in-page nav for continuous playback #3

Continuous play is a tough one when embedding into another site. Other than pop-out, there really isn’t a good solution.

For music sites, it makes sense to use AJAX to not do a page refresh, but then you are just fighting the way browsers are meant to work and Google. Of course it can be done, but it is a lot of extra work to make sure the back button works on all browsers and make sure your content is still indexable and to make sure your url structure doesn’t get completely ridiculous for people passing around links.

It looks like HTML5 will solve some of the back button issues. Google is committed to indexing Flash but I haven’t heard anything about AJAX.

Making sure your content is indexable is an interesting issue to bring up. In-page navigation is hell on SEO, and for good reason: when a site uses Ajax to do in-page navigation it conceals its own structure from spiders.

The back button isn’t as hard to deal with. A standard library like Really Simple History should be able to handle the mess, though I realize that this is hand-waving…

BTW, Streampad has pushed the state of the art so far past Yahoo Media Player that I’m tempted to change players in my blog here. I’d miss a couple features, though:

  • Using the class=”htrack” attribute (on MP3 links) to switch the playlist into “strict” mode.
  • The ability to link to XSPF playlists. This lets you insert MP3s into the current page from a remote third-party host, meaning that third parties can write extensions.

Seeing Yahoo Media Player get stale bums me out, but it was inevitable. A bittersweet thing about engineering is that all products are superceded by newer and better ones. If you succeed then the products that follow will build on yours, and that’s the most you can ever hope for. The only lasting accomplishment is to insert ideas into the memepool.

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