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

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

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

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