Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I’m confident my idea is awesome

Awesome Library Bar!

One thing i don't like is having to dig through my library to find my music or find the music i like.

You know what rocks.... the awesome bar. The "search library bar" does the same thing... but its not in the right spot... and it doesn't feel natural to use. Its not accessible, obvisious and simplified and it doesn't really even do a good job at finding the right music... lol its everything an awesome bar isn't!! Ok, So here's my idea:

Lets stop hiding this "filter on the fly" bar and make it more like firefox's interface. People are accustom to firefox, so if we make this bar the whole length of songbird, it becomes obvious... i'll starttyping my song here and it'll find it (in my database/library). just like i search my history/bookmarks in firefox.

Secondly, there is very little use for filter planes if you have an awesomebar... think about it... if im searching for "green day" i could just type "Green when" and find my song faster than using this dumb filter pane: find "green day" on one pane, and "when i come around on another" assuming i don't know the album. its unnaturally slow and clunky.

Basically combine the "location bar" and "search library bar" to be the same thing, and have a secondary, smaller bar for searching other stuff like google or The Hype machine (whatever THAT is). Just like the awesomebar - Search Bar combo on firefox.

We give stars to address on firefox... we give stars to songs on songbird... hmmm....

If we put time to tag them with stars, lets use them! And we can use these pointy figures more effienctly ---- how? WITH THE AWESOME BAR OF COURSE! When i start typing an artist... we should list artists/songs/whatever with the highest star rating first! Then slowly decend.

Now, the problem with this set-up is when you use your awesome bar to search your history for say something you found on The Hype Machine or Last.fm and stuff from your library pops up... so the idea is we should list our music FIRST then internet stuff second... and maybe a cool icon to let you know if the content is remote and not local. This also might not be an issue if we start typing an address...

...and if you wanted to get real fancy... you could give your history... remote media stars too to help orgainze and find stuff too. If we keep history, and we give it stars, we should be able to easily spot the remote media against our own local media.



Whats different:

1) Just like the Back/forward are always there... we should make reload/home there too... so they're there... but they should probably be grey out when looking at the library

2) Um... Theres an awesome bar. Obviously.

3) There is a favicon on the awesomebar... its supposed to be the library icon when your looking at the library, so i used the icon thats standard now when you go to search your library on the current version. Its also NOT changable... but will change when your looking at a page to its favicon... Clicking the awesome bar will revert it back to the library icon indicating your going to query your library.

4) I forgot to put text in the "search library field"...If you couldn't guess what i typed, it was "3 D".

5)There is a plus button at the end... same as the current method. but this one should open your query in a new tab if you query returns a million results... right now it doesn't seem to do anything.

6) There is a secondary search field.... but this one will only search remote media and the internet... it IS changable (but it exclude searching the library. You can't search your history with firefox's search bar either... so it follows the same concept)

7) finally the panes selector... which seems kinda useless now... but i guess i f you like your panes... you can bring them up for cover flow or other stuff.

8) The first 1 to 8 items that should appear have stars... and i made the point to show it descends from highest rating to lowest rating... I say 8 being that you might get alot of returns still. Here's how i think the priority should be based:

a) Highest rated song. Closest Match.

b) If Both are rated the same... the artist that has the highest average rated songs.

c)If Its the same artist... the album with the highest rating...

d) If its the same album... the one thats played the most?

e) Stuff that has no rating, but matches

9) After the 1 to 8 closest matches... i thought we should be able to bring up other clear matches... such as the single artist (Read: to replace filter pane)... which also brings up the list in a new tab. But while i don't explain it clearly... this isn't limited to artist... we could also use albums.

10) Meta Data... (Read: Lyrics) Meta data could be comments, others that perform in the song (ft. artist)... dates... genre, composers, label... but really what I had in mind lyrics... because everyone knows the words to songs... or has a good idea of a single phrase but mght not know the song title, artist and album... so you can search for a song if you know the words to a song. Clicking the meta items opens the results in a new tab.

11) Histroy... yea... i thought we should look at remote media independately... so clicking it opens a new tab... and display hits to the string in history...

12) Interface was made using inverted colours of the current player at the bottom... the image is completely photoshoped... and i couldn't figure out the orginal text font so i found one that was close...

