Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] rhythmbox interface

On Čt, 2002-11-21 at 21:00, Jorn Baayen wrote:
> Hi,
> The current Rhythmbox interface isn't very good, and we've been thinking
> about improving it, but it's hard. So some input from you guys would
> rule.
> Current interface, with it's problems:
> ======================================
> To begin with, for the people who have never run rb here is a
> screenshot:
> As you can see, there is a sidebar, which allows you to switch between
> different views. This has a lot of problems:
> 1. The interface changes when clicking a button in the sidebar, just
> like Evolution. My opinion is that it sucks, badly. I tend to remember
> where items are in the menus, and if they get messed up all the time, I
> get confused.
> 2. The toolbar with the playback controls and the area with the
> currently playing information are static; they don't change when
> switching between views, and act on the playing view. This is really,
> really confusing. Even though I wrote it, I still find myself being
> dizzy when using it. (Just hiding these wouldnt work either: because it
> still is playing. Or stopping playback is not an option either, since
> you may just want to browse your playlists or do some organization.)
> 3. It's not obvious how to add songs to groups/playlists. (Right now you
> have to dnd songs from the lib to the sidebar button, or use C&P)
> 4. Users cannot specify what song to play after the current one.
> Playlists are not enough here; if you are playing from the library, you
> want to be able to say which song is to play next.

I kinda like the current design. Here's a few notes about it.

In a simple player like XMMS, there is only the playlist functionality
is you want to listen to multiple songs. In RB there are two. The
playlists and something I'd call vplaylist ;) A dynamic list of songs
defined by a set of rules. They can be simple - artist, artist+album or
a string search, rating search. 

There should be ways to add songs to the static playlist:

I would imagine draging songs to a playlist icon on the sidebar would
add them there. Dragging them on the sidebar elswhere would popup a
dialog asking for a playlist name. The album list and artist list should
feature a context menu with 'add selection to playlist...' with a next
level menu list of avaliable playlists. And possibly 'create new
playlist from selection' again prompting for a name.

This design also pretty much permits adding more modes - i-radios,
audioCD. They belong to a music manager/player IMHO. Managing music
means ripping AudioCDs, and i-radios as well as uploading playlists to
portable players and burning ogg/audioCDs. I think iTunes hit the nail
on the head there.

I don't think going back to a playlist-only UI is simplifying anything,
since you still have a lot of clutter on the display to select songs to
add to a playlist. And one thing I like about RB at the moment is
creating a dynamic playlist depending on the mood. Having genre as a
filtering rule would be cool here too.

my 2 cents
Jakub Steiner <>
Ximian, Inc.


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