MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

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MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Barry4679 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:00 am

I like a lot about MM5, like the new fresh look, the Browser View with info from Wikipedia, & the Pinned facility. I don't understand it yet, but presumably the new technology that you are developing with, ensures an extended lifespan for MM. The simplification regarding View modes is probably good for new users.

But I am disappointed about some apparent losses.

1. The cover-art-focused views, ie nodes other than "All Tracks", look good, but the loss of what was called the "Column Browser" in MM4 is very disappointing
* that facility is now called List Filter in MM5, and is only available in restricted circumstances: ie when viewing tracks, either in the All Track sub-node, or you have drilled down into a specific album by double clicking
* ie. it is not available when in any of the other viewing sub-nodes, above track level, such as the Album node, or Album Artist, etc
* neither is it available you when have selected a group of albums or tracks
* neither is it available for search track results (ie. you get offered Simplified List or List View only )
* in MM4 you could select a group of albums|tracks, or create your own collection using some custom criteria set ... and then view with the column browser, which allowed on-the-fly filtering by whichever columns you had added to the column browser ... this genre, and|or that year, or by whatever is is Custom field 1, etc etc ... there is an illustration at the bottom of this post

This is my primary viewing mode when using MM ... and its loss is a great negative IMO

2. The Art&Details panel has also been depreciated ... ie. it is no longer available at the album level
* in MM4, in Show Art view mode (ie. viewing whole albums) .. the O&D panel reflects my selection, it does this even if I have a custom A&D layout including some track level columns, so presumably it just takes those from the 1st track ... this is useful for an album-focused person, in my case the Added column, Genre, Date, and various other columns are constant for the album anyway. ... also included in the illustration at the bottom of this post
* in MM5 the O&D panel is only updated if I click on a track, ie. not an album ... can you change this please? ... or at the very least allow me to configure which columns are displayed when I click on an album, at the moment I only see a display with track names, track numbers & durations
* there is a bug in the MM5 O&D panel .. in Advanced layout, the album art is overlaid with a translucent panel of white haze
* I strong disagree with discussion here stating that a A&D panel with a custom layout is of little use ... that loss of that would really kill MM for me, unless you started offering a tooltip popup, with a custom layout
http://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view. ... 406#c46326

3. Loss of ShowArtWithDetails
* MM4 had facility for a displayshowing a level of detail alongside an decent sized display of album art .... ie. a list rather than a matrix, so that columns such as AlbumArtists, year, Genre, data last played, etc, could be displayed alongside the album art .... this was my second most heavily used view in MM
* it is gone in MM5 ... we get just a matrix ... we have to click on each individual album art square to see any details, and even then it is just a track list
* or we can use AllTracks, where we can include the art column, but it microscopic and therefore worthless, and displayed once per track, rather than consolidating the album to just the first n rows (as defined by Tools|Options|Library|Appearance), so that the art could be once only, and therefore of a meaningful size

4. The search facility
* the advanced query answer panel is stuck in Simplfied List view mode .. you need to add List View at the least, as the Simplified List may not include the column I am interested in
* the UI here is not fully clear (ie. "[Click here to add criteria]" is there twice, with two separate functions (ie. inclusion criteria and sort criteria)
* UI could be improved, eg. offer drag and drop for sort criteria lines, allowing alteration of ranking ... and drag a column heading into the Sort Criteria hot spot
* it would nice if, in the simple single string facility, I could affect the which columns were to be searched without having to go to Tools|Options|Library|Search to make a persistent change ... ie. allow a temp change, which affects the current search only
* advanced query facility is seems to be hidden behind a double click on the magnify glass icon?

