Monday, July 31, 2006

Adding Some Feedburner Stuff

After talking with some cool people over at Feedburner and talking to a lot of people who are currently using their services, I decided to jump off the bridge too. As you can see, I've added some Feedburner chicklets to the dev blog, mainly to let people get updates by email and let people take advantage of Feedburner's cool features. But man do I feel like the little league right fielder right now with that little icon showing 1 subscriber! Subscribe now and don't miss out on anything Amie Street. I've heard Josh is working on a new look called "Magnum" and that it's way better than La Tigre. Man that Hansel, he's so hot right now.

What We're Listening To, July 31st

Ok so a lot of people have been asking us just what it is we're listening to on Amie Street. This is kind of an experimental thing so we'll see how it goes. If you were wondering around the house tonight, here's what you'd hear playing.

We're going to try and get some more real time info up here and on the site in general, SVN commits, some of our profile information, pictures including all Zoolander impersonations, etc. We're also working on some pretty cool Javascript, PHP, and system architecture problems that should be making their way to dev blog entry status soon.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Player Problems Solved? Yeah...

Ok some times we all do some dumb things. You always look at the big things that could be causing problems instead of the really obvious small things, like not having flash installed in your browser! We did all kind of work to improve the communication between the JS and flash and built in JS object referencing compatibility for more subtle changes in browser versions. The obvious question we didn't ask people when they submitted this bug was do you have flash installed in the first place?


The flash embed that actually plays the samples is hidden. So you wouldn't even notice the missing plugin alert in FF. But, now if you don't have flash and you try and play , you'll get a javascript alert about it instead of a browser shoulder shrug. Player support for non flash enabled browsers probably won't make it in until the Beta. But for those of you out there like Tim who don't want flash but still want to be able to listen to tracks, a straight JS sample player is on the board.

Oh we're also working on a universal JS error handling system built on top of prototype (yet another thing we're working on. compressed versions of Prototype and scriptaculous.) that will elliminate the cold soviet javascript alerts. Instead you'll get a taste of "Hot Shits ™" (you'll have to ask Jro about that one) that will deliver your javascript feedback.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Player Problems Running Firefox 1.5 on a Linux OS

Users running Firefox on a Linux OS are having trouble with the song sampler. The problem is that nothings happening. There is a javascript error reporting the following:

g_previewPlayer.handlePreview is not a function. Line 567.

We're working on it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fresh New Server

Friday or Saturday we'll be making the switch over to our new server that Tim has been doing an amazing job of setting up and debugging our codebase for over the past few days. The new server will have more than enough bandwidth, hard disk space and RAM to handle things. We're also making somemajor upgrades and bug fixes that were big issues on the old server, such as putting a lot of the members area behind an SSL cert, making the switch back to Apache 1.3. The switch to Apache 1.3 means no more funkiness when you try and play samples really quickly. An even more permanent solution is in the works to make streaming and downloading songs you've already purchased even faster and more reliable. We're also making the jump to PHP 5 (one of the reasons debugging has been a big part of this), moving up to the latest stable release of MySQL 5, and updating FreeBSD to 5.4 (yeah L, A, M, and P all changed. Did I not just say major upgrades?). Its possible that there will be some down time because of the transfer. We're looking into ways of minimalizing the downtime. Most likely, it will be in the middle of the night when the site is pretty vacant anyway and it won't be noticable until you log in to your account the next morning and everything is super fast. We have some other things we've been working on today that will be posted up to the new server too.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Well, I Guess the Alpha Release Is Not Next Weekend

A lot of things have changed in the last 24 hours. After Michael published his story on Amie Street over at TechCrunch we've had thousands and thousands of people coming to the site to check us out. The hard disk maxed out about four hours ago. We'll be down between 3AM EST and 5AM EST this morning while we add some more resources. Everyone has been sleeping in shifts to try and get on bug fixes and do a whole week of work in less than a day. Thanks to everybody for providing solid feedback and suggestions to make the site better.

We're still looking at having the beta released some time in early September. Stacks of new features are on the way. We'll try and keep this blog updated as much as possible and over the next few weeks, we'll keep posting new features that we're developing and looking for some willing testers to try and break. We'll also be setting up something in the next few days where people can post suggestions for the beta, possibly using Webnotes, but we'll see.

Thanks again everybody! Michael, you will accept some REC's instead of cash right?

TechCrunch Trackback

Sunday, July 23, 2006

So Long Alpha, Hello Beta!

New development on the alpha release will officially end next weekend. This means that 90% of new feature releases wont make it out until the Beta launch at the beginning of the fall. Some developers will stay on the alpha to do bug fixes and maybe make some small feature releases, but most things will wait. We'll also be moving over to a new server through iNet in the next few weeks. The rest of the crew moves over to start working on the beta. Thanks to all our alpha testers who gave us really great feedback during the build out of the alpha release, we have some really cool new features on deck. Here's a small list:

  • Use of more AJAX on the site to improve the UI and functionality in certain areas.

  • Web Services API build out

  • Amie Street Google Gadgets for personalized home and desktop

  • Firefox tool bar extension to go along with the search plugins already in use.

