First thanks for this lightweight-yet-functional media player.
A feature I've always missed in parole (at least until version 0.4) is to sort items in the playlist or, at least, reordering. I've sometimes dragged a folder to the playlist hoping it would rely upon alphabetic name sorting but it is not. Since there's no way to change the playlist order (at least on my machine) I've always been required to add files one by one in name-sort order. So is there a plan to feature some playlist modification like change sort order, moving items with a keystroke/button/mouse ?
True, this is a regression (as Parole v0.2 used to have buttons for that) – it's supposed to be reorderable by drag-and-drop with the mouse.
Theoretically we could also consider sorting by tags or filename or adding a clickable column-header when solely audio-files are in the playlist.
(In reply to comment #1)
> True, this is a regression (as Parole v0.2 used to have buttons for that) –
> it's supposed to be reorderable by drag-and-drop with the mouse.
Would be great to have that functionality again :) . Or at least something useable until the full-fledged feature if you have plans.
> Theoretically we could also consider sorting by tags or filename or adding a
> clickable column-header when solely audio-files are in the playlist.
Would be quite interesting indeed. I think of such features in a menu while moving items up and down is best done, IMHO, with up/down buttons on the playlist. Just my 2¢ as a user.
If you need help (I happened to be a C/C++ developer for Windows) maybe I can contribute, what do you think? Would a patch be ok for you? (without promising anything for I have never played around with system programming since I switched to Gentoo Linux 10 years ago. Will do my best however.)
(In reply to comment #2)
> Would be quite interesting indeed. I think of such features in a menu while
> moving items up and down is best done, IMHO, with up/down buttons on the
> playlist. Just my 2¢ as a user.
Actually we removed the up/down arrow-buttons to get rid of some of the visual clutter in the interface. There were simply too many buttons. We could however reconsider re-introducing them in a context-menu or something.
> If you need help (I happened to be a C/C++ developer for Windows) maybe I
> can contribute, what do you think? Would a patch be ok for you? (without
> promising anything for I have never played around with system programming
> since I switched to Gentoo Linux 10 years ago. Will do my best however.)
Patches are always most welcome! :)
Ok, after looking into the subject matter very quickly, the main reason why re-ordering currently doesn't work seems to be that we allow drag-and-dropping of external files into the listview, which conflicts with the internal reordering-function.
"The reordering is implemented by setting up the tree view as a drag source and destination. Therefore, drag and drop can not be used in a reorderable view for any other purpose."
"If more control is needed, you should probably handle drag and drop manually."
So I guess this is what we need to do.
(Otherwise a simple "gtk_tree_view_set_reorderable (GTK_TREE_VIEW(list->priv->view), TRUE);" in parole-medialist.c would've gotten the job done.)
(In reply to comment #3)
> Actually we removed the up/down arrow-buttons to get rid of some of the
> visual clutter in the interface. There were simply too many buttons. We
> could however reconsider re-introducing them in a context-menu or something.
I completely understand this. I agree too many buttons impedes the user experience. Now IMHO it's not more about how many buttons there has to be than how relevant they have to be. It's a matter of context. But in general, features you use most should be accessible through interface elements which are the fastest possible.
In the current state (i.e. if ordering change were possible), what I'd have to do almost systematically is reorder my playlist [because dragging files places them in any order, against which I have absolutely nothing]. The features I'd be most interested hence are how to reorder my playlist. I use every other button rather infrequently.
If you take a tour of the playlist interface (in my own case again):
- add/remove : I never use them as I prefer drag/drop from the file manager to the list (I hence prefer bigger areas when it comes to drag/drop, perfect in this case)
- clear the list : I never use it because of another bug, i.e. Parole never remembers the previous playlist, which is fine to me for the moment.
- Repeat : never use it or rather infrequently
- Random : never used that! *I* chose the order (enforcing the need for manual reordering :D)
- Parameters : wait? Oh, I always right click on the playlist, didn't even notice that button :D .
IMHO again, reordering playlist items should be made as two buttons for that particular action has to be as straightforward as possible; the most immediate is through one single click (with the mouse) and a keyboard combo (an alternate way) such as Alt+Up or Alt+Down (but then the combo must be advertised, why not from the menu).
Having to go through a menu impedes the users experience if that's the only possible way to change the order. I'd say at least provide a keyboard shortcut for that.
As for drag and drop... well, I have no particular opinion on that other that I don't like it, much too imprecise and cumbersome. I prefer clicking buttons for the following reasons:
- you don't have to aim
- takes less time
- one-to-one matching, i.e. one click, one move.
With drag/drop you'd have to allow the list to scroll automatically and detect when to in case the list is longer than the box height. (The one thing I hate is when applications don't autoscroll and you have to place your item somewhere, scroll, move again, scroll, move... -- rinse/repeat until you're done.) Too much of a hassle, not worth wasting time on it I'd say.
So if you have to sacrifice two buttons, I can give you good candidates:
then remove the Settings button as right clicking the list is even more natural. That makes four buttons less.
In the end, what you could leave is:
- Move up
- Move down
A right click on the playlist would then show the current items (Repeat, Random, Replace list, Auto start, Remember and Clear) plus the following menu items:
- Move up (+ keyboard shortcut!)
- Move down (+ keyboard shortcut!)
- Sort by > (submenu with detected tags from the list such as: title, album, file name, genre, date, ID...)
That would also be awesome if the playlist context menu appeared in the main menu as «Playlist» for instance. Just a suggestion inspired from other well known players I've used.
Well, sorry for that long comment but I hope I have been clear enough as to what I expect from the interface, I'd hate to be vague. This is of course only applicable to me alone so far and I cannot generalize my position with every other user. Let's see if there are other people interested in this as well.
Thanks for your thorough post. I'll discuss this with Sean, as it entails quite a bit of more refactoring if we want to go through with some of these proposed changes.
The idea of a playlist-menu isn't too bad – especially as it allows setting custom keyboard-shortcuts via customizable menu accelerators – but it also means getting rid of the "Edit" menu (I was never too big a fan of that anyway, though). (Explanation: shuffle and repeat would have to move to the playlist-menu, so only plugins and preferences would be left in that menu.)
The final solution could mean renaming the "Media"-menu to the more conventional "File" and adding a "Playlist"(or Playback?)-menu to hold all the playlist-relevant stuff.
But yeah, these aren't simple changes and I think the target would be the next stable release of Parole (currently we're heading for a bugfix update of the 0.5 series).
The fix for this bug (we re-added the up/down arrows) has just been merged to git master and will be part of the next release.
Therefore marking as fixed.
Thanks a lot Simon.