New All Music Guide Launches

One of my favorite music-related websites is All Music Guide, the most comprehensive reference source for music online. (Think IMDB for music.)

So when I heard they were redesigning, I was excited to see if they’d fix my laundry list of complaints with the existing site: the inadequate search engine, their convoluted URL structure, inaccessible and confusing Javascript tricks (like showing/hiding biography text and blocking right-click URL copying), and the frequent server timeouts.

Their redesign launched moments ago. (The old site can still be viewed here. It’s offline now.) They not only failed to fix any of my complaints, but they made it worse. Much worse.

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.

108 thoughts on “New All Music Guide Launches

  1. I’m not seeing any difference over here. I still see a banner saying it will launch tomorrow. I’m confused — did it only launch for beta testers?

  2. Oh dear God, that’s horrible. I’ve never been impressed with their site performance, but this is awful. The tabbed content makes less information available on a single page. There’s significantly less information that exists above the fold. And you’re right – hardly anything is a right-clickable URL that you can copy and paste. Don’t they realize by letting people direct-link to their site, they’ll drive their traffic?

  3. They don’t allow search engines to index their content either. Their robots.txt forbids indexing of their /cg/ directory, which contains the script that serves every page of content.

  4. Wow. Trained monkeys could’ve redesigned that site better. In this era of bountiful CSS resources and with such a push toward web standards, this is an abomination. Not to mention only supporting IE/Win. Safari, Firefox, and even IE/Mac aren’t allowed

    “Notice: You are accessing allmusic.com with a browser that is not currently supported. The appearance and functionality of the site could be impacted. allmusic.com is optimized for Internet Explorer 5.5 and above for Windows.”

  5. One of the things about the old version that I really disliked was their javascript-only links, which kept me from opening a link in a new page.

    They, on the other hand, think it’s a “unique and flexible linking system” when it’s actually much less flexible and by no means unique.

    The explain, “the best way to open links in a new window is by pressing CTRL + N (APPLE + N on Macintosh) and clicking on the desired link in the new window. Although a little unorthodox, it’s just as easy and convenient.”

    It’s not just as easy nor convenient.

  6. Oy, that is tragic indeed. Here we are, with a website that’s awesome content-wise speaking, yet aweful in terms of design.

    Just when we thought that they couldn’t do things worse than the –as of today– previous implementation..

    What’s most annoying to me isn’t the IE-only thing, thought I’m a Firefox user and it affects me. They can’t be that stupid, they’ll fix it eventually (I hope).

    What worries me mostly, is that they stick to their “intentionally bad/difficult structure” philosophy: long URIs, (non)-hackable search URIs, and the breaking of single-paged content to multiple pages (as you did well to mention in your post), and now registrations to view some content(?), these are all signs of a “wrong” mentality from AEC’s part (AEC is AMG’s parent company), that just keeps on going.

    Someone (who obviously cares about and enjoys AMG’s content) should come up with a strong case on why AMG needs to drop this attitude and come up with a logical (structure-wise) & easy to use interface/product.

    I think AMG needs a very clear and convincing answer to what seems to be their biggest fear: “why would I want my site to be easy to access? so you can have your bots scrape my content in one go?”.

    Apparently, they don’t buy the “your traffic numbers will go up” argument. I know there’s gotta be a convincing answer to this question, but unfortunately, I can’t come up with anything useful right now. If you do, share your thoughts about it, craft your arguments wisely, send them to AMG, and let’s hope they listen.

  7. By the way, that quote is from the faq.

    If they knew it was such a common problem that they needed to write the answer in the FAQ, why couldn’t they just use normal links?

    The new design makes Opera think they’re not even links at all.

  8. Woah.. it doesn’t work right with Firefox? What a mistake! I personally think the site looks a bit better now but it seems to be struggling… I keep getting errors.

    I’m really surprised it won’t work right in Firefox.