Please.... tell me what you think!
87 people like
this idea
+1
Reply
  • Oh, I completely agree! I think that it would be more natural to access the browser in Songbird if the awesome bar was always visible. Check out this old topic I made that has a similar idea. I think that the awesome bar would really feel right being visible all the time if it could interact with your library more. I never like using the filter bar method in Songbird or iTunes because I can always just narrow down results with filters, and it seems to disrupt your library by changing what appears in the filters. A search option like you described could basically incorporate the jump-to-file dialog into the awesome bar, and it would enable you to quickly find and play a song, album, or artist. It would double as the URL bar so you easily navigate to a website, just like with the awesome bar. And as I said in the Taskbird thread, it could help you perform common tasks in the library like tagging files.
    • I've used ubiquity before, and it really has some serious potential. My only concern with the taskfox/taskbird is how it will get incorperate. Don't get me wrong, i would really like to see a taskfox/taskbird, but i just can't help but feel this can become confusing to a user or become distracting (even thou ubiquity actually does it job very well)... like entering "Play songs by XYZ" might filter on that critera become misinterpided or the first result return is a taskbird suggestion that doesn't fit. It doesn't matter it gives the user NOT what he was expecting. Im sure the firefox teams understand these issues and will implement the idea in a smart way... but i would really like to see some function like that built in as well. Maybe just keeping the 'secret prompt' (Ctrl + Space) turns the awesome bar into the task bar? They always come up with some good ideas so we'll have to wait and see.

      But there are some really good points i like in your comment: Tags. Theres alot of potential with that concept and the bookmarking system in FF3. Maybe we can edit/add genre as well as a tag space in meta data. I like tags, and genre are good too although sometimes they seem to be misleading, generalize, or plain wrong. I'll post another idea and see how people feel about that.

      Another thing you hit on quickly playing a song, ALBUM OR ARTIST... I think maybe if I were to revise my photoshopped pic, I would just say:

      "Play all from the Arist: That matches the string"
      "Play all from the Arist: That matches the string"
      "Play the Album: The matches the string"
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m thankful
    Wonderfully detailed and thought out idea. It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm bookmarking it to possibly promote in a future Birdbath blog post which should help to get more traffic here so if you want to file a feature request in Bugzilla and link it back here, people will be able to follow it in both places.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m pushing it along
    Bug 16924 basically reiterates what I said and can be used to tracked this progress. I've changed some minor details and I like the tags detail Murphy pointed out.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • CHAMP
    I’m really excited about this idea
    6
    I have been thinking about how this could work, and I've come up with some ideas. I added images to the search results to help you visually find what you are looking for. Albums and songs use cover artwork, and the artist uses last.fm artwork.



    The results could include artists, albums, songs, and playlists. I based some of the ideas in this mockup off of Google's Quick Search Box. However, Quick Search Box uses the "more items" method like in your mockup, but I just feel like it makes you do too much unnecessary navigating. In this mockup I use a scrollbar like Firefox's awesome bar does instead. I also added the option to navigate into the items. This is why there are arrows at the right side of the results. You could use the keyboard arrows to go back and forth. For example, hitting right on an artist would display all of the albums.



    After hitting right on an album or playlist, it could present you with the list of songs. At any time you could hit enter to play the item. You could even hit right on a song to have some options instead of just playing it. This could help people quickly perform tasks on a song such as adding it to the now playing list, editing the metadata, rating it, and tagging it. Add-ons could even add new tasks such as finding lyrics or a tab of the song.



    edit - Damn, I always find some mistake in my mockups after I post them. Pretend I actually have a playlist called "Acoustic Beatles Songs". :P
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • wow, some really good points. The album art idea is great! i never thought about that... it makes a lot of sense! In fact, going back to the framework this is based off of, Firefox, the favicon is displayed in the list, so it would/should have been natural to include artwork.

    +1 to album artwork.

    You also got another one on me searching play lists as an item as well.

    +1 for searching play lists as well as songs, artists, albums, meta

    More items... "Quick Search Box uses the "more items" method like in your mockup, but I just feel like it makes you do too much unnecessary navigating."

    I agree that a "more items" usually does create some "unnecessary navigating". The original idea behind it was for very vague results to spawn into a new tab... for example searching "Beatles" and hitting "More Items" gives every song/album - whatever because this list is supposed to be short, sweet and simple. I wanna listen to song "xyz123" so if I type "xy" and hit down and enter... I've pretty much got it. My focus is clearly on the song as a single entity. you can tell by reading the first line in my original statement: "I don't like having to dig through my library"

    Your method of having the arrows really does the same thing as what I'm proposing, just with a different method and focus. Your focus is simplicity & generalization where i like viewing data and trying to get very specific results.

    For example your Beatles query produces the entire artist as a single "entity", A specific song (I'm guessing ranked high), 3 albums and a play list.

    The same query on my method probably produces the 5 top played songs, The artist as a whole, 2 commonly played albums... and now with your input a play list.

    I'm not saying your wrong. Its just different. I'd prefer a new tab or filtering the current library tab if you don't wanna hunt the menu. You like a menu driven interface, its as simple as just hit over like on a traditional menu and see "the top 5 that follow some criteria". You have to keep in mind, some people will have over 10,000 songs... There are people with over 150 gigs of music.

    Both are equally good ideas. I just really want the same functionality thats close to firefox.
    • I was trying to design it so that you could find whatever you wanted to play from your library quickly, whether it was an individual song, album, artist, or playlist. I'm not quite sure what you meant about the results opening in a tab, because it seems like that would perform the exact same function as the current filter bar in Songbird; if you type a term into the filter bar, it basically gives you a page of results like you suggested. I was trying to make it so that you could play what you wanted to quickly from the drop down menu without having to alter your actual library content like filtering does; basically a souped up jump-to-file dialog incorporated into the awesome bar.

      I have a little over 12,000 songs in my library, so I know there can be a lot of items to sift through, but in testing, by the time I typed 3 or 4 letters of the query, it is basically narrowed down to what I was looking for. Just like you said, if you start typing in a few letters of a song named "xyz123", it would be displayed and you could play it very quickly. However, in your first mockup, you started typing in the band's name instead of the song name, which would make it tough to get individual results for songs. I think if I wanted to play a specific song, I would start searching for the song's name, and if I wanted to play an entire artist or album, I would start searching for the artist or album by name.

      You said you wanted it to be like Firefox, which is what I was actually basing my design off of. The awesome bar always lists all of the results for the term you type in, and with Taskfox incorporated into the program in the future, the awesome bar will also be able to navigate further into results to get more information about them like I had in the mockup. I was afraid that making a page with results would be more like a Google search than Firefox's awesome bar, and it would be counterintuitive, since the purpose of the bar is to enable you to find something quickly and undisruptively.
    • HOW DO YOU PRINT YOUR LIST OF MUSIC OFF OF YOUR SONGBIRD
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • If anyone wants to work on the realization of this great idea:

    Probably the fastes & best way to implement it, is to write a user script for the Ubiquity-Addon (about:ubiquity). I can think only of Pros:

    1.) You don't have to worry much about interface implementation & add-on management stuff. You only need Javascript.
    2.) It would be available right now through Ubiquity.
    3.) Some time after Taskfox hits Firefox final, it probably will be available in Songbird, too. Ubiquity & Taskfox are very similar, so the script probably don't need many adjustments => voilà, we have our tuned awesomebar.
    • Really helpful info atrieu! It's going in the Birdbath today, so who knows, maybe it'll get some love. *crossing fingers*
    • I didn't realize there was a port of ubiquity to songbird... I think as ubiquity/taskfox/taskbird makes it out of the labs and into the wild, we'll see some really amazing feedback and features pulled out, some from the public, but maybe some from web developers themselves.

      Im getting excited about it. Its different and really 'out of the box' thinking.
      I've been slow to take up ubiquity, but I'm really starting to like it. Its basically what i was looking for...

      It needs just needs some love.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    This would be AWESOME! Murphy I'm curious though, the tagging you have in the mock up is that possible now? or is that just for last.fm
    I wish you could do something like this while in the browser except it would retrieve google search results with descriptions underneath the url and title. Would totally destroy suggested results :P
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m so excited!
    This is AWESOME... its really happening!....That tag cloud add-on was released a few days ago! I know the chances of the add-on being developed from my feed back are slim, but people are really taking this stuff up because they know its missing!

    wow! freaking awesome... its really coming together.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    This idea sounds pretty brilliant but I'm hesitant to see it depends largely on the star-rating. Most people who have a lot of music just give up on rating them after awhile; I certainly no longer bother to rate my tens of thousands of songs, so having a large dependence of rating for me would be useless. The number of times the track has been played makes more sense to prioritize, IMO. Anyway, I'd really like to see this happen. The current search function in Songbird is pretty lackluster.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    Why not allow the user to choose a weighting order preference, i.e I'd like mine first by star then by play count.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Application launchers, such as Quicksilver and Quick Search Box, and also Firefox's awesome bar I believe, weigh results based on how often the user chooses them. I think this is the best way to order them since it is molded by the user's actions and gives the statistically best choices. You may have a song rated 1 star and a song rated 5 stars, but if you keep picking the one star song after typing in some term for whatever reason, chances are better that you'll pick it again next time you search for the same term.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    Wow, this looks great!
    It would almost make the search redundant, but it would be a even a tad better if you could add search engine to the awesomebar.
    • I agree. Esp. since my pane buttons will take up that space. That way while in browser we can also use google search (I always forget you can't and type in the url box anyways..)
    • I was thinking that the search/filter bar would be a little redundant too, so I removed it in my mockups to see what it would look like with just the awesome bar. Google Chrome incorporates search into the url bar to simplify things, and it is possible that Firefox will eventually, so maybe this will be the way things end up. The Taskfox video shows how different search engines could be used in the awesome bar: https://vimeo.com/4062903?pg=embed&sec=

