[mythtv] MythMusic Redux Proposals WAS: Proposed Change to MythMusic

Steven Adeff adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 14:18:48 UTC 2007

Starting a new thread, read comments below....

On 7/11/07, Justin Hornsby <justin.hornsby at gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not even as if you *can* use a mouse with mythmusic yet - none of
> those buttons do anything when clicked.
> The one thing I think everybody agrees with is that mythmusic needs to
> be improved.  The thing is, I've yet to see any positive input on
> precisely how to improve it.  There's little use saying "oh it needs
> to be more like X with a bit of Y" since not everybody is familiar
> with X or Y.
> What we really need are mockups, functional descriptions & the like.
> Anything a developer can really work towards.
> As far as I know there aren't too many existing apps which make it
> easy to deal with large collections of music other than the now
> ubiquitous albumart browser - but then those don't suit people whose
> music collections aren't based entirely around albums.
> Some have said Amarok is a good model for a music player but last time
> I looked at that it didn't seem at all viable for mythtv - it relies
> on small fonts & cramming a lot of information on screen, and it's
> hardly very remote friendly.  That part is very easy to forget.
> XBMC, on the face of it, seems 'cooler' but I can't see how it makes
> dealing with large collections any easier - plus its 'transport
> buttons' popup seems antiquated & cumbersome - not to mention it
> duplicates buttons on a remote.
> AppleTV, Ipod et al - they sure look spiffy but I've yet to speak to
> anybody who can describe how they operate in detail - I've certainly
> not experienced them for long enough to make a subjective study.
> If we had $1 for everybody who said mythmusic could bear improvement
> we'd have been able to pay a professional to write a whole new music
> plugin already.  What's needed is more constructive input & much more
> detailed suggestions for a solution to the problem.
> Have a think about it - how would you change the way we choose tracks
> out of thousands in our collection?
> Let's see less of 'mythmusic could be better / mythmusic sucks' & get
> some case studies down if you really want to help.  Out of the legion
> of mythtv users there must be somebody who has had experience working
> on such a thing somewhere at some point.  There's a real opportunity
> here for people to contribute in a big way IMHO.
> Ok, so say we do away with the music transport buttons & make viewing
> them (on top of the UI, say) optional so that those with mice /
> touchscreens can use them.  That'd be a start.  We'd still need a
> button to make the controls visible/invisible - or maybe a 'kiosk
> mode' where they'd always be visible.  That'd mean we can devote much
> more screen space to the playlist & music tree.
> An album art gallery view would be very handy, and as far as I know
> that's 'on the to-do list'.
> You could use that for genres, years.. any other classification too -
> all in addition to the existing list / filtered list views.
> The improvements to the display model needn't only apply to mythmusic
> either - I've thought about it in the past & implimenting a new
> 'browser' might work well for recordings & videos too.  Let's face it
> if we're going to get new UI classes why not let the rest of the
> project benefit?
> Anyway, I've got some ideas I'm going to get down in the form of
> still-frame mockups.  It'll at least be a *start*, and maybe I can tie
> still frames together in video form to give an overall impression of
> how the new stuff will work in context.
> None of this, by the way, will make any bearing on how to play music
> in the background - but I think we can all agree that the methods we
> use to pick music to be played need some attention.
> Regards,

Ok, since I've been a big proponent of MythMusic needing a rewrite,
but not having the basic skills to do it, I'm going to do some hand
drawn markups of how I would like to see MythMusic behave on an HDTV
and how I think it could work on an SDTV. I'll scan them in and post
them on my web space. Perhaps we can get some dialog moving like with
the website revamp thread.

Please note, I'm not a "computer scientist"/programmer. Don't expect
me to implement this. All this is for is to help those, like Stuart
and theme designers have something to "work towards". I've thought a
lot about this and have what I think are some good ideas. Hopefully
when Justin puts together his drawings we'll have some good ideas to
mesh together.

Now, in doing this I will assume a few things,
1) non-static interface. the current interface is static, one screen
that shows everything. this is obviously not ideal and having an
interface that changes depending on what is going on will make things
easier for the user.
2) remote control use will be limited to very few buttons. I *hate*
having tons of buttons on a remote to do simple tasks. So beyond the
normal playback buttons (play, pause, stop, ff/rew, skip+/-) I will
only use directional (up down left right), select and one, perhaps two
menu buttons.
3) that this will be for a "complete mythmusic rewrite". meaning I
will include "features" not yet included, stuff on the wish list, etc.

Let's use this thread to post and discuss mock-ups. This is not a
"wish list" thread, use the wiki for that and those of us creating
mock-ups will use that list to create our ideas. Use this thread to
comment on the mock-up. Also, please wait for mock-ups to be posted or
create your own instead of just adding comments like "I'd like to see
things work this way...".

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