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.