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How to have main playlist for adding tracks from library then playing?, [TOS #6: was “New to foobar and confused”]
cutcopypaste
post Sep 6 2012, 17:40
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Just starting to use Foobar and trying to make sense of the behaviour here..

I'm very used to winamp, mediamonkey and itunes, but not fully satisfied with any of them (especially because I have a pretty huge library to manage)

I'm confused by how Library Viewer Selection playlist brings up whatever you look at in the library, then if you right click that thing in the library and select 'add to current playlist' it adds it to the library viewer selection playlist.. essentially doubling. I thought something in the FAQ made sense of this, so I changed the song follows cursor options (talk about a confusing option name!) but the behaviour didn't change. So to me it seems one of these 2 things are pointless.

I like to search around for albums/songs and queue them up in a main playlist that I generally listen to, but I don't really know how to do this simply in Foobar2000. Obviously I can drag the files into the default playlist, but then I don't get any shortcuts and those 'add to current playlist' commands are completely invalidated unless i make sure not to click on the item first.

Is there some way to actually look at the 'playback queue' as a list?

What am I supposed to be doing? These commands seem to be contradictory.

I am trying columnsUI right now, but it doesn't even have the options to add to current playlist because the library view is missing.. just add to playback queue, which i can't actually see to rearrange later..

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this program is very confusing, due to all its customizability (aka lack of design wink.gif).
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tpijag
post Sep 6 2012, 18:14
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If you do not want the playlist view to change upon selection in the album list, then change the option in preferences>media library>untick activate when changed. By the way, you are not limited to viewing, using one playlist at a time. I would suggest that you use the layout edit mode, click on the playlist area, change it to a playlist tab container and then add your playlist viewer to it.

Why even bother with your closing sentence in the above post. Is a little wink is supposed to negate an insult? What lack of design - exactly.

This post has been edited by tpijag: Sep 6 2012, 18:14
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Daeron
post Sep 6 2012, 18:36
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QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 10:40) *
I'm confused by how Library Viewer Selection playlist brings up whatever you look at in the library, then if you right click that thing in the library and select 'add to current playlist' it adds it to the library viewer selection playlist.. essentially doubling.

Highlighting anything via Album List automatically renders its generated playlist (Library Viewer Selection) active by default. You can turn it off via 'Preferences/Media Library/Activate' when changed checkbox.

QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 10:40) *
I changed the song follows cursor options (talk about a confusing option name!) but the behaviour didn't change.

That's a different thing entirely. When that option is selected, highlighting an item in your playlist will mark it as the next one in playback queue.

Cursor follows playback means the next song will be picked in normal order and the highlight will jump on it automatically once songs change.

QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 10:40) *
I like to search around for albums/songs and queue them up in a main playlist that I generally listen to, but I don't really know how to do this simply in Foobar2000. Obviously I can drag the files into the default playlist, but then I don't get any shortcuts and those 'add to current playlist' commands are completely invalidated unless i make sure not to click on the item first.

If you are trying out Columns UI anyway I'd suggest bringing up 'Preferences/Display Columns UI/Main' tab and playing with the Quick setup button.

Choose a layout with 'Filters' in it which should help picking specific songs/artists/albums etc. You can either rely on the generated playlist or just drag and drop to a custom playlist and start playing that.

QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 10:40) *
because the library view is missing

You can download foo_albumlist component to get something similar in CUI. The original Album list is still there under Library/Album list, by the way. But in my opinion you are better off with Filters for starting.

QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 10:40) *
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this program is very confusing, due to all its customizability.

As I said try the pre-set layouts first to get a hang of it. Then if you feel more confident you can customize everything to your liking.

This post has been edited by Daeron: Sep 6 2012, 18:41
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Canar
post Sep 6 2012, 18:43
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If you honestly think customizability is a "lack of design" then you fail to comprehend the massive amounts of elite design that went into making foobar2000 as customizable as it is...


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dhromed
post Sep 6 2012, 19:35
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QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 18:40) *
I'm confused by how Library Viewer Selection playlist brings up whatever you look at in the library, [...]
I like to search around for albums/songs and queue them up in a main playlist that I generally listen to, but I don't really know how to do this simply in Foobar2000.


Turn off the Library Viewer Selection playlist. It will do you no good at this point. In fact it may never do you any good. wink.gif Depends on your usage.
Since that list is the currently focused list, "send to current" will obviously send to that playlist.

Configure Album List's actions like double-click and Enter under Preferences > Media Libary > Album List.

QUOTE
Is there some way to actually look at the 'playback queue' as a list?

You don't need to. That's what playlists are for.

Foobar is built to accomodate lots of playlist creation/destruction. I've always found the one-playlist idea in Winamp limiting. I want to quickly make new lists, then maybe delete them when I'm done.

QUOTE
I am trying columnsUI right now


Forget about columns UI until you're a bit more familiar with foobar itself. I believe you're trying to heap too much customizations onto your installation, and that will result in confusion for any new user in any program. You wouldn't recommend new Winamp users to mess around with freeform 3-style skins immediately, would you? smile.gif
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db1989
post Sep 6 2012, 21:11
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QUOTE (cutcopypaste @ Sep 6 2012, 17:40) *
Is there some way to actually look at the 'playback queue' as a list?
No, the playback queue is not what you want. Trust me on this. There are plenty of past discussion on what the queue is (read: not much) vs. what it isn’t (read: what many people think it is) if you care that much, but suffice it to say that you should simply create a normal playlist, think of it as a now-playing list, and use that as your target for files you want to play.

Does foobar2000 really have to have a playback queue, anyway? It seems to cause more trouble than it solves.

This post has been edited by db1989: Sep 6 2012, 21:12
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Canar
post Sep 6 2012, 22:42
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Sep 6 2012, 13:11) *
Does foobar2000 really have to have a playback queue, anyway? It seems to cause more trouble than it solves.
The one "killer feature" I've found for it is that it allows scheduled, controlled switching between playlists.


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BenB
post Sep 6 2012, 23:23
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I use the queue fairly often. Mostly I use it to build a random, on-the-spot playlist so to speak. Just drag and drop tracks onto it and hit play. I also like being able to just see a simple list of songs by queueing a playlist instead of looking at it in the Playlist Viewer, NG Playlist, etc. Of course I use the Queue Contents Editor component for this.

This post has been edited by BenB: Sep 6 2012, 23:27
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db1989
post Sep 7 2012, 01:25
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QUOTE (Canar @ Sep 6 2012, 22:42) *
The one "killer feature" I've found for it is that it allows scheduled, controlled switching between playlists.

Ah, I suppose that does sound vaguely useful! biggrin.gif How is this done, again? I only have a faint memory of having read about the technique before. My uneducated guess is that the queue doesn’t store the ID of the previous playlist if it receives tracks from more than one playlist, and so that could be used to switch…?

QUOTE (BenB @ Sep 6 2012, 23:23) *
I use the queue fairly often. Mostly I use it to build a random, on-the-spot playlist so to speak. Just drag and drop tracks onto it and hit play. I also like being able to just see a simple list of songs by queueing a playlist instead of looking at it in the Playlist Viewer, NG Playlist, etc. Of course I use the Queue Contents Editor component for this.

Yeah, this was my point … tongue.gif … that I think it’s better to make a distinction between (1) a now-playing list for normal usage and (2) the queue as a temporary, almost ‘emergency’ interruption to the scheduled list of tracks. I’m not saying you don’t make such a distinction, but I can’t tell from this.

Ultimately, of course I don’t mean to lecture people about how to manage their library – but the assumption that the queue can be used as just a special playlist, with all the features of a real playlist, seems to lead to large amounts of confusion, and so I tend to advise against it in favour of actual playlists.
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cutcopypaste
post Sep 7 2012, 18:16
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Thanks for the comments.. helps kinda figure out how things are supposed to work. Still trying to figure out how to make it work great, but it's certainly nice and fast!

QUOTE (Canar @ Sep 6 2012, 18:43) *
If you honestly think customizability is a "lack of design" then you fail to comprehend the massive amounts of elite design that went into making foobar2000 as customizable as it is...


When I booted up foobar and started looking around, I got the sense that I would have to design my own experience and figure out how I wanted it to behave. You could say an application was more designed if it laid out exactly how things were supposed to play out without giving the user an option to change it. Whether that's good or bad is another matter. I just find it an interesting 'problem' in software design.. there are interface designers who say that giving user's any options is a sign that the design is weak bc they didn't know the 'best' way to do things out of the gate; though I definitely don't agree with that I can make sense of where they're coming from. I probably should have left the comment out... don't mean to cause a stink.. but starting to use this program is pretty daunting
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Daeron
post Sep 7 2012, 19:54
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Giving the user creative control is a fundamental design choice. Forcing him into what the developer thought would work the best is just another possible direction.

If anything, allowing almost limitless customization requires waaay more effort in planning than making a restricted environment. There is no best choice because people are not the same and never will be.

This post has been edited by Daeron: Sep 7 2012, 19:59
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q-stankovic
post Sep 7 2012, 22:32
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Sep 7 2012, 02:25) *
Yeah, this was my point … tongue.gif … that I think it’s better to make a distinction between (1) a now-playing list for normal usage and (2) the queue as a temporary, almost ‘emergency’ interruption to the scheduled list of tracks. I’m not saying you don’t make such a distinction, but I can’t tell from this.
The best definition for foobar2000's playback queue is: to override the current playbackorder. Your playlist is on shuffle but you want to play a few tracks in a special order - add them to queue; you are listening to albums in default playbackorder but you wants to pick just a few tracks from the next album - use the queue; you want to jump to another playlist - the queue helps.


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BenB
post Sep 8 2012, 00:00
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QUOTE (db1989 @ Sep 6 2012, 19:25) *
Yeah, this was my point … tongue.gif … that I think it’s better to make a distinction between (1) a now-playing list for normal usage and (2) the queue as a temporary, almost ‘emergency’ interruption to the scheduled list of tracks. I’m not saying you don’t make such a distinction, but I can’t tell from this.

I make a distinction but it's not the same as yours. I have my use for the playback queue, you have yours, and Tom, Dick and Harriet have theirs. Whatever works best for each of us is how each of us should use it.

The only thing I don't like about the playback queue is its ability to continue playing music from whatever active playlist you're (unfortunately) at when the queue is empty. I received a rude introduction to this after dozing off listening to jazz and was awakened by something my kid swears is music.
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q-stankovic
post Sep 8 2012, 00:21
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QUOTE (BenB @ Sep 8 2012, 01:00) *
The only thing I don't like about the playback queue is its ability to continue playing music from whatever active playlist you're (unfortunately) at when the queue is empty.
That is because of its purpose to override playbackorder. Where should it continue the playback else? If you have a special playlist /track you like to continue so just add it as last item in the queue. It's really that simple! wink.gif

To stop playback after queues last track you can use Stop_after_Queue component: http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/foobar2000/?c...top_after_queue

This post has been edited by q-stankovic: Sep 8 2012, 00:24


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BenB
post Sep 8 2012, 13:53
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QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Sep 7 2012, 18:21) *
Where should it continue the playback else?

Nowhere. I assumed playback would stop after the queue emptied.

Thanks for the link to that component, but it's not necessary. All one has to do to prevent playback from continuing is to empty the active playlist.

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dhromed
post Sep 8 2012, 16:44
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QUOTE (BenB @ Sep 8 2012, 14:53) *
QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Sep 7 2012, 18:21) *
Where should it continue the playback else?

Nowhere. I assumed playback would stop after the queue emptied.


Normally, the queue has a length of 1, namely the track that's going to play next. Normally, that's the next item in a playlist. So after the queue ends, foobar will continue playing by adding the next logical item to the queue.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why the queue exists. All that foobar needs to know is what the next item is, doesn't it? Did the queue exist in early foobar versions? Was there user demand for a magical invisible playlist with barely documented behaviour and a very sparse subset of the features of an actual playlist? That would be a little odd.

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db1989
post Sep 9 2012, 20:59
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 8 2012, 16:44) *
Was there user demand for a magical invisible playlist with barely documented behaviour and a very sparse subset of the features of an actual playlist? That would be a little odd.

I agree with your other concerns, but the answer to this is ‘quite possibly’: I recall a number of people starting (sub)discussions about their desire that fb2k have Winamp-this/now-playing-that and the inaccurate idea that the queue is a good way to do this.

Which, as one fairly standard reply here goes, reveals the problem of assuming that one program will/should act like another one. But it does also (as you’ve said) raise some questions about the queue itself – or at least its shortage of documentation.

[/pitchfork]
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q-stankovic
post Sep 11 2012, 20:34
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Sep 8 2012, 17:44) *
To be honest, I'm not even sure why the queue exists. All that foobar needs to know is what the next item is, doesn't it?
As i said: it exists as feature to override the playbackorder. That is exactly the same feature with exactly the same purpose like in winamp provided by the most popular plugin in winamp universe: the jtfe-plugin by dro. This plugin was released for winamp 2 and 5 but was a core feature of winamp 3. There are also several players that replicates the functionality in same way: f.e. the quite popular aimp for windows or the popular amarok for linux.

That feature is not an invention of foobar2000 so there is indeed no need to make such a mystery

This post has been edited by q-stankovic: Sep 11 2012, 20:35


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