Album art media view ideas

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I think that the album art grid view in iTunes is a great way to display your library, but it doesn't always feel right, so I wanted to make some suggestions for Songbird media views. I photoshopped these pictures to show what I'm talking about.
The problem with the album media view in iTunes is that albums by each artist aren't identifiably grouped together, so they end up feeling too stuck in an endless grid. To fix that, I think they should be bunched together by artist, which is how the brain seems to naturally group them, like this:

I think they look natural sort of scattered around like that, but it would be fine if they were straightened up as well; as long as albums by the same artist are close to one another and have some separation from other groups. I think that if you mouse over the album cover, it should come in front of others that may cover it up, and the album name should be displayed under it. The album Medúlla here is an example of this.

I think the problem with the artist grid view in iTunes is that each artist is just represented by a single album cover, so I find that it can be hard to visually distinguish artists and get an idea of how many albums they actually have. To fix this, I think showing artists as a stack of their albums makes them easier to distinguish:

Mousing over the stack or clicking it could possibly make the albums fan out.
I have some other ideas for media views, but these are the best I have thought of yet and I think they would feel like natural ways of viewing your library.
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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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Posted 7 years ago

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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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Thank you for phrasing it as "people" coming up with rather complex concepts instead of "Murphy" =P.

Truthfully, if a really great media view was made I would probably use it all the time and rarely switch to any others, so it might seem unnecessary to have all of these different ones made into add-ons. However, I'm not sure what the perfect media view would be, and I think it is at least interesting to consider different versions and see which ones appeal to people. I continue making mockups to share ideas with people so they might have an easier time realizing an actual add-on one day.

I agree that existing software such as iTunes already has good media views, and I even posted some screenshots of it to show people what it can do in case they don't use the software. But even iTunes has a list view, a grid view, and a coverflow view, which shows that they don't know which one will be perfect for everybody. Which one of the three is your favorite? I know some people who use the grid view, and some people who miss seeing lists of their artists too much and use the filtered list views instead. All of my ideas are basically variations on these two types. In any case, I'm sure that at some point we will start seeing more media views come out, and maybe the team will even work on an official album art one. Until then, we can talk about which ones we like best so that developers might know what to focus on.
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Fr-zeb59

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Songbird' developper GIVE we the view' CHOICE !
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ethanjim

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Sorry I didn't mean to sound so harsh! I just find it a tad frustrating because while they are Album art add ons out there, (from checking today) they havent been updated in 2 months, and they are (no offence to the developers) far from perfect and all have their own share of bugs and preformance issues. And with songbird adding CD ripping now, it seems the only thing missing up to now are a couple more polished Media Views to bundle in with the installation program.

Your designs are really good I'm not denying that but it just seems like there quite some time from been developed and I feel songbird needs one now even if its just a simple one and then maybe develop it further with some of your ideas later on once the basics are done.
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Michael Purses, Champion

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with johnm here, anything is possible.. hae turned around that Grid View add-on in no time, and the performance on that is astounding ;)
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except I sadly don't have much time at all to work on them :\
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Michael Purses, Champion

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i still love you.
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sauntimo, Champion

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I wish I could star your comments :D
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Hello all,
for many years i had an idea of an addition to today music players that would bring albumflow to the next step - ArtistFlow.
yes, the community will need to make art for each artist - but thats alot easier then albums couse there are less artists then albums (daaa).
so here is my mockup for this... i think it would make songbird much better as finally it would bring something new to the media player rather then taking all the features from other players.


so what do u think guys?

it can come with a site full with this artist arts - as u can see i made those in the pic in a few min.
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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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That is such a neat idea. I've always been unsure about whether or not it would be a good thing to have images of the artists in a media view because I try to not my perception of the artists influence how I feel about their music. They would definitely be fun to try at least, and as I mentioned before, it might not be too hard to do because it could use the images available on last.fm. They wouldn't be nice and cut out of course, but it would be a lot easier. In any case, your mockup looks really badass. :)
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Laura Thomas

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That looks really cool.
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touringlonewulf

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Yeah!!! it rocks!
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I'm loving some of the ideas in this thread, now we just need someone to put them into practice :)

Also, did anyone use ♪Photo? Whilst not the most streamlined media view, it was certainly different and took advantage of Songbird. Shame it hasn't been updated in a while.
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Saturnine

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I've always enjoyed using Windows Media Player mainly because how I can view my music. I can if I choose to displaty tiles representing each artist in alphabetical order. It also lists information on each artist tile such as the number of songs and how many hours total. The more albums present under each artist, the more stacked the tile appears. Once double-clicking, the albums are listed in alphabetical order with customizable columns to choose from. The pictures are below. Its very pleasant to the eye and well organized. I wouldn't mind having a alphabetical navigation bar permanently positioned at the top to minimize scrolling for large libraries while searching for the correct artist.
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Erik Ch

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Look, I approve the two modes... and the new way to see albuns on itunes 9
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Dave

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itunes 9 listing the album cover next ti the track listing of that album is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really helps to break up those massively long lists..

would have to be implemented in such a way that songbird only shows whats in the current view though

i don't want a couple of hundred of megs of images being loaded for a 500 gb database!!!!

make it so ;)!
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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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This is what the iPod app looks like on Apple's new iPad. Unfortunately, the grid view itself appears to remain unchanged, and it looks like it could really be a pain to scroll through a lot of albums without the artist letters on the side like the iPod Touch has.

I just wanted to post it because, while it is not technically part of the media view, I do like how they moved the song's now playing information to below the album art. They are both information about the now playing song, so it seems like it would be better to have them combined in the window. I bet they will update iTunes eventually to be the same way.
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Yea, I like the photos app they have where you click on an album and another gridview of that album pops. I'd like to be able to add something like that to my gridview extension at some point. It seems nicer and easier than expanding the collection inside the same view like I was thinking before.
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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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That would be awesome, especially if you had Songbird running on a touchscreen computer (but it would definitely work on a non-touch as well).
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Tyler Murphy, Champion

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Saw this today and it reminded me of the record box view I made once upon a time: http://www.razorianfly.com/2011/04/05...

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neoyoli

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could you update this to the latest songbird please?
with album artist display option.