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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
krabapple
post Dec 7 2009, 18:43
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Here's the sitch. I myself use foobar2K and my friends are all impressed by me using a laptop as a media server.
So now I need to set one up for one of my friends. However, I think f2K is too tweako for him by several orders of magnitude.
He's not a computer oriented guy, his main exposure is using a desktop for email, word processing and such.

He DOES know how to rip his CDs and encode them to properly tagged FLAC files (I configured EAC for him, thougjh I may
switch him to dbPoweramp).

Is there a really easy-to-use alternative to F2k? Like an iTunes that plays flacs? Because I don't want to
have to do constant IT support for his music server after it's set up. Ideally it should

-- play FLAC files
-- be able to scan a drive/folder and update the music library automatically
-- display album art (finding and downloading automatically would be nice too), and basic track information (title, album, artist, date, tracknumber)
-- allow EASY creation of playlists
-- allow tag/filename editing (this is secondary to the other functions)







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greynol
post Dec 8 2009, 19:55
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QUOTE
it's clear that you prefer to introduce him to anything but foobar2000

What an inflamatory an unnecessary remark.

Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).


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Canar
post Dec 8 2009, 21:21
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QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 8 2009, 13:55) *
Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).
To be fair, the first post in this thread wasn't the most even-handed either.


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krabapple
post Dec 8 2009, 22:15
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QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 8 2009, 15:21) *
QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 8 2009, 13:55) *
Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).
To be fair, the first post in this thread wasn't the most even-handed either.



What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K. Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose? I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable). But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Dec 8 2009, 22:16
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Canar
post Dec 8 2009, 22:31
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 16:15) *
What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K. Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose? I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable). But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.
The issue is that other than automatically downloading album art, there's nothing in the list of requirements you make that foobar2000 doesn't do as effectively and user-friendly as any other music app, and it's certainly a sight easier than a lot of apps.

Given your first post, foobar2000 is really quite a good fit, you just don't seem to be familiar enough with its feature set to know some of the obvious answers (such as playlist creation).

You just seem to have this pre-conceived notion that it will not work for the application, which has proven itself to be false in my experience a couple dozen times. This seems bizarre for someone actually looking for the best tool for the job.

User-friendliness is actually a very pointed goal of foobar2000 and is a constant topic of discussion in the relevant IRC channels.

But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...

This post has been edited by Canar: Dec 8 2009, 22:35


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krabapple
post Dec 9 2009, 04:15
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QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 8 2009, 16:31) *
QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 16:15) *
What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K. Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose? I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable). But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.
The issue is that other than automatically downloading album art, there's nothing in the list of requirements you make that foobar2000 doesn't do as effectively and user-friendly as any other music app, and it's certainly a sight easier than a lot of apps.


That F2K can do lots of neat stuff doesn't mean it's necessarily user-friendly...much less the *most* user friendly choice, which, if you'll note, is what I'm asking for in the thread subject. If you seriously believe F2K to be that, just say so. I think F2K is a great Swiss Army knife as media players go but *useful* is not the same things as user-friendly.

QUOTE
Given your first post, foobar2000 is really quite a good fit, you just don't seem to be familiar enough with its feature set to know some of the obvious answers (such as playlist creation).


And here I am , using it for a couple of years, still not quite on top of at least one fundamental function. Before visiting this thread again, for giggles, I just spent another few minutes at it, playing with various options for making playlists. Hilarity ensued-- including disappearance (overwriting) of an incipient playlist..'and they said it couldn't happen'.

Actually, I have an inkling what might be wrong (aside from just not needing to make playlists often enough in the past, to sit down and figure it out). Think I'll post a screen cap of my longstanding configuration, and maybe you'll see why I'm having a problem. It will be a new thread on a different subforum.

QUOTE
You just seem to have this pre-conceived notion that it will not work for the application, which has proven itself to be false in my experience a couple dozen times. This seems bizarre for someone actually looking for the best tool for the job.

User-friendliness is actually a very pointed goal of foobar2000 and is a constant topic of discussion in the relevant IRC channels.


I wouldn't know about IRC, I only know my experience with it as a very sympathetic user, and what comments I've seen here on HA about F2K's target user, over the course of a couple of years. User friendliness seems a late-come goal at best, whereas for a long time it was secondary or even tertiary to F2K's main thrust. That said, I applaud that all along F2k could be got up and running with just a download and install (though even there you get choices which might daunt the naive user). Adding "Quick Setup' was a real move forward as well. But a comprehensive non-jargony help function/resource is still needed...as are help buttons that actually bring up help when you click them ...as well as immediate relief like mouseover popups explaining what an 'NG Group' is for example, or what a playlist vs a playback queue entails. You see where I'm going with this? The average user wants computery stuff to be as 'intuitive' as possible and when it isn't they want quick enlightenment. Apple's made a nice fortune off of these ideas.

