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A Sneaky Peek Part 2

Matthew Shorter Matthew Shorter | 12:35 UK time, Monday, 23 March 2009

We're now hours away from our music site relaunch and we're all in a lather of excitement up here in Music Interactive central. There's a couple of additional points I'd like to make in the meantime, this time about some things from our existing site that are being dropped.

If you're used to getting your online radio listening via our "Listen" page, you'll need to set up a new bookmark. For some time this page has been duplicating the content that's available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/programmes/genres/music/player, so now we'll be offering this link from our homepage as the primary source of genre-based links to BBC radio programmes on demand. There's a similar page for TV at http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/programmes/genres/music/player, by the way, which is also linked from our new homepage. You can also get both TV and radio via the iPlayer music category page.

Similarly, we feel that our "TV and Radio Listings" page is surplus to requirements now that the same content is available here.

If you're a regular reader of our album reviews, you'll immediately notice two things. Firstly, we don't have audio clips on the new pages. We're working on a way to bring this feature back to the review pages, but the old approach doesn't work as a result of the way the new pages are coded and published, and we decided that we didn't want to hold back our relaunch until we had a new system in place.

Secondly, we have a new comments system which we hope will work more smoothly (here's an example). It requires registration to comment, so that comments will be attributed to a user's BBC profile (we also find that registration normally raises the tone of the conversation in web comments), and comments will also appear immediately rather than needing to wait until they're approved by an editor here. Unfortunately we won't be able to retain comments from the old system across our archive of reviews.

Finally you'll notice that the new site doesn't have a navigation bar across the top or left hand side of the page. We like to think of ourselves as an honest broker between the BBC's family of music brands, and our main reason for being is to help music fans find BBC content via the genres, artists or albums that interest them, rather than providing a branded destination in ourselves. We've also tried to ensure that we offer useful contextual navigation between the different pages in our site within the pages themselves. For both of these reasons, we've taken the step of dropping our navigation bar. We hope you'll find the site a smooth experience to navigate. Once again, feel free to comment here or contact us directly.

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