Online Radio Widget from Radio Tuna
Do you run a site or blog where you want to provide an online radio experience for your readers and users? If so, there’s a widget from Radio Tuna that my be right up your alley.
The Online Radio Widget is a simple widget that allows you to stream online radio stations. You select 3 genres that you want in the player and drop the code on your site. Visitors to your site will be able to select between the 3 genres, flip through the stations and listen to them. Station, track and artist info is provided along with cover art. The widget is driven by radiotuna.com’s database so there’s plenty of stations to select from.
The process to get the widget is a simple 3 step process.
Step 1: Choose colors and size
There are 3 color fields to select (background, controls and text) and 3 available sizes. The color selection feature is actually cool and provides you with the ability to fine tune your colors. However, the freedom it provides actually makes it hard for someone who has no design sense to come up with a good color palette. It might be nice to have a selection of predefined color schemes. In contrast, the 3 predefined sizes are very limiting. They are not standard IAB ad size widths. So, while they will fit in most sidebars and column layouts, they may not fit as nicely as they could. Standard IAB ad size widths or even better, allow users to input specific widths would go a long ways.
Step 2: Choose music genres
Choose 3 music genres you would like in your widget. Choose 3 and only 3. We would have liked to see more flexibility in this step. Allow users to select 1, 2 or 3 genres. It shouldn’t be too difficult to allow this and maybe there are people out there that just want to promote 1 genre.
Step 3: Grab your embed code
That’s it… Grab your embed code and you’re off. Nice and simple.
Here’s an example of the Online Radio Widget form Radio Tuna. The player is clean and easy to use. Basic controls allow you to change genres, stations and change the volume. One smart (and necessary) feature they provided is the ability to pop-out the player into a new window. This widget then becomes a standalone player. When your visitors navigate away from a page or the site entirely, they will continue to be able to listen to their selection without interruption. Without this feature, every time a user navigates away from a page, they will lose their station. We would have liked to see a bigger more prominent button for this. The pop-out icon in the top right is intuitive but is not prominent enough. It serves a very important function and deserves to be seen. Nothing worse than losing a stream in the middle of a beat, really bad user experience.
About Radio Tuna
Radio Tuna was created by three music fans from the UK. We thought searching radio should be easier (we like easy stuff), so we imagined how a radio search engine should work and set about creating it. The result turned out to be quite a lot less easy to build than we’d imagined, but we think the effort was worth it – we hope you agree