I’m confident

Suggestions for improving the Now Playing List

As we can see with all the topics here, there are still a lot of issues to improve, so that songbird can be THE PLAYER (I strongly believe it's just a matter of time). One of them is the Now Playing List. I know there's an add-on, but I think it doesn't function as it should, not to mention it shouldn't be an add-on but be in the core.

Well, but here's a list of suggestions for the Now Playing List:
- The way I see it, every mp3 I start to play should immediately be added to the Now Playing List.
- I should also be able to right click a song and choose "Play Now" (starting immediately, no matter if there's another track being played), "Play Next" (scheduled to play after the current song) or "Play Last" (adds the song to the end of the current Now Playing List).
- These options should also be available directly from within the file directory: "Play Now on Songbird", "Play Next on Songbird" and "Play Last on Songbird".
- The Now Playing List should also keep track of the tracks I've already heard, not only the one I'm listening to or the ones who follow it. Currently, it eliminates the songs I've heard as it gets along.
- To finish this list, I think the tracks I chose for the Now Playing List in one songbird session should be there on the following. I mean that if I have to close songbird I would like to keep listening to my selection of tracks the next time I open it

These suggestions and others have been made in several topics by more users. In order to keep track of them I've made a selection:

"We should also be able to right click on a mp3 on our desktop and add to songbird's now playing list whether it is there default player or not and whether it is running or not. And when an mp3 is being played it is automatically added to the Now playing list. the now playing list should also automatically save, without having to create a new custom playlist."
Source: http://gsfn.us/t/k2i

"The second one is implementing a "Now Playing" list, without the use of an add-on... Adding items to a playlist and then playing that is not really the same... When you double-click a file in the library, it should be added to "Now Playing", and start to play. =)"
Source: http://gsfn.us/t/k2k

"The NOW PLAYING LIST MUST BE ROLLED INTO THE CORE. now i would suggest the now playing list to be an entirely different section where songbird would have 2 tabs, "now playing" and "library" like realplayer, where under this tab there would also be VISUALIZATIONS (a very important aspect) the now playing list should also be saved without having to create a new playlist and whenever we open a file from our default music directory it shouldn't be added to the library, i mean its very annoying. i have to end up deleting a bunch of broken video shortcuts when im done watching them. and of course "Add to songbirds now playing list" is a must have feature upon right click on a file."
Source: http://gsfn.us/t/k2u

"I also think that a Now Playing screen is a basic component of a media player. (I know there is an add-on for this, but that seems to be something that is essential without having to use plug-in)"
Source: http://gsfn.us/t/k2e

"the ́"now" playing add on must be an integrated feature coming with the core install."
Source: http://gsfn.us/t/k2j

Thanks for paying attention!
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  • I’m frustrated
    Please give us this playlist as a core feature! As long as it is only available as an add-on, Winamp will be superior...
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  • 1
    My main problem with a lack of a Now Playing feature is that I don't have any way to separate what I'm playing from the Media Library. If I start to listen to an album, I want to be able to browse the Media Library at the same time without Songbird starting to play what I'm currently looking at once the current song has finished.
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  • 4
    Hi, I'd just like to add something. I've been using Winamp for a number of years now, but it's lack of significant development lately has encouraged me to try other music players. Songbird is at the top of my list. However, I plan on uninstalling Songbird within a few minutes and waiting for it to mature due mainly to this problem (that, and the poor interface). The "Now Playing" add-on is nice, and is definitely a step in the right direction, however, it is far from ideal.

    When I double-click on a song, it should be added to my "Now Playing" list, and ONLY that song should be added. I simply cannot stand that when I tell Songbird to play it song, it automatically queues my entire library. I'm sorry, but I find this behavior completely unusable.

    This is one thing that Winamp does PERFECTLY. Please check out Winamp and look into how playlists and the media library are implemented. Just because iTunes doesn't disassociate the two concepts doesn't make it right.

    Also, as stated, the main program should have this implemented by default. In fact, the program as a whole should be modeled around this system, rather than the afterthought add-on that is available.

