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Mike Anderson
2005-11-07, 14:32
I'm sure I'm not the first one to say this, but I'd love to see a version of Slimserver with a more user friendly GUI, something like what iTunes or WinAmp does.

I love my setup in every other regard, but this would make it even more fun to use.

jmpage2
2005-11-08, 13:31
I'm sure I'm not the first one to say this, but I'd love to see a version of Slimserver with a more user friendly GUI, something like what iTunes or WinAmp does.

I love my setup in every other regard, but this would make it even more fun to use.

Unless I'm mistaken, you can set up slimserver to use iTunes as the front end.

Problem solved.

Mike Anderson
2005-11-08, 14:20
Unless I'm mistaken, you can set up slimserver to use iTunes as the front end.

Problem solved.

Does that work with FLAC files?

And how does one control all the other tasks Slimserver does (changing preferences, menus, etc.)?

kdf
2005-11-08, 14:25
Quoting Mike Anderson <Mike.Anderson.1y75vn (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> jmpage2 Wrote:
>> Unless I'm mistaken, you can set up slimserver to use iTunes as the
>> front end.
>>
>> Problem solved.
>
> Does that work with FLAC files?
>
> And how does one control all the other tasks Slimserver does (changing
> preferences, menus, etc.)?
>
ask Apple for better slimserver support? (can't hurt!)
-k

Mike Anderson
2005-11-08, 19:14
ask Apple for better slimserver support? (can't hurt!)
-k

It shouldn't be up to Apple to support this product. Yes, Apple should support FLAC, but that's a different issue. (And of course, they never will anyway.)

I just think the Squeezebox is cool enough to warrant a really cool front end -- it's own front end, not iTunes. It can't be that hard to develop a program for this, can it?

For what it's worth, I'd be glad to pay another $50 or whatever for a really slick GUI. Preferably, it would let me:

1) Show all my songs on one scrollable screen, with the ability to order them by artist/song/album/genre/size/time/whatever;

2) Use drag and drop to make playlists;

3) Use my mouse to fast-forward/rewind through songs;

in addition to all the slimserver-specific functions and options.

There are numerous programs out there that do this kind of thing, is it really that hard to make?

kdf
2005-11-08, 21:17
On 8-Nov-05, at 6:14 PM, Mike Anderson wrote:
>
> There are numerous programs out there that do this kind of thing, is it
> really that hard to make?
>
there is only one answer to that: you try it :)

Questions like that, signal the end of the debate (if it even started)
as far as I'm concerned.

-kdf

jmpage2
2005-11-08, 21:20
Mike,

The thing to keep in mind with Slimserver is that although it is not the most beautiful interface in the world it is completely cross platform, you can run the web browser on Linux/MacOS/Windows, etc.

To develop a "slick gui front end" would either have to be a bloated java effort to keep the cross platform ability or it would have to be restricted to windows/mac users only.

I think using iTunes as a front end is a good compromise and it's not Slim's fault that Apple has made it very difficult to interface with the iTunes backend with 3rd party apps.

mac
2005-11-08, 21:58
To develop a "slick gui front end" would either have to be a bloated java effort to keep the cross platform ability or it would have to be restricted to windows/mac users only.
Once you have a Java Runtime Environment installed the "bloat" that you refer to is quite minimal. If you check your machine you probably already have one installed.

Michaelwagner
2005-11-08, 22:14
Why not a perl front end? Just as cross-platform as the server.

It just needs to be in a separate task from the server. So that it could run on the same or a different machine, according to the whim of the user.

kdf
2005-11-08, 22:26
On 8-Nov-05, at 9:14 PM, Michaelwagner wrote:

>
> Why not a perl front end? Just as cross-platform as the server.
>
> It just needs to be in a separate task from the server. So that it
> could run on the same or a different machine, according to the whim of
> the user.
>
just what the doctor ordered :)

http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.cgi?SoftwareRoadmap
see v7.0

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 11:11
Mike,

The thing to keep in mind with Slimserver is that although it is not the most beautiful interface in the world it is completely cross platform, you can run the web browser on Linux/MacOS/Windows, etc.

It's very cool that Slimdevices has done this, but if I were an investor I'd want the company to give some special attention to the enormous market of Windows and Mac users (primarily the former).

I've had numerous people walk into my living room and flip out over the Squeezebox; one guy called it the coolest thing he's seen since the iPod (which is exactly what I said). But then they encounter the web browser interface and they're kind of let down. People are getting used to the iTunes format, and anything that isn't that easy to use is going to be a big stumbling block for the average Joe.

I'm assuming Slimdevices wants to sell lots of boxes, not simply corner a small niche market. To do so, they're going to have to come up with a sexier front end. It's what the average user expects these days. Doing this doesn't necessarily mean abandoning the web browser interface, just accommodating the Windows/Mac crowd with something more user friendly.

As for the practicability or programming ease of such an approach, I guess I'm ignorant about that. (I've done lots of programming, but it's all number-crunching, not GUI building). If somebody tells me it's prohibitively difficult, I'll believe them, but there are plenty of programs out there that do it already (iTunes, Winamp, J. River Media, etc).

jmpage2
2005-11-09, 11:15
Once you have a Java Runtime Environment installed the "bloat" that you refer to is quite minimal. If you check your machine you probably already have one installed.

Don't even get me started about the multitude of different JRE versions out there and which apps do and don't run on different ones. I currently have to switch between several different Java versions to get certain apps to work.

While I realize that this is the fault of the programmers who created the applications that won't run on newer JRE versions it's still extremely irritating for end users that have to put up with this "feature" of Java, and let's face it, apps and their authors do die and stop getting supported.

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 11:15
BTW, I don't want to come across as a complainer (I really love this product, I'm just indulging my fantasies for it).

But as a fan of the product, I'd really love to see the company prosper. I'm no marketing guru, but I do know this is an extremely competitive marketplace, and the people who can capture the Windows/Mac crowd first are going to have an enormous advantage.

jmpage2
2005-11-09, 11:18
It's very cool that Slimdevices has done this, but if I were an investor I'd want the company to give some special attention to the enormous market of Windows and Mac users (primarily the former).

I've had numerous people walk into my living room and flip out over the Squeezebox; one guy called it the coolest thing he's seen since the iPod (which is exactly what I said). But then they encounter the web browser interface and they're kind of let down. People are getting used to the iTunes format, and anything that isn't that easy to use is going to be a big stumbling block for the average Joe.

I'm assuming Slimdevices wants to sell lots of boxes, not simply corner a small niche market. To do so, they're going to have to come up with a sexier front end. It's what the average user expects these days. Doing this doesn't necessarily mean abandoning the web browser interface, just accommodating the Windows/Mac crowd with something more user friendly.

As for the practicability or programming ease of such an approach, I guess I'm ignorant about that. (I've done lots of programming, but it's all number-crunching, not GUI building). If somebody tells me it's prohibitively difficult, I'll believe them, but there are plenty of programs out there that do it already (iTunes, Winamp, J. River Media, etc).


You make some valid points, however, there are just as many people out there that think having to use a computer at all to control a music player is simply retarded, I do virtually everything with my squeezeboxes via the IR remote control.

There are also folks that want a television display for the remote control (check out what the Slim Roku can do) to make it easier for "joe six pack" to find his music without having to use the PC.

Basically there are people wanting the development of the product to go in several different directions (including some who want it to remain exactly the way it is today) and it will be up to Slim to decide how they are going to satisfy the majority of them.

snarlydwarf
2005-11-09, 11:24
But then they encounter the web browser interface and they're kind of let down.

Hrrm... I don't even show people the web browser interface... The Squeezeboxes are in rooms with no computers.

I only really use it to configure/tweak things and sometimes to verify my tagging.

Have you looked at Moose? It looks quite pretty, though I don't know what all it does.

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 11:32
I have people who come over and want to play DJ at a party, make playlists, etc.

You can do it with the remote, but with a large music collection, it is vastly more preferable to do it on the computer, where the user can browse the whole collection at a glance, then drag and drop songs to a playlist.

The other thing that iTunes does that I love is the mouse-driven slider that lets you jump to any point in the song with total ease. I use this feature all the time, particularly when building playlists where I want to get the flavor of a song to see if it fits.

Right now, I tend to resort to WinAmp or somesuch for building all my playlists, then importing them into Slimserver. For anyone who is serious about playlists, that's really the only way to do it. And if you host a lot of parties/social gatherings, playlists are essential.

I know everybody wants something different out of the product, and I wonder how many people have the same thoughts i do (which is partly why I started this thread).

kdf
2005-11-09, 11:38
Quoting Mike Anderson <Mike.Anderson.1y8rzb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:

>
> BTW, I don't want to come across as a complainer (I really love this
> product, I'm just indulging my fantasies for it).
>
> But as a fan of the product, I'd really love to see the company
> prosper.

well, I'm in total agreement with you there. I'm a big fan too. Having met
many of them, I'm an even bigger fan. I also know that they are capable
people. I personally find it a bit insulting to suggest that they don't know
what they are doing.

There are pros and cons of joining the windows-only or mac-only camps. There
are pros and cons of sticking with cross-platform and open-source. It seems
clear that SD is committed to both, and I respect that.

