Different field order in Properties box for different types

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JoePublic
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Fenton, MO

Different field order in Properties box for different types

Post by JoePublic » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:27 am

I just upgraded from MM3 to MM4. I haven't decided if I like the Classical Music type or not (as being distinct from other Music), so I'm putting that aside for now.

What I know I DON'T like is the different field order in the Properties box for the Music type compared to the Classical Music type.

For Classical Music, we have Title, Artist, Conductor, Composer, Album, Album Artist in the left column and Rating, Genre, Date, Original Date, Disc #, Track #, Lyricist in the right column.

For Music, we have Title, Artist, Album, Album Artist, Composer, Conductor in the left column and Rating, Genre, Disc #, Track #, Date, Original Date, Lyricist in the right column. I highlighted the fields that are different between the two types.

To me this makes little sense. It just makes it needlessly difficult to edit your Properties if you have both types of music. The user can't get used to a single order the information appears in. Since the fields in both boxes are the same on this tab anyway, I wish the fields would appear in the same order.

I read elsewhere on the forum that the rationale was that different fields are "more important" to Classical Music than to non-classical. My reaction to that is, so what? It's also important to have a consistent user interface and consistent data entry masks.

Also, if we are ranking fields based on importance, why does the tab order still bounce back and forth between the left and right columns when you are doing manual data entry? For example, on the Music box, the user tabs from Title to Rating to Artist to Genre to Album to Disc #, etc. That is not logical AT ALL, and the fields are definitely not being tabbed to in the order of importance. MM 3 also had a similar "bad" tab order. So, presumably, the MM designer doesn't expect users to use the tab key to move between fields and fill them in sequentially (i.e., in tab order). I guess that means the designers expect the user to click on the field(s) they intend to edit or fill. And if that's the case, it's no more difficult to click on row 5 for the Composer for all music types than to click on row 4 for Classical and row 5 for non-Classical. Even if the user only fills in Composer for Classical and leaves it blank for non-Classical, row 5 is as good as row 4.

I'm just throwing this out as my feedback on this particular change to the program. it would be nice if a future MM version would give the user the option as far as positioning fields in the Properties box. Is this something that is skinnable? If so, maybe I'll have to learn how to create a skin.
Last edited by JoePublic on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nohitter151
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Re: Different field order in Properties box for different ty

Post by nohitter151 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:50 am

It is not possible to change the properties panel with a skin, though I believe new properties panel tabs can be created via a script.

That being said, I think you're right - if two panels for different types share the same fields, the ui should consistently put them in the same place when possible. I'll look into it.
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JoePublic
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 11:43 am
Location: Fenton, MO

Re: Different field order in Properties box for different ty

Post by JoePublic » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:21 pm

Thank you, nohitter. I appreciate your looking into it.

When talking about the tab order above (how it goes through the fields left-to-right, then down one row and repeat, etc.), I probably should have asked specifically that consideration be given to changing that, also. (MM 3 kind of did the same thing.) Whether or not MM decides to change the Properties panel in the way I asked for above, it would make more sense from a data entry standpoint to have the tab order be top-to-bottom on the left column, then go up to the top of the right column (to the Rating field) and then continue to the bottom of the right column. (This is only in reference to the Basic tab... I don't have an opinion on the other tabs since I don't use them much.) Perhaps this could be considered for an enhancement? Especially if other changes will be made to the Properties panel? Thanks.

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