I have been using the UK Napster service since it launched in May 2004 and have stopped using Wippit and MSN Music Club(OD2) as the Napster Experience is vastly superior to the OD2 offerings which appear to have been designed by Dilberts who may know their technology, but have never heard of usability.
"Napster is a fantastic brand to launch in the UK and by carefully tailoring the service to the local market we have an unparalleled proposition for UK music fans," said Napster UK general manager Leanne Sharman.Napster Press Release (May 2004)
Whilst Napster may know a little about usability they obviously aren't aware of the usability issues around internationalisation.
Chris Gorog - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Bradford D. Duea - President of Napster Division
I am currently paying £10 (which don't come for free!) a month for Napster and I just want to be treated as a 1st Class Customer instead of feeling like somone who's being taken for a bit of a ride.
In the US people are being offered a free mp3 player if they sign up for a year. When will I get the same offer?
The prices for buying songs are too high at (99p a song) so I just stick to the streaming jukebox and radio stations. If Chris and Brad want to treat me as an American then can I have the same offers and pay the same prices?
The customer support for UK napster is a sad joke. I have used the 'community' message boards and I suspect that the so-called uk support staff are just a few students who have been paid in beer to establish a presence on the boards but not actually provide any support.
I have started playing a game called 'doubles' where I choose two songs from an artist I know and put them onto a playlist and then look at the recommendations for that artist to lead me to my next doubles selection. This selection method means that as well as listening to some old friends I also get the opportunity to dip my toes into some new artists that I wouldn't otherwise have experienced. This game relies on the "Recommendations" links to make it anything other than a random selection exercise.
Well every now and then the Recommendations disappear from Napster. In July (2004) I have noticed this happening twice. There has been no explanation from Napster and you can see the reponse from napsterukstaff in the screenshot below.
"Seems to be working fine for us" - well that's OK then, as long as all is well in Santa Clara why waste time worrying about the colonies?
American arrogance really gets on a lot of peoples nerves, Chris and Brad should realise that they can't get away with treating us as cash cows indefinitely.
Here is some free advice for Chris and Brad: In the UK we don't have a season called "Fall", it's called "Autumn" !
It's a shame that you didn't do any usability testing with users from the UK as they would have told you about the Fall/Autumn issue. Although I suppose that I should be grateful you managed to display the dates in the correct dd/mm/yyyy format on the message boards.
In addition, can you make your chart list consistent in it's display. You have go the most recent year at the top of the list, but when you open the year folder you see the seasons displayed in the opposite order with the most recent season at the bottom.
This means in a couple of months when Autumn comes around the list should look like this:
If you would like to spend a little bit of money on finding out about some of the other usability problems then contact me and I can recommend some people who can help you.