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  #1  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:25 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Ideas for a Music UI mod.

I've been looking for a better way for Sage to organize music as well as edit meta-data and manage playlists. I have yet to see if any of the upcoming projects are going to offer what I want, so I thought I'd attempt my first ui mod.

What I want from you guys is feedback on what you would like to see included. I actually like the way MS Media center organizes and displays music so that will be my starting point. The things I'm looking for from you would be: playback options, visualizations, tag editing, and anything else I'm forgetting. I'm more looking for the eye candy than functionality because I think the way sage plays back music is fine for me. I'd love to be able to integrate sonos into sage, but that is a whole other project.

So, what do you guys think? The more suggestions the better.

EDIT: Here is a list of feature requests so far. I will add to it as they come. As of now the project focus will be the UI itself. Once the UI is complete the feature request will be added slowly.

Quote:
Is it possible to tap into some website (if one exists) and pull in random trivia about music acts? In other words, show the album art, album name, song title, artist, track number, and year (maybe on one half of the screen), and then on the other half, flash random bits of trivia or something about the artist.
Quote:
Otherwise, my only change from the default music browser is to make some buttons on the extender remote able to FF/REW when not viewing visualizations (nothing seems to work unless in visualizations), and perhaps some change to wider title rows, so that entire song title and artist always fits.
Quote:
- Display the correct album art for albums that have the same name by different artists (for example, all of my albums called 'Greatest Hits' display the album art from ABBA's - the first one in the alphabet - Greatest Hits) Technically, this is probably a Sage bug that should be reported.
- Make it such that when playing a song within the song list of an album (i.e. by pressing the enter button or the play button), start playing the entire album from the selected song on. (currently, it only gives you the option to play the current song now, not the entire album from this point)
- Make it easier (i.e. less clicks) to get the Now Playing queue
- Make it easier/more obvious to toggle/see the current play mode (shuffle, repeat, etc)
- Make the album visualization less 'spastic'. Currently, the animation is quite jerky and the song information just flips all around.
- Have a 'fast scroll' mode whereby when you press and hold the down/up arrow (in artist view for example) for a certain amount of time it begins to scroll very quickly and displays the current letter as you scroll (a la WMC)
- Last.fm scrobbling/integration (the current Last.fm plugin only works sometimes for me and has limited functionality)
- iTunes integration (at least one way with playlists and star ratings)
- A more informative 'Now Playing' visualization. Perhaps give the option to have bio information, Last.fm plays/chart info, band/artist photos, similar artist info

As for some more 'pie in the sky' suggestions:
- A new music view (landing screen) that displays recently listened to tracks along with recommendations for future listening based upon: a) recently played items (using Last.fm similar artist information or b) time of year (Christmas music right now in December or based upon Last.fm listening habits)
- Tie in with an online music provider like Grooveshark, Pandora, or Last.fm for streaming music not in your collection
Quote:
Please add a way to see the music Lyrics when playing!
Quote:
I'd love to see working visualizations for the non-HD300 UI's. You could do some very cool things (many already suggested in this thread) but I'd be happy with just some different graphic visualization options or perhaps a visualization that simply shows a slideshow of fanart for the band that is playing.
Quote:
A wall view might be exactly what's needed here. The thing that's always bugged me about the music section of SageTV, though, is how difficult it is to find things on-the-fly and then create a playlist on the spot.

What I think might actually be required for the playlist improvement is a tree structure on the left (or even a fly-out menu to overlay), with the covers on the right, similar to J. River (which someone else already mentioned, but I've never used personally). I think what we would need is a menu popup when scrolling down the tree, so that we could easily create playlists. At any point in the scrolling, you could hit "menu" or some other button and you would have the option to add that folder to a playlist, that folder and all subs, all by that artist, all from that album, etc. Additionally, you could have a very similar set of "play" options. I'd also like to be able to insert things into the currently playing playlist so that it plays next, as well as adding them to a new playlist or to the end of the current one.
Quote:
the one aspect I miss is easily tagging the rating. Everytime I skipped a crappy song I'd simply tag it crap prior to skip - kinda cool.
Quote:
the ability to sort my albums by import date.
Quote:
Another thing that I just though of would be have a way to always show the current playlist. Like I said previously, playlist management is what I think is most lacking, so that's where I'm kind of focused. (I do like what many others have suggested, though.) But, what I think is annoying is that the screens are so separated, they make it difficult to multi-task. For example, the tree-type view would be great for adding things to your playlist, but it would be very beneficial to actually see the playlist you're adding to. This could also allow you to insert the music you want at any point in the existing (or, ideally, any other) playlist.
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Last edited by panteragstk; 05-03-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:33 PM
PLUCKYHD PLUCKYHD is offline
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Good luck!!! and don't hesitate to ask questions to me or in the studio forums. If it were me I would start with a blank menu item rather than modifying the existing it is easier in the long run and at least you know all the code at that point. Especially in the default you could change a theme that modifies more than music by accident.

GoodLuck!!!

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  #3  
Old 12-08-2010, 12:38 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Originally Posted by PLUCKYHD View Post
Good luck!!! and don't hesitate to ask questions to me or in the studio forums. If it were me I would start with a blank menu item rather than modifying the existing it is easier in the long run and at least you know all the code at that point. Especially in the default you could change a theme that modifies more than music by accident.

GoodLuck!!!

Thanks. You know I've wanted to do this for a while. I'm getting my brother the programmer involved too so who knows. Thanks for the help in advance.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:13 PM
OneOfMany OneOfMany is offline
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As much as I would like to see a music plugin, I personally don't see the need to sit at my TV and worry about tagging my music. I'm fine with the backend stuff.

I would love to see the ability to use the Phoenix fanart directory to store graphics/band logos, and the front end to display them

Grant
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:55 PM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneOfMany View Post
As much as I would like to see a music plugin, I personally don't see the need to sit at my TV and worry about tagging my music. I'm fine with the backend stuff.

I would love to see the ability to use the Phoenix fanart directory to store graphics/band logos, and the front end to display them

Grant
That was a feature I saw other people requesting. I personally don't care about that aspect, but some do. I'd like to have automatic metadata, but with music the potential for messing up a library is very high so I don't know.

My goals for this project are making the music ui easier to navigate and look "prettier" for lack of a better word. I personally think the current ui is about 80% the way there with the exception of visualizations.

The reason I started this thread was to get other people's opinion. I'm making this for me, but if my ideas aren't as good as someone's then I'd like to hear them.

Basically, if you could do it how would you?
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2010, 09:10 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Visualization-wise, I am fine with the album art (and after recently completing the exhaustive tagging of all my MP3s, I'll be fine with that for a while!). But I think about the on-screen stuff that shows up on, for example, digital music stations on cable or satellite. Is it possible to tap into some website (if one exists) and pull in random trivia about music acts? In other words, show the album art, album name, song title, artist, track number, and year (maybe on one half of the screen), and then on the other half, flash random bits of trivia or something about the artist. It would require a search of the website (again, if there is a parsable one out there), and then the ability to pick out what was desired and show it. It could be set on a timer where each tidbit (say, trivia fact?) showed for about 15-20 seconds or so. If there was nothing available for the artist, it could have some default message, or else maybe move the art/info to the center of the screen for that one song.

Otherwise, my only change from the default music browser is to make some buttons on the extender remote able to FF/REW when not viewing visualizations (nothing seems to work unless in visualizations), and perhaps some change to wider title rows, so that entire song title and artist always fits.

/ramble
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2010, 10:59 PM
ptzink ptzink is offline
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panteragstk, thanks for taking on this project! I think the v7 music UI is much better than v6, but could still use some improvement. I have a rather large music collection (10,000+ songs) and would love to see a few things:
- Display the correct album art for albums that have the same name by different artists (for example, all of my albums called 'Greatest Hits' display the album art from ABBA's - the first one in the alphabet - Greatest Hits) Technically, this is probably a Sage bug that should be reported.
- Make it such that when playing a song within the song list of an album (i.e. by pressing the enter button or the play button), start playing the entire album from the selected song on. (currently, it only gives you the option to play the current song now, not the entire album from this point)
- Make it easier (i.e. less clicks) to get the Now Playing queue
- Make it easier/more obvious to toggle/see the current play mode (shuffle, repeat, etc)
- Make the album visualization less 'spastic'. Currently, the animation is quite jerky and the song information just flips all around.
- Have a 'fast scroll' mode whereby when you press and hold the down/up arrow (in artist view for example) for a certain amount of time it begins to scroll very quickly and displays the current letter as you scroll (a la WMC)
- Last.fm scrobbling/integration (the current Last.fm plugin only works sometimes for me and has limited functionality)
- iTunes integration (at least one way with playlists and star ratings)
- A more informative 'Now Playing' visualization. Perhaps give the option to have bio information, Last.fm plays/chart info, band/artist photos, similar artist info

As for some more 'pie in the sky' suggestions:
- A new music view (landing screen) that displays recently listened to tracks along with recommendations for future listening based upon: a) recently played items (using Last.fm similar artist information or b) time of year (Christmas music right now in December or based upon Last.fm listening habits)
- Tie in with an online music provider like Grooveshark, Pandora, or Last.fm for streaming music not in your collection

I am sure I can think of more, but that is all I have for now. Good luck and let me know if you need help or a beta tester.
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2010, 11:29 PM
joe123 joe123 is offline
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Exclamation LYRICS!

Thanks for asking.

Please add a way to see the music Lyrics when playing!

Best place would be an option like a screen saver which does not move other than the lyrics cycling up/down while a song plays.

If you have the time, don't spend time re-inventing the wheel first. Add missing functions like showing the son'gs lyrics and other tag info and later when you have the time, work on re-doing things already done like tagging, etc.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2010, 05:27 AM
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Opus4 Opus4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptzink View Post
- Display the correct album art for albums that have the same name by different artists (for example, all of my albums called 'Greatest Hits' display the album art from ABBA's - the first one in the alphabet - Greatest Hits) Technically, this is probably a Sage bug that should be reported.
This is most likely a music tagging issue, not a bug that needs reporting. SageTV uses the "Album Artist" field to help distinguish albums of the same name by different artists. So, double check that tag for your files. Note that not all tagging apps call it "Album Artist", though, and some apps don't even use it.

- Andy
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2010, 07:50 AM
ptzink ptzink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
This is most likely a music tagging issue, not a bug that needs reporting. SageTV uses the "Album Artist" field to help distinguish albums of the same name by different artists. So, double check that tag for your files. Note that not all tagging apps call it "Album Artist", though, and some apps don't even use it.

- Andy
Is there a reason it uses Album Artist instead of Artist? Is there any way to make it use Artist instead? The Album Artist is not as common and would require me to add it to the probably 75% of my collection where that field is blank.
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2010, 08:22 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus4 View Post
This is most likely a music tagging issue, not a bug that needs reporting. SageTV uses the "Album Artist" field to help distinguish albums of the same name by different artists. So, double check that tag for your files. Note that not all tagging apps call it "Album Artist", though, and some apps don't even use it.

- Andy
I noticed this while organizing my collection. Some tagging apps use album artist, some just use artist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptzink View Post
Is there a reason it uses Album Artist instead of Artist? Is there any way to make it use Artist instead? The Album Artist is not as common and would require me to add it to the probably 75% of my collection where that field is blank.
Like I said above, certain tagging apps can fix this for you. MP3tag is one that shows both.
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2010, 08:27 AM
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tmiranda tmiranda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptzink View Post
Is there a reason it uses Album Artist instead of Artist? Is there any way to make it use Artist instead? The Album Artist is not as common and would require me to add it to the probably 75% of my collection where that field is blank.
They use Album Artist so you can have a compilation album (with multiple artists). There are also cases where an album by a certain artist will have songs that are co-written. Bottom line, there are many cases where Album Artist and Artist are not the same.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2010, 08:32 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe123 View Post
Thanks for asking.

Please add a way to see the music Lyrics when playing!

Best place would be an option like a screen saver which does not move other than the lyrics cycling up/down while a song plays.

If you have the time, don't spend time re-inventing the wheel first. Add missing functions like showing the son'gs lyrics and other tag info and later when you have the time, work on re-doing things already done like tagging, etc.
This can be complicated depending on what way you would want lyrics to be used. What I mean is that some karaoke programs use mp3's with an extra text file for lyrics and some tagging apps support lyrics. That might not be that easy to do. We'll see though.

I'm going to compile a list of feature requests so keep it coming.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2010, 08:57 AM
ohpleaseno ohpleaseno is offline
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As far as Album Artist vs. Artist is concerned, Foobar2000 handles this very well by starting with Album Artist and if it is blank, moving to Artist. If the logic is there to do that, you don't have to worry about what tag is used.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:12 AM
ptzink ptzink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohpleaseno View Post
As far as Album Artist vs. Artist is concerned, Foobar2000 handles this very well by starting with Album Artist and if it is blank, moving to Artist. If the logic is there to do that, you don't have to worry about what tag is used.
That logic seems to make the most sense to me. Or for album art's sake, just use the embedded album art for the first track on the album. Most of my Various Artists albums have unique names, but albums from single artists (such as Greatest Hits, Best of, etc.) is where I run into problems. Anywho, we are kind of off topic here, so I guess we can continue this discussion in a different thread.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2010, 09:48 AM
AzTech AzTech is offline
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I'm always showing off Sage to my friends--showing them all the cool things it does and all the cool things that the awesome development community here has done to make it even better. But the one area I never show off when bragging like a proud parent is the Music section. Not that it doesn't work well...because it does. It just doesn't have any sort of WOW factor like most other areas in Sage. Adding some eye candy would be a great addition. Especially in the visualization department. I'd love to see working visualizations for the non-HD300 UI's. You could do some very cool things (many already suggested in this thread) but I'd be happy with just some different graphic visualization options or perhaps a visualization that simply shows a slideshow of fanart for the band that is playing.