    Songbird is a great piece of software. It just needs a lot of work before I can find it to be a feasible alternative.
    • view 7 more comments
    • ...alll about the options, man. We're an accomodating bunch! <3
    • @Dustin: You're absolutely right, and I apologize. The way I described is what I feel is the best, and I sometimes forget that others may disagree. What I really want is the choice. I'll be reading through change logs for all future versions, anxiously awaiting this feature. Thanks to the Songbird devs for your consideration.
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  • I’m frustrated
    This thread continues to be active because we the (USERS)all see how important it is. But my feeling is the devs don't like it, so we're peeing in the wind. They don't care, don't want to care. As the Off. Rep inputs here show.
    You know with all the talk about the rollout of Linux for more "ordinary" users (like me) the inability to find one single music player that will do what the Users want, is beginning to seem insurmountable.
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  • CHAMP
    I’m determined to contribute something despite not knowing my C from my VB
    4
    Of course the devs care, after all they're designing a product and if nobody likes it then nobody will use it and they will go out of business. It's in thier best interest to build the best player possible. There are lots of things which I'd ike to see included ranging from the particularly simple (eg fade out instead of stop) to the somewhat improbable (eg make me a grilled cheese sandwhich with the album art of the current track lightly taosted on to the front) but at the end of the day, we can't expect it all to happen at once. Rome wasn't built in a day etc etc. It's plain that plenty of notice is taken of the discussions on GetSat, by add-on authors and coders alike. If, like me, you don't fall in to that category, maybe this should serve as motivation to learn how we can do something of use to contribute - test a nightly or help out with simple problems on getsat, spread the word etc before we complain too loudly.
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  • CHAMP
    I’m not humming anything by Queen. Much.
    ...really, it was nothing :P hehe, thank you kindly, I shall wear my shiny blue badge with pride. I'm glad to be involved!
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  • Wow. This is like a work conversation. Goes like this:

    Quarterly meeting: Me: "I've talked to a lot of our customers, what they really need is x".

    Product Manager; "I hear what you're saying. But we only have y number of engineers and z resources with feature f to be worked on. So we can't do it right now. Maybe in the next rev or block point roll. Plus I've talked tothe Gartner Analysts and they say they expect to see a 500% increase in segment of the market over the next 2 years".

    Me: "Problem P stops them buying (using) our product. In the real world. Now".

    Product Manager: "I hear what you're saying.....(repeat)"

    Yearly review:
    Product Manager prompted for towing company line. Now Senior Product Manager
    Me: moved to yet another product and asked to rescue the sales guys on it.

    Annual (if lucky) trip to Engineering headquarters:

    Get hammered with the R&D engineers, on travel expenses. Tell 'em what customers need. They agree completely once they understand why. They often try to fix it without all the arguing/resources/time., in the background.

    From certain points of view, i.e management, frank discussion of problems is seen as detrimental. Or my favourites "not in the team spirit" or "you're too Irish".
    Point missed:
    Me and all the others here are discussing and talking about this because we're still involved. We think implementing this is far more important that the "uh-huh" comments from the few songbird Reps here display.
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  • CHAMP
    I’m buying the drinks in the name of progress
    Maybe you should get down to SF and go drinking with the boys! Hell if it works, I'd happily get a round in :P I'm on the wrong continent though.... Ultimately, I'm one of the 102 people here who agree that these suggested improvements need to be implemented. wish I could do more!
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  • CHAMP
    I’m missing it, but loving the bird
    4
    after all the hassle today I also like to add my five cents.......

    if you look at the "idea kitchen"
    http://wiki.songbirdnest.com/User:Ste...
    it is obvious that the priorities of the users of the getsatifaction panel are very
    mature and sensible for a media-mp3 player software (still they like the farting).
    first priority: "sound" (this is the!!!!! basic function")

    second priority: library sorting (this is a i-tunes feature....that comes along with downloading and buying music on the net and not paying attention to your file managing. This is very much the "APPLE" way of intuitive and user friendly)

    third priority: the way of keeping library and actual playlist separate.
    this can be called the "winamp" way.

    the next thing people agree upon is to make songbird a bigger success.

    and on place number five: is the burning /ripping option that is scheduled for ISAN.

    I think that all the people that are collected on this thread (I feel its 500 posts) for one or the other reason have some sentiments for the bird.
    And all of them really wish that it will become as successful as firebird.
    however judging from the different background people come from (Itunes /Winamp- style) their demands are different (something very understandable).

