The picture below describes some of the features of the Player. Although most of them are obvious, we’d like to point out the Skip Forward and Skip Back buttons. Both are active only once a playlist has been loaded into the Player, either automatically or by the user (learn more about playlists here.)
Note the title of the playlist – “Serendipity: All Instruments.” This feature randomly selects music from our entire library (similar to the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature in Google.) You can edit the initial playlist preferences for your User Profile by going to Personal → User Profile. For example, instead of “all performances” as the source of selections, you can pick your preferred instrument - say piano or violin - and hear music chosen from this instrument the next time you enter Classical Connect. You can also turn this feature off by selecting “none” in your User Profile.
The Player has several buttons that allow you to learn more about the performance, share your thoughts, and save it to a playlist. The Details button opens a window with detailed information about the performance and, in many cases, with notes from the musicians or composer. (Keep in mind that the buttons at the bottom of the player are accessible only once you’ve logged in to the site).
Share lets you send messages containing a performance to your friends on Classical Connect, email a performance, or embed the performance into your blog. In order to listen to a complete performance, your friends don’t even have to be logged in! Once they’ve received a message from you with a link, all they’ll have to do is click on the link. A new page with the Player will open up and the complete performance will become available.
Compare allows you to compare the performance that is currently being played with another performance of the same piece. You’ll notice that sometimes the Compare button turns yellow (from its usual gray). Yellow indicates that we have another performance of the same piece of music. To learn more about Compare, click here.
Vote allows you to rank the performance on the scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest accolade.
Comments button allows you to share your thoughts about the performance with other users of the site.
Once you’ve joined the site, you’ll be able to create and manage playlists. You can view your default playlist, called MyPlaylist, by clicking on the Manage Playlists button on the right-hand corner of the screen:
The display looks like this:
Once you’ve added performances to your playlist, you can click the Play button to begin playing the selection. You can click on the title of the playlist to display it, and also to rename it.
To rename the playlist, simply click on the pencil icon.
Change the name and then hit Enter key. For example, we’ll rename this playlist to “Chopin1”:
To add a recording to the playlist, you can either add a recording from the Player or from your Search or Browse results.
Let’s say that you like Chopin and came across a nice performance of the Ballade no. 2, which you would like to save in your playlist: Click on the Add to Playlist button, in the player.
Your playlists will pop-up and you’ll see the following display:
If you want to add the Ballade to your playlist called Chopin1, click on Chopin1. You’ll see the following message:
The Ballade has been successfully added to your playlist! Click on the “x” in the right-hand corner if you want to close the message. Let’s say you found another piece of Chopin and added it to the same playlist (for example, the Barcarolle). Now you have two recordings in your playlist.
Click on Manage Playlists button and you’ll see the following display, showing 2 items in your playlist.
If you click on the playlist title, the content of the playlist will be displayed:
Clicking on the Play button will start your playlist:
Above, the title of the playlist in the Player is Chopin1, and the first of two recordings are being played (Ballade, Op.38). Once the Ballade is over, the second recording, Barcarolle, will begin playing.
If you know what music you’re looking for but don’t want to listen to it right away, you can add it to your playlist and listen to it later. You can do this by adding a performance to your playlist from the area that displays Search or Browse results.
Let’s say you want to add another composition by Frederic Chopin to your Chopin1 playlist. You can click on the Browse by composer button and select Frederic Chopin from the list of composers; all Chopin’s compositions from our library will be listed in the display area below the Player.
In the example below, note the Plus sign () on the right-hand side of the display. Clicking this will display a pop-up with all of your playlists (in our example, Chopin 1), - this will also allow you to create a new playlist.
By clicking on this icon a pop-up with your playlists will appear:
Select the name of the playlist to which you want to add this performance. You will receive a confirmation - “Item successfully added to playlist” - displayed below the player.
Even though the body of classical music is enormous, some pieces are recorded very often. For example, just think of the number of recordings of Franck’s violin sonata or Beethoven’s Appassionata. Not surprisingly, our library also contains a number of multiple performances, and you can compare the different interpretations using our unique Compare functionality. After all, there’s never just one “right” way to play a piece.
When our library has multiple performances of the same piece of music, you will see the Compare button on the player change from gray to yellow. Clicking on it will display all available performances.
If you click on the blue arrow compare button, a second player panel will open up, containing the second performance of the same composition.
You can listen to each of the performances, easily switching between the two. Use the position indicator to navigate through each recording.
To find out which recordings have more than one interpretation, just click on the Compare Performances link, which is located above the player:
A list similar to the one below will be displayed:
Click on a Play button to start the second performance and then continue with Compare. And don’t forget to share your thoughts about different performances with your fellow listeners!
You have a choice of selecting the type of music that plays when you enter the site. If you prefer a specific musical instrument, you could either select the most popular performances, or allow the system to pick the selection for that particular instrument. We call these lists "Top" and "Serendipity." Piano music lovers, for example, could either make the "Top Piano" or "Piano: Serendipity" playlists as their starting point. If you don't have a preferred instrument, you could still select the option of playing the most popular performances among all the musical categories. Or, you could simply have the system make the choice for you. Go to My Account, select My Profile from the top menu, and chose the appropriate playlist. And remember that you can always change your selection.
Did you know that you can send messages and share performances with your friends on Classical Connect? To do this, you need to first identify your Friends. It’s easy: go to Personal menu, then click on Friends. In the Search field, enter the name or an ID of a person and click on the Search button . For example, if you entered "John" several people will be listed. Select the one you’re looking for and click the Add button (it's at the right-hand side of the listing). The User ID of this person will populate your address book. The next time you decide to share a performance, all you have to do click on Share in the Player, select your friend and click Send.