Btw, one thing I've left out of this terribly fascinating discussion so far is that I do have a couple of other friends who already have F2k experience via me. One took my recommendation two years ago to use it. After two years, he says he's ready to move on to something a bit less..intense. Btw, he's a PhD physicist btw and works in designing medical imaging devices and software. The other is in real estate, not a computer guy except for having to use Office and email at work; I set up F2K for him at home, loading my own fcl to make it easy (for me). But god forbid he ever accidentally (or on purpose) changes anything. Unlike my physics friend, there's little chance my RE friend could have set F2K up himself and about zero chance he could ever troubleshoot it on his own if a problem arose. Anecdotes aren't evidence but there you go, obviously my experinece has been different from yours in this area. Some more context: Like me, these are guys in their late 40s. They didn't grow up with video games, even, much less home computers. My generation missed all that by a year or two at least. I was definitely an early adopter among them, and even I didn't seriously pay attention to computers until around the time the Lynx browser came out.

Btw, did I mention that regardless of all this, I truly like and admire F2K for all the amazing stuff I *have* figured out how to do with it, and still use it as my player of choice?



QUOTE
But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...


Not my words. But you do seem offended . Which was absolutely not what I was trying to do.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Dec 9 2009, 04:20
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Canar
post Dec 9 2009, 13:50
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QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
If you seriously believe F2K to be that, just say so.
I think so.
QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
Think I'll post a screen cap of my longstanding configuration

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
Hilarity ensued-- including disappearance (overwriting) of an incipient playlist..'and they said it couldn't happen'.
Click on the playlist view (the one with the files) and hit Ctrl-Z. Files should reappear.

The feature that you seem to be struggling with here is the Library Viewer Selection Playlist. When it was created, it was enabled by default. Now it is disabled by default, for the very reasons you are showing right now. The setting can be changed at Media Library > Library Viewer Selection Playlist > Enabled.

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
But a comprehensive non-jargony help function/resource is still needed...as are help buttons that actually bring up help when you click them
This is wiki content. If you are confused by part of it, you could request a change or even change it yourself. I'm kind of a jargony guy, as are a lot of us. If you could give help improving documentation, I'm sure we'd all love it.

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
...as well as immediate relief like mouseover popups explaining what an 'NG Group' is for example, or what a playlist vs a playback queue entails.
"NG Group" is not a Default UI term. The queue is functionality most users do not need but some users want. Playlists are well-understood and playback queues are well-understood by those that want them. WMP also has this functionality.

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
One took my recommendation two years ago to use it. After two years, he says he's ready to move on to something a bit less..intense.
This is a "normal" user to you? My mom (housewife, 50s) uses foobar2000. My sister uses iTunes because she avoids what I like by default. My dad (carpenter, 50s) uses foobar2000. My grandma (retired, 70s) uses foobar2000. A bunch of girls I know use foobar2000 thanks to me. Lots of guy friends. My cat used foobar2000 once, though I doubt it was intentional. She turned it off.

QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
QUOTE
But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...
Not my words.
No, they're mine. And I am! And I'm actually kinda okay with being a zealot fanboy, though I really try hard to not be overly annoying. *waves a foobar2000 flag*

This post has been edited by Canar: Dec 9 2009, 14:25


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krabapple
post Dec 9 2009, 18:57
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QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 9 2009, 07:50) *
The feature that you seem to be struggling with here is the Library Viewer Selection Playlist. When it was created, it was enabled by default. Now it is disabled by default, for the very reasons you are showing right now. The setting can be changed at Media Library > Library Viewer Selection Playlist > Enabled.