    After following this board for quite some time I have the feeling that the software and developers are more attracted to the apple way of things.....(the ipod add-on always is a high priority).
    However the Company has to keep in mind that Apple is trying to sell the whole package and if SOngbird concentrates on winning and keeping Macusers primarily they must be aware that a proprietary company can always lock them out!
    This is already apparent when you look at the problems with the "IPOD"touch.

    I understand that Laura only means it well when she appreciates the great activity within this thread. And I like it that she expresses it because of her own fascination with songbird and the community.
    because from what I see her main job is to really help people that use this forum for the first time trying to get answers how to work the program and to survey for new ideas and channel them to bugzilla.
    You do a great JOB!

    But I also understand NICBOT and all the others who feel frustrated for they miss some more official answer or statement.

    I that if you analyze the survey you did some time ago you can find out what your
    your user and potential for growth are.

    My feeling is that the songbird could very much profit from the suggeastion to appeal to both haters AND lovers of i-tunes.

    http://getsatisfaction.com/songbird/t...

    Finally, I think it is fair and good that the developers don`t spend their time on this forum but instead of this really work on the bird.
    You did a great job on: stability, file sorting, GSTREAMER, and memory consumption.
    You rule! PRAISE!!!!!!!

    But concerning the now Playing issue:
    pleas either mark it:

    the company is workin on this

    or

    the company is considering this

    or (as with the icons)

    the company has no plans to do this.

    Thanks for reading.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Thanks Laura, that's exactly what we wanted to hear - in fact when you posted that message I'd got most the way through composing a long post centring on the lack of (visible) acknowledgement and recognition this thread seemed to have received in terms of a thread status, roadmap entry, and bugzilla entries. It seems today things have come to a head and it's now getting the attention it deserves - huzzah! This sort of discussion and communications with your users is what I like so much about the bird and its community.
    • qways> Also you should add the votes for suggestion "Please add an official Playlist Pane!" to this one. This makes it the 2nd most popular feature request.

      Laura Thomas> Most of the suggestions here don't separate each other out. I think I agree with more then 90% of what has been requested in this thread. I would say this: Have a look at Winamp, foobar2000 and AmaroK, the three best players out there. Take the best from each of them.
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  • I’m all yeah, uh huh, I hear ya...
    4
    So what Donalb is saying is, I am due for a promotion? :-P

    Ok, look, I get that you, nicbot and probably even the silent majority here are all frustrated, and even if you don't want me to say I hear you, I actually really do. And that's my job, to hear you and pass your feedback on to the developers.

    That being said, Donalb actually made my point for me in spades. We have a handful of developers, (of which I am not, btw) a thousand things on fire, a million things to do, and not enough time to do it all.

    Today this sounds like the most important thing on the list, but a month ago it was CD rip/burn and EQ both of which we are currently working on for our next release.

    We do listen, we do NOT just say uh huh, yeah right, whatever, but I do not have anything else to report right now. When I do, I assure you I won't hold back.
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  • CHAMP
    I’m happy
    2
    I'm reading so many times "_all_ user want this" etc. on this page, that I just wanted to say: I don't want this :)

    I'm very happy with songbirds way of handling playing queue, and I prefer it over Winamps play-queue.
    • view 10 more comments
    • Winamp in default configuration behaves just like Songbird. It just has an addition now playing list window (which can be closed). But it has the options to change it. It also has an option to queue songs in the now playing list. That's all I ask for.

      I don't want to change current default behavior. I just ask for more option which better fulfill my needs. And apparently also the need of many other users.
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  • Am I wrong, but the switching you describe causing a song to stop mid-song and switch to another song immediately. Yes/No? If yes, that is exactly the problem, its ungraceful switching.Have you used iTunes party shuffle? I consider that really nice. "Play next in Party Shuffle" , "Add to Party Shuffle".
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  • 3
    Instead of starting a new thread, I thought I would add here that all lists in Songbird lack the ability to drag'n'drop.

    To better illustrate my point, the feature I speak of is standard in Media Monkey. The user may re-arrange the tracks in their library view or playlist via dragging. Furthermore, the user may drag a track from their library view onto their playlist.

    Having "Play Next" and "Play Last" available from a right click menu can be streamlined by the ability to drag and drop within a list and/or to another list (i.e. from Library view to Now Playing List). My main concern is to be able to re-arrange a playlist to my preferance.

