Author Topic: Most unnecessary complicated music player ever!  (Read 11102 times)

psychoadept

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I strongly recommend spending some time with the Panels Configuration window (the live version) ...

By the way, what does that mean? The "live" version? Have I been using a different version?

I just mean as opposed to the wiki.  One thing that might be instructive, though it will create some chaos, is to simply add ALL the elements at once in the panels configuration window (except the panel splitter, which is literally just a flag to tell MusicBee to separate groups of panels).  Make sure none of the tick boxes (aka check boxes) to the right of the elements are selected, because that's what causes them to be stacked together.  Also make sure that all the sidebars are set to be shown.  By default the left sidebar is in "auto-hide" mode, which means it only appears if you mouse over the left side of the screen.

The result will be ugly, but allow you to compare what you see in panels configuration with what you see in the main window to get a sense of what each piece is.  Feel free to post screenshots with questions if you want something explained.
Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 02:58:49 PM by psychoadept
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Bee-liever

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I can understand that new users could have a an issue with the (somewhat) steep learning curve of MB3 (I still don't think it's anywhere near as bad as foobar), but I just don't get the 2.5 to 3.0 version update backlash.
Why weren't those users expressing their views and offering constructive criticism during the months of testing that the MB3 beta went through?
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hiccup

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Even though he is very rude and use a lot of inappropriate language and tone, I must agree that for a newcomer (like this DKDiveDude plank) it might be a little confusing and frustrating to set everything up since MusicBee has so many options for UI layout and players preferences as well. In an era of PC users being thought not to use their brains extensively and want everything set up out-of-box it actually might be a good idea to consider something like predefined sets of UI layouts (4-6 maximum) to choose from once they fire MusicBee up for the first time and later they can customize it as much as they want to.

It shouldn't be that much of a problem since UI layout is already in MusicBee3Settings.ini file anyway. Just make several MusicBee3Settings.ini files with thumbnail to chose layout, or even better, hence the MusicBee3Settings.ini file is an xml file you can subgroup UI part of it in couple of sub-sections for as many UI layouts you want to offer. Foobar2000 and some other apps (video players mostly) has some kind of layout picker anyway. It is a little hassle to make it, but it would help users (especially new ones) a lot when starting with MusicBee.

I also considered options like those. But I am personally not sure they would work very well.
Programs like foobar have some layouts to choose from when you start it up for the first time.
I used foobar quite often, but I am still getting confused when I have to make such a layout choice before even beginning to use the program.

I appreciate that MusicBee out of the box starts with a layout that is very complete and makes sense by default.
Most users without more advanced needs and investigative nature will be (and are) happy with the default layout.
Presenting newbees with layout choices they will not understand (because they are new to MB) would not solve any problem in my opinion. Probably even the contrary.

I also considered what it would bring if having a basic, and an advanced operating mode.
But apart from Steven probably not being eager to having some sort of split-features versions, it would probably also raise other questions and confusion.
"What mode are you running MusicBee in?", "No, you can only do such and such in advanced mode".
And what features exactly should and could be blocked, or be hidden then?

Alumni

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Actually I think MusicBee could benefit from pre-installed layout presets. This is the way I first learned how to setup Foobar.

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Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 04:07:28 PM by Alumni

psychoadept

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MusicBee did have pre-configured layouts at one point.  I'm not sure exactly when they were removed, because absolutely nobody said anything at the time.
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StefanIvanovic

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I also considered options like those. But I am personally not sure they would work very well.
Programs like foobar have some layouts to choose from when you start it up for the first time.
I used foobar quite often, but I am still getting confused when I have to make such a layout choice before even beginning to use the program.

I appreciate that MusicBee out of the box starts with a layout that is very complete and makes sense by default.
Most users without more advanced needs and investigative nature will be (and are) happy with the default layout.
Presenting newbees with layout choices they will not understand (because they are new to MB) would not solve any problem in my opinion. Probably even the contrary.

I also considered what it would bring if having a basic, and an advanced operating mode.
But apart from Steven probably not being eager to having some sort of split-features versions, it would probably also raise other questions and confusion.
"What mode are you running MusicBee in?", "No, you can only do such and such in advanced mode".
And what features exactly should and could be blocked, or be hidden then?

