Let me be blunt

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Let me be blunt

Postby yarguy » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:09 pm

MM5 is not - in my view - a better product than MM4. I should say that it crashed so often that I may not have given it all that fair a shot, but that it crashed so often.... I listen primarily to classical music and my comments should be taken with that in mind. I should say that MM4 has worked quite well for listening to classical music (but see below).

In any case, I was able to get a feel for the basic organisation of MM5 and the features you are adding. I am not taken by fancy graphic display. I don't need small images of (some - not all are found) composers for my classic albums, nor do I need small images of (some - not all are found) artists. In fact, they just get in the way because they reduce the amount of useful information I can see on the screen at one time. I found myself time and again going back to the kind of text-rich layouts I use in MM4 where I can see composer + work + artist + conductor + individual tracks all at once. Yes, I can do that in MM5, but since I can do it much more easily in MM4 why would I use MM5?

The one graphic display I would use - the ability to read a digital copy of the booklet for an album (usually in pdf form) - isn't available in either MM4 or MM5 (at least I have not been able to find a way to do so). I can do that with the music database Orange CD and since Orange CD will send play commands to MM4 (and with the linked-tracks extension in MM4 this works great) and even add to the now playing queque, that's what I use to manage the music I play on my system.

What would sell me on a new version of MM would be much better cataloguing - standard ways of entering label, disc number, proper entry of musicians and their roles (try entering the data about the singers one would need when listening to an opera, for example; Involved people is not the solution), recording date and place, whether the recording was in studio or live, where and when I obtained the album and how much it cost. Some of this can be jammed into some field under Details, but usually not in a good way and, even then, there is no good way to display it (it's text so a fancy graphic isn't needed).

So, it looks as if I will sticking with Orange CD + MM4. It's worked fine for several years and I see no reason it won't keep doing so for several years to come.
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby Barry4679 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:16 pm

I am accepting of the few crashes; it is just an Alpha release to get feedback.

There are things that I don't like either about how this early version has dumbed down the UI in places, but they say that they have accepted much of the feedback, and are working to resolve the issues.

There is a lot to look forward to. I don't understand why they don't release a blog page to describe and promote the improvements a little ... you have to hunt through to discover them.

The integration between MM5 and online reference sites (Wikipedia), and track lyrics is great. It is slick, very fast, and something I have always wanted.

The integration between MM5 and streaming libraries looks promising. It doesn't seem to all be there yet, but looks great. I can switch back and forth between my local library, and my online library. I can trigger MM to index tracks from my online library. ... (maybe less use with classical music, because the community tagging for classical music is such a mess.)

Examples:

My collection: Artist notes, my albums from the artist

Image


Click on an album; album notes, track lyrics ... collected and displayed very quickly

Image


Switch across to my online (Google Play) library; more albums than I have in my own collection, can add selected ones into my MM index, can play using MM, can add into playlists

Image



Also the fact that the new version seems opening up the possibility for cross platform versions will be great for MM, and therefore good for its customers also.
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby jiri » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:31 am

re. PDF booklet support - added as http://www.ventismedia.com/mantis/view.php?id=14297.

re. new metadata fields particularly for classical music - would be interested in more details, i.e. which fields are the most important for you, how do you usually populate them, etc. There's definitely quite a lot we could improve for classical music.

re. MM4 vs MM5 - good idea to better communicate the new features. We definitely don't want to make MM5 dumbed down, but it should be easier to use than MM4, even for an average user. So, in case you miss anything anywhere, we'd love to hear about it.

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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby dtsig » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:17 am

To me, it is looking very good with with the additions mentioned by Barry4679.. but one place it is dumbing down is the grid. To me the grid view is the most important. All the data All the time :)

In mm4 and back the grid is a proper grid. with the ability to go directly to a artist without filtering. But all keystrokes seem to automatically filter. Doesn't help at all if you are looking for someone "like" abc. If there is no abc then just take me to ab and let me scroll through. I may be looking for something before ab.

Does this make sense?
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby Red Maw » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:24 pm

jiri wrote:re. MM4 vs MM5 - good idea to better communicate the new features. We definitely don't want to make MM5 dumbed down, but it should be easier to use than MM4, even for an average user. So, in case you miss anything anywhere, we'd love to hear about it.
Jiri


I felt like MM5 was more simple user friendly out of the box and it did take me a few minutes of messing around to figure out how to get the views and functionality I wanted out of it but so far there is only one thing I haven't figured out how to get back yet (a now playing list that isn't a sidebar and has customizable fields - basically a "list view" in MM5).

