PDA

View Full Version : Can someone explain how the + button works on controller/remote?



ModelCitizen
2008-07-13, 20:10
Hello,

I am confused by how the + button works on the both the controllers and the remotes.

I thought you hit it once to add another item at the end of your current playlist or held the button do add the item directly after the song/file currently playing.

However the hold function doesn't appear to work any more (which is a pain as I find I often want to insert a track directly after the one currently playing).

I have a suspicion it does other things too, but have no idea what.

Any help or pointers appreciated.

MC

davep
2008-07-13, 22:17
Pressing and holding "+" works for me in adding as a "Play Next" track. I am running 7.1 so maybe that has some relevance. See this link http://wiki.slimdevices.com/index.php/SqueezePlay7.1ReleaseNotes posted by Ben recently (Item 1.12)

davep

ModelCitizen
2008-07-14, 00:08
Thanks for this. I'll have more of a play. Maybe its functionality has changed again (or maybe it hasn't!). I also seemed to remember that if you were in the Now Playing screen it did something different.

MC

Siduhe
2008-07-14, 02:37
IIRC using the + key in Now Playing should remove the selected track from the Now Playing list.

Press and hold + to add next in Music Library is working ok for me running the same SC version as you (I think), but haven't updated to latest nightly for a couple of weeks - could you have any other plugins installed that might have hijacked the press and hold + combination ?

simbo
2008-07-14, 02:51
IIRC using the + key in Now Playing should remove the selected track from the Now Playing list.
Thus becoming one of the most bizarre usability decisions of the Squeezebox world, completely at odds with the intuitiveness of the rest of the system. :-)

EDIT: I think selecting a track in the playlist should present a menu with options to remove the track or play it next.

peter
2008-07-14, 04:26
simbo wrote:
> Siduhe;319681 Wrote:
>
>> IIRC using the + key in Now Playing should remove the selected track
>> from the Now Playing list.
>>
> Thus becoming one of the most bizarre usability decisions of the
> Squeezebox world, completely at odds with the intuitiveness of the rest
> of the system. :-)
>

Seems logical enough to me, a bit like a toggle really.

> EDIT: I think selecting a track in the playlist should present a menu
> with options to remove the track or play it next.
>

You want to replace a simple '+' or 'play' press with a whole menu?

Regards,
Peter

simbo
2008-07-14, 05:11
Seems logical enough to me, a bit like a toggle really.
It's got a big plus symbol on it. I read that to mean, perform an additive function. If the button was labelled differently I might feel better about it.

This is an example of what's called "negative affordance"; shattering a user's expectations of what a button does by making it behave differently under certain circumstances. This leads to users losing confidence over their understanding of an interface; they start to question even the most blindingly obvious function for fear it won't do what they expect it to.


You want to replace a simple '+' or 'play' press with a whole menu?
Strange as it sounds, yes. The tasks most performed will be adding/playing, with remove-from-playlist a secondary function and less likely to be performed. Don't have a problem with "Play" - does exactly what it says on the tin.

Of course this is all very subjective. My expectations haven't been shattered because I'm used to the old-style remotes. New users may find this a little confusing though.

peter
2008-07-14, 06:53
simbo wrote:
> peter;319707 Wrote:
>
>> Seems logical enough to me, a bit like a toggle really.
>>
> It's got a big plus symbol on it. I read that to mean, perform an
> additive function. If the button was labelled differently I might feel
> better about it.
>

You'd like it beter if it were +/-? ;)

> peter;319707 Wrote:
>
>> You want to replace a simple '+' or 'play' press with a whole menu?
>>
> Strange as it sounds, yes. The tasks most performed will be
> adding/playing, with remove-from-playlist a secondary function and less
> likely to be performed.
>

I regularly remove entries from a playlist. Often even multiple entries
which would be a real hassle if it required multiple keypressses. I
consider this a real bad idea.

Regards,
Peter

ModelCitizen
2008-07-14, 07:07
This is an example of what's called "negative affordance"; shattering a user's expectations of what a button does by making it behave differently under certain circumstances. This leads to users losing confidence over their understanding of an interface; they start to question even the most blindingly obvious function for fear it won't do what they expect it to.