  9. I don’t think the people who were responsible for the major decisions on this site actually use the web at all. I’m very confused why an entire company would spend time to break the simplest most functional built-in feature of the web, the hyperlink. I’m also not too sure how opening a new browser window is a solution around their “unique linking system”. Seriously, I would expect people who work in web-related professions to actually use that medium but I guess that’s a bit too much to ask when the owners love money more than their own product. Fuck.

    Can we make a new catch phrase for sites like this? I’m thinking “dot-com retarded”.

  10. Dan, if I recall correctly from that user survey they ran a couple of years ago, their javascript links where one of the issues tons of responders griped about; that’s when they came back with that hilarious “it’s better & faster, and since all you need to do is Ctrl+N and click on that link then, it’s easy as well!” reply.

    Oh well.

    As I said, philosophy-wise, there’s something wrong with our beloved AMG.

  11. WHY ON EARTH would anyone designa site in 2004 that’s only IE friendly? It makes no sense. I think I could fix the Mozilla / Safari display issue in an hour or two.

    Effing user-testing. It’s easy.

  12. I think their problem is that they wanted to change the UI, but not the underlying engine (amg.dll or whatnot).

    Plenty of companies have older strange engines (amazon, for example), but they tend to work around things to make it easy for people to search them programmatically, point user to specific pages. Obviously AMG doesn’t.

    I think it’s senseless to ask them to do anything. Only a rather strong email campaign to the very top of management at the parent company will produce any changes, if at all: having finished a big redesign, the last thing they want to do is start another one. And the last thing they will do, unless it’s mandated from the top.

    So while I agree with the stupidity of this redesign, it’s key to remember that either we need to complain about it to the right people, or nothing will change, no matter how much we claim to dislike what they’ve done.

  13. I’m all in for a strong e-mail compaign targeted to right people at AMG management.

    When I wrote “share your thoughts about it, craft your arguments wisely, send them to AMG”, that’s exactly what I had in mind (though as it seems, I wasn’t able to articulate it clearly, so thank you for helping me one this one).

  14. you know, it doesn’t even matter to me what kind of crazy linking system they’re using, because i can’t even tell what the goddamn links are. this is the worst example of IE specific design that i’ve ever seen. who knows the email address of the top AMG guy? i have a few things i’d like to say to him…

  15. The server timeouts are just ridiculous, I can’t believe that, in the five or six years I’ve been reading this site, they haven’t been able to remedy that. How can a site with such wonderful content, that relies so heavily on hyperlinks, have gotten this redesign so wrong?

    In Safari, things look really funky, and when I search for artists, it’s unclear to me that the results are links (but they are!). Furthermore, it isn’t IE-only, it’s IE for WIndows only. Logging in with IE on a Mac gives you this message: Notice: You are accessing allmusic.com with a browser that is not currently supported. The appearance and functionality of the site could be impacted. allmusic.com is optimized for Internet Explorer 5.5 and above for Windows.

    I guess Mac users (none of whom are musicians) and Linux users can go Dick Cheney.

    And those URLs…. What is this, Gettingit.com?

  16. Nice colors. That’s about the best praise I can give it. Everything else is more difficult to use. I’ve been clicking buttons for five minutes and still haven’t made it to the Discography page.

    Ah, there it is. What a usability disaster. Pity, because I use this site often. Is this a backhanded way to sell more books?

  17. Speaking of usability, would you consider adding some type of horizontal separator between comments in your entries? Even a plain ol’ [HR] tag would make finding where each comment begins much easier. πŸ™‚

  18. Ok, here’s the dealio on AMG – they’re owned (either in part or whole) by AEC – Alliance Entertainment Group – which is one, if not the biggest, ‘one-stop’; a ‘one-stop’ is a wholesaler/distributor that services the smaller stores (or even chains that are clueless, like B&N) for music/video/accessories, etc. They’re based in Florida. YES – they are idiots, but then, since consolidation, just about everyone involved in the music biz is an idiot (ah, the good old days – when everyone was on drugs and you could use that as an excuse…). AMG is basically the consumer model of their website – the industry model essentially is the same, but they don’t have to worry about traffic. Sorry folks, you have to be an account with them to get in…but either way, their info sucks, their reps (mostly) suck, and yes, their site could be better, but frankly, no one else out there has done anything close to what they’ve done – if only they could do it better. At least B&N doesn’t skew their site – B&N is their largest account and they skew sales thru their monthly music store switchouts. Now THAT sucks!

