Website update, Channel history, Faster topic updates

It’s not all Android around here. Big update on some other fronts today …

Website Design

First up, the website gets a fresh lick of paint.

Highlights:

  • The sidebars have been re-designed and are now more consistent in appearance.
  • Channel/topic views have also been re-designed.
  • Full-length topics side-menu is gone; it now opens when you hover the mouse over it (or touch it on mobiles).
  • Some extra tools when viewing the list of series in a channel. You can sort on several criteria and also clear them all in one click.

Channel view shown below:

Channel Archive

As I’ve said previously, Player FM has some wiki-like characteristics, and so it makes sense that you can track past edits to your channel. So there is now an archive feature allowing you to see series you previously unsubscribed from (it’s only active from today, so your archive starts as a fresh slate). Over the years, I’ve lost track of series I had to drop, sometimes just to save space, so I thought it would be pretty handy if I could go back and add them again. This new – and experimental! – feature makes it possible. You’ll see the archived list on the side of the channel – only if any archived series are present:

And then you’ll see the list, where you can easily add the series back:

Archived series are private — only the owner can see it — but maybe it will be an option to make it public at some stage. if there’s demand for it. You can also clear the archive with a single click.

Again, this is experimental and currently only the most recent 50 subscriptions are shown. (Clearing the archive will delete all past subscriptions, however.)

Subscription Dates

The other aspect of history is tracking when you added your current subscriptions. As of today, it’s now possible to see subscriptions dates when you look at the channel in series mode (by clicking the “ Series” button beside the channel). They are only shown when you sort by “Recently added to channel” since most of the time you probably don’t care much about that.

Unlike the archive feature, this is retrospective, so you’ll be able to see subscription dates from the time you began using Player FM. If you signed up before today, you’ll need to turn this feature on in Settings page. I’ll be turning it on for all users on July 1, 2013. I doubt anyone would mind those dates being shown, but in case you do, you can make your channel private by editing it. (Editing is now launched using the top-right pencil icon in your channel.)

Faster Updates to Featured Topics

A number of topics have been updated with more recent shows and there are now a few more topics too. But the more important thing is what you can’t see. A bunch of back-end updates mean Player FM researchers can now update topics directly on the site, whereas the previous process was script-based and meant topic updates were only happening once every month or two. It will soon be possible to update topics in real-time.

Part of this is based on controls to manage multiple channels and I hope to allow users to own multiple channels too. e.g. if you don’t like Player FM’s Baseball channel, you can just make your own version of it. More to come on that front!

As always, interested to know if these features would be useful to you. Any comments -> mike@player.fm, thanks!