There is nothing better than using your own product to really understand the challenges a customer may come across. This week I decided to write about my experience using MediaNet Web Components. Some may ask what is a Web Component? In this case it is small web application that you can place on your website some refer to these as widgets. With the current MediaNet Web Component (WC) library it makes selling music easy and with little effort. As a customer using the WCs you can also present to consumers your own branding while adding engaging content to your web site and keeping visitors on your site to purchase music. To start I went through the process just like any new customer. I signed up at www.mndigital.com logged in to the customer portal and pulled down my web component identifiers or IDs and then got to work creating a music store. Before I could create the store I first needed a domain name and company to host it. In this case I choose www.1and1.com and decided to use Linux/apache hosting. Next was the domain name. For this I used the management and purchase tools from www.1and1.com and purchased www.tunesniper.com. With the hosting and the site name selection complete I needed to select the web development tool. For this I decided on Dreamweaver to build the site.
To get up and running quickly I started with the Store web component. This WC is a simple and complete MP3 music download store including search, song of the day and some automated content programming Buzz based on transactional and popularity data driven through our platform. It also includes navigation in the form of bread crumbs when you navigate away to other pages within the WC or other WCs. The store WC can be hosted basically anywhere and didn’t require any additional complex server side scripting. This WC is by far the fastest way to quickly create a music store. You can find the web component store example at www.tunesniper.com.
Next, I created another store building a mash up using a number of different web components from the web component library mashup. This example isn’t perhaps best use of MediaNet WCs but it does provide an interesting view on how to use a number of web components together. On this site I used a number of WCs including Song of the Day, Search, Charts, Cart, Media selector and Media Explorer. This site did require a small amount of PHP to deal with the server side scripting requirements for the Search WC. The other WCs I used don’t require server side scripting. All of the documentation for the web components is available on Web Component Documentation. So there you have it a simple MP3 Music store. Both examples don’t take advantage of the web component customization features I’ll cover that later in a future blog entry. The source code for both sites is available for download below.
I can say my experience out of the box is exactly what I expected and with MediaNet Web Components creating a MP3 music download store didn’t require a significant amount of time or effort to put together.