Seen the new AMG yet? Probably not unless you're using IE [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Seen the new AMG yet? Probably not unless you're using IE

07-13-2004, 04:38 PM
Since I have a new computer here I figured I might as well try a different browser, since I see this & that about this one & that one here & there. I downloaded Mozilla Firefox the other day & it does a few nifty things that seem so obvious that one wonders why they weren't written into IE. But then some of these things don't really occur to a lot of people, which was why advice like Jack70's to right-click on links to open them in new windows seemed so revelatory. They sure didn't occur to me. But since I spend a lot of time browsing, it's a no-brainer to go with a browser that's going to offer additional functionality, while being more stable. There are pluses to IE, but overall I think Firefox looks like a winner & I'm probably going to stick with it most of the time. One major benefit is that you can create a toolbar on the page that features one-click access to the sites you go to most often; another is that you don't need to open new windows simply to be looking at more than one site at one time. And another is that this site loads more rapidly in Firefox than in IE (not that that's saying all that much). I also downloaded functionality extensions that offer nifty little tricks, helpers, shortcuts, & gimmicks of the sort you'd think would be a part of any browser, yet unheard of by Msoft, apparently. But I don't want to advertise for this product, which is still a beta version. It's free & easy enough to find, download, and read up on. I know some people have engaged in some browser chat on this board, but I don't remember much about it, other than I seem to remember Dusty talking about using Opera.

One thing I'll need to keep IE for is the new AMG. It's a complete redesign, and while I guess people like glitz, I have to question why it was necessary. Especially since it only supports IE for Windows. No IE for Mac, no Mozilla, none of these other browsers. It took awhile, but I finally loaded it up in Firefox; but once I got to an artist page, I could not gain access to any of the individual album links.

I'm not sure if I find this more aggravating, or more perplexing. I don't mind the IE thing so much, but the redesign...I don't see the point. I suppose one fringe benefit is that they now offer some song samples. I don't know, I was used to them being an encyclopedia, not a jukebox...I've always felt it's better to be good at one thing than not so good at more than one thing. But that's me. I haven't spent enough time with it to speculate further on its functionality, at least on a quasi-professional basis. I will be doing that within a few days & I guess I'll add my comments. But for now it's just irritating.

I saw a thread on the Velvet Rope (I did mean to start this thread last night, but got a little busy arguing with someone who apparently doesn't know what a fake book is) where people were *****ing & moaning, heavy AMG users apparently, many of whom don't use IE at all. There were comments to the effect that most AMG users don't even use IE (actually, the phrase was something along the lines of 'people smart enough to not use IE'; these software adventurists are an uptight bunch, aren't they?), meaning that they've alienated their core users. To that I remind myself that it's a free resource, and I was saying awhile back that I don't understand why offer all this for free when they could probably add a pay tier. As I'm told IMDB did awhile back, and hell, Craig's List is going to be charging for job listings within a few weeks, too.

Anyway, when I have my first occasion to use it extensively I'll try to add more. But for now, it's a redesign similar to most of the ones I've seen Ebay go through over the past few years--in the sense that I don't see a tangible benefit for the user. What do y'all think?

07-13-2004, 05:38 PM
Here's what an AMG employee had to say earlier regarding some questions and concerns about the new setup, including the browser problem:

Oh, hello.
As an AMG Employee, I kinda wanted to throw my two cents in:
(and regarding our mysterious business deals with Microsoft, I can tell you they use our data for their Windows Media Player, but I can assure you they are not behind any plot to force the world to use IE...well, I guess I don't *really* know about that, but AMG is not involved in said ruling of the world).


We’ve been on the net since 1995 providing a free music reference resource. We would hope that we’ve earned a little patience from our users as we work through the transition to the new site and some of the difficulties we’re experiencing. We’re a small company with small company resources. While we’re flattered by our users’ expectations, we are not Amazon or Yahoo! We’re a small company from Ann Arbor, MI, trying to provide a great resource for music fans.


We are experiencing some response time delays as we work to get all of our servers properly balanced. Additionally, we will be adding server capacity over the next week which will further improve response times. While this site is bigger and more complex than and will be somewhat slower than the old site, the difference once we get everything at peak form won't be very noticeable.


Optimizing a site of allmusic’s complexity and size for all browsers and operating systems is no small feat. This isn’t a simple “brochure-ware” site of static pages. While we would love to optimize the AMG sites for all browsers and all operating systems, we simply don’t have the necessary resources to do so. Despite some users flattering comparison of our site with that of Google, Amazon and Yahoo!, we are a small company with limited resources. So, we had to pick the most widely used browser by our users (over 87%) to optimize the site for and then work on compatibility issues with the other major browsers as we go forward.

We are first concentrating on fixing some compatibility issues with the Mozilla browsers, which are mainly visual, not functional. The main Mozilla problem is a glitch in how tables are displayed. We’re hoping to have this fixed in the near future. We will also be working to fix some compatibility problems with Safari (Mac).

