Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] rhythmbox interface

I've been a silently cheering member of the Rhythmbox audience for a while; and
rather than study for my Japanese quiz I figured I'd chip in to the discussion
with my $0.02 instead.

Personally, I'm not utterly convinced that the current UI deficiencies
identified by Jorn are insurmountable.  Certainly, it's easier to keep the
interface simple if the Audio CD, Internet Radio, CD Burning, etc. features are
removed; but I sincerely hope that as a user that this is not the direction
the Rhythmbox pursues.

I took a stab at addressing some of the interface challenges mentioned earlier
in this thread.  Forgive me for any naivity on my part:

I also believe that it's an inconsistency for the "Currently Playing" view to be
situated within the target area of the sidebar, as it representation is
independent of the currently selected music source (ie, it's static).  However,
rather than deprecating the sidebar, an easier solution may be to just move the
sidebar _below_ the "Currently Playing" region.  This also provides more room
for the future addition of features such as album covers, visualizers, etc.,
which will also need to be situated in the region representing the current song.

I moved the search bar to the toolbar, with the justification being that it
presumably operates on all available music sources and is therefore a global
operation.  Hence, it probably shouldn't be located within the "Currently
Playing" region.  

(An aside: there's an argument to be made that the search field doesn't really
belong on the toolbar either, as the other toolbar operations all operate on the
active playlist: next song, shuffle, etc.  One workaround to this problem may be
to keep all global operations that evolve on a separate toolbar that may in
actuality be positioned within the same space but is separated by a toolbar
handle so that it can be moved.)

I believe that the easiest way to solve the reordering problem is to simply
allow drag and drop operations within a group view.  This would mean that
clicking on a header (such as Track, or Artist) is a sort action, rather than
setting a persistent sort order.

My internal model of the sidebar is as a representation of the music "sources".
There's an icon for the CD drive, and an icon to switch to the Internet Radio
interface.  As a result, for CD-R burning, I think it would be entirely
consistent to only represent it provide it as a menu option that brings up a
non-modal dialog stepping the user through the rest of the process.

Other points of interest:

In the sidebar, it would be great if one could great shortcut groups, a la
Evolution.  IE, it should be possible to keep playlists/groups on a separate
pane from the music sources if a user so desires.

What's currently unclear to me is the optimal method for representing the
current queue to the user... perhaps a special group view on the sidebar?

Anyways, I hope that these suggestions may be of use to people.  Feel free to
comment or ask questions.



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