imeem: Not Ready For Prime Time

imeem logoDo you like usability issues and short-sighted business models? Then I have a site for you: imeem. The site's tagline is "what's on your playlist?" My answer: hard to say, since your upload feature is broken, my playlist is hard to find, and the streaming seems to only work dependably in IE. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I've been looking for a tool to use to stream tracks on this blog. I found a flash-based one that was pretty cool, but ugly and a bit clunky. Plus, it only handles one track at a time. So I turned to imeem, which has been getting some positive press of late for striking deals with Sony, EMI, and Warner for streaming rights to their artists (the companies share in a portion of the site's ad revenue based on which tracks you stream). Read all about it here.

It's supposed to work like this: 1) You upload a track to imeem. 2) Using Snocap, which imeem acquired not too long ago, the site checks the "audio fingerprint" of your track, and makes sure it's on the approved artist list. 3) The track is now added to your profile, and shareable/streamable by everyone. Awesome.

Here's how it worked for me: 1) I tried to use their "upload multiple tracks" feature about 5 times. 2) It kept stopping in the middle of the upload for some reason. 3) When I finally got my tracks on there, I could only play them in IE. Not awesome at all. In addition to tech problems, the process of creating a playlist (ostensibly the purpose for the whole site) is painful. You have to find your song, click on the song's page (can't add to a playlist from the search results for some reason), have the song auto-start, click the playlist button, then choose the playlist to which you want to add the song. Oh, and good luck finding your playlist once you've made it. It's buried in your profile somewhere, and you will be thwarted at all attempts to get to it in fewer than 4 clicks.

I think my least favorite part of the whole experience was when I turned to their forums for help with my issues. A ton of people have had the problems I described. So what do they do? Fix those problems? Ha! Sure, and then they handed out free lollipops and walked my dog for me. No, instead of solving their tech issues, the good people at imeem post responses to the forums (always under the same user name) peppering the poor besotted user with a metric shit-tonne of stupid first-tier tech support questions (always the same questions) designed to make the user think they probably did something wrong by trying to use the site on a PC via a web browser. Yes, it happens on every computer I use. Yes, it happens when I connect from a different IP address. Yes, your fucking site is fucking broken regardless of whether or not it rained last night. Just fix your shit!

Sorry. It's been a long week. Next up: I try to embed an imeem playlist in a post! Stay tuned for hilarity.

Anyone have any other experiences with this site?

UPDATE, 2/24/08, 5:50 PM: An anonymous commenter claiming to work at imeem (I say "claiming" only because this person is anonymous so I can't say for sure, but I have no reason not to believe him or her) just told me about a new playlist creation feature over at imeem. Review to follow! I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I would really love to have found the tool I can use from now on to post playlists to this blog. I know both of my readers are waiting with baited breath.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey jordan -- i work for imeem. sorry to hear you've been having issues with the site.

we just launched a new playlist creation feature that makes the process much easier -- check it out at http://www.imeem.com/createmusicplaylist

we'd be interested in hearing what you think.