Web 2.0 review: Webjay

By: Eva Kol
On: September 25, 2006
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About Eva Kol
I recently got my MA degree at the VU studying CIW (in my case a combination of Dutch literature, Italian and communication sciences). At the moment I'm happily working to become a Master of (New!) Media at the UvA. My thesis will be about the social networking website Hyves.


WebjayWhat’s it for?
On Listible I found the website Webjay which is a so called ‘playlist community’ from Yahoo. The site introduces itself as ‘a tool that helps you listen to and publish web playlists.’ People can upload songs from the web or from their own pc to create lists of songs of their own taste. Those lists can be listened to by every visitor of the site, using MP3 players like WinAmp, iTunes, RealOne or Windows Media Player. There are two tabs in the menu option browse: one is a ranking of popular playlists, the other one of new playlists. Users name their lists, they can give an indication on what to expect of the style. On the right side of the page the most popular or newest songs are highlighted and there’s a link to the creator of the list. The website claims to be legal, ’cause it does not store or transmit music itself, it just provides the links to the music.

Is Is it easy to use?
Visitors who just want to listen to the music just need to click on a particular list and their MP3 player does the job. Playing Webjay-lists can be an alternative for listening to online radio stations with tons of commercial breaks and it can be nice if you want to discover some new songs or are tired of your private collection of MP3s. An advantage of the site is that the web-based playlists are portable, meaning the songs don’t actually have to get transferred. A formatted text file containing the playlist can easily be sent by email or uploaded to another website.
Managing an account on the site doesn’t cost you anything since it’s for non commercial use. Creating an account to fix your own playlists is surprisingly easy, you only have to enter a username and password. You can link the account to your own website, if you have one. This does come in handy for DJ’s, as it is a way to promote their music by linking from their account and playlists to personal websites. Also if your not a professional DJ, it’s fun to create your own lists and see how people respond with comments to your skills of selecting songs.

What about the design?
There’s not a single banner on the site or any other kind of advertising, which is always pleasant. I wouldn’t qualify the layout as very exciting. It’s kind of boring and plain, but that may increase the usability. Creating an account, you can select an avatar from a range of very old school like pictures (or upload one yourself). The help section’s design is alright, but the FAQ section for newbies (where users can answer each others questions) looks very poorly organized. In short, the design isn’t especially sparkling or colourful – which would probably be appreciated by the many young visitors – but well, it’s all about the music!


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