We ask for your patience as we work on these issues.


The allmusic site remains totally FREE to our users and only requires registration for access to new Premium Content. If you are uncomfortable registering, we understand and invite you to continue to use the portion of the site (roughly equivalent to the former site) that does not require registration. But we would like to take a moment to explain why we have introduced registration for Premium Content. The AMG websites are FREE sites that are marginally supported by only advertising and product sales. To attract advertisers and retailers, we need to provide them with basic demographic information of our users so they can determine if our site is a fit for their products. We provide this information only in the aggregate (i.e. 60% of our users are male, etc.) and never pass on any individual user information. Please read our privacy policy for more information. Without these advertisers and retailers, the AMG websites would be out of business. Registration is a common practice among free publishing sites such as the AMG sites (i.e. NY Times, LA Times, etc.) that fund their enterprise through advertising and product sales. AMG is in line with common Internet practices and, as a good Internet citizen, zealously protects the privacy of our users.


We realized when we designed the tab system that we would make some folks unhappy, but we felt the trade off was worth it. If we stuck to the one page approach it would limit our ability to add additional information. That design approach (one page) just doesn't scale as we expand content. And it's a real problem with artists with extensive discographies. We think that once folks take some more time on the site, they'll see that there is much more information available now than there was on the old site. The addition of the Songs and Credits tabs are both good examples of information that just wouldn’t be possible in a one page format.

07-13-2004, 05:57 PM
I didn't have that much of a problem with the fact that it got slower, because I expected that. And there was probably an awful lot more traffic over the past couple of days. I did register, I have no problem with that, they're a lot less intrusive with the information they ask than some other sites. I'm not sure why the tone of what they're saying is as defensive as it is. Sure, people are complaining, and loudly, but people ALWAYS complain. AMG is free & anyone who forgets that should automatically have to pay to use it. I'm trying to look at this from a common-sense pov & I just don't see why they felt it was necessary to fix something that wasn't broken. I'm not going to email them complaining about the change, because there's nothing I can say that I'm sure hasn't been said already, and probably in terms that are better than anything I can muster. Unless, of course, I find the change to be overwhelmingly difficult once I have to use it. I did make a correction earlier, though: I looked on their Ramones page & saw that there were a couple of albums that earned one-out-of-five-stars as a rating. I didn't remember that being the case before. When I clicked on one of these one-star albums the review said it was 'one of their strongest efforts in years,' or something to that effect. This was a contradiction that was more blatant than others I'd previously seen in the contrast between the star ratings & the reviews, which sometimes seem as though they're at odds with each other, or at least contributed by two or more different people.

I'm more than willing to give them a chance, but I'll never get the need that some people have to add glitz & fix things that aren't broken. Hopefully I can use the site as I did before. As for the browser issue--there are reportedly not a lot of sites that don't support the most notable IE alternatives like Mozilla. I'm not sure I understand why they couldn't feature wider browser compatibility when the rest of the web doesn't seem to have a problem doing so. There was another conspiratorial whisper on the Velvet Rope about some sinister motive in play here, but who knows.

07-14-2004, 04:53 AM
I haven't spent much time with it.

Of course, it's going to take a lot of getting used to.

One problem I have, is that when I want to read an album review, I have to click twice.

I click on the album, get the first few sentences of the review.. then have to "click for more"

If I click on an album review, why wouldn't I want to read the whole thing?

I don't know, I hope it speeds up too.


07-14-2004, 06:28 AM
As a Mac user, I'm more than a little annoyed and sent them an e-mail telling them so.

I use AMG for reference seems like every day. This new site loads, but not properly with stuff overlapping all over the place and things obviously missing. It won't let me register, so I can't make it to anyplace other than the front page.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.


Jim Clark
07-14-2004, 07:52 AM
soo sloooow.

Makes this site look fast and something has to be seriously amiss when that happens.

That said, I buy that they are little guys and will eventually get it straightened out. Wish they'd have delayed the launch until things were better sorted out, but what the heck. It's free, it's their site, and they are trying to hit a grand slam. I can't really fault them for that.

I like having the song samples but don't know how often I'd access something like that, especially given the current speeds.


Dusty Chalk
07-14-2004, 09:09 AM
I understand the concept of having to upgrade something in order for it to scale (the answer to everything is not necessarily always, "more hardware"), but the interface sucks. Any time one is developing a website, one should check it out on every browser.

That said, I'm using Opera, and it works pretty good.

But bleah! Can't search on labels no more! It's very "clicky"...

07-14-2004, 10:24 AM
soo sloooow.

Makes this site look fast and something has to be seriously amiss when that happens.

Just took a look and it is PAINFULLY slow on my work connection. They must have worked hard to out-glacier AR. The slicker look is not bad, but agree that it is quite click-intensive.