Author Topic: Better Media Organization / Browser  (Read 27090 times)

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5501
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2007, 08:55:35 pm »
I want to work on a replacement media manager for the web admin..but that will come after I finish my mame plugin work.

-Thom

tkmedia

  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • **
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
    • LMCECompatible
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2007, 09:17:00 pm »
Any suggestions in the mean time??   My library has picked up a couple of album covers and assigned them to almost all my music that was ripped with software other than Linuxmce.  Also I have a bunch of flac files downloaded from archives.org   (Live concerts mainly), any Ideas on how to best tag and organize these files.



Thanks



Tim
My Setup http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Tkmedia

For LinuxMce compatible  systems and accessories
http://lmcecompatible.com/

tschak909

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 5501
  • DOES work for LinuxMCE.
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2007, 10:17:13 pm »
right now, the only way is to go into the media files sync, and adjust the attributes of each individually..this is why I want to rewrite it.

-Thom

bulek

  • Administrator
  • wants to work for LinuxMCE
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
  • Living with LMCE
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2007, 11:01:35 pm »
Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

chrisbirkinshaw

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2007, 05:58:47 am »
I've worked in a consulting role on a number of UI projects within the multimedia and broadcast industry, and have found some of the responses in this thread alarming and to be honest a bit worrying. I'm really concerned that LMCE is going to remain stuck in the same place because a few people are being stubborn about certain issues.

Joe Bloggs says "I find it really tedious to wash all these dishes".
Everyone else says "Stop being lazy, it isn't that hard!"
Joe Bloggs is an edge case.

Then one day some bright spark invents the dishwasher... Suddenly all the people who were happy washing dishes by hand realise that this dishwasher is really quite neat, and makes their lives easier (though they could still live without it).

It's all about innovation. Inventing easier and easier ways to do things, more intuitive ways to do things, more lazy ways to do things! When someone says "I never would have thought how useful it would be to have a..." then you are being truly innovative.

If someone says media is too hard to navigate, then perhaps they have a point. They might be wrong on the detail, they might be stupid, they might not have read the manual, it might piss us off that they ask before thinking it out properly, but you have still have to take their experience of the product into account. They are the general public, and the general public should be able to use LMCE - right? Or do we want it to remain a geek-tool hidden away from the mainstream? This isn't what the simple DVD install suggests.

We all want to see LMCE grow into a tool which is both powerful and intuitive. You shouldn't have to read a manual. Has anyone read the manual for their iPod?

Ok, so it IS possible to find media using filters. But is that really the simplest way? My girlfriend certainly can't use it. My parents would struggle, and my grandparents... no chance! Has someone made a decision that these people should be excluded from using LMCE?

I'm not trying to upset anyone here, just hopefully opening a few points up for consideration. Just because something is possible doesn't mean we should not strive to make achieving it more simple.

Best wishes,

Chris





chrisbirkinshaw

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2007, 02:47:55 pm »
Here's some constructive criticism on the interface, as I would go about it in my work life for a project involving GUI elements. I'm trying to imagine here how it would look for a non-technical user.

Home Screen
- Plenty of stuff going on here, but it's not overwhelming
- Categorisation by line is neat, colours help differentiate
- "Speed Dial" and "Dial Direct" text does not quite fit on the buttons

Going to watch TV
- Confusing as when I move the cursor to TV I get "not available" in the box next to it
- Click TV, then another GUI comes up. Look is very different. See a flash of another menu then into TV. A bit untidy.
- Hitting the recording list button now takes me into a mythtv menu which replicates the videos page. A bit confusing, as it appears to partially replicate the videos page. TV shows are here but DVDs etc are not.

Suggestions:
1. Mythtv be running in background so that going to TV is quicker and you do not see the "prescaling theme images"
2. Mythtv theme be chosen which looks more like LMCE
3. Would suggest recordings button take you back to videos page but as there are some problems with this I would not recommend at the moment (e.g. in progress recording is not visible on LMCE videos page)


Going to watch a video (first time user, no filters)
- Top of screen is full of videos with title "1001_20071212162003.mpg" etc. Try to delete some but it is tedious to go into the submenu then move cursor over to delete
- Want to watch heroes so press the "GH" button (would be nice to press 4 twice on the remote, like a mobile)
- Episodes all have the same title and same cover art (the channel logo). Would be useful to see subtitle here.
- One by one I go through the episodes and click them, then read subtitle and description until I find the one I want
- Then I have to move the cursor over to "Play" (I'm using a keyboard) and hit it. At first I can't see where these buttons are as they are small and at the bottom left of the screen.

