Suggestion: Making the Library OPTIONAL

Discuss the development and future direction of Play.
Remain
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Suggestion: Making the Library OPTIONAL

Post by Remain » Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:13 pm

Not everyone uses the Library concept to browse and organize music.

As such, here's my suggestion for a Preference:

Do not add to Library when opening a file in Play (i.e. either playing it or adding it to the Play Queue)


It would allow the best of both worlds.


(personal note:
In iTunes, everything you play in or add to it is also added to the Library, and you had to manually delete it.
I would repeatedly do this every once in a while:
Select All > Clear
Select All > Clear
Select All > Clear
This was the primary reason I ditched iTunes.)

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sbooth
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Post by sbooth » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:06 am

Play was designed from the ground up to be a jukebox. It stores play counts, dates (and now ratings and skips) and has smart playlists to allow more flexible listening. All this is made possible by using its internal database. Bypassing the library would invalidate a lot of these advantages.

What type of listening do you do that having your music in a library like Play's is detrimental?

Remain
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Post by Remain » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:31 am

Well, there are certain files where I wouldn't want added to a music library. Ever.

For instance, sound effect files, which are usually only a few seconds long.
In my opinion, these don't belong in a music library.



But more generally speaking,
it's rather because I'm part of the people who organize their music with folders rather than in a library.

I choose to do this because it holds certain advantages over the library approach:

1) It'll be organized for every media player you have on that computer, not just that particular media player.

2) When you transfer it to another computer, it preserves the organization.
And once again, it will be organized for every media player on THAT computer as well.

I also use many computers and many media players, so this is a necessity for me.


Now, you could ask, why not use both folders and a music library?

Well, for me, that would be quite redundant. That'd be like, organizing it once... then do it all over again a second time.

And if you re-organize something in the folders, you have to repeat the changes in the library.
And vice-versa.
(I admit it, I'm an organization freak. XD )


Well, that's my music playing and organizing habits.

I do know there are lots of people out there who use and prefer the library approach better.
But also, there are a lot of people who use the folder approach.
To each his/her own, right?

So this is why I'm suggesting this: so that it could cater to both crowds.

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:44 pm

You can pull the divider all the way down and simply ignore the Library.

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k2103
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Post by k2103 » Thu May 10, 2007 2:06 am

I agree with Remain.
Even if Play is a marvellous program which I appreciate so much.

I have a 500 GB hard disk, filled with music of any formats. To listen all that music, I needed to use COG and iTunes. Play is, for me, the ideal solution, the universal reader whom I sought.
However, like Remain, I have already a very adequate system of classification. I do not really need the library part of “Play”. I, however, see there the benefit of an alternate library dedicated to certain particular uses.
But I don't want to integrate into it all that I listen.

It would be interesting to have this option:
"Do not add to Library when opening a file in Play (i.e. either playing it or adding it to the Play Queue)"
Or, these files could be placed in a temporary folder outside the library.

We could then do according to our choice.

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Thu May 10, 2007 9:16 am

k2103 wrote:It would be interesting to have this option:
"Do not add to Library when opening a file in Play (i.e. either playing it or adding it to the Play Queue)"
Or, these files could be placed in a temporary folder outside the library.
What do you mean exactly? You do not actually suggest to place (copies of) the music files in a temporary folder, do you?

The Library of Play does not contain any music files, it is just a database, the file /Users/ronald/Library/Application Support/Play/Library.sqlite3. When files are added to the Library, no files are moved or copied. When Play plays a file form the Play Queue, it plays the original file from its original location.

That's why I suggested to hide the Library and simply ignore it when you only want to use the Play Queue.
Last edited by RonaldPR on Thu May 10, 2007 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Milkmaster
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Post by Milkmaster » Thu May 10, 2007 9:19 am

Hi, this is my first post. Before I try to say something relevant, just let me express my deepest gratitude for you developing (nearly) exactly the player I need for my upcoming switch to Mac.

I'd also be strongly in favour of having an option in preferences to not automatically include every played file in the library.
Apart from the possibility to choose (which would really hurt no one, if it's defaulted to 'add'), the argument about small files e.g. sound effect files strikes me as a valid one.

I understand that you had a jukebox with extended database capabilities in mind, when you wrote Play. However, with a little bit of work (I imagine implementing it isn't that hard, do correct me if I'm wrong.) you could make all those people happy, that want something between the "bare bones" approach of Cog and your approach to Play.

In short: having the option would be great, having it default to 'add everything' would be perfect. (No one's disturbed, everyone can choose.)

