We're in the process of re-building an online player for a website.

Most radio stations still use pop-up windows (examples: BBC Radio, and pretty much anything Radioplayer) for integrated online streaming. For a bit of background, these are usually about the dimensions of a portrait phone screen.

There are otherwise very few use cases nowadays that really should utilise pop-up windows. I wouldn't be surprised if, in a few years, pop-ups became completely unsavoury compared to tabbed browsing.

So my question is, should an online player continue to use pop-ups, or is it a good idea to move to a (mostly) full-screen new-tab layout?

  • There are lots of reasons to use a popup. They might use a popup knowing that the people using the system does not have much knowledge of how browser tabs work so having it in a separate window makes sense. The user can continue to use there main browser. But it all depends on your users and there technical knowledge
    – Andrew
    Feb 1, 2017 at 15:02
  • This question might be relevant.
    – Alvaro
    Feb 1, 2017 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


I think both are poor design, each for there own reasons, some of which have been mentioned in the other comments/answers.

I would actually suggest taking the approach of the in-page/single page application. Take a look at Youtube, Vimeo, Rdio,Google Play Music, 8Tracks. These are all popular sites, and they all use a single page approach.


I don't think it is a good idea to rely on Popup-windows for the reasons you stated.

Another option is to keep the popup in the same window in a fixed place and let the user continue browsing the site. Youtube does this is their App for Android. This player could be reduced to a reasonable size and expanded on click in the respective button.

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