- Andrew Kos
- Bill Burlein
- Bryan Williams
- Christian Vozar
- Jeff Brown
- John Kraus
- Joseph Mak
- Josh Durbin
- Mark Daugherty
- Matt Van Bergen
- Melissa Geoffrion
- Michael Kang
- Michael Chan
- Michael Hodgdon
- Mike Motherway
- Molly McDaniel
- Nadia Maciulis
- Pat McLoughlin
- Paul Michelotti
- Puru Hemnani
- Rohit Srinath
- Ryan Lunka
- Tom Kelly
Music Explorer FX 2.0: Now with Real Music
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The latest version of Music Explorer FX is now available. It boasts some significant changes, most notably access to full-length, licensed audio tracks.
A significant limitation of previous versions of MEFX was the lack of access to licensed audio. Since most music is not freely available, MEFX would have to offer up whatever free content it could find on the internet. So if you brought up Lynyrd Skynyrd, for example, you were likely to come up with five remixes of someone sampling Freebird, when really all you wanted is the studio version of Sweet Home Alabama.
Thanks to a new content provider program between the Echo Nest, and Play.me (a music content provider) this problem is a thing of the past. MEFX can now offer up full-length audio.
By default, MEFX will play 30 second preview clips of any given artist. If you sign in with your play.me account though, you get access to the full-length versions (the sign in button is in the upper right part of the application).
If you don’t have a play.me account, you can register (for free) via MEFX — only an email address is required. A free account nets five hours per week of full-length audio. If you feel like paying money you can get an unlimited amount of audio streaming (a bit of a disclaimer here: I’m told that Play.me is U.S. only…for now).
Beyond access to licensed content, this new version also introduces the Playlist, found in the lower left corner of the application.
Instead of being limited to only playing audio from the artist in the middle as previous versions were, you can now add any artist to the playlist, and continue browsing. This keeps the music playing while you browse around the artist space.
Click the “+” button below the artist to add it to the back of the playlist. If you see something that you want to play immediately, then click the “>” button instead.
Once in the playlist, you can hover over an artist to modify their position in the list.
Since MEFX is now pulling from a real catalog of audio data, the number of tracks per artist has grown significantly (over 20 tracks in some cases). In order to better manage this, you can click on the artist’s image to “flip it over” and view the available tracks. From here you can click on an individual track to include or remove it from the playlist. Here’s a screenshot showing the track list mid-flip.
A New Look
MEFX 2.0 sports a new look — most notably this is reflected in the “shelf” component at the bottom, where most of the goodies reside.
In addition to the playlist, described above, the artist history resides here on the shelf as well on the right side.
Everything You Want to Know About an Artist
Videos, News, Bios, Reviews, Blog entries — all sorts of aggregated information about the artist is available to you. Just click on the “i” (“info”) button below the artist.
Click the “images” button under the artist to view the image gallery (as with the older versions).
But Wait, There’s More…
Don’t forget the “shelf popup” in the lower right corner (click the “up arrow” to bring it up).
This extra control panel allows to to tweet your musical journey (as before), adjust the popularity of artist recommendations via the “Fame” knob, and toggle Auto-Play.
Auto-Play will enable MEFX to randomly pick artists and fill the playlist for you. This “auto pilot” mode is great for parties when you want to keep the music going without user intervention and also want something interesting happening on the screen.
I’m excited about this new version of MEFX. I feel that it has crossed over from “interesting experiment” to “useful application”. Please check it out, and let me know what you think.
Check out the main site for more information about MEFX.
Oh, and be sure to check out MEFX 2.0′s mention in a recent Billboard article.
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