Composer entry from track list

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JoePublic
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Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:29 pm

This post has to do with entering data into the Composer field from the "track list" display only (I'm not sure what the correct name for this area is), NOT from the Properties window.

In MM3 (which I was using until a month ago), Composer entry would proceed as follows:
1. "Slow" double-click Composer field to open it for editing. (Assume the field does not already contain data.)
2. The user starts typing. Let's say the first composer is Burt Bacharach and Burt has been used before as a composer.
3. After the user types a few letters (how many depends on what other composers there are in the MM db), MM3 would auto-fill a composer name and it might present a drop down list of other similar composers. Assume that the user types "Burt Ba" and that MM3 presents the full name of Burt Bacharach.
4. The user hits Enter to accept Burt Bacharach.
5. The user enters a semi-colon to signify the end of Bacharach and the beginning of the 2nd composer.
6. The user types (for example) "Hal D". As before, MM3 presents Hal David.
7. The user hits Enter to accept Hal David.
8. The user hits Enter a second time to end the editing event. MM updates the db and closes the field for editing.
(end of sequence)

In MMW 4.1.1, the sequence of events is different and, IMO is a bug.
Steps 1 through 3 are the same, so I won't repeat them. But step 4 is different.
4. The user hits Enter to accept Burt Bacharach. MM updates the db and closes the field for editing.
(end of sequence)

This behavior is really unhelpful if you have an additional composer to enter. In order to enter a second composer, you either have to type Bacharach's full name, enter the semi-colon, and then start entering the next composer's name. OR you type "Burt Ba", hit the End key (which can be inconveniently located on the keyboard), hit semi-colon, and then start entering the next composer's name.

If you DON'T have a second composer to enter, the new flow saves the user exactly one keystroke, and that is hitting the Enter key the second time. IMO, that's a bad trade-off.

Note that in MMW 4.1.1, if you update the Composer from the Properties box, it works just like it used to in MM3. So the editing process is different depending on where you are entering the field (which itself is a design error in my opinion, but please don't fix that by changing the Properties editing process to match the new "track list" editing process).

Could this behavior PLEASE be put back the way it was in MM3 in the track list?

JoePublic
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:25 pm

I see my post was moved from the "bugs" section of the forum to the "wishlist" section. Yes, I can see that if the editing process is working as designed, my request can be seen as a wishlist item, even though I just want it to work as it did before.

I want to say, however, that it is darned annoying that so many things were changed from MM3 to MM4 that make MM4 more difficult or less capable than MM3. Or in some cases, things were changed just for the sake of change. Some things that come to mind:
Composer updates (the topic of this thread)
Elimination of the ability to search by exact text-string in the song title (and maybe in other fields, too, idk)
Elimination of the ability to produce extended format m3u playlists in favor of less-rich pls format playlists
Elimination of the Glided skin
Forced use of context-sensitive Properties display & editing
Forced segregation of Classical Music from other music
Adding tracks of a newly attached drive to the library by default
Force changing when a track is considered to be played (thereby updating the Last Played column)

Most or all of these changes occurred without advance warning. It was just all of a sudden, what happened to my skin? Where did my classical music go? Why is my exported playlist in a different format? Why do I have all of these tracks in my library from a drive I never told MM to scan? Why isn't the search working as it did before? I stopped this track before it ended - why is it showing as Played? I'm sure I'll find more "gotchas" as I use MM4 more.

I bought a Lifetime Gold license when MM3 was current because I thought MM was really good and I wanted to support its development. Then MM4 came out and it was really buggy so I quickly reverted to MM3. Now a couple of years later, I'm committing to MM4. It's still really good in a lot of ways, but IMO worse than MM3. I wouldn't buy a lifetime license today.

I do understand that some or maybe all of these changes occurred based on user feedback. The mistake was in thinking ALL users wanted these changes. I've read enough forum posts to know that isn't the case. Why didn't the developers make some of these new features available optionally? Add that to my wishlist.