      Maybe I will try to make a mockup where web results also come up when you type a term into the awesome bar. Perhaps to avoid confusion, when you are in your library and type a term into the awesome bar, it will show music results first and then web results at the end, but when you are in a browser tab, it will show web results first.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m happy to see traffic, comments & concerns.
    For those that are wondering, when i wrote the bugzilla feature request, i started to think about how stars would be bad, or what if you had 2 five star items... which one comes first

    So weather your lazy, or your stars come to a drawl, the bar would use play count... songbird keeps a running count of the times a song has been played luckily.

    However, my bugzilla feature request was marked as a duplicate, and all my good comments and suggestions went away with it (and the 'orginal' feature request had 4 comments and no suggestions -- angry? a little)

    So don't think you have to rate all your songs... the idea was to weight play count in also. and like murphy said, numerous 'awesome bar like' app lauchers, browsers, etc. used this as the method too -- using whats common. which would be useful for whole albums and artists -- not just songs.

    Another idea i had was to look for a 'complete' strings

    For example: I enter: Down on the

    In my personally library i get 147 results, something like 19 artist and 22 albums. very broad

    However, if i were to enter: "Down on the" which is 'reg exp' to match the entire string: I get 3 songs, 2 are the same but ones a live version: "Down on the corner" by CCR. Another is some 1984 hit

    The point is that people don't know reg exp or there lazy because they think typing the entry is 'close enough' sooo....

    So the idea was to also 'try' to fit whole phrase requests too...

    If you entry finds a hit thats a whole phrase, you have a pretty good chance that you found your song.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I think that, along with the search engine being included we should get web results from last.fm. Maybe we could have setttings as to what we'd like to include and in which order they go in. Settings for both the library and web in separate tabs. That way while in Library I'd like Music, Last.fm, Wikipedia, Google
    Then for the web Google, Wikipedia, Last.fm, Music
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I changed some things around and added web results. I think that having the awesome bar showing in the library and being able to open websites from it would help people access the browser in Songbird, something that might confuse new users right now because you can only do it by creating a new tab from your library or by opening a bookmark. I kept the web results separated from the library results; I figured that when you are in the library they'll appear at the bottom, and when you are in the browser they'll appear at the top.



    I also wanted to clarify from my mockups before that I only had it so that items appear in the results if they match the term exactly. The reason these Beatles albums are showing after searching "beat" is because the album titles contain "beat". Abbey Road would not show up, even though it is a Beatles album, because you are probably not searching for it if you typed in "beat".
    • view 3 more comments
    • In this mockup I planned on "Web Results" just being history and bookmark items, since those are what the awesome bar already provides the user with. Ubiquity functionality could eventually come to the awesome bar in a Taskfox type of integration, but I think that should be separate from this project. I think this project should just aim at getting library results into the awesome bar (along with the usual web results of bookmarks and history items). However, atreiu said earlier that it might be easiest to provide this functionality as an extension of the Ubiquity add-on, so maybe they will end up being a unified project to make the awesome bar even more awesome :).
    • @Murphy: Yeah, that's basically the way it will be done with Firefox, imho. I think that's the way, Ubiquity was meant from the beginning: to merge with the awesomebar/locationbar/searchbar to create a single and more powerful bar. But this may take another 1-2 years to work out well.
      However, to bring the ubiquity functionality to the awesomebar really seems to me the only thing that makes sense. An "awesome Library Bar" (ALB), as a "standalone-addon" will not work, imho. See: you guys are discussing a lot, what feature should be implemented in the ALB, which way the results should be displayed, if a websearch should be possible, or history, or how the results should be prioritized etc... All these questions wouldn't matter in a Ubiquity-Based Awesomebar (a.k.a.Taskfox), because all these features could be done as adjustable user-scripts, that the user can subscribe to or not. And these scripts can be done very easily, much easier & faster than creating an songbird-addon. Also Ubiquity has a powerful & improving linguistic backend, songbird- or songbird-addon-developers probably won't be able to code such things on their own, because of the lack of time.
      And you don't have to wait with the development of such user-scripts till Taskfox arrives, you can start right know using the Ubiquity.

      I just renew my 50Cent here: creating Ubiquity-Scripts for your features is the way to go, and when the time has come, integrate these scripts into Taskfox. Imho this is the only good way to realize your ideas.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    I'm considering doing some development work on this - but wonder what would-be users would want to happen happen when items in the query results are selected.

    Should there be pop-up windows/dialogs for each selection, a single results window/pane/dialog, some sort of queue which is fed and played?

    Some discussion and a consensus needed for guidance!
    • Simon, thank you for considering working on this. It is exciting to see ideas come together in the community and even more exciting if they actually turn into something more.

      I think if you hit enter on a result, it should play that item. If you hit enter on an album, artist, playlist, genre, or tag, it would just start playing the first song of the list unless you have it on shuffle. The hardest decision is what to do when the user hits enter on a song result. I don't think people would want it to just play that song and have playback stop when it is finished; most people would probably at least want to listen to a few songs on the album after that song, so maybe it would be best to play the song within the album that contains it. It's probably not a good idea to play the song within a list of the entire library, because Songbird takes a few seconds to generate this list if you have a large library.

      There could also be an option (although we might need Moshy's help with this) to add an item to the now playing list by hitting a key combination like shift+enter. This way you could create a playlist quickly by searching for and enqueuing songs.

      As I also showed in my first post with mockups, you could maybe hit right when on a song to navigate to some options of what to do with the song. This would enable you to do more than just play the song if there is something else you want to do with it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    Don't you think you should see the details behind the list entry before it is sent to the player? I.e if the list is an artist - a list of their albums/orphan tracks or something.

    Just playing the 1st item (what would that be?) might not be too useful. I'm not sure how useable that would be - If its a an album you know (roughly) what will be played but if its an artist it could be anything (by that artist, obviously).

    I don't see teh query part as too difficult - a bit of coding but really once the query terms are obtained it is just a matter of querying artists, then albums then orphan tracks etc. then web queries etc. And building up the results in (rich) listbox. I feel the complexity will come with making it possible top something useful and sensible with each type of item in the list.

    Like you , I certainly think that functionality should be close at hand....
    • I think that if someone wanted to play a certain album or track, they would search for the name specifically. If I knew I wanted to listen to the album "Abbey Road" from the beginning, I would type "abbey road" into the search box, rather than typing "the beatles" and then navigating to find it. That's why I don't think hitting enter on the item should give you more specific options- it should play the item that you were looking for. There needs to be a way for someone to search for an entire artist or album if they want to listen to it, and quickly play the entire item from the beginning. This should basically function like the jump-to-file dialog in Songbird you get to by hitting ctrl+j or cmd+j, where you search for an item, select it, and then hit enter to play it.

      In case someone does want to start playing an artist or album but from a more specific point than the beginning, I showed in the mockups that there could be an option for them to navigate further into the results using keyboard arrows. They could see more specific results for an item, such as the individual songs of an album, and then hit enter on one of those results to start the album from one of the specific songs. This is how Quicksilver and Quick Search box function, and I think it works well.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m a typer... i type a lot.
    I've thought about this, and had a lengthy discussion with some friends over it, basically we all agreed on this method and combination:

    1) Enqueue in a play list.

    2) Display results or

    3) Only play the item and then stop.

    Take an album or a whole artist... it makes sense to treat these like play lists soo...lets create a play list (Call it, the "Now Playing" play list), and play it like a normal play list (Shuffle, repeat apply). When its done, its done. When the user wants a change or switch to another artist/album... he simply repeats the process... This falls under "play and quit".

    This doesn't make sense with single songs (although I think I'd use it a lot personally). So maybe we can we can bounce this off the a playlist somehow, but also provide some flexibility for the user. It also should be simple, quick, and obvious.

    1) If nothing is playing, adding the song to the "now playing play list" and play the song. Same as an album, whole artist, or another playlist - we're being redundant and giving the same results.

    2) if a song is playing, we should either enqueue to the playlist, or jump directly to it... rather than telling the user, we can make allow specific methods for this:

    2a) Hitting enter is the same thing as hitting play. (Basically, Hittingenter is a "stop all and play" mechanism - We've built a common theme).

    2b) Ok, maybe its not expected, SOOoo... we need a Fall back Mechanism!! If this kills your "now playing" play list, lets use those darn navigation buttons and "back out" to where we were happy with the list and try again.

    one problem, its smart and simple, but is it 'obvious'? I don't think so. It might be confusing too. Does this interfere with the current back/forth method? or does it work with it?

    It seems to follow the 'natural flow' of things, but basically we're cutting out the 'navigate library history' method, and putting in 'navigate the now playing list history'

    Its close to the same function, but its not... so is it an improvement?

