- From: Jorn Baayen <jorn nl linux org>
- To: usability gnome org
- Cc: rhythmbox-devel gnome org, oleevye wanadoo fr, mpeseng tin it
- Subject: [Usability]rhythmbox interface
- Date: 21 Nov 2002 21:00:36 +0100
The current Rhythmbox interface isn't very good, and we've been thinking
about improving it, but it's hard. So some input from you guys would
Current interface, with it's problems:
To begin with, for the people who have never run rb here is a
As you can see, there is a sidebar, which allows you to switch between
different views. This has a lot of problems:
1. The interface changes when clicking a button in the sidebar, just
like Evolution. My opinion is that it sucks, badly. I tend to remember
where items are in the menus, and if they get messed up all the time, I
2. The toolbar with the playback controls and the area with the
currently playing information are static; they don't change when
switching between views, and act on the playing view. This is really,
really confusing. Even though I wrote it, I still find myself being
dizzy when using it. (Just hiding these wouldnt work either: because it
still is playing. Or stopping playback is not an option either, since
you may just want to browse your playlists or do some organization.)
3. It's not obvious how to add songs to groups/playlists. (Right now you
have to dnd songs from the lib to the sidebar button, or use C&P)
4. Users cannot specify what song to play after the current one.
Playlists are not enough here; if you are playing from the library, you
want to be able to say which song is to play next.
What we need:
1. The music library we have now
2. A way to specify what song to play after the current one
3. Playlists (reorderable subsets of the library) 
4. A clean way to do this, without awkward views or stuff like that :)
Things we have now, that will probably be moved out:
1. Audio CD. Got this in because we had the views stuff, but it prolly
belongs in a separate app. [For ripping we would ideally have nautilus
support browsing audiocds, and support copying oggs off it]
2. Internet radio. Same as above.
3. The sidebar :)
What other applications do:
1. WinAMP, basically supports everything but all in multiple windows and
with a totally ugly and confusing interface. Not something to get
2. iTunes, does mostly the same as the current RB.
3. MP3Organizer [http://mp3organizer.sourceforge.net/], integrates
playlists and queueing by putting them next to the library.
4. Apollo [http://www.apolloplayer.org]. Has an interesting PlayFirst
feature, but it looks like a hack to me.
5. Squelch [http://rikkus.info/squelch.html]. Here you seem to mark
songs/albums for playback, instead of directly playing them, or
The view on the left would be the song queue/playlist view.
The problem with these is that the interface is crowded; I dont think
it's very clear.
Another random idea is to have a "Queue" button or something, which
would append the selected songs to some song queue. (And not have the
song queue shown by default, but make it possible to open it in a new
window. This doesn't solve the playlist problem though.)
 Seth: At least Luis wants reorderable playlists (for mix tapes and
the like), so groups like we have now don't suffice.
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