LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4 [MR5 skin update] 3/14/2010

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LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4 [MR5 skin update] 3/14/2010

Postby nohitter151 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:23 pm

Here is the requested LastFM black skin.

MM skin: Download

MonkeyRok: MR4 Download | MR5 Download

LyricsViewer: Download (note: same as the one in the LastFM SimplyRed topic)

SongInfo SimplyRed: Download

SongInfo PaintItBlack: Download


Main theme:
Image

Microplayer:
Image

Mini player:
Image

MonkeyRok:
Image

Version 1.0.2
-Initial release

Version 1.0.3
-Improved menus
-Fixed miniplayer tiling bug (Thank you DreadM!)

Version 1.0.4
-Updated icons
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby DreadM » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:21 am

Greetings

I like this one more than the red , nice work nohitter,
maybe you can make the volume slider area a bit bigger ,it's difficult to hit theme ,its very small!

And i like the resizable miniplayer, :D
and please don't take it wrong,
i think the albumart can code on different way,so that you don't have this AArt delay,
set the background to stretch without the CD case,
and put the CD case around the Albumart and overlay image,than you don't got this AArt delay.

Just a suggestion
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby nohitter151 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:32 am

DreadM wrote:i think the albumart can code on different way,so that you don't have this AArt delay,
set the background to stretch without the CD case,
and put the CD case around the Albumart and overlay image,than you don't got this AArt delay.

Just a suggestion

Do you know of any skin that incorporates something like that? I don't think that the overlay image can actually be larger than the area you specify for the art, otherwise it will resize the overlay image.

Maybe you mean something else?

Thx for your comments by the way.
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby DreadM » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:48 am

Well Nohitter it can look like this:

Image
It's working
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby nohitter151 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:12 pm

DreadM wrote:Well Nohitter it can look like this:


It's working

I would definitely like to make it look like that, but I'm still not sure how you did it! :oops: Could you send me your modified .msz or .mskn file to look at? You can send it to my email address (should be listed here in the forum). Thanks!
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby KorkyKat » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:50 pm

Beautiful. Minimalistic and uncluttered. An excellent piece of work.

Five Stars

Thank You

:)
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.2

Postby nohitter151 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:05 pm

KorkyKat wrote:Beautiful. Minimalistic and uncluttered. An excellent piece of work.
Five Stars
Thank You
:)

Thanks :D

===

Version 1.0.3 is released (DL link is in first post) which adds improved menus and fix for the miniplayer tiling bug.

Thanks go to DreadM for showing me how to fix it!
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby daouda34 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:39 pm

Alright, first of all hi everybody and many thanks to those that spend so much time working on making the mediamonkey experience better for us all, little by little. This is my first post and i registered on the forum only for this request : please oh please nohitter, dont sleep on this skin, it is IMHO by far the most elegant, best looking skin ive seen/used so far for MM3. But it is so close to perfection that i find it extremely frustrating that a few imperfections/flaws have me turn away from it.

So here are my few remarks/suggestions (sorry for my crappy english):

-Most importanty and first of all, please design a small player/slim player version like you did for the zune skin. The player as it is is way too big and has far to much wasted space (that long empty gray band at he bottom that only has that small volume control at far right, this huuuge empty black space at top/middle) for the skin to be used by the lot of us on a 15 1/4 " 1280x800 widescreen laptop or any other relatively small, lower resolution screen.

This is by the way the main flaw of most of the mm3 skins out there that will display at he bottom a player that is huge, disproportionate and often full of empty, wasted space, at the expense of the more important and precious panel space.
It seems like you skin designers only use big hd screens (as witnessed by the huge and often cropped, skins preview screenshots that you usually post) and forget about us poor average users.Too much space that matters on lower res screens is already wasted on those useless & stupid (and i assume unskinnable and unremovable) panel title bars such as "track browser", "album art", "monkeyrok"..., and those thick scrolling bars.

-Even though the players are so big, they often lack buttons/features that would make the ui more user-friendly. Nohitter'S skins usually have most of the more useful buttons : toggle playlist on-off, shufle, auto-dj, repeat.... but his one lacks the all-important EQUALISER button, which IMO should ALWAYS be located on the player and is counter-intuitive and non unser-friendly to be accessed by any other way.

