We have a new stable public release of the Yahoo! Media Player.
There is now a "Buy" button on the player. The feature includes support for the Amazon affiliate program, so that publishers can earn money when somebody clicks through and makes a purchase. There is an article on our wiki about the button and affiliate program.
There is a new "Find in page" button to help you associate a track with the place in the page that it came from. There is an article on Yahoo! Developer Network about this.
There is now a prominent link to the web site hosting the track. (We had a link before, but it was hard to find). This link uses the same space as metadata for an album title. The reasoning is that album and site are analogous, and since we rarely have metadata for both they can share the same real estate. Credit to Douglas Kim for this insight.
There is a link back to our home page titled "Get this player." It solves a few problems. The home page explains what the player is for users who are just encountering it for the first time. The home page has links to our wiki and our mailing list, so it gives people a path towards solving problems and meeting the community. And of course the link helps people who are trying to figure out how to add the player to their own pages.
We made the player work better in Greasemonkey by fixing a bug which is rarely seen outside of Greasemonkey: when the player is inserted within an iframe and the iframe is too small for the player, the display used to be badly mangled. The player will now detect if it has enough room to display the player UI upon loading. If there is enough we display normally. If there is not enough room, the inline play buttons are inserted into the page but the media player UI will not appear. The user is only able to control playback using the play/pause buttons on the page. The player will still advance automatically from song to song.
We won't put two play buttons for the same track right next to each other anymore, to accomodate this common design pattern:
<a href="example.mp3"><img src="playbutton.png" alt="play" /></a>
Any tracks whose URL contains file:// (including when this is a relative path) will not be used. Otherwise Flash throws a security error.
We fixed some ugliness when there isn't enough space for track metadata. When metadata is too long to fit, we used to just truncate it. Now we put ellipses at the end to indicate that we cut it off. Mousing over the text should display a tool tip with the full text.
To improve performance, CSS files and image files were consolidated. To consolidate images we're now using image sprites more aggressively.
If the track title had quotes in it, clicking used to take the user to an empty search page. No longer.
When the album title is blank in IE 6and 7 in Window XP and Vista, we don't display a blank tooltip any more.
We also fixed one of the bugs keeping Opera and Linux from working, but fixing that bug revealed another, so we're still not there.
Needless to say, there are other bug fixes too small for this document.
hodrodscott's Greasemonkey script which
Adds Yahoo player to any page it finds with links to mp3s has been updated with a lot of small improvements. This also benefits from the iframe fix described above, because the Greasemonkey script inserts the player into many small spaces that don't have room for it, and there was carnage onscreen as a result.
Max Engel's WordPress plugin which
Embeds the Yahoo! Media Player music plugin into your site to play back mp3 links went through a couple of revs and is looking good. It now has a control to switch back and forth between the stable public build and the bleeding edge developer build.
We have now completed the first milestone. It took three releases with about a month of development time apiece for the first major version to be reliable and powerful enough to call it complete. We did a first release that was clearly a beta, gathered reactions and made major adjustments in the second release about a month later, and then did a third release (this one) emphasizing fit and finish work.
Next up we're going to focus on a couple of projects that we can't deliver in small increments. We'll keep doing bug fixes in the current version, and we have a couple new features that are close to done and will ship shortly. Aside from those, though, we'll be in stealth mode for a little while.