Monday, September 18, 2006

finetune development news

Hey there! Okay so now the world is learning about the existence of the finetune beta. We started development on finetune in February 2006, started a closed beta with friends and family in April... and we quietly opened the doors on July 1st. Since then we've been furiously working to improve scalability, make better use of the playlist data, and modernize our flash player. (thanks Teknision, your work is wonderful... we're glad to have you)

Last weekend (September 9th and 10th) we did our first public promotion of the service at collegefest 2006 in Boston. We learned alot... primarily if your booth is between apple (more on this later) and the playboy lounge then you'd better be pretty fast at grabbing people to check it out... and even then you have around 15 seconds before they wander off to get a free t-shirt or energy drink at a nearby booth. The real promotion came by surprise on Monday morning at 9am.

Somehow it just became time for the techno savvy of the blogosphere to write about us. Three articles we're posted that weekend to and by monday morning we hit the front page. Now this was the exact test that I use to drive my team. "Let's not explode if we get dugg." So how did we do? I give us a B+. The service was pretty unusable from 9:30 until 11:30 because our o-so-clever caching system was deadlocked. So the very tool we built to insure our uptime bit us on the arse. We bypassed it for certain types of content, flattened the home page and by 11:30 we were easily handling the digg traffic... unfortunately some damage had been done but we handled the peak load like champs.

Now the blog player... the blog player was to be released on that fateful Monday... but we were too busy firefighting to test the new release and get it pushed.... so we got dugg 1 day before our hot new player hit the service. No looking back on that ... it's up there now and starting to decorate blogs and myspace pages. You can see my own myspace page here (I use it for testing this player and that's pretty much it).

This week (September 18th et al) we'll close the gap between our on-site player and our "portable" player... Look for that late Monday or Tuesday. We've got a bunch of things still on our punch-list... not least of all would be continued refinement of the site UI. We're a tiny team and our goals are huge... so we make surgical changes, see how they work out and then gradually apply them across the site. Keep checking back... I'll be talking about our features for Fall 2006 soon... need more coffee.


mcmost1 said...

this is an awesome tool.

i am a big fan and follower of pandora , though theirs is more a virtual radio station based on the analysis it does of like-music, yours allows a network community to form (which they have no interest in) and create playlists of individual songs and bring us back to the days of recording with our tape decks mixes for friends or the car, parties or whatever.

as you mentioned that there are more items on your punch list may i simply suggest you have a wiki or area on your blog to have feature requests listed and the hots for each item - and then you can comment on the feasibility of such items based on the amt of programming and or desire on your team's part.

if i am to throw in two cents, it would be great if the player offered me a couple of things...
1) an autoplay option for when i embed it on my blog or myspace page
2) the ability for bands to upload their tracks to you - not sure about the rights involved in this but if it is the band itself uploading their content to you - which of course you would want to first verify and check the files for viruses and confirmation that the files are indeed their tunes (ok maybe you simply want people to mail you cds) and you look into the DRM of it).

again - awesome tool/love the album flip and tiny links back to the artist/album and finetune user.

mykel said...

Hey Mike - The autoplay is part of this most recent build. To enable autoplay add the parameter autoplay=true to the URL after your playlist id like so:"

We'll be adding a way to enable that without editing the code sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Like others I too am a former Pandora subscriber who now promotes you guys every chance that I can.You guys do an excellent excellent job!!!!

Anonymous said...

As a novice on the computer, I am unable to find out how to click on favorite songs or albums. Could you give some hints to beginners? I love the music you have provided so far, but i want to build playlists. Thanks.

Cornelius said...

Wow.. I just found finetune and I think its amazing. Good build.
I do think that you might consider making it a bit wider. Squares are
Maybe the ability to custom size in html...

Nice job though guys .. GUI is great..

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Richard said...

hey, i added the autoplay feature as instructed and it still does not play. Per your example,"

I have tried several ways since there appears to be two links within my embedded code. Please help.

Anonymous said...

Now the player always autoplays?

Using even without &autoplay=true makes the player autoplay everytime the page gets loaded. Thats annoying. I had to remove the player from my site as I was getting complaints.

Bella said...

As of this month, March 2009, I am unable to embed any of my playlists on any blogsite. Why?