-Also if there is enough space on the player (as there obviously is on this one) i find it really nice and useful to be able to rate a song directly from the player, as most of us will 99 percent of the time only rate a song which we are currently listening to. I understand it could be at the expense of the elegant design, but there should be a way to still keep that uncluttered look.

-The small "more buttons" button ( just a simple (») ) that shows up when there is not enough space to display all the buttons on a toolbar is black and therefore INVISIBLE over the black background. I dont know if this is skinnable though.

-Less importantly and more a matter of personal taste, i strongly dislike the white background for the album art display. Id much rather have it in a grayish tone, well, a little darker, which would make the album art more readable and stand out more. I think there is a reason why picasa, windows photo viewer and such ALL display pictures against a somehow light but grayish backgound (more or less dark, but NEVER white... even though i think dark or even black would be better than white ). Would there be a way to have the album art background color user-definable in the option menu?

Putting all those concerns aside, let me congratulate and thank you again nohitter for the magnificent work that had me think for the first time that i should not give up on the thought that MM could actually look REALLY elegant through skinning, without waiting for a complete makeover.
There are a few other quite elegant skins, but its all the little details in this one that make it much closer to perfection. The icons, particularly in the tree panel (and those arrows instead of an ugly "+") and also the "categorise" toolbar, the colors, the scrollbars design (even though i wish they were thinner, and that the ugly IE scroll bar in MonkeyRok could be of the same design of the other panels ), everything just looks nice and sleek and coherent.

I hope you will read this post soon and take my comments into account!

Keep up the good work
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby daouda34 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:03 am

Another imperfection that i just noticed : i think that, in order to be consistent with the overall theme, the miniplayer (which i never use) should be using hearts instead of stars for ratings.

EDIT: i wrote too fast about stopping there, I didnt want to look like i'm harassing nohitter about petty concerns but since i seem to be on a roll here i might as well finish:

-For consistency (and more intuitive usability), the "go to now playing node" button (on the toolbar right above the tree) should keep the same design as the icon next to the actual "now playing" node (a 3 band graphic sound representation).

-I find that the black CD case displayed when the album art is missing (in "album art" panel, album view, and monkeyrok) is a little dry. I personally think something more discreet would look better there, like a light tone monkey icon or a light tone music note... or something more original, but not ig and black and square.

This is all i can think of at the moment about what could relatively easily make this skin a near-perfect one.

Now, if you had more time on your hands, i think the whole lot of MM buttons icons could use a nice makeover. You did a great job on most of the tree icons (now playing, artist, album, genre, year rating, classification, playlists) and the "categorize" toolbar buttons, but EVERY other one should use that same minimalist, elegant, sober design - for consistency AND style AND better "readability".

So, here are my suggestions to the MM development team and especially whomever are responsible of its GUI design and the skinning engine :

I think the somehow outdated (at times ugly) buttons/icons design is largely responsible of that outdated win XP/3.1 look many MM users complain about, especially when comparing it to other better-looking players like songbird, or even itunes (liking or not its design is a matter of taste, but one cannot deny it does boast a coherent, finished-product polished look).

Another thing is its non-efficient use of screen space (especially for lower res. screen users) due to :

-Oversized players (which can be adressed by skinning, many but not enough skin designers do propose "small player" or "slim player" versions of the same skin)

-Too-thick scrollbars (does the skinning engine allow the use of thinner ones?)

-Totally useless panel titlebars ("Track Browser"-I hate this one!, "Album Art", "Monkeyrok 4.1"... I think this is a limitation of the skinning engine)
...and other design flaws that are unfortunately probably unskinnable for the moment :

-The "List ¦ Edit ¦ Copy" toolbar that sits under the "now playing" panel by default (it's movable, even though that doesnt make any sense) should simply be located ON that very "now playing" panel titlebar, thus saving space! Do we really need mostly empty bars over and under the same panel?

-The "status bar" ("17 files, 97.2 MB, 49:32") is another waste of space that could have, for instance, its info located on the main "MediaMonkey" window titlebar, right-justified !

