|Tips & Tricks
A few tips compiled by the team to help you get the most out of semisolidradio.
How to open a page in a new browser tab
So you're enjoying the music on the home page, and you want to browse the artists on the site at the same time. Normally, clicking on the Browse Artists button would stop the player because we presume you are going to be loading the player with some new music shortly. If the player didn't stop, you'd wind up playing two tracks at once if you load the new copy of the player with music. But you may still want to do this, and who are we to presume?
Well, there's a neat way open a new tab in your browser so that the music doesn't stop (hey, wouldn't it be really cool if the music never stopped in Real Life™? Then again, maybe not. You have to sleep sometime). On your desktop, just right-click on the Browse Artists button (for example), and you will get the option to open that page in a new tab. On your phone, just hold down the Browse Artists button for a few seconds, and a menu will pop up allowing you to open the page in a new tab.
On my phone, the music stops playing after every song. How do I get it to stream continuously?
Mostly due to battery limitations in phones, and also to prevent nasty, spammy stuff from starting up automatically, a decision was taken by the industry to not allow auto-play of media on these devices. Unfortunately, this means if you build a site like semisolidradio that functions like a jukebox, the user needs to hit the play button each time a new song is loaded into the player. But there is a way around this, at least on Android phones.
The Chrome browser has a whole truckload of experimental features that you can enable or disable. Just type the following into the Chrome browser's address bar and hit Go:
You'll have to scroll down for quite a while through all the flags, but eventually you'll come to this one that is enabled by default:
Gesture requirement for media playback Mac, Windows Linux, Chrome OS, Android
User gesture requirement for playing media elements. Disabling this will allow autoplay to work.
So disable it, and now your phone will stream music continuously just like your desktop does :-) iPhone users cannot avail of this trick, because although you can download Chrome for iOS, it supports only a handful of those experimental flags, and this isn't one of them. As with most things Apple, it's their way or the highway.
How do I make a private album/show reel?
Firstly, it must be said that we don't know of any place on this marvellous new-fangled thingy called the World Wide Web where artists can share their stuff with fellow artists and friends without jumping through a whole lot of hoops. Sure, you can send them an e-mail with the tracks attached, but you have to send the e-mail to everyone you think might be interested, and then they're in possession of the actual tracks. But suppose you don't want these particular tracks to get out into the wild; you only want to stream the tracks to give folks a listen? Well, semisolidradio has you covered.
On the site using our already existing tools, you simply create a new album to hold the tracks you want to share, and assign it a 'private key' that you e-mail to selected people. At first we were thinking of auto-generating the key, but really now: you must admit that "aBfQ179wevn" isn't quite as catchy or easy to remember as "IansDemo7956". So you get to define the key. But there's more...
If you want people to be able to physically download a track, just untick the 'Stream Only' box on the track. Furthermore, if you've already created approved content on our site (so we trust you), the private page is automatically white-listed as soon as you create it and goes live without needing an administrator to review it. But of course, it's only visible to people you supply the key to.
Finally, if you decide this stuff you put up there is da biz and you want to publish it on the site for all to see, well... just remove the private key, save off the page again and shoot us an e-mail. Actually, if the tracks on the private page were already active, no further action is required. But if they weren't active yet, we need to make them so, and then they'll appear in the site's playlist. And that's it.