I’m adding new music just about every week, so if you’re a frequent visitor to music4dance how can you see what is new?
I used to show you music sorted by most recent by default. But as I noted in this blog post, that’s no longer feasible, when balanced against the ability to do google-like searches.
Don’t panic – it’s still easy to do. Whenever you’re looking at a list of songs in the song library, you will see that the last column is a single letter and the header for the column is a pencil icon. Clicking on that icon once will show you the most recently modified songs first, clicking a second time will show the oldest songs first.
If you want to get even fancier, you can go to the advanced search page and choose either “Last Modified” or “When Added” and a direction. “Last Modified” is exactly what you get with the pencil icon, “When Added” sorts by when the song was first added rather than when it was last changed.
Are there songs that you love to dance to that you don’t see here? I’d be delighted to add them, just send me a list include title, artist, album and what kind of dance and I’ll add them to the catalog. Or would you prefer to add them yourself?
P.S. For those that may be wondering, here is what the letters in the date column mean:
- s = seconds
- m = minutes
- h = hours
- D = days
- W = weeks
- M = months
- Y = years
You can see the actual date and time that a song has been modified by hovering over the letter.
I recently heard from a customer that he was searching for “Oh, These Dark Eyes“ on the site and this is what he saw:
In fact, “Oh, These Dark Eyes” by Tango No. 9 is in the music4dance catalog, but it wasn’t even showing up on the first page. That seems crazy. And wrong.
After a little digging, I discovered my mistake. When I merged the Search Like Google feature into the default search I left the default sort set to “most recent”. So when you search for anything with a bunch of words in it, there will be a whole lot of results (in this case 464) and if I sort by anything other than closest match what I’m really looking for is likely to get lost like a needle in a haystack.
This should now be fixed. When you search by default you’ll get the most relevant results at the top of the page (just like a normal search engine). I’ve also added a “Closest Match” button to the search order possibilities on the Advanced Search Page which is the default.
So hopefully there will be less searching for needles in haystacks.
Thanks to the gentle customer that pointed out my mistake. I’m always looking for ways to improve the site so please feel free to send me feedback if anything looks like it’s not working the way you suspect. Even if it’s not an outright bug (like this one was), I’m happy to take feedback and see if I can make music4dance a more useful resource for you and others.
And lest you think I’ve dropped my head completely back into code and failed to continue to improve the content, I’ve added some more DWTS songs this week as well as digging up and integrating some fresh lists of ballroom music, including some fun new Cha-Cha, Rumba, and Tango songs. You can still find the most recent changes to the catalog by sorting by modified date. That’s the little pencil icon right below the “Advanced Search” text on any search results. Or if you want to get tricky and just find the songs that have been most recently added, you can go to the Advanced Search Page and choose “When Added” in the “Sort By” field.
I’ve just updated the music4dance site to make the new search engine the default (see What if I just want to search for songs on music4dance like I do on Google? and Search like Google Part II: Autocomplete, Filter by Dance Style and Sorting for some background). Anything you do on the site whether it’s browsing or searching you should be using the new features by default.
If you are having problems with the new search, for now you can go to the Music->Song Library->Legacy Search->Search (Legacy) or Music->Song Library->Legacy Search->Advanced Search pages to use the old methods of searching.
Give both a try and let me know what you think. I’ll leave both the new and the legacy search capabilities up on the site for a bit so that you can compare and contrast, but I’m working hard to test and get all of the functionality moved over to the new system so that I can delete the old one.
Bug reports are welcome here. If you end up having to use legacy search for any reason, please let me know. Also, if you land on pages that are marked ‘legacy’ without having gone to them explicitly, a bug report or email would be really helpful. And as always please submit any general feedback or suggestions here.
The Google Miniseries:
I’ve just updated the music4dance site with the remaining features for our search beta (see What if I just want to search for songs on music4dance like I do on Google? and Search like Google Part II: Autocomplete, Filter by Dance Style and Sorting for some background). You should now be able to take advantage of both the new features like auto-complete and simple Google/Bing style searches with all of the dance specific features like filtering by tempo and dance style using the Advanced Search Beta.
Give both a try and let me know what you think. I’ll leave both the beta and the legacy search capabilities up on the site for a bit so that you can compare and contrast. Bug reports are welcome here. And as always please submit any general feedback or suggestions here.
The Google Miniseries:
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:
- Peabo Bryson
- 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.
And finally, I’ve implemented sorting by Title, Artist, Tempo, Beat, Energy, Mood and Recency. Just click on the appropriate heading in the Simple Search Page, just like you did in the classic search page. I’m still looking for a reasonable way to sort by votes on dance style.
The Google Miniseries:
One of the things that I’ve had a lot of fun with is building a sophisticated search engine where I (and you) can do things like find songs that someone has tagged as Waltz and someone else has tagged as Foxtrot. Or find all swing songs that are in a particular tempo range. There are lots of neat things that you can do with the Advanced Search system if you’ve got some knowledge of dance and music and want to dig deep into these corners of the music4dance catalog.
But what if you just want to search through the catalog the same way you would on Google or Bing? For instance, what if you’re looking for a song that has been tagged as Wedding and has the words “Love” and “Time” in it? With simple search you can just type Wedding Love Time into the search box and you’ll get some useful results. You can further refine the search by using some of the standard search modifiers like + and – and putting quotes (“) around phrases to be more precise about your searches (for instance try “First Dance” +Foxtrot +Rock). But if you’re the type that doesn’t bother with that on Google you should be fine not worrying about it here as well.
More information is available on the help page but you should be able to go to Simple Search from the “Music” menu on the music4dance home page and dive right in.
The Google Miniseries: