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foobar,appearance and users, my point of vue
Brent Hutto
post Sep 9 2006, 14:31
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I'll address this subject from the point of view of a newcomer to Foobar 2000 ("new" as in two weeks ago) whose needs are pretty straightforward. I agree that it would be a huge improvement to provide some way to bridge the gap between a dead-stock Foobar install and a somewhat prettied-up and customized working Foobar installation.

While the ideal might be some sort of super-installer program, I don't think it is absolutely required. What I did was sift through that thread where people posted screenshots of their configuration and links to their FCS files and pick a couple of them that I liked. I had to download several plugins but those seemed to install without a hitch. OTOH, there were a couple of nice-looking screenshots that weren't workable because I either couldn't figure out what other components I needed or there was some problem installing and running something or another.

Here's what would have been very helpful. Someone could have created a web page with maybe a dozen or so configurations ranging from basic to amazing and for each one show the screen shot, give a link to a downloadable FCS file and [here's the important part] a step by step set of instructions of how to import that FCS file and whatever components or plugins or whatever are required. The idea would be that a newbie is guided through the whole process from a raw Foobar 2000 install to installing Columns_UI to finding and installing a nice-looking FCS and its required pieces-parts.

Actually, someone could create that tutorial for just one moderate-complex setup and make it available. Then it could be elaborated with other configurations and eventually a tutorial on the behind-the-scenes programming could be written using those setups as examples. How's that sound?
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Squeller
post Sep 9 2006, 16:56
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QUOTE (Canar @ Sep 8 2006, 17:38) *
If .cfg files were able to be manipulated directly by third-party programs, this whole configuration issue becomes moot. Even I have the skill to write a simple program to manipulate .ini files. It would be dead simple to swap complex foobar configurations without running into security issues like foosic/last.fm passwords, system-specific configuration, and the like.

The best way to solve this problem is simple: Keep bugging Peter to open the .cfg file format.
True. This is already on my wish list for foobar2061 for windows hx 2060.
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mai9
post Sep 10 2006, 13:47
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QUOTE (pepoluan @ Sep 9 2006, 00:54) *
QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 9 2006, 04:51) *
The point is not what customizations I or others want. The point is to have a nsis file that compiles the installation. If I don't like one customization I can try another one. posting the installed foobar folder zipped could be a good start wink.gif
That's waaaaay to big. Better to just post one's (cleaned-up) .cfg file, and a list of plugins he/she uses (with URLs).

But I am trying to make it easy. If we had the nsis installation template distributing your foobar would be as easy as double-clicking the .nsi file and sending the produced .exe
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twcinnh
post Sep 10 2006, 14:09
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Good idea. A benefit of the approach would give potential users a working foobar, one that could be modified to extend it to their own tastes and desires, but with immediate benefits.

Tom


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picmixer
post Sep 10 2006, 15:10
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QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 10 2006, 14:47) *
But I am trying to make it easy. If we had the nsis installation template distributing your foobar would be as easy as double-clicking the .nsi file and sending the produced .exe


Well, you seem to forget that under the foobar2000 license this simply is not allowed.
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Stuart60611
post Sep 10 2006, 15:43
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QUOTE (picmixer @ Sep 10 2006, 09:10) *
QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 10 2006, 14:47) *

But I am trying to make it easy. If we had the nsis installation template distributing your foobar would be as easy as double-clicking the .nsi file and sending the produced .exe


Well, you seem to forget that under the foobar2000 license this simply is not allowed.


I think we need to focus on a solution that is lawful under applicable licensure. We could endlessly debate and bicker over the appropriateness and fairness of the license limitations. But let us also not forget that we paid absolutely nothing to use and enjoy this software, and as such, I think it is disingenious to argue with the creator's decission to limit distribution of free software he spent numerous hours over a period of years creating. Bottom line: Any debate over this issue is pointless because we all must repect the law and those property rights granted to the author thereunder.

As such, I re-interate what I believe is, perhaps, the easiest to impliment (and immediate) and therefore best lawful solution. An archive can be created consisting of a new user package. This archive could consist of several of the most popular .fcs files, a variety of the most popular optional components (with the author's permission), several optional buttons, and perhaps most importantly, clear and easy to understand directions on how to install and configure all the parts.