Suggestions:
1. Show subtitle in small text under the title, or merge into title with a colon (:) inbetween. e.g. "Heroes: The Beginning". If people are opposed to this then implementing point 4 would pretty much fix this useability issue.
2. In the submenu for Play/Close/Delete make the cursor hover over play or close by default so I can do something useful with my first button/keypress. Also make these buttons bigger/move to a more obvious place.
3. Not sure where all the "1001_20071212162003.mpg" videos come from?
4. Once you are in the play/close/delete submenu you should be able to cycle through the videos using (obvious) up and down buttons while staying in that view. There is no sense going back to the previous screen if you are just browsing.
5. There should be a disable cover art button/option for the main list which presents media in a table - e.g. Title | Episode | Length | Director etc (fields configurable). There would be space for a small thumbnail


Going to watch a video (using filters for the first time)
- Click options, though the title is not obvious
- Go accross to select "TV Shows only"
- Now not sure how to get back to main screen to see all TV shows
- I see the Search button but it is at the bottom left, so lots of button presses to get there
- Even though I have not typed anything into the search yet there are no TV shows listed (I understand why, but this is different to for example iTunes)
- Type a random letter and get results which include films and TV shows. Still can't figure out how to view all TV shows
- Give up

Suggestions:
1. An ok button at the top right of the options screen should take you back to the list with your filters applied
2. The search button should be under that
3. Consider having search populated with all results before you start searching. Can understand there are arguments both ways here. If point 1 was implemented this would not be necessary anyway
4. Add a search box to top of list on main page. Will search within all videos, or within filtered results if filters have been applied.
5. LMCE should set media type to tv show when saving mythtv recordings (doesn't seem to have for mine)


Going to listen to music
- No obvious way to browse albums. This is how I usually choose my music.
- Go to do a search, but have to press a lot of buttons to get there
- Useful area of search GUI is small, but loads of screen space.
- Search results are a mess, and not possible to see what album a track is on or who it's by
- When I search for "In Utero" I get 4 entries for the album

Suggestions:
1. Album/Artist/Genre buttons at the top or side which change the list type
2. Search box at top of main list
3. Make changes to filters page as suggested for videos
4. Search results in a table form e.g. Track | Artist | Album
5. Table form view also an option for the main screen? e.g. a disable cover art button/option. Fields could be user configurable (e.g. option of track, artist, album, genre, time, year, track no, etc top be visible)



Lowspirit

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2007, 04:11:58 pm »
chrisbirkinshaw, Your post is right on the dot. Elitism will bring LinuxMCE down if it's allowed. All people working with any UI aimed at a general public must listen to that public, not their pals within the project. Always ask Your girlfriends mom or a grandparent to play a certain episode of DH and see how they approach the UI. Learn from that. Your personal view as a developer is of NO interest in this. Unless Your plan is to create a system for Yourself and other tech-people. And that is not the case with LinuxMCE. I hope. Face it, the general public is used to sort their multimedia files in a  folder structure. The general public will get irritated and turn elsewhere if they don't understand a new concept. And that would be very sad since LMCE is so promising. I hate geek elitism. It's highly contra productive and probably the sole reason why we are having this discussion. Tech-people should not be allowed to develope UI on their own all.

And... A person posting on this board complaining about not being able to understand the UI has to be allowed to do so. Even if it is a repeat or a re-repeat of another post. As developer of UI You have to appreciate ANY input from the future users of the system, no matter how silly or wrong it might be in Your eyes. Repeats just means the developer is wrong and the general public is right.

I found LinuxMCE a couple of weeks ago, and i love it. I bought a load of hardware and are testing all parts of it. It's great fun! Until now i didn't have a clue about Linux at all, but now i removed Vista and XP on several machines and only run LMCE and Kubuntu. And it works very well for me. I have even built my own thin client using plexiglass, a slaughtered 350W PSU, an  AMD mATX mainboard w. Nvidia 6200 on a risercard. It was cheap. It is very compact and it works excellent! I doubt that i can claim it to be CE-approved, but who cares?

Merry Christmas!


chrisbirkinshaw

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 431
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2007, 04:28:30 pm »
My sentiments EXACTLY. These days people expect to be able to use all but the most advanced functions of a domestic device without referring to a manual. Look at the manuals which ship with Apple products - there's hardly anything there!

