One of my goals for music4dance is to build a system that people can use to share their knowledge of partner dance music with others. I probably spent too much time early on in this project building bots and scrapers to seed the catalog with content and neglected the community aspect of the site. So I am now trying to focus on more community-building features. This includes everything from simplifying the system so that it’s easier to add new styles of dance to making it easier for members to add new songs to making it possible for members to see who else likes to dance to a song.
Following on to the feature where I added the ability to see the voting history on a song on the details page, I’ve added a couple of small feature-lets.
Now, when you filter music on a user you will see a column with that user’s changes:
If you know a user’s username, you can filter by a user in the advanced search page by typing the username and choosing what you want to filter on (likes, tags, etc.). Or you can go down the path described in a previous post and click on a username anywhere that one shows up. That will take you to a page that will let you filter on all the songs that the user has tagged or all the songs that that user has added to favorites among other things. Eventually, I’d like to have that page contain additional user profile information.
The other fun thing you can do is on the new music page. The song list on that page has a similar column to the one above that shows latest change to each song and who made it. That’s a way to find users that are actively adding songs and seeing what they’re up to.
And finally, when you’re exploring these features if you find a search that you want to share with others, you can just copy the URL and send it to a friend. That’s what I do with links back to the music4dance site with these blogs – so it’s not a new feature, but it is becoming more useful with the other community features that I’m building.
As always, I welcome feedback on not just the feature, but the site in general. And if you find the site useful, please consider contributing in any way that you can.
One of the core features of music4dance is to be able to list songs for dancing in a bunch of different ways. As I noted a little while ago, I’m at the point in the process of the site upgrade where I’m reworking that core functionality. In a world of infinite (or even abundant) resources , I’d get the new functionality up and running and give you the opportunity to switch back and forth between the new and the old for some period of time and give me your feedback. While that’s a bit out of my reach, it occurred to me that it’s pretty easy to just roll out what I’ve got on some of the pages and leave the old stuff in place on others. That will give you the opportunity to see them both and compare and give feedback.
As of this writing (November 15th, 2020) I’ve got an initial version working and rolled out to some of the pages. You can see the new song lists on the Holiday Music page including the specific holiday dance variants like Holiday Cha Cha and Holiday Foxtrot, the New Music page and the dance pages including both the dance group pages like the Swing page and specific dance pages like the Rumba page. The old version is still live in the basic song library and as the results of advanced searches as well as any of the links from other places on the site that bring up a song list.
Please take a look and let me know what you think. I’m particularly interested in anything that I left out in the new version that you used in the old version. But I’m also always open to feedback and ideas for what I could do to make this content more helpful for you.
There are enough people that visit music4dance regularly that I thought it would be worth revisiting how to make it easy to find the most recently added and changed music on the site. I did one pass at this back in November of 2016 when I had to change the default away from listing songs in order of most recently changed.
But that involved adding a link the home page and some options in the Advanced Search page and didn’t do a great job of leading people to that option if they didn’t know it was already there.
So I’ve added a “New Music” option in the “Music” menu. This will take you directly to a page showing the songs with the most recently added first as well as an easy link to switch over to the most recently changed songs. I hope this is a bit more discoverable than previous methods.
Once you’re on the New Music page you can use all of the usual methods of tag filtering to narrow down your search and we’ll preserve the sort order that you started with.
You can still use Advanced Search to do things like finding the most recently added Rumbas or Tangos.
We’re adding new music as we find it. You can help in a couple of different ways. Sign up for beta feature to add your own songs, mark exiting songs as danceable to a particular style, or send me lists of your favorite songs and what you dance to them – I can import any reasonably formatted list and will be happy to associate those songs with your account and set up a back-link to your site.
It’s great to see so many people use the site. Please let me know how you use the site, I’m always delighted to hear your feedback both positive and not so positive (the latter is often what leads me down the path of new and revised features).
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.