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Muