Songza

13 Nov 2007 - 8:29pm
6 years ago
12 replies
7958 reads
Dave Malouf
2005

Aza Raskin (invited speaker to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah), just
posted a new application which show cases many of the interface
theories that he and his company, Humanized, have been talking about
and he will talk about at the conference
(http://interaction08.ixda.org/).

The new application is called "Songza" and is search, play, and share
for music. It seems to search for content in the public domain like on
YouTube and grab the audio stream from it. The interface is all custom
made and seems top notch in its rigor towards simplicity and some core
ideas that the folks at Humanized have been exploring.

Here's the URL: http://www.songza.com/

There are some interesting comments on the blog at Humanized @
http://humanized.com/weblog/

Discuss!

-- dave

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

Comments

13 Nov 2007 - 10:34pm
.pauric
2006

wow, I'm simply blown away by the UI. Very distinctive controls,
layout & flow.

I expect we might see more niche search engines also differentiate
with novel/innovative UI designs.
e.g. http://www.kayak.com/moby/ (not a lot going on with style, but
the interaction thinking is good)

Thanks for the link David, I feel like a kid in a candy store.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22547

13 Nov 2007 - 10:51pm
Juan Ruiz
2007

I just checked the link, the design is very simplistic, and in my point
of view, it is very effective.

It fails on delivering good search results though, it picks up popular
songs and artists, but for non-so-popular songs, it returns results that
are not quite close. (i.e. Spanish songs).

A lot of emphasis was put on the UI, but not too much emphasis on the
search algorithm. Hmm... compromises, compromises...

-Juan

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
David Malouf
Sent: Wednesday, 14 November 2007 12:29 PM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Songza

Aza Raskin (invited speaker to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah), just
posted a new application which show cases many of the interface
theories that he and his company, Humanized, have been talking about
and he will talk about at the conference
(http://interaction08.ixda.org/).

The new application is called "Songza" and is search, play, and share
for music. It seems to search for content in the public domain like on
YouTube and grab the audio stream from it. The interface is all custom
made and seems top notch in its rigor towards simplicity and some core
ideas that the folks at Humanized have been exploring.

Here's the URL: http://www.songza.com/

There are some interesting comments on the blog at Humanized @
http://humanized.com/weblog/

Discuss!

-- dave

14 Nov 2007 - 12:18pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> e.g. http://www.kayak.com/moby/ (not a lot going on with style, but
> the interaction thinking is good)
>

I wholeheartedly disagree. You can't do anything with the information once
you get it - nothing is clickable. Don't people normally search for flight
info so they can buy a plane ticket?

What should be the most useful thing about the app is non-existent.

-r-

14 Nov 2007 - 12:27pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

Best things about the design:

1) Radial menus! I love radial menus. I soooo wish they were more common,
especially with monitor sizes constantly increasing.

2) Single-screen search-and-play interaction. Very nice!

Biggest issues:

1) You have to click Search. This shouldn't be necessary.
Auto-complete/auto-filtering would have been really great in this context.

2) When an item is identified as a "Music video", the video does not play -
only the audio plays. You have to choose "Share > Watch on YouTube" to
access the video. Very misleading.

3) The Discography and Buy buttons link to Google searches, but not all of
them have results. They could have checked for results and then removed the
buttons if they didn't apply.

-r-

14 Nov 2007 - 12:43pm
.pauric
2006

Robert: "I wholeheartedly disagree. You can't do anything with the
information once you get it - nothing is clickable. Don't people
normally search for flight info so they can buy a plane ticket?"

Context. Why would you click to buy from your phone? You call
a number. Understanding the context of the mobile interaction is
what
I really liked about the kayak moby design.

regards - pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22547

14 Nov 2007 - 12:51pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Context. Why would you click to buy from your phone? You call
> a number. Understanding the context of the mobile interaction is
> what I really liked about the kayak moby design.
>

(I guess we're repeating the conversation we just had offlist. :)

Because I own an iPhone and the typing experience is good enough that I
don't need to call a number. :) Same would likely be true for Treo and
Blackberry owners.