Very good. I think I am probably a victim of this. I gave up using the + button as I was never certain what it was going to do and if it did not do what I was hoping/expecting it to do it often did something that took some time to recover from (like decimating a well planned playlist).

Confusion was also increased when the hold function was taken away at some point and tracks could not be added next in the playlist (was this for the Controller only.. or maybe the change from 6.* to 7.*.... or possibly I'm just imagining it?).

I think a +/- symbol might have made more sense... really. :-)

MC

simbo
2008-07-14, 07:13
You'd like it beter if it were +/-? ;)
Well, yeah :-) At least the labelling would be more representive of the action it performs.


I regularly remove entries from a playlist. Often even multiple entries
which would be a real hassle if it required multiple keypressses. I
consider this a real bad idea.
That's fine, I'm making assumptions as to how other people use their Controllers. That's what usability testing is for. My point is, maybe there's a better way of achieving the same functionality (with similar efficiency) without compromising affordance. Maybe not, which is why the current design still stands. Doesn't mean we can't discuss though. ;-)

aubuti
2008-07-14, 07:17
This is an example of what's called "negative affordance"; shattering a user's expectations of what a button does by making it behave differently under certain circumstances.
It's also called context specificity, which is all around us (ATMs, popular software, etc.). The alternative is button/menu proliferation. Besides, how is having "+" popup a sub-menu under Now Playing, but adding tracks while browsing not behaving differently under certain circumstances?


Don't have a problem with "Play" - does exactly what it says on the tin.
Ah, but browse these forums and you'll find lots of people who have a problem with Play, because they expect it to add a track to the current playlist. Some folks get pretty agitated when it blows away the current playlist....


Of course this is all very subjective. My expectations haven't been shattered because I'm used to the old-style remotes. New users may find this a little confusing though.
agreed, but I agree with Peter that adding another menu layer would be even more confusing to new users, and cumbersome for experienced users.

aubuti
2008-07-14, 07:19
Confusion was also increased when the hold function was taken away at some point and tracks could not be added next in the playlist (was this for the Controller only.. or maybe the change from 6.* to 7.*.... or possibly I'm just imagining it?).
IIRC, the hold function was late in coming to the SBC, although it was added before the official release. I don't think it was ever taken away after it was added.

bklaas
2008-07-14, 07:32
FWIW, most of these key handler decisions were made so the controller would act in the exact same way as the IR remote. The "+" key on the SB3 IR remote, when viewing the current playlist, does the same thing: removes the track. I think it's non-intuitive as well, although as soon as I learned it I actually use it all the time on the controller, particularly when listening to random mix.

Unfortunately I don't have a clear solution for "doing this right", because no matter what's decided it won't please everyone. If you have a strong feeling on how it should work, I'd encourage you to open a enhancement request at http://bugs.slimdevices.com.

cheers,
#!/ben

simbo
2008-07-14, 07:37
It's also called context specificity, which is all around us (ATMs, popular software, etc.). The alternative is button/menu proliferation. Besides, how is having "+" popup a sub-menu under Now Playing, but adding tracks while browsing not behaving differently under certain circumstances?
I think the more fundamental issue is having a button labelled to do one thing but actually do the opposite. Few context-driven interfaces have such a thing - they resort to more generic labels to prevent confusing users.


Ah, but browse these forums and you'll find lots of people who have a problem with Play, because they expect it to add a track to the current playlist. Some folks get pretty agitated when it blows away the current playlist....
True, I'm one of them. It's an interesting one; ask anybody to explain what they expect the play button to do and you'll probably only get one answer ("um, play?"), and yet we find ourselves drawn to that button when we find a song to append to the playlist. Personally, I think what's missing here is a "Party Mode" that makes the button act like the plus button. Changing the action, certainly, but at least it's not doing the opposite. ;-)

ModelCitizen
2008-07-14, 07:55
although as soon as I learned it I actually use it all the time on the controller, particularly when listening to random mix.
Hmm... I use the forward key. :-)

MC

simbo
2008-07-14, 07:57
Unfortunately I don't have a clear solution for "doing this right", because no matter what's decided it won't please everyone.
Very true. If anything is decided in this area you'll need to provide an option to allow for "classic use", making it work as is to appease existing users.