Lowlander
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by Lowlander » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:22 pm

Maybe you should spend a little more time with MM4. Although some things changed, some are user definable.
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the ability to produce extended format m3u playlists in favor of less-rich pls format playlists
Not aware of this, I only know that it was changed from extended M3U to the more compatible basic M3U. However this just affects the build in exporter, you can still export to extended M3U if that's what you need with Addons like: http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... d+playlist
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the Glided skin
Skins can only be included as default if they're full functional in the new release. Glided wasn't, however it wasn't removed for those who upgraded from MM3, it's just no longer included in MediaMonkey 4.1 when doing a clean install.
JoePublic wrote:Forced segregation of Classical Music from other music
This is not true. Gold users can modify Collections to their liking and MediaMonkey 4.1 won't separate the 2 on a clean install. Go to File > Manage Collections and edit the Music Collection to include the criteria Type = Classical Music.
JoePublic wrote:Adding tracks of a newly attached drive to the library by default
Not sure if you mean they're automatically added? I've never seen this happen so I'm not sure why you would (Folder Monitoring?)?
JoePublic wrote:Force changing when a track is considered to be played (thereby updating the Last Played column)
This was based on user feedback. It was also set to 100% as the skip counter was introduced.
JoePublic wrote:Forced use of context-sensitive Properties display & editing
Properties you aren't really as you can always change Type on files. For many it makes sense though. You can set everything to use the same Collection so that like MM3 any change affects everything. However MM4 is much more flexible than MM3 as many wouldn't want to view their movie Collection the same as their Music Collection.
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the ability to search by exact text-string in the song title (and maybe in other fields, too, idk)
This is still possible.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

JoePublic
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:10 am

I'm going to reply as briefly as I can. First, nothing against you Lowlander. You are always here on the forums helping people out. My criticisms are strictly against some of the choices the developers made.
Lowlander wrote:Maybe you should spend a little more time with MM4. Although some things changed, some are user definable.
I concede some of my current opinions are based on my experiences with MM 4.0.x which left a decidedly bad taste in my mouth.
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the ability to produce extended format m3u playlists in favor of less-rich pls format playlists
Not aware of this, I only know that it was changed from extended M3U to the more compatible basic M3U. However this just affects the build in exporter, you can still export to extended M3U if that's what you need with Addons like: http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... d+playlist
That's nice to know that an add-on restores the dropped functionality. However, it remains that the core program got rid of the extended format. Add-ons aren't supported, right? The more inclusive approach would have been to add the new format while keeping the old format as a second export choice. The playlist export format is actually kind of minor, but it demonstrates the overall approach to enhancements.
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the Glided skin
Skins can only be included as default if they're full functional in the new release. Glided wasn't, however it wasn't removed for those who upgraded from MM3, it's just no longer included in MediaMonkey 4.1 when doing a clean install.
I'm guessing by not "fully functional" you mean that Glided doesn't handle video playback? (1) Not all users use MM for video, so for us that's not an issue. (2) Long-time users at some point are going to retire their old PC and get a new one. Some of those people are going to do a clean install on the new PC and be surprised that the old skin went away. Glided is much more legible and accessible than the other skins. Ventis could at least have kept Glided or something similar available as an option, either in the install or on the website for download.
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Adding tracks of a newly attached drive to the library by default
Not sure if you mean they're automatically added? I've never seen this happen so I'm not sure why you would (Folder Monitoring?)?
I can't tell you the exact sequence of events. I didn't document them. All I know is that I attached an external drive to my new PC that had a back-up of my library (the song files themselves, not the db). In the course of using MM, I discovered that MM added on its own without me giving the OK to do so, about 5,000 tracks from that drive (G:) to the db. I had to go in to the options and tell MM to leave G: out of the tree and not sync to/from it. And then of course I had to remove all those tracks from the library db. I'm sure users like the automatic sync feature. I probably do, too. But the FIRST time MM goes to sync a given remote device, it ought to ask the user if it's OK to do that. (PS- I don't use Folder Monitoring, so it wasn't that.)
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Force changing when a track is considered to be played (thereby updating the Last Played column)
This was based on user feedback. It was also set to 100% as the skip counter was introduced.
You're making my point here. Some people like the change in designating when a track is considered to have been "played". Others don't. Ventis changed it for everyone. Again, why not parameterize this feature so that both groups of people are happy? (I don't know what you mean by It was set to 100%, and I'm not familiar with the skip counter.)
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Forced use of context-sensitive Properties display & editing
Properties you aren't really as you can always change Type on files. For many it makes sense though. You can set everything to use the same Collection so that like MM3 any change affects everything. However MM4 is much more flexible than MM3 as many wouldn't want to view their movie Collection the same as their Music Collection.
I guess I should have been more explicit here. I wasn't talking about Movie properties. Movies were new to MM4, so the Properties box didn't represent a change. Classical Music wasn't new to MM4 (as a genre). A lot of people were confused when they upgraded from MM3 to MM4 because their Classical Music seemed to disappear. It's all in the forum archives.
Lowlander wrote:
JoePublic wrote:Elimination of the ability to search by exact text-string in the song title (and maybe in other fields, too, idk)
This is still possible.
In another thread, I documented how the Search Box no longer recognizes an exact match if you pair it with a field. That's an elimination of a feature unless the developers are treating it as a bug. If I put title:"arm" in the MM3 Search box when searching the full library, among the results I get the song "Twist My Arm" but not "You're in the Army Now", and that is the correct result. Do the same thing in MM4 and you get both songs, and that is wrong. In MM3, in order to get both songs, you would leave off the quotes (title:arm). In MM4, the results with and without the quotes are the same, and that is incorrect in my opinion. Also, I just discovered that you apparently can't search with exact match within a Playlist. If I have a Playlist with both the "Arm" and "Army" songs, I believe I used to be able to put "arm" in the Search box while displaying that Playlist and just get the "Arm" song. That doesn't appear to work anymore. Another unwelcome surprise. The hits keep coming. Although I just had a thought. I am using Glided. Is this possibly an area where it isn't "fully functional"? If so, that would be a real bummer. But what is also a bummer is that Search is so much less capable than before. And that's a feature I use a lot. I'm sure other people do, too.