  19. You perfectly captured my feelings both before and after. I always hated going to the site because I would instinctively middle click all the albums by someone and only later realize that I had 3 tabs full of nothing but a javascript: url. It was better than “Error 2 Timeout” though.

    BTW, Napster uses their data, and it’s more useable. Go figure.

  20. Hmm. From hooseygow’s comment I’m thinking that the problem is AMG’s big, scary corporateness.

    I’d like to see a Wikipedia-like alternative for AMG. I think it would be better than AMG. Just look at some of the fansites that bands have – they are insanely well-documented. And who made them all? Fans. Just normal, everday people who loved their band so much that they spent an exuberant amount of their time making a web site to spread the word.

    Each band/artist’s section would have standard discography and biography sections, and there could also be lyrics sections and articles for each band member.

    I think a site like that would be very sucessful because it would have the community doing all the work, and people love music so much that they would freely contribute.

    Man, I’m really liking this idea.

  21. For me, the best of AMG is the reviews. It’s the only place online that somehow manages to keep a neutral editorial voice, able to review albums as objectively as possible, in the context of the artist’s complete work and the rest of the genre. It’d be very difficult to find that sort of consistent editorial voice on a wiki.

    All of the other factual information could definitely be tackled, though. Band members, discographies, albums, songs, and so on.

  22. What an incredible disappointment.

    I am a big music fan. Back when it was the only way to do “rich” content, I purchased a CD-ROM called “Music Central” by Microsoft. It was glorious: biographies, discographies, reviews, sound clips, and video clips for a pretty broad cross-section of artists. Good stuff. Easy to use. Probably the best MS software I ever used.

    When I heard that AMG was redesigning, I was very pleased; while their site wasn’t godawful, it could use a thorough introduction to 2004. Instead, AMG has taken many steps back and thrown itself into the dark ages. I’m surprised there isn’t a “Best Viewed in IE!” button on the front page.

    Where’s the rich content? Where’s the artist recommendations? Why do I have to subscribe to get to some information? Who spearheaded the decision to write this site specifically for IE/Win? What browsers did they test this on?

    It’s sad when there are more questions as to what went wrong instead of comments on what AMG did right. And to be frank, the only thing going for this site is the massive amount of information behind it.

  23. It’s the only place online that somehow manages to keep a neutral editorial voice, able to review albums as objectively as possible, in the context of the artist’s complete work and the rest of the genre.

    Exactly. It’s probably the only serious music resource that doesn’t bash pop albums 24/7.

    Since I’m a huge pop/rock fan, AMG is one of the few places I can visit without having my blood pressure go slightly up from the relentless, meaningless, unjustifiable bashing.

    Stephen Thomas Erlewine & co. are pretty good music reviewers.

  24. Well, MusicMoz is a site that attempts to categorize and keep track of bands/artists, group members, album releases etc, and does a decent job of it all. It doesn’t do reviews, but it’s logically organized and even provides a REST interface to get their data.

    It’s a bit hokey, but I think it’s the best there is in terms of accessible, open-doc info repositories.

    And Andy, I think it’s possible to have a decent editorial voice. Wikipedia actually manages to have a good review process for its data, I don’t see why a music one has to differ quite so much. Perhaps the Wikimedia Foundation folks would be willing to help out with their expertise in getting this started.

    In fact, if you look around the Wikimedia sites, you’ll see them brainstorming this type of stuff already. And if you search Wikipedia for popular artists you’ll see that they already have a ton of good, unbiased information.

  25. I’m a huge, huge fan of discogs.com, especially since they just did a major redesign and back-end revision. They support more than just electronic music now, although DJ/dance stuff is really, really good there.

    Please give it a go if you love dance music. It’s seriously the best site for crazy, rare, dance music white labels and whatnot.

  26. Let’s mention also that they do nothing to make the site accessible to users of alternate browsers, such as Lynx or JAWS.

    I couldn’t even get the site to load in Lynx.

  27. That’s a real shame. I won’t just repeat what everyone else said, but I believe it is obvious I share their sentiments.

    Lee Azzarello proposed, “dot-com retarded.” Doesn’t flow well.

    I propose, “Real-enactment,” an allusion to the atrocity that is Real Player.

  28. I just tried it with crazybrowser (ie v6) and had the same rendering problems that i had with firefox: pagebreak, cursorchange, inability to see links, etc. sad. just sad.

  29. This redesign is very dissapointing. AMG could really learn a lot from the IMDB. For instance, if they laid out their pages for each artist so it showed all the important information on a single page (like imdb does for each film or actor) that would be a big improvement. In that respect, the old design wasn’t too bad (and the new one is *much* worse). They should also use nice short urls like imdb does, and allow spidering of their content. I imagine they’d get a lot more traffic if they did this, the AMG listing would probably come pretty high when googling for a lot of band or album names.

  30. It’s a shame since there are actually a few good things in the redesign, such as the ability to browse the database by instrument with its most significant artists and albums. However, it’s sad to see how they shoot themselves in the foot in terms with bad tecnical and UI choices. It could be so much better, and make more money for them too.

  31. Jeezus!

    How did this ever happen?

    Along with the Internet Music Database, I’ve always held AMG up as a perfect example of how the web can work.

    (Not that I’ve ever been crazy about the design, and yeah, not being able to right-click is a tad moronic)

    I’ve even used it as an example when teaching web design.

    Although I’m a web designer (since 1992) I’m also a music nut, so I use AMG almost every day.

    Now, I can’t use it at ALL.

    Not with Safari,

    Not with IE,

    Not with Netscape,

    Not with Firefox.

    And even Opera doesn’t display properly (Opera at least displays the discography though!)

    What a balls-up this site is.

    And which 2nd year design student did the WOEFUL new logo?

    I’m prepared to NEVER use my FAVOURITE online resource ever again if I have to, just to show these twats a lesson.

    SO pissed off.

    matthk

    edinburgh

    scotland

    http://www.matthk.net

  32. Dip into:

    http://mp3.com/

    The water’s fine. Fast XHTML w/CSS layout, usable pages, URLs, most of AMG’s content w/ samples, genre studying w/o registration nonsense. AMG’s redesign should’ve been more like this.

  33. To fix the right-click blues, I made a bookmarklet that makes their stupid javascript into real links. I just finished updating it for the new site. It’s available here. Now you can enjoy hot new high-tech features such as copying URLs to the clipboard and opening links in new windows!

  34. I think the email system over there goes like this…

    first three letters of first name and then first three of last name. So my address would be [email protected]

    I have talked to John Bush (Electronic music reviewer) over there a few times…but I doubt he would be of much help.

  35. Allmusic’s content is good for the big bands, and no one matches the thoroughness of their coverage. But for some really great reviews, news, etc. for indie bands and really good music, see:

    http://www.pitchforkmedia.com

    it rocks. Sure, it won’t have tracks listing for Bon Jovi’s third album, but that’s what cddb is for :-).

  36. Pitchfork? You’ve got to be kidding me. People, the last place you want to go to get informed, intelligent reviews of albums is freaking Pitchfork.

  37. I fucking hate the new allmusic!!! I can’t believe what they have just done, it has become the most annoying search engine ever.

  38. nobody’s mentioned the fact that tagging music using their database in conjunction with tag&rename seems to be impossible now. or is it just me? whatever the problems with what i’ll refer to as ‘AMG Classic’ might have been, the redesign, as of this moment, excepting the positive improvement in colorscheme, is a complete disaster. how about an email campaign begging for an ‘AMG Classic’ interface, a la newegg and other large sites that have redesigned? i’m sad, even. i access AMG more than any other site on the net. it’s absolutely unusable now.

