UI design changes

Discuss the development and future direction of Play.
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Re: UI design changes

Post by maya » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:14 pm

One more notation, if I may?

Would it be possible to have a Mini Play? Like how iTunes is? 8)
“Unless you’ve seen KISS live, you don't understand the band.” —Paul Stanley, KISS. (2003).

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Re: UI design changes

Post by Fuga » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:37 pm

The mini idea has been broached before. I, too, would love to have a mini thing.

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Re: UI design changes

Post by peerless » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:07 am

RonaldPR wrote:I like the existing lay-out better, especially for classical music, with enough room to display the full information:


(I use UNO, hence the unified grey appearance.)
That one will be perfect, just, instead of Play icon, my album cover appears (ex. looking in the folder for cover.*, poster.* or whatever)
Also the idea with the "Mini mode" would be great!

Thanks guys for doing this awesome player!

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Re: UI design changes

Post by RonaldPR » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:16 pm

peerless wrote:That one will be perfect,
That was an old discussion based on the old interface. The interface has been changed since, now with controls in he window toolbar. See Play 0.3 or more recent unstable builds.

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Re: UI design changes

Post by peerless » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:14 pm

Yes I know :)
I'm with 0.3 but still I like this one more ;)

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Re: UI design changes

Post by Joe » Tue May 06, 2008 6:02 pm

I don't know anything about coding but I'd love to have a UI like Exaile or Rhythmbox.

http://www.gnome.org/projects/rhythmbox ... x-main.png


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Re: UI design changes

Post by Mike1 » Wed May 07, 2008 12:31 pm

Joe wrote:I don't know anything about coding but I'd love to have a UI like Exaile or Rhythmbox.
I don't know Exaile, but Rhythmbox is self-consciously intended as an "iTunes clone". Of course, Rhythmbox only clones a subset of iTunes's functionality -- there's so much of it, isn't there? -- but some of that functionality is there and Rhythmbox looks (somewhat) like its model ... only not so polished.

I take it Play is trying to fill a niche in terms of what it does not trying to look unique. Still, so far as looks go, is there much point in copying a copy of something else that's already available to anyone who's running OS X?

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Re: UI design changes

Post by Joe » Wed May 14, 2008 4:17 pm

I understand that Rhythmbox is intended as an iTunes clone but the "iTunes style" interface improves usability IMO so I don't see any problem with making it more similar. The reason I like Play right now is because it supports ReplayGain and MusicBrainz tagging so I believe that Play has enough differentiating features to separate it from iTunes. Right now I think the way playlist/library setup can be a bit confusing since the panes look identical to each other.

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An argument for at least two options

Post by golemB » Tue May 20, 2008 8:30 am

So far in this thread, I have seen little discussion of the reasons for specific UI choices. As I see it, the mockups here show two prioritizations and two types of layout:

  • Horizontal Space
    (for long titles, esp. for classical music, a key audience for FLAC)
  • Vertical Space
    (to see as many songs as possible onscreen)
  • Horizontal Layout
    This maximizes horizontal space for long titles (and for fine control of the seek bar) by stretching visual elements horizontally and arraying controls along a single wide line.
  • Vertical Layout
    This increases vertical space by horizontally compressing titles and the seek bar, and by placing controls into a second column on the side of the title / track / artist display.
Pros and Cons
  • Horizontal Layout
    Allows long titles / text, as well as fine control of seek bar.
    Can consume vertical space. For users with wide screens and/or few long classical titles, a lot of empty horizontal space may feel wasted or even disorienting.
    It is difficult to click controls arrayed in a long, thin line. Mousing in a straight horizontal line and stopping accurately at the right spot is relatively difficult for humans.
  • Vertical Layout
    "Clustering" controls (volume, seek, FF/Rew/Play/Skip) in a two dimensional grid is more ergonomic than a straight, thin line. It also allows a better spatial-conceptual map in human memory than a linear map.
    A few additional songs may be displayed in the playlist / library without scrolling.
    Does not "waste" as much horizontal space on wide displays.
    Reduces horizontal space for long text and precise seeking.
    May not allow enough space for text if window is sized too narrowly.
In conclusion, I think that there are compelling reasons to provide both types of layouts.

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Re: UI design changes

Post by sbooth » Tue May 20, 2008 2:45 pm

One idea I have thrown around is having the UI be WebKit based, using customized themes (based on CSS) allowing essentially unlimited layout options that anyone could create. The problem is making something like that a first-class application, because CSS/DOM/Javascript do not present the same capabilities as Cocoa.

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