LOCAL.LIVE is my final mashup!
LOCAL.LIVE is a live music mashup intended for Australian music fans. It sources data from Flickr, Twitter, Fasterlouder, Rave and Youtube via RSS feeds, and condenses it into a straightforward, “one-stop” interface.
Focusing on state capitals, it’s easy for the user to navigate to view information on the different cities. At this stage, only Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide are available, but it is feasible that with more time, knowledge, skills and info other cities could be added.
The site aims to show a snapshot of the live music scene in the selected city. It shows photos of recent gigs, music news, reviews and upcoming events, as well as video footage. It’s intended for people who want to know what’s on in their area, as well as people who may have missed a recent show or want to see or read someone else’s perspective on one they’ve been to.
Created using php, CSS3 and Yahoo! Pipes, this was a huge undertaking for me that tested skills I didn’t think I had. I learned a lot of cool CSS tricks (no more images as header text!) and some php (a prospect I still find frightening), and think this will definitely be useful in future endeavours.
I did have a few issues with Pipes (slight understatement), mainly Twitter and Youtube. At the time of writing this, Twitter is still sometimes not returning any results (although I know it works), and Youtube still occasionally shows irrelevant results. I’ve excluded some search terms that seemed to be coming up a lot (Iranian soccer games, anyone?), but it’s hard to completely avoid inappropriately-tagged videos. I definitely feel like this is something I’d like to have gotten better control over, but it’s really too far above my head, and I’m reasonably happy with how things turned out anyway.
I’ve enjoyed finding good data sources, and struggled with some of the less convenient ones. As evidenced in this journal, I went through quite a few ideas and used my data sources as inspiration to help me narrow it down. I think that stylistically, my final mashup comes quite close to my initial mockups and is true to the look I was going for.
On the whole, I’m proud of the way my mashup has evolved and the final product of my hard work. Despite some small issues, I’ve achieved my main goal of bringing together many sources to give an overview of live music on a city-by-city basis, in a user-friendly way.
A few quick notes before revealing the final product.
I thought I would have some issues with the background image (apparently older versions of Firefox and IE, like those on the uni computers, don’t like svg) but decided I didn’t need any extra measures to accommodate this. Most up to date versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari are able to view my site perfectly: I tested on all 3 browsers on my computer (Mac) and my partner’s (Fedora/Linux), as well as using browsershots.org.
I had originally planned to do all state capitals, but finding information on the less populous cities proved difficult. I eventually ended up doing Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (which was a stretch…). I would like to provide a more comprehensive resource, but that would take more time and knowledge than I currently have at my disposal.
Will continue editing this list as I go, until it’s finished.
- Give the damn thing a name! - DONE
Maybe work on that header text; see if there are other fancy CSS3 features that could make it look better. DONE - Add a menu bar with drop-down for cities. DONE - Flickr section: display actual images (not thumbnails) so they can be made bigger, and into clickable links. Work on the sizing, see if possible to get all landscape/portrait only. DONE - Do I want Twitter section smaller? DONE - Gigs: work out how to lessen number of words in description of each item. DONE - WHY THE HELL IS TWITTER RETURNING RANDOM SPAM AND YOUTUBE RETURNING FOREIGN SOCCER MATCHES? Stupid Pipes…URGH
Youtube: make identical to Flickr (larger preview images and clickable to go to video). Decided to just embed two videos. Much easier, no time to do something more complex. DONE - Make sure all pipes are returning relevant items. Done, except for Twitter which still returns no results sometimes. DONE(SORTA) - Find out how to style scrollbars? This looks hard…TOO HARD BASKET! - Add a footer with credits. DONE - Make an About page. DONE - Final check for style, make sure everything looks right. DONE - Backup plan for the background image. DEEMED UNNECESSARY - The most time-consuming step: once it’s all done, copy this page 7 times and alter slightly for all the other state capitals. Do the same for Pipes (that’s a lot of pipes!). Link them all together in their menu bars. OR find a better way? DID 4 CITIES ONLY, TOOK FOREVER - Host everything. DONE
- Tumblr! (inc. Progress Reporting tag)
I’ve made some changes to the appearance of my site. So far:
- Made an svg image for the background: this auto-scales to suit any screen, and is also fixed so the background stays in place when scrolling (I know, very Myspace: but it was necessary to make it work).
- Played with fonts. The custom font I’m using isn’t large (in terms of file size) so shouldn’t be a problem.
- Neeeeeeeeearly made pipes behave. As you can see, it still picks and chooses when it will work.
Things left to do:
- Give the damn thing a name!
- Maybe work on that header text; see if there are other fancy CSS3 features that could make it lok better.
- Add a menu bar to display current city, and drop-down for other cities.
- Flickr section: display actual images (not thumbnails) so they can be made bigger, and into clickable links.
- Do I want Twitter section smaller?
- Gigs: work out how to lessen number of words in description of each item.
- Small amount of formatting for News and Reviews sections, otherwise they seem fine.
- Youtube: make identical to Flickr (larger preview images and clickable to go to video).
- Make sure all pipes are returning relevant items.
- Find out how to style scrollbars?
- Add a footer with credits.
- The most time-consuming step: once it’s all done, copy this page 7 times and alter slightly for all the other state capitals. Do the same for Pipes (that’s a lot of pipes!). Link them all together in their menu bars.
Aaaaaand then that should be it!
Following feedback on my midsemester assessment, I’ve decided to further focus and refine my idea.
Instead of encouraging users to search both locations AND artists, I’m going to make the mashup based around Australian capital cities. It will focus solely on Live music (rather than music in general). To do this, I’ll have a menu where the user can select their city, which will then bring up the appropriate page/information.
Found a pretty decent RSS feed of gig guides and reviews from Rave.
Now I have:
Rave: Gig Guide
Wondering if I should use this many, or cut it down a bit.
Seeing what I remember about Yahoo Pipes, and putting them into a quick HTML mockup.
Source, left to right:
Flickr (Invisible, because Pipes is giving back timeout errors and generally being irritating)
Now just have to work on adding pipes with user input (a search bar) and combine them all to use the same single search. And make it look good. And not go insane.
Keep getting “Read Timed Out” errors at the most random times. Pipes is so temperamental! It’s impossible to make much progress, because a pipe that’s working one minute can return no results the next, without anything having changed.
Plan of attack for the assessment due week 9: change my focus to doing an HTML mockup, and hope I can get a bit more work done with Pipes if it decides to play nice before then!
Proof of Concept Poster.