(April 29th Note: For those of you commenting on the full-screen player: we have CSS menus that overlap the Flash module, which doesn't allow you to use Flash 9's full-screen feature. We are working on that.
For those of you trying to find music videos and TV videos, please try our improved search in the upper right.
If you want to watch a series of videos, make sure that "continuous play" is selected below the first video that you are watching.
Please be specific with complaints or praise.)
At MTV, experimenting is just something we do. We've got more than two decades of that under our belt. So, about nine months ago, we went all Flash with our Web site. It was a technical marvel and it was indeed flashy. But, it was also something of a headache for a lot of users, so we were told.
Luckily, we're also good listeners, and that's why a few months ago we started toying with a new and improved HTML version of the MTV site. Anyone watching the live beta site has been witness to substantial evolution, from the overall look of the pages to simplified navigation, a new video player and a vastly improved internal search mechanism.
Today, we've gone ahead and flipped the switch. The Flash site is gone. If you were digging that, we're sorry. We have good reason to believe that you will enjoy our content via the HTML version even more.
Beyond the obvious new look, here are a few key things about the new site that we're proud to deliver:
This new HTML version will allow you to get to the pages that you want more quickly. Not only has the page load time been drastically reduced, but we ditched the interstitial full-page takeover ads, too! Oh, there's still advertising on the site, but it's strategically placed so as not to overwhelm users while still being beneficial to our advertisers.
We made the global menu easier to understand and we better organized the site, too. Pulldown menus have been designed to get you to where you want to go as easily as possible.
Accurate internal search!
A few weeks ago, we switched to a Google search appliance. (Yes, that Google. Yes, we get the irony.) We've already seen vastly improved results in the HTML environment and there's tweaking to be done over the coming weeks that to further improve the way results are organized. We've got a lot of content; now we'd like you to find it and enjoy it.
No autoplaying video!
Gone is the persistent upper left corner video player that was a hallmark of the Flash site. We still think that was a pretty cool bell (or was it a whistle?), so we're reserving the right to bring it back again someday. If we do, we'll make sure it's something that is a benefit to your user experience. For now, we're serving up videos embedded into HTML pages in a way you're used to seeing them elsewhere around the Web (there's a no brainer, eh?). We've also included an option to watch clips individually or in a continuous play fashion. To boot, videos can be seen on the page in the small viewer or in two expansion modes -- one pops a scalable window, while the other fills the screen completely.
Whether it's a new or classic music video or an episode of an on-air series, we'll list relevant related video on the page to suggest other things you might be interested in watching that are waiting in our deep video archive. This addendum is still in a developmental stage and it's something we expect will grow more sophisticated over the coming months.
Our earliest fans likely remember a time when MTV promos were funny, compelling and, let's face it, sometimes just plain weird. Well, that spirit has never left us and it's bubbling back up to the surface again in the form of HATs (header art treatments) on MTV.com. That's what we're calling the changing graphic elements you'll see framing our pages. Right now, we've got about 25 in the gallery, but that number will grow as we open it up to artists around the world to contribute their work to the mix. (We'll post more details here soon about that opportunity.)
And we're not done. Not even close!
In fact, we're letting go of the idea of the site ever being "done." Every few weeks, new features, functionality, modules and other developments will roll out on the site. Some will be minor tweaks to existing elements that may be hard to spot. Some will be major additions, such as planned community features like rating and commenting on content. Our tech folks are working overtime on that one. Plus there's a huge list of other delicious things we want them to get to in short order, so surf around and stay tuned.
In the meantime, let's make this a conversation. If you love, have ever loved or would like to love MTV like we do, you've got an opinion that's worth hearing. LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY REQUESTS, SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS OR COMPLAINTS. We'll take compliments, too, if they're warranted
Seriously, talk to us. Leave your comments here, as we'll be checking in regularly and posting updates about the latest tweaks and additions.
The MTV.com Team