Select file would seem to mean the iTunes folder? Or do I select "iTunes Music Library.xml" inside it (a large file). What personal and private information is in that file anyway? How will it be used? Where is it going? What if the xml file I have is for a different version of iTunes than the site supports? Is there a list of iTunes versions tested and supported listed somewhere on the site? What happens if a bunch of users have information in that file that they have pirated songs and the service gets a subpoena to disclose all xml files? What if I only want updates on some artists I like and not the ones I hate and regret buying their CD? Does the XML file have DRM keys in it that I will be inadvertently disclosing? If not where are those things kept anyway? How often do I get emails? How can I unsubscribe? How can I tell it to stop sending emails about a given group?
A service I would probably like would be one where I could type in names of groups I actually like and get emails when they release a new album. This may even be a complementary function to the "everything all at once without distinction" feature on the beathound site.
I'm working on improving filtering for artists you hate.
If you really don't want to upload your XML file, It sounds like http://www.albumreminder.com/ might be more up your alley for now. Thanks for the feedback!
"What happens if a bunch of users have information in that file that they have pirated songs and the service gets a subpoena to disclose all xml files?"
Whoa, with absolutely zero knowledge of the .xml file, you just jumped 100 steps ahead to some hypothetical situation where this website will incriminate its users. Loosen up your tinfoil hat a little bit...
You're asking a ton of questions about a service that is obviously just starting out, and is probably not feature complete yet. Did you actually use the site, and can you provide any comments on how well the site actually does what it advertises? If not, your comment just seems like a lot of bikeshedding:
On second thought, thanks for bringing up your concerns. It certainly seems that in order for this tool to become a success for users like you it will have to deal with these types of issues carefully.
Edit to add: I want to stress the near infinite value that the HN crowd brings to the table whatever they say about any new site. Considering the vast majority of passers by even on HN will not comment at all, anything discouraging anyone from doing so seems to be more damaging than any negative comment.
Assuming this is to be used by non-techies, no one is going to know what or even where an 'iTunes XML file' is. A "What's this?" link next to the upload button with some sort of tool tip or modal showing where the file can be found will go a long way. I didn't find the "Trouble finding your library?" link at the bottom until after writing this comment.
I was also confused about entering an email. From what it looks like, I either upload my XML file or I enter my email to sign up for updates. It needs to be more clear that it's all one inclusive form. (Or even better, don't require an email. Revisiting beathound.com in a reasonable amount of time should preserve your session and give you a scanning update along with the option to sign up for future alerts.)
Your survey contains "FooBar" as a listening option - assume this should not be on there ?
1) it's easier than uploading my XML file which is currently on another computer
2) you can recommend music based on a window of time ... for example recently I've been super interested in EDM (dance music and remixes) but if you look at my entire iTunes library (~80GB of music) what i'm currently super interested in is only a small percentage of that. So, it would be cool to see "what would I like to be listening to based on what I have been listening to for the last 6 months
3) You get access to my data indefinitely (more or less) and can re-run the algorithm on my account at your own leisure ... every day, every week, etc...
Music discovery has always been huge in my mind. I LOVE music and cannot really go a day without it. If i'm working, you better believe I have earbuds in and i'm listening to something. I'm always on the prowl for new stuff.
But anyways, very cool idea :)
Please consider two things: email alerts. I'f happily be spammed every time a new album from my most-played artists was released.
A monthly-spend-automatic-buy. I'd risk $20 a month to wake up to new music.
Oh. And it took me straight to the US shop despite me being a British customer. I take it the country code isn't in the iTunes.xml. Perhaps a country selector is needed on sign-up.
This is my first time testing with an international audience - sounds like there's some work to do on country selection. Thanks for the feedback!
As annoying as it can sometimes be, maybe this would be a good time to use camelcase ("BeatHound"), or perhaps just style the text to use a different color for the two words.
Thanks that one is really cool, the one-by-one option is the right amount of disclosure for me.
(Hope you're getting some affiliation cash, OP, I'd be happy to throw that your way given the usefulness of this!)
For releases, http://hypem.com is the way to go. Blogs will discover new releases way before anyone and you'll discover them through hypem.
I made a new album notification tool for Last.FM focused on easily excluding non-important artists a while back: http://releasification.frapp.it
I have added this to my priority list - thanks.
The other thing that is rather confusing is that having selected the file, it's not clear how to proceed. I eventually clicked 'What have I missed' which seems to actually be 'I've not missed anything please click this button' - I think this could be better worded to just 'Go' or something similar once the file is selected.
From a privacy perspective -- what info can you glean from someone's library file? (other than the obvious artist/track information)
Looking at it quickly, I can get some idea of how your filesystem is laid out (or at least how iTunes thinks it is), as well as probably guessing your username on your computer if you haven't changed your music path. Doesn't look like much more than that.