Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] rhythmbox interface

On Thu, 2002-11-21 at 22:47, Jakub Steiner wrote:
> 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.

All this is done in the current rb, apart from the contextmenu thingie.
It's entirely non-obvious though, most people i have test it here at my
box only figure out how to add songs to a pls after a lot of fiddling
and puzzled looks.

> 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.

My ideas for those are the following:
- ripping: this is just a filemanagement task, copying audio files off
an audio cd to disc. So this would be in nautilus (just an audiocd
gnomevfs method). And perhaps an "Import audiocd" menuitem.
- i-radio: this one would be hard to do without views; i have no
objection to it being in rb if it can be done sanely. But I think it
would make 100% sense to have this in a separate app though; it's a very
different way to play music. Not related with playlists or on-disc
libraries at all.
- uploading to portable players/burning: Ideally this would work by
dragging a playlist to nautilus; but a menuitem to sync to a portable
player or cd would be good too I guess.

> 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.

We wouldn't lose this; the library + browser isn't going away. Genre as
filtering rule is implemented in CVS, by the way.


> my 2 cents
> -- 
> Jakub Steiner <>
> Ximian, Inc.

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