[Rhythmbox-devel] Interface ideas

Hi rhythmbox-devel!

I checked Oliver's rhythmbox--merge--0.9 branch today, like the
features and the fact that rhythmbox is "moving" again.

Seeing that the UI needs some love I did a few mockups... 4th one is
my "final" version for now and quite a bit different from the 1st but
I'll explain them all so that you can follow my thoughts. My aim was
to keep the application recognizable as rhythmbox but work around some
limitations of the design, introduced by the song queue and cover
pictures but also removable media:

First thing I did was cleaning up the "Album" view. I really like the
idea of having the covers displayed so that I can look for a specific
album but don't have to read the text. The big spcacing looked a bit
weird, especially when no covers are availabe so I changed the list to
a colored one which helps alot already (note that spacing could also
be made smaller in this case). Same for the "Artist" view, looks
better and is more consistent. I added some information to the albums
view as the space doesn't have to be unused and release year and track
count can be potentially interesting when chosing an album.
The "Covers" header made no sense to me so I changed the label to
"Cover" (it's "Album", not "Albums"...)
Next thing, the song queue seemed too small for my taste. My first
attempt to get some more space for this was to remove the cover icon
here and put it to the control bar. Not perfect but it works... You
can fit more songs in the queue now without scrolling, which is good.
I've also renamed "Sources" to "Location" and extended it's
functionality, but more on this later.

When the first mockup was ready I still didn't like the way the queue
looked like. It was still a bit small and I prefere a view more
similar to the browser so I redid the song queue: I removed it
entirely from the sidebar and added GTKFileChooser-like buttons above
the browser views.
The first button always takes you to the "Browser" (still named
"Library" here but I renamed this in mockup #4 which is better), so
for "Library" this is what you see in the screenshot, for "Radio" it's
the known web radio interface.
The second button is the list of queued songs. This should just be a
table view with the columns you have configured in the preferences
(artist, songname, duration and so on). Special: you can drag songs
here to enqueue so you don't have to use/discover the option in the
context menu.
Third button displays a page with lyrics... Other music players do it
as it is something users like and it fits nicely here. Only show this
if we have intenet access, if possible.

Not needing the space for the song queue anymore, I moved the cover
pic back to the sidebar. I've also put some additional song
information there (this example is copied form the amarok music
player), could also display bitrate etc or even audioscrobber
information... I think this is quite nice. The rating stars should be
interactive if put here so that you can edit without going to the file

Not much new here. Changed the first button to "Browser" as it is used
in every location, not just "Library". Also makes sense because this
shows the browser, which is what people know and will look for.
Speaking of the locations, I added a "Music Store" and some "Music
Shares". First one could integrate something like pymusique, to
interact with iTMS or some other music store. The shares are DAAP
music shares, dynamically added upon discovery.
Some additional notes to the locations view: the first section
contains static items (library, web radio, music store), the second
section is created dynamically, it shows only stuff preset in the
system that rhythmbox can interact with:

- External Hard Drive: Some people have music stored on external
disks. When you connect one, g-v-m mounts the partitions and rhythmbox
should add the entry if it finds (through recursive scan) any music.

- Audio Disc: I know that we have goobox which is a very fine cd
player and totem handles audio, too... but providing the ability to
play audio cds in rhythmbox would provide the user with a unified
interface and it would simplify the usage because you could put cd
tracks to the song queue and play cd tracks in between songs from the
library! This is very nice if you use rhythmbox as a party jukebox and
someone wants you to play a song you don't have in your library.

- Data Disc with Music: Same as external harddrive. Perhaps ask the
user if he wants the music to be copied to the local library?

- Blank CD-R Disc: This shows up if you insert a blank cd into your cd
writer. Provides easy access to rhythmbox's burning feature so you
don't have to create playlists anymore. Gotta love this! =)

- Portable Player: iPod and hopefully other players, provide the
ability to play the songs found on the device as well as copy local
songs to it.

Tell me what you think,


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