New Media Players & Chat February 26th (From the 23rd)

Posted by Gina Bianchini on February 12, 2009 – 7:49 pm


Update: We’ll be putting this release out at 8pm PST tonight.

On February 23rd 26th, we’re releasing new video, photos, and music players as well as the major improvements to Chat we talked about a few weeks back. There will also be a few more visual changes you may notice as well.

Here’s the Screencast:

Today, your social network on Ning comes with video, photos, and music players that are uniquely branded for your social network. Your members can take these media players and embed them anywhere on the Internet, directing people back to your social network on Ning. Best of all, you can fully customize them to have your colors and your brand, which makes them totally integrated with your social network’s look and feel even when they are embedded all over place.


In this release, the video, photos, and music players on your social network are getting a new design and a few more features. These new media players should give your members even more ways to watch and share your social network’s videos, photos, and music or podcasts with each other on your social network or across the Internet.

New Video Player
Here’s the new video player. You can click on the screenshot here to see all of its various incarnations. It will assume the colors of your social network automatically:

video_5201

The (high) video quality remains the same and the video player itself has a new design with updated icons and controls that match the theme and colors of your social network. Better yet, the buttons disappear when you move your mouse away from the controls. It will also play related or latest videos in a video playlist available at the end of each video.

New Photos Player
Here’s the new photo slideshow player. Again, you can click on the screenshot to see all of its various incarnations:

photo_5201

New Music Player
Last but not least, here’s the new music player:


ng_music_520

Aside from the new visual design – which takes on your social network’s theme and colors – it’s quick and easy to jump around between songs and playlists are much easier to view and use. You can sort playlists by track number, title, artist, album or by the name of the person who added the track.

And, just as before, you can activate shuffle or repeat mode, change the volume, and rate songs. Your members can also pop out the music player into a new window, allowing them to continue listening to uninterrupted music as we browse the social network.

When these media players go live, there unfortunately won’t be the option to keep your social network’s existing player design. While we generally look to keep current options available, this is one of those cases - like the new Latest Activity feature - where we need to update it across the board. We welcome your feedback and will look to continue to improve them as we move forward.

New Chat
Here’s the new closed chat window at the bottom of your social network. As we’ve mentioned previously, Chat will now be persistent at the bottom of every page of your social network:


chat_thisis50_closed_small

And here’s its open state:

chat_thisis50_open_small

As for new features, there are audio notifications and a few more you’ve been asking us for. Here’s our latest post on it.

A Few More Improvements
Rounding out the improvements in this release are a number of visual design changes.

The first change you’ll notice is a new default avatar to replace our previous “gray man”. Now the default avatar will take on the colors of your social network. If you want to replace this new default avatar, you have the option to upload your own default avatar for members who haven’t added their photos.

We’ve also removed the requirement for you to add an image when creating events and groups. As a result, we have new default event, group, and video images. You can also replace the default event or group image with your own choice, just like what you can do today with your default member avatar.


In smaller changes, we’re updating the Ningbar at the top of your social network with a few minor link adjustments and changing the button styles to make actions more obvious.

We’ll get a screencast out shortly which will hopefully bring these new features to life. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts and questions in the Ning Help Center. Thanks!


Gina Bianchini Posted by Gina Bianchini, written on February 12, 2009 – 7:49 pm.

It is filed under New Releases (Permalink)


Also on the Ning Blog…









  1. 53 Responses to “New Media Players & Chat February 26th (From the 23rd)”





  2. Will the chat window be a fixed sized? Or will that be customizable?

    By Jeff Rothe on Feb 12, 2009




  3. It will be a fixed size but you can also pop it out and adjust the size to whatever you’d like to adjust it to as a member.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 12, 2009




  4. Thanks Gina!

    By BroadwayAllDay on Feb 12, 2009




  5. In AWE. I love YOU!

    By KicksOnFire.com on Feb 13, 2009




  6. Ning is rockin’ and rollin’! The new players look slick. The new chat is going to be great - Life is great right now on planet ning!


    By Russell Haney on Feb 13, 2009




  7. Awsome Ning!!!! :-)


    By MiAltos on Feb 13, 2009




  8. That looks fantastic!

    By Thom on Feb 13, 2009






  9. Wow, that is great! I can’t wait for all of these changes to come in. Rock on!

    By Eric Novak on Feb 13, 2009





  10. Absolutely agree - RockNing and RollNing! Love the new media player features - we’ve been waiting. Thanks again, Gina :-)

    By Shyam Madhavan Sarada on Feb 13, 2009





  11. awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    By DC13 on Feb 13, 2009





  12. All positive changes, especially the players taking the look of the theme. We are looking forward to the changes AND the challenges. :)

    By Thomas Richard Hoey on Feb 13, 2009





  13. The changes will be awesome. Those are the three things that made me cringe a little when looking at my social networks… :/ Now, we can have a “professional-looking” network!! Thanks! :)

