Amarok versus KDE4-Amarok: difference = ?

Moved to Soap Box due to Ranting!
Keep it civil :slight_smile:
Happy ranting!

If you don’t like something then you can always make a shortcut for it and stop ranting :wink:

I see nothing wrong with UI design and i for example don’t often use repeat or random though i agree it could be somewhere more reachable (but it is still two clicks away).

if you don’t have a clue about efficient interface design and usability, will you please stop posting in threads about something you don’t know and at the same time make yourself ridiculous, while thinking you actually contributed something of value?

Great, you see nothing wrong with the UI design which just further shows you’ve no idea about efficient usability enhanced interface designs. That’s one against the many thousands out there that do see something very wrong with it and that obviously pushed the devs to rethink lots of things and provide possibility to custom rearrange the interface which doesn’t really change the fact that you still have to rearrange as the default is cr@p and as Henk said, “you’ll die anyways but we give you the option to choose how”. Also how do I make a shortcut to the repeat & random? Oh wait, I can’t! :slight_smile:

I’ve used many different music managers over the years, all with different interfaces and designs, but it’s only Amarok2 that stands out with its current unbelievably stupid design and horrible usability decisions.

And it’s not really a ranting. That was only my first couple posts where I went a bit out of it. The rest of my posts is expose and show the current design faults in usability of the Amarok2 interface and argue why the 1.4 interface was and still is better even now when Amarok has reached 2.2 and it still sucks

I never thought about contributing anything by writing in this thread, by expressing your POV you don’t really contribute do you?? By complaining you express YOUR POV while some may find it fine. So if you write something about the design state that it is YOU that find it bad, don’t say that it is everyone thinking like that. You can never satisfy everyone and if the amarok devs would just copy the old design then some people would have demanded a new interface. Now at the version 2.2 the tools to customize the look will be delivered so quit whining and use whatever you like.

Overall, I think my expectations for amarok 2.1.1 versus 1.4.10 is similar to BBW’s, and user pressure will get the improvements required.

I prefer the three panel layout of 2.1, developing intuitively from left to right. Now that feels more familiar than 1.4, despite the much shorter time in use so far. I also like the ability to select what goes in the middle panel, and the row of playlist management buttons at the bottom of the right panel.

lol! What on earth went wrong after those improvements! The transport controls are in the worst place, as microchip8 pointed out. It forces the user to move from bottom right to top left. I can only imagine the designer to be a left-handed ping-pong enthusiast who prefers to play with a small bat and large balls. Hence the over-sized transport buttons to facilitate contact. Having designed the layout, the placement of the transport bar must have been an afterthought, along with the equalizer. For transport, the solution is a detachable toolbar, as implemented in more complex music-studio applications. Some features in 2.1 improved on 1.4, e.g album cover searches, and support for online services.

However, I find the arrogance of the amarok developers astonishing. They decided to try to get away with excluding a feature from 2.x that they reluctantly included in 1.x, and is certainly in 1.4.10 i.e. the ability to play an audio cd. Version 2 is without this feature >:(. When the users complained to the amarok forum, the devs said it was a low priority as most users rip cd’s to a disk collection, and they decided to drop it. Well they had to rethink that, and grudgingly agreed to rework the support into a future release. :wink:

And weren’t they right?
If i ever had an audio cd i’d rip the hell out of it so that i don’t have to put it in my PC’s mouth :slight_smile:

I can’t see anyone complaining about the new script posibilites within amarok 2 :)??

The lack of equalizer is really bad (though i never used it too often, i don’t have a musician’s ears and i certainly don’t have a 5.1 sound system either).

About the repeat or random options, microchip is right, they could be placed somewhere else or better yet, make everything configurable :slight_smile:

I’d like to see an option in 2.3 to move every button etc. anywhere i want.

Anyways, i’m pretty satisfied with it, it still plays music you know :wink:

They were right about the trend, especially as tracks nowadays are burnt to disk with final destination being the various portable media players. They were wrong with the timing. This is linux and many people still have low-budget machines, quite large CD collections, but not enough spare disk capacity. Anyway, the commercial CD is not yet obsolete, and a transition period exists for CD versus hard drive + media player. They shouldn’t have tried to drop the support by stealth, hoping it would go away. It didn’t for many amarok fans.

I agree about the repeat/random options i.e. move or make configurable.