I've purchased domains through my iPhone while standing on a street corner.
Why not a plane ticket? Even with slow data connections, it's usually faster
than navigating a VR system to get a real person on the phone at an airline.

-r-

14 Nov 2007 - 1:15pm
.pauric
2006

I see some fundamental differences between the leisurely street corner
purchase and the more stressful environment of missing a flight,
hauling backage around a city/airport scenario that I'm picturing when
I think of why someone would use a phone over a PC to book flights. I
think they also nailed it when they removed date selection, returning
results for the context.

Anyway, we could banter this back and forth all day. My original
point is that these niche search services can differentiate by
understanding the context of use. Thats not to say the big guys cant
do the same - but then they face something of a branding/identity
problem that needs to be solved

thanks for the interesting debate Robert, apologies for the fractured
response, I didnt reply all from my mail client previously,

regards -pauric

14 Nov 2007 - 2:33pm
ldebett
2004

AHA! Fitts' Law at its finest! :-) Great stuff. Definitely one of those
things where you go "DOH! Of COURSE!". Love that they could pull it off in a
web app.

So, I typed in "Metallica" and got a relatively short list of songs (yes, my
favorite band of all time). I then noticed the one thing missing from the
returned list was the album name. The songs I got back weren't either sorted
by album or had the album name in them. Hmmm... so is the song I'm clicking
on from the original album or from a remake? Live or studio?

~Lisa

14 Nov 2007 - 3:00pm
Ari
2006

it's a cool, clean interface no question. however, i had questions about how
they handle large data sets being returned. there are several common
practices and patterns for this but i haven't seen how they implement them.
songs and music-related content by their nature can encompass massive
amounts of data.

On 11/14/07, Lisa deBettencourt <ldebett at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> AHA! Fitts' Law at its finest! :-) Great stuff. Definitely one of those
> things where you go "DOH! Of COURSE!". Love that they could pull it off in
> a
> web app.
>
> So, I typed in "Metallica" and got a relatively short list of songs (yes,
> my
> favorite band of all time). I then noticed the one thing missing from the
> returned list was the album name. The songs I got back weren't either
> sorted
> by album or had the album name in them. Hmmm... so is the song I'm
> clicking
> on from the original album or from a remake? Live or studio?
>
> ~Lisa
> ________________________________________________________________
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> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
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--------------------------------------------------
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--------------------------------------------------

14 Nov 2007 - 3:23pm
.pauric
2006

Lisa: "Hmmm... so is the song I'm clicking on from the original
album or from a remake? Live or studio?"

I would imagine that they are circumventing any potential copyright
infringement by simply being a search engine for existing sources of
content. I'll guess they're pulling the audio of flash video files
on gootube and the likes. Thats why you're going to see spotty
results.

Note that Pandora, which has its own library, will not allow you to
play a specific song due to its license.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=22547

7 Dec 2007 - 9:17am
Alvin Woon
2007

In general I don't think Aza did anything wrong with the UI and
interaction aspect of things, well except for the 'click for
search' issue.

On related note, after using songza and seeqpod for a while, I found
myself preferring the fact that the player is above the play
list(seeqpod), rather than below(songza).

Maybe it's the 90's Winamp player that set such expectation in
design pattern? or maybe it's just me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=22547

7 Dec 2007 - 10:37am
Mark Schraad
2006

The strongest take away for me (from Songza) is the relationship between the data structure and search engine, and how elegant the front end can be. So often we (as interaction designers) spend an enormous amount of time trying to simplify the front end for the user, wen much could be done on the back en to help that effort.

Mark

On Friday, December 07, 2007, at 10:28AM, "Alvin Woon" <alvinwoon at gmail.com> wrote:
>In general I don't think Aza did anything wrong with the UI and
>interaction aspect of things, well except for the 'click for
>search' issue.
>
>On related note, after using songza and seeqpod for a while, I found
>myself preferring the fact that the player is above the play
>list(seeqpod), rather than below(songza).
>
>Maybe it's the 90's Winamp player that set such expectation in
>design pattern? or maybe it's just me.
>
>

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