Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yahoo's New Play(er)

Yahoo just announced their new web player today and released it into the wild for us to play with.

Basically, it works as follows:

Here's what it does:

  1. Link to MP3s in your web page. These can be anywhere on the web.
  2. Add a line of code to insert our Javascript library. We host this, so you just have to point to our URL.
  3. Working play buttons appear next to MP3s.

More information can be found here:

My first impressions are very positive. As a blogger it will make my life easier since I just embed the player code once into the body of my page, and then just drop the MP3 links anywhere on the page and they automagically get a play icon (and get playlisted).

It also is supporting some open standards (under the covers) in the form of XSPF playlists - I assume in a future release I will be able to hit a page that uses this player and download the XSPF playlist file to take with me - where I can then decide to either have it continue to resolve to the original source files or to a catalog of my choice (e.g. a subscription catalog, my local library, etc.). Check out the work going on at OpenMediaWeb that Yahoo is also heavily involved in and this previous conversation around playlist portability.

Yahoo gets their piece by linking off to a Yahoo Search based on the metadata keywords.

All-in-all, it strikes me as a web-based client version of Foxytunes. I've always been a fan of Foxytunes, and you can see my previous coverage of them here. In fact, I would not be surprised to see Yahoo Search evolve to have "artist pages" that suck in related content from the artist from all over the web - photos from Flickr, videos from YouTube, free-range MP3s (similar to the way AOL just starting doing), Wikipedia-based bios, etc. very much like FoxyTunes Planet.

The downside? Well, if you are "playing a page" you are basically tied to that page as long as you want to keep listening. The easy way around that is to open a new tab instead of refreshing the current page you are on. Not a huge deal, but you may often find yourself accidentally turning the music off if you follow another link on the page that you are playing (if that link doesn't target a new browser window/tab). The other downside that I noticed when I first implemented it, is that in a heavily widgetized page, you may have to wait a while for the javascript to load.

I speculated about 6 months ago that Yahoo was up to something based on the previous Webjay work of Lucas Gonze. It looks to have evolved a bit since then, but I think understand where the are going and I applaud it.

In honor of this new player, I've got a new Song of the Day to share too.
Thanks to Redboy I just discovered The Big Sleep. This song is off their soon-to-be-released album, and I'm diggin' it.

Also check out one of the instrumental tracks from their previous album.

You Can't Touch the Untouchable - The Big Sleep


Redboy said...

oi from the gainfully unemployed! (hehe) just noticed your shoutout... you've very welcome sir! glad you dig em :)

all well in the '08 i hope?

Mya Murphy said...

Greatt reading