One of my more popular music apps in the last few years has been the Music Maze. Since I pushed it on on the web this last December, the maze has hosted about a million unique visitors. It has received lots of great feedback, like:
Since the Music Maze has received so much love, we thought we give it a bit of buffing and polishing. I’ve just pushed out a new version of the Music Maze with a bunch of nifty features:
A new domain – MusicMaze.fm – no more static.echonest.com/Hard/To/Remember/Url.html. Now the MusicMaze has an easy to remember name.
A professional design – we had a real designer work on the app. It no longer has the ‘made in a weekend’ look to it.
Full stream support with Rdio – the Music Maze now plays music from Rdio (the nifty new social music service). If you are a subscriber to Rdio, (even a free trial subscriber), you can listen to full songs in the new Music Maze. If you are not a subscriber, you get 30 second samples. Working with the Rdio player was a breeze. It was easy to embed and it gives you lots of information about the tracks, making it easy to create a rich listening experience. Note that one downside of this full stream support is that since Rdio is currently a US only music service. The Music Maze won’t play in non-US locales.
Maze Radio – now that the Music Maze can support playing full tracks, it makes a good music player. You can find an area in the maze that contains music you like, check the ‘Maze Radio’ box, and you’ll get a continuous playlist of music as you automatically wander through the maze. If you don’t like what you are hearing, you can click on the maze to direct the player toward music that you like. It is like Pandora radio except that you have more control over where you go next. Maybe I should call it Theseus to keep the Greek Mythology in music apps meme alive.
Social Media Sharing – with the new Music Maze you can create paths through the maze and share these paths via Twitter and Facebook. When you share a path, the path is built step wise in the app, with a nifty animation.
History – if you get lost in the maze, you can delve into your history to get your bearings.
Other bits – I’ve made the app a bit more friendly. For instance, it no longer plays music on page load, gives you some audio controls like mute, pause and next. Instead of starting with Weezer all the time, picks the last artist you visited, or a current hot artist as your starting point. I also keep tracks of how often a particular artist has been visited so you can see when you are the first person to find a particular artist in the maze. So far over 21K unique artists have been found in the Music Maze.
I’d love to get feedback on the new design, so feel free to comment here about what you like and don’t like about the upgrade.