Tuesday, July 13, 2004

AMG Relaunch An Unarguable Success! 

Things that are awesome about the AMG website re-design:

Top Searches.
You can see exactly what other people are looking for: Top Artist Searches, Album Searches, and Sample Streams.

The fact that anyone can listen to samples.
Oh...so that's what music sounds like...

The Writers Bloc section, giving me intsant access to Jason Ankney's biography.
"In his off hours he continues to freelance for AMG, at least when not working on his pet project "Tigga Please," a proposed live-action adaptation of the classic Winnie the Pooh series starring rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard as Christopher Robin."

Slick graphics and an overall look that doesn't look like "The Dawn Of The Internet"
It's like a Commodore 65 or something!

The Artist Photo Browser
Maximizing my Dolly Parton watchin' pleasure a hundredfold.


Things that are a drag about the AMG website re-design:

The fact that it often tells me:
"We apologize for the temporary connection delay.
Please click the refresh button on your browser."

New servers are being added as we speak, still a drag.

It doesn't work well with non-Internet Explorer Browsers.
Sorry Netscape/Firefox/Mozilla fans, but rest assured: compaibility is going to be Job 2.

It is a performance eater.
Hopefully some of that will simmer down, but that flash "spider" is hungry!

The Word:
Responses to the major user feedback issues – suitable for forums, blogs, etc.

We’ve been on the net since 1995 providing a free music reference resource. We would hope that we’ve earned a little patience from our users as we work through the transition to the new site and some of the difficulties we’re experiencing. We’re a small company with small company resources. While we’re flattered by our users’ expectations, we are not Amazon or Yahoo! We’re a small company from Ann Arbor, MI, trying to provide a great resource for music fans.

We are experiencing some response time delays as we work to get all of our servers properly balanced. Additionally, we will be adding server capacity over the next week which will further improve response times. While this site is bigger and more complex than and will be somewhat slower than the old site, the difference once we get everything at peak form won't be very noticeable.

Optimizing a site of allmusic’s complexity and size for all browsers and operating systems is no small feat. This isn’t a simple “brochure-ware” site of static pages. While we would love to optimize the AMG sites for all browsers and all operating systems, we simply don’t have the necessary resources to do so. Despite some users flattering comparison of our site with that of Google, Amazon and Yahoo!, we are a small company with limited resources. So, we had to pick the most widely used browser by our users (over 87%) to optimize the site for and then work on compatibility issues with the other major browsers as we go forward.
We are first concentrating on fixing some compatibility issues with the Mozilla browsers, which are mainly visual, not functional. The main Mozilla problem is a glitch in how tables are displayed. We’re hoping to have this fixed in the near future. We will also be working to fix some compatibility problems with Safari (Mac).

We ask for your patience as we work on these issues.

The allmusic site remains totally FREE to our users and only requires registration for access to new Premium Content. If you are uncomfortable registering, we understand and invite you to continue to use the portion of the site (roughly equivalent to the former site) that does not require registration. But we would like to take a moment to explain why we have intrduced registration for Premium Content. The AMG websites are FREE sites that are marginally supported by only advertising and product sales. To attract advertisers and retailers, we need to provide them with basic demographic information of our users so they can determine if our site is a fit for their products. We provide this information only in the aggregate (i.e. 60% of our users are male) and never pass on any individual user information. Please read our privacy policy for more information. Without these advertisers and retailers, the AMG websites would be out of business. Registration is a common practice among free publishing sites such as the AMG sites (i.e. NY Times, LA Times, etc.) that fund their enterprise through advertising and product sales. AMG is in line with common Internet practices and, as a good Internet citizen, zealously protects the privacy of our users.

We realized when we designed the tab system that we would make some folks unhappy, but we felt the trade off was worth it. If we stuck to the one page approach it would limit our ability to add additional information. That design approach (one page) just doesn't scale as we expand content. And it's a real problem with artists with extensive discographies. We think that once folks take some more time on the site, they'll see that there is much more information available now than there was on the old site. The addition of the Songs and Credits tabs are both good examples of information that just wouldn’t be possible in a one page format.


Below says:

A funny different-yet-same perspective to share, from a good friend who works at White Castle corporate down in Columbus. He emailed me a posting forum link where someone complained about the new AMG site and I responded back about people not liking change. He replied:

Belieeeeeeeeve me I hear ya…….we just launched a new chicken sandwich (much less techie, but still) and even though sales went through the turrets, people still complained. Keep in mind the new sandwich is a whole breast of unprocessed chicken, while the old version was a perfect square of pure processed chicken meat. Who in their right mind would prefer the old one?? Well, apparently some people.

Data... tastes like chicken too.


Much like Martin Luther King, I had a dream
Lee and I were sharing the old office and he was painting the windows to look like the World Trade Center.
Michelle Vorase Biskner and Don Kline came around with clipboards looking for old CDs that had been on my desk.
I said I didn't have 'em, but Don found 'em under some papers and I felt really bad ('cause I didn't know I had 'em).
Michelle felt sorry for me and bought three CDs through the Alliance Order. Two Grateful Dead, one Fleetwood Mac.

Then Mark Deming was in a pair of shorts, and Jeremy Wheeler was repairing his knee with some sort of Star Trek-esque handheld wand.

I can't remember what happened after that, but I remember being touched that Michelle bought me three CDs,
even though they were from bands that I don't particularly like.


.:DataWhat:. will be funny again tomorrow, I promise.


Thanks Beth
Thanks David

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