The Yahoo! Music Engine was launched tonight. It’s a pretty cool little app and it’s dirt cheap for a subscription to all the music you could possibly listen to and more. As I write this, I’m listening to the new Ben Folds album that I didn’t know existed until I used YME.
Back when I was at Y! Music, we talked about building an app like this a lot. There’s just so much you can’t do in a web app. Having bits on a machine meant you could do cool stuff with MP3s and the like. That was before iTunes and Rhapsody.
One weekend I threw together an MFC app that embedded IE which became the prototype for the original LAUNCHcast App. It didn’t do much other than play LAUNCHcast, but it did give you a task tray icon and an icon on your desktop for LAUNCHcast. From there we dreamed of doing more cool stuff and I floated a few proposals, but nothing really happened and eventually I moved North.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t get to contribute though. Something less publicized is the plugin architecture that allows you to run all kinds of cool things inside the app. There’s even the Y! Search Plugin, written by yours truly. Actually, Ian did most of the hard work, but I adopted it and cleaned it up a bit.
Since Yahoos have been able to play with this for a while already, I’ve also helped report and track down bugs. It’s cool to see little changes made and fixes made so the millions of people who will download this thing in the future will have a better experience.
It’s amazing how much fuctionality has been built into YME in such a short time – downloads, MP3 management, LAUNCHcast integration, sharing with Messenger buddies, music directories, recommendations and a subscription service. The bar for new music management apps just got higher.
One of my favorite hidden features is the ability to monitor a directory for new music and add new files in that directory to YME automatically. This always annoyed me in iTunes. Eventually I wrote some nasty Perl/AppleScript/shell script to manage it, but I shouldn’t have to.
I’m lukewarm on the Yahoo Music Engine name. It sounds too marketingy. I suggested “Yahoo Music Gravity” since it’s an app that draws all your music together, but I’ll admit it’s less intuitive.