A couple of months ago we launched a widgetized version of Radio Tuna (see the right-hand sidebar). Our aim was to try to squeeze as many features from the main site as we could in to a small widget-sized space, and from a functionality point of view it worked out fine. It’s been embedded on a fair few websites and blogs (thanks, if you’re reading this), but we at Tuna Towers decided there were a few issues with the first release that we weren’t totally happy with:
- It doesn’t look like a music player, so it’s not clear to uninitiated users what will happen if they interact with it.
- It’s complicated. Lots of text in a small space + no room for explanations = brain ache. Without more context, it’s hard to understand.
- The color scheme. Despite what we’d like to believe, black and shocking pink isn’t for everyone.
So, we quite literally went back to the drawing board/pad, and set out to make something totally new.
Firstly, the look: we needed something that was clearly a music player, with big controls and a simple interface. Secondly, the complexity: it needed to be much simpler – fewer features (no searching, bookmarking, tweeting etc) and a quicker route to the music. Lastly, the color scheme: it needed to be flexible so it could be embedded anywhere and not look out of place.
On top of these requirements for the player, we also wanted the set-up process to be as easy as possible – a simple 3-step process with a live preview of the player as changes are made to it.
With these requirements to guide our decision-making, we chewed over the UI and bounced lots of files back and forth to our wonderful designer in Barcelona until we were happy with it.
Then Chris, our lead developer, got busy with the gnarly Flash and CSS necessary to bring it to life. After many long days (and some nights) of hardcore coding, at long last it’s ready – our new, simple, configurable flash radio player:
free online radio As you can see, it looks like a player, and if you play with it you’ll find it behaves very much like one too. And what’s more, it can be skinned to match pretty much any color scheme you like, with (currently) 3 sizes to choose from – here’s a pink one at 240px wide, for instance: free online radio
The configuration process for these players couldn’t be any easier – check it out for yourself.
We’ll be tweaking the player and releasing updates over the coming weeks, so if you’d like a player with a different width (currently 200px, 220px and 240px are available), or one with a different background image, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
Design your own radio player widget here.