-The "File Edit View Play Tools Help" menu should definitely also be located on the very mediamonkey window titlebar (like in SongBird), saving precious space for other optional toolbars.

-Who needs a damn title bar anyway? "Mediamonkey" is too long of a word and we all know what's inside the window at first glance without reading it, just keep the icon on the far left and after that, in order, "file etc" menu, then status-bar info (right-justified), and finally the micro/miniplayer, minimize, restore, close buttons! This is one of the main reasons that make google chrome great, it is so damn screen space-efficient!

-This definitely will have to wait for a new MM release, but the tab approach for switching between different views would be a great thing. Our panel needs when organizing/listening to music are very different and it's too much of a hassle to have to reorganize them everytime.

It's a lot of work for only one guy that has other things to do, but i think it's about time that the focus for MM skins would be on maximum quality on a few of them (on which designers should cooperate), and not quantity. A single skin designer cannot an wont bother to pay attention to EVERY little graphic detail that, albeit little, still matter to acheive a perfectly sleek, polished, consistent, finished-product look.

Most of us will agree that even after trying every other app out there, MM is still(after overcoming the initial hurdle) by far the best, most powerful app for those with a huge music collection, but most of us will also agree that it could look and feel much more up-to-date . I think i'm not the only one finding that up-and-comers like songbird look and feel damn attractive, always making it a disappointment to have to come back to the old Monkey.

Like i said, i kind of had given up on MM looking nice and elegant without necessiting a major new release (MM 4.0?) and i know a lot of the expectations i listed above cannot be adressed only by skinning. But for the first time, this LastFM skin changed my mind about it and proved (to my eyes) that the skinning possiblities of the monkey just hadnt been pushed far enough yet in the direction of sleekness and elegance. This skin is so close to making my monkey look as good if not better than any other player out there that it's rejuvenating my faith in its simian greatness.

For that i thank you again nohitter- please don't let us down!


-
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby rrfpacker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:32 pm

Wow, you really tore apart this skin after saying it was almost perfect. I will take up the baton and defend this skin as nohitter shouldn't have to.

There are different skins, by different people, for different reasons. You can't please everyone. Skinning is very difficult and time consuming, as I have tried to modify some to make them look and perform like I want them. I have learned to change the font colors, add information to the player ini, etc. My first suggestion is that if you don't like something in a skin, try to learn how to modify it yourself.

I like the bigger (longer) players as they are more flexible. You can make them fit into places or make them smaller if you want, you can't make a smaller player bigger. You will notice in his screenshot, the player isn't all the way at the bottom, it is nested under the main window. If you wanted to take up some of the "wasted" space, you can put the Mini Lyrics panel, or album art panel, or Monkey Rok, or almost any other panel next to the player to make it smaller and make efficient use of your monitor's space.

The panel titles you are unhappy with can easily be hidden with the latest MM version. Track brower, now playing, and library titles can be hidden by right clicking on them and clicking on Show Title bar. The Song Information and Monkey Rok title bars can be hidden by clicking Tools>Options> and going to the appropriate item and clicking the Hide Title Panel or something to that effect. The individual makers of those scripts called them something different. I believe most of your other suggestions are hindered by Windows, not MM.

Yes, I am biased toward Media Monkey. I spent months researching applications before I chose it. It is by far the best music organizer available, especially with all the powerful scripts that enhance the experience. The time and effort the scripters put in to provide wonderful tools is immense and they give them away for free! The skins are by far the most elegant I have seen. I learn more about this great product every time I use it and the wealth of help and information in the forums is unsurpassed.

