3/3/08

imeem: Inching Towards Usability

I don't mean to hate on imeem. I really, really want to use it on my site and I want it to work. When an imeem employee posted to my comments telling me about a new playlist creation tool, I was excited. So excited, I decided to try it out. (Playlist itself coming in another post).

At first, I was really happy with the new playlist creation interface. Much simpler than having to go through all those clicks just to add a song to my playlist. I was stymied a bit by not being able to find the "new" button - but there it was, hiding at the bottom. Once I found it, things proceeded quite smoothly. I even uploaded files without a problem! Woohoo! And I love the "upload image" box for a song - not sure if that was there before, but it's a nice touch. (I do have to say that it's really annoying that the upload tool defaults to "upload a photo" - the site is about music playlists. The time I forgot to change that, my MP3 upload was lost forever, tagged as a photo somewhere on my account.)

Unfortunately, my uploads never made it into the "create a playlist" search box. I had to go to my newly uploaded file's page and add it from there. Boo. Not being able to easily get to my recently uploaded songs (from the create playlist page) became more and more annoying as I would upload a song in a new tab, come back to the original tab, click on "upload," click on "recent," click on my song, hastily hit "pause" since the autoplay option is always set to yes, then click "playlist," then select my playlist from the list. Not as much fun as the nice search feature they built.

(Had my songs shown up in the search results, I wouldn't have known they were mine - when searching for a song, I can't tell what's mine and what's somebody else's. Not a huge deal, but it would be cool to have that option.)

Still, the process wasn't too painful. Much better than last time. However, that feeling of joy was undercut by the fact that many people (myself included) still have troube playing the tracks - for some people it simply skips through each song one by one as though it was some problem with that track, but it will play tracks individually. For others, it will play tracks one at a time but will not advance through the playlist. For others, some tracks work and some don't. Close, but no cigar.

I didn't try to upload multiple files at once, so I don't know if the "hanging forever" issue is still an issue. I'll keep you posted. But overall, I think imeem's getting better. The playlists play for me on Firefox 2 at least 85% of the time.

PS I did see a really cool feature - I clicked onto the page for a Jukebox the Ghost song and saw this little "On Tour" badge, which took me to a page of tour dates for the band. That's hot.

4 comments:

Gina said...

You can easily access your uploaded music using the new imeem playlist manager. Under "My Playlists" is a section called "My Stuff." By clicking on this, you can access your uploaded music, favorites, media tracker and recommended tracks and drag and drop songs onto your playlist. Under "My Stuff" is another section called "My Friends" where you can access all your friends' playlists, uploaded music, favorites, media tracker and recommended. You can also make video playlists the same way: http://www.imeem.com/createvideoplaylist/

Let me know what you think!
Gina @ imeem (dot) come

Scott said...

Re: (I do have to say that it's really annoying that the upload tool defaults to "upload a photo" - the site is about music playlists. The time I forgot to change that, my MP3 upload was lost forever, tagged as a photo somewhere on my account.)

No your uploads were classified as bogus and rejected.

imeem is about social media, sure the music is very popular but imeem also has better video quality than most pure video sites and the imeem photo widget can more than hold its own.

Regardless, I'm trying to figure out your problems with new tracks not appearing and the best I can guess is that you've got the create playlist page open and are expecting newly added files to appear in there without the page refreshing. You need to upload the files, let them get ingested and added to your profile or groups and then head to the playlist creation tool.

Jordan Hirsch said...

@scott: Thanks for clarifying about the photo uploads. I did refresh the playlist page after uploading, but apparently I just didn't wait long enough. I tried again this morning and my new tracks are there (but I still can't tell from the search results which ones are mine and which ones belong to other people). I guess I'm learning that once an upload appears in my recent uploads, that's not the same as it being indexed by the whole imeem system - i.e. available in other areas. I just needed to give it more time.

@gina: It never occurred to me to click on "My Stuff" - but I just tried it this morning, and that is far more convenient than what I've been doing. Thanks for pointing that out!

Don't get me wrong - I really like the site and I think the playlist tool is great. I'm focussing on the little problems, but only because I plan to use it very often to embed tracks into my blog. Really my biggest concern with the site is the fact that I cannot get the playlists to work consistently once they're created. Any ideas on that front? Thanks for posting.

Gina said...

Those are unusual problems you are having. Shoot me an email, and we will troubleshoot. gina @ imeem.com