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  1. #1
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    UI change for sync groups

    Hi - Wouldn't it make sense to have sync groups presented as other items in the player list (or ideally in a *different* list, on the left of the player list) and have the possibility to have the same player in different groups.

    Typically, sometimes I want to play just the duet and radio in my bedroom, sometimes I want to play the whole 1st floor (adds a Boom and), sometimes just the ground floor (a SB3 and duet) or sometimes everything.

    I guess this has already been discussed, but to me this is one of the very few missing features of LMS and I spend my time adding/removing players in sync. Most of the time, I can just use on/off, but this is inconvenient and when we want to play different tracks, then there is no solution other than grouping/ungrouping.

    Is this a major work? I'd be happy to participate
    LMS 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 - 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB2. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, JBL OnBeat, XBoxOne, XBMC, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, , Pi B3, B2, Pi B+, 2xPi A+, Odroid-C1, Odroid-C2, Cubie2, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5

  2. #2
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    UI change for sync groups

    > Is this a major work? I'd be happy to participate

    There definitely is room for improvement in the sync UX - see eg. iPeng.
    And I thought there was a 3rd party plugin to improve things server-side
    too.

    That said, I don't fully understand what you're suggesting :-). Do you
    want to be able to pre-define sync-groups? Or change the UI?

    --

    Michael

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mnyb's Avatar
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    Predefined a group of players as a kind of pseudoplayer . Works for me .

    I also think Phillipe want them in a separate list beside the normal players ? An UI change too ?

    Should the player groups also have "player settings" ?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
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  4. #4
    Senior Member kidstypike's Avatar
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    The Synchronizer plugin works, you can predefine a group of players:
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    Study/Server - LMS 7.9.1 - Raspberry Pi3/Pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/piCorePlayer 3.22/jivelite, 25K library on WDMyCloud, cache and playlists on a USB stick (formatted ntfs).
    Lounge - RPi 2/Max2Play > HiFiBerry DIGI+ > AudioEngine DAC1 > AVI DM5
    Dining Room - Boom
    Garage - Radio
    In car - LMS 7.9.1 > RPi3/Max2Play/Access Point plugin > HiFiBerry DAC+ > car's hifi (files on a 2TB portable USB drive)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    > Is this a major work? I'd be happy to participate

    There definitely is room for improvement in the sync UX - see eg. iPeng.
    And I thought there was a 3rd party plugin to improve things server-side
    too.

    That said, I don't fully understand what you're suggesting :-). Do you
    want to be able to pre-define sync-groups? Or change the UI?

    --

    Michael
    I'd like both in fact: being to define groups and use them as a virtual player and potentially the list of groups would be a drop down list at the left on the real player list. This way, I'd select the group I want to play to very much like I select a player. The groups could also be added to the players list and that might be easier in term of compatibility with iPeng for exemple, but it might be a bit confusing. Groups should have their own setting page although, again, maybe compatibility would be better if they simply are extra virtual players

    I've tried the synchronizer a while ago but I don't think it give the benefit of using a group like you use a player.

    This is a bit the way CC devices work: create as many groups as you want, made of any arbitrary number of players and use them like a virtual player
    LMS 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 - 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB2. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, JBL OnBeat, XBoxOne, XBMC, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, , Pi B3, B2, Pi B+, 2xPi A+, Odroid-C1, Odroid-C2, Cubie2, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5

  6. #6
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    I tried again the Synchronizer and I don't know why I missed it previously when I tested it, but I agree it does most of what I was looking for. An ideal UI for me would still be in we had a list of "virtual players" which are groups that would appear as a normal player, but I agree that's good enough with the Synchronizer.

    Thanks !
    LMS 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 - 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB2. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, JBL OnBeat, XBoxOne, XBMC, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, , Pi B3, B2, Pi B+, 2xPi A+, Odroid-C1, Odroid-C2, Cubie2, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5

  7. #7
    Senior Member pippin's Avatar
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    I've played around with sync groups and while I agree that there will always be a way to make things work for some people the requirements of different people are too different to make a good UI for everyone.

    The problem is that there are so many options in the Squeezebox system for syncing that it makes things confusing.

    For example: if you select a sync group, what happens to players not in that sync group but currently synced to one of the players there?
    Which player in the sync group is the master (determines which current playlist will be played and which ones will be discarded).
    What about the power state of players? Will they all be turned on or do you still need to do that individually?
    What about volume?

    I think if you want a good sync group UI you need to get rid of options.
    For example the way Sonos does things: players in a sync group always play (there is no "power" state), if you want a player to stop, drop it from the group.

    I've implemented a few sync group options for iPeng but it always ended up with a 3-step-dialog chain to activate one and a hell of a confusing setup/configuration.

    I still believe: as long as you don't simplify Squeezebox operation itself sync groups only add complexity for most users
    ---
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippin View Post
    I've played around with sync groups and while I agree that there will always be a way to make things work for some people the requirements of different people are too different to make a good UI for everyone.

