Re: [Muine] RE: Introducing Muine, Rhythmbox in 2.8 and other things

On Fri, 2004-05-07 at 17:26 -0700, Eugenia Loli-Queru wrote:
> >Something that plays music files, like totem, is a must in my opinion, but
> a full-blown music player is not something everybody will use.
> Totem is a video player in its heart, not a music player. If Rhythmbox has
> "usage problems" in its current incarnation as you said, Totem has many more
> as an audio player, because its main purpose and design was materialized
> around the target of becoming a video player. That reason alone constitues
> the need for a dedicated music/audio player on Gnome.

My point was that we just need to have something that plays mp3s and ogg
files, something the user streams off a news site or whatever, because
that is something everybody needs, home, office, wherever. Of course
Totem is not suitable as a serious music player :)

> >I mean, having a full blown music playback application in an office
> workstation seems a little out of place.
> I respectfully disagree. For example, take away my husband's media player
> while he's coding at work and he'll come after you. I can't live without
> WinAMP either, it's on 24/7, streaming Eurodance from ;-)

Yes, but I don't think that is like a "secretary office job" .. :)

Many regular users (probably most, I'm obviously excluding "hacker
folks" and computer enthusiasts here, merely talking about the people
who sit at the office just to get their job done) wouldn't even know how
to create a music collection, let alone have the desire to. I've seen
people been intimidated by completely full start/gnome menus, and if
we'd clutter every office workstation with things like "music player",
"cd ripper", "tagger", etc, that situation is only gonna get worse. 

> People who mostly get Gnome installed in their workplace/school are
> computer-related professionals and students. I  imagine many of them wanting
> Internet radio (that Muine lacks), or better playlist features (that Totem
> lacks). In fact, most of the times, companies that allow their employees to
> listen to music while working, they have dedicated mp3 streaming servers (my
> ex-company in UK used to, for example).

Yes, that is the present situation with Gnome. But aren't we targetting
a much broader group of people?

As for the internet radio stuff, Link Dupont has already started to make
mockups for a simple iradio player. This could easily be integrated with
Muine as I explained in my other mail..

> Regarding the "full blown application", this doesn't matter. As long the app
> can be minimized in the notification area (like Muine also does), or it has
> a "mini mode" (that iTunes, WMP, WinAMP, Rhythmbox have), this application
> stops being a "full blown app" in the eyes of the user (even if it still
> is). It's out of the way, it plays music on the background, and it doesn't
> get in the way while having a screen full of terminals and VIMs with source
> code... I would agree with you if the music player in question would be as
> slow and heavy as iTunes is (e.g. 36 MBs of RAM vs 7 MBs of WinAMP and 9 MB
> of WMP).
> >In my opinion having a well-integrated, separately available package (or
> packages! who says
> >that in this case one has to be "chosen") is a lot better.  (Something like
> an "Install music playback software" >checkbox in your distro's installer)
> This will never work. Linux distros are not going to change their
> installation procedure for something like that. BSDs won't either, Solaris
> won't either. You are overestimating as to what distro makers are willing to
> do, most of the time they just rely on stock gnomes and kdes (exclude Red
> Hat, Sun and Novell). That's why whatever the default of gnome is, it has to
> be good. Most OS makers simply don't bother with extra
> configurations/additions. I mean look, most of them don't even ship the
> Gnome language bindings, which are "official" gnome team of packages...

Well, the more advanced distributions are in general only used by clued
people anyway, so they won't need things like that ..

> >In my opinion a small, clean, separate internet radio application would be
> a lot better.
> That's like saying that RTF should not be supported by Microsoft Word,
> because in its heart, it is a lot like HTML, and HTML is not a document
> format, but a descriptive language for documents. But for the user, it is
> the exact same thing and they expect their music player to be able to stream
> (even if the coder will need to use a hack). In our case, it's all audio
> playback. Most of the users simply don't care about the distinction, even if
> there is a technical distinction underneath. By your logic, Totem should
> stop streaming video as well then. ;-)

No, it's a lot different (IMO). But we talked about this before. :)

(To the user, streaming a radio station off the web is a very different
action from playing his ripped beatles album)

> In conclusion, I don't deny that Rhythmbox has problems still, but I believe
> it is an app that people are familliar with (because of iTunes, even) and
> it's more versatile than Muine, and also an audio player should be a
> must-have part of Gnome, IMHO. If a "full blown music player" like  iTunes
> was not an application that people would want to use, it wouldn't make front
> page everyday on news sites.

I'm not saying iTunes is bad, it is merely sub-optimal. :) It's just a
whole lot better than most existing solutions out there, which makes it
such a hit.

> Having said that, I love Mono and I love the design of Muine (and I do use
> Muine). But looking at the situation realistically, Muine has even less
> features than Rhythmbox (and currently you don't recommend GStreamer with
> it) and Mono is not welcome or even ported on some OSes that Gnome can run
> (e.g. BSDs have porting problems regarding Mono). These two factors, would
> make Rhythmbox a better candidate for 2.8 *at this point in time* -- that
> is, if the Gnome Project feels the need for a music player in its default
> packages.

I thought the whole point of the usability thing was to judge
applications by their use of use, instead of the feature count ..

GStreamer support can be enabled in Muine with a configure switch, and
it works just as well as in Rhythmbox. Just not well enough to my
personal tastes. :)

But I agree Mono is a serious problem.


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