Enhance your monkey experience. Learn to change skins, learn to modify scripts, then your Monkey will look and perform as YOU want.
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:02 pm

Alright. You know what, im extremely embarrassed. I think im gonna shamelessly edit this post, change my username and disappear forever. I DIDNT, AFTER ALL THIS TIME, NOTICE THAT U COULD MAKE THE PLAYER SMALLER. ANd i didnt know you could take those titlebars away. Stupid, dumb, noobish me. And i've been using computers for about 25 years (i'm 31) and MM for about 3 years.
Anyway, english is my second langage and i think i havent expressed myself well. Even as it was, i thought the skin was near perfect (not perfect only because of a few icon inconsistencies, and the invisible "more buttons" button)-for anyone with a bigger screen. And now that u enlightened me about the player resizing and the removable titlebars, i think it is near-perfect even for my little laptop, and it will definitely stay among the three skins that i will ever use (along with spotify, and another one) and is right now the top one. I totally acknowledged the awesomeness of this skin, the other wishes i formulated were intended at the MM developpers for the next version of MM and its skinning capabilities. I've already seen skin designers complain about the imitations of the skinning engine. Actually i shouldnt have posted those remarks here, but inside the "wishes" forum. Posting those here was careless and offensive. Aside the little quirks, i know the skin designer did the best job he could do within the skin engine limitations.
Rereading myself, it is obvious how my comments can be seen as rude towards the skin designers. I apologize and state again how much i appreciate their efforts... i really do, even though i know i sounded ungrateful. But since i'm already hated now i'm gonna say it again : there are a lot of great MM skins, for a wide array of different tastes... according to mine (which are nothing more than my tastes) there are only a few that look really elegant and professional... but none so far has achieved a 100 percent consistent, polished design, that shitty itunes or soon-to-be great songbird can boast (and i dont think that design consistency is a matter of taste). They all stop at least a tiny little bit short. And i think this is probably because there are so many buttons in mediamonkey... i havent seen any other media player with that many buttons anywhere else. And achieving a consistent and polished skin design asks IMHO for a complete makeover of ALL the buttons... I havent seen any skin that hasnt given up on a least a few of them. This is why i think skinning for MM is too much work for only one guy that isnt even paid for it. The MM developping team should do something different here, so that every MM release would come with at least ONE skin with a sober and perfectly consistent design... which i think this skin is so close to be.
Anyway, i know you skin designers now hate me and rightfully so (i've kind of been an a-hole here), but i love you guys. And i love my monkey, even though i'm sure it could be both powerful AND reaaally sexy. I'm already convinced it is the best there is no matter what, but it would be a mistake for the developping team to keep a "MM is the best, it already has a lot of great skins, now be a geek and design your own stuff or piss off back to those crappy to itunes or songbird or whatever if you're not happy with its look" attitude.
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby daouda34 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:07 pm

See how much of a noob i am, that was my post right over here, I didnt even notice that i wasnt logged in and was posting as a guest... So take my comments for what they are : a noob's comments... but keep in mind there are a lot of us among real-obsessed-music-lovers-with-a-huge-ever-growing-collection-in-need-of-a powerful-music-collection-management-tool-and-player.
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby nohitter151 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:30 pm

Wow! First let me say, daouda34, thank you for your comments -- regardless of the content of feedback it is nice to know that people are using the skin.

@rrfpacker: Thanks to you too, its nice that you can sum up what any skinner knows; 1) that skinning is very time consuming and 2), something which I learned quickly after I released by first skin more than a year ago, you just can't please everyone. Everyone seems to have their own idea about what small changes would make the skin "perfect" - but often those changes aren't compatible and disagreements can occur about what is really 'the best'. I think its great that you've been able to make your own tweaks to shape MM the way you like it.

Just one other thing to mention, I do like to get feedback on the skins I've made and I'm also willing to make changes and updates to the various skins, but you also have to keep in mind that keeping it short and simple is best (and screenshots help a lot). These 'wall of text' posts exhaust me just by looking at them! :o
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby gpzbc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:31 am

Thanks nohitter for the LastFM PaintItBlack skin. Very nice work. It is in my top 3 favorite skins. (The other two are Spotify and Eclipse.)

I have one small suggestion/request. I use Song Info Panel and I appreciate your Song Information skin. However, It seems to be geared more toward the Simply Red LastFM skin. I think it is the red font and the lighter background that gives it that feel.
Do you have any plans to make a Song Information Panel skin that is more precisely fitted to your PaintItBlack skin?

Thanks again!
--
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Re: LastFM PaintItBlack skin v1.0.4

Postby gpzbc » Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:30 am

Or perhaps you would be willing to advise me on how to change the font color myself? :wink:
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