A little bit of bling

- posted by Sudara on October 04, 2008 - 2 comments -

Samo and I worked hard this week to clean up the rough visual edges of alonetone (that were added in a hurry by yours truly).

We are undecided about the menu at the top. On one hand I’m very happy that we’ve got a direct link to the radio and new users have a direct link to the FAQ. On the other hand, it’s getting pretty busy up there!

I hope you guys like the changes, and keep making your great music and posting it here. We’re closing in on 3000 tracks by 300 musicians. Good numbers! Numbers are not the most important thing, of course, but it warms me to visit alonetone always knowing that there will be new tracks by my favorite musicians. Listening to the new music while I work is an inspiration to keep things running smoothly.

Also, it’s official - we’ll be moving alonetone to the excellent infrastructure of Engine Yard, where I work during the day. I’m very excited about this opportunity and what it means for the future.

fuzzfilth

fuzzfilth said

Everything fine and dandy there. Only one thing - the Halp-joke is getting a bit long in the tooth. Label it FAQ and you're there. Thank you for all the work and this nice place.

tim mcfate

tim mcfate said

is there a way to directly email other alonetone artists?
tim

More statistics for your tracks

- posted by Sudara on September 08, 2008 - 5 comments -

If you’ve been with alonetone for a bit, you might appreciate this update.

track stats

Go to ‘tracks’ for your account:

tracks

As long as you have at least 2 tracks uploaded you should see some basic statistics about your tracks - which are most favorited, most listened to this week, most commented on, most listened to overall, etc.

OOOH, also, I made it possible for you to put your ‘latest music’ on a website or blog. When you are logged in, you’ll see the code (also under ‘tracks’) that you can copy and paste to get something like this:

Whenever you upload a track to alonetone, this player will automatically update - you don’t need to do a thing to keep your tracks current on your myspace, blog, or website.

Sudara

Sudara said

Fixed a small bug that was...ahem...listing the tracks upside down. You should be good to go, check your "Tracks" page for some fun stats.

Mud Octave

Mud Octave said

very nice!! really like the new features great stuff i really like what you're doing with the site!! great job!

kavin.

kavin. said

Love the player embed! Always glad to be an example, too. Thanks!

josephgvincent

josephgvincent said

I appreciate this site and hope to share all my songs with you. Thanks for listening!..jgv

No pic small

Guest said

i

Try searching!

- posted by Sudara on September 07, 2008 - 1 comments -

I just pushed a few visual changes today, including a much nicer welcome screen to new users (alonetoners, you can log out to see it).

In this update I made the search box more prominent, easier to use.

alonetone has a pretty awesome search, but it didn’t see much use before today.

The search field was hidden behind a button, and you would have to click ‘search’ before being able to type your query in. It just wasn’t working. According to our analytics, less than 1% of people would ever search for something when visiting us.

So, try searching next time you are looking for something on alonetone.

Search for an artist, song name, or even a keyword like DJ or Guitar or even (shudder) Pop

kavin.

kavin. said

Having fun with the search function. Typed in "blues" and I got a whole batch of cool tunes!

how to get more listens

- posted by Sudara on September 01, 2008 - 4 comments -

There is not a shortcut or magic wand that gets your music listened to more often. There are, however, a few secrets.

alonetone is no-bullshit. There’s no promises or answers being handed out. alonetone is alonetone, completely severed from any industry and business. It’s just us chickens here. It’s being run by someone like you. Most of us are totally obscure musicians - real life people who love to make and listen to music.

There are some things you can do to get listened to more often on alonetone. There are some tricks that separate the folks who get listened to often and folks who upload tracks that become a bit more buried.

The DOs

  • DO enter a track title and track description after you upload a tune. A little bit of personality goes a long way. It shows that you care. You don’t have to describe the music. You don’t have to do anything, actually. But it helps. Don’t be the dude with “mfu-09384.mp3” as a song name.

  • DO listen to other music on alonetone. alonetone is built so that people see your face when you listen to their songs. They see your face when you comment on their tracks. They will get curious and come check you out. It is a give and take.

  • DO make comments on people’s music if you like it. Be interested. Be interesting. Take time for people.

  • DO Upload an interesting picture that will be used to identify you around the site. Also, change your ‘display name’ away from your login. Don’t be the dude with “xeyte0348” as the artist name advertised all over alonetone.

  • DO participate. When you upload tracks and come back, your tracks will be buried. They will have anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours of sitting dead center on the alonetone home page. After time they become harder to find. Even if you are not a talkative guy like me, just showing up helps people find you: for example on the main ‘users’ page. Look, there you are, easily found!

The DO NOTs:

Actually, there are not many!

  • Don’t try too hard. Joining in is enough, no reason to over-promote your stuff, it will only hurt you.

  • Stop obsessing over your listen count, desiring more listeners, or thinking that you should be famous by now. If you think this way, grow up. You are hurting yourself. Reaching out to other people like yourself gives you 1000% times more the satisfaction, confidence, happiness and exposure then getting grumpy about being a nobody. Be a nobody WITH us. That is the exact point of alonetone. It is the root of the name and the root of its existence: Let’s be alone, together ;)

  • Don’t think that some of your music isn’t good enough or ‘worthy’ of alonetone. Give us the goods. It is a failure when you hold back thinking its not good enough or not ready yet. You will never find a more open audience then exists here. This is it. We’re all people, and 99% of the time we’d love to listen to what you got, no matter your opinion of it. That, my friend, is a very rare thing.

So yeah - Have fun! Carve out some room for the music of others and they will carve out some room for you. Take a risk and listen to something new. Stop coming to alonetone to check your home page for listens, and start reaching out to the other musicians. Watch as they become not only fans, but friends and people that inspire you and are inspired by you.

The end (also posted on the forums).

No pic small

Guest said

Cool Baby!!!

No pic small

Guest said

good work, su

kavin.

kavin. said

Well put. I strive for obscurity and have so far been a great success!

Lalo Oceja

Lalo Oceja said

I agree!

Making alonetone even easier to use

- posted by Sudara on August 30, 2008 - 1 comments -

Hi folks!

I’ve been cleaning up the alonetone design a bit with the goal of making things easier to find, easier to use, and just more fun.

I would like to attack a few of you guys for some guerrilla usability testing. This would involve scheduling a time (you have to have a mac) and connecting our computers so that I can watch you use alonetone. I will ask you to perform certain tasks and then watch and listen to you interact with the site. Tests like this help alonetone be as obvious and pleasurable to use as possible.

If anyone has big glaring things about alonetone that either:

  1. take too long to do
  2. are just plain annoying
  3. seem broken or really confusing

please reply to this. I have a good list going, you can’t offend me, and all opinions are very much appreciated!

Thanks!

drakonis

drakonis said

One thing I got terribly confused about was the SEARCH button at the top... actually, the search button was obvious... but what was NOT obvious was where to put the search words. The text box to the left of the button was (1) already filled with text "artist, song title or keyword", and (2) was in a color/font that made it look like the other non-editable text labels... it did NOT look like an input field to me. Can this be an EMPTY box, perhaps with a tooltip/help bubble floating over it if your mouse hovers over it? This would be a much more obvious UI field then.

-Eduard