Tag Archives: ads

Walkabout NYC – May 2011

Inspired by Danny Choo‘s long running A Week in Tokyo series (possible NSFW link), I want to post an odd assortment of photos taken around NYC in the month of May. Instead of one off twitpics, a series of unrelated NYC photos makes for good juxtaposition.

NYC Subway Ad

Dorky yet amusing.

Kalbi from Shilla Ktown

You can never have too much Kalbi.

Vintage Bowling Set

I don’t remember what UWS furniture store this came from.

Red Mango Fulton St Grand Opening

More pay by the ounce yogurt shops is a good thing. The white peach yogurt I got was a bit too runny

Soul Daddy sauces

South St Seaport area – Soul Daddy of American’s Next Great Restaurant fame

Xiao Long Bao sauce stacks

So great, so far away. Nan Xiang Dumpling House in Flushing

Shaved Ice topped with Condensed Milk

As you can tell, I’m never one to shy away from blanket generalizations! Condensed milk goes great with everything! So does tapioca pearls, aloe vera, and bacon (though not necessarily all in the same dish)

Also in Flushing, at Ice Fire Land

Uniqlo Captain Jack Sparrow Shirt

The Disney hype machine is building up for the latest Pirate’s movie. This shirt was spotted at Uniqlo

Goomba hats

From the Nintendo World store, goomba merch

Bowser backpack

You guessed it, from the Nintendo World store. I’d buy this, but $50 is too much for a novelty backpack

TSL3 Afterparty

From the TSL3 afterparty, you can see Thorzain in the background with the adidas three stripes garb

Brown Butter with Candied Bacon on Brioche Cookie

Coolhaus in NYC. That is one seriously heavy dessert

Monopoly Graffiti

Representing the streets of NYC

Chelsea Market exit

The Chelsea Market is a great example of repurposing old buildings (but this isn’t new news)

Whole Foods - Columbus Circle

Looking down at the Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center

Pandora’s Dated Browser UI and Poor Monetization

As an iPhone user, I’ve been using Pandora for a couple years now. The mobile user interface (UI) works well.

Pandora iPhone UI

In this iPhone screenshot, we can see that the Kanye West station is currently playing. We can easily change stations by scrolling up/down and selecting a station. Adding or removing a station is intuitive. This is a solid, popular mobile application that makes great use of the environment.

My question is how come the desktop browser implementation is so poor? Perhaps they want you to use Pandora One? I don’t hit 40 hours a month and don’t need to pay for ad-subsidized radio.

Pandora browser UI

The current implementation works, but that’s like saying the DMV works. Don’t get me wrong, Pandora is a great service. If they spent time improving their free browser application, they could significantly improve the usability and monetization.

Pandora browser UI with Ad

Their current model is to frame the audio player with rotating ads, which is a perfectly fine business model. What is not acceptable is how little of the screen is used. It’s one thing to have a simple application with simple controls. It’s another to have a simple application with poor controls.

The audio player takes up a ballpark of 600 x 300 (w x h) pixels. It’s debatable whether your site should have a minimum width of 800 or 1024 pixels. It’s inefficient to only use 600 x 300 for your audio player and force your users to scroll up and down within the tiny box of radio stations.

I wanted to make the point that Pandora should allow you to flag songs into a wishlist for easy purchase later. Apparently this exists as their bookmark feature. After reading the FAQ, I’m unable to access my bookmarks or my profile.┬áThis is because Google Chrome blocks new windows by default. In this case, I’m siding with Chrome, because there is no reason that Pandora has to open a new window/tab so I can view my bookmarks. How about using some of that screen real estate, outside of the 600 x 300, to display page elements. Crazy right?

Pandora is a great, free service that works. They could improve their monetization by explaining bookmarks and improving their UI. Their browser conversion rate for song purchases would be significantly higher with a better browser UI.