5. Selected items ... ie. I select a couple of albums using the tick box in the top right border of the art:
* the browsing UI doesn't seem to know what to do with these, which is a waste
* it would great if there was a way to throw them into a (selected) AllTracks view ... ie. available for SimpleList|ListView|ListFiltler


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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby gamb2009 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:03 pm

I totally agree with Barry4679. The losses in MM5, especially related to the way of displaying the information in the database is a pity. The loss of Art&Details and the ability to configure which colums to display was something great of MM4. Actually, this fresh look similar to iTunes is nice but risks to make MM5 a software for only casual users and not meticulous collectors.
Come on guys, bring back the great work you have done in MM4.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby PetrCBR » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:50 am

This is the reason of open alpha ... we need users feedback.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Peke » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Hi,
Just to add to Petr that views are and will be fully changed along with functionality eg. request for subnodes are already done via new extension. That is the beauty of MM5 against MMW4.x. To have basic SIMPLE/STABLE/FAST WORKING application and not thrown with hundred of features that you either do not know how to use or get scared by them or you do not know which one of 5 ways to use. That is easy to get lost and make mistake. MM5 on the other hand will(should) have all of them but as expansion. So if you want subnodes for example but do not like native one then why not use for example Magic node to supply them and so on.

That said MM5 Alpha is here to show you what we've been working on and give you the reason to complain. So please complain, I love to read them as they make me think what we will do about it and how to even improve that.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Barry4679 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:01 pm

PetrCBR wrote:This is the reason of open alpha ... we need users feedback.

Understood, and my previous comments were offered in that spirit.

Here is another couple to add to them.

6. MM5 has lost the MyComputer node from the Media Tree, and appears to offer no drop zones.

My practice is to rip new tracks to my PC as a holding area while I obsess about tags and Art. I add the PC location to MM. At this point the music is indexed by MM, but not accessible by the Google Play Music uploader, nor my Sonos, so I can't generate scrobbles with crappy tags.

When I am happy I create folders on my NAS for Albums, and any new AlbumArtists, using Windows Explorer.

I then drag the new albums to my Nas using MM4 and the Network|MicrosoftWindowsNetwork|Workgroup|Nas subnode of MyComputer.

In MM5 there is no MyComputer node. There is a Folders node, but none of the sub-nodes within there are drop zones ... so no more using MM for collection location management?

7. I am really missing the (limited) sorting and grouping facilities that were offered with MM4 View|ShowArt

The MM4 View|ShowArt facility was equivalent to MM5's Albums sub-node. But we have lost MM4's sequencing facility. It was always a frustration that MM4 sequencing was limited to just Summary|Artist|AlbumArtist|Album|Genre|Date|Rating|Length, but that did cover many of the bases. But now we have no sorting\group facility .. ?

I do see the sub-nodes other than Album; ie Years & Genres. I don't find these a better compensation than the MM4 approach. ie. if I use the MM5 Years sub-node I just see a screenfull of year "folders" ... I have to peck and hunt in each of those "folders" ... in the MM4 equivalent I immediately saw the full matrix of all albums in the node collection, sequenced grouped and by year

-----------

I don't know how typical a MM customer I am.
I don't use MM for playing (I have a Sonos at home, and on my mobile devices I prefer Bubble UPnP due to the lack of a feature in MMA).
Neither do I use MM for ripping, as dBpoweramp has superior features (the last time I looked), and besides I am comfortable with that application.

But MM is very important to me as tool of choice for organising and tagging a large music collection. It is also my primary tool for browsing my collection. I would also have liked to use its Sharing function if your UPnP/DLNA function could just replicate Windows Media Servers better, so that Sonos could queue music using MM indices. ... But I am happy with MM just in its organising and browsing roles.

The thing is though, that the loss of functionality in the MM5 alpha degrades MM applicability for these functions given my use case, IMO.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Barry4679 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:25 pm

Peke wrote:Just to add to Petr that views are and will be fully changed along with functionality eg. request for subnodes are already done via new extension. That is the beauty of MM5 against MMW4.x. To have basic SIMPLE/STABLE/FAST WORKING application and not thrown with hundred of features that you either do not know how to use ...

I recognise that MM5 is an improvement in speed and simplicity. Also agree that the lack of simplicity in the heritage product has grown to be a problem over time.

However I do wonder how stability is going to improved if we have to patch up MM5 with a bunch of potentially conflicting add-ons, from a variety of different sources, just to get it back up to being the best music manager available.

