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

On Sat, 2004-05-08 at 02:26, 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.

Well, in a way one can say that Muine fulfils a part of that need. Muine
works around the conceptual model of "songs-albums". By using Muine,
users should subconsciously build this model and the operations around
it. If there are users who really want a full blown jukebox, they should
use Rhythmbox.

> 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 ;-)
> 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).

Radio does not fit in the "songs-albums" model. The qualities of a radio
is that one (mostly) cannot seek within the stream. Secondly, the radio
does not have an album or a song, it only has a name, like Radio ID&T (a
Dutch radio station). Radiostations cannot be organised in albums and
songs. It just can not. 

As this model is incompatible with that of Muine, support for radio
streams should not be implemented. It should be in separate an
application, which is designed and build to the needs of the listeners
of radio streams. The mockups Link Dupont made are a very good start for
building one. 

> 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).

The heaviness of the applications is not mostly about resources, Muine
uses quite a lot of memory compared to other players, but it about the
heaviness of the mental model that users build by using the application.
If users are forced to build a complex mental model, the higher the
chance that users will be discard the application and search for another
one that would fit their needs. In a way, Muine had become a solution
for many/some of us by having a more intuitive application for which we
did not have to build a complex mental model. 

> >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. ;-)

Indeed users do not consciously care about the distinction, but they
care (subconsciously) about the usability of the application. And when
it comes to usability, it is good to make distinctions so that models do
not will be mixed up together, which leads to complex and unusable

> 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) 

I generally consider it a good thing that Muine has less features than
Rhythmbox. I believe that a good application is about building one that
people tend to use and not just by offering many features, which usage
models mix up together into a non-intuitive one. 

> 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 do agree to that too. 

Viet Yen

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