Play.fm has been delivering DJ sets to your ears since 2004. We replaced the original website in early 2009 with a site that we hoped would be a great step into the future. But soon we recognised that it was a bit too complicated to use, had too many features and couldn’t scale with increasing traffic. That was the time when we decided to do a complete rebuild and prepare the ground for more adventures in online music discovery.
But why launch a new audio platform in times when there are already plenty of other big companies offering streaming platforms? The answer is simple: As technology geeks and music enthusiasts we are deeply convinced that we are still at the beginning of how technology can influence the way we discover music and other audio content — as well as the way we can present music and how it lets us interact with each other. And we are not alone in thinking that other platforms neither have found the best form of presenting content, nor have they reached the maximum potential of audience. And they also haven’t been able to address all the needs of everyone interested in music and audio. We at Play.fm see that there’s still a lot of room for innovation and improvement.
The new Play.fm won’t be perfect initially and will be far from being the final result of our vision — but it´s a solid foundation to let new ideas grow. We see Play.fm as a long term project, and we’ll take the time we need to turn our vision into a great platform. We´ll be traveling in a loop between trial and error and hopefully learn fast to build great features that help you discover new music and dive into new worlds, online as well as offline.
So, what does all this really mean for the first release of the new platform?
- We keep the focus on DJ mixes and podcasts.
- The interface is much slicker, and pages load a lot faster.
- An integrated audio player always stays at the bottom of your browser and keeps playing while you browse through the site. It´s HTML5 (no flash anymore), so it also works on mobile devices (iOS, Android). The same is true for the new widget.
- Once you are logged in, the newsfeed is your new homepage. It keeps you informed about new uploads, playlists, likes and listens of the people you follow.
- It only takes 45 seconds to publish a mix (60 minutes, mp3, 128kbit). Uploading is free as it always was, and you´ll get unlimited storage.
- City pages let you discover local DJs, labels, clubs and promoters and show you the latest and the most popular mixes recorded in the area. We think that there are sufficient platforms presenting DJs like Tiesto or David Guetta. Instead, we focus on those truly creative local players around the world that we strive to bring to the surface. That´s what the new Play.fm is all about.
For users of the old platform:
- The old website will be closed down, soon.
Starting Monday, Feb 2, 2015, logging in and uploading will be deactivated on the old site (but you will still be able to browse the site and listen.) Then, all data is transferred, taking approximately 2-3 days. On Thursday, Feb 5, 2015, the new site should be ready for use and the old one will be turned off.
- All data is transferred to the new platform
This means that you will be able to log in with your existing account, find any audio you have uploaded since 2004 and still see all of your followers and the pages you started following. Even old links to profiles and mixes will be redirected to new profiles and mixes.
- There´s only one layout for all user profiles on the new site
We dumped the differences in the profile layouts of listeners, DJs, clubs, radio shows, etc. You will still be able to show what type of user you are but the appearance is the same for all. So, if you had a listener profile and a DJ profile both with the same name, we tried to merge them into one profile. If you still find two profiles on the new site send us a short note, and we´ll merge them for you.
- Certain sections are not transferred to the new site:
Shop, events calendar, radio show calendar, and charts. Let´s hold a minute´s silence here in commemoration of these awesome tools. Thank you. One or the other will be re-born as a beautiful butterfly, we certainly believe.
- Old widgets cannot be continued and need to be replaced with the new widget
Unfortunately, it was not possible to automatically replace the old widgets with the new ones. You will need to remove the old ones and generate and embed the new code manually. The good news is that the new widget is much nicer and coded in HTML5, so it works without flash and therefore on mobile devices, as well. In case you have hundreds of widgets on your site, we may find a way to help you with generating the code for the new widgets, see contact details below.
- Current mobile apps will not be replaced by new versions immediately
As we were quite busy with building the new website and we try to do things step by step, the current mobile apps will stay as they are for some time. This means that they will not show any new uploads from the new site, but only deliver the mixes of the old site. Please be patient while we build new fancy apps.
What we have planned for the near future:
- more widgets, more customisation
- search for cities, for mixes, and for tracks within tracklists
- play all mixes of a playlist and continuous play
- responsive website layout
- mobile apps
- time-stamp tracklists, import pre-written tracklists
- statistics about who listened from where and for how long
- and a lot more things we will announce a bit later, so stay tuned for more news on this blog!
For any questions or comments on the new site you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We´d love to hear your feedback and hope you´ll like the new site!
Thanks to everyone supporting this project! Without you this new release would not be possible. Special thanks go to Vienna Business Agency for funding the development costs in part.
BTW, in case you are an upcoming coding genius or a digital music geek and would like do your internship at Play.fm in Vienna, we´ll be happy to receive your application at email@example.com with a nice motivation letter and CV. An existing work permission for the EU is a requirement.