Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Amazon Music Selection

Category: Showcase

I was sneaking around Amazon looking for this, that, and a bit of the other. I happened upon a stash of Flight of the Conchords and I clicked on the “Music Sampler” icon. It brought up a really nicely done window that lets you listen to samples of the tracks in a very rich webby way.

Do a view source on that bad boy to see what fun you can have with web development :)

Amazon Music

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:57 am

2.3 rating from 26 votes


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Excellent choice, Dion. Also pick up the Patton Oswalt while you’re in there :-)

Comment by Ryan Breen — August 21, 2007

I’m unable to find the “Music Sampler” icon. I’m not logged into Amazon.com and accessing it from Luxembourg. Thanks for a hint on where that icon could be.

Comment by Laurent Haan — August 21, 2007

I viewed source on your advice, so I hold you responsible for the nightmares I’ll be having tonight.

76 blank lines (some with extra whitespace) between the top of the document and the opening HTML tag. I guess with that many lines already they couldn’t really justify a DOCTYPE.

Nearly 1000 lines of inline CSS, coming to massive 32kb. 81 of the selectors aren’t even being used, according to Dust-Me Selectors.

And then a whopping 76kb of inline JavaScript. You’re certainly right about it being a bad boy.

Comment by Paul Annesley — August 21, 2007

OMG! Interesting how they manage the code ? =)

Comment by hemper_ua — August 21, 2007

You should’ve mentioned RealPlayer first…

Comment by BillyG — August 21, 2007

@Paul +1

if you look at the source code of the main site itself, it is the same mess!!! Imagine how much bandidth they would save if they externalized their CSS and JS…

Comment by GBUK — August 21, 2007

!!! Run away!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Aaron — August 21, 2007

I can understand the performance needs behind putting all js and css in the doc to save on http requests for a site like amazon.

however, the real player plugin? Come on….

Comment by Jeff — August 21, 2007

RealPlayer!? Forget it. While I admire the AJAX/JS prowess that this represents, I find Amazon’s continued embracing of Real to be a wart on the tip of their nose. What is wrong with a simple invisible Javascript driven Flash MP3 player for song samples?

Real must be paying Amazon to keep things the way they are.

Comment by Jeffrey — August 21, 2007

They could’ve used MP3s and SoundManager 2 (JS/Flash API), but I’ll admit I’m completely biased. ;) I think historically they’ve used Real/WMA/QT, so it’d presumably be a ton of work to migrate all their existing audio.

I’ve found the sampler useful in the past, particularly when looking to listen to samples of obscure tracks for record searches, previewing albums etc.

Comment by Scott Schiller — August 21, 2007

At least now we understand better why the “slim” amazon was created.

I do like the inlined css/javascript – seems like it would possibly cut down on load time? (hard to tell with so much other content loading)

(why o why jsf amazon? those poor tortured devs :( )

Comment by Jesse Kuhnert — August 21, 2007

Realplayer needs to be left for dead, like I thought it was until I stumbled upon this on Sunday. The install process alone for the plugin was just horrible and I had to avoid extraneous stuff all along the way. Why was Flash not used if they insists on a plugin?

Comment by Andrew — August 21, 2007

the pain!!! the pain!!!

seriously, I used to work with people that loved to do the same thing as Amazon.
Once a coworker threw around 1200 lines of inline javascript into a login page… yes, 1200 lines in a login page… just for a fade effect and showing a throbber. (needless to say the concept of showing a fade effect and a throbber on a login page is completely wrong)

Comment by gonchuki — August 21, 2007

So where is the icon again? LOL, boy does this site have featuritis. Like BAD. Its horrible.

Comment by Jody Brewster — August 21, 2007

Inline js/css might cut load times down a little the first time, but you’ll never be able to cache any of that, so as soon as you visit it again, load times are worse than they would be if it had been externalized. What a mess.

Comment by Brad Harris — August 21, 2007

RealPlayer? WHAT. Why are they making users install 3rd party software just to stream music?

Comment by Van — August 21, 2007

@Paul – thanks for hint about the Dust Selector extension. That will be helpful… Bernd

Comment by Bernd Matzner — August 21, 2007

I personally like RealPlayer, because I like lengthy installation processes that leave malware on my machine and can’t be installed. So what’s everyone’s problem?

Comment by lex — August 21, 2007

Thx for the site info, Dion. For those looking around for the Music Sampler icon at the URL, note that it is degraded…if you’re using Safari3 or Opera v9.23 (as far as I can see).

Smooth move, AMZN.

Comment by kamalesh — August 21, 2007

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