The second iteration of our browser-based player is coming out in beta today. Here's how it works:
- Link to MP3s in your web page. These can be anywhere on the web.
- Working play buttons appear next to MP3s.
The first iteration of this project, which we released last summer, enabled playback of 30-second samples and tracks from our own music subscription service on the Yahoo! Music web site. It was our own media and our own site. What's new is supporting third party media on third party web pages.
The documentation and community home for the project is a public wiki at Wikia. Why use a wiki for documentation? Because documentation and community are two sides of the same coin, and wikis integrate them. Why go outside of Yahoo for such an important part of our project? The goal is to make the developer community healthier by making it truly independent.
Some things that are interesting about the player:
- The API is fairly rich. You can set the image we use for album art. You can control the playlist sequence. You can tell us the song title. You can operate in strict mode or quirks mode. To learn more, see How To Link on the wiki.
- We're creating a new generation of playlist technology by turning the page into a playlist. Our player knits all the songs in the page together so that they play one after the other. The result is continuous play within the hosting web page.
- This is different from a badge in that we don't provide the content. It doesn't make sense for these to always be tied together.
- It's different from a normal library in that users don't need to install their own copy. This makes it easier for users to adopt, and it allows us to do ongoing maintenance at web speed.
- If you fool around with the player you'll find that you can click through to a Yahoo! search on the song title. This is a simple and unintrusive way to for us to monetize the traffic, and it keeps our business goals aligned with user needs because the search has to be adding value if we want people to use it.
Our design principle is: we eat the complexity so that you don't have to. There's no reason for a user to have to think about syntax for embedding an object. Plain vanilla links to media are all you should need. So I'd say to TechCrunch that we're up to something small and simple.