There are some fairly significant and exciting changes in the new build of Yahoo! Media Player.
The changes that users will notice the most have to do with visible behaviors.
The player is now minimized when first loaded rather than half-open. This prevents it from taking up space in the page when it is not needed.
Our goal is to empower the page, not overpower it. A smaller footprint helps the media and text mesh seamlessly.
The player doesn't flicker while you're scrolling anymore. Previously, if you were using any browser besides IE7, scrolling the page would cause the player to fade out and fade back in when you stopped scrolling. Now the player hovers in place while you scroll without fading in and out.
Search doesn't interrupt
The player contains a link to search on text related to the current track. This link used to open in the current window, which would interrupt playback. Interrupting playback was a bad surprise for many people. This link now opens in a new window.
There is a brand spanking new home page.
This page isn't intended to have any dynamic features. It's purpose is to draw new people into understanding the important points and to give them a smooth experience when trying out the player for the first time.
Play this page
You can now use almost any document on the web as a
playlist by linking to that document and adding
class="playthispage"to the link. We scrape the
document to find media links and pull those links back into
the current page. There will be a play button next to the
class="playthispage" link, and the remote media links will be
added to the current playlist.
"Play this page" can handle many different document
types. It can find enclosures in an RSS or Atom feed. It can
read all common internet playlist formats, including XSPF,
ASX, M3U, and PLS. It can read HTML, so you can use one web
page as the playlist for another.
<a href="http://www.example.com/" class="playthispage">.
Things you can do with this feature:
- A podcaster can use their feed as a playlist for their web page without needing to create an additional playlist.
- A musician's web site can have a single master page for all of their music and use it as the playlist for any other page in the site.
- A developer could mash up audio sites with other sites. For example, you could put a Wikipedia entry about a composer together with Archive.org recordings related to that composer.
- An XSPF playlist with artist, album, title and other metadata could be imported into HTML, which lacks music metadata fields.
- A playlist creator could make their playlist accessible in third party web pages which ordinarily would be hampered by cross-site scripting restrictions.
We implemented this feature using a web service that we
host. That's interesting in that it shows the benefit of our
unusual architecture. Browser-based media players have
traditionally been pure Flash. Our player will use anything
CSS, semantic HTML, web services, and, yes, Flash, and having
access to our own web services made it possible to do this
The green disc in the minimized mode of the player was pulsing even when no audio is playing. The pulsing green disc is meant to let you know when the minimized player is playing audio. It now does that.
We fixed some display issues with error icons in Firefox when the player encountered a bad mp3 link. (But error messages are still in a messy state overall).
Fixed a bug where the play button was not playing the right song. You could reproduce this bug by clicking a play button on the page, then clicking pause, then clicking a play button for a different song on the page. Rather than playing that different song, the player would restart the song that was paused.
The core team for this rev:
and William Khoe.
Thanks to Mike D and Dave W for much of the text of this post, and kudos to wwhite for the scraper web service.