Having my girlfriend around really keeps me grounded. Yes, she likes that the lights dim when the TV starts, but she still struggles to get the media on the screen in the first place!

I know there are people working on this project who want to make something useable by the general public, because we have the excellent plug and play support, very intuitive lights and media floorplans, and the easy-peasy install DVD.

And there are all manner of conventions in PVR/MP3 player/DVD player/Media Centre menu systems which, rightly or wrongly, for all their faults, are how people now expect things to work. If it's going to be different to that (encouraged!) then it better be intuitive, beneficial, and very very OBVIOUS!

Chris

ps. I can't program C, so realise I'm going to piss people off by making requests when I'm not seen as contributing. But I have spent days and days getting this system to work, and posting on this forum (hours on this thread alone). Hopefully that's all useful stuff!

dopey

  • Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 223
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2007, 02:19:10 am »
The only people who get pissed off by these posts are complete morons or just haven't had their cup of coffee yet! This is actually a very old thread. When I re-read it I realized some of the people that were opposed to changing the UI are now they same people who are actively involved in doing just that... there is now a plan to change up the UI (actually build a whole new one) after the release of 0710.

You make some very valid points, most of which I completely agree with.

Suggestions:
1. Mythtv be running in background so that going to TV is quicker and you do not see the "prescaling theme images"
2. Mythtv theme be chosen which looks more like LMCE
3. Would suggest recordings button take you back to videos page but as there are some problems with this I would not recommend at the moment (e.g. in progress recording is not visible on LMCE videos page)

I agree with this one, and I think I've even mentioned your suggestions before, however, the new UI is going to try to better integrate into MythTV and VDR. This would eleminate the need for the MythFrontend entirely as the new UI would simply request what it needs from the MythBackend. I first suggested that we just extend the proven MythFrontend, but the addition of VDR (provides similar dvr functionality) would make this unrealistic. The new UI will now have to seamlessly work with both platforms.

Suggestions:
1. Show subtitle in small text under the title, or merge into title with a colon (:) inbetween. e.g. "Heroes: The Beginning". If people are opposed to this then implementing point 4 would pretty much fix this useability issue.
2. In the submenu for Play/Close/Delete make the cursor hover over play or close by default so I can do something useful with my first button/keypress. Also make these buttons bigger/move to a more obvious place.
3. Not sure where all the "1001_20071212162003.mpg" videos come from?
4. Once you are in the play/close/delete submenu you should be able to cycle through the videos using (obvious) up and down buttons while staying in that view. There is no sense going back to the previous screen if you are just browsing.
5. There should be a disable cover art button/option for the main list which presents media in a table - e.g. Title | Episode | Length | Director etc (fields configurable). There would be space for a small thumbnail

This is one of my biggest frustrations as I pointed out on the first page of this thread. I still think my suggestion of a rolodex type of display, or sub-menus, would be better here (see my original post for details). The "1001_20071212162003.mpg" files are MythTV recordings that for one reason or another have lost there information. This one actually alludes to a problem with your setup. Either a the database got corrupted at some point and it had to remove some entries to repair it, or LinuxMCE hasn't re-scanned the MythTV database after a re-install, or you re-installed without backing up the MythTV database. All the scenarios have actually happened to me while testing. I really love your idea on point 4. That just makes sense...

Suggestions:
1. An ok button at the top right of the options screen should take you back to the list with your filters applied
2. The search button should be under that
3. Consider having search populated with all results before you start searching. Can understand there are arguments both ways here. If point 1 was implemented this would not be necessary anyway
4. Add a search box to top of list on main page. Will search within all videos, or within filtered results if filters have been applied.
5. LMCE should set media type to tv show when saving mythtv recordings (doesn't seem to have for mine)

Suggestions:
1. Album/Artist/Genre buttons at the top or side which change the list type
2. Search box at top of main list
3. Make changes to filters page as suggested for videos
4. Search results in a table form e.g. Track | Artist | Album
5. Table form view also an option for the main screen? e.g. a disable cover art button/option. Fields could be user configurable (e.g. option of track, artist, album, genre, time, year, track no, etc top be visible)

I don't really have anything to add to these, other than you are right and your ideas should be kept in mind when designing the new UI.