Now what I suggest is that the debate now focus on what to include in this package. As an aside, I think some attention should be paid to chosing things to put in this archive not only to demonstate a "dialed up" foobar, but to also serve as a teaching tool so that a new user who follows the directions in installing the archive will also along the way pick up the basic skills to continue on his/her own.

This post has been edited by Stuart60611: Sep 10 2006, 16:28
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tool++
post Sep 10 2006, 15:57
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Most of the people that ask me for help are really polite and friendly. If they act like twats, I will just ignore them or explain to them how to be nice to people.


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Stuart60611
post Sep 10 2006, 16:16
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QUOTE (tool++ @ Sep 10 2006, 09:57) *
Most of the people that ask me for help are really polite and friendly. If they act like twats, I will just ignore them or explain to them how to be nice to people.


That's nice. I am not sure of its relevance, but thanks for sharing. Just kiding... But viewing your message in the context of following mine made me lol.
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twcinnh
post Sep 10 2006, 16:46
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QUOTE (tool++ @ Sep 10 2006, 10:57) *
Most of the people that ask me for help are really polite and friendly. If they act like twats, I will just ignore them or explain to them how to be nice to people.


What is the point of this message?

T


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Bachi-Bouzouk
post Sep 10 2006, 16:57
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QUOTE (twcinnh @ Sep 10 2006, 17:46) *
What is the point of this message?Probably to say that willing and polite people

Probably to say that willing and polite people can get a lot of help as newcomers wink.gif.

From this discussion, I guess that this page:
http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/steps.shtml is not enough for newcomers and that a more detailed page would help ? (But if I ever do a complete page, I won't detail several configs.. Too much work)

This post has been edited by Bachi-Bouzouk: Sep 10 2006, 16:59


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Foobar 0.9.X manual - http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/
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Stuart60611
post Sep 10 2006, 17:21
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QUOTE (Bachi-Bouzouk @ Sep 10 2006, 10:57) *
QUOTE (twcinnh @ Sep 10 2006, 17:46) *

What is the point of this message?Probably to say that willing and polite people

Probably to say that willing and polite people can get a lot of help as newcomers wink.gif.

From this discussion, I guess that this page:
http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/steps.shtml is not enough for newcomers and that a more detailed page would help ? (But if I ever do a complete page, I won't detail several configs.. Too much work)


I definitely think that this page is not enough. What new users need is a compilation of everything they need in a single place (or package) with instructions step by step as to how to install and configure each item. Definitely considerable work involved in creating comprehensive documentation. But even a basic set of instructions which hit all the high points combined with a package (or place) with all the corresponding components, buttons, etc. centeralized would be, in my opinion, a big improvement.

This post has been edited by Stuart60611: Sep 10 2006, 17:22
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loft
post Sep 10 2006, 18:15
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Yeah, it's very true! foobar seems to be a geek oriented player. I tried, without any good result, to convince friends to use it but...
I belive that foobar, in it's original package, comes stripped of almost all it's goodies, this including the interface. As Bachi-Bouzouk pointed, as a new user you need at least 2 weeks to make foobar look and do what you want. And this is only the beginning! The momments when you would be tempted to give up and try something else are too many!
What I suggest is a bigger section in the index page of the site dedicated to help: bigger links, more visible. Another good thing would be a section in Wiki where you could find configs, with screenshots and details how to get that work. The forum is like a web when it comes to sharing configs. You could easily get desoriented. Even me, as a 1+ year user I avoid to visit those treads.
And what a first time user will appreciate would be a "powerfull" foobar, already configed and filled with plugins. That's why I support the idea of a page where you could download already configed foobars, but only after you see a few screenshots and a list of plugins and added features.
These being said from 1st of October I offer my free time to maintain the Wiki, to help newbies and to make foobar2000 more popular!
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Canar
post Sep 10 2006, 21:50
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QUOTE (Squeller @ Sep 9 2006, 08:56) *
True. This is already on my wish list for foobar2061 for windows hx 2060.


