Wednesday, January 05, 2005

User experience

Let's brainstorm user experience some...

The community interaction aspect of the system points towards a web based interface. But the iTunes like seamless interaction would probably require a thick client for the desktop.

Perhaps a combination of the two... a thick client that manages your downloaded music and schedules new downloads....

ooohhhhhh.... maybe the desktop client could be a podcast tool. oh oh oh, I like that idea. Part of the service could be to subscribe to "podcasts" of recommended music. Every night your desktop app automatically downloads the latest songs that are recommended for you.

With all the podcasting hubub, I'm actually a little concerned about making that idea public... but oh well.

Ok, so let's describe the user experience for that.

You browse around the site, and download some songs you think you'll like (based on comments and reviews). You like some of the songs, and add them to your personal genre. After enough time you've built up a big enough list of rated music that the system can begin guessing at your tastes.

At this point you install the desktop app that watches the service for songs to downloaded based on recommendations.

If Adam Curry has taught us anything though, it's that podcasts use a ton of bandwidth. Perhaps the thick client can use an implementation of bittorrent to distribute the files.

This actually ties into keeping subscribers around. Imagine if after rating enough netflix movies, extra movies just ended up in your mailbox because netflix thought you would like it. And if you don't, then you can just send it back, at no extra cost to you.

1 comment:

Fred Owen said...

I did some brainstorming about the user's experience related to music. Here are some "requirements":

I want a pair of small devices that fit directly into my ears that provide high-quality sound, but still allow ambient sound through. I want to be able to turn them on and off, or pause them with just a touch. I want them to be disposable and therefore cheap (about $1.00) to replace. I want them to be simple transducers, not storage devices. I want them to work anywhere in the world.

I want them to be smart enough to know (pretty much) what I want to listen to when I switch them on. For example, if I turn them on between 5:00 and 6:30 am they should know that I am starting my morning workout and they should play 45 minutes of high energy music followed by 10 minutes of calming music for the cool-down phase. If I turn them on during work hours (on work days) they should play music that would be appropriate for work, and perhaps intersperse appropriate business news content. If I turn them on after 10:00 pm they would provide music to go to sleep; it would play for 25 minutes, and get progressively quieter.

I would not choose the specific music that shows up, but it would be tailored to my liking. I could skip a track easily. They would "learn" what I like and dislike based on what I listen to and what I skip.

I could choose to pay for this service either as used, or on a monthly subscription service. I would currently prefer to pay as I use it.

I would like to be able to access more information about what I have heard and what I have skipped and then be more involved in the selection process if I want to go to the trouble. If I want to, I can go as far as I want to in researching or interacting with the artist, producer, other listeners with similar interests or whatever.

Where do I sign up?