nohitter151
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by nohitter151 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:22 am

JoePublic wrote:That's nice to know that an add-on restores the dropped functionality. However, it remains that the core program got rid of the extended format. Add-ons aren't supported, right? The more inclusive approach would have been to add the new format while keeping the old format as a second export choice. The playlist export format is actually kind of minor, but it demonstrates the overall approach to enhancements.
They're supported by the addon developer.
JoePublic wrote:I'm guessing by not "fully functional" you mean that Glided doesn't handle video playback? (1) Not all users use MM for video, so for us that's not an issue. (2) Long-time users at some point are going to retire their old PC and get a new one. Some of those people are going to do a clean install on the new PC and be surprised that the old skin went away. Glided is much more legible and accessible than the other skins. Ventis could at least have kept Glided or something similar available as an option, either in the install or on the website for download.
There are visual artifacts in MediaMonkey 4.1 with the Glided skin. This issue has been resolved for version 4.1.2 (beta testing now) and the Glided skin will be published to the addons page when 4.1.2 is official.
JoePublic wrote:You're making my point here. Some people like the change in designating when a track is considered to have been "played". Others don't. Ventis changed it for everyone. Again, why not parameterize this feature so that both groups of people are happy? (I don't know what you mean by It was set to 100%, and I'm not familiar with the skip counter.)
Adding options for every single little thing leads to confusion in documentation and adds complexity to what most users already call a "too confusing" array of options. It also complicates the code and requires complex testing.

Not to mention there is an addon that can change this behavior as well.
JoePublic wrote:Classical Music wasn't new to MM4 (as a genre). A lot of people were confused when they upgraded from MM3 to MM4 because their Classical Music seemed to disappear. It's all in the forum archives.
Sure, but why bring up an old topic that has already been resolved? As of MM 4.1 Classical music is part of the music collection for new installs.
JoePublic wrote:I believe I used to be able to put "arm" in the Search box while displaying that Playlist and just get the "Arm" song.
You believe? That's not very substantial.
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JoePublic
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:20 pm

Nohitter, I respect you, too, as a long-time presence on the forum. You've helped a lot of people, myself included. I don't want to be argumentative. I am trying to point out some important problems, including some things that used to work and now don't. I've admitted I have a frustration level with the direction of some of the enhancements/changes and so I may have been a little snippy.
nohitter151 wrote:They're supported by the addon developer.
OK. I'm happy there is an add-on to add back in a feature Ventis eliminated. However, I did just go through all the addons on the addons pages. I didn't see which addon would do that. Perhaps I missed it.
nohitter151 wrote:There are visual artifacts in MediaMonkey 4.1 with the Glided skin. This issue has been resolved for version 4.1.2 (beta testing now) and the Glided skin will be published to the addons page when 4.1.2 is official.
That is good news. FWIW, I haven't noticed any visual problems with Glided.
nohitter151 wrote:Adding options for every single little thing leads to confusion in documentation and adds complexity to what most users already call a "too confusing" array of options. It also complicates the code and requires complex testing.
That's the trade off. The developers have to decide if it is worth the extra effort to maintain the status quo. As with any other user feedback, if no one speaks up, the developers won't know what the users want. That is part of what I am trying to do here: speak up and let the developers know that there is a constituency for keeping some of the prior-version features intact.
nohitter151 wrote:Not to mention there is an addon that can change this behavior as well.
I'll look on the addons page.
nohitter151 wrote:Sure, but why bring up an old topic that has already been resolved? As of MM 4.1 Classical music is part of the music collection for new installs.
I brought it up to back up my assertion that Ventis has a history of releasing (shall I say?) bold changes to the way their application works, changes that aren't always warmly received by a number of users and aren't always communicated well.
nohitter151 wrote:You believe? That's not very substantial.
I wasn't sure if that's how it worked before, so that's why I phrased it that way. So now I hooked up my old PC again and fired up MM 3.2.5 to see what the old behavior was. I was mistaken. I created a Playlist with 2 songs: "Do You Care" and "Down Argentina Way". Then I searched on title:"do". Both songs are returned in the result. When I just search on "do", it still returns both songs. So my memory of how MM3 performed searches on a Playlist was incorrect. I apologize.

