Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

Got Search? Yes. Finally.

thismusicmakesmybodymoveOh man, we’re so happy to get this out. With over 1000 pages of mixtapes and almost 20,000 mixtapes made, our “just get it out and we’ll get back to it” page-based navigation never stood a chance.

Mike has completed a bunch of standard navigation features over the past few days that we’ve been sorely missing. The biggest addition is the ability to search for users, mix titles, artist names, and song titles.

For me, the search feature was immediately satisfying: within 5 minutes I had found almost a dozen new mixtapes to add to my favorites.

We’ve also added in a few other basic navigation features including page titles and breadcrumbs. The website is starting to work like a real site!

(image by Exploding Dog, thnx!)

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WordPress is fixed.

We really want to give a huge shout-out and thank you to the WordPress team for busting their patooties and getting this out. Even Mixwit uses WordPress, so now we can finally post mixtapes ourselves! Enjoy!

[mixwit_mixtape wid=”fd50e5aa51a0cba94815ff1a68e56923″ pid=”e2d6fed2d9069fe3c23ad57481bbc7da” width=”426″ height=”327″ center=”true”]

[Quick note: we’ve had tons of requests for embedding mixtapes into the sidebar. We’re working on it, but it will be a couple of weeks before it’ll be finished. I guess it’s a bit more complicated…]

Introducing WidgetFlow Menus (with Papervision3D)

New Widget MenuWe’re really excited to launch our new “WidgetFlow” menu for mixtapes. We’ve been working on this feature for over a month, so we’re omg-stoked that it’s finally available.

It’s best to think of this as sort of a mutant blend between old school cassettes and an iPod for your website. With the click of a button, your viewer can now find and play your new mixes and favorite mixes (up to 20 of each). The coolest part is this happens right in the widget – your viewer never leaves the page.

This is a first release, so there’s naturally going to be some bugs. We’ll be working on fixes all week, so please send us feedback if you run into any problems. Most bugs can be solved simply by refreshing the page.

For the Flash/tech fans, we essentially adopted an open-source Papervision3D-based menu by John Dyer called FlickrFlow and made a few modifications. Much thnx to John, Papervision, and the Flash community for continuing to produce and share such amazing resources.

As a side-note: the Mixwit site is going to go through a bunch of organization updates over the next few weeks. It’s difficult to discover mixtapes in the current version, so we’ll be rolling out search features right away. We’re also overhauling our URL and links for users and mixtapes and making those more humane. There’s a few more (huge) changes coming as well, but we can’t say what *those* are yet.

Favorites now available

favorites starWe’ve added favorites to let users easily find the stuff they like. It’s a good start, but it might be confusing since it’s not fully implemented as… say YouTube favorites.

Anyone will be able to see your favorites just like they can see your mixes. But you’ll have to be signed-in to add / remove favorites. This isn’t our grand conspiracy to hook-in users; it just takes more time to make this work a) without refreshing the page and b) when you’re not signed in. With this iteration, you can favorite a mix without interrupting the music. And with over 700 pages of live mixtapes, something useful was required *ASAP* 😉

On a side note, many people have asked about ratings and most popular type features. Our current goals flow down a slightly different path for now, so we’re going to be rolling out features based on favorites & fan/follow. There’s a few more coming soon that we’re pretty excited about… like, omg-level (to us). Hopefully you’ll like ’em too.

WordPress embed not solved, but some options

We were able to talk with WordPress this week about the embed problems everyone is having, and they offered us a few solutions that we thought we could share.

With the release of v2.5, WordPress has a new shortcuts program. We need a little time to implement this process. Once we get our side complete, it will also take WP a little bit of work on their end. I would expect that they’re trying to help a ton of services at the moment, so it may be a few days.

They also mentioned that they’re working with Gigya on a Flash embed solution, which would help a ton of services all at once. If Gigya’s embed is working before our shortcut is completed, we’ll make sure you can use it.

In the meantime, Vodpod has a Firefox extension to auto-post Flash content to your blog. The instructions say it’s for video, but it’s Flash video and may be just as easy to forward a Flash mixtape…

Update: We are now live on wordpress.com! We still need to do some integration on our side, but if you can’t wait, just email support [-at-] mixwit dot com, and we’ll let you know to do it.

Y Combinator – advice for applicants

In the chaos that followed our public beta launch, demo days, viral press, bug fixes, and rounds of interviews in the valley… we forgot that we could finally reveal we’re a YC start-up.

For those who aren’t familiar, Y Combinator is an advisory pre-seed project started by Paul Graham that funds and supports start-ups. YC does two sessions per year: summer in Boston and winter in Silicon Valley.

Our session was the largest to date with 21 start-ups. For the past 3 months we met once a week for a huge dinner and to take part in a presentation. The presenters offered the range of experience we’ll be facing, starting with previous YC start-ups and moving up into (very cool) industry leaders.

In the meantime, we worked. Non-stop. Every day. For 2 & 1/2 months build build build. The attitude was release early, update often. We drank the kool-aid. And two weeks ago we were able to present to over 100 investors in the valley and say “yeah, we make mixtapes!”

Crazy.

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April Fools

spiraldoggy.jpgSo, we had a little fun with April Fool’s Day and changed the gears to hypno-spirals. A few people were pretty shocked about the change and thought it might be permanent.

Fear not, the regular gears are back. If you play the widget, you’ll see them.

There is one thing we should mention. If you published your mixtape with the hypno-gears, your thumbnail will have hypno-gears, but they won’t appear in your actual mixtape. Now, if you go back to the editor and publish your mixtape again, your new thumbnail will have regular gears.

Make sense?

We really enjoyed the hypno-gears, so we might make them an option in the future. Hrmmm…..