A mobile phone friendly version of the Magnatune web site is now available.
It is known to work with iPhone, Android and Blackberry. This is the only way for users of Android and Blackberry phones to access the member-only features. iPhone users can our our iPhone app, or use this new Magnatune mobile site.
This mobile interface might work on other phones models (Symbian? Windows Mobile 7?). If it does work for you on another phone model, please leave a comment.
To get to Mobile Magnatune, you can either go directly to http://magnatune.com/mobile/ or visit the Magnatune home page, which will auto-detect your iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry phone and place a message at the top, inviting you to instead visit the mobile site. Here is what the Magnatune home page now looks like from an iPhone:
The reason I have it display a message at the top of the page, is so that you have the option of using the graphics-heavy normal web site if you want to.
On the home page of Magnatune Mobile, you can choose to listen to music by genre, artist or album. If you're a member you can also choose to log in and get a advertising-free version of all the same offerings:
In addition, all our podcasts are also available here, seen here on the Android:
When you play an album, the artwork, artist and album name are displayed above a controller (shown here on a blackberry):
and here is what it looks like on an iPhone:
One slight oddity: each platform seems have a different concept of when to "stop the music". Here is what I've found:
- iPhone/iPad: music keeps playing when you leave a page. However, when you go to play another piece of music the controller shows a "pause" button on the current page (instead of a "play" button) and when you click the "pause" button, the existing music (currently playing in the background) stops and the foreground music starts. This seems like the best implementation of any mobile phone so far.
- Android: In my tests, only Android versions 2.3.1 and greater work correctly. Earlier versions of Android appear to lack support for web-based audio. Also, music keeps playing when you leave the page, and if you play another album, both play at the same time (background and foreground music). Therefore, on Android, you should hit "pause" on an album if you want it to stop playing, it will not auto-stop (until you exit the browswer).
- Blackberry: I wasn't able to play another album or pause the current one once I'd started playing one. This was on my Blackberry 9800. This looks like a bug, and may already be fixed on newer models.
Update on March 4th
I've been able to get the Magnatune Mobile web site to work now with older Android versions, specifically v1.6, v2.1, v2.2, v2.3.1, v2.3.3.
There now a message at the bottom of the screen which says "no sound? click here", which then is a direct URL to the mp3 file itself. This workaround seems to work on most everything.
Here is what it now looks like on Android 1.6:
after you "click here" a new window will open with a dedicated audio player which looks like this.
When you close the audio player, you're taken back to the previous page, so this alternative method works out quite well.
Note that these screens and this additional step are only required on older mobile phones. Current iPhone and Android phones support the "audio player on a page" and look perfect.
Posted by John Buckman on February 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Permalink
Looks great, I like it!
Another data point - the mobile website works fine with google chrome 8 on the desktop, but chrome (probably because it shares the render engine with android) has the same oddity with foreground and background music playing.
Doesn't work on my android 2.1 phone though (as you noted above) :-(
Posted by: Nick Craig-Wood at Feb 18, 2011 5:03:34 AM
Excellent work....I've been waiting for something like this for a while, thanks!
Posted by: Joe at Feb 20, 2011 1:51:24 PM
Am not able to get albums to play although they show up on my Android, just nothing in the control bar.
Posted by: myrn at Mar 1, 2011 11:59:54 AM
Thanks for the dedicated mobile version - I find it preferable to the iPhone app (as a member I was rather annoyed by the prompts to buy albums on iTunes).
I'm also happy because this is exactly what I asked for - a mobile version of the main site.
Posted by: Jonathan at Mar 29, 2011 10:44:54 AM
It kind of works with my Samsung Wave 533 with bada 1.1 OS. There is no slider but the music plays nonetheless. There's just no way to control it.
Posted by: Susan at Apr 28, 2011 2:34:10 PM
John, Mobile version works great with my 1s gen iPad. I've installed hi-fi digital audio dock for iPad/iPhone and enjoy hi quality sound playback all day.
Posted by: Shigeo Honda at May 27, 2011 4:40:42 AM
Thanks I checked it doesn't work on my android 2.1 phone. Any thoughts
Posted by: M H at May 28, 2011 5:31:00 AM
re: I checked it doesn't work on my android 2.1 phone. Any thoughts
Yes: in my blog entry, I wrote:
- Android: In my tests, only Android versions 2.3.1 and greater work correctly. Earlier versions of Android appear to lack support for web-based audio. Also, music keeps playing when you leave the page, and if you play another album, both play at the same time (background and foreground music). Therefore, on Android, you should hit "pause" on an album if you want it to stop playing, it will not auto-stop (until you exit the browser).
Posted by: John Buckman at May 28, 2011 5:42:50 AM
What would also be good would be to be able to listen to individual songs instead of just whole albums on the mobile site. If it's too much work to split up the songs, you could just simply set currentTime (since you are using the audio tag) to skip to that part of the album.
Posted by: Kevin Whitaker at Jul 13, 2011 6:03:07 AM
John, you can do better:
* Your "audio" tag only has one source, the MP3 format. Firefox Mobile does not currently play the MP3 format, but it plays Ogg. You already have all the content in multiple formats, and it should be an easy update to advertise multiple source types as shown here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/primers/html/article.php/3920991/HTML5-Primer-How-To-Use-the-Audio-Tag.htm Using that method, Firefox mobile should be easily supported on Android 2.2.
* Opera Mobile detects and uses the player fine on Android 2. It's a much better experience than the "click to play" workaround. Simply let people know that it works in Opera, instead of saying that they need Android 2.3 or higher, which many phones will never be upgraded to.
Posted by: Mark Stosberg at Jan 23, 2012 6:58:46 PM