[Rhythmbox-devel] Re: Making the browser more useful

Hi, as a keen iTunes user looking for something even half as good to use
with other platforms and/or audio formats I think rhythmbox looks to
have great potential and so I  have a few comments to make.

Mark Finlay wrote:
> Just a quick idea. I never use the browser, and I just realised
> why - It's not powerful enough. I want to be able to sort the
> artist list by the number of albums and I want to be able to
> sort the album list by artist.

I think there's some confusion over the purpose and uses of the browser
in iTunes (where I assume it was copied from) that leads to it appearing
less powerful. This is related to the part of
http://rhythmbox.sourceforge.net/future.html where you talk about the
issue of "A Currently Playing meta-playlist vs checkboxes" with an
update that suggests this issue has been abandoned.

The browser in iTunes is used to create on-the-fly playlists by
selecting groups of songs by genre, artist and/or album. By clicking on
a single genre, artist or album you will find every track in that
category listed below the browser in the main window. More complex
selections can be made by shift- or command-clicking on more than one
grouping at a time to give combinations like all genres but dance etc.

If you have the library selected and hit play, the tracks listed in the
bottom pane will be used as the playlist. I'm typing this on a Red Hat
box at the moment so I can't check this right now but I believe the
default playorder is alphabetical by genre, then alphabetical by artist,
then each track in album running order. Not brilliant, but I would guess
it's the best you can do and works as expected for a single album. For
more variety you can toggle shuffle and also set a preference to shuffle
by song or by album.

Again, I'm not at a Mac so I can't test this but I believe new
genres/artists/albums added will be added to the end of the shuffled
playlist so avoiding repeating any tracks until it loops (or simply
stops if you have continous play turned off) and if fine-tuning below
the level of album is needed then every song listed has a checkbox
(checked by default) that can be deselected to skip individual songs.

I'm not sure if I've done it justice, but this is an incredibly powerful
interface for casual listening where exact song order is irrelevant and
means I basically never have to create a 'standard' playlist.

For those times that order is important, the browser can also be used to
add collections of songs to a playlist by dragging and dropping a
selection of one or more genres/artists/albums to the source window. It
appends if you drop them on a current playlist or creates a new playlist
with the genre/artist/album name if you drop it into a clear area. You
can then begin to tailor the playlist by dragging songs into the correct
order and/or deleting them.

I've not yet installed rhythmbox as it seems to be in flux at the moment
but if it doesn't already work like this please consider implementing
this system.

thank you,

dave scotson

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