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March 02, 2006

Comments

Matthew Bowden

Its getting a bit long. For your home page I would try and keep it so that the user doesnt have to scroll down.

It does add a lot of nice colour though.

Have you tried top 5 or top 3 Albums. Cuts the amount of information may be reduce the size of the bmps. ????

Plus you will now have new albums and best selling.

What about top 1 of each (with bmps) linking to separate pages ???. More clicks but cleaner initial design ?

JMG

This is interesting, but not that well done. It isn't even really integrated into the page. There is not enough space to let the covers breathe, too.

I think you'd better besten the « New albums by » column. You could show an icon of the album's cover along with the album's name and artist's name. As a user I'll be more attracted to this part of the page which presents the new album releases and be more interested with it's content.

Ted

I like it. I clicked on it and thought I was on the real home page (really should pay attention to details, I should)and was surprised when I tried to click on an album cover!

Previous comments notwithstanding, I think it's a good basic idea.

ecume

I like it - it adds some color and texture to the site - but I would keep the covers in one row, perhaps scrollable to the right. Kinda like http://www.raumklang.de/de/katalog/index.html

Kyle

Very nice. I would go with that.

Ryan Sawhill

I don't have any great suggestions on how to make it better, so I'll just say that I llllike it.

Topher

I agree that the theory is good, and agree it needs to be rendered a little differently. I'd do slightly smaller icons, and then a pop-out div, similar to what netflix does. Reduce the number to 5, and you have a lot the same effect with a LOT less screen space.

There are also some pretty good JS or Flash apps that would fade cd covers from one to the next in the same position, and pause on mouseover. You could then render the hidden div for that album.

Lots of ideas. :)

Martin Richmond

I would put the featured artist in the same table as the genres, go landscape with the "We're a record label bla bla" and fit the best selling or maybe highest valued albums > that is more what Magnatune is about >in the same table or box whatever underneath the blurb.

my 2 cents,
M

Roy Blumenthal

It's super! Go for it! You can always make changes later. I feel it's a very positive and powerful step.

Blue skies
love
Roy

Christopher Allen

I like the addition of covers to the home page, but maybe not quite so many, maybe 8 or 10.

It might be also nice to stagger them each day: top 10 classical, top 10 new age, top 10 new sales, top 10 all-time sales, etc.

lisa db

maybe not perfect yet, but definitely better. gives the visitor somewhere to start, and it's much more visually appealing and stimulating.

the artwork adds so much.

gurdonark

I don't know if it's the last step in the journey, but I think this is a step forward. I like the album art.

Sophie

It's a good idea, but I think it takes too much space and doesn't seem to belong to the page yet. You should work a little further on the design before adding it.

I think the covers shouldn't be bigger than the featured album covers (maybe even smaller), and 5-7 of them would be enough.

I wouln't use the left margin for this area if there are two rows, I would make it fit in the content zone.

But maybe a single row with smaller icons and a border would make a nice horizontal zone, spanning the whole page width.

Nick Busigin

I like it! It adds a nice splash of colour to the page, a little "eye candy".

Perhaps you might also consider adding something similar to what CD Baby has, a browse-the-album-art page, that (in a way) mimics walking through the aisles of a record store looking at the cover art. Clicking on a CD cover takes you to the web page for that CD. Clicking on the refresh button on the page yields another random sampling of CD covers.

Nick
--

John Buckman

Perhaps you might also consider adding something similar to what CD Baby has, a browse-the-album-art page, that (in a way) mimics walking through the aisles of a record store looking at the cover art. Clicking on a CD cover takes you to the web page for that CD. Clicking on the refresh button on the page yields another random sampling of CD covers.

That's exactly something I've been considering, a browse-by-album-cover section. That way I don't interfere with the current text pages that many people like, because they're very tight and concise, and the option is there for a more graphical viewing.

The reason I haven't done it, is because I'm not sure what to do on the genre pages where there are many artists. I could make a separate page for each letter of the alphabet, or an arbitrary grouping (ie: A-G H-M N-Z) onto a few pages. Or, I could make a REALLY long page, just like what's at Rock http://magnatune.com/genres/rock/ but it'd be 3x longer because the graphics take up a lot of space.

John Buckman

It's a good idea, but I think it takes too much space and doesn't seem to belong to the page yet. You should work a little further on the design before adding it.

That's what I ended up doing. Shannon is working on a home page redesign, and it'll be coming quite soon (within a few weeks) so I decided to wait and not make this "live" until we figure out how to better integrate covers and other ideas into the home page.

-john

Lucas

I also like the additional color a lot.

About finding space to let the art breathe, here is a trick to create screen real estate: show fewer albums per page (e.g. three instead of ten) but rotate the albums selected on each showing so that they're not always the same. You could do this by picking 3 random numbers between 1 and 10, then showing the albums that correspond to them.

Ryan Sawhill

TOTALLY off-topic:
I'm probably pretty dumb to think you might not have already seen this John, but I guess I'm gonna post it anyway. (Figured this was the easiest way to reach ya.)
http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5810

HumbleOpinion

Shouldn't there be a link to the Magnatune music site on your blog in prominant large type somewhere? (If I missed it, please disregard.)

John Buckman

TOTALLY off-topic: I'm probably pretty dumb to think you might not have already seen this John, but I guess I'm gonna post it anyway. (Figured this was the easiest way to reach ya.) http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5810

I like their visual identity, it's very nice!

I think their slogan of "FairPlay Music Label" is somewhat unfortunate, given that FairPlay is the fairly notorious DRM system that iTunes uses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay

The complaints that "we did not copy Magnatune" are a little odd, given that the licensing section is a complete copy, down to every question and category, of our licensing sections. Lots of sections at BeatPick are word-for-word identical, such as the lofi/hifi/license/buy links next to each album.

But that's fine, as he says, we're pro-open-source, and they're welcome to make new things inspired by Magnatune and I wish them success.

-john

Ryan Sawhill

I wasn't gonna talk about it here, but yeah, the fairplay thing is pretty bizarre. Also, I've still got their site open as a tab .. been meaning to check out their selection more, but I find that I'm just never interested--site navigation just gives me a yucky feeling. *shrugs*

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