I use the music interface quite a bit and for the most part it does exactly what I want. However, I've always felt like with a few minor tweaks, it could be so much more user friendly. Most or all of these suggestions have already been addressed so I'm basically just adding my +1:

Quote:
make some buttons on the extender remote able to FF/REW when not viewing visualizations
Quote:
- Make it such that when playing a song within the song list of an album (i.e. by pressing the enter button or the play button), start playing the entire album from the selected song on. (currently, it only gives you the option to play the current song now, not the entire album from this point)
- Make it easier (i.e. less clicks) to get the Now Playing queue
- Make it easier/more obvious to toggle/see the current play mode (shuffle, repeat, etc)
Good luck! I look forward to hearing how your project progresses.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:57 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptzink View Post
That logic seems to make the most sense to me. Or for album art's sake, just use the embedded album art for the first track on the album. Most of my Various Artists albums have unique names, but albums from single artists (such as Greatest Hits, Best of, etc.) is where I run into problems. Anywho, we are kind of off topic here, so I guess we can continue this discussion in a different thread.
I think you are correct, another thread would be good. I don't know if I would even be able to change the way sage looks at tags.
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2010, 10:03 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Originally Posted by AzTech View Post
I'm always showing off Sage to my friends--showing them all the cool things it does and all the cool things that the awesome development community here has done to make it even better. But the one area I never show off when bragging like a proud parent is the Music section. Not that it doesn't work well...because it does. It just doesn't have any sort of WOW factor like most other areas in Sage. Adding some eye candy would be a great addition. Especially in the visualization department. I'd love to see working visualizations for the non-HD300 UI's. You could do some very cool things (many already suggested in this thread) but I'd be happy with just some different graphic visualization options or perhaps a visualization that simply shows a slideshow of fanart for the band that is playing.

I use the music interface quite a bit and for the most part it does exactly what I want. However, I've always felt like with a few minor tweaks, it could be so much more user friendly. Most or all of these suggestions have already been addressed so I'm basically just adding my +1:





Good luck! I look forward to hearing how your project progresses.
It seems you are on the same track as me. I generally like the way sage does music, I just want it to look different than it does now. I was looking around last night trying to get an exact idea of the direction I'd like to go UI wise. If anybody can find anything that looks cool post a screen shot in this thread so I can check it out. Or suggest some software that does it the way you like so I can look at it.

I've always like plucky's wall views, I was thinking of something similar. I wonder if the new metadata provider works with music. I know that when fanart fist came out for sagetv I had music fanart working, but with the folder structure change I haven't touched it again. I'll have to look into that.
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  #19  
Old 12-09-2010, 10:35 AM
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Skirge01 Skirge01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panteragstk View Post
I've always like plucky's wall views, I was thinking of something similar. I wonder if the new metadata provider works with music. I know that when fanart fist came out for sagetv I had music fanart working, but with the folder structure change I haven't touched it again. I'll have to look into that.
I was thinking the exact same thing. A wall view might be exactly what's needed here. The thing that's always bugged me about the music section of SageTV, though, is how difficult it is to find things on-the-fly and then create a playlist on the spot.

What I think might actually be required for the playlist improvement is a tree structure on the left (or even a fly-out menu to overlay), with the covers on the right, similar to J. River (which someone else already mentioned, but I've never used personally). I think what we would need is a menu popup when scrolling down the tree, so that we could easily create playlists. At any point in the scrolling, you could hit "menu" or some other button and you would have the option to add that folder to a playlist, that folder and all subs, all by that artist, all from that album, etc. Additionally, you could have a very similar set of "play" options. I'd also like to be able to insert things into the currently playing playlist so that it plays next, as well as adding them to a new playlist or to the end of the current one.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:39 AM
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panteragstk panteragstk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skirge01 View Post
I was thinking the exact same thing. A wall view might be exactly what's needed here. The thing that's always bugged me about the music section of SageTV, though, is how difficult it is to find things on-the-fly and then create a playlist on the spot.

What I think might actually be required for the playlist improvement is a tree structure on the left (or even a fly-out menu to overlay), with the covers on the right, similar to J. River (which someone else already mentioned, but I've never used personally). I think what we would need is a menu popup when scrolling down the tree, so that we could easily create playlists. At any point in the scrolling, you could hit "menu" or some other button and you would have the option to add that folder to a playlist, that folder and all subs, all by that artist, all from that album, etc. Additionally, you could have a very similar set of "play" options. I'd also like to be able to insert things into the currently playing playlist so that it plays next, as well as adding them to a new playlist or to the end of the current one.
Awesome ideas. That is what I was needing. I think the way I would do it would be to press the info button over say an artist and an info view would come up with options on the bottom or top similar to smm info view for adding to playlist and the other things you mentioned.
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