MM4: Ok, that's it?

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vpsaxman
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by vpsaxman » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:03 am

Sebastian78 wrote:@vpsaxman: What's THAT....that looks....Amazing! Simple, clean, intuitive and it presents albums in a better way than any skin I've seen for MM....
It's a foobar2000 skin : http://junior-spirit.deviantart.com/art ... r2000&qo=3. And check some other ones to get a feel of what's possible with the program's skinning engine : http://browse.deviantart.com/customizat ... oobar2000/. Foobar's lightweight, is very versatile as far as skinning goes, but is not as powerful / doesn't have as many features as MM. Simply said, my ideal media player would be a son of MM and foobar.

It would mean however that the developers would have to rewrite the whole skinning part of the software. If we ever get it, it won't be before a major update (MM5). Compatibility with aero and tabs seems to be the focus on MM4...
Sebastian78 wrote:"SKIN REPOSITORY"
This has been suggested before and probably requested in the official "skinning wishlist".
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DreadM
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by DreadM » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:05 pm

Greetings
Sebastian78 wrote:I still feel the main outadet look is just beneath the surface of MM.
I see it also like this ,
In version 3 the devs implant the new player ,and they make a great job,
You can nearly do anything with the player (sure some things are missing) but the main features works well .

The only problem with the monkey is that he still live with many little bugs in the Theme ,(i think most people don't noticed theme ,but gives a felling of outdated look)
I use the monkey since version 2,4 and until now there are not so much fixes or improvements in the theme.
I think devs focus more on functionality than on skin layout! :-?

I relay believe if the devs fix all the old bugs and give as skinners more control over the theme object's like:
Custom Size for Controlbar/Menubar ,Headers,Panel captions,Tabs,......,
Advanced option for Text align,
Advanced option for buttons align
Transparent background for all theme objects !
The monkey would look more modern, but still simple .

I still love the monkey ,and the only reason why i make skins is the attempt to give the monkey a more clear look,
but every time i comes to a point where the limitations from engine forces me to some compromise, Too bad :( :(

Dreadlau
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Dreadlau » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:44 pm

This sums it well.

Even DreadM, the most skilled skinner in the community can't do miracles.
And this is because of the limitations and the bugs of the skinning engine.


re.the previous posts about the iTunes look.
I'm not a fan of iTunes design and I don't like the feel of the ui.

But I think its very noticeable that it looks a lot more polished than MM.

It's not a question of taste, it's the fact that there are lot of little things that brake the design.
Making it impossible to have complete consistency and a truly modern feel.

It's all in the little details.
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Mizery_Made
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Mizery_Made » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:11 pm

Here's the thing, even if they did overhaul the skinning engine, there's no guarantee there wouldn't be limitations with that one either.

Me personally, I think MM looks fine for the most part, the way it is. A lot of the "more attractive" players that have been shown in this thread (iTunes, Foobar, WMP, etc) to me look horrible. But as has been stated here many times, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I would much prefer focus on the actual functionality of the program. It's not as if it still looks like Songs-DB did.

Lowlander
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Lowlander » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:13 pm

iTunes is good example of the problem. It looks well put together, but where are the features? The better looking players have no features readily available. This show that the problem will always be that features make things look worse. Just look at the amount of buttons and menu's in MediaMonkey, it doesn't look pretty. You can try prettying things up with alpha blending and what not, but the fundamental problem remains that all those buttons and menu's to get to all those features won't ever look as pretty as iTunes's empty interface.
Another issue would be the skinning engine itself. It might be the limiting factor and not the developers. This means if more skinning features were to be added a new skinning engine might be required. This would probably render all current skins obsolete which wouldn't be a good thing as it would reduce choice.

I think in the end that users need to have clear requests on what they want to see in skins, this allows skinners to make skins like that or request new features for skinning to be added by the developers.

I personally think that skinners have made amazing skins that make MediaMonkey look great (much better than iTunes), but I do wish the developers would get around to the addon/skin hosting site for easier finding of skins and that maybe more people step up to create skins as more choice and easy access would probably go a long way to please some who complain about MediaMonkey's looks.