Also having to shop around looking for suitable add-ons isn't an improvement in simplicity either is it? And isn't speed going to be compromised by having a bunch of add-ons working around omissions in the core, which would be the optimised place to do these things?
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby stax76 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:17 am

I don't mind any loss! Since I never worked with Delphi I have little idea why the old GUI had to go, a explanation for this decision would be very welcomed. MusicBee is also based on a legacy widget toolkit and looks significantly better on High DPI then MM. The legacy widget toolkit MusicBee is based on is called Win Forms which is for the most part a wrapper around the legacy WinAPI, I have 15 years experience in this technology, scaling Win Forms for High DPI pretty much sucks, on a 4K display it might not even be possible to use the form designer, down scaling might not be supported by the Win Forms designer, it did not work for me and I'm probably not going to spend time trying to figure out a workaround but rather learn the new Windows Universal Platform or something else like HTML.

I would prefer stability and compatibility over features, especially High DPI compatibility, a good extension development experience is also crucial for me.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby jiri » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:02 am

First of all, thanks for a detailed feedback!

1. I agree that it's a limitation, we probably better should make this as on/off checkbox that would be available in most views (not all though, since it doesn't make sense everywhere).

2. The bug re. updating A&D on Album selection will be fixed. As for customization, we plan to leave it in the current state, which offers the same as (or more than) MM4. And certainly, through the use of MM5 Add-ons, there are unlimited options.

3. It isn't implemented yet, mainly because it isn't that easy to implement perfectly and also we weren't sure how much needed this view will be (considering all the new features of MM5). Anyway, I'll review this and try to get it to the 5.0 release.

4. Fully agree here. Just. re. temp selection of columns to be searched, do you mean an advanced query like '@year: 1997'?

5. Ok, it's a bug, we'll look into it.

6. Right, this is an omission, we'll add d&d support there.

7. We'll look into options re. how to add this.

As for the mentioned UPnP related issues in MM4 and MMA, could you please let me know what exactly doesn't work well? An e-mail or PM would probably be better in order to keep it cleaner here.

Thanks,
Jiri
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Barry4679 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:13 am

Thanks. The sounds really great.

jiri wrote:4. Fully agree here. Just. re. temp selection of columns to be searched, do you mean an advanced query like '@year: 1997'?


Yes that's it, but also having List View available for the screen of search results is also important (ie. the facility to add columns to display of results)

jiri wrote:3. It isn't implemented yet, mainly because it isn't that easy to implement perfectly and also we weren't sure how much needed this view will be (considering all the new features of MM5). Anyway, I'll review this and try to get it to the 5.0 release.

Apart from the fact that is a great looking and immersive screen, it is useful to be able to confidently identify an album (as you can see the cover and the tags), and then select the whole album by a single click in the "Summary" column.

I usually recognise an album mostly by its cover art, rather than its title. The tiny cover art in AllTracks is totally useless to my old eyes.

The MM4 facility allowed me to quickly scan a list, which I could easily sort by any of the columns, or filter using the Column Browser.

The removal of lower level sub-nodes has made this worse. ie. I know roughly when it was released ... so I go via the Years node ... "was it in the 1960's?" ... No, ok try the 1970's ... that kind of pecking and hunting .... was it Folk? ... Damn, no, well let's try Folk-Rock

The new "menu" screens ... ie the ones replacing the sub-nodes, are great for specifically viewing something like the 1970's if that's the mood you are in ... but for collection management purposes you sometimes you need to browse a list, preferably a list with art IMO
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby MarineBrat » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:56 pm

My 0.02 cents. I installed the alpha and immediately took a strong dislike. All of the development communities seem to want to remove the power-user abilities of their programs and give them all touch screen simplicity. And now everyone need only learn to count to one... with one finger to manage their world.

It's turning the world into simpletons all around us. Are you going to make it run services and phone home too?

I'm more than happy with v4, and just like all of my PC's running Win7, I'll be staying with that which assumes I'm able to count to 10.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby dtsig » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:42 pm

True .. but click a button and you are now in columnar view like always before. I am no fan of tiles ... but since you can get away from them .. the need for a UI wakeup was important in a marketing/user sense.
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby jiri » Wed Feb 15, 2017 6:27 am

We certainly understand that MM is very often used by power-users and so it wouldn't be a good idea to oversimplify it. MM5 is supposed to be easy to use for _any_ user, but retain (and improve) all the powerful features of the previous versions. One of the reasons for pre-release is to make sure our users are happy, so feel free to report anything you consider a loss, so that we can look into it (which is already started in this thread).