Another solution would be to make a descendant class of the config writer that wrote to an .ini or something instead. Then, provide it as a service. That's provided that the config writer functionality is nicely encapsulated in a class. I'm no C++ coder, so I'm not sure how feasible this is.

That way we can completely work around a closed .cfg format.


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mai9
post Sep 11 2006, 16:43
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QUOTE (picmixer @ Sep 10 2006, 15:10) *
QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 10 2006, 14:47) *

But I am trying to make it easy. If we had the nsis installation template distributing your foobar would be as easy as double-clicking the .nsi file and sending the produced .exe


Well, you seem to forget that under the foobar2000 license this simply is not allowed.

well, I didn't have in mind to do anything, I was just exploring what could be done.

But now that you said that rolleyes.gif wink.gif Everything needed for a customized foobar is some components and the .cfg file, isn't it? do components (or .cfg) hold the same distribution limitations? Could we pack some components with the .cfg inside an installer and distribute that?

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Yotsuya
post Sep 11 2006, 16:47
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When distributing .cfg files it is important to remember that some components such as foosic and audioscrobbler store sensitive password information in that same .cfg file.

Also, the .cfg file stores information about the location of songs in your media library as well as playback information if you use the official playback component. I think we are diverging from the original topic of this thread and the side effects of swapping .cfg files have already been discussed in other threads.

This post has been edited by Yotsuya: Sep 11 2006, 16:49
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mai9
post Sep 11 2006, 17:09
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QUOTE (Yotsuya @ Sep 11 2006, 16:47) *
When distributing .cfg files it is important to remember that some components such as foosic and audioscrobbler store sensitive password information in that same .cfg file.

Also, the .cfg file stores information about the location of songs in your media library as well as playback information if you use the official playback component. I think we are diverging from the original topic of this thread and the side effects of swapping .cfg files have already been discussed in other threads.

ok, I'll go to read them.

Now the interest in a nsis template to distribute customized foobars has grown inside me laugh.gif
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twcinnh
post Sep 11 2006, 17:35
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QUOTE (Bachi-Bouzouk @ Sep 10 2006, 11:57) *
QUOTE (twcinnh @ Sep 10 2006, 17:46) *

What is the point of this message?Probably to say that willing and polite people

Probably to say that willing and polite people can get a lot of help as newcomers wink.gif.

From this discussion, I guess that this page:
http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/steps.shtml is not enough for newcomers and that a more detailed page would help ? (But if I ever do a complete page, I won't detail several configs.. Too much work)


I just looked at the page: http://eolindel.free.fr/foobar0.9/steps.shtml, and I like it very much.

One suggestion I would like to make is putting dates or Foobar version numbers on pages. During my efforts to become familiar with the foobars I first noticed the incompatability between versions. OK, I can deal with it, but I haven't seen much effort to identify version numbers with page content. One day I spent way to much wasted time pulling hair out because what I saw as Masstagger was not what was shown on the instruction page I was looking at. Turns out the page was for an old version, or I'm sill missing something. Either a date (proxy for version) or explicitly putting the Foobar version used when the page was developed would be helpful.

Second, I often print out pages, I find it's easier to follow the instructions. On the above page however, all pages won't print out. I know this is 'off topic', but anyone have any luck getting all pages to print out, not just page 1.

Thanks for that work.

Tom


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mai9
post Sep 12 2006, 07:55
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hi, I am making the first steps towards an automatic customizer for foobar.

Since I am still using foobar2000 0.8.3, I am in need of some user that has customized later versions.

At this point I need some users that are willing to help, test and talk.

interested email me here: pesol (a) gmx.net

Right now I don't know how to strip information from the foobar2000.cfg, if anybody knows please email me aswell.

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david_dl
post Sep 12 2006, 09:42
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QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 12 2006, 19:55) *
Right now I don't know how to strip information from the foobar2000.cfg, if anybody knows please email me aswell.