As to MM4, I'm truly exited by what has been done so far as some amazing features have been added.
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by rovingcowboy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:44 pm

Lowlander wrote:-------snip--------- Just look at the amount of buttons and menu's in MediaMonkey, it doesn't look pretty. ----------snip---------.
i do look at them buttons all that stuff on the screen is a thing of beauty. all that stuff to look at, to find what it does.
to wonder in amazement how the dev's got it to do that? they's a beau D full things mannn :)

:D
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Mizery_Made » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:44 pm

Lowlander wrote:but I do wish the developers would get around to the addon/skin hosting site for easier finding of skins
I feel the same way. It's something that should have been launched with 3.0 in my opinion, seeing as the foundation was present in that upgrade (what with the extensions management in the program, install packages, update check and all). It should definitely be something that launches with 4.0, if not sooner.

Dreadlau
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Dreadlau » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:44 pm

Lowlander wrote:You can try prettying things up with alpha blending and what not, but the fundamental problem remains that all those buttons and menu's to get to all those features won't ever look as pretty as iTunes's empty interface.
IMO MM4 doesn't feel cluttered.
What looks bad is mainly the aliasing due to the lack of a working alphablending.
ie Fonts, rounded corners, icons, overlays, ...

And some items need a lot more customization possibilities: ie tabs

( see how making chrome-like tabs result in a complete fail )

Image

Example for the icons: ( the light gray icons in the bottom part of the screenshot shows it very well )

Image
Last edited by Dreadlau on Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mizery_Made
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Mizery_Made » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:50 pm

In fairness to the developers on the Tabs issue, it is a new feature and this is currently only an Alpha. There's plenty of time for them to (hopefully) get that fixed.

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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by Lowlander » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:11 pm

I'm also not aware that someone has raised these issues before.
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by nohitter151 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:28 pm

Mizery_Made wrote:In fairness to the developers on the Tabs issue, it is a new feature and this is currently only an Alpha. There's plenty of time for them to (hopefully) get that fixed.
Actually, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I discussed this issue at length with Petr and unfortunately it isn't looking like something that can be fixed. Oh, and it's not limited to tabs, skinning stuff on the aero player is quite difficult. It's hard to explain, but pixels below a certain alpha value (for transparency) will not display at all. It means you need to really play with your images (ie test and re-test) because they will not display correctly (as in your original image). I had this problem with the aero player and the tabs and it was only after a lot of messing around with the images that I was able to make it look somewhat okay. Petr but he says there isn't much else he can do, it's a theme engine limitation. It's a shame, because I think problems like this will probably turn people off to skinning as it does make it much more difficult.

All that being said, I still think that we can turn out some great skins. And seriously, an upgrade is so much more than just GUI updates.
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by vpsaxman » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:32 pm

nohitter151 wrote:And seriously, an upgrade is so much more than just GUI updates.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this... :-?
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by nohitter151 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:33 pm

vpsaxman wrote:
nohitter151 wrote:And seriously, an upgrade is so much more than just GUI updates.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by this... :-?
There are literally hundreds of new features and bug fixes unrelated to the GUI in MM4. In the overall scheme of things, I think that's a lot more important.
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vpsaxman
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by vpsaxman » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:03 pm

Got you, thanks.
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Re: MM4: Ok, that's it?

Post by sirandar » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:57 pm

Perhaps and interesting thread ......

Curently, in almost every society on Earth, it is more important to look good at something than to be actually be good at something. That includes the composition and playing of music and even the software player that plays music.

It is sad and true, on average people care more about how something looks than what it actually is .......... BUT those same people on average also have no real appreciation of music and are simply collecting something or using it as part of their individual or social identity.

The devs of MM4 would be wise to give skinners every reason to practice their art in a bug free environment and pehaps implement or get some new talent to improve thing like AA and text size flexibility, BUT there is no amount of looks that is going to win over new users if those users don't really care about what MM can do. It is risky for a capable product cater too much to a crowd that really doesn't care about capability, unless it can do so and please it's core group that really does care about capability.

Personally, the skins that DreadM puts out meet my expectation in every way ......... but that's me.

The averages are where the money is BUT MM is definitely a niche market. For people with a large music collection.....Nothing even comes close. Trying to be one of the crowd is very difficult if most of the crowd doesn't really care about all the great things under the hood.
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