Over this last weekend I’ve made efforts to improve this website and its web technology in both an aesthetic and a commercial sense. One of the things I did to accomplish this was to reinstate the
on the Home (Welcome) Page.
To accomplish this I have had to basically completely rewrite the widget, and then subject it to a number of tests prior to displaying it on this site. Why did I have to re-write it? The reason was that it simply wasn’t coded in a way that was in any way compatible with a modern secure website using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate; which allows the webmaster to introduce an encrypted connection for visitors in order that the visitors can carry out transactions online in a secure environment.
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I re-wrote it yes; but in doing so I had only the parameters that CD Baby allowed in the original code to work with: There was no secure connection to the widget; meaning that I’d have to use an http (Standard HyperText Transfer Protocol = insecure) link within my code, instead of an https (Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol = secure) link.
Doing this could have compromised the security on this site, were it not for a handy function in PHP; that being force_ssl_admin. This function, if coded in right, forces insecure links on the site to comply with SSL security, at least on my end. I’m not a PHP genius; but I upgraded an old defunct WordPress plugin to help out with the task and it worked.
One problem still remained, though; that being that the CD Baby Store widget uses a technology called Flash. (If you’ve ever used or still use Windows 7 then it’s probably the Flash plugin that keeps crashing your browser.) This technology used to be handled by a company called Macromedia, but has now been bought out by Adobe. It is, nevertheless, a fading and obsolescent web technology. I think it’ll probably be the music industry that are the last to use it as it gets consigned to the cyber-graveyard of oblivion.
The problem with Flash is that mobile devices don’t have the capability to use it. – However although it’s getting quickly phased-out almost everywhere; the music industry are still hanging on to it to a degree; and that includes CD Baby. – That’s why I avoided using the CD Baby Store widget on this site all throughout the beta builds of 2015 and right into February 2016. Instead I used banners as a temporary measure until CD Baby caught up with the rest of the internet and used a better technology… But the problem was that they didn’t. – Therefore, for aesthetic value and so as not to appear like a tech-tard I’ve reinstated the CD Baby Store widget, but with the following caveat; which I’ve had to put up as a notice on the Home (Welcome) Page above said widget: –
“You won’t be able to view the Store widget below on many mobile devices. (I’m trying to get CD Baby to update their technology so you can do so.) If you’d like to sample some of Sharron-Idol’s releases on a mobile device, please click or tap this link.”
– I shouldn’t have to do that; and doing so doesn’t make me look any more professional either. I wrote via email to CD Baby last year asking them to sort something out: They implied that they would – and didn’t.
So this Monday I fired off another email to them; the contents of which were as follows: –
Feb 22, 7:16 PM
Last year I enquired about making the store widget a secure widget that was suitable for use with https. I was told my enquiry would be referred to your technical team. I have heard nothing else to date.
I overcame the matter on my website by using the php function force_ssl_admin; but not every artist is a geek, and some might not find a solution.
Mobile devices now account for approaching or maybe even more than half of all internet usage; yet it seems that your widget is a long way behind in terms of modern web technology.
Also most decent websites use an SSL certificate and need to be https-compliant these days. I really shouldn’t have to force SSL to get your widget to not break my site’s security.
Again I ask you to look into this and do something to remedy the situation; not just say it’ll be referred, and leave it at that.
I do hope I’m using your latest code or I will look silly; but as far as I’m aware these matters are still outstanding.
Regards – Sharron-Idol.
Sharron-Idol – Singer/Songwriter/Producer
***** at gmail.com
83 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JQ. United Kingdom
Today (Wednesday) I received a reply – or a cop-out – depending upon which way you like to look at it: –
Thanks for reaching out,
I have referred your concerns to our technical team. Changes on this level take a great deal of time and we try to make changes as fast as we are able. Sorry I am unable to give you an immediate fix or timeline but I assure you we are aware of the mobile issues, widget limitations, and thank you for bringing the other issues to us.
Customer Service Supervisor
– So again they’ve allegedly put the matter to the geeks, and this time I’ve pretty much been pre-sold the idea that nothing’s going to be done about it for some time yet:-
“Changes on this level take a great deal of time…”
– WRONG. – Changes on that level takes at most a few weeks coding: I should know; I’m running a site too!
“…we try to make changes as fast as we are able. “
– I’m an indie artist running a business with a disability, and I could have done it by now. (I created this site in around 7 months.) There’s many of you; and you don’t have a disability. – What’s the delay? You’re already at least 4 years behind and the clock is ticking!
“I assure you we are aware of the mobile issues, widget limitations, and thank you for bringing the other issues to us.”
– aka “Thank you. – We know. – Tough on you. – Fuck off.”.
OK – so that’s all I’m going to get from CD Baby for the time being. – But now you know why the website appears to be lagging behind a little.
I don’t just think that this is a CD Baby-specific problem either: The entire music industry is, as always, in danger of falling way behind yet again.
I’m a bit pissed off about this. – Make me happy by joining my emailing list: Scroll down a bit to find out how.
Have a great day.