One of the things that still doesn't make sense to me is the "simple list view" and the "list view". As far as I can tell the difference is that you can select the columns of one but not the other, and while I am probably missing the driving factor for needing both it would probably be best if you could get rid of the simplified list view.
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby TIV73 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:13 am

Red Maw wrote:One of the things that still doesn't make sense to me is the "simple list view" and the "list view". As far as I can tell the difference is that you can select the columns of one but not the other, and while I am probably missing the driving factor for needing both it would probably be best if you could get rid of the simplified list view.



I found that the difference between list view and simplified list is that the list view is just a regular list, like you would know it from MM4, while the simplified list does a responsive design kinda thing if you resize the window:

Image

Image

Image

I quite like it, but calling it 'simple list' might not have been the best choice of name since it doesn't really tell you what's so simple about it. Something like Auto-Layout or Responsive might have been easier to understand.


Red Maw wrote:[...] one thing I haven't figured out how to get back yet (a now playing list that isn't a sidebar and has customizable fields - basically a "list view" in MM5).


That should be fairly straightforward to customize, you just need to add an additional viewhandler to the now playing node.
Last edited by TIV73 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby jiri » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:40 am

But all keystrokes seem to automatically filter. Doesn't help at all if you are looking for someone "like" abc. If there is no abc then just take me to ab and let me scroll through. I may be looking for something before ab.


I consider the filtering to be superior. After all, I can type 'ab' and then go through the results just like in the example you mentioned, can't I? I'd certainly like to make all users happy, but I'm not keen on adding a new switch between these two behaviors. So maybe an Addon for those who prefer the way MM4 worked would help?

there is only one thing I haven't figured out how to get back yet (a now playing list that isn't a sidebar and has customizable fields - basically a "list view" in MM5)


The Now Playing view supports multiple layouts and so this one could be easily added. I'm not sure for how many users this would be useful, so probably rather than an included layout, an Addon for this would be better.

Something like Auto-Layout or Responsive might have been easier to understand.


I quite like the 'Responsive Tracklist' name, however I'm not sure whether it communicates enough that is shows only few basic fields. Note also that it's quite easy to make own responsive layouts, i.e. custom logic of fields to be shown, multi-row usage, etc. So misc Addons for this purpose can be created.

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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby dtsig » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:14 am

jiri wrote:I consider the filtering to be superior. After all, I can type 'ab' and then go through the results just like in the example you mentioned, can't I? I'd certainly like to make all users happy, but I'm not keen on adding a new switch between these two behaviors. So maybe an Addon for those who prefer the way MM4 worked would help?

Makes me sad ... i am sure the 'filtering' is superior .. if i wanted to filter. <sigh>
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby TIV73 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:19 am

jiri wrote:The Now Playing view supports multiple layouts and so this one could be easily added. I'm not sure for how many users this would be useful, so probably rather than an included layout, an Addon for this would be better.


I like the new view, but I can see why people would want a regular list view, so I wrote a small addon to bring the listview back to the now playing node - github
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby Barry4679 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 pm

jiri wrote:We definitely don't want to make MM5 dumbed down, but it should be easier to use than MM4, even for an average user. So, in case you miss anything anywhere, we'd love to hear about it.


dtsig wrote: one place it is dumbing down is the grid. To me the grid view is the most important. All the data All the time :)


I think that the main thing that MM5 is "missing" is grid facilities, especially for those of us who are album-focused.

This MM4 grid facility (nearly) has it all IMO

Image

1. an immersive (good size thumb) album-focused grid
2. custom filters with re sizable lists. I can scan any list to see what is in the grid, and can easily zero the grid into a subset
3. facility to sort and segment the grid into groups .... the one thing where the MM4 facility disappoints is that there is no way to turn sorting|grouping off, and the sort|grouping options are not customisable (ie. cannot add to, or change the sorting|grouping attributes offered) ... the only way that it worked well for me is that I have all my tracks rated to 0, so the Rating column gave me an ungrouped display. .... this one thing that I had hoped MM5 would improve upon, ie. grouping on|off, and facility to customise those options ... instead the whole facility got removed ... disappointed

Those are the facilities I want when browsing the albums in my collection, or one of my custom indices.

In MM5 I just get this ... ie. no browsable list (other than the album list in the Media Tree). ... no sorting and no grouping either

Image

If I try to use the Media Tree to achieve something similar ... say browse genres in the custom filer, I get this ... ie lots of clicking ... I am not sure what I was going to get to see due to a bug, but it was too much clicking anyway

Image

The new filter thing good for searching, and was a worthwhile addition as goes across all displays, but is too clunky for browsing.