    My 2 cents.
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    • Something like this might work, but I can imagine that implementing it might be quite difficult. Would it be a big problem to copy all the files from a dynamic playlist to a common playlist a rearrange that one?
    • No, it's not too much effort to copy the contents of a dynamic playlist to a common playlist. However it is like the difference between having to 'right-click' a track and selecting 'play now' and just double clicking it. Which is to say if it would not be too difficult to implement, then the feature may as well be implemented.

      I know little of the coding behind drag'n'drop, but it is a feature implemented in other areas of the application. I would have then assumed it would be a very simple feature to transfer over to another area of the application. It's not the most critical of features on the road-map, but it would be nice to have.
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  • I didn't see this mentioned yet, but maybe a solution to the problem of some people wanting a song to play on double click and some wanting it to enqueue could be that the user has to hold down a key such as alt while double clicking for the track to enqueue, otherwise it will just play. In fact, maybe it could just be alt and single click so people don't have to worry about resetting the list they were making if they accidentally just double click because they aren't pressing alt hard enough. I used to use Winamp back in the day and I think it could do something similar.
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  • I don't think that keys would be necessary. They'd make the program handling more difficult. A good program can be controlled entirely by mouse. Users should have the option to choose the default click behavior in some options menu.

    But the best way in my opinion is to have play on doubleclick and enqueue by right-click menu.

    Good thing is, all these ideas could exist in parallel.
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  • I’m hopeful
    5
    Why not let the user decide what happens on double click?

    - Songbird should incorporate several playlist options (such as "play", "enqueue next", "enqueue last" etc) in a "mouse control" menu and give the user the possibility to choose from several actions (such as click on a song/album/link, double click, click+key combination) and thus make the controls completely customizable.

    Concerning the problem of losing your current playlist by accidentally double-clicking etc:

    - Songbird should provide an option to undo changes to your playlist, e.g. in the playlist's context menu (MediaMonkey has this) or as playlist control buttons.

    - Furthermore, drag+drop for as many parts of the application as possible should be available, as it's the most intuitive way of using a program.
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  • I’m surely right, yep?
    Would be cool to have the total duration of the whole nowplaying list... it's far more useful that the number of items (but keep it too)...
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  • I’m patient
    1
    I think you should start thinking ahead with the now playing list.

    Curently, editing playlist isn't an easy experience compared to other players such as amarok, real and wmp. Making playlist editing easyer should be a priority since it is the basis of automatic mp3 sync and will be the basis of cd burning among other things.

    - playlist properties should detail total size and total play length
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  • I’m anxious and frustrated
    I can't figure out why this functionality is missing in songbird. you would expect that this is a basic function of a player. Maybe because an add-on is available, that is has no high priority to implement. I'm waiting on the implementation, and in maintime i'll "(ab)use" the add-on
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  • Firstly,
    I love the way this thread has taken a life of it's own!

    Secondly,
    I've released a new version, which addresses most people's concerns. The three big improvements are filtering/searching is independent of the list, shuffling is integrated (no more disabled shuffled buttons, and extra randomise buttons) and column sorting works.

    Unfortunately I couldn't get the feature where double clicking on a track queues it up, instead of replacing the now playing list. I was soo close, but there's a weird bug in Songbird itself preventing me from doing the final step. I shouldn't be telling you this but go to about:nowplayinglist for a taste of what I was gonna do. That page won't do anything though, it's just there to look pretty for the moment.

    Cheers!
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  • Hi moshy,

    Thanks for the big improvement. It's great that now I can sort the Now Playing List.

    I'm wondering if this could be implemented:

    Currently if I enable shuffle, then the list randomizes itself. I would prefer the behavior of most other players (Winamp, foobar2000, AmaroK). In these players if I select random (shuffle) mode, the list order doesn't change. But random songs are selected. Could this be implemented?

    Also this would allow (I believe) additional features known from foobar2000 such as "Playback follows cursor", which means that a highlighted (selected) song starts playing after the current one finishes.

    Also I believe that a queue system as known from Winamp, foobar2000 or AmaroK can be implemented then. The queue should be a next level of playback order management. Currently in Songbird are only 2 levels: Library -> Now Playing List. But i would like to se it go like this: Library -> Now Playing List -> Queue.

