Playlists are back again. I’m going to give some explanation about where they went, but the impatient folk can get started by going to your settings (http://blip.fm/settings/preferences) and enabling advanced/beta features (don’t forget to save the settings). Click the little star at the bottom right of any blip to add it to your playlist.
So, why the extra step to enable playlists? When we moved Blip from the Fuzz.com servers to Blip.fm we made the conscious choice to leave out the playlists. If you’re a new user, you probably have no idea there even were playlists, but for some of the OG users it was sad to see them go. The reason why we left ‘em out is because the whole feature goes against our main goal with Blip, which is to keep things very intuitive for everyone to use. That and the user experience still hasn’t been completely hashed out. The playlist page looks different from everything else on the site, it’s a little awkward to have a list containing other people’s blips out of context, and it’s hard to explain in words drag-and-drop reordering. Playlists just weren’t ready for prime time.
That didn’t stop the power users from finding and adopting playlists very quickly. In just two weeks there were playlists that had over 100 blips and a good percentage of people adding at least one song to their playlist. Their departure was missed, as exhibited in several emails and tweets about their disappearance. It became pretty clear that we have an asset on our hands.
There’s a group of people on the site that are happy to mess around with new features and are vocal about feedback, so instead of disregarding their willingness to delve deeper than the average user we decided to let them go nuts. Allowing our power users to use features before the average user is a good stepping stone between us engineers and the first time visitor who will either take or break in the first minute of visiting the site. In determining the user interaction for new features we try to figure out the user psychology every step of the way, but sometimes practice is completely counter to intuition. If we get it wrong, new users will bounce before we’ve had a chance to show off, but the power users will make sure to let us know we’ve done something backwards and sometimes even give us suggestions on how to fix it.
So there you go. If you want to see new stuff before everyone else (playlists, as of today), go to your settings and enable advanced/beta features. Make sure to let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you find something funky about the playlists or anything else on the site. The engineers read these emails; there’s no support team, just us.