Music without interruption. November 30, 2007 6:27 AM   Subscribe

MusicFilter: a possible solution for the flash player problems at MetaFilter Music.

This page just got posted to the front page of Metafilter. Checking it out I discovered that it uses some sort of flash player and if you choose a song and continue browsing the rest of the site, the song continues playing uninterrupted. If you let it running, it will keep playing the songs in the order that they were posted (I actually have it playing in the background from another tab as I'm writing this).

Since some people have mentioned that the reason they don't visit Music that much is that the player we have stops if it's not in the main window, this could be a solution. So mathowie, pb, what do you say? Would it be possible to use something similar to this?
posted by micayetoca to Feature Requests at 6:27 AM (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

This would solve the one end of the problem being, when you navigate off a page- poof- music's over. I find that I'll use the front-page players, and go to click over to a detail thread when I like a song, and then the music stops. Duh.

However, this doesn't address the long-standing flash music bug/feature where if a flash player isn't visible, its audio cuts out. This is the problem I think most people are complaining about
posted by potch at 6:53 AM on November 30, 2007

I thought it solved both of those, Why do you say it doesn't solve the second, potch?
posted by micayetoca at 6:55 AM on November 30, 2007

I wasn't aware music had such a problem. I generally just open songs I want to listen to in tabs, and keep surfing in my main tab.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:28 AM on November 30, 2007

as potch says, we need a fix for this first: bug/feature where if a flash player isn't visible, its audio cuts out.
posted by Black_Umbrella at 7:30 AM on November 30, 2007

bug/feature where if a flash player isn't visible, its audio cuts out.

Linked player solves this problem for me. (Firefox
posted by event at 7:35 AM on November 30, 2007

Black_umbrella, did you use the flash player in that other site? It kept playing for me even when it wasn't visible, and I tried the one in MefiMusic before posting this and it cut out, as usual.
posted by micayetoca at 7:36 AM on November 30, 2007

What micayetoca said. The flash player visibility issue is very much app- and version-dependent. In fact, the most recent version of the player we use on the site doesn't exhibit the same behavior, I don't think; on the other hand, the whole API seems to have changed between versions, so updating it would be a real pain.

The music player handling on that site is really slick indeed. If we could pull something like that off, I'd love it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 AM on November 30, 2007

Thanks for this; I'm off to work, but as someone still having this problem, I'm delighted there may be a fix. I'll check it out later tonight.
posted by mediareport at 7:46 AM on November 30, 2007

If we could pull something like that off, I'd love it.
posted by cortex

I'd be jumping up and down. Even if it only provided the chance to check the details of other songs while still listening to the same one you were already listening. I hope this is doable.
posted by micayetoca at 7:57 AM on November 30, 2007

My workaround so far is to listen in IE in the background and browse in Firefox. So I'd love a structural solution, yeah.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:58 AM on November 30, 2007

What are you guys using for a browser that causes this? I just use plain firefox 1.5 win32 and have never had a problem with the sound stopping when the player is not visible.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:12 AM on November 30, 2007

I used to get that problem (see no player, hear no player) but that hasn't been an issue for me in ages. I never have the player visible/in the current tab in Firefox.

(Running FF in WinXPsp2)
posted by blue_beetle at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2007

Rhomboid, does that include cases where you're playing off the main Music index rather than a thread-view player? Because it makes a difference, is how psychotic this bug is.

And it seems to affect firefox but not IE; I've seen the problem in FF1.5 and FF2.x
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:20 AM on November 30, 2007

Im using Firefox/, but this has been happening since Music launched, so I've been using the different updates from the last year and a half or so.

But it happens to a bunch of people with different browsers (see this previous Metatalk thread, for examples) and every time it's been discussed the conclusion seems to be that it's a random bug with no apparent solution. That's why implementing something like what they do on that page seemed like a good idea to me.
posted by micayetoca at 8:22 AM on November 30, 2007

psychotic is a better word to describe it, yeah.
posted by micayetoca at 8:23 AM on November 30, 2007

It happens to me sometimes and not other times. It's great when it doesn't happen, but then it sucks to get used to that and have it happen because then I spend 10 minutes scrolling up (play) scroll down (stop) scroll up (play) scroll down (play!) - yes! Then 25 seconds later I flip back to re-read the comments, and when I flip away, it stops.

Then back to the scroll up/scroll down game. So yeah, I'd love that other player, if that's possible. I'm running FF2.0.0.9
posted by cashman at 8:26 AM on November 30, 2007

Are they actually changing the pages, or AJAXing their way into seamless playback? If it's all asynchronous, I think that sort of thing is going to be a pipe dream around here.

I can't help but laugh sometimes at the absurd lengths people will go to to avoid using frames. Think about it. Put the player. In a frame. You say that, though , and people whip into this "Oh noes my too point oes!" frenzy. So burn me for heresy.

That said, I'd love to get in on the ground floor of a way to mimic some of this behavior on Music, even if that entails me being up to my earlobes in ActionScript (seriously, let me know)
posted by potch at 8:36 AM on November 30, 2007

Well I'll be damned, it does do it on the index... I always use RSS so never see that page.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:52 AM on November 30, 2007

Can I take this opportunity to tell you mefimusicions out there how much i enjoy listening to your music? I love logging on and finding a couple/few new songs every day that I know are going to be both eclectic and good.

More on subject: I too listen in RSS and have never had the don't-see-it-don't-hear-it problem. Instead I get fresh music delivered to my inbox daily. Which I love.
posted by mosessis at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2007

I've had the same on/off issue previously, but haven't had a problem since FF2.0.0.9.

It has only been when I've been on the actual song page that I've had a the music stop when flipping to a new tab. From the front page of music it has always played seamlessly.
posted by langeNU at 11:35 AM on November 30, 2007

say, cortex, you being the one guy in this thread that has a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes, you think this has a chance of materializing?
posted by micayetoca at 3:09 PM on November 30, 2007

Well, I'm all for it. I've got no clue about the ease/cost of implementing it, though, hopefuly as I am. I do know that if we're going to rework how the music player works, it's gonna take a lot of tweaks in several places, so Matt and pb probably aren't going to be inclined to go half-measures; so it's probably do it right or don't do anything with it.

I'll poke 'em with the Music stick and see if we can't figure out some ideas for this. I have no idea what'll happen in the short term, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:17 PM on November 30, 2007

Thx for the response. Yeah, I imagine it might be complicated, though it is great to know that we have someone rooting for it in the higher spheres.
posted by micayetoca at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2007

Must be an IE thing.
The player works great in Safari. Music in one tab, surf the web in other tabs. Even open a new window or app and the music keeps playing.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:35 AM on December 1, 2007

Another vote for something along the lines of the OP's proposal. I don't use the music section as much as I'd ideally like, and I suspect usability is part of the reason.
posted by nthdegx at 2:40 PM on December 1, 2007

Must be an IE thing.

Would it kill you to read the thread you're posting in? It is very clearly not an IE thing, since many of the posters (myself included) have this problem in Firefox. Furthermore, a few people have noted that they don't have the problem in IE.

I would love it if we could fix this. Not being able to listen to music from the Main music page makes it a lot harder to just go through and pick stuff at random to listen to.
posted by !Jim at 1:48 PM on December 2, 2007

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