Premium Music Solutions - Interactive City

The Premium Music Solutions home page - an interactive city with each building representing a different genre of music being promoted. Click to launch website.

After about four months of development, has launched. I'm excited. It's been some time since I did the first proof of concept of the Christmas village at the center of the city, with its blinking lights and falling snow. The rest of the city was finalized months ago, but the client decided to hold off on the site going live until the second phase - building the interiors of each venue, which house the full song information - so everything would go live at once.

One of the six venue interiors - this is Club T, featuring disco, club, and other dance-friendly music. Click to launch website.

The song data is all XML-driven so they client can make changes and updates on their own, without my intervention. As always, the handshake between Flash and XML - making the information flexible enough to accomodate, say, multiple pages of of songs - is always the most difficult technical piece, but it pays off in the end. Now the client can maintain all of their own content - an efficiency and cost-savings.

Another minor technical feat: the interiors of the venues all use one Flash file. Each venue has its own HTML page with a single FlashVar, "venue", passing down a value of 1 through 6 to the .swf file. The .swf then goes to the appropriate background image for the venue, and pulls in the appropriate XML file based on that value, which then propagates all the song data. This is also an efficiency issue - I only have one file to maintain - and also helps the site load quickly, since once the first interior is loaded, all subsequent interiors load near-instantly, as they're really just opening the same .swf.

One other "trick" I tried, which I've seen before but hadn't attempted - actually a trick in two parts: The interiors of each venue show large text buttons for the other five venues, but not a link for the venue you're currently in. A small thing, perhaps, but it's nice to only present the user with the options other than the one they're seeing. And part two - instead of having an off/over state for those buttons (they all seemed to important to keep "dimmed" when they're off), instead, when the user rolls over one of them, the other five temporarily dim.

Now go check out the traffic lights and cars on the home page. Yes, they really work. Now it's time to add in some pedestrians.

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