    3) Drag & Drop: This can be an artist, album, song, playlist (What about tags... ratings?!) It can be as simple as dragging the album/artist artwork icon and dropping it:

    3a) on the now playing playlist.
    3b) on the library pane.
    3c) on a different, personal playlist.
    3d) again fall backs... the nav buttons. (Redundancy)

    4) Menus... you can right click on the item and have you way with it (play, enqueue)

    5) Icons: A simple + icon means you add it to the list.

    I think the "now playing" playlist is a good idea (although basically, thats atleast 1 feature that needs to be added).

    Feedback?!
    • view 1 more comment
    • I'm thinking items 1, 2 4, 5 make a good 1st release. ?? (i.e :drag and drop later)

      Of that, I'll look into the Now Playing playlist tomorrow; every else I'm confident about. I already have a separate queuing component with additional options
      add-to -queue/add-to-head-of-queue/replace-queue/remove from queue/clear queue etc.. Are these types of things useful options or unnecessary complications?
    • Shouldn't hitting enter on a search result perform the same action as double-clicking on the same item in the filter view?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m frustrated
    This item is labeled as implemented...

    This kinda makes me mad... songbird doesn't have an awesome bar... does it?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    Well, I've started work on this, and am making quite good progress basing it on some components I am developing for another add-on but stringing them together (behind the scenes) in a different way.

    I would hope to finish the querying part in a few days. Then will come the "having your way" with the results! Much simpler if I don't have to do much drll-down (I do have some already but it takes a while to get such code working smoothly and, anyway, it does not seem to be how people want to use this.

    First step in the 'use the results of the query' code will be just 'play now' or 'play after current track' buttons/options. Maybe at that stage a first release - would that have enough functionality to be useful?

    Meanwhile: there will be some quite fiddly CSS to do (what CSS isn't very fiddly?) - is there anyone (who enjoys that sort of thing - ?!) who would like to help with that?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Simon, I don't know much about coding, but could you use the Now Playing List add-on to deal with making a custom playlist and things like enqueuing? I was just thinking that that might be easier than having to code your own system for creating a now playing playlist.
    • view 1 more comment
    • I think the purpose of the idea is to make a search that doesn't stay around long. The awesome bar is usually a quick get-in-and-out system, like in Firefox, where you start typing a term, choose a history or bookmarks result from the drop down list, and it quickly disappears so you can view the page. If one wanted query results to stick around in panes, why not just use the filter bar already in Songbird? I don't think the process should be like performing a Google search, where you need your results to stick around so you can scan over them and find the best match; when searching your library for something, such as a song, you will be able to identify it quickly in drop down results from the awesome bar and play it, leaving no additional use for the results.

      As for the last.fm artist art, it isn't an essential feature, I just thought it would help people visually identify artist results quickly. I know that downloading artist art for each query would take too long, but I thought it might be possible to cache all of the artist images for your entire library somewhere on your computer, so the add-on could retrieve it as fast as it can album art. For example, the ♪Photo add-on seems to use this method. It could be used specifically for this add-on, or it would also be neat if multiple add-ons made use of an artist image database stored locally, such as the ♪Photo add-on or this mockup I made of a possible media view. I think this way, both artist and album art could be displayed quickly, and like favicons for websites in the awesome bar, would help the user visually identify the desired result more quickly. If something like this is too difficult to implement, however, it could just have a generic artist picture like a silhouette of a person for now, and maybe someone could add the feature later on.
    • My thoughts are the same as murphy's, Lets not kill the filter pane, but make this to be a real quick method to find a song, artist, or album and we can build and fork off of it with different methods (such as drag and drop) later.

      again, murphy said "If one wanted query results to stick around in panes, why not just use the filter bar already in Songbird?"

      And thats what the original "...and More from " was suppose to be on my example... Its suppose to open the entire query results into the pane. Although I originally thought it should open in a tab, but the current pane is probably better -- you can end up with serveral tabs that look like library's.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    how can we go about testing/using this feature as its being worked on? Will this appear on nightlies?
    • If Simon is coding this, he will be developing it as an add-on, which means it will not be part of the official program's code. The only way you will be able to test it is if he releases builds of it along the way. It could one day be something that they incorporate into the official program, but they probably won't work on feature suggestions like this one until they finish more high-priority items off of the roadmap.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    1
    Just so you know I have started working on this now and have already got a query box which gves artists, albums and tracks with a given set of words. You can drill down from artist to album to track.

    Over the weekend I'll work on sending selected items to a queue/now playing list and/or getting art.

    Even getting local art slows things down considerably (beyond what would be acceptable) so I'll look for some clever approaches for that. I'll definitely include use of muzPhoto art where it exists.

