Author Topic: Compact/Main/Mini players' layout unification  (Read 11998 times)

HHM

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The new compact player gives a completelly fresh look & feel to MusicBee, however my impression is that there is a lack of consistency of layouts. Compact player looks a bit as if it was a different program, don't you think?

That's why I've done some small mockups that try to unify those layouts. I think this may be a good start for discussion of refreshing the whole MB a bit, as the new compact player brings it to quite a new extension.

The skin I use is my fav Dusk skin (thx mikebo!)


A. COMPACT PLAYER
I start with it, as it's gonna be a default MB's view soon.



What's new:
1. tabs are located in caption bar. With this solution you can easily manage any playlists or folders you want!
 "Now playing" tab in the right panel represents the tab you are in at the moment. So if you go to Music or Inbox, it changes it's name    to Music or Inbox etc, so that those right panel tabs would be not Now Playing | Lyrics | Bio
but fe.
Inbox | Lyrics | Bio

2. The search field is located on the artist picture field just in the same position as it's located right now in the main player. Later I will explain the reason and purpose for it***.

3. You can notice that track info colour is not adjusted to the dominant color of aartist pic and the whole field is not transparent. Partly it's because it was easier for me to do a mockup without transparency. The other reason is that transparency would be disturbing in the new look of Main Player.


B. MAIN PLAYER



4. As you can see, the Controls Panel and Track Info field (and Right Panel if you use it) are the core of both Compact and Main Players and look exactly the same way! Tabs are located in caption bar as well (I would suggest to get rid off the icons from caption tabs for a cleaner look).

5. Track info panel is opaque, as it covers the list of tracks in Main Panel - it would look ugly and chaotic if it was transparent (fonts from the library entries).
The color shift adjusted to the dominant colour of the album cover (just as it is in the Compact Player right now) would be logic IMO. However as in this view we  don't see artist pics but only the album's cover, the colour could adjust to the dominant cover's colour in this case.


C. MINI PLAYER
6. version with Wave Bar as progress bar



7. version without Wave Bar



you can see a bit of free space in here - it can be used for Rating Stars fe.



D. CAN WE GO ANY FURTHER?
8. After that I started to wonder if there shouldn't be a simple way to change the view from Compact to Main Player not the way it is right now (so that player disappears for a sec and appears again in different mode). A button or a pivot, that would change only the Artist Pic field to Library with some smooth transition or fadeout, and the core (Controls, Track Info and Now PLaying panels) would stay still vivid.

Then I thought that maybe it's just a cosmetic detail. And then I thought that there's no need for a separate Compact and Main Players!!
(digression - this would work only if you use both Compact and Main Players in fullscreen ot at least in the same window size and position):

E. MY BOLD IDEA

9. My idea is that the Artist pics field would appear as a kind of a screensaver after a set time (5s/10s/1min - as you set it). After let's say 10s of not using MB the Main Panel of Main Player (Library View) would fade out into Artist Pics field. After 10secs Main Player changes smoothly into Compact Player.

So it changes into the view with big artists photos (paragraph A.) and if you want to operate on your library, you just click on the Search Field (*** - mentioned in paragraph 2). A quick fadeout of picture and you see the Library View (paragraph B)

There wouldn't be separate modes of Main and Compact players. Or the Compact Player would be additional mode for those who right now use it as a smaller window than Main PLayer (not the same window size).


I'm waiting impatientelly for your comments and ideas!
Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 05:19:28 PM by HHM

9cupsoftea

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A massive +1 to the idea of MB fading to an artist pic or compact mode after a set time.  I think that's a genuinely great idea. Maybe theatre mode as an option too?

psychoadept

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I thought the new compact player was going to be the default compact view, not the default overall view.  Did I misread?
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HHM

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I thought the new compact player was going to be the default compact view, not the default overall view.  Did I misread?

Mhm, maybe then it was me who misread:) I really thought the compact player is going to be the default overall view. No matter how it's gonna be, paragraph E. solves this question:)

psychoadept

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I do like the fadeout idea, although I think it would need to be longer than 10 sec.  Maybe just make the time configurable.  I don't think it should go to compact mode, something similar in the main window would be cool.
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HHM

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Agree - the time should be configurable.
As for the fadeout to artist pic - after the fadeout the whole player would look just like the fullscreened Main Player anyways! (like in paragraph A)

HHM

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Think the important matter is the way someone usues the compact player (it's size):

I. For people using Compact Player in the same (fullscreen) windows size as the Main Player (as I do): after the configured time there's a fadeout and the player goes from B (the very 1st post) to A. So there's no use of using 2 separate modes (Main & Compact), as what we now call Main Player would shift into what we now call Compact PLayer automaticly.