I think as long as the current remove-from-playlist action of the plus button is seen as a power-user's shortcut rather than the standard way of achieving this, maybe there's not an issue. If people are getting confused as to what the plus button is for, as this topic suggests, then there could be a problem.

As for raising an enhancement request, do you think it would generate as much discussion as it would here on the forums?

aubuti
2008-07-14, 08:18
Hmm... I use the forward key. :-)
But you need the "+" key if you want to delete a track before it ever gets to the "now playing" position.

ModelCitizen
2008-07-14, 08:30
But you need the "+" key if you want to delete a track before it ever gets to the "now playing" position.
Yes, but for me half the fun of Random Mix is the surprise element. Looking at the playlist destroys this somewhat. :-)

MC

bklaas
2008-07-14, 09:29
As for raising an enhancement request, do you think it would generate as much discussion as it would here on the forums?

It's not really about generating discussion: opening an enhancement request ensures that the development team will address the request formally in a bug meeting (I happen to be dialed into one of those meetings right now).

Forums are great for discussion, sometimes a black hole for getting something officially addressed. That's especially true of the general forum, where the volume is so high it's next to impossible to keep up.

cheers,
#!/ben

Brian Ritchie
2008-07-14, 17:45
It's got a big plus symbol on it. I read that to mean, perform an additive function. If the button was labelled differently I might feel better about it.

Well, the iPod achieves this through having a big button (the one in the middle) with NO label on it! (Does that constitute "zero affordance", or "infinite affordance"? :-) ) Press-and-hold will add to the on-the-go list, unless you're *in* the on-the-go-list, in which case it will remove it.

(Aside: since a single press of the Big Button means "enter" (e.g. view artist's albums, album's tracks), I find it all too easy to hold the button a tad too long, and accidentally add tons of stuff to on-the-go when I didn't mean to. It's a real pain to recover from this!)

(Aside 2: and I only recently realised that the Play button on the iPod is similar to the Squeezebox's - pressing Play on an item will (usually) make it replace whatever's in Now Playing. I say "usually" because I can't recall whether if music is actually playing, it will pause it instead.)

I suppose on the SBC (and IR remote) when in Now Playing, you should think of "(hold-)+" as "add this track to the set of tracks not in Now Playing" :-)

So, how *can* I use the SBC or the IR remote to move a track in Now Playing so that it's next? Before my Duet arrived I'd somehow assumed that the controller would make it easy to rearrange Now Playing, though heavens knows how I thought it might work! (Hmm, a Controller with a touch screen...)

-- Brian

peterw
2008-07-14, 19:50
opening an enhancement request ensures that the development team will address the request formally in a bug meeting (I happen to be dialed into one of those meetings right now).

Forums are great for discussion, sometimes a black hole for getting something officially addressed. That's especially true of the general forum, where the volume is so high it's next to impossible to keep up.


Sometimes bugzilla seems like a black hole; it'd be great if you folks could post notes in the bugs after discussing them so we had some idea where things stood.

BTW, if you haven't gleaned it from my previous posts, I'm growing to detest the + button, and wish it were a dedicated context menu button. The simple add.single to add something to the end of the current playlist is fine, but add.single while looking at Now Playing resulting in the playlist being obliterated is terrible. It's the sort of thing only a die-hard lover of Emacs or WordPerfect for DOS could love. Give me a nice modern interface like Eclipse or MS Word. Please. I'd rather try to remember who played on that old jazz record, or the name of that band I heard on SOMA FM the other day than a bunch of non-obvious overloaded button tricks. And I'm an "old timer" here.

Here's a relevant bug for those who haven't seen it:
"Context menu for mixers and other stuff"
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6021

-Peter

simbo
2008-07-15, 02:57
So, how *can* I use the SBC or the IR remote to move a track in Now Playing so that it's next?
I think there should be another option on the Now Playing Track menu (the one you get when you press the middle button while highlighting a track in the Now Playing list) labelled "Play Next". It should move the selected track to directly below the currently playing track. I added similar functionality to my Salling Clicker script.