Actually I'm not dealing with the Library Viewer Selection Playlist here; I'm using an Album List Panel that I have permanently in my GUI, not the *other* Album List that pops up when I select Menu-->Library-->Album List (the latter is the one that creates a playlist called 'Library Viewer Selection'). I think my problem actually comes from this: the two Album Lists do not work the same way. Each has its own settings. The popup AL allows Ctrl-click selection of multiple items,but the Album List Panel, as best I can tell, does not. Moreover with 'auto send to playlist' enabled' in AL Panel settings (as it is in my config), the AL Panel sends a clicked item from the Panel to a 'Library View' playlist (not 'Library Viewer Selection'). Clicking another AL Panel item replaces the first selection, it does not add to it. Very frustrating. Just disabling 'auto send to playlist' renders AL Panel all but useless to me as currently configured. What it seems I need to do is disable 'autosend to playlist' and then change the double-click action to 'add to playlist'. Then I can add items one at a time to a growing playlist.

(tried it) Ahh, that works...double clicked items are added sequentially to the Default playlist without overwriting. But it would still be nice to be able to select multiple items in AL Panel at once then send them all to playlist. Can that be done?


QUOTE
QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) *
But a comprehensive non-jargony help function/resource is still needed...as are help buttons that actually bring up help when you click them
This is wiki content. If you are confused by part of it, you could request a change or even change it yourself. I'm kind of a jargony guy, as are a lot of us. If you could give help improving documentation, I'm sure we'd all love it.


I would love to have the time to do it.


QUOTE
"NG Group" is not a Default UI term. The queue is functionality most users do not need but some users want. Playlists are well-understood and playback queues are well-understood by those that want them. WMP also has this functionality.


Sorry, meant 'NG Playlist". And as for playlist vs playback queue, I think it's optimistic to expect a naive user to knows the formal term(s) to articulate the functionality he/she wants, and their definitions. I usually 'learn by trying it' in such cases. In the case of queues, I learned that whatever a playback queue is in f2k, there seemed to be a limit to the number of tracks I could add to it, so I left it alone. I'm still not clear on what the purpose of it is, vs a playlist.