You want a sexier UI, I can understand that. It is recognised as a
weak point,
and is part of the roadmap for 6.5. I imagine copying iTunes would border on
legal problems. Slimserver is not (at least to my knowledge) intended to be a
portal (like iTunes) but a multi-platform common access for managing the
hardware. All the other bells and whistles (java player, web plugins) are a
bonus.

If you take a look at http://bugs.slimdevices.com, you will see some UI
enhancements already entered (and many already implemented if you look at
resolved ones). Taking part in improving that would be great. The more, the
merrier. I would hope that it can stay away from the topic of how to actually
run the business.

-k

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 11:39
Have you looked at Moose? It looks quite pretty, though I don't know what all it does.

Do you have a link? "Moose" isn't specific enough to track it down in Google.

kdf
2005-11-09, 11:40
Quoting Mike Anderson <Mike.Anderson.1y8sob (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com>:


> The other thing that iTunes does that I love is the mouse-driven slider
> that lets you jump to any point in the song with total ease. I use this
> feature all the time.

does the slider control hardware as well, or just the software player?

you may want to watch this:
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=2426

-kdf

snarlydwarf
2005-11-09, 11:44
Do you have a link? "Moose" isn't specific enough to track it down in Google.

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=18000

Looks very pretty, doesn't it?

As I said, never used it so don't know what it all does, but it's in active development and shows lots of potential in those screenshots.

Steve Baumgarten
2005-11-09, 11:50
Mike Anderson wrote:

> Do you have a link? "Moose" isn't specific enough to track it down in
> Google.

Well, if you Google for "moose slimdevices" you do get some likely
looking matches...

In any event:

http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove/

Looks a lot like what many people here are asking for -- a
Windows-native application that hooks into the Slimserver database and
that can be used to control your Squeezebox.

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Michaelwagner
2005-11-09, 12:00
a Windows-native application that hooks into the Slimserver database and that can be used to control your Squeezebox.Actually, that's not quite correct. As of when I looked at it last, it rescanned the files on it's own and didn't use the slim database.

Jim
2005-11-09, 12:14
For what it's worth, I'd be glad to pay another $50 or whatever for a really slick GUI....
Find 100 others with $50, and in the pure interests of money I'll make one :D

Alex Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes
2005-11-09, 12:24
On Wednesday 09 November 2005 19:14, Jim wrote:
> Mike Anderson Wrote:
> > For what it's worth, I'd be glad to pay another $50 or whatever for a
> > really slick GUI....
>
> Find 100 others with $50, and in the pure interests of money I'll make
> one :D

if you can make a slick GUI that performs all the work of the current web
interface and supports a modular plugin interface as well for $5000 then you
must be a very busy programmer!

Jim
2005-11-09, 12:39
Shhh...don't tell anyone but what I was actually going to do was sell a product....

It would connect to the net.....and download Moose.

Now whilst it might be immoral....I've seen companies getting away with selling stuff that uses competitiors software :D


On Wednesday 09 November 2005 19:14, Jim wrote:
> Mike Anderson Wrote:
> > For what it's worth, I'd be glad to pay another $50 or whatever for a
> > really slick GUI....
>
> Find 100 others with $50, and in the pure interests of money I'll make
> one :D

if you can make a slick GUI that performs all the work of the current web
interface and supports a modular plugin interface as well for $5000 then you
must be a very busy programmer!

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 13:31
Well, if you Google for "moose slimdevices" you do get some likely looking matches...


OK, I didn't know it had anything to do with slimdevices.

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 14:09
Well I tried out Moose, and it's great for a free program but:

1) The library doesn't deal with tags, and instead simply organizes things by directories (which doesn't work well unless you use a predictable band/album/song hierarchy and the filenames include the song titles);

and

2) Unless I'm missing something, there's no way to save a playlist from within Moose.

Obviously it's free so I can't complain that it isn't good enough for me, but that's not quite what I was talking about above.

I do like the slider feature though!

Dr Lovegrove
2005-11-09, 14:27
On 09/11/05, Michaelwagner
<Michaelwagner.1y8u2b (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Actually, that's not quite correct. As of when I looked at it last, it
> rescanned the files on it's own and didn't use the slim database.
>
> --
> Michaelwagner

Indeed, the library feature of Moose currently does its own scanning.
It's seriously quick though as it only looks at filenames and folders,
not tags. Scanning my collection with Moose over a network takes
about 3mins. For slimserver to do a rescan it takes well over 3.5hrs
and is pretty unusable during this time.. If you add new music to the
server, you should only need to do a Moose rescan to see and use it..

But, as mentioned elsewhere, the whole project is a work in progress,
and scanning the database is one of the two big features that still
needs implementing (playlist management being the other).

--
- Dr Lovegrove
http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 14:40
Dr. L - Come up with a version of the Library that organizes songs by tags, and saves playlists, and I'd definitely send you some scratch for this program.

