Music Services & Band Names – A UI Nightmare?

Search for Beloved in iTunes

In this image, I’ve used different color outlines to differentiate between the 3 different artists using the name “Beloved”

Recently, as I’ve been using my Zune Pass more and more, I’ve discovered a bit of a quagmire when it comes to usability, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design. What should music services like Zune and iTunes do about bands/artists that use the same name? How do you differentiate between very different artists without making the UI and/or UX even less usable than it was before?

The Problem

For instance, if you open up iTunes or Zune and search for the band “Beloved”, you will find results from 3-4 completely different artists that all use that same name (Zune shows albums by 4 different artists; iTunes shows albums by 3 different artists using the artist name “Beloved (U.S.)” instead of just “Beloved”). As a UI/UX designer, how would you propose that these music services differentiate those artists?

Amazon Fail?

Today, Amazon unleashed a (fame) monster that it seems unable to control. For one day only, Amazon is selling the mp3 version of the new Lady Gaga album (all 14 songs, plus a PDF booklet) for $0.99. The sale seems to have taken the Web by storm, and it’s shown just how fragile Amazon’s download service could be.

What’s New With HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript?

Angry Birds Beta for ChromeAlthough we are still a ways away from being able to use HTML5 and CSS3 to their full potential, some really neat things are being done with them right now. In case you missed the news last week, a new, Web-based version of the wildly popular game Angry Birds was unveiled. For the most part, that application is built using HTML5 and JavaScript (relying heavily on the new <canvas> element and all of its power).

There was some minor controversy over the game, after it was discovered that it still requires Flash in order to play the game (to produce the sounds and music for the game rather than using HTML5 audio), but there are some potentially valid reasons for that.

Comments in HTML5

As we’ve discussed on this blog in the past, HTML5 introduces a lot of new elements that are intended specifically to imply semantic information. One of the elements being introduced is the <article> element.

For the most part, the <article> element is supposed to denote a block of information that can stand on its own (essentially, the main content of the page or post). When developing a blog template. The spec currently describes the <article> element with the following verbiage:

Adding Settings Fields to Your WordPress Plugin

When developing a plugin for WordPress, a lot of times you’ll want to create your own page of options within the administration area. To do so, you’ll usually use the add_options_page() or add_submenu_page() function to actually create the page; but then you’ll have to populate that page with the actual settings fields.

The first step in that process is to understand the add_settings_field() function. This function accepts 6 different parameters. They are as follows:

Using jQuery in your WordPress plugins

This evening on Twitter, @viper007Bond posted a quick tip about using jQuery in your WordPress plugins (also applicable to themes). His initial tweet was:

Using jQuery in your WordPress plugin? Make sure you’re using quotes in your selector strings!

Then, @dimensionmedia, @viper007Bond and I had the following brief conversation:

Developer Resources