Author Topic: Media Remotes - Design decision  (Read 2773 times)

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Media Remotes - Design decision
« on: February 03, 2006, 05:50:23 pm »
I think that, for the long term, we should decide whether a Playlist-based (Winamp) or a Library-based (iPod/iTunes) design for our Media Remotes should be used.
Playlist-based design:
- the user will manage it's own files and directory structure
- easy to add "the next song" in the Playlist
Library-based design:
- the user has no direct access to files
- easier to find and play a specific album, or a specific artist
- in it's direct form, harder to add media to a playlist, and to play media in a specific order.

I opt for the Library-based design, because the user shouldn't have direct access to files, and searching for a specific album is easier; it is also the design option of choice for cool established products (iPod), therefore the learning curve should be smaller. Things to consider: 1.using Pluto, the user doesn't necesarily have a way to input text. 2. There has to be a party-mode, where the user selects media via some constraints, and it plays randomly. Please comment.

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Media Remotes - Design decision
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2006, 07:05:58 pm »
Hi,

I'll ad my 2 cents. I think that having both would be ideal.

What I prefer depends on what I start with:
- if I have already maintaned music library with directories, then switching to library would confuse me..

- if I start from scratch, then I think it doesn't matter which route do you go. But there will be some maintainance needed - for instance when your ripped CD info is not automatically retrieved...

But right now, we have directories and we also have some kind of music library. As user, I'd prefer to have both options, whicever suits me better in my situation....

Sometimes I'd like to listen to all files in some subdirectory tree, but some time files that have some constraints....

I'm  not helping you much, do I ?  :D

Regards,

Rob.

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Media Remotes - Design decision
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 04:42:09 pm »
Quote from: "tinia"

- if I start from scratch, then I think it doesn't matter which route do you go. But there will be some maintainance needed - for instance when your ripped CD info is not automatically retrieved...

We should circumvent that. The user-interface shouldn't seek to workaround other bugs in the first place. This could be a secondary function, at best. Of course, the user should be able to edit the id3 tags, for example, but let's not forget, they don't have to have a way to input text in the first place.

Quote
But right now, we have directories and we also have some kind of music library. As user, I'd prefer to have both options, whicever suits me better in my situation....
Good idea, and I don't think it's very hard to implement. Maybe we could have a very simple and browsable library design, like, for example /LibraryRoot/Artist/Album/ . Note: The user shouldn't be able to browse upwards the library root. We'll just need to find the reasonable default, because most users never change defaults.

Before I've owned my first iPod, I've always maintained my music library with a structure of directories, created manually. I don't think I was confused by the iPod design, though.

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Media Remotes - Design decision
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 04:54:12 pm »
Quote from: "bogdan.a"
Quote from: "tinia"

...

But right now, we have directories and we also have some kind of music library. As user, I'd prefer to have both options, whicever suits me better in my situation....
Good idea, and I don't think it's very hard to implement. Maybe we could have a very simple and browsable library design, like, for example /LibraryRoot/Artist/Album/ . Note: The user shouldn't be able to browse upwards the library root. We'll just need to find the reasonable default, because most users never change defaults.

Before I've owned my first iPod, I've always maintained my music library with a structure of directories, created manually. I don't think I was confused by the iPod design, though.

Well AFAIK other HTPC programs, some have simple switch between directories or library views. So user easily use one or another. it four wish fits directories then you'll traverse directories and play some subtree. When you want something else, you just switch into library view and go again....

HTH,

Regards,

Rob.

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Media Remotes - Design decision
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 11:58:06 am »
Apple's iTunes software gives you the facility to point to a directory structure and then import it into the iTunes music library (ie the iTunes DB) and the option to copy the files to the iTunes Music Folder. iTunes will also automatically manage the naming of the folder/file structure or allow you to manually manage the naming.

So I think if we follow the iTunes lead here we will find users happy with this.

By the way take a look at this thread I started  few days back with reference to Songbird the Open Source Music management software;

newbielink:http://plutohome.com/support/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=626 [nonactive]

Songbird is still far from complete but it does offer the very temping possibility of some level of iTunes/iPod support in the future (uses VLC as its playback engine and is built on top of many Mozilla components by the way)

Andrew