Anyways, i’m pretty satisfied with it, it still plays music you know :wink:

I was too, and it did until I upgraded 11.2 to M4. An earlier bug that prevented the building or rescanning of the collection seems to have returned. It fails to complete after around 60% resulting in no collection. Hmm, could be an openSUSE issue. :frowning:

I see the points on both sides. But in my opinion, I just use Amarok as a music player. I have a laptop with media buttons so the position of the buttons on Amarok itself are not of any concern to me. Even at my work computer, it’s not that big of a hassle to hit the play, next, or previous buttons that are “all the way” up at the top of the application (What really sucks is when you close it to the system tray then you have to move your mouse ALL THE WAY down to the system tray to open it back up [sarcasm]). I usually then minimize it and continue with work.

Otherwise at home, I’ve gotten use to the new interface. I didn’t like it at first either, but after using it daily, it’s pretty much the same application, just with a new design. Just as with KDE4 and most anything else that’s new, it’s just something you have to use a lot to get use to. Maybe you’ll grow to like it, maybe you won’t. But it doesn’t help if you’re constantly fighting it and looking for imperfections along the way. I’m not pushing away any of anyones concerns as they are completely valid points and arguments. Just saying, give it a chance to grow and gain back most of the functionality of 1.4.

As I’ve previously stated, I just use Amarok to play music. That is its purpose isn’t it? :wink:

Take Care,


Hey Ian, you are right. That’s exactly why I kept my main system on KDE 3.5.10 and amarok 1.4.10 :wink:

The KDE devs’ rush to push unfinished software onto the community had a knock-on effect onto the application developers, such as the amarok project. Given their best-of-breed status, they can’t afford to stand still. So we shouldn’t really complain too much about how the application projects are responding to that pressure. It’s all KDE4’s fault. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wouldn’t blame KDE’s developers since it is a common practice in open source world to release “unfinished” software without all the planned features etc. and additionally amarok developers had to learn Qt 4, this knowledge does not come from heaven :slight_smile:

I’d also release an unfinishd application to gain some feedback though it would be a good idea if they ask community first on how to solve UI problems etc. (i think it would never end since you can’t satisfy everyone)lol!

No, it is not from my POV that I’m arguing. I’m arguing from usability and effectiveness POV and I’m sorry you can’t distinguish between this as you have no idea how such interfaces get designed, thus you mix up my POV with the POV of usability & effectiveness.

Fun fact 1) random, repeat and replay gain functionality hidden in different sub menus

Fun fact 2) playback control buttons placed all the way up requiring one to move his pointer all the way up.

Fun fact 3) Apparently, according to the designers, it is more important to have visible buttons (next to the playback ones) right in your face to advertise your music on lastfm so some random strangers can see what you’re listening to (and OMG do they care!!) than to have buttons which allow you to easily control your music and its playback mode.

Fun fact 4) Absolutely no grouping whatsoever wrt playback and music control. Playback buttons all the way up, random & repeat hidden in sub menus, playlist controls below the list itself and apparently “show active track” is more important than other functionality, thus it gets a button

Fun fact 5) Advertised as full music managers, yet lacks CD functionality, lacks equalizer and lacks portable device controls

Fun fact 6) Repeat of playback control functionality for absolutely no reason in the “Amarok” menu.

Fun fact 7) Inefficient playlist design which cuts off too long artist/track/album names and has horrible spacing problems, even with the possibility to arrange the text of each cell to left, center or right, it still looks like cr@p. Also one cannot shrink or expand the length of a cell like it was possible in 1.4 which allows you to adjust each cell so it can show all text characters without cutting off the text

Fun fact 8) Shows by default three containers, for music collection/internet/files/playlist savings, for current track & album information and the playlist itself on the right, which makes the interfaced look like stuffed together and by default leaving little visible area for the playlist itself and makes it look even worse when one customizes the playlist look by adding rating, track type (mp3, aac, etc) and bitrate info the the playlist, etc

Now if you’re still gonna argue that these are not design and usability problems and blame it on my own POV, then 1) I’ll laugh all day long, 2) I would suggest you go take a lesson in interface designs geared towards usability and 3) probably most important, get a clue before arguing about something you have no idea :wink:

“I don’t use this or that so it’s fine like it is” is no excuse for inefficient interface design.

Hmm, those are good points. Perhaps it really comes down to the distros that rushed out with KDE4 too early, either as the default DE or as the only KDE version, e.g. openSUSE in the former category with kubuntu in the latter. :wink:

I don’t know how people can so lightly dismiss the KDE devs and place the blame on distro’s.

When did support for kde3 stop, when was the last release KDE - KDE 3.5.10 Info Page so nearly 12 mths later we have many still not satisfied with kde4. In the same time we’ve had close on 3 point releases for kde4 I suspect many more would of liked a bit more of a transition and had one less point release for 4 and one more for 3. Even since the beginnings of the transition from 3 to 4 there was only 2 minor point releases.

