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Showing posts from 2011

YouTube's error messages lack clarity, detail

YouTube is great for so many reasons - mostly the ability to play any song on demand for free. In light of the all of the free streaming music (Spotify, Mog and Rdio) services out there, Youtube has been doing this for a long time. Create playlists, share music with your friends, watch videos on your iPhone or a device connected to your TV - you can take the free music wherever you want.
I recently found a video for 'How to Live Alone (With the Dogs)' by The Pernice Brothers. Since their collection is hard to find (at least on Amazon and iTunes, I haven't called Laurie's in Lincoln Square yet), you can imagine how excited I was to be able to find it, play it several times and even share it with friends.
After watching the video, I wanted to leave a comment telling the world where I first heard it! But what should have been an easy task wasn't a good experience at all.
When it comes to usability in products, my favorite issue is error prevention and handling. …

Five reasons why Spotify does social media well

Spotify was recently launched to the US audience after (literally) years of waiting. The UI is great and hasn't changed much since I reviewed it a while back. In short, it's clean, efficient and easy to use building on the familiar look of iTunes and other on-demand apps. One thing i had not looked at until now is Spotify's social component. A major aspect of most music apps, they've done a really good job with its user experience for several reasons:

1. Quick access to your connections in a persistent People panel on the right side from which you can access their playlists (the location makes your friends feel more integrated than in other apps like Pandora, although that may change when the new Pandora UI is released),

2. Ability to efficiently share via several social media from the same modal dialog - the usual suspects Facebook and Twitter are here but also IM and Spofity, of course,

3. Bright blue colorto distinguish the primary action buttons (Share, Send Track…

Google Doodle tribute to Les Paul

In honor of (what would have been) Les Paul's 96th birthday, today's Google Doodle is an interactive, recordable, electric guitar. Paul, after whom the Gibson Les Paul guitar is named, was one of the first electric guitars and he designed one of the first solid body electric models. He is also one of the few artists with a stand-along exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Google Doodle, found at google.com, is typically an illustration created for one day to (among other things) celebrate a holiday or the birthday of someone famous.

You simply hover over the strings to strum and create a song. A record button lets you save your song and send it to someone and you can even play back your own song while playing over it (like the overdubbing Paul made famous in the '40s). Click on the Doodle? Well, that will show you search results for Les Paul. Several music fans have recorded their own songs today including this one - 'Hey Jude' by The Beatles. Easy to use an…