Greg: “In fact, when Hype Machine relaunched with their current vc-funded site lo these many moons ago (fall ‘07)”
Taylor: We’ve never taken any funding, VC, angel or otherwise. It began out of Anthony’s dorm room and I joined him once the site was making enough to pay the bills.
Greg: “they had greatly de-emphasized the ability to listen to the music on their own site to the point of making it quite difficult”
Taylor: As the designer of the new layout I can tell you that this is not true (or at the very least if you think so, then I’ve failed miserably). We redesigned the layout to be more usable and understandable by new visitors. Our challenge (that still continues today) is to get new visitors who end up on our site via Google etc to understand what Hype Machine is about, why it’s unique and not just some MP3 search engine.
Greg: “and were focusing solely on the ability to read snippets of blog posts”
Taylor: I added the blog snippets to further promote our “music with context” goal. The beauty of The Hype Machine is that every song that ends up within our system is there because somebody LOVED it so much they posted it and wrote about it on their blog. We didn’t feel that the original version showcased that there was a blog entry (and music lover) behind each and every song, so we added the snippets.
Greg: “with listening left to clicking through to the original page. There was such an incredible outcry from their users that, to their credit, they rapidly retreated, restoring much of the listen-on-site functionality that had been the core of the previous Hype Machine”
Taylor: This is simply not true. We’ve never taken out the ability to listen to the music from within The Hype Machine. We removed the pop-up player (that used http://musicplayer.sourceforge.net/ ) because we really didn’t think it was needed after we added in-page playing (we strive for simplicity). The community outcries were because we underestimated how many people wanted to pop-up the player (instead of just listening to it in-page like we usually do). So we ended up designing a version that fit better with our new layout and launched it (which you can see near the top of the left column on the home page http://hypem.com ).
Lucas: Greg, man, I hope you don’t feel like you’re being called out for a flamewar. This wouldn’t be a fascinating conversation if we weren’t down in the details. The issue of a pop-up player vs an in-page player created a lot of emotion in the goose/YMP project too. For some reason it gets people on either side stirred up. For myself I’m a believer in in-page, because I don’t want the audio without the page to create context.