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mctubster
2008-06-01, 00:10
Hi all.

Not a big poster here, started a thread about the controller and issues around the wheel and the screen immediately after receiving the device.

Now I'm two weeks in, I have a follow-up regarding the controller and the wheel.

In it's current implementation the wheel is not very good at doing what it needs to do. It lacks fine grained control for moving between menu options, and it lacks reliable acceleration for navigating long lists.

So at this point I am left wondering why a wheel was choosen, over a phone styled alphanumeric keypad, and direction arrows. There are now more mobile phones on the planet than people, so the concept of this keypad is second nature to most people.

I am alone in thinking this? Why was a wheel choosen from a UI perspective? Is there an advantage I am missing? Why is it so poorly implemented?

Steve

RonM
2008-06-01, 08:40
I'm not an iPod owner, so have little previous experience with wheel-type scrolling. Way more with keypads.

However, I quite like the scroll wheel. It allows me to scroll quickly through a great many items and has sufficient precision for my purposes. Now that I've figured out what the upper right and lower left arrow keys do (along with the center button) -- this was not completely obvious to me -- I think the whole package is pretty efficient. I'd prefer it to a keypad.

R.

simplefi
2008-06-01, 08:52
I have to agree that the wheel lacks fined grained control but it is also much faster and efficient for scrolling long lists than a D-pad. For example, moving down 10 items in a list would take say, one revolution of the wheel vs. 10 button presses on a D-pad. Multiply that by however many items you have in the list and you can see how many button presses that could take without a way to skip to a certain location.

I think the wheel would have been much better if it had detents in it, one for each list item. Every now and then the cursor will scroll two positions when I am trying to move one position. But I am starting to get the hang of the sensitivity of the controller.

peter
2008-06-01, 12:01
mctubster wrote:
> Hi all.
>
> Not a big poster here, started a thread about the controller and issues
> around the wheel and the screen immediately after receiving the device.
>
> Now I'm two weeks in, I have a follow-up regarding the controller and
> the wheel.
>
> In it's current implementation the wheel is not very good at doing what
> it needs to do. It lacks fine grained control for moving between menu
> options, and it lacks reliable acceleration for navigating long lists.
>
> So at this point I am left wondering why a wheel was choosen, over a
> phone styled alphanumeric keypad, and direction arrows. There are now
> more mobile phones on the planet than people, so the concept of this
> keypad is second nature to most people.
>


Most of us are used to the SB3's direction arrows and keypad. I'm very
happy with the controller in comparison to the old remote. But perhaps
the fact that I always browse my music by folder has a part in that. My
artists are stored in alfabetic categories with the albums in a level
below that. That means I never have to navigate long lists.

Regards,
Peter

adamslim
2008-06-03, 12:58
I am alone in thinking this? Why was a wheel choosen from a UI perspective? Is there an advantage I am missing? Why is it so poorly implemented?

Yes! I got a brain-RS232 interface installed a while back and it's deeply irritating that I can't control my Squeezebox telepathically. How hard can it be?

Seriously, I find it a bit quirky but it works. Acceleration is predictable now - I find it a bit annoying that I scroll down and accelerate, then when I reverse it's still in 'fast mode' and I get back to A. So I pause when I get close, then go back. It gets me to what I want in just a few seconds.

The advantage of the SlimDevices system is that it gets better, usually quite quickly (you should have tried the beta version!!). The wheel is the best system, it works pretty well now and it will get to perfect soon. With Apple, you'd have to buy new hardware.