KDE said here is our prototype and by the way we’re stopping making parts for the released version. I’m not sure distro’s really had a choice.

I studied interface design as part of a more general course some years ago (so no expert). I know your are right about a lot of your “fun facts”, and every one of them would have to be taken seriously by a qualified UI designer. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, it seems that open source developers in this case and more generally, don’t put out a genuine “prototype” early for users to comment on. Instead they release (at best) beta software, at which stage they are understandably reluctant to make serious changes to the basic UI design.

Well, amarok 2 is way out of beta now and it still hasn’t improved. It still has the problems I mentioned above (no control grouping, no specific functionality, laughable playlist design, stuffed like a pig default interface arrangement, etc). What I really find amazing is how the devs will not admit that they’ve made a complete mess out of the interface and not only that but when people point out to them how or where it needs to be improved (or completely redesigned), all they say is a poor excuse of “let us do our thing”. Yeah I’ve let you do your thing and now I have something staring at me that looks very close to what just came out of your @ss due to you eating red hot chilly peppers an hour ago :smiley:

Further, learning QT4 has very little to do with efficient interface design geared towards usability. You don’t really code the interface by writing code with your fingers. Such things get designed with GUI designers like QT4 Designer and Glade. It is a matter of grouping functionality and having a view on how to design an interface. If you don’t have a vision or an idea how to make such an interface, no GUI designer tool will fix it for you. In the end, it all comes to humans for thinking up interfaces. If you made an interface which horribly sucks from usability POV (like one that requires you to click many times to enable a frequently used feature and not only that but one that hides them too) then this can only be blamed on the people who designed this look and way of doing things, not on the GUI designer tool.

Exaile | Music Player for GTK+

It’s a music player with amarok look’n’feel

The Gnome purist won’t like it because it’s not slavishly Gnome convention compliant, the KDE purist won’t like it because it isn’t KDE, but I like it.

I certainly wouldn’t dismiss KDE, from the root cause. BBW said:

I wouldn’t blame KDE’s developers since it is a common practice in open source world to release “unfinished” software without all the planned features etc…

Common practice doesn’t mean “best practice”. Although he made a good point, it doesn’t mean that kde devs are off the hook. I said that “perhaps” it really comes down to the distros. Why? They made the decision to go with KDE4 early or not. BTW, if no users had pleaded for the retention of 3.5.10 in openSUSE 11.1, I believe it was down and out. It was users that had to provide 3.5.10 cover for Kubuntu, not the distro.

Given that KDE4 was inevitable, we are just arguing about the timing of it, and cover provided by 3.5. Some quite savvy distros decided that KDE4 was not ready e.g. PCLOS and Mepis. The leading distros offering KDE, with more resources at stake, decided to keep up with KDE4, possibly more out of fear of being left behind in the “arms race” by their neighbours, than providing stability for their users. The KDE project would have counted on it. :wink:

I agree that kde devs made life very difficult, and they are a powerful supplier to the distros, but not all reacted in the same way.

The switch from KDE 3 to 4 was a bit painful but without it it wouldn’t be so stable now.

microchip if you think that some solutions are crappy in amarok 2 then i propose to go to amarok forums and keep ranting about that in there, you won’t achieve anything complaining about that here :slight_smile:

I’m awaiting the 2.2 version since everyone will be able to customize amarok’s look.

People complained about the plasma thngy in the middle so amarok developers allowed it to be turned off :slight_smile:

maybe they will listen to you microchip:)

At last this is open source and everyone can contribute, just create a mockup of where would you like to see those buttons and if it will be fine then they will do it :slight_smile:

Already done that, they won’t listen with their stubborn heads. Also, what I’m doing is not really ranting rather expose and describe the inefficient interface design from usability POV. My first posts were rants (as I said myself), the rest not. If you call what I wrote later on a rant, then you might just as well call each post on this forum which proposes fixes or describes inefficiency in some program also a rant. Further a rant is described as:

A speech or text that does not present a well-researched and calm argument; rather, it is typically an attack on an idea, a person or an institution, and very often lacks proven claims. Such attacks are usually personal attacks. Compare with a dialectic.

I was pretty calm, no? I exposed usability problems which many people agree with (does not have to be people from this forum only but also those outside who complain about Amarok2’s design), no? My claims are proven from usability and interface design POV, no? I did not attack personally anyone in this thread, only superficially attacked the Amarok devs, no?

Well maybe i used inappropriate words to describe what you wrote, i’m sorry for that.