It's OK by me if it takes a while to scan in the entire library.

Thanks for you efforts.

Jim
2005-11-09, 15:31
But it DOES use TAGS.

Look the top right...Press the "Viewing:..." button

Dr Lovegrove
2005-11-09, 16:01
On 09/11/05, Jim <Jim.1y93sb (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> But it DOES use TAGS.
>
> Look the top right...Press the "Viewing:..." button

Ah yes, good point.. Of course the 'Now Playing' and playlist
information is all done with TAGS via the CLI. It's just the text in
the lists in the library which are filename-based.

--
- Dr Lovegrove
http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove

Mike Anderson
2005-11-09, 16:34
But it DOES use TAGS.

Look the top right...Press the "Viewing:..." button

In the version I have, that just takes you to the "Now Playing" window. That window uses tages, but the Library window itself does not use tags.

The list on the left side of the Library refers solely to directory names, and unless a song's filename tips you off, there's no way to know the title of a song unless you add it to the playing window.

Am I missing something?

geoffb
2005-11-11, 22:21
On 11/9/05, Dr Lovegrove <drlovegrove (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote:
> On 09/11/05, Michaelwagner
> <Michaelwagner.1y8u2b (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> >
> > Actually, that's not quite correct. As of when I looked at it last, it
> > rescanned the files on it's own and didn't use the slim database.
> >
> > --
> > Michaelwagner
>
> Indeed, the library feature of Moose currently does its own scanning.
> It's seriously quick though as it only looks at filenames and folders,
> not tags.

Have you considered leveraging the existing SQLite DB instead?
Instead of creating a .moo file, couldn't you just use existing
drivers to use the already-scanned data, like this one:
http://adodotnetsqlite.sourceforge.net/documentation/csharp_example.php

Of course, it would mean that the user would need to copy the .db file
to any remote computers that would be running Moose, but presumably
that is no different to copying the .moo file, right? Or am I missing
something fundamental here?

Cheers
Geoff

Dr Lovegrove
2005-11-14, 03:41
On 12/11/05, Geoff B <geoffbon (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote:
>
> Have you considered leveraging the existing SQLite DB instead?
> Instead of creating a .moo file, couldn't you just use existing
> drivers to use the already-scanned data, like this one:
> http://adodotnetsqlite.sourceforge.net/documentation/csharp_example.php
>
> Of course, it would mean that the user would need to copy the .db file
> to any remote computers that would be running Moose, but presumably
> that is no different to copying the .moo file, right? Or am I missing
> something fundamental here?

Hi Geoff,

Yes, this is pretty much what I'm hoping to do next, although I'm
probably going to keep with the .moo files (size/speed), and access the
..db file either over the network, or copied locally, as you say.

That link you sent looks rather interesting. I was actually going to
implement MySQL support first, but I think you've just changed my
mind.. :-) Hopefully the code will be pretty similar for either..

I think database access is definitely the way to go.. It'll mean Moose
will be able to do stuff like sorting by years and genres, and also the
telnet traffic should be reduced a bit as it'll all become ID-based rather
than path-based..

--
- Dr Lovegrove
http://www.rusticrhino.com/drlovegrove

MeSue
2005-11-14, 09:08
I know everybody wants something different out of the product, and I wonder how many people have the same thoughts i do (which is partly why I started this thread).
I'd love to be able to use J. River Media Center as the front-end. That's part of what motivated this suggestion, but I guess no one else though it was all that great of an idea: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=16745

The Smartlists feature in Media Center is awesome, and of course it would be nice to sync play counts and last played data between MC and SS.

Craig
2005-11-14, 10:00
I'd love to use Media Center to drive Squeezeboxs too but the people there
<polite mode>
don't seem particularly helpfull or cooperative
</polite mode>
I don't fancy our chances.

Craig

MeSue
2005-11-14, 10:08
I hear ya! The fact that it's not free probably doesn't help either.

Craig
2005-11-14, 10:12
I wonder if it could be done in a MC plugin controlling Squeezebox via a CLI interface like Moose does. Unfortunately my programming skills are in Delphi and the MC SDK's are C based or I'd have a go myself.

Craig

radish
2005-11-14, 10:17
I've found the MC "community" in general unhelpful and even rude. I use it, but only really as a tag editor. It's a nice piece of software but the politics behind it are a PITA (for example, no native FLAC support because one guy doesn't like it).

mkosma
2005-11-14, 13:13
I have always wondered why there is no plugin for winamp or foobar2000 to allow direct control over slimserver. (I gather that you can connect winamp to a stream, but that that is not the same.) Is there any reason in principle why that would be difficult way to implement a nice-looking and easy-to-use SlimServer front end? I imagine that (like moose) the problem might relate to those applications' desire to build their own database of track information....