  39. I’m inclined to take the “indifference” route. I just can’t be bothered to help them after making this kind of decision in response to years and years of feedback. I’d rather just see their traffic drop off and their licensing business go up as other sites implement what they are demonstratively incapable of providing.

  40. Not only that but I’ve just registered and the password in my registration mail is wrong! Looks like they sent me the encrypted password, rather than the password itself!

    This blows…

    (I don’t think they’ve tested all the code, either)

  41. You gotta love their javascript coding and use of comments. From http://www.allmusic.com/js/MyAdvancedSearchFunctions.js:

    “// this is not tested AT_ALL, but is intended to be a cross-browser way of setting event handlers in HTML. I think it should work.”

    “// Fill day field. doesn’t jive with selected month, but oh well”

    “// O.B. WTF? hardcoded descriptors!?”

  42. Probably as a response to all the criticism, they have now disabled the notice that warns all non-IE browsers (they just commented out the Javascript at the end of the page, adding even more dead weight). So, instead of being upfront about it, they are simply sweeping the problem under the rug. Nice.

  43. I am a constant user of allmusic.com…it has been a resource that I have thanked for everyday when researching artists and labels etc! and now…I can’t understand a thing the site is telling me…which seems to be nothing. a terrible mistake. what a mess! fix it soon please.

  44. I’ve been an AMG fan since 1994, when I first licensed the entire database for an early online music store project. I’ve seen them evolve over the years to the point where “allmusic.com” was the first bookmark I’d add to whatever new browser I was using.

    This new set of changes is disastrous. I am really disappointed. I wish Google would license all AMG data and put up a super-lightweight, insanely fast Google-style version of the site, without flash, sans graphics except for band photos and album covers. AMG clearly doesn’t know what they’re doing when it comes to user experience — they’ve ruined allmusic.com — it’s a cryin’ shame.

  45. AMG is a subsidiary of AEC. AEC is a CD fulfillment service and one of the top handful (with Valley Media). AMG is the editorial database arm of AEC and has existed for many many years. It even went into chapter 11 at one stage.

    There business model is not about the allmusic.com web site even one little bit. It is about licensing their extensive database to retailers along with access to clip services etc. In this space they are the top player along with Muze and Loudeye, the latter focusing on content (clips etc) and branching into metadata.

    They planned to have a subscription version of the site to offer additional content and have planned to offer “ecommerce” through their allmusic.com site purely due to the volume of traffic which they receive on a daily basis.

    The management at AMG do not see the allmusic.com web site a a major priority due to their focus on sales of the all music database to retailers and more recently device manufacturers in Japan. The aim of the latter being to drive AMG enabled car CD players etc. In this space they are competing with Gracenote.

    With your thoughts bear in mind the position that the management at AEC and then AMG are coming from. They are CD wholesalers with a now valuable metadata asset which they licence. They are not particularly web savvy (as shown by this site issue) and don’t “get” the need to offer an appropriate reference site for the masses, most (99%) of whom whould not license the database from them.

    To summarise, AMG make their money licensing their database, they are not a consumer brand as such although they have a useful reference database which we all use. Their business focus is on selling their database and potentially using their allmusic.com traffic to generate cream.

  46. AllMusic have posted some responses to user feedback. I’m afraid it looks like the tabbed format could be staying. Someone really needs to show them the excellent layout of the imdb. They claim “If we stuck to the one page approach it would limit our ability to add additional information. That design approach (one page) just doesn’t scale as we expand content.” They should put all the most important content on the single page, so band information and discography with a list of similar artists, and then additional information can be available by clicking on a different page.

  47. ‘ve been using Allmusic’s website for reference for years. The new site they put up is a disaster. It’s slow. all the albums don’t come up for all the artists. sometimes i can’t find certain songs i’m looking for the is the worst mistake Allmusic coulve made. If they don’t do something about this site they are going to lose a LOT of traffic including me.