    I'm fighting the temptation to mention when a 1st release of the add-on might be ready!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m thankful
    This is great news... or atleast half of it is.

    Im really looking forward to seeing it.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • 1
    Only one concern, performance. Currently even simple search sometimes freezes UI. Hope this will improve situation and not worsen.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    1
    Second update- I've now got artists,albums, tracks and playlist all with drill-down (on demand) feeding a queue which plays.

    Performance needs some improvement. (It is getting stats which slows things down, i.e. to get no. of albums for an artist you need to access all their tracks, so showing the atist names means accessing all their tracks. Similarly,to get length of an album you need to get all the album tracks- even though only the title and a few bits of info are displayed). No sorting yet (As I don't use ratings or playcounts - life's too short...)

    I'm having some difficulty getting the textbox to start the query although a separate button does it fine.

    I will push ahead then release what I've got next week sometime, as a beta release for testing/feedback.
    • Thanks for keeping us in the loop on your progress Simon. It sounds like it's really coming along!
    • I can't wait to see how it is turning out Simon. To improve performance while searching, could you index all of the information needed from a person's library as a database, so it doesn't need to be gathered while the search is taking place? I don't know much about it, but I believe this is how a search engine or search on your computer is performed. For example, every once in a while, the add-on could index, or calculate the number of albums per each artist and songs per each album, and store the numbers in a database. Then when you perform a search, it could just retrieve the information it needs instead of having to calculate it on the spot.

      This database could also hold sorting information. Every time you type a certain query and then choose a result from the drop down list, you could add to a tally for that result in the database, and results could be ranked based on how often you choose them in a search. For example, with Quicksilver on OSX, the first time I searched for the term "fi", Finder was the first result and Firefox was the second result. But since I select Firefox from the results more often than Finder, Firefox is now the number one result when I type in "fi" and Finder has been moved down to the second result. This makes it so that you can find and select the result you are most likely searching for more quickly.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m busy!
    1
    Well, in the great tradition of IT development, this week's release is delayed - but not by more than about another week.

    However, I've made good progress on the preferences interface and getting art and stats (plus, I'm now doing asychnronous web calls when there is no local art found). I've tidied up the layouts a lot and I don't think there are any major issues outstanding.

    I have a question about location of artist art. I can pick up artist work from the current preferences and I will pick up muzPhoto art (when muzPhoto is installed) but where else do people store their artist art? (Do other people keep their own artist art?)

    I store mine in directories under the music library (as folder.gif, so that Windows directory displays it) but what do other people do?

    There won't be any search history in the 1st release (I spent a lot of time on this this
    week and couldn't get it working), similarly there will be no inter-relationship between 'my' search bar and the location bar. Those things will have to come later.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Would keeping a file for each artist maybe start to take up a bit of space? Especially with larger libraries.
    • Saving an image for each artist in the library would take up some space, but no more than is already taken up by having album art. After all, you most likely have a much greater number of albums in your library than artists, since each artist will generally have a few albums each.

      I have 325 artists in my library, so if each image was on average 100kb, that would be 325 x 100 = 32,500kb, or 32 and a half megs. By comparison, iTunes's album art database on my computer is 233 megs. It is not that much space to sacrifice, and I think it is worth it because of the benefits of speed you get from having the images stored locally.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m confident
    3
    Hi all,

    Still working on this - and nearly there... Just finishing up a (temporary?) playback queue and doing some testing to make sure that the extension has a fighting chance of running on other peoples PCs!

    I'll release a beta version a.s.a.p. and soon!
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • This reply was removed on 2009-07-28.
    see the change log
  • I’m happy
    4
    I have posted the first (alpha) release for the 'searcher' (working title) add-on:

    http://addons.songbirdnest.com/addons...

    I do need feedback, especially on query performance. You can post there or email me at songbird.searcher@gmail.com

    There is still a lot to do on the working of the URL bar and the the layout and working of the results panel but the core querying functionality is pretty much done (although I would expect some performance tweaking).

    There would be an enormous amount to do to bring my (interim) playback mechanism up to scratch, so I will try to get to a feed to the NowPlaying add-on working while I work on my new playback mechanism "in due course'.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I realized that you have to hit enter after typing text into the bar to return results. If it is ever possible, I think it should constantly update the results as you type, just like the awesome bar shows results without you having to hit enter first. Probably now it would just slow things down too much for it to be worth it.