    By Sean Palladino on Feb 13, 2009




  14. Oh this looks NICE. I’m loving all these new updates! Plus they’re being implemented on my birthday!! Even better. =)

    By Charnita Fance on Feb 13, 2009




  15. I hope someone at NING would like to marry me…. I’m just in love with all you guys right now :)

    By Brian on Feb 14, 2009




  16. Super! as long as it doesn’t come preloaded with Jay-Z! ;)

    By Hari Karam Singh on Feb 14, 2009




  17. Great, I can’t wait to this update!

    By Jun Miyazaki on Feb 14, 2009




  18. well done!~ =)

    By TYC on Feb 14, 2009




  19. Fantastic Gina!


    Once again we salute you on all the Ning New Media, Chat and Other Improvements in the making. As you bring the news to us, we proudly take it to all our members.

    You make us proud to be apart of such a growing and innovative network. Keep it up!

    Sincerely,

    Albert and Tempie
    THE WINNING TEAM

    By ALBERT AND TEMPIE on Feb 14, 2009






  20. really cant wait to see how my site will look. i’d addd the chat application now.

    By ameh on Feb 14, 2009





  21. Awesome as always!!! Thank you all!

    By Glauco schaffer on Feb 14, 2009





  22. Will the Chat bar also conform to our network’s colors? Or will it always be gray?

    Regardless, fantastic job Ning folks! All these updates sound great.

    By Bryan Harley on Feb 14, 2009





  23. Hi Bryan!

    Chat will have the same consistent, clean, gray look at the bottom of all social networks that have enabled the Chat feature. Down the road, we’ll look at adding color/theming options!

    By Evan Goldin on Feb 14, 2009




  24. Rock n Rolla Nice one!

    Just one thing will we still have the who’s on-line feature?
    Keith

    By Keith Davis on Feb 14, 2009





  25. Hi Keith!

    With the new chat, all members who are online will appear in the “Who’s Online” panel in your Chat feature, unless they have specifically decided to hide their online status. Additionally, the new version of Chat will always show all signed-in members of the network (except those who have chosen to not appear), because — when enabled — it will show up on all pages. This is in contrast to the current version of Chat, which only lists which members are online throughout the network when placed in the right column.

    By Evan Goldin on Feb 14, 2009






  26. Brilliant another great update. Keep inventing ning we are going to be number one soon.

    By Lisa Leah on Feb 15, 2009





  27. can’t wait to see the new media player & chat…ning rocks!!

    By Petroy AkA Fuxx on Feb 20, 2009





  28. Will the new options on the video pages allow embed videos to be played on fullscreen without using a pop up window?

    By Hanzo Kimura on Feb 22, 2009




  29. Hey Hanzo - it will still require a popup window.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 23, 2009




  30. Nice updates!

    By Maureen Guest on Feb 23, 2009




  31. Great changes and updates. CAN’T WAIT!! You guys are amazing!! Keep up the great work.

    By Vicky aka VickStix on Feb 24, 2009




  32. Can’t wait we like all the bells and whistles that you provide…
    always something new to look forward to…. the latest activity featuring the content of the post on the main landing page is the only update that has been an issue for us….

    By ~cyber~ on Feb 24, 2009




  33. Hi these changes were much needed. Thanks for making them. However, (:-) I really wish there was some more features for those of us who have music websites for artists. My members have been asking for play counts so they can see how many times someone has watched their video, listened to their music, etc. Also the repeat button has never worked on the current players. Hopefully it will work this time. Thanks for endeavoring to make all our wishes come true.


    Thedy B

    By Thedy B on Feb 24, 2009




  34. Hey Thedy B - playcounts for both video and music players are coming this week with this release on Thursday, February 26th: http://blog.ning.com/2009/02/new-media-players-chat-february-23rd.html. And we’re confirming that repeat will work :-)


    Moreover, in April, we are going to launch a full music feature, similar to photos and videos. This should be great for music social networks on Ning.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 24, 2009




  35. Well this is not good for people who use their work computer which do not have Flash player stuff on them and do not have permission to install such just to be able to chat. Nothing wrong with the chat box we have now and it has smileys :) I hope it will remain optional to put on the pages or not. Thanks.