  48. Matt.oor: I’m missing the Tag&Rename linkup too, but luckily the developer seems pretty industrious and bangs out new versions/revisions a lot, so hopefully he will come up with something for the new layout.

    I’m equally miffed by it all. See my post.

  49. The redesign’s bad enough–the multiple tabs in particular–but I’m also having major performance problems, timeouts and a stupid canned “please hit refresh in your browser” message about 80% of the time. Does anybody have an e-mail address or URL for a form to submit our, um, opinions about the redesign? I’ve been working on the Web since 1995 I haven’t seen this poor a job since the original ICQ.com site by Mirabilis (remember that one?).

  50. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks AMG really fucked it good this time. Goodbye AMG.

    5 reasons I won’t be back to AMG after the redesign:

    1) Ads.

    2) Registration.

    3) Tabs. Can’t browse all the content at once.

    4) Discography no longer lists all songs on each album

    5) To see song listings you must register.

  51. well AEC has butchered a pretty great website. So much for the “free flow of information” promised us by those deregulating Washington lobbyists a few years back. In order to use AMG now you MUST answer invasive private demographic-seeking questions ( if you’re not a Windows IE user, you can’t use the site, period, so all this is moot). I say let them go to hell and seek out independent -minded search engines or review sites. Don’t let the era of Haliburton corporate whoredom win. F— ’em and spit on their grave.

  52. Heh, modofo, when I clicked on that link I got a “page not found” error. How fitting.

    I’m trying to access the site through a brand-spanking new XP system, using IE that was installed two weeks ago, and important links like search won’t work. I put “The Beatles” in the box and nothing happened, no little wavy windows flag, no status bar changes, nothing.

    Urgh.

  53. I got some strange error with New ALLMUSIC site.

    Some of the links on Top Page are OK, I can move to the link. But “Go” button followung after enter data of serch never works with my PC (not old michine) And right side New releases all links are not except “all new release” Left side of the top page, first steps are Ok I can click all of them but second step, for example after click “genre” I can move following address http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=73: but I never click all links of this page. What happend ?

  54. And I thought the problem was my webtv!

    I have the same problem with the RIAA searchable database. If you want to check an artits platinum or gold record status, it gives you a choice of dates to choose from, but the problem is it only gives 1958, you cant click to change the year.

  55. The Go button has stopped working for me also, as has the advanced search Go button that I tried after registering. Quality! Using IE6.

  56. i’m not a fan of the redesign myself, but i did want to remark on these topics:

    RE:

    >5 reasons I won’t be back to AMG after the redesign:

    >1) Ads.

    there’s been ads on the site for years. 2 i think.

    >2) Registration.

    it takes two seconds. make up a hotmail account

    for it. put in fake stuff. no one will know.

    >3) Tabs. Can’t browse all the content at once.

    those definetly blow.

    >4) Discography no longer lists all songs on each album

    what? yes it does.

    >5) To see song listings you must register.

    see, 2.

    if you’re still unhappy, ask for your money back.

  57. by the way, some of you are really acting like children. maybe you are, who knows. the redesign has major problems for sure. some have been addressed. response times are better. there’s better cross-browser usabilty going on. other issues will never be fixed probably. those tabs being the number one on my list. and then the use of way too much code to do something a lot easier. NONETHELESS, all the stuff is there plus more (sound samples!). It’s free still. They make no money on this site. they only lose money on it. so suck it up and be big boys and girls.

  58. Marcus wrote:

    Can we make a new catch phrase for sites like this? I’m thinking “dot-com retarded”.

    I suggest “neticapped”, from `Internet-Handicapped`, inspired by these companies complete ignorance about how the Internet works, how users on the Internet behave, etc. Plus, it sounds less offending than words like retarded, imo. πŸ™‚

    As for the new AMG… Oh. My. God. If Andrei would make an article on this design, I think he’d have the hardest time not getting absolutely furious at the complete and utter disgrace of IA, proper design implementations, and so forth. I’m having difficulties myself not opening my site prematurely just so I can write down all my issues with this new site. πŸ™‚

    I’ll support any large e-mail campaign to the top people of the parent company of AMG. In fact, that very idea just caused me to have an idea for a nice site for such occasions… Let me work on the idea for a while, I’ll get back to you all once I have it outlined more properly. πŸ™‚

  59. i think the single most frustrating aspect of the new design for me is that it *simply* doesn’t work – as in – AT BLOODY ALL! I cannot get the damn search function to work (which is what you want to use the site for 99.9% of the time).

