This week we launched a significant set of enhancements to our search and browse implementation. Our chief goal was to unify different categories of the same content. For example, we maintain small selections of popular radio in formats like Jazz and News in what we call channels, while tagging many more stations with the same genre. This means a typical browse path might be Jazz > More Jazz, as you view hand-picked selections, then see everything with the “Jazz” tag. In the new system, there is only one category, and we apply intelligent filtering and sorting rules to bring the most relevant content to the front.
Complementing this new organization is a feature we call pivoting, available exclusively in our OPML API. While browsing Jazz > Stations, you’ll see a “Find by Name” option, then letters of the alphabet to narrow to a specific set of stations. Or, while browsing locations you will see a “By Genre” option, with a list of all the genres for the stations in the region you’re viewing. This makes it incredibly easy to find local news without scrolling through the entire dial.
As a result of these changes, we adjusted the search pages on radiotime.com to display navigation and content at the same time. We hope users will find the format and presentation intuitive and effective.
On a more technical note, this release upgraded our platform from .NET 2.0 to .NET 3.5. We completely rebuilt our internal cluster messaging system and introduced a dramatically improved analytics and reporting system. These technology shifts should increase our capacity a bit and enable more sophisticated solutions for our core problems.
- Platform: Consolidate channels and genres
- Platform: Implement proper paging for all search/browse results on the platform
- Platform: Migrate to .NET 3.5
- Platform: Increase capacity for analytics and service APIs
- Platform: Create rich analytics segmentation and reporting
- OPML: Add pivots to name and genre from browse
- OPML: Add new metadata methods for stations and shows
- OPML: Add new context menu options for stations
- OpenMedia: Add new local station menu options in all categories
- OpenMedia: Simplify browse navigation in content groups
- Radiotime.com: Re-work search results to display navigation and content simultaneously