[Usability]Music player UI

[ Because the following is not strictly Rhythmbox-specific, replies (if
any) should probably be send to usability gnome org only. ]

Hi everyone,

last year November, Jorn Baayen sent the following mail to the Gnome
usability list asking for comments on the Rhythmbox UI:


It seems many people will agree (at least to some extend) that the current
interface of both iTunes and Rhythmbox -- as interesting as the overall
concept may be -- has several, and in part quite serious, limitations.
This doesn't mean, of course, that alternative designs have automatically
fewer problems or that the current interface wouldn't all-in-all make for
a good enough user experience so that for many users it's the preferable
choice when compared to other existing music playing software.  It's not
perfect, however, and therefore I think it's worth to at least think about
different approaches...

To me it seems that almost all of the current problems with the interface
come from the fact that Rhythmbox (like iTunes) uses a single window for
both the player/playlist and the music library.  Of course, the
"library-as-a-top-level"-thing is also (I think) one of the biggest
strengths of the current interface and because of this I started wondering
whether it might be a solution to:

  1. separate the library from the player/playlist

  2. make _only the library_ the main object of user-interaction (for
     playing music from the library, at least)

  3. turn the player into a background process (CORBA factory?) with only
     a status-area icon as it's top-level UI and a playlist-manager as a
     second-level object.

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