    The queue should work just like in other players. I will select a song and by pressing "Q" (or other keyboard shortcut) the song will be added to queue, which is marked by a number of queue position. After the queue finishes the playback continues from the now playing list. Have a look at my screenshot of Winamp which shows the queue system.

    Do you think this is possible without too much effort?
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  • I’m excited
    Why not make the Now Playing list the Queue itself?

    The added songs would be played in order. When the playback closes to the end of the list, if the user hasn't added some new songs, Songbird would do this automatically, choosing n random songs from one or more playlists, smart playlists, a custom criteria, or from the whole database.

    The already played songs may also be removed from the playlist after a while, so you don't end up with a very long list.

    For example, you could set songbird to keep the last 3 songs played, and always populate the list with 10 songs which will follow. You would have a continuous flow of songs.

    When you want to enqueue a song, you select it from Songbird's main view, and you may choose Play Now, Play Next (after the current song) or Play Last (the last song from the list).

    You may also choose to remove songs which have been automatically enqueued by Songbird, if you don't feel like listening to them.

    I think that such a functionality would provide Songbird with a listening experience that would be much above the othe media players out there.
    • view 3 more comments
    • Actually, Murphy, as a long time user of Winamp, that's not really how it works. If anything, Winamp uses the Playlist editor as the Now Playing and the Queue. Your direction to incorporate both is almost identical to Winamp's behavior (which I like). The jump-to-file feature is simply a method to search within the Now Playing, just in case you add a large number of songs. BTW, adding a search feature to the Now Playing would be kinda cool. It is useful in Winamp, and would also be useful in Songbird.
    • I think I should describe how I use a music player to make it clear why I want 3 playback management levels (library, playlist (now playing list) and queue). Very often I make a mix of different songs from my library and listen to it randomly. Then after hearing a certain song I decide I want to listen to more songs of the same style or artist so I insert 2 or 3 tracks into queue. After the queue finishes the playback of my playlist continues just like before.

      I do believe this is not very unusual behavior because I've seen my friends using their media players (usually Winamp) just like this.

      Currently I can do this in Songbird by rearranging the now playing list but it's not very comfortable. I believe the solution for all my requests is to have two separated track lists: the displayed tracks and the real (but invisible by default) order in which they will play.
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  • I’m frustrated
    So how come the NPL still loads up everything in the media window on double click/play?

    Was this not a bug identified ages ago? Seems highly unusual behaviour. So if you just start up songbird, double click any file, it loads the entire library in. Point?
    • view 2 more comments
    • of course the "q" button and "right-click" in the album or artist filter pane would be nice
    • Moshy already wrote that he tried to assign add to NPL to doubleclick. But he run into some problems. See Moshy's post from 6th May.
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  • I’m hopeful
    2
    Here's my shortlist for the NPL,
    - *Needs to be integrated into Songbird as a standard Feature*
    This one's most important, no media player should be without a now-playing list, it's a necessity, I can't believe that this is an add-on instead of integrated.

    - Needs to be fixed up, it's constantly forgetting what I put into it and just deciding to quit on me. It's fairly buggy, but I think most things would be cleaned up if it were made a part of the program.

    - It's coming along really nicely though, great job moshy!!
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  • I’m excited and waiting!
    I agree with this post! The absence of now playing is the most severe flaw in Songbird and adding this kind of functionality to the core should be the absolute number one priority. The available extension doesn't really do what it's supposed to...

    I'd also like to add that please don't forget to add a proper API: I'd like to see extension like Smarty Pants merge themselves into standard NP-list.

    Offtopic
    Songbird's really got the potential to become the best music player. This is one of the few important steps needed. From my point of view the others might be:
    - Complete session saving when Songbird is closed
    - Working media key support on all system (couldn't get the extension hacks to work on linux)
    - Easily customizable panes: drag-n'-drop, ability to add new panes, ability to move extension content from pane to another and last+least improved tabbing system (currently you need 2 clicks: open menu, switch tab)
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  • I’m sure they'll make it
    I agree with the idea. The only thing that Songbird misses for being THE PLAYER is some way of having a songs queue.
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  • When I updated to 1.2, the Now Playing list became a lot more functional. I think it was an update to the extension, though. Maybe the devs can just ask the developer of that add-on for permission to work it into the core code? :)
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  • I think it would be cool if, when creating Now Playing List, the media player could queue songs from the local library and from internet sources. Possible internet music sources are Youtube, Last.fm, a particular station from Pandora, or even something simple like music in Sky Drive for hotmail users.

