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ralphpnj
2008-06-19, 03:34
In the love fest which has surrounded the release of the Duet Controller one thing seems to have been forgotten: the Controller's search function is just about completely useless. It takes about 6 hours (+/- 2 hours) to search for a single item: first one uses the scroll wheel to locate the first letter, then it's back to the scroll wheel for the second letter and so on until, after what seems like an eternity, one gets to about the fourth letter and then one can actually scroll through a list of matching items. Browsing via the Controller is also fairly lame since first one has to scroll through all the other letters to get to letter one actually wants. And yes I know that one can scroll both up and down through the alphabet but what if one is wants to browse through the letter M, then it makes no difference whether scrolls down through a,b,c... or up through z,y,x..., it still takes forever, provided one doesn't just blow past the letter M while in "fast scroll" mode because then it takes forever squared.

Now contrast this rather poor behavior with that of the remote. Want to search? Install the Lazy Search plug-in and one just enters the first four or five letters via the alpha-numeric keypad and a short list of scrollable (via the up & down arrows) choices appears. Want to browse? Use the alpha-numeric keypad to quickly get to the letter one wants and scroll (via the up & down arrows) to the choice one wants.

Seems like a giant leap backwards to me, unless one just loves to see those 1" square full color covers.

Okay, so I'm being just a tad harsh here since with the Controller one doesn't need to squint at the SqueezeBox/Transporter screen and one can also control devices without having to be within IR range. Still I find myself using the remote to find/select something to listen to and then I use the Controller once I've made my selection. And of course since the Receiver has no screen, one absolutely needs a Controller to operate the Receiver.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

aubuti
2008-06-19, 05:15
agreed that search on the Controller is clumsy, although my estimates are several orders of magnitude better than your 6 hour hyperbole (~15 sec on SBC vs. ~2 sec on IR remote).

Browsing hasn't been a problem for me since they implemented the acceleration, but maybe that's because my library isn't all that large (340 albums and 200 artists). You might find Erland's "Custom Browse" plugin useful. I haven't used it, but I understand you can set a top level menu of [A-C] [D-F] [G-I] etc. and then drill down from there.

ralphpnj
2008-06-19, 05:36
Aubuti,

I thought that my estimate of 6 hours was hyperbole, well maybe just a bit :)

As far as the browsing is concerned, unlike you I have a rather large collection (5,000+ albums) and it is a complete pain in the ass to browse with the Controller although it is still light years ahead of trying to do a search using the Controller. The thing is that I usually use "search" to select the music I want to listen to. So I guess for the time being I'll just have to place my SBs and Transporter so that their displays are easy to read and they are within IR range of the remote. I'll also have a look at the "Custom Browse" plugin. Thanks for the heads up.

autopilot
2008-06-20, 02:13
In the love fest which has surrounded the release of the Duet Controller one thing seems to have been forgotten: the Controller's search function

There has been much discussion on the search function, there was when we were beta testing it too. I believe they are looking at options and there is talk of plugins too. So it's certainly not been forgotten, but while it's far from perfect there are other more pressing issues. Maybe you have missed the forums search function?

I dont use the search function very often (partly because its so slow to use), so this might not apply to everyone, but i find other area's have been speeded up by the use of the greater real estate the SBc provides - so overall usage is faster than with the IR remote imo.

StigErik
2008-06-20, 02:57
One thing that I would love to have on the Controller, is that album art is displayed when browsing my Music Folder... a bit iTunes, if you understand.

aubuti
2008-06-20, 06:32
One thing that I would love to have on the Controller, is that album art is displayed when browsing my Music Folder... a bit iTunes, if you understand.
Maybe I *don't* understand, or maybe things have changed since the last time I used iTunes, but as I recall iTunes doesn't let you browse your music folder, strictly speaking. It lets you browse your library as organized by genres, artists, and albums, or the list of tracks on the bottom part of the screen. Of course, you get album art on the Controller if you browse by genres, artists, or albums.

Various people have been working on hacks to get album art to display when browsing by Music Folder on the web ui -- search the forums if you're interested. So there's probably others interested in it for the Controller. The big hurdle is that by design, BMF doesn't use the MySQL database -- it just reads directly from the file system, which is why you do get album art when you drill down to the album folder (assuming you have cover.jpg or folder.jpg in there). But getting BMF to accommodate all the different ways that people can store album art is a nontrivial task.

egd
2008-06-20, 09:46
I dont use the search function very often (partly because its so slow to use), so this might not apply to everyone, but i find other area's have been speeded up by the use of the greater real estate the SBc provides - so overall usage is faster than with the IR remote imo.The current search function in the Controller is enough to justify keeping the IR remote handy. If you've a large library the same applies to the browse function - it needs a hotkey combo or something to be able to jump to a point in the alphabet and then allow you to pick up scrolling from there.

StigErik
2008-06-20, 10:20
Maybe I *don't* understand, or maybe things have changed since the last time I used iTunes, but as I recall iTunes doesn't let you browse your music folder, strictly speaking. It lets you browse your library as organized by genres, artists, and albums, or the list of tracks on the bottom part of the screen. Of course, you get album art on the Controller if you browse by genres, artists, or albums.

Various people have been working on hacks to get album art to display when browsing by Music Folder on the web ui -- search the forums if you're interested. So there's probably others interested in it for the Controller. The big hurdle is that by design, BMF doesn't use the MySQL database -- it just reads directly from the file system, which is why you do get album art when you drill down to the album folder (assuming you have cover.jpg or folder.jpg in there). But getting BMF to accommodate all the different ways that people can store album art is a nontrivial task.


Album art *DO* show when browsing the music folder in the web interface, as long as a album.jpg (or similar) file exists in the folder. See screenshot. My only wish is that the same would work using the Controller....

aubuti
2008-06-20, 11:04
Album art *DO* show when browsing the music folder in the web interface, as long as a album.jpg (or similar) file exists in the folder. See screenshot. My only wish is that the same would work using the Controller....
Which is *EXACTLY* why I said "...which is why you do get album art when you drill down to the album folder (assuming you have cover.jpg or folder.jpg in there)." So all you are looking for is album art on the SBC after you have already drilled down to the album folder, and you have a separate cover art file instead of one embedded in the tracks? I imagine that specific case would be much easier to implement than showing album art when browsing one or two levels higher in a typical artist/album/tracks structure.

ianstuart
2008-06-21, 08:28
Perhaps I am missing something but when using both my SB3 and my Controller I cannot search by composer, even though my music is organised with iTunes, which has a composer classification. I have worked around it by manually keying in composer in the Genre field but it seems rather a surprising omission.

Teus de Jong
2008-06-21, 08:50
I don't use iTunes. But if you tell in the web interface that composers have to be listed as artists (Go to the Settings page, choose the third tab -- Music collection; it's the first option there), this is done by the controller also.

Teus