Image

MM5 is a backwards step for album-focused people IMO

* the album grid is dumbed-down, with no sorting, no grouping nor filtering

* no Show Art & Details display ... ie. an album-focused grid display, but an all-in-one where I can also *browse* the albums, with track details, and with a hotspot (the "summary" cell) where I can select the album as a group for setting whole album Properties, or for drag and drop

The nice new inline album display does some of this, but it isn't a browse ... ie. I need to click on each album, one at a time, to see the album tracks, so I identify what I am browsing for

Image

This was better

Image
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby jiri » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:05 am

Thanks for a detailed report. I see that it's mostly about missing A&D view. Note though that we didn't remove it, it's just that it wasn't implemented yet - there were other things with higher priorities. We plan to add it as soon as possible in order to support at least the same feature set as in MM4 (and probably quite some more).

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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby Barry4679 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:14 pm

Great, thanks, much pleased.

Sorry to keep banging on about it, but the status wasn't clear until now.

jiri wrote:3. It [the missing A&D view] 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.


jiri wrote:Note though that we didn't remove it [the missing A&D view], it's just that it wasn't implemented yet - there were other things with higher priorities. We plan to add it as soon as possible in order to support at least the same feature set as in MM4 (and probably quite some more).
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby jiri » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:44 am

Sure, forum feedback is important in order to know what our users like! ;-)

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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby Red Maw » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:47 pm

jiri wrote:re. new metadata fields particularly for classical music - would be interested in more details, i.e. which fields are the most important for you, how do you usually populate them, etc. There's definitely quite a lot we could improve for classical music.
Jiri


For me the most important information about "classical" works and what I mainly use to filter and query are:

- Composer
- Conductor
- Orchestra/group
- Soloist
- Opus Number

BMV and K/KV numbers are also useful in for some works but I am not sure it would be worth making a specific field for them.

The first two are existing fields, and for orchestra/group i tend to use the artist field but there are not any really good substitutes for the last two. Using unused fields like album artist and lyricists works well enough but it doesn't feel good, if you know what I mean.

@TIV73, @jiri,

I have long since given up reducing the size of my MM window so I completely missed how it how it changes when the window is reduced.

Regarding the now playing list, I would agree not many people would want all that information in it so maybe a custom view as suggested is the best way to go. I experimented with adding those fields to the sidebar but it can be bit hard to read as the sidebar isn't very wide (which is good for a sidebar). The fields I like to have visible in the now playing list are title, artist, album, and album artist. Off screen, but available via horizontal scroll, I have length, rating, bitrate, playcount, last played, and path.

Also apologies for being so late to reply to the thread. I wanted to at least mention the classical field stuff but things got busy and I kept forgetting to get around to it.
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Re: Let me be blunt

Postby TIV73 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:02 am

How about giving the user more control over what custom data he wants to add instead of adding more fields for specific purposes? Right now we are talking about fields for the opus number, orchestra or soloist. Don't get me wrong, by any means, add those tags! Having more fields to store data is never a bad thing.

Now, Red Maw is a friend of classical music, so he needs a field for the opus number. I use a field to tag songs that are duplicates, one guy I know wants to know if a song contains vocals and, if so, who is the lead vocalist. Some people might care about who did the music arrangement, what catalog number an album has, if they ripped it from CD or downloaded it, how much they paid for it, etc.. What I'm saying is that it will never be possible to satisfy all potential use cases, and the more the more specific new tags get, the less usefull they will be for the broad userbase.

The CustomX tags are an ideal solution for this issue. They allow a user to save exactly what data he wants, and I believe I somewhere saw an option to change the label of the fields. Everything is great, until somebody needs more than 5 custom tags.
So why not give the users more custom fields? Add a new page to the properties dialog and fill it with generic tags. That way users are much less likely to hit a point where they have more data than they have empty fields available. Maybe add a shortcut to the option to change the display names of the fields, to make it easier for the user to customise them.

Alternatively, and this is me cherry picking, why not let users create new tags on the fly? Something like how album art is currently handled, just for text instead of images. I mean, album art already already has a description field, so I could in theory just create a 1x1 dummy image, add that to a track and then fill the description with whatever I need. This is really more a hack than a solution and probably creates more problems in the long run than it solves, but you get the idea.

Admittedly, the second idea would be a tall order to implement since there are quite a few technical, ux, etc. considerations about it. I figured I'd throw out the idea anyway, so we can at least talk about it.
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