Old 3rd March 2006, 20:28   #1
CraigF
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FAQ: Online Services


1. So be honest, why the new listings?

2. Ok, so I get the point. But why Internet Explorer?

3. Fine. But isn't Internet Explorer insecure?

4. I saw something about ActiveX, what gives?

5. So its a website?

6. What further improvements can I expect to see?

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So be honest, why the new listings?

We wanted to offer you guys more. Every minute of every day we get hit hard serving millions of people the world over with free media; It's quite the burden.

When we aren't making our system administrators quake in fear we like to spend time thinking up new ways to bring the best performing artists, live shows and advertisements (just kidding!) to our users.

Sadly, this became too much for our precious resources to handle, and we had to put a limit on the numbers. People cried out, and we listened (ref1 | ref2).

What you have now is access to our entire back catalog; All the content we've collected over the years; Everything we had to hand, we are serving it up to you. Ask and you shall receive.

We realise it will take time to adjust. It's a new system, its not yet reached maturity. But that just means you can make recommendations, we listen to every single comment.

_________________________________________________________________________


Ok, so I get the point. But why Internet Explorer?

Good question. It's quite an easy answer. It's the only thing that works.

We had the following criteria:

1) Must already be installed on the users machine.
2) Must be able to perform AJAX operations.
3) Must be embeddable within Winamp.

Firefox and Opera? Neither of those match all cases.

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Fine. But isn't Internet Explorer insecure?

Looking back, it doesn't have the best track record.
But lets get to the crucial thing here, you are only viewing content which we have chosen to occupy your media library. Or, for the tinkerers amongst you, any sites you added yourself via the config file.

Internet Explorer has had known bugs in it. In all cases these bugs have been exploited with malicious content.

Does that sound like something we are going to send to you?

_________________________________________________________________________


I saw something about ActiveX, what gives?

You're right, we do use ActiveX, once.

We make use of Microsofts XML parser to convert our data into what you see on screen. This isn't unique. Almost all AJAX powered websites do exactly the same.

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So its a website?

Yes, it's a website.

We did it this way because it allows us to tweak things here at winamp.com without pushing new versions of Winamp onto you with little changes. We can also change the user interface to best fit the content at hand.

We also wanted to jump on the web 2.0 bandwagon. We hear its the new bubble and want to cash in; Party like its 1999!

_________________________________________________________________________
Further Resources
Not happy with 5.2 Online Services? Read this first!
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Old 25th April 2006, 12:27   #2
CraigF
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Shoutcast Listings

If you have been linked to this thread, its because you complained about the new online services.

So, I would like to share with you my idea.

Since so many people seem to have some amazing technical insight, and Winamp has an extensive plugin architecture, here is what you should do.

Write a ml plugin, as a windows datagrid control, populated by the same webservice as the online services uses. online services is calling web based scripts, and obviously, as the avid developers and keen technical gurus that you are, you should have no problems capturing, analysing, and including these calls in your plugin.

This would obviously end up with an exact replication of the old plugin, but would be rpc'd in the same method as the ajax page.

The benefits are clear:

1) It would use the same scripts as the current system, so would create the same load as the current system. Hopefully AOL wont mind.

2) It would be a windows control. People would no longer complain that IE doesnt work on their system after they have crippled it.

3) It would have the benefit of having access to all the streams out there, rather than the top 500 (old default), top 1k (old max), or top 30 (current old default/max).

So there you go, there is your solution.

Not up to it? Guess you have no complaint.

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