  • Vastly improved search using some not often used methods that provide unbeleivably accurate results every time.

  • And many many many more...

If you have a feature request for the Beta or would be interested in being a tester prior to release, please put all of that in the comments to this post or by using the Feedback form on the site.

What We're Doin This Week in Dev: July 23rd

Aside from bug fixes, we have some pretty cool features on the way this week to round out the initial alpha release.

Member of Artist

This new feature will allow artists to add members of their band or just other people who play a large role in the band in their profiles.


Fanship will allow users to add themselves as fans of an artist. Watch out for a serious build out around this one in the beta. No spoilers yet.

New Stuff July 23rd

Ah new releases. So fun to use, but what a pain when all your debugging time goes out the window when you synch to production and new problems pop up. The new Artist's store and profile pages don't require that a user be logged in to view them, which is good and bad. And the new shot url feature is also in for artist's store and profiles is also up and running. So here is the good and the bad run down of these two new features.

First, the bad. Making the artist's store and profiles accessible publicly has been a real pain to get running smoothly. Most of the method calls in the templates rely on the fact that the user be logged in. Sure, not a problem to re stack and get smoothed out. For some reason though, there is still a problem with some of the mthod calls to get profile data, if the user is not logged in. The short url's have of course caused some what of an HTML path problem. So, not all images are showing up properly quite yet. We're working on both of these right now.

And now for the long awaited GOOD breakdown, which why we decided to put these features in in the first place. By making the artist's store and user profiles public, artists have an easier method for letting people che ck out their tracks on Amie Street. When you combine this with the short urls, you get something really cool. So say I want to view an artist's store on Amie Street, for example say I want to get to Chachi's music store, an insanely talented local hip hop artist that's also a good friend of the amie street crew, all I have to do is type in and I'm at Chachi's store. Artists, you must log in to amiestreet, go to your studio and click on edit artist to set up your short url!

For user profiles, its pretty much the same deal. Say I want to view Elliott's profile. All you do is type in and you're there. Users, you also have to log in to Amie Street and edit your profile to set up your short url.

Ain't it slick?

My Music Player Issues. Argh.

Some of you may have noticed that we have some issues with our media player. If you try and click on multiple sample buttons quickly, you get a lot of issues with your navigation.

"So, what's going on and how soon will it be fixed?", you say.

We know what solution to the problem is. One of the guys who controls all of our server goings on the team, Tim, is in Italy right now. What we need to do is roll back to Apache 1.3 for Apache 2, due to prefork and a few other changes in the newest release that prevent multi-threading of PHP files. (It actually says in the PHP manual that you should not run Apache 2 on top of PHP, and the same in the Apache 2 manual) At the same time, we run everything out of Subversion, which must have Apache2 to work.

Quite a pickle.

Tim will be back in the Amie house on Tuesday and hopefully he can get the Apache roll back done on Wednesday or Thursday. After a few hours of digging around for a solution, I found this in the subversion FAQ:

"I run Apache 1.x right now, and can't switch to Apache 2.0 just to serve Subversion repositories. Does that mean I can't run a Subversion server?

No, you can run svnserve as a Subversion server. It works extremely well.

If you want WebDAV and all the other "goodies" that come with the Apache server, then yes, you'll need Apache 2.0. It's always an option to run Apache 2.0 on a different port while continuing to run Apache 1.x on port 80. Different versions of Apache can happily coexist on the same machine. Just change the Listen directive in httpd.conf from "Listen 80" to "Listen 8080" or whatever port number you want, and make sure to specify that port when you publish your repository URL (e.g.,

Source: Subversion FAQ

To wrap it up, I know the problem is frustrating, but we're working on it. Hopefully the problem will be a distant memory by next weekend. Kepp an eye out for more bug fixes and feature additions almost everyday this week.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dev Update July 16th, 2006

We have a lot going on right now as we try and put the finishing touches on our alpha release and migrate to new, faster, and better servers. Some of the features we're working on now to wrap up the alpha release before we shift 90% of our people to working on the beta release full time is as follows.

View Artist Info

Yeah we know the pages that are up their right now are pretty weak. We're workin on it. Trust us. Check out the basic mockup for a taste of what this page is going to look like when its done.

Better, Easier to remember and market URL's

We've gotten a lot of requests on this one, from both Artists and Users already on the block. When we're finished, you'll be able to do the following:
View an Artist Profile:
View a User's Profile:
We also have some plans on extending this, but we're keeping that to ourself for now.

Making a few buttons more intuitive

Thanks to all the alpha testers on the block for pointing this one out. Some of the buttons need to be much more intuitive.This will be released to the production server shortly.

Credit Card Payment System Fixed!

After a few weeks of struggling with our Payment Processing system, we've finally cleared out all of the bugs...we hope. The problem was that our Pyament Processing Provider change several operations in their system and for some reason didn't decided to tell us. So go ahead and get that Amie Street credit. If you have any troubles, send us an email through the feedback tab anywhere on the site and get some free REC's.