Our January release is out! This time instead of the major visual overhaul we performed in December we've opted for tweaks and performance enhancements.
Easy Access Favorite Artists List
This feature has actually been in the player since the last release. Those of you who have embedded players have undoubtedly seen that your favorite artists are now listed vertically in the player when "Artist Radio" is selected. Think of it like an old FM radio frequency selector... but instead of 97.3FM... your sliding the dial over to "Radiohead"
Want to hear some other artist? There's a form to enter a search there too. So players hosted offsite were having all the fun... we tweaked the configuration of the onsite player to do the same thing. Now you have a shortcut to your favorites. For those users who haven't declared their artist loyalties... well we'll just show you a list of the current most popular artists.
This is the view of my artists verses what an unregistered user would see.
In much the same way, we've put links to your playlists into the onsite player. Just like the offsite player you can click on "User Profile" and get to your playlists.
That's my profile... hey I can see my playlists!
Previews / Cross fades
Song previews will now fade out the current stream, fade in the preview, show you a little progress graphic, fade the preview out, and fade the stream back in. It's really just a little polish that makes sampling nicer. Also we've made a change to how our previews are produced so you should hear a more interesting sample of the song then just the first 30 seconds.
Pick The Best Player
Tony already has a great post about this feature ... The high level take away is that if your cruising the web on your Wii and you find some finetune embedded players, we'll give you the option to playback in the player we've specifically optimized for your current browsing platform. This becomes really important as more and more devices become browsing platforms... they all have different characteristics and we'd like the playback to always be the best it can be.
Caching Changes Make Finetune ....faster!!
We have had server side data caching as part of finetune since day one (private beta started March 31, 2006). Our caching system has been tuned, tweaked, matured, beaten, and cursed at every build since.
At a high level what it does is to keep people requesting the same stuff from over working our database(s). The Coldplay page I visit will be 95% the same as the Coldplay page that you visit. It makes sense not to ask the database for the stuff that will be the same. Also, Since more of you are going to be looking at the Coldplay page then the Leo Kottke page have the Coldplay stuff ready to go. We can't say with 100% certainty what data will be most important today so this cache needs to build up dynamically as people request stuff.
We've reached the point where we have simply outgrown parts of our own cache and now we've replaced big parts of it with a really cool open source system called memcache. Thank You Open Source... Memcache is awesome.