the world to know about it (which I often do), you can select the song, post it to your page and tell the world ‘this is my jam!’. Not only is the app’s value unique but the user experience is good, specifically when it comes to choosing a new jam.  First of all, the app is responsive, slightly changing the layout of screens according to users’ device sizes. This is important because it delivers a consistent experience from web to mobile (without having to learn or download a separate native app) while the folks at This Is My Jam only have to maintain one web experience that adapts to users’ devices (that is, they don’t have to manage a web AND native mobile experience and all it entails).  And this isn’t just some responsive web site where the content shifts around - this is a web application, folks, and it’s not easy to do. W

Redesigning the MySpace music player

Originally a major competitor to Facebook, MySpace has evolved from a being a place for 'friendships' to an important site in digital music. Like Facebook, artists can create profile pages for fans to follow but artists can also embed songs into a music player for fans to listen to. This functionality has really opened the door for discovering new music (especially for new artists who don't have a label or a means of distribution and marketing). However, MySpace's music player (above) suffers from some usability issues including small controls and an inefficient screen layout . When advancing through a song, users have to move a very small slider control that requires unnecessary precision . An improved, larger control would be much easier to click and drag than the current small rectangle shape. Also, the two-row layout of songs in the artist's queue is inefficiently designed . A maximum of only five songs can be listed in the queue at one time and then use

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 tr