However, in MM 3 if I'm searching the whole library and not just the Playlist, "do" or title:"do" will not return "Down Argentina Way". MM4 will return the Argentina song. In my view, that is a problem, and I was trying to report it as such in the other thread. It for sure is a change in the way the program operates, and it for sure removes a capability from Search. I use Search often to construct thematically-based Playlists from my 183,000 track library to support a weekly webcast. This change makes it a lot more difficult to do that. I also try to populate & update my Composer tags. The changes to Composer edits from the track listing make that process more difficult, unnecessarily so IMO. That was the original point of this thread.

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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by Lowlander » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:57 pm

And as stated it's a setting allowing the user to control what Search returns, so nothing was removed, it was made an option on how it behaves.
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JoePublic
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:39 am

Lowlander wrote:And as stated it's a setting allowing the user to control what Search returns, so nothing was removed, it was made an option on how it behaves.
Lowlander, I read what you said here and I'm thinking, what is he talking about? What am I missing? So I went back and looked at Options > Search and checked the Search Whole Words Only box. When I looked at that before, the wording confused me and I made a bad assumption about what that particular control meant. So now I see I can search like I want to. I see that I don't use the quotes, instead I use the asterisk. title:do just gives me "do". title:do* gives me "do" and "down", etc. I'm very happy about that. I'm also mortified that I was so dense and that I wasted everyone's time on that topic. I'm very sorry.

Since the original topic of this thread was editing the Composer field in the Filelisting display, is there a setting for that so that it will have the MM3 functionality? Or do I have a legitimate point on this one?

Lowlander
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by Lowlander » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:37 pm

You need to use End instead of Enter in MM4.
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JoePublic
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Re: Composer entry from track list

Post by JoePublic » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:41 pm

It's more than just having to use End (a key that doesn't have a standard placement on the keyboard) vs. Enter (a key that does have a standard placement and btw is larger, making it easier to use for data entry).

In MM3 when editing from the Filelisting (and, btw, still when editing in the Properties box in MM4) you would also get the drop down box which makes data entry easier. For example, I have composers Carole Bayer and Carole Bayer Sanger (same person, she got married). When the drop down box is available, it is enough to type in "Carole B" and you will see a list containing the 2 names and perhaps more. Then you can click on Carole Bayer Sanger without having to type more of her name. That is easier and quicker than the way it is now. I could cite hundreds of examples of this type of situation (and not just involving songwriters that got married).

Another use of the drop down box is to correct some typos. I have a tendency to not always press the shift key properly and so a name ends up in lower case. The drop down, however, will show the correct case (assuming I entered it properly before). Sometimes it is easier to click on the drop down value than to arrow over or backspace to make the correction in the field itself.

Finally, and this is just personal preference, I think it's easier to see what you're doing when the drop down list is there. If I type in "Michael Ja", MM4 fills in the rest of the name "ckson" in white text with black background. In MM3 and in the MM4 Properties box, you also see the full name Michael Jackson as the top item in the drop-down. I find that my eyes pick that up more quickly, allowing me to complete the entry just a tiny bit sooner and with less eye strain. For single entries, that's not such a big deal. For a longer editing session, that adds up. Maybe it's just that I haven't gotten used to the other presentation yet.

I rather suspect the people that made these changes don't do a lot of data entry or manual editing in this field, so perhaps they don't appreciate the importance of little changes like this for people that do. I also suspect there aren't many of us who DO a lot of manual data entry into MM so not many users are inconvenienced. So, I'll keep the old way on the wishlist and deal with the new way as it is today.

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