P.S. Just because you don't program in C doesn't mean you can't contribute, which you have. Believe me your posts are read by developers and when they are typed in an intelligent manner they are taken to heart and discussed. I invite you to read the following rather large threads: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3344.0 (be mindful that this one is in the developers forum, but as a developer yourself you are welcome to give input [even if you don't program in C, which isn't uncommon and has been discussed in there too]) and http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=3480.msg18454#msg18454 (starting at the relevant post).

totallymaxed

  • LinuxMCE God
  • ****
  • Posts: 4450
  • Smart Home Consulting
    • View Profile
    • Dianemo - at home with technology
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2007, 03:50:07 pm »
Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.

Under 0710 UpdateMedia and ripDiskWrapper.sh now create standard ID3 tags in the ripped files. thes can be read by any other app that understands ID3 tags

So this is a start along the road you are proposing... not the whole solution though.
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk

dukat

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2008, 01:45:04 pm »
Thank you, chrisbirkinshaw, for getting this discussion in the right direction.

While I also sense a lot of potential in LMCE, I'm often taken back by some harsh replies I read here in the forums. I hope this discussion will make LMCE evolve much better into "real" usability!

PetRose

  • Making baby steps
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2008, 11:54:29 pm »
Agree,
Standards, already there should be obeyed if possible and without sacrificing functionality ;)
Have a look at the IPTC standard:
newbielink:http://www.iptc.org/pages/index.php [nonactive]
which no longer are related to photos-only.
Here you get the framework- and now editors to batch edit metadata is available - and still on top of flat file systems to keep the performance.

Cheers
Peter

Hi,

I'd propose to maybe think about taking some more standard way of metadata (maybe some sort of xml or any other metadata files that are present also in other programs - so users could use also 3rd party programs to edit metadata info)... Id3 files are unique, and there will always be problem either to import files from other systems or exporting them when practically  no system is using such info... Id3 files were probably easiest way to do something in fast way....

HTH,

regards,

Bulek.

golgoj4

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1082
  • hrumpf!
    • View Profile
    • Mah Website
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2008, 06:03:12 pm »
Anyone in this thread been tracking the HA Designer screencasts? any new ideas?
Official Releases
http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.apk latest Qt4 android apk  http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiterQt5-release.apk for the Qt5 Android version http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.dmg for the MacOSX version

Unstable Nightlies
http://langstonball.com/downloads

erasmix

  • Regular Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2008, 06:42:14 pm »
Hello,

I'd like to use this thread to advocate for a better media browsing solution. I'm relatively new to LinuxMCE, but I've been using a MacMini with FrontRow, for two years, to navigate my media collection. I have 1100+ (and growing) video files in divX, XviD, avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, and others. FronRow is the only reason why so many people bought the mac to use it as a media center.

I find LinuxMCE MUCH MORE robust in the sense that it doesn't crash/hang as easily as the mac. However there is no equivalent to FrontRow to navigate a complex media tree. All my files (no matter how I sort them) are shown on a flat list, which makes them unmanageable. In my opinion this is the most important feature LinuxMCE is missing.

I recently bought new hardware just to run LinuxMCE, so I'm fully committed to make it work. Eventually I want to replace MacOS and install LinuxMCE on the Mac too.

Erasmo.

golgoj4

  • NEEDS to work for LinuxMCE
  • ***
  • Posts: 1082
  • hrumpf!
    • View Profile
    • Mah Website
Re: Better Media Organization / Browser
« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2008, 02:21:52 am »
Hello,

I'd like to use this thread to advocate for a better media browsing solution. I'm relatively new to LinuxMCE, but I've been using a MacMini with FrontRow, for two years, to navigate my media collection. I have 1100+ (and growing) video files in divX, XviD, avi, wmv, mp4, mkv, and others. FronRow is the only reason why so many people bought the mac to use it as a media center.

I find LinuxMCE MUCH MORE robust in the sense that it doesn't crash/hang as easily as the mac. However there is no equivalent to FrontRow to navigate a complex media tree. All my files (no matter how I sort them) are shown on a flat list, which makes them unmanageable. In my opinion this is the most important feature LinuxMCE is missing.

I recently bought new hardware just to run LinuxMCE, so I'm fully committed to make it work. Eventually I want to replace MacOS and install LinuxMCE on the Mac too.

Erasmo.

It not advocates we need so much as people who are willing to take on the task and DO it. People are working on a lot of things. So jump in  ;D
Official Releases
http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.apk latest Qt4 android apk  http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiterQt5-release.apk for the Qt5 Android version http://deb.linuxmce.org/QOrbiter-release.dmg for the MacOSX version

Unstable Nightlies
http://langstonball.com/downloads