MegsRadio is first and foremost a student-driven project. As such, we tend to move at a snail’s pace during the academic year but then jam during the summer. Last summer, we successfully completed a “minimum viable product” and launched ahead of Ithaca Porchfest in September of 2016. We collected a ton of (mostly positive) feedback from artists and listeners.
The general sentiment was “cool idea but the user experience is a little rough around the edges.” It was apparent that we had a lot of work to do before MegsRadio would be successful in terms of having people want to use it on a regular basis.
We spent the winter digging through the feedback and doing a little internal reflection. Analyzing this feedback, conducting focus groups, and reflecting on our experience resulted in an action plan for this summer:
- A More Shareable Experience – direct links to artists, events, venues, stations
- Focus on Events – better music event recommendation, a map-based interface for finding local shows
- Robust App Development – our first Android app and all-new mobile-responsive web app
- Better Sound – playing higher quality music
- Backend Tools – faster and easier to add donated music, fix incorrect music data, improve the playlist
- Outreach – work with festival organizers, venue owners, and artists to get the word out
As you can see, we have our work cut out for us. It’s a good thing that we have a talented summer crew to pull it off:
- Chris Perez (Android App & Backend, The Senior Statesman)
- David Dorzey (Web & iOS Apps, The Frontend Master)
- Danny Akimchuk (Playlist Algorithms, The Brains)
- Joe Menduni (Backend & Audio, The Data Guru)
- Jon Burger (Web & Android App, The Traveler)
- Elena Piech (Outreach & User Experience, The Dynamo)
- Alex Python (Backend, The New Guy)
- Caroline Chang (Playlists, The Discoverer)
- Jared Lim (Audio Analysis, The Machine Learner)
- and me (Everything & Nothing, The Enabler)
Ithaca summers are my favorite time of the year. I get the chance to spend time outside and Ithaca has an abundance of live music. I also love working with a crew of talented and focused students. As a collective, they are going to build a web app, phone apps, and a music recommender system that will knock your socks off.