II. For people using compact player as a small player of a compact size:
The player would behave the same, going from B to A after a configured time, however there would be an option of a smaller Compact Player.

As i written in the 1st post:
"There wouldn't be separate modes of Main and Compact players. Or the Compact Player would be additional mode for those who right now use it as a smaller window than Main PLayer (not the same window size)."
Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 05:45:20 PM by HHM

psychoadept

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I. For people using Compact Player in the same (fullscreen) windows size as the Main Player (as I do)

But you can accomplish this without using Compact Player, just show the Playing Track Panel in a tab and hide the sidebars.  Which might be what we would fade to in any case (allowing different theater modes to be used).  The Compact Player would still be a completely separate mode.
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HHM

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You are right, but the whole thing is about consistency and logic of layouts and modes.
The way I meade it up is that changes from paragraphs A to C are necessary and only then we could (and IMO should) introduce functionality from paragraph E. It's a logic step. A-C is about unifying Compact, Main and Mini modes layouts and funcionalities, E is about combining Compact and Main modes.
Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 06:05:05 PM by HHM

9cupsoftea

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I. For people using Compact Player in the same (fullscreen) windows size as the Main Player (as I do)

But you can accomplish this without using Compact Player, just show the Playing Track Panel in a tab and hide the sidebars.  Which might be what we would fade to in any case (allowing different theater modes to be used).  The Compact Player would still be a completely separate mode.

I actually use musicbee in main player mode without any sidebars and just a few tabs, so the way I interpret this to work is that after a certain amount of time the main view (which for me shows album art or track listings) would fade to a large picture of artwork, a wave bar, theatre mode, or any of the other more streamlined views.

Steven

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i have to say i really like the fade to picture idea and also agree in principal with HHH's main point, but also i dont want people to lose configurations they already have. I think it can be done as new defaults though. It might be a while before i do anything serious about it but i will do the fade to picture thing soon though

redwing

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- I support the idea of making the new compact player as a default mode out of the box (already mentioned it here: http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=9126.msg54474;topicseen#msg54474).

- For that purpose, it makes sense and is necessary to achieve a seamless transition between two modes. The suggested proposal could be one option for that.

- Regarding track info transparency:
I can see how much the OP hate the current semi-transparent track info panel, but there are other users who prefer it to a flat and opaque one including myself. If this idea is implemented, that could be an configurable option or the panel could change to a opaque mode in main player view when there's no artist pics.

- Regarding the name of player modes:
It will depend on how everything is eventually sorted out for a default mode, but I don't like the current classic & modern distinction.
Basic (modern compact) - extended (main player) mode could be one option with compact (classic compact) and mini as other modes.  
 

jistme

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- I support the idea of making the new compact player as a default mode out of the box (already mentioned it here: http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=9126.msg54474;topicseen#msg54474).

At first I felt quite opposed to the idea of having compact player as default, since the biggest strength of MB is it's library functions. Any other music software can play a tune correctly...
Giving it some more thought , I think it would be really nice if:

- clicking an audio file opens MB in compact mode
- clicking the MB shortcut on desktop or taskbar opens MB in full screen 'library mode'

But there's probably some Windows limitation that will prevent this.

redwing

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- clicking an audio file opens MB in compact mode
- clicking the MB shortcut on desktop or taskbar opens MB in full screen 'library mode'

I would imagine those settings will be all configurable. The idea of default mode would have little to do with how users use MB everyday since all settings will be configurable and MB will remember last mode just as now. It's more about how to conceptualize MB, position it in the market, and how to appeal to new users.

Currently MB is considered music organizer/manager, but with new compact mode as default it will have much greater emphasis on being a music player and then organizer/manager, etc. It will help to expand user base considerably.

(I like the name of library mode, then maybe Player/Library mode?)

9cupsoftea

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- I support the idea of making the new compact player as a default mode out of the box (already mentioned it here: http://getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=9126.msg54474;topicseen#msg54474).
- clicking an audio file opens MB in compact mode
- clicking the MB shortcut on desktop or taskbar opens MB in full screen 'library mode'

But there's probably some Windows limitation that will prevent this.

That's exactly what Windows Media Player 12 does.