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AJAX Used to Design Web Audio Player

Al Bawaba Uses AJAX to Launch "First of Its Kind" Device

Jordan-based Al Bawaba, a website focused on news and information for the Middle East, has announced the launch of their new web based media player. Built on AJAX , the player is the first to be fully online, and is a perfect example of how the unique capabilities of AJAX can be harnessed to enhance online user experiences. The player is loaded with a huge library of Arabic and English language songs and videos to satisfy the taste of millions of users.

Says Ammar Ibrahim of Al Bawaba, "Our philosophy was to design a player on the web that matches the experience of using a standalone player to a certain extent. We got rid of annoying page refreshes wherever possible. "

Here's an example of how AJAX was put to use in developing the player: When the player is open, and the user wants to add a song to his playlist, an AJAX request is made to get the names of the playlists that he has stored in the database. The user then chooses a playlist, and another AJAX call is made to store the song in the playlist.

Ammar Ibrahim of Al Bawaba says, "In traditional applications it would have taken 1 or 2 page refreshes to do add a song to a playlist. So we are enhancing the user experience, and making a faster experience for users on slow connections, because AJAX requests are very small in size and you get thye data you only need, you don't reload the whole page all over again."

Since the player on the site is already open, when notified, it updates the playlist listing. The player is written in flash, and hence flash remoting rich internet application (RIA) is also used.

Another important feature of the Albawaba player is the 'saving state'. Using AJAX and flash remoting, the application is kept just the way the user last left it. This is a great usability issue, people expect their software to be the way they last used it. Commenting on this feature, Ibrahim says, "In the classical web applications that don't use AJAX, this would cause the page to refresh on every single change that was made to the player, so if one changed the volume when the player was playing a song it would be necessary to refresh the player and cut the playing of the song which is really annoying."

The player seems to have become highly popular among the website's users, and the number of sessions has increased by 10%. It is anticipated to become hugely popular across the ME. Commenting on the player, Mr Hani Jabsheh, Al Bawaba's Director, said, "According to global media auditor BPA Worldwide, Al Bawaba is the highest trafficked audited website in the Middle East and we are very proud of our achievements to date. With over one million downloads in May, we are expecting a total increase of 25% in June as more and more Al Bawaba users experiment with the new player."

More Stories By RIA News Desk

Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to [email protected] to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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