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Show HN: Muki, music streaming from MIDI and chiptunes (muki.io)
57 points by tomaspollak on Sept 30, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 31 comments

The actual experience is way more compelling than the animated intro. Ditch the explanation (which isn't even worded very well) and bring users right into the experience.

If you want to have an animated intro, make it interact with your actual UI; introduce options, start playing immediately, show cues for discovering additional features.

Also, it doesn't feel natural to have to click the 'hamburger' icon on the top right, when the first introduction to the navigation is invoked automatically and spans the entire width. I keep going back to it to change settings and it's not intuitive.

Thanks for the feedback. The intro was thought as a way to onboard users that don't know much about MIDI (or MOD or NSF or VGM), but it can definitely be improved. I'll play around with a more integrated version as you suggest. :)

The reason why the menu is automatically shown is precisely to let the user know, on start, what options are hidden behind the hamburger menu. Do you mean the positioning is weird or that it shouldn't be shown automatically?

What about introducing users to specific qualities each track has in the player panel? "8 bit", "MIDI", etc. Get them into the content, and then answer their questions about what it is and why they should care.

I think showing the menu automatically is great, just that when I go to re-open it myself, the button at the top right does not feel natural. I know there was a panel there, so my natural tendency is to scroll or move the mouse cursor in search of it.

You've only got a few core features, so you've got more creativity available in how you present them: On desktop you could reveal the nav when the mouse cursor is in the top 100px, and on mobile show it when the user scrolls to the top. No clicks or taps necessary, because there's nothing that would conflict with that behavior. Consider something similar for the player/info panel at the bottom. When the user stops interacting for a second or two, slide the panels away and show only the visualizer.

Very helpful insight, thanks again mate.

Curiously, I don't normally click on the hamburger icon because hitting the ESC key also toggles the top menu, so I completely agree with you that it doesn't feel natural.

I've been tempted to put more information on the player panel but have forced myself not to do so to keep the UI as clean as possible (mainly thinking in mobile browsers). I guess I could put in some icons, though, that would give hints to user as to what's actually going on behind the scenes.

Wow, this is sick. Quite a wordy intro, however. I kept thinking that most people would ctrl+a backspace rather than try to delete the whole thing by holding backspace, especially considering that it doesn't 'accelerate' like holding backspace actually would.

Minor problem though, since you can skip the intro.

I was watching the whole intro, expecting some background music to come out of nowhere in time with the text ...

Good point! And this is actually the short version of the intro, the first one was like twice in length... :)

I noticed a slick purple loading bar at the bottom of the page, but it's very thin, it could use some larger height so it's more clearly visible. I'm running Safari on Yosemite.

Will keep that in mind. Thanks!

aha ya honestly I hit skip after the first 2 screens... but worth it

Contrary to the intro, Seems to me that I recall most old games using MOD and other tracker formats instead of MIDI.... but the point is that it was sequenced samples, I suppose.

As far as I can remember, using MOD music was pretty rare for MS-DOS-era PC games. The only exceptions I can think of were either Epic MegaGames titles (Unreal, Jazz Jackrabbit, Epic Pinball) or games that originated in the demoscene (Zone 66).

I guess it depends on the era. Most of the computer games of the early nineties relied on MIDI, although their Amiga ports did use MOD of course, being the de-facto Amiga music format.

Very interesting project, but intro is way too slow.

Very sleek site that brings back old memories.

So I get you're using MIDI (instruction source), but what's the sound source? Just whatever samples your browser uses these days? Or is it using a sample set from a soundcard from that era (Yamaha YM3812, YMF262 or similar found in the Soundblaster 16)?

It's a mixture of patches from different soundfonts, the primary being the amazing Arachno. Playback is done via libtimidity, and old C library that was ported to JS through Emscripten.

Such a great idea with a huge potential. Me feels like a vintage man.

Hehe, me too. Thanks!

Aha, thank you very much for this. :) I quite enjoyed it.

Thank you very much sir!

Is there a way to bring back the voting prompt after it auto-disappears? Personally I'd rather hear more of the song before voting good/bad.

Not for the moment. I wanted the voting popup to be as least annoying as possible -- that's why it automatically disappears after 10 seconds. I'll add a keybinding to the R key so you can manually toggle it. Thanks!

Neat! How did you clear the music with copyright owners?


This is actually a long topic because Muki contains a mixture of ripped vs sequenced tunes, etc. I've contacted some of the authors of sequenced tunes for permission, and also taken great care of crediting both the source where I got each one plus the company who holds the rights for the original tune. You can see this by clicking over a song's name when playing.

That said, I'm definitely not an expert on copyright so if there's something I'm missing please let me know! There's also more info about this if you click on the "about" link.

I'm no expert either, though I'm sure theoretically you can't do this. But in practice I think you're safe.

Is there a way to disable the dots so the browser stops murdering my CPU?

Yup, just hit the "V" key.

I guess you're right. YouTube already hosts a ton of game music videos and they don't seem to have any problems.

Thanks! Maybe a help page that shows all this hidden functionality would be useful to others?

Yes, as well as a volume control! You can also hit [tab] as a shortcut to toggle the sidepane with the active playlist.

Love it!! Need a way to share songs however.

Y-E-S! This is definitely number 0 on the to-do array.

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