- MediaMaster is shutting down – We did some really interesting user research to help define the overall value proposition, concept, and user experience. Exciting to see what they were able to do but obviously disappointing to see where it ended up a few years later. "Don’t wait for large corporate partners to make your business viable, it needs to be so on its own. Design it well from the start, it helps when you don’t have to re-engineer the interface, it’s the most complex part! (That was not a problem we had)"
One of our recent clients, MediaMaster just launched their product, that “lets you store all your music on the internet and play it from any internet-connected device.”
Their path from idea to launch has been a fascinating one (and I don’t know most of it, I’m sure). They came to this with a hand-coded technology to rip (via a CD jukebox) many albums in sequence, sort of a mass-scanning technology for CD ripping. But if you are going to rip the same albums over and over again, it’s time- and cost-effective to simply already have a copy of them already ripped and rather than rip, why not just check liner bar codes for proof of ownership and download the songs already on hand? And since the songs are already online, why not tie it to purchase of a new CD, and why not keep the music online permanently?
They dealt with a crazy mess of technological afforandances, changes of behaviors, retail and other partnership challenges and on and on. We did an online survey with some concepts, and then took concept boards out into homes to talk to different types of hypothesized target customers.
The product development process deals with a lot of moving targets, but startup folks deal with an excess of that challenge, collating input and constraints from so many quarters, it must make them crazy.
I’m excited to see the product launch, and to see where they’ve ended up with it, given where we were at during those rounds of research. I don’t know their business model, since the service is free right now. It’ll be fun to watch what happens with it and see if they make it succeed.