Now, for the advice:
1. On the front page show who's listening to what. Drop the How, What, etc. Don't tell people. Show people.
2. Allow people to create playlists with interjections, such as "That was Little Dragon with 'Twice', and now..."
3. Allow people to do insert temporal video casts: Sports, weather, news.
This could be really big if you hit it right. Find a designer for God's sake. And feel free to drop me a line. My email is my profile.
If you want to improve it, you could do some clever check on whether the video is actually a video or just some still images with the music on top - as 60% of the videos I played seemed to fall into the latter category.
The idea of checking for still images was something I've tried in a previous version. I decided to remove the function because somehow there is a reason why a video is popular on Youtube and is no 1 in the results (often good sound quality). FYI: checking for still could be done by comparing the 3 different thumbnails youtube generates for every video.
<div id="overlay" style="background:black;color:white;width:960px;font: 24px 'Droid Sans';padding:20px;padding-left:150px;">Name of the Song<br />Artist</div>
Some points :
- The UI should adapt according to the screen size ( buttons are pretty big on my laptop, and TOO small for my 24 inches. Maybe create 2 or 3 different sizes ? )
- Being able to see the "playlist" and being able to "drag and drop" the previews in the horizontal direction (like "which one will be next, etc").
- About the UI, you should keep it simple, but also keep it as "close" to standard player/TV UI. Like standard Play/Pause/Volume big at the center ( bottom or top )
- You need a colorful/media Logo, definitely.
For later maybe : Like Spotify and others, being able to create & share playlist of videos, ranking them, etc. and NOT only by artist. Let's say I'm at a party, and I made a nice music video playlist at home, I just connect thru facebook, and I can play my playlist, etc. Youtube is crap for that, and that's EXACTLY the kind of "share tool" you would need I guess.
- Being able to easily vote for music videos ( just a click, no more ) and that would help then to provide the user with the best videos first (and kick out the image music videos from the first of the search results).
I don't really have much free time, but could give you a hand. Kinda have a "final working product" in my head, and it looks great.
Why do I get a second HUD (upper right corner) when I'm in fullscreen mode? Why are there two buttons to toggle fullscreen mode? Why is there a tick icon in the search box? Why do you have the "Generate your own MTV, click here!" text still visible, after I already searched for an artist? Your "Why? What? How?" text is also pretty nondescript. And why am I able to resize and move the floating box anyway?
Again, the idea is great, but the UI is very confusing. There's too much going on. Try to simplify it!
Second Hud: those are the 'most often used' buttons, removing duplicates is a good idea indeed. The 'generate' text is visible to give you a way to enter artist search mode in non-fullscreen mode. The search bar above the link (with tick in it) is for searching through Youtube directly (instead of using Last.FM data). The tick is to show all the ajax is finished, a loading animation is being shown while busy.
Why What How is maybe not clear enough, what would you suggest as intro? Resize & move is incase someone got a low resolution and couldn't see the dropdown.
Thanks for your feedback phoboslab :)!
I'm wondering, do you have any plans to monetize this? If so I'm curious as to how, I'm not sure about the terms of the YouTube API but the last.fm one says it's strictly for noncommercial use.
tl;dr Not at this moment. Dutch RIAA problems if I do. Last.fm wants money if you are getting rich.
After selecting a song nothings seemed to happen, until I noticed the progress indicator in the upper right corner. Center screen would be a more visible location.
The most practical problem seems to be the difference in volume levels; I keep having to adjust the volume. I realise that that could be hard to fix, but it's what made me switch back to the radio.
The reason why I immediately close the overlay is because I want to avoid users to click other songs while another ajax search is still running and I want to give the experience of the thing going 'fast'. ('overlay closes, hmmm something happens, ah there is my MTV!' instead of 'selected artist, mmm what is it doing? searching, mmm does it work?, reclick, reclick').
Volume could be a problem in some occasions, I've already tried to find a way to measure the volume level and normalize it, problem is that I can't get the values from the Youtube Flash player API. Is someone aware of other ways to fix this?
It'd be nice if there were a better way to tell if the youtube video is actually the video or just an mp3 with a shot of the album, but since its just playing in the background, it hasn't been too much of an issue.
Also, it would be nice if there were a restart, or some way to scrub the actual video.
Btw: problem with some of the videos on YT is that a small amount is not embeddable, that could explain why a video doesn't shows up on sites like listandplay.com
It seems very simple to use. I did have to try out a few different songs since it wasn't able to generate its list based on the songs that I initially tried.
I will have to spend more time in understanding the playlist aspect of it though.
Main problem: I'm trying to combine the 'MTV functionality' with the original functionality of listandplay.com (generate playlists in a few clicks). I thought about splitting up both projects, but I want to avoid that... What would you do?
Your UI could be just a search box, where you enter the artists name, and the App then creates a continuous stream of music videos. Not more, not less. Maybe add the Skip button and count (server side) how often a video has been skipped, to create a "blacklist" of bad videos, that won't show up anymore.
Look at the UI of http://www.mixest.com/ for instance - I think they nailed it.
Somehow this approach works for 99% of the times.
If you want the MTV functionality: press 'Generate your own MTV, click here!' below the search bar, enter Pixeis, select Where is my mind and there you go! http://listandplay.com/#Search~Similar~Pixies%20%7C%20Where%...
For now a (dirty) fix, you can reach the flash video object itself by (right mouse)clicking on the Youtube logo.
1. Put the overlay only over the part of the player you really want to catch the clicks for. It sounds you want it only for the play/pause so it might work. You'd need to calculate or guess where these controls are actually on the screen.
2. Detect whether the player is loaded and only if it is do you insert the overlay or enable the click event for it. This solution has a nice side effect of being able to tell the user they need flash enabled for yrou app to work.
I was wondering what your thoughts are on that? I'm still young and in University atm, but our profs scare us like hell when talking about law suits, and they can ruin your entire life...etc etc, so I've been to scared to act on the youtube music api. Can you guys drop your thoughts on the issue?
First, my server is located in The Netherlands, as far as I know only the law applies of the country where the site is being hosted.
Second, our RIAA (Buma/Stemra) made a deal with Youtube that ensures every Dutch citizen can embed YT videos without any problems (see: http://www.bumastemra.nl/en-US/OverBumaStemra/Actueel/Buma_a... and this from their FAQ http://i55.tinypic.com/svi1jt.jpg). It says that I don't have any problems as long as I don't monetize it. Since I hate banners and my costs are really low this ain't a problem.
Last but not least, it's impossible for me to measure how many and what kind of videos are being played. All this stuff works with # anchor urls, my server simply can't register that.
I'm very curious in what other people think about this, can you ask your profs?
What do you guys in HN think about the issue? Can we use youtube api to freely grab music videos? Can we store index to the url (for playlists?)
It doesn't show up in your search results. How come?
In other words, they disabled the embedding of that specific video. Just try this one: http://listandplay.com/#Search~Hot%20Chip%20-%20One%20Life%2...