JPlayer to the Rescue


A few months back, the computer technology news followers among you might have noticed stories about Apple Computer’s purchasing the online music streaming service Lala. Each reporter or media outlet that bothered to comment speculated on what Apple's intentions might be, particularly as rumors swirled about the imminent release of the iPad. For now, those intentions remain unclear, but one thing is certain: as of May 31, Lala will be no more.

Why should this matter to you, dear reader? It has something to with a change you might notice in some of the more recent posts in the Musings section.

You see, last summer I started using Lala to make it easier for readers of that section to hear the songs I discussed when there were no other high-quality options already available online. I originally saw the service as a useful alternative to imeem, whose selection seemed limited and uneven. The latter was occasionally handy, as it contained some tracks (like a wonderful version of "Goddamn Lonely Love" by the Drive-By Truckers, recorded live at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville) that weren't available elsewhere. Last August, however, MySpace purchased imeem, and by December imeem was effectively shuttered. It was around that time that I started looking for alternatives to both services. I had seen good notices for jPlayer, but, upon investigation, realized I didn't then have the time to create a custom interface (its default would have looked terrible on this site). So I left the matter for another time.

This week's Lala announcement got me to reconsider, and in fairly short order yesterday I did the coding and image creation/editing work. It was much easier than I thought it would be—though there was a lot of tricky CSS math to do. The payoff is that, for the time being, I have a much more reliable solution for embedding audio, and you have better options for hearing it and interacting with it—even if you're using an iPhone. So, check out one of the Musings (say, the one about Felt), and give the new player a try. I think you might like it…