There have been recent threads essentially discussing the limitations for a just-click-to-navigate user .. ie, a casual user of MM, or a user who is new to MM ... someone who has not yet discovered the new MM5 navigation|searching|filtering facilities, or just doesn't want to work that way.
So for this post I looked at MM5, mainly focusing on this area ... ie. the Media Tree, the Home node, and Browser view, and the Grid view under its various names.
I think in this area I would grade MM5 as a fail. There are areas that need addressing IMO.
Next to no configurability ??!
This is a complete reboot of MM, but you have not offered any configuration options for what are effectively the "home" screens? ... eg. The Home node, and the Browser view for the top level nodes, and the Grid|Art|Media views for the sub-nodes.
The panels that you provide are attractive, but I would like to tailor them to my own Use Cases
- or maybe I am a Classical Music fan, and would like to add an eye candy row (ie. where you promote a fresh "random" selection from my library) for Composer or Conductor ... or maybe I want to replace the artist selection with an Album Artist selection
- maybe I want to tailor the sort sequence for the destination album grids (see below in the Sorting section)
- maybe I want to define a default view mode for my custom collection ... eg. so that each time I open it, it goes to its AlbumArtist sub-node and to Grid view ... rather than just going back to wherever I went to, last time that I used this node
if I upgrade to the Gold Edition, I can create my own custom collections, but I can't define my own sub-nodes or click navigation paths for my collections.
- eg. you have hard coded a Genre>Album route for the Genres node, but I would like to define an additional node which went Genre>AlbumArtist>Album ... I proposed a simple (I think) mechanism for this here)
Navigation using the Grid|Art|Browser panels leads down eventually to a grid of albums; sometimes a whole panel, and sometimes as an in-panel grid like this
The sorting of this important album grid can only be described as a disappointing mess:
- user configuration of the sort sequence is available in only two of the sub-nodes ... very very disappointing
- the sort control mechanism is completely different in each of those two sub-nodes ??!
- the various sub-modes have a mix of different default, or fixed, sort sequences ... often not the optimal sort seq IMO
album sort sequence configurable in these sub-nodes: Albums, Years
album sort sequence NOT configurable in these sub-nodes: Artist, Albumartist, Genres, Composers, Conductors, Publishers
sort by Date Released: for these sub-nodes: Artist|AlbumArtist, Composers, Albums, Conductors, Publisher
sort by Album name: for these sub-nodes: Years, Albums, Location
sort by AlbumArtist: for these sub-nodes: Albums
sort by Rating: for these sub-nodes: Years
sort by ???? (sorted by some field that is not displayed): for these sub-nodes: Genres
no grid sorting: for these sub-nodes: Rating
It just doesn't work IMO. ... eg. Genre ... I have a lot of Jazz albums ... The EntireLibrary>Jazz node takes three seconds to open ... and it opens a massive grid of nearly 900 albums, and the grid is in some undisclosed sequence .. and I can't change it.
Or the Composer grid, where the albums are locked into Date Released sequence ... a really unhelpful sequence for a composer IMO .. I would want to be chose the navigation route that I need for whatever I am trying to do.
- or Composer>AlbumArtist>Album
- or Composer>Genre>AlbumArtist>Album
I think that album grid sorting urgently needs to be fixed and enhanced.
There are little inconsistencies between the various modes and views. This modal nature of MM5 is its least attractive characteristic IMO. .. It makes MM5 harder to learn, and makes it longer to move beyond disorientation. ... It wastes a lot of time, because you end up thinking "I could do that yesterday", and you end up searching for things that are not there, because the behaviour or appearance is different for different modes. Examples:
- MM5 offers navigation via clicks via its Browser|Grid|Art views ... all navigation terminates at a grid of albums ... the same for all sub-nodes, except the Rating sub-node, which has no album grid view ??!
- MM5 offers limited sorting options for two of the sub-nodes, but not the others ... and for those lucky two sub-notes, the sort mechanism is compeletly different (details above)
- these two panels look similar, but they have different expand icons
- why all the pencil watermarks in just the Genre sub-node ... it looks like they are action hot spots, but they are not
- I can drill down from Decade to Year, in the Years node, if I have the Media Tree open ... but if I follow this navigation path, I can't get beyond decade
- Nearly all sub-nodes have a Grid view ... except Albums where it is renamed Art view, or the Genres node, where it is renamed Genres
- The Grid view for Years has grid tailoring facility ... it is not available in any other nodes? .... with this facility there can be a "toptracks" list in the Grid view ... if that is a good thing (unlikely IMO), then why is it not equally applicable in Genre view for example?