I, like many, am mourning and listening to Prince‘s music. Over and over again.
Since I’ve been thinking a lot about music and partner dancing recently, this lead me to think about what I would dance to each song. Especially when Leader of the Band popped up in my playlist and screamed Cha-Cha at me. Of course a lot of his seminal work has more of a blues feel that I would associate with West Coast Swing (or possibly even more directly blues dancing). But there are certainly some things in his catalog that one might Quickstep to (Let’s Go Crazy) or dance a Slow Foxtrot (Strollin‘) to.
Here’s a link to the list of Price songs currently in the music4dance catalog. If you’ve got other favorites (along with what you would dance to them) let me know by responding to this post or sending feedback and I’d be happy to add them. Or sign in and vote on what style you would dance to the songs already in the catalog.
The Prince Feature
One of the things that I noticed as I was looking for Prince music in the music4dance catalog was that I hadn’t implemented an artist page of any kind. You could search for Prince but you would both get everything I had catalog by Prince and everything by Prince Royce songs with Prince in the title. So I did a quick fix – if you click an artist’s name you’ll be taken to a page with a list of the first 100 songs I’ve catalog by that artist. Since I’m only tracking artist by the full name this has a couple of implications, one of which is that Leader of the Band won’t show up under Prince since the artist is actually “Sheila E. featuring Prince and The E Family.”
You can, of course, still search for Prince and manually go through the songs to find the ones that actually involve Prince, but that’s obviously not the perfect solution. How much does this matter to you? Is it important to have a more specific idea of artist when you’re sorting through songs to dance to?
As always, please send me feedback or just respond to this post with any issues or ideas.
I am continuing to rebuild the music4dance database capabilities in the more intuitive style of current search engines like Google and Bing – the initial attempt at this is documented in this post.
Auto-complete is something everyone expects when searching these days. So if you were to type “Peab” into the search box on the simple search page you should see suggestions like the following pop-up:
Tonight, I Celebrate My Love (feat. Peabo Bryson)
Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle
Peabo Bryson And Roberta Flack
Love and Rapture: The Best of Peabo Bryson
And just like Bing or Google, clicking on the selection will take you to a list of songs that contain the selected text.
The thing that is a little different for music4dance than a generic search is that one might want to do combinations of things like a fragment of a title and a dance style name. I haven’t figured out an easy way to do that, but as always I’m open to suggestions.
Filter by Dance Style
But I can fall back to the original way that I landed on for just searching within a single dance style. So now on the Simple Search page, you can select a dance style from the drop down to the left of the search box and we’ll just show you results for that dance style. So if you select Cha Cha and then type “tea” into the search box you should get only songs that have the word tea somewhere in the description that have also been tagged as Cha Cha.
Most of the time that I use music4dance it’s on desktop computer, but I certainly want access to all of what it can do on my phone and tablet. And I have tried to take what user interface designers call a “Mobile First” approach whenever possible.
But I noticed a while back that there are a few things that just weren’t working as well on smaller devices as I would like. Several of them were on the core song list pages, which is particularly important.
So I finally took a couple of days off from other things and reworked these issues.
The Play Menu
The play menu (which is documented here) is now a modal which allows for bigger buttons and the ability to control the sample being played.
Dance and Tag Menus
I’ve also converted the dance and tag menus (documented here) to modals. This let me make the buttons bigger as well as adding some styling that I hope will let you navigate through options more easily. The large chunks of text in the old interface were hard to distinguish even for the person that wrote them.
Let me know what you think. Do you prefer the before or after? Are there other aspects of the site that you find difficult to use on a small device? Let me know by responding to this post or sending feedback.