A plea for simplicity in the MM5 interface

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leblancj
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:08 am
Location: Halifax, NS

A plea for simplicity in the MM5 interface

Post by leblancj » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:06 pm

I've been trying to use MM5 preferentially to MM4 but I'm always migrating back. For me the main advantage of MM5 is the ability to cast to Chromecast devices, which allows me to use MM5 to control my analog high-end stereo via the Chromecast audio device.

However, I think MM5 is simply too complex and its interface too dynamic. By that I mean that I'm never sure what exactly will appear when I start a new session and it will change during a session. Will there be a left panel or not? Will the middle panel display images of albums or text? Will the browser at the top be open or not? I appreciate that one can save a custom layout but it's difficult to figure out how and I'm still not sure that a saved layout contains all of one's customizations. I suspect that many who upgrade from MM4, as well as new users, will find the complexity of MM5 daunting. I'm not suggesting that the ability to change almost everything about the layout be removed but simply that there be straightforward ways for new users to not have to go down that route unless they wish to. Customization may feel straightforward to those that have spent a lot of time with the MM5 interface but not to those who are using it the first time. Most of us who use dozens of computer programs have some degree of 'interface overload'; there are too many things to remember as we go from program to program, let alone having to deal with so many options in a single program.

Here's an approach for the developer team to consider. MM5 is analogous to a modern mirrorless or digital SLR camera. Compared to old analogue high-end cameras of 10-20 years ago, they are now devilishly complex with 5 to 10 modes scattered around a selection wheel, and each mode having dozens of settings. However, camera manufacturers have figured out that most users will only use the "Auto" setting and have therefore provide a PhD mode (Push here Dummy) that one can select, avoid worrying about aperture vs. shutter control, different modes of focus, white balance and the other features of interest to advanced photographers. This PhD mode (often called "Auto") will suffice for 95% of the photographs that people take and the minority that want to customize can dig further if desired. I think MM5 needs an Auto mode like this. After guiding the user to the initial selection of a basic skin (e.g. presenting some images and asking the user to select one), the user will always see the same interface unless they want to change it. No matter what they play, audio, video, a local or remote file, they'll always be able to get back to their default interface. I find that MM4 behaves this way but not MM5. I hope that I have expressed this idea clearly and that it is useful as you prepare MM5 for official release.
John LeBlanc

Ludek
Posts: 3376
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:00 am

Re: A plea for simplicity in the MM5 interface

Post by Ludek » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:41 am

leblancj wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:06 pm
I think MM5 needs an Auto mode like this. After guiding the user to the initial selection of a basic skin (e.g. presenting some images and asking the user to select one), the user will always see the same interface unless they want to change it. No matter what they play, audio, video, a local or remote file, they'll always be able to get back to their default interface. I find that MM4 behaves this way but not MM5. I hope that I have expressed this idea clearly and that it is useful as you prepare MM5 for official release.
Can you eleborate more? Are you suggesting that the MM5 default interface should be more like MM4 default interface?
i.e. you probably don't like "Browser" view as the default for artist and albums items and the image grids? Is this what you are suggesting?

Or maybe you mean that it is not initially obvious how to set MM5 interface to be like MM4 interface? i.e. the need of disabling "Info panel" element and change from "Browser" to "List" view etc. ?



EDIT:
Will there be a left panel or not? Will the middle panel display images of albums or text? Will the browser at the top be open or not?
If you did not hide the left panel then it is there by default, isn't it?
Middle panel displays images for albums/artists, but you can change it to "List" view via the view button on the toolbar: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4zr00j9d4eim6 ... 6.png?dl=0
By browser at the top you mean "Column Filter" view element? This is hidden by default, so unless you enabled it is not showing, right?

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