[Rhythmbox-devel] thoughts on 0.5.2

thought I'd give rhythmbox a try, and here are some suggestions for
improvements, in rough decreasing order of importance.

1) I have a lot of music: the little indicator in the lower right hand
   corner of the library says "6.0 days (2184 songs)".  This is mostly
   Ogg Vorbis format, with some MP3s.  There is roughly 8.8GB of data.

   Loading all this into the library took about ten minutes.  Then I
   discovered that I needed to put track number tags on all the oggs,
   which took about five minutes with a shell one-liner, and then I
   restarted rhythmbox so it would notice ... which took an hour and a
   half, with the CPU pegged the whole time.  At once point I applied
   strace to one of the threads that was madly thrashing away, and saw
   it issuing one-character read() system calls over one of the music
   files.  Granted this is not a normal thing to do, but it does make
   for rather poor initial user experience.  xmms by contrast can load
   up the complete library in about a minute, and reread all the
   metadata in another minute; it appears to be disk-bandwidth limited.

   In ordinary use the program is just slow enough to be irritating,
   without being too slow to be unusable.  Scrolling the library, for
   instance, flickers noticeably.  Sometimes, if the window has been
   hidden, it will take a few seconds to repaint.  The search facility
   _is_ unusably slow, presumably due to the cost of updating the
   giant treeview pane on every keystroke.  Dragging things from the
   library to a playlist also causes half-second or so UI pauses.
   Impressively, none of this makes the music skip.

   I suppose this is a general "please make the UI lots faster" request.

2) There appears to be no way to reorder the entries in a playlist
   arbitrarily.  One may sort them, but that's all.  This makes it
   difficult to design 'mixtapes.'

3) My two cents on the panel icon: I would prefer an applet to a
   notification area entry, simply because I would then be able to get
   rid of the notification area, which I have no other use for.
   Having the icon change to indicate whether music was playing or not
   would be nice.  Displaying the current track on hover is the right
   thing.  Maybe it could show time remaining too?

   The current on-click behavior is lame.  I would suggest that left
   click should toggle pause, and right-click should pop up a menu
   with the following entries, reading from screen edge inward: next,
   previous, pause/play, show/hide window.  (Screen-edge-inward is
   important.  The outermost entry is directly under the mouse when
   the menu pops up, so it should be the second most commonly wanted
   operation: 'next track'.)

   I would find it useful to be able to get the main window unmapped
   and entirely off the window list, but I can live with it as is.

4) Replay Gain support would be nice.  This is partially a gstreamer
   feature, but the controls need to be visible in the rhythmbox UI.
   See http://replaygain.hydrogenaudio.org/player.html for details
   (their suggested dialog box is kind of cluttered, but gives you
   the idea).  Current xmms has this for ogg files and it's addictive.

5) Some playlist-control features I would really like to have: "play
   this track next", "stop at the end of this track", and "never play
   this track again" (which should leave the track in the library,
   just marked specially, so I can get it back if I change my mind).
   "Stop at the end of this track" would be useful to have on the
   applet menu.

6) I miss the ability to sort the library on multiple columns.  I'd
   like to tell it to sort first by artist, then by album, then by
   track.  Sorting by artist seems to do this but only by accident.
   I would also find sort-ignoring-leading-articles (a, an, the) useful.

7) I'd like to be able to reorder the columns in the library/playlist view.

8) Why does it spawn a new playback thread (and kill the old one) for
   every track?

9) Any way it can avoid loading gstreamer plugins it's not using?


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