    By Diana on Feb 24, 2009




  36. Hey Diana - I appreciate where you are coming from but unfortunately, we need to go with a flash solution here. Flash ensures that the chat experience will work flawlessly and address the bugs/user experience issues in the current chat feature. Therefore, it won’t remain optional to keep it on pages. I can see how this is an issue for you but unfortunately it’s the right decision for the other social networks and members on Ning.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 24, 2009






  37. Thanks you all..I was waiting for a feacture like the new Chat on every page of my Network…That’s a real blessing for me and for all of the members in my Network “LA NUEVA CONCIENCIA….that’s like a prayer being answered! Thanks so very much! I know I want to spend the rest of my life with Ning!…..Jorge Rodriguez ..www.lanuevaconciencia.ning.com

    By Jorge Rodriguez on Feb 24, 2009





  38. Do the new chat room have file upload access as well?

    Arinanna

    By Arinanna Afsanay Di Ly on Feb 24, 2009





  39. Hey Arinanna - they do not.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 24, 2009




  40. Hi Gina,

    I am excited and looking forward to the new features. Thank you for working so hard to make our life easier. I am proud to used/represent your products & services platform. My webgenex3000 clients will be very happy.

    Thank you! Your hard work is appreciates.

    By khmerFC on Feb 24, 2009





  41. ok, next question, about media player. Will this be ok for people to have their music on there as it is now, or will they need to start over and reload songs? Thanks and I’m great with moving along with tech stuff just need to be prepared for how to answer questions to the group members. Thanks so much :) Hey this is a great site just trying to keep up with u lol! ~Diana

    By Diana on Feb 24, 2009





  42. Hi Diana!

    You and your members will not have to upload new music for the new players. It will automatically, instantly replace your old players on your social network, and display all the music you’d previously uploaded!

    By Evan Goldin on Feb 24, 2009





  43. Awesome. Thanks, Gina and staff for all your hard work and continued efforts to improve NING. We intend to become payng subscribers now aht we have over 1,000 members, many of who are quite active.

    Question about chat. Currently you show “Who’s Online”. But it is a little confusing because you can not tell “Who’s in the Chat Room”. It is better than nothing and I am grateful indeed. But it is not logical.

    You see, when I see someone is online I might try to chat them……you know the familar call. “Hey Gina….you around? Do you see me here? Hey, are you in the chat room?”

    Anyone who uses the current chat has been through this frustrating ritual many times. It discourages people from using it ultimately. Just because a person is “online” does not mean they are in the chat room or that they want to chat. Can you see my logic?

    Just a suggestion. Make it where people can go INTO the chat room or leave the chat room and also have “Away” messages too.

    Any comment or future plans for this?


    Again thank you all!

    By John Richeson on Feb 24, 2009




  44. Hi John!


    That’s great feedback. We totally hear you on the that point, and we’ll see if there’s a way that we can improve Chat down the road to better differentiate who’s actually chatting vs. who’s online on your social network.

    Your input is really appreciated.

    By Evan Goldin on Feb 25, 2009




  45. Thanks for all you are doing to improve what we all think is already quite remarkable.

    By Bobby Frese on Feb 25, 2009




  46. its feb 26 in australia! we’re in the future, so we actually already have the new chat and the new media players haha.. i wish.. argh one more day! i keep hoping your gonna surprise us with an early update.. lol


    By Mike on Feb 25, 2009




  47. Do we have an ETA of when the new features take effect? Will my chat automatically move from the main page to the bottom of the page like in the demo?

    By PickUrStyle on Feb 26, 2009





  48. I noticed today (The 26th) no changes, Has this been implemented as of yet?
    If this has not been implemented yet, Will our networks be taken offline while this is being uploaded?
    Thanks

    By Lao Buddy on Feb 26, 2009





  49. has this been roll out already… I dont see any changes on my network when I am online.. can anyone tell me if the roll out has been started

    thanks!

    By Vhiel M.R. Vance on Feb 26, 2009





  50. Hi all!

    As is typical with our feature releases, we’ll be rolling this out tonight. We’re aiming for around 8 p.m. Pacific time. Once we roll this out, you’ll automatically see your social network’s music, slideshows and videos in the new players — and chat will move from being a module to a persistent bar at the bottom of your social network.

    We’ll be sure to post on the Ning status blog and send a broadcast message to all members of Ning Network Creators once the release is live.


    By Evan Goldin on Feb 26, 2009




  51. Thanks Evan…..
    So, The chat module that we have will be gone? I should start making a banner then for my users to know where to look then huh?… Will the new chat be only on the bottom tool bar? will the Chat Tab be removed? I hope my members will be able to locate it.


    By Lao Buddy on Feb 26, 2009




  52. Hey Lao - yup, it will be gone and replaced with the new version at the bottom of every page.

    By Gina Bianchini on Feb 26, 2009





  53. Excellent! Good work NING! My community and I are excited for the new release. One simple question: will the “Chat” tab on my network remain functional opening chat in a page on my network still? Or is it that bar or nothing… I just want to be sure that my newer members know where to get their chat fix! :) Cheers!

    By Jake // HookahDomain.com on Feb 26, 2009





  54. Hi Jake!

    Your members will want to look on the bottom bar to get their Chat fix — that’s where it will be across all of your social network’s pages.

    Thanks!
    Laura

    By Laura Oppenheimer on Feb 26, 2009











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