Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] rhythmbox interface

Rhythmbox Team,

I've been following rhythmbox development for while.... using cvs since
0.3 or so and looking at code... filed a bug or too and such and plan on
learning bonobo stuff well enough to do some coding on it.  Anyways...
heres my opinion on where the UI needs improvement:

1. As far as the side pane goes, the best solution i see is labeling the
side pane and making the distinction between the library and playlist
more obvious.  This could be done by a tabbed side pane, but IMO that
would be an ugly hack. A better solution would be a simple line
separation between the library and the rest and always keep the library
at the top of the list.  Another thing that could be done is make the
side pane scrollable so that its easier to accommodate a large number of
playlist.  Another thing that would make it more intuitive is if it was
a listview area instead of icon list... look at itunes it uses the same
style areas for the side pane as for the rest, but adds an icon and
labels the whole area "source" to make it clear they are special.

2.  when it comes to the play controls i think the current way is
right.  the only problem is that the user isn't notified whats going
on.  perhaps a tool tip over the stop toolbar button telling the user
that the current view is different from the playing view would help.
Another thing that could be done is captions and/or an icon beside the
playing group in the side pane to let the user know from which "source"
the playing is coming from.

3.  as far as adding songs to playlist go i think its farely obvious if
the user plays around enough.  adding that functionality to the context
menu would help and perhaps a Organize -> Add to playlist menuitem would
help.  It could have sub items such as Add artist to playlist, Add album
to playlist, Add selected songs to playlist, and the list goes on.  if
you add this functionality i think the user would quickly figure out how
to put songs into the playlist.

4.  there is a simple solution to this that i see. Add a the ability to
queue the next song. in the node view make the text red so that the user
know which song it is.  If they try to queue another song have a dialog
ask if they really want to b/c theres already a next song queued.  If
this is added in the same way the properties callback is it could be a
toolbar item as well.  When it comes to playlist they should ALLWAYS be
reoderable the library should not b/c it is meant to organize.

5.  when it comes to cd audio i believe that if we are envisioning
rhythmbox as the THE Music Player (the .desktop icon) then this is
necessary.  i-radio would also make since because it is not just a music
library organizer but a music player.  the library should only be part
of its functionality not all of it.  while cd ripping is obviously file
management based, most people don't view it that way. they think cd ->
mp3,ogg = MUSIC and not files, and besides the nautilus approach while
being nicely integrated into a file manager wouldn't make sense to most
users. having an app that labels its self as being able to play the
music that my system has access too would be a much better place for
this functionality.

i agree that the mockups you created seem crowded.  ideally what i see
is instead of the current side pane we have list with icons and a way of
conveying which one is selected and which one is playing.  IMHO the
current UI is on the right track and just needs a few changes and a few
features added to make it more usable.

thanks for reading this, hope it gives you some ideas on what members of
your userbase feel (i am only one, but....maybe i represent more)

Douglas McMorris <>

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We
don't believe this to be a coincidence.
	- Jeremy S. Anderson

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