Review: The New Designers.MX
I discovered Designers.MX about a year ago. I liked it. It was simple. It looked great. There were good mixes. It even had a bit of exclusivity. That, “Dang, I want to submit a mix,” invite-only, dribbble-style allure.
It wasn’t my go-to music player(Rdio), but it filled an important gap. I would head to Designers.MX when I wanted some new music or couldn’t really decide what to listen to. Or when I was just curious what some designers were listening to.
So what happened? Designers.MX just released a complete revamp of their website. I was excited to check it out and was finally able to get in there last week. First impression: looks pretty cool. Next impression: what now?
Okay, so they decided to go in a bit of a different direction, whatever, I just want to get to the music. *Clicks music filter button* Spotify…eh, Rdio, great! Just look for the blue dot. Not a ton of ‘em, but whatever.
I get wanting to stream with Spotify & Rdio. It makes sense. Hosting music has…issues. Big ones. But the whole Spotify-app-needs-to-be-open-to-play is absurd to me. It’s actually painful. Rdio seems to be a nice solution there.
That’s not my main riff with the external streaming though. The bigger issue is the incompatibility with a ton of freely available music on the internet. 6/10 of the most played playlists on Designers.MX are not compatible with the new setup. 60%! That sucks! There’s roughly 180,000 views/listens/whatever on those six playlists. The DesignersMX Tumblr says they are looking into other options; I really hope they can figure out a way to get all that other awesome junk back in there(Janna Hagan’s mixes are a great example).
Now that the gloom is out of the way, I feel I should note that I’m salty because I liked it the way it was. I see where they are going, and that’s fine, it just bums me out. It feels so bloated now. Like I have to go through a maze to find the one thing I came for. And with Rdio’s new custom playlist artwork feature, I’m not really sure I’ll spend much time at Designers.MX.
Am I still going to use it? Maybe a little. Am I going to miss out on a bunch because I refuse to use Spotify? Probably. Do I expect this free service to directly cater to me? No. Will I forever be bummed that they decided to create a new Pinterest rather than polish a useful app? Absolutely.