    Enter a search term, press go (or return on the keyboard…….) nothing. Nothing at all. Zip. Nada. Nil. Doesn’t work.

    (IE6 on XP – same with Firefox).

    Am I the only one having this ridiculous problem? I think matthk seemed to be the only poster with the same experience.

    We can argue all day about splitting the content into tabs, cross browser support, pretty colours etc. etc., but if the most important function simply doesn’t work (and hasn’t worked here since the relaunch)….. *goes to mp3.com*

    what a wierd fuckup… they may be a small company, but have these people not heard of staging servers? have they not heard of testing?

  60. Faruk Ates….I am having the exact situation as you. AMG is big time broken. I rely on this site daily and no other option but to wait ’till they sort this all out.

  61. i too am amg-less… i can get to the front page but nothing works. i have win/xp – ie6

    here’s what’s puzzling (to me, anyway) .. my friend lives a few blocks away. same provider, same os, same ie. we both have high speed.. both have the same firewall and ad blocker. we’ve dated some of the same girls. he can access amg. i can’t.

  62. hartham: I also have that same problem. The button clicks and clicks and nothing happens. Also, I can’t get the music samples to load.

    This is terrible. The old AMG was one of my favorite sites ever. Now it’s completely un-navigable.

  63. AMG was the site I used most on the internet.

    What the hell have they done with it?

    I can’t get it to work at all.

    I think I’m going to cry…

  64. I’ll add my experience – same story. Can’t search. I click on Go button, nothing happens. All other links seem to work. I’m running IE 6 & Win XP. It’s not IE, ’cause Netscape doesn’t work either.

    Weirdness: On my wife’s PC – also IE 6 & Win XP – the Go button works fine.

    What to do? I used the “old” AMG all the time!

  65. I’ve just debugged the problem in Opera when you hover the listing. The designers just didn’t know about the new display types introduced in CSS2:

    TR.highlight {

    display: block;

    cursor: pointer;

    }

    You can’t set a TR to “block” (well, you can but then it will behave like a block, not be a table row anymore).

    TR.highlight {

    display: block;

    display: table-row;

    cursor: pointer;

    }

    would be cross-browser. Actually, I’m pretty sure just omitting “display” would work too, unless this is a row that is initially hidden with display:none.

  66. If I might add a comparatively petty complaint, before when one selcted an album a whole row of albums was displayed on the page as “sounds like” albums. I enjoyed this as I encountered much new music this way simply by finding the title or cover art intersting I would click on it and see, now this is removed…

  67. For those of you who can’t get the search button to work: JOIN THE CLUB!!!! I have read their troubleshooting FAQ and done everything they asked me to do: I am using IE version 6.0, I’ve enabled java scripting, made allmusic a “trusted site”, script blocking turned off, accept cookies, etc. I cannot search and most links (almost all) do not work when I click them.

    If someone at allmusic is reading this, please, please, please go back to your old design. It was simple, clean, and best of all, it worked. You have gone from one of the greatest web sites ever (imdb, google, yahoo and Amazon) to a complete non-working mess. I cannot think of a worse “improvement” of a perfect product. Maybe “New Coke?”

    If anyone out there has a solution, please post it. Thanks!

  68. >>>>Can we make a new catch phrase for sites like

    >>>>this? I’m thinking “dot-com retarded”.

    >>I suggest “neticapped”, from

    >>`Internet-Handicapped`

    No, no, no — you know very well they prefer the more politically correct term “internetally challenged”.

  69. VNU strikes again. They screwed up Billboard and now AMG. (They own both.) How can you have a site dedicated to music not be compatible with Mac, the most-used platform in music production? The Dutch need to stick to tulips.