Thanks,
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby Barry4679 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:38 am

Initial feedback re MMv 2071

1. Art & Details panel: has reverted to ignoring click at the album level. ie. view EntireLibrary|Albums ... a click on an album does not affect Art&Details ... I need to click on one of the tracks inside the album .... I have a customised Advanced layout in A&D. and some cols are at the track level, but before you were just using data from the 1st track (which was fine by me).

This means that the "Selected" panel in A&D does not reflection the current selection. ... Also this change really reduces the usefulness of the A&D panel IMO.

2. Column Browser: I see, and appreciate, the new All Views filter (see #3 below)

The Column Browser is one of MM's really really great facilities, excepting for the fact that it can now only be used with "All Tracks" view, ie. no album level view. ... The Column Browser offers series of header filter lists, each of which are a little browsers of all possible values in whatever custom view I am viewing. ... What can get better than that?

But in AllTracks view, not only are there multiple rows for each album, but the (repeated) album icons are microscopic. It is not immersive, and is not as good for a person whose brains prefers images rather than text when browsing.

Image

I don't understand the decision to take this great facility away from the other views .. ? ... Even with EntireLibrary and AllTracks and with a large library, it performs really well ... so with a filtered custom index, when viewing at Album level, it would perform even better, so why not offer it?. ... In MM4 the album view (View|ShowArt), not had a Column Browser, it also had a (fixed) number of ways that we could have the display sorted & grouped (by "Artist", "AlbumArtist", "Album", "Genre", etc) ... in MM5 we have nothing.

I know that there are now views other than the Album (like Genre, Publishers, etc etc), but these are all hierarchical ... drill down, go back up, drill down into another, etc etc ... peck and hunt ... not as good IMO ... (BTW there is a now a problem with the Genre view ... It breaks before it gets to display the album or tracks in a selected genre ... It required MM5 to be restarted ... (see exception at the bottom of this post))

Could the decision to restrict the Column Browser be revisted?

Or could AllTracks view be hacked a little to accommodate some level of album level browsing? ... ie.

    Could there be a Details|Art toggle for AllTracks? ... ie. when using the Art toggle, the AllTracks view just shows the album art matrix ... allowing an album level browser with Column Browser capabilities

    Or could AllTracks have a AllTracks|1stTrack toggle. ... that way the AllTracks view could be a (small) improvement for album level browsing ... ie. able to use the Column Browser, also only row per album, with art icon, which we could hopefully make larger


3. The (new) All View filtering: this is an improvement. It compensates for the loss of the Column Browser with searching. It is not as helpful as I would like when browsing though.

Could the separate criteria have radio buttons to turn them off|on?

Image

Could there be a way to save|restore favourite criteria sets?

Ludek: <<<Any text fields contains "..." is quite long. a) Any idea how to short the "contains" operator name?>>>

How about these?:
AlbumArtist has [Davis]
or AlbumArtist [<Davis>]

Also there is a small bug when adding a Genre equals filter. ... It doesn't populate the heading ... but it does get populated when I add a further criteria to the filter

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* * *

Exception mentioned above:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.1 Date : Sat, 1 Jul 2017 14:10:32 +1000
2.2 Address : 011DC6D8
2.3 Module Name : MediaMonkeyEngine.exe - (MediaMonkey)
2.4 Module Version: 5.0.0.2071
2.5 Type : EAssertionFailed
2.6 Message : Field not found in result (D:\Delphi\MediaMonkeyClean\HTML5Monkey\SQLiteDB.pas, line 1665).
2.7 ID : F477462E
2.8 Count : 1
2.9 Status : New
2.10 Note :
2.11 Sent : 0
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby dtsig » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:32 am

good points ... something off the track ... your Byrds album has the wrong title i believe. Maybe it should be (untitled) as found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Untitled_(The_Byrds_album)
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Re: MM5 has nice new facilities, but disappointing losses

Postby MMFrLife » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:42 pm

MM user since 2003 (lifetime since 2012) "Trying to imagine life without music gives me a headache"
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