You can't, not without reverse engineering the entire config writing/reading system. IMHO this whole topic is stupid. Isn't what you're all really asking for is different default settings? I think that instead of automating the process, there should be an emphasis on making the process easy. Take, for example, the dockable windows of visual studio. Though less flexible than the columns ui layout system, for quickly making a change to the layout, and for new users, it is a very intuitive and quick system.
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maji
post Sep 12 2006, 10:20
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QUOTE (david_dl @ Sep 12 2006, 00:42) *
QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 12 2006, 19:55) *

Right now I don't know how to strip information from the foobar2000.cfg, if anybody knows please email me aswell.


You can't, not without reverse engineering the entire config writing/reading system. IMHO this whole topic is stupid. Isn't what you're all really asking for is different default settings? I think that instead of automating the process, there should be an emphasis on making the process easy. Take, for example, the dockable windows of visual studio. Though less flexible than the columns ui layout system, for quickly making a change to the layout, and for new users, it is a very intuitive and quick system.



I'd have to agree here, I've been using fb2k for about six months and recently upgraded to new newest beta version for .9.. It would be pretty awesome to be able to move around panels without having to delete them and re-add them, thus losing settings sometimes.
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mai9
post Sep 12 2006, 11:41
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QUOTE (david_dl @ Sep 12 2006, 09:42) *
I think that instead of automating the process, there should be an emphasis on making the process easy.

It would be great to have a simple process, but that's something I can't do.

I think it's interesting to read developer's words about translating foobar2000:
QUOTE (Peter @ Sep 6 2006, 20:41) *
There's plenty of other players around, I don't see why people who don't understand our UI as-is have to use foobar2000. I guess it's a problem for some fanboys who want to convert everyone in the world to use foobar2000, but that doesn't mean it's worth our (unpaid) work time to write and then maintain with each new version.


BTW, I am *still* waiting for somebody to mail me! pesol-a-gmx.net

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david_dl
post Sep 14 2006, 05:27
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QUOTE (mai9 @ Sep 12 2006, 23:41) *
QUOTE (david_dl @ Sep 12 2006, 09:42) *
I think that instead of automating the process, there should be an emphasis on making the process easy.

It would be great to have a simple process, but that's something I can't do.

I think it's interesting to read developer's words about translating foobar2000:
QUOTE (Peter @ Sep 6 2006, 20:41) *
There's plenty of other players around, I don't see why people who don't understand our UI as-is have to use foobar2000. I guess it's a problem for some fanboys who want to convert everyone in the world to use foobar2000, but that doesn't mean it's worth our (unpaid) work time to write and then maintain with each new version.


BTW, I am *still* waiting for somebody to mail me! pesol-a-gmx.net


I don't think you understood. There is no way to do this unless you obtain permission from the author of foobar2000, and the authors of all the components you plan on including, and distribute them along with pre-made cfg files. This is very impractical as the user will lose all their own settings when they use it.
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iOsiris
post Sep 14 2006, 07:12
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Haha, wow I had no idea that site was made by you ~ Good job man biggrin.gif
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mai9
post Sep 14 2006, 17:05
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Well, as far as I've seen, most components don't come with license, and some even offer the source. So, I don't forsee problems there.

for Peter's work. It's not a redistribution of his work. There should be a prior installation of foobar, otherwise there's no foobar to customize.

The thing I am doubting right now is the .cfg. On one hand, components modify it and the license forbids "redistribution of modified binaries". On the other hand, I always understood that binaries are exe and dll files. Also note that the .cfg file is *not* distributed in the installer afaik.

(yes, I do understand that the .cfg hold all types of personal information)

At the end of the day, I am not trying to do anything wrong, I am just working on this project that I think might help other users. At this stage I don't know if my idea is a good solution for those users that don't like spending two weeks configuring foobar2000, but I do know that I am interested in trying it.

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Peter
post Sep 15 2006, 11:56
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I have nothing against .cfg files in a custom installer with third party components, but I'm sure that everyone using your installer will enjoy getting all their existing settings nuked regardless of belonging to components contained by the installer or not.
In other words, it's not illegal to do, but IMO not a very smart thing to do either, unless you're updating a clean install.

Re: .cfg file stored as text.
Only change I'm currently considering is making each DLL's settings go into a separate file; that seems to have only advantages over the current approach and resolve the issue people here are having as well.
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