This post has been edited by krabapple: Dec 9 2009, 18:57
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Posts in this topic
- krabapple   What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL   Dec 7 2009, 18:43
- - zipr   Mediamonkey? The latest free version now does fol...   Dec 7 2009, 18:47
- - Canar   Really, I don't see why a set-up installation ...   Dec 7 2009, 19:23
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 7 2009, 13:23) Really,...   Dec 7 2009, 20:14
|- - Canar   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 7 2009, 14:14) Wha...   Dec 7 2009, 21:32
- - andy_c   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 7 2009, 11:43) Is ...   Dec 7 2009, 19:49
- - FasterThanEver   > Is there a really easy-to-use alternative to ...   Dec 7 2009, 20:06
- - krabapple   Must add one more criterion -- it has to work in W...   Dec 7 2009, 20:11
- - botface   Another vote for Winamp. Plays FLAC (and most othe...   Dec 7 2009, 21:03
- - ncrollo   +1 for mediamonkey, the free version has just enou...   Dec 7 2009, 21:27
- - RonaldDumsfeld   QUOTE foobar2000 is very simple, and takes incredi...   Dec 7 2009, 21:43
|- - Canar   QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Dec 7 2009, 15:43...   Dec 7 2009, 22:41
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 7 2009, 16:41) QUOTE (...   Dec 8 2009, 01:45
- - JunkieXL   I love foobar, but from his post, he is looking fo...   Dec 7 2009, 21:46
- - RonaldDumsfeld   Don't get me wrong Canar. I think foobar is a ...   Dec 7 2009, 23:07
- - Cokemonkey11   +1 for media monkey, tried it again after a year o...   Dec 8 2009, 01:00
- - greynol   That sort of sums up my experience with fb2k as we...   Dec 8 2009, 03:43
- - jayg30   Not to throw fuel on the fire but I just feel a ne...   Dec 8 2009, 09:09
- - unekdoud   I don't see much of a problem with foobar2000 ...   Dec 8 2009, 10:25
- - Trondis   I thought Foobar was very difficult to set up and ...   Dec 8 2009, 12:24
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Trondis @ Dec 8 2009, 11:24) I tho...   Dec 9 2009, 15:08
- - jmcguckin   QUOTE (jayg30 @ Dec 8 2009, 03:09) Sorry ...   Dec 8 2009, 14:55
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (jmcguckin @ Dec 8 2009, 08:55) and...   Dec 8 2009, 17:59
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 16:59) QUO...   Dec 9 2009, 15:05
- - RonaldDumsfeld   This thread is amusing. Bloke writes in to ask...   Dec 8 2009, 18:00
|- - Canar   QUOTE (RonaldDumsfeld @ Dec 8 2009, 12:00...   Dec 8 2009, 22:20
- - singaiya   Haha, totally. @krabapple, have you looked at song...   Dec 8 2009, 18:09
- - krabapple   Thanks, but I've decided the easiest path for ...   Dec 8 2009, 18:25
- - Canar   I'm just completely confounded by krabapple...   Dec 8 2009, 18:30
- - jmcguckin   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 11:59) QUO...   Dec 8 2009, 19:52
- - greynol   QUOTE it's clear that you prefer to introduce ...   Dec 8 2009, 19:55
|- - Canar   QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 8 2009, 13:55) Enoug...   Dec 8 2009, 21:21
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 8 2009, 15:21) QUOTE (...   Dec 8 2009, 22:15
|- - Canar   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 16:15) Wha...   Dec 8 2009, 22:31
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 8 2009, 16:31) QUOTE (...   Dec 9 2009, 04:15
|- - Canar   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 8 2009, 22:15) If ...   Dec 9 2009, 13:50
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Canar @ Dec 9 2009, 07:50) The fea...   Dec 9 2009, 18:57
|- - Canar   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 9 2009, 12:57) Act...   Dec 9 2009, 19:11
- - antropoid   I Think Foobar is the way to go, but I second medi...   Dec 8 2009, 20:13
- - greynol   From someone who is ambivalent about the topic at ...   Dec 8 2009, 21:33
- - trout   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 7 2009, 12:43) Lik...   Dec 8 2009, 22:28
- - shakey_snake   Rather than repeating the same line of arguments t...   Dec 9 2009, 05:00
|- - Antonski   QUOTE (shakey_snake @ Dec 9 2009, 06:00) ...   Dec 9 2009, 22:43
- - carpman   My impression about the ultra pro fb2k angles is t...   Dec 9 2009, 07:23
|- - shakey_snake   QUOTE (carpman @ Dec 9 2009, 01:23) @ Can...   Dec 9 2009, 16:12
|- - pdq   QUOTE (shakey_snake @ Dec 9 2009, 11:12) ...   Dec 9 2009, 17:46
- - 2E7AH   Another idea 1by1 All suggested players can...   Dec 9 2009, 14:10
- - DonP   Hmm.. I find Foobar the easiest to use of the 4 or...   Dec 9 2009, 15:35
- - 2t0nEg   As stated a few posts above, J-River Media Jukebox...   Dec 9 2009, 15:40
- - Squeller   There's a lot things fb2k is good at, but I...   Dec 9 2009, 16:22
- - shakey_snake   This post is a great example of iTunes not making ...   Dec 9 2009, 16:25
- - greynol   The people interested in "easy" don...   Dec 9 2009, 16:30
- - shakey_snake   I'm more looking at the user interaction metap...   Dec 9 2009, 16:54
- - greynol   Look, to me this really seems like PC people tryin...   Dec 9 2009, 17:00
- - Innuendo_   Hopped in here to recommend MusicBee, but looks li...   Dec 9 2009, 17:28
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Innuendo_ @ Dec 9 2009, 11:28) Hop...   Dec 9 2009, 18:00
|- - andy_c   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 9 2009, 11:00) So ...   Dec 9 2009, 18:15
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (andy_c @ Dec 9 2009, 12:15) QUOTE ...   Dec 9 2009, 19:00
|- - andy_c   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 9 2009, 12:00) Tha...   Dec 9 2009, 22:34
- - Eli   Well, I never create playlists. I don't have t...   Dec 9 2009, 20:14
- - Trondis   Another easy to use player is AIMP2. You find it a...   Dec 9 2009, 23:15
- - а.п.т.   I've tried to start a pool about the favorite ...   Dec 10 2009, 01:32
- - salientlucidity   i use foobar myself, but also have media monkey i...   Dec 10 2009, 02:14
- - Antonski   MusicBee   Dec 10 2009, 03:35
- - ncrollo   I was too humored by the flames getting tossed bac...   Dec 10 2009, 08:08
- - RonaldDumsfeld   This is crux of the OPs question. QUOTE Is there ...   Dec 10 2009, 15:23
- - Canar   I've made a poll here because this discussion ...   Dec 10 2009, 15:42
- - Innuendo_   QUOTE (krabapple @ Dec 9 2009, 11:00) So ...   Dec 10 2009, 16:37
- - Teknojnky   I think mediamonkey is one of the easiest to use. ...   Dec 10 2009, 17:17
- - krabapple   FWIW, I went with Media Monkey. My friend seems h...   Jan 8 2010, 22:38


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