    The problem is that there are so many options in the Squeezebox system for syncing that it makes things confusing.

    For example: if you select a sync group, what happens to players not in that sync group but currently synced to one of the players there?
    Which player in the sync group is the master (determines which current playlist will be played and which ones will be discarded).
    What about the power state of players? Will they all be turned on or do you still need to do that individually?
    What about volume?

    I think if you want a good sync group UI you need to get rid of options.
    For example the way Sonos does things: players in a sync group always play (there is no "power" state), if you want a player to stop, drop it from the group.

    I've implemented a few sync group options for iPeng but it always ended up with a 3-step-dialog chain to activate one and a hell of a confusing setup/configuration.

    I still believe: as long as you don't simplify Squeezebox operation itself sync groups only add complexity for most users
    I agree it can be a can of worm, but as you said, by forcing a few options, I still think you can have something more convenient than what we have today. My bad I missed that when I tried to use the Synchronizer the first time, but it does most of what's expected, no? The inconvenience is the need to navigate through another menu to activate/deactivate sync groups.

    To me, what CC do is pretty good, i.e. creating virtual players.

    - on/off states stays as they were before pressing play
    - if you want to switch all on/off all, switch on/off the virtual player
    - volume changes work as a ratio of the individual volumes, until you set the virtual player to 0, in which case it restarts with all equals
    - the most recent virtual player who wants to use a player wins across other virtual players
    - with that, pause/stop/play on the virtual player seems consistent (I think)
    - if you change volume or power state of an individual player after playback started, I think this still work
    - playlist is an attribute to the virtual player, so the idea of master (at least from a user point of view) does not exit
    - the conflict of an individual player synchronized with a member of the group (virtual player) does not exist as you're playing to a virtual player, made of N players, so every player not under that "virtual" umbrella is ignored.

    I feel that thinking "virtual player" and not "group" is more than a suttle difference and simplifies the problem. Still, I obviously have not spent as much time as you did, so I've probably made a few logic faults,
    Last edited by philippe_44; 2017-02-12 at 21:42.
    LMS 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 - 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB2. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, JBL OnBeat, XBoxOne, XBMC, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, , Pi B3, B2, Pi B+, 2xPi A+, Odroid-C1, Odroid-C2, Cubie2, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5

  9. #9
    Babelfish's Best Boy mherger's Avatar
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    UI change for sync groups

    > I agree it can be a can of worm, but as you said, by forcing a few
    > options, I still think you can have something more convenient than what
    > we have today.


    I totally agree - with both of you. And there's the problem: you're both
    right. There are too many options, and we'd have to force some of them.
    And your description of CC's behaviour wouldn't be what I'd want to have...

    > To me, what CC do is pretty good, i.e. creating virtual players.


    Can CC create groups while it's playing? If so, how does it solve the
    "whose playlist are we going to play?" question?

    I guess it doesn't, as you'd simply cast what you want to one of the
    groups instead of a single player?

    --

    Michael

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mherger View Post
    > I agree it can be a can of worm, but as you said, by forcing a few
    > options, I still think you can have something more convenient than what
    > we have today.


    I totally agree - with both of you. And there's the problem: you're both
    right. There are too many options, and we'd have to force some of them.
    And your description of CC's behaviour wouldn't be what I'd want to have...

    > To me, what CC do is pretty good, i.e. creating virtual players.


    Can CC create groups while it's playing? If so, how does it solve the
    "whose playlist are we going to play?" question?

    I guess it doesn't, as you'd simply cast what you want to one of the
    groups instead of a single player?

    --

    Michael
    I have to try, but is creating a virtual player with players currently playing an important use case? To me, if you decide to attach a new player to an existing virtual one, then because the playlist is an attribute of the virtual player, it wins. And because the real player still exists it has his own playlist unmodified, but it's idle because it's not playing - so if you decide to start "play" on it, then it takes over again. If you try to create a brand new virtual player, then nobody wins because there is no conflict

    May I ask what you do not like in the way CC works? (just trying to understand )

    BTW, is the creation of a "virtual" player very difficult within the context of LMS, assuming some limitation in capabilities (like -eg- codecs reduced to flac and mp3) ?
    Last edited by philippe_44; 2017-02-12 at 22:30.
    LMS 7.7, 7.8 and 7.9 - 5xRadio, 3xBoom, 4xDuet, 1xTouch, 1 SB2. Sonos PLAY:3, PLAY:5, Marantz NR1603, JBL OnBeat, XBoxOne, XBMC, Foobar2000, ShairPortW, JRiver 21, 2xChromecast Audio, Chromecast v1 and v2, , Pi B3, B2, Pi B+, 2xPi A+, Odroid-C1, Odroid-C2, Cubie2, Yamaha WX-010, AppleTV 4, Airport Express, GGMM E5

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