  70. I’m sorry I don’t know JAVA but as a user from Holland

    I’m dissapointed in the content of the site.

    I’m not so much interested in the technical details but only in the accessability of data (sure: like Imdb provides for films)

    and here (where I live) we’re more interested what beautiful trx are made in the States, than in bogus Latin txts that the new site of AMG presents to us.

    Tom Waits f. ever Pascal Comelade f. ever Doors f. ever

    Ornette Coleman f. ever Trilok Gurtu f. ever

    ALL GOOD MUSIC F. EVER.

    That’s what counts

    And I was able to find it on AMG

    I hope I’ll be able to find it in the future,

  71. I am a simple Mac user but I always sail through the web easily. I was a great fan of AMG site but I can’t have a reply anymore from it. What a great day for communication! We just went back to the tower of Babel. Windows…Apple. They still divide the world! Back to the bookshop where all the words sound good to my ears…

  72. Hi there mac users (MAC OS 9 and below),

    if you use netscape 7.0 the new allmusic.com will work quite good, not as good as the “old” one but at least it is working. have a try.

  73. Yeah, it’s ugly. Yeah, the flash thing is near useless. Yeah, the site doesn’t render right in damn near anything, let alone my near and dear Opera.

    But you know what? I still can find what I need to find, and it doesn’t cost any more or less than it used to.

    I’m just afraid that allmovie is next.

    How about the scrapers get in on this action?

  74. Congratulations to whoever initiated this “conversation”. I found it while trying to find info re: AMG as my longtime bookmark was no longer working. I have written several messages to the management of the “new improved” site to complain about being excluded as a mac user (OK, I’m reluctant to have to open a whole new browser (eg Netscape) in order to view 1 (one!) site that I used to access with no problem from ie for mac.

    To their credit, they responded to my cries of “shame, shame” quite promptly. Unfortunately, even though I referred them to this site, as well as invoking common sense, this is the sum total of their concern: “Thanks for your feedback. We are aware that some users aren’t happy with the changes. But we have a very large and varied user base and our traffic has actually increased since the launch of the new site. So, while we don’t dismiss the criticisms, we have to weigh them with all of the other feedback and traffic numbers we’re receiving. Best Regards, AMG”

    Sad, innit?

  75. amg re-sesigned website: ” RIDICULOUS, HORRIBLE, A DISASTER. ”

    despite the advertisements, a great site before ( i want information, not the fluff crap ) that is NOTHING now. wkae up amg and fix the damn thing right!

  76. Please bring the other site back and please please don’t require ppl to register to shop your site.

  77. I was able to view AMG on my Mac using Netscape until last night, when I down loaded the new version of Netscape. Now, no more AMG! It is a damn shame, AMG was one very useful site for any one with broadbased muscial tastes!!

    I willingly switch between several browsers — and now none of the give me access to AMG.

    Who ever made these decisions at AMG have taken a perfectly good site made a real mess of things!

    It is a real shame!

  78. It’s several months since the initial change and it still sucks. I can’t imagine what they’re thinking.

  79. Andy,

    Frustrated as ever with the shittastic AMG design, and it brought me back to this post and reminiscence of the “good old days.” It really is abhorrently unusable – you talk about long links in the old design, but now it’s just an unlinkable .dll! RAWRRR!

    In other news, helllo, comment spammers!

  80. Allmusic.com has absolutely gone downhill. I’ve been waiting an hour to look up one album by Spoon. I’ve used this site extensively in my work but it just simply is useless now. Does anyone know if there are any alternatives to allmusic.com. It’s so sad, as that was once a very helpful site — the most helpful for music. But it’s simply no good anymore. Thanks.

  81. Well, I see this article was written in 2004 and the negative comments keep coming up to this year. I remember using AllMusic.com *all the time* before the redesign and then promptly forgetting it afterwards because it just became unusable. Now in 2008 I thought I’d check back and it still pretty much sucks. Renders ok in Firefox but way slow.

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