    It is so exciting to finally try it! What version of Songbird do you recommend for testing it, Simon: 1.2, 1.3 beta, or a nightly? In 1.2, nothing seems to happen when I run a search. In the 1.3 beta, sometimes a search goes quickly, but sometimes nothing seems to happen and the program can even freeze. The album art looks very nice, and it is sooo cool that you got artist art working! Sometimes (usually when there are a lot of results) the results can look a little wonky:


    And I can't seem to navigate the results using the arrow keys unless I click on the result list in the first place. It is very impressive though to feel how easy it is to find a song and play it using the awesome bar. I will keep testing and see what more I can discover about the add-on. Thank you for developing it, Simon. This is a great start for the add-on.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    I think you it should do one of two things to make it easy to understand what your seeing

    1. You separate it into two sections when it is on the library tab it shows music history and when on a new tab show web history and bookmarks

    2. You have it seperatable like + makes it music - makes it web history
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m happy
    1
    I suggest version 1.3+ for testing, as that is the Songbird future! For info: I am developing on Windows XP sp3; I haven't tested on other o/s and, although I've tried to be platform independent, I am sure I will have missed some things. Let me know and I'll try to fix them.

    Steven: I've just found an issue, which I am coding for the next version , when preferences are missing/not set for Music Management/Watch Folders etc. - you could try setting directories for these and/or disabling searcher looking in such locations. Otherwise try to disable all options in searcher and try again...

    ethanjim: Thanks, that's surprising and not happening here, I'll look into it. Are you running on windows?

    Murphy: Thanks, I'm aware of the results looking wonky, that's one of the many things I'll be fixing in the layout. (I haven't seriously considered arrow keys/scrolling etc. on the layout yet).

    I'm more concerned about intermittent freezing +failure of some queries. Can you identify any common characteristic(s) on the problem queries? I suspect there is something which I need to code for which does not arise in my library. Any error messages? Does changing any of the searcher options help or give a different result?

    Wyatt: I'l be adding music search history later.I think music search history will be separate from web history and have different options associated with it The URL bar icons should already be different for music library (=Songbird notes, or my colored jigsaw piece) and web (=blank page or favicon).

    For info: the drop-down arrow under the 'send to queue' button changes the send to queue button between 'queue first', 'queue next', 'queue last','replace queue with' etc.
    Is this useful, or over the top?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Hrmm, I'm sad to see that the current searcher plugin doesn't work with the latest songbird release, I hope to see some more advancement in the development of the Awesome Bar.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m unsure
    Do you find it useful, with its current 'queue'?

    I do intend to update it but think that until it has a decent mechanism for queuing and playing back the query results, then it isn't much use. What do you think?

    Simon
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I recently made a music player mockup and wanted its search function to have a drop down list of results like this. Fortunately, I had put so much thought into this topic before that I already had lots of ideas for how it would work. I wanted to share some of the different ideas here.

    First, I made the search box about the same size as the current one in Songbird, which means I had to make the drop down list much thinner. Since Songbird has been shifting focus away from the web browsing aspect of the program, I thought utilizing the existing search box instead of an awesome-bar might be more practical now.

    Second, I tried to use icons to differentiate the types of results instead of typography, and I think it works pretty well. Songs utilize album art and an eighth note icon, albums utilize album art and a CD icon, and artists just have a person icon.

    This is it (I am linking to the mockup on flickr in case anyone has specific comments for it):
    Music player v4 with search
    • view 3 more comments
    • This comment was removed on 2010-02-10.
      see the change log
    • One thing to note about that idea though is that since it is a mobile program, it has little screen real estate to work with and probably expands the search bar to give you a more reasonable amount of space, right? I usually never have to type more than a few letters into the search field to find the right result in songbird, yet it can already hold about 17 characters or so.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • This reply was removed on 2010-02-10.
    see the change log
  • I'm looking at the 'awesome bar' code again now - so let's have you comments and suggestions!

    I am particularly concerned about the playback mechanism - I've no idea how people want that to work after they have made a query and selected some result to play.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I think this is the dilemma: if the user searches for a song and hits "enter" on the result, does it just play the song, or does it play the song and then continue playing that album or artist afterward, or should it continue playing through the entire library afterward.

    I think that I would usually want to play the song within the context of the album. I usually find a song and continue listening to the album from that point, probably because that is what happens when you would play a song from a record or CD. Artists usually make albums to have a flow to them, so I think that this option is safer than having it play the song in the context of the library, for example, where it would eventually start playing through different albums or artists you have based on alphabetical order.

    If some people would prefer that though, maybe there could be preferences for the extension where so they can select the context that select results will play in.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • I’m excited
    The awesome bar should act like the Winamp, jump-to dialog. It jumps to the track or enables you to enqueue the track/move after current. But it should always return to the playlist/album you were playing prior.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned sad, anxious, confused, frustrated happy, confident, thankful, excited