Most frustrating, the site only displays properly in Internet Explorer. (In Firefox, Safari, IE Mac, and Opera, you get a big banner warning that the site is IE Windows-only.) Worse, display bugs make many features of the site unreadable and unuseable in other browsers. All tables are broken, like the search results, track listings and discographies. Some pages, like the New Releases, reposition content off the screen. I can’t tell what’s a hyperlink, because the cursor doesn’t change in anything except Internet Explorer. (July 15, 2004: Almost all of these rendering bugs have been resolved now.)
The problems aren’t limited to display bugs. The URLs are worse than before, now so long that they can’t be sent by e-mail. Biographies, discographies and album reviews are no longer a single page, so you’re forced to click through to multiple pages to view the content you want. And the site’s slower than ever, and I’m periodically getting server timeouts and connection delay error messages. (Oh, and the spinning Flash navigation is a waste of space.)
What a disappointment. As an early beta tester, I sent them a long e-mail outlining my new complaints. Let’s hope they listen. Does anyone know anyone on staff at AMG? I’d love to ask their web guys a few questions.
July 13, 2004: One commenter recommends using MP3.com, which licenses a near-complete database of AMG’s content. The only problems are the missing band member and “worked with” information, individual musician/producer/contributor profiles, genre information, AMG’s Editor Picks, browsing by genre or mood, and a few other features. For most daily usage, it’s a good drop-in replacement for Allmusic.com.
July 13, 2004:: AMG responds! An AMG employee e-mailed me their response to the criticism.