surveying goose-influenced players

The user interface of the new Lala music player on Fred Wilson’s A VC blog is a close copy of the UI from Yahoo Media Player. Some of the goslings:

Lala:
Lala player

Streampad:
Streampad player

The Sixty One:
 player

(That player at TheSixtyOne used to be an exact copy of the UI, but they’ve tweaked it since then. See comments below).

The original YMP/Goose player:
 Yahoo Media Player


Some innovations that these developers have brought to the genre —

TheSixtyOne moved the player from the bottom of the viewport to the top, and merged it with global site navigation. The move to the top left gives it the single most important real estate on their site, which in fact makes good sense for a site that is about music. Merging with global nav is a more efficient use of limited screen real estate.

TheSixtyOne also made it so that no clicks within their site ever interrupt playback, which they do by having the entire site be one giant AJAX page. I remember having a conversation with Ian Rogers about exactly that method a few years ago, early in the development process. It’s fantastic to see it happen in the real world.

Streampad opens out to a much bigger size when you open the playlist tray, and that allows them to do a lot more functionality. Given how little space there is to work with in the actual player bar, creating real estate to fit new features in is important.

Lala added viral spread tools:
Lala share tab in player

They also added the ability to add a song to a playlist right from the player. Both of their features are long overdue for this family of music player, and I doubt it will be long before they get copied into the other branches of the family.


The wide adoption of the style innovated in Yahoo Media Player means a generational change in browser music playback. This style incorporates the two players that put play buttons into the document flow — Delicious PlayTagger (by Dan Kantor, author of the Streampad player), and 1pixelout — and extends them with a master playlist and many other features. This style supercedes the first generation — XSPF Musicplayer and JW player. (Given that both of the leading 1st generation players used XSPF, I also claim credit for leading roles in both the first and third generations).

PlayTagger:

1pixelout:

XSPF Musicplayer:

JW player: