Author Topic: Playlist Manager enhancements  (Read 12658 times)

psychoadept

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I was having a look at the latest iTunes and how it does things generally and for playlists. I have to say generally i didnt like it at all except for the "Edit Playlists" button which i think i will do the same ie. click Edit Playlist, and the playlist moves to the right sidebar and the music library (or whatever left navigator node you select) shows in the main panel. So you can easily drag tracks into the playlist. That way i can get rid of the 3 library nodes that currently display at the bottom of the Playlist Manager

For those of you who wanted the Playlist Manager as a separate element, given what i just said, is there a strong reason for still having that?
To be clear, while I am not opposed to this and can see ways it increases flexibility, i do think having it as an element will create some confusion, so i want to be sure there is a genuine need thats not covered by whats already there now or proposed above.

Just to recap what i am currently thinking:
- click on Playlist Manager moves the playlist nodes into the left main panel (differs from the current behavior which has the playlists in two places)
- click on any other node in the left navigator closes the Playlist Manager panel and the playlists move back into the left sidebar. I am not completely comfortable which these first two points but its the best i can think of for now.
- new Edit Playlists button as described above
- remove the library nodes from the Playlist Manager panel
- probably make the Playlist Manager panel also available as an element

I love the outlines of your idea, although I think I'll have to see it in action to give concrete feedback.  The key thing I like is only having the playlists in one place at a time.

Regarding this question: "For those of you who wanted the Playlist Manager as a separate element, given what i just said, is there a strong reason for still having that?"

I think it's a matter of predictability.  If it looks like a panel element and occupies the same space as panel elements, it should behave like a panel element.
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redwing

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click Edit Playlist, and the playlist moves to the right sidebar and the music library (or whatever left navigator node you select) shows in the main panel. So you can easily drag tracks into the playlist. That way i can get rid of the 3 library nodes that currently display at the bottom of the Playlist Manager

- click on any other node in the left navigator closes the Playlist Manager panel and the playlists move back into the left sidebar. I am not completely comfortable which these first two points but its the best i can think of for now.

Not quite sure about this part. Then are you gonna allow drag-and-drop to a playlist only on Edit Playlist mode? That's not consistent with what's already possible now.
When both left navigator and playlist manager are shown, if the user clicks on any node from left navigator, just show the content in the main panel and still allow drag and drop to any playlist even on non-Edit Playlist mode. Then Edit-Playlist mode would be just optional if the user wants to look into its content or compare it with other nodes.

psychoadept

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click Edit Playlist, and the playlist moves to the right sidebar and the music library (or whatever left navigator node you select) shows in the main panel. So you can easily drag tracks into the playlist. That way i can get rid of the 3 library nodes that currently display at the bottom of the Playlist Manager

- click on any other node in the left navigator closes the Playlist Manager panel and the playlists move back into the left sidebar. I am not completely comfortable which these first two points but its the best i can think of for now.

Not quite sure about this part. Then are you gonna allow drag-and-drop to a playlist only on Edit Playlist mode? That's not consistent with what's already possible now.
When both left navigator and playlist manager are shown, if the user clicks on any node from left navigator, just show the content in the main panel and still allow drag and drop to any playlist even on non-Edit Playlist mode. Then Edit-Playlist mode would be just optional if the user wants to look into its content or compare it with other nodes.

I concur.  I hadn't caught that point the first time around.  Part of my objection to the playlist manager in the first place was that behavior of closing when you move to another node, which is unlike the behavior of any other node or element.  I DO like the idea of being able to see the main panel and the contents of a playlist at the same time.
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redwing

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- One way to close playlist manager panel is make playlist manager node in left navigator toggling to show/close the panel with some visual indicator. Some people would prefer to hide left navigator, so playlist manager panel could have "Close panel" context menu on its header.

- What would happen if the user clicks on a tab with playlist manager open? How about keeping the panel show regardless of the selected tab? Then pinned tabs could substitute hidden left navigator, allowing the user to drag tracks from the main panel (for a selected tab) to a playlist in playlist manager panel.
 

redwing

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Another thing to consider is how to handle an existing element in left main panel. Many people would use filtering browser in there and that would be useful for locating tracks to drag to playlists. But if the user has to move it to the main panel manually and then move it back afterwards, that would be really tiresome. How about auto-moving a filtering browser in the left main panel to the main panel when playlist manager shows and then moving it back to the original left main panel when playlist manager closes?

psychoadept

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Another thing to consider is how to handle an existing element in left main panel. Many people would use filtering browser in there and that would be useful for locating tracks to drag to playlists. But if the user has to move it to the main panel manually and then move it back afterwards, that would be really tiresome. How about auto-moving a filtering browser in the left main panel to the main panel when playlist manager shows and then moving it back to the original left main panel when playlist manager closes?

This is another good reason for it to just be its own element.  No messing with these behind-the-scenes adjustments.

- What would happen if the user clicks on a tab with playlist manager open? How about keeping the panel show regardless of the selected tab? Then pinned tabs could substitute hidden left navigator, allowing the user to drag tracks from the main panel (for a selected tab) to a playlist in playlist manager panel.

Seems like it would need to be another of the elements that you can show/hide per tab.
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redwing

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No, that's why the process should be automated and that can't be an element.
Playlist manager will be used only temporarily, but the user has to configure and reconfigure layout per every tab just to use it?

psychoadept

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I would want the playlist manager to be the permanent part.  I think; it depends on how it ends up working.  But in theory I'd rather have that than the whole navigator, most of the time.
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redwing

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My idea is it would be a special element. It should keep open with whatever node or tab selected, and won't close unless the user chooses to close it. But if it is a normal element, then the user has to reconfigure whole layout for every pinned tab before and after using it, which is unthinkable.

Steven

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This is done now for v3.1
- a "playlist manager" element can now be included in the layout/ stacked etc
- the playlist manager panel now displays playlists as a tree structure now and behaves the same as the playlists in the left navigator
- i decided to keep the current behavior when the Playlist Manager node is selected in the left navigator, the playlists remain in the left navigator and are duplicated to the Playlist Manager panel. The reason being i can image use cases where people would want both. You can collapse the left navigator playlists node if you want, or for most people using the default settings wont even see the left navigator.
- edit playlist (for static playlists) now behaves like iTunes/ WMP in that the edited playlist is displayed in the right sidebar and the left navigator/ main panel shows the music library and you are free to navigate to any node in the left navigator and drag files into the playlist

psychoadept

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Cool!  I can't wait to try this out.
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Steven

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Given playlists was probably the thing that most needed addressing, i am starting the v3.1 release focused on that aspect, although it includes any other changes i have previously mentioned as being done

http://musicbee.niblseed.com/V3_1/MusicBee31_Patched.zip

I have tweaked things since originally posted:
- a "playlist directory" element can now be included in the layout/ stacked etc
- the playlist directory panel now displays playlists as a tree structure and behaves the same as the playlists in the left navigator. It can be located on the left panels like any element. When its displayed, the individual playlists are no longer displayed the left navigator. This is so two sets of the same playlist files are not normally displayed.
- the "Playlist Manager" node on the left navigator is renamed to "Playlist Explorer". When clicked, the behavior is slightly changed in that playlists are no longer displayed in the left navigator - the reason is to reduce confusion of having two sets of playlists displayed.
- I realise some people like that behavior of having two sets of playlists displayed, but you can achieve the same effect by including the "playlist directory" panel in the left navigator and clicking the "Playlist Explorer" node
- edit playlist (for static playlists) now behaves like iTunes/ WMP in that the edited playlist is displayed in the right sidebar and the left navigator/ main panel shows the music library and you are free to navigate to any node in the left navigator and drag files into the playlist
Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 08:28:55 PM by Steven

Bee-liever

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If you use mixer playlists, make sure you have a back-up of these before you apply the above patch, as it will delete all mixer lists info

Sorry - false alarm - not deleting.
Just not reading - bug report posted
Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 11:28:57 PM by Bee-liever
MusicBee and my library - Making bee-utiful music together

alec.tron

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Heya.
I saw this in the morning and was looking forward to try this out all day, but only got home now & have MusicBee infront of me now, yay.
Folder collapse/expand all works, even with multiple nested folders (i.e. /name/name/playlistA.m3u). Thanks for that!
Parent-folder content 'aggregation' (that it shows' all child playlists combined contents) seeems to work through multiple nested folders too. Just waiting for it to finish 'compiling' some of the larger ones (where/how is this stored btw ?)

There seems to be one small issue with nested folders though, but unsure what was off here & I can't reproduce it...:
When accessing a nested folder I did get MB to error and to get stuck / only displaying a single message continuously, saying:
"Unable to access: C:\Programs\MediaPlayers\MusicBee\Library\Playlists\RadioArchive\2008\.xautopf"
This was not an issue if I 'unparented' it from the nested folder, also, if I created a new folder and chucked all its' playlists in the new folder, the error was gone (no write-protection on the folder with the issue though...), and re-parenting the recreated folder with the same playlist did not show the same issue.

I added one large playlist for testing, holding 50k songs in in a 5mb .m3u file, which takes the parent folder to take a long time to show the aggregate (10 minutes in now and still nothing so far - as is I have no idea if it is stuck / errored / is still processing - the only way to tell [=that it hasn't finished] was to click between folders, the previously processed ones would display [=change view to the contents of the child-playlists combined content] whereas the currently being processed one would then show the previous' selections contents.
Would be great again to have some sort of (optional & continuous) error/console/'what is MB doing' read-out.

ps. it now finished, about 15 minutes in, but refresh is laggy now - i.e. if I click the folder that holds the contents of the huge playlist, the track-list refresh/rerender takes about 2-3 seconds. I'll test around with this some more.

Cheers.
c.

Steven

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If you use mixer playlists, make sure you have a back-up of these before you apply the above patch, as it will delete all mixer lists info

Sorry - false alarm - not deleting.
Just not reading - bug report posted
this should address the radio playlists not being loaded:
http://musicbee.niblseed.com/V3_1/MusicBee31_Patched.zip