Re: [Rhythmbox-devel] Rhythmbox Elementary

On Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 2:34 AM, yank memo <yankmemo gmail com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am the lead developer of nautilus-elementary and now rhythm-e. First i
> wanted to say that we've been covered by larges blogs such as omgubuntu and
> webupd8 while we just started working/hacking on it. The screenshots you saw
> are just a begining there's nothing achieved there, only a few hours hack.

Sure, I understand that.. maybe I was a bit hasty in commenting, but I
am concerned that you might end up simplifying a bit too much and end
up compromising usability, particularly for new users. I generally
like the ideas you've presented - it's hard to argue that the toolbar
and time scale don't waste a lot of space - but I think maybe some
things need a bit more thought.

> Anyway let's talk about this project, we want to redesign rhythmbox
> interface and give it a fresh air.
> I don't know if u know elementary-project or nautilus-elementary. Our goal
> is simplicity, we like clean interfaces.
> You can find the sources code of rhythm-e here (based on last git 0.13.1)
> :
> It's just a little hack for the moment, basically 2 widgets moved in the
> toolbar, some removed buttons (the ones around the search field) and a menu
> with show/hide functionalities linked to the keyboard shortcut F8 (like in
> nautilus-elementary or like any other gtk elements toolbar, statusbar...).
> What it look like?
> It's missing the buttons shuffle and repeat i was thinking about putting
> them in the status bar.

Well, my plan for simplifying and cleaning up the interface involves
removing the status bar, since it generally doesn't display anything
interesting, so.. maybe you could rethink that.

>The entries for icon plugins actions are still there
> in the right of the toolbar and on the left of the search input (for the
> search related ones) .

Generally I don't think plugin and source actions belong in the
toolbar. The toolbar, and in general everything above the search bar
and the source list, relates to the current playing track, not the
selected source, so things like 'eject this CD' or 'sync this media
player' don't belong there. The audioscrobbler 'ban' and 'love'
buttons probably do belong there, though, so we still need to provide
the option of adding buttons to the toolbar.

> My screenshot is a bit outdated like we use some ubuntu patchs for
> play/pause button for example, i don't understand why it's not merged yet by
> the way? do you find a combined button play/pause useless?
> Our objectives:
> cleaning up the interface:  there's many vertical pixels wasted actually in
> rhythmbox, the timescale occupy too much space. The search row dis-align
> completely the other widgets (sidebar, browse panel, extra right panel).

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

> toolbar is used for only a few buttons there's many free space in it, let's
> take advantage of it, a timescale and the search can occupy this space
> easily. We don't need a time scale which occupy all the width of the window.

Your changes so far don't allocate enough space for the time scale and
the playing track information. The track information in your
screenshots is ellipsized, which is unacceptable except for really
long track names.

> The buttons arround the search field are pretty useless if you use the
> browser mode, let's keep things simple for the users with a simple search
> input if they want to filter more they can use the browse panel or we can
> make the search engine a little smarter too with some keyword.

I don't think you can say 'just use the browser instead'. If my artist
browser has a few thousand entries in it, searching it visually is
difficult and time consuming.

Replacing the search types with 'some keyword' is probably going to
introduce discoverability problems. Maybe the search types would work
as a drop down menu attached to the search box?

> The browser
> panel (albums / genre) are not adapted to wide screens, we can save many
> wasted space by placing this panel vertically instead of the actual
> horizontal mode.

I'm not sure about this, but it might work out. Shouldn't be very hard
to do either.

> a compact menu to replace the menubar when hidded
> an icon view for covert/album art: there's an excellent plugin which was
> released a few days ago, rhythmarty. It can be an excellent candidate to
> this UI revamp, i already contacted its developer and he's interested too to
> work on this project.
> a clutterview (like in nautilus-elementary) : an animated view like
> coverflow or cooliris. something like
> this , 3 modes:
> film/grid/coverflow.

I'm really not a fan of things like this - it looks nice in TV ads,
but we don't do those anyway. We can certainly make improvements to
make implementing these things easier, but I think alternate views
like this belong in plugins.

> give rhythmbox the ability to play video files, what about my video clips?
> they're videos but they're music too. Of course totem/mplayer does a better
> job playing a video but it can't search my videos by artists / genre etc and
> propose me new related tracks.

There's a lot of background work involved in making rhythmbox into
even a bad video player, and it's not really clear to me that a video
collection works the same way a music collection does.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how your ideas work out. If you
have any questions about how things work internally, drop by
#rhythmbox on and I'll do my best to help you out.

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