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Thu May 10, 2007 9:34 am

Again: When you hide the Library (pull the divider all the way down) you can use Play as if it has the Play Queue only. Why does no one comment on that possibility?

Remain
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Post by Remain » Thu May 10, 2007 10:08 am

Well, maybe I'm crazy, but for me,
if I just hid it, I would still know it's there.

Even though I don't see it, I'd know that it's in the background, adding every single file I play.

And being the organization freak that I am, I would even, from time to time, pull up the divider, Select All and Delete.

I don't know... personally, I like to have total control over my apps;
I wouldn't want a "hidden process" to be happening in the background or some "hidden library" to build up.

In the end, though your solution does "work," in a manner of speaking, it's also sort of a "duct tape" solution.
(It's more like "hide it and pretend it doesn't exist" than actually turning it off.)



Yes, I am aware that this is a fairly big request.
But I like Play quite a lot, mainly because the Play Queue is exactly what I'm looking for in a media player. (as well as the Skip Backward/Forward functions)
The Library... not so much. (It's the main reason I ditched iTunes to try to look for alternatives.)

I'm kind of glad that other people agree with me; I hope this shows that at least a few people want this.
This is mainly about choice and preference, I suppose. It would allow people to choose, and I don't think this is a bad thing.

I really do hope that you (Stephen Booth) will at least put this into consideration. Your efforts are much appreciated.

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Thu May 10, 2007 10:53 am

Remain wrote:(It's more like "hide it and pretend it doesn't exist" than actually turning it off.)
That's right, but my attitude would be 'who cares'. The size of the library file is not of a magnitude to worry about.

I suppose turning the library off will necessitate major changes in the application, display of tracks and their metadata in the Play Queue is probably not possible without the library.
Would an option to empty the library when Play is quit be an acceptable compromise? That will be easy to do.

Edit: An option that would both hide the library and empty the library when Play is quit would appear to a user as an option to turn the library off, although it does not actually do that.

Remain
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Post by Remain » Thu May 10, 2007 11:44 am

Yes, I agree that one shouldn't care about the size of the Library file;
heck, who would worry about the size of preference and data files like .plist files?

But what I do care about is if I use Play with an "ignore the Library" mindset for a long time,
then suddenly, I pull that divider up and BOOM, hundreds and hundreds of tracks.

RonaldPR wrote:I suppose turning the library off will necessitate major changes in the application, display of tracks and their metadata in the Play Queue is probably not possible without the library.
You do have a point; it's probably not easy at this point to change the way the Library and the Queue works, eh?
(Unless it actually IS easy to do so?? Correct me if I'm wrong.)

RonaldPR wrote:Would an option to empty the library when Play is quit be an acceptable compromise? That will be easy to do.

Edit: An option that would both hide the library and empty the library when Play is quit would appear to a user as an option to turn the library off, although it does not actually do that.
Hmm, this method might work fairly well.

I would imagine it to be like this:
There would be a "Play Queue only" mode.
Basically, it would completely hide the Library and even the divider, such that there is no way to access it.
And it would also hide that "Adding files to Library..." dialog/sheet.
So literally, there would be no trace of the Library.
When this mode is on, to the user, there would only be the Play Queue, but of course, the Library is actually still there.


There is the problem of preserving files in the Play Queue between launches (if that Pref is on),
but I suppose this could be solved like this:
at quit, the files of the Library are deleted EXCEPT those currently in the Play Queue,
such that during the next launch, those files are restored in the Play Queue.
This preserves the illusion that the Play Queue does its own thing, while of course, once again, the Library is still behind it all.

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sbooth
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Post by sbooth » Thu May 10, 2007 1:48 pm

If I actually decide to implement this, what I would do is have an in-memory database in place of the on-disk one that is used now. This way, everything will work the same, but would not be saved on exit.

Remain
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Post by Remain » Thu May 10, 2007 2:36 pm

Does that mean the Play Queue would not be remembered between launches??

If so, bummer.

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Thu May 10, 2007 2:53 pm

Then why don't you just pull down the separator to hide the Library. You can use Play exactly the way you want to use it.
But what I do care about is if I use Play with an "ignore the Library" mindset for a long time,
then suddenly, I pull that divider up and BOOM, hundreds and hundreds of tracks.
So what? A simple select all and delete will clear the Library. But why would you reveal the Library content if you do not want to use it? Will you develop a irresistible obsessive urge to repeatedly look what is in the Library?

RonaldPR
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Post by RonaldPR » Thu May 10, 2007 4:52 pm

I think it is not the Library that you want to be optional, I think you want the Play Queue to be optional and be able to play directly from the Library list.

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