    Hypothetical situation: I want to fall asleep to a playlist, and I want to hear
    Stu's Tiger Song from the Hangover in that playlist, but I do not own that particular
    song. If I could drag a link into the playlist or type out the url of the desired media, that would be awesome.

    I think that this feature utilizes the strengths of having an integrated browser and media player.
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  • ^ With that you're going to have to either limit the songs in CC only or make it unable to just copy propriety music into your own filesystem. Something like musicovery.com could be used. Where you can listen, but not download.

    I think getting songs from Youtube will be quite hard to implement, and youtube videos are recorded in mono, anyway. So it's not very good to listen to compared to stereo.
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  • 1
    Below there are few features which should be considered to be further implemented to NPL:
    - Resume playing list after restart of SB: just resume the list and start playing from last played song;
    - Autoscroll the list - so that the currently playing song is always visible on the list;
    - Automatically find played song on list after searching - much handy if you have several thousand songs in the list.
    All three suggestions are standard features in e.g. Winamp.

    Cheers,
    Damian
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  • 1
    I'm very happy with the latest version of NPL. Finally there is the feature to queue song by double clicking it. Thanks a lot moshy for this improvement. Also would it be possible to add this possibility to filter panes? I can use Drag&Drop, but doubleclick is much more comfortable.
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  • This reply was removed on 2009-08-28.
    see the change log
  • 1
    I thought it would be useful if in context menu there is "play now" option instead of only "queue next/last" - sometimes you just want to play single song and not to remove all play list.

    Moreover, the "status bar" in the lower right corner (where currently queued items are counted, just above the last.fm icon) should also show the total time of those songs - currently SB doesn't inform you about the total length of your playlist, which isn't helpful at all :)
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  • Hey,

    i see this threat is very old, but i think it is a good idea to bring back new live in it.

    I have got the latest version of songbird, and there is no good play now option.

    I have downloaded an add-on for it, but it isn't really useful.
    Because when i click on a song at the library it's added to the play now.
    so if i want to listen to for instance my new added song i have to click on them all to put them on the play now list and it isn't possible to just click on one in the library and then it will just plpay that one and the rest in the library as well

    I think songbird should have at least an play now function like WMP were you can drag items to, but that it is still possible to just listen music directly from the library.

    i'm not an computer expert, but i don't think that something like that is very difficult to make for such great creators
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  • Is "Play Queue Addon" from pink floyd version (2.0) on roadmap the now playing ?

    http://wiki.songbirdnest.com/Roadmap
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  • 1
    In my ideal version of the Now Playing List, there is an item at the bottom of the list called Shuffle, and when it reaches that item, it shuffles my library or whatever I have selected with the filter pane. That way I can queue up stuff I want to listen to, and then it goes back to my music.
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  • The current Nightlies have a playqueue but it doesn't work like it should. Users have to click the track in the queue to play as opposed to it playing by itself. I hope the developers do add this as it defeats the purpose of having a queue feature without it
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  • People, we need fix a problem that we have on playslist
    we need a feature that is cool on itunes

    CHECKBOX
    http://getsatisfaction.com/songbird/t...

    I think we need create this before that a now playing or somethink linke that...
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  • I just want Songbird to quit after I hit play for a song. I don't want to have to create a playlist....I want to play one song, and then stop......
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  • @Chip Use the Queue functionality from Songbird Remote (iPhone or Android)
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  • is the Queue functionality just for Songbird on the iPhone or Android? I mostly use Songbird on my Macbook
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  • This is the desktop, but the interface is via Songbird Remote / MobileDJ which is an iPhone & Android App.
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  • Thanks, I will try that. But how hard can it be for Songbird to make it so you can play one song only, without having to add on stuff?
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  • Songbird Really Needs a now playing panel, like windows media player 12.
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  • I’m anxious
    If I put a song twice in a playlist that I have, it will duplicate the song inside that playlist. It shouldn ́t. I could see that duplicate if the playlist was with just a few songs, but when you have a 50+ list, you ́ll never know you have a song 2, 3 or maybe more times in that playlist.
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