The way I think this could work is to create layouts users are somewhat familiar with and choose from those once they start MusicBee. With MB3 it is almost endless in possibilities for layout. Maybe a couple of them to chose like foobar/winamp/itunes look-alike layouts. And once user start messing around with layout MB3 should save that as CustomLayout preserving these I mentioned, just in case user wants to start over again. Steven might said if this is even possible with MB3 as it is right now, just to know not to go with this thread that way if something like that is not possible.

hiccup

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This thread is useful for throwing around ideas and opinions on this matter.
But for Steven to consider it, it would be best to have it presented as a specific wishlist item. (with possibly a reference to this thread)

But I am pretty sure there is already at least one wish for this.
(I am sure I created one myself a while ago, requesting to have the option to have presets for complete MusicBee layouts)

So that wish, or other existing ones could be supported (possibly with additions or nuances to it), or new ones could be created.

For myself I stick to the belief that it should not be presented by default to newbees, but it would be nice to have presets available, created by more experienced users.
Similar to available skins.
I might even argue that MusicBee wouldn't need to have different skins integrated at all, but have alternatives easily available through downloads. But let's not open that box of discussion here ;-)

Pingaware

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I feel like it should be pointed out that the number of layout combinations hasn't really changed that much from 2.5 to 3.0. Only the way they're selected, by a consolidation of most of the layout options to a single panel.
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Steven

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i think the ability to save and load preset layouts is something that should be done for v3.1 and some presets should be included.
I agree the number of layout options can be overwhelming for a new user, especially for people that dont look at the wiki. Maybe it is time to have an Advanced button for the preferences dialog.
Personally i think v3 is quite simple to use other than there being a lot of layout options and for the panel configuration, i expect even with the information button showing detailed text doesnt really help ie. maybe it should popup a screenshot of the element rather than text.
I dont think a couple/few negative posts really makes much difference to me in that view. Everyone is wired differently about how they approach things/ have certain pre-existing ideas about how an application should work, etc - this isnt iTunes where the options are very limited and hence simple to use by the lack of choice.

phred

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this isnt iTunes where the options are very limited and hence simple to use by the lack of choice.
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jeddie

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I am using V2.5 and I'm a real fan of MB.

But I have read the wiki for V3.0 and read the posts here and to be honest I am dreading upgrading to V3.0.
I know it will take me many hours to get MB to function / look as I would like it to be. Its an old cliché but 'too much choice leads to confusion'.

I really like the idea of a choice of std layouts the User can select to get MB up and running from the get go. Then when I have some time, I can 'play' with the settings to see what suits me.

I want to enjoy my music first and tweak later.


Congrats on an excellent music player.

BeeBeeKing

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I'm similar to Jeddie I think. It's not that i can't work it out, but just that 2.5x is working great and I don't really have the time to go back to square one to learn v3. i guess when there is an alluring feature I can't resist I will start dabbling, or when I get more time maybe. I'm retired now, but busier than ever! haha

Skoop

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Well, I see I'm not alone, then. 

Backlash indeed.  --It's not backlash at all.  Like the others, after reading the beta thread as it was developing, and looking at the wiki, it's simply more trouble than it's worth to try to futz it back to looking like it does now, when the underlying functionality is apparently unchanged. 

I agree with this notion:  "when there is an alluring feature I can't resist", well then maybe.  Until then...

My current MB works great, is less filling, and does everything a proper player/manager should do.  It's a grand piece of work. 

hiccup

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That's all perfectly understandable.
Still, my honest advice would be to jump into the new ship.
It is quite likely that sooner or later you will run into issues with the good ol' v2.5 which will never be addressed.
Including tutorials, skins, add-ons etc. etc.

This is a good momentum to switch, since there is still a lot of activity going on around new features and changes, and chances are big that in case you have difficulties with the changes, you will get help, or your voice and opinion will be heard to even improve v3 further.

And also, I really feel that the impact, and the assumed amount of changes in v3 are being exaggerated in this thread.
I myself would say it's 90% improvement, 10% some doubts and some needed learning adjustments.

And if you still have doubts, just run a portable version of v3, and give it an honest effort.


edit:
@bossman, perhaps the moment has come to lock this thread?
Certainly not because a lot of input and opinions here aren't valuable, but the topic starters attitude, and title he chose for all this has by now had more attention than it deserved.
Anybody feeling the need just to declare that he/she will stick to older MB versions can do that somewhere else under a possibly more positive umbrella.
Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 02:32:50 PM by hiccup

psychoadept

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i expect even with the information button showing detailed text doesnt really help ie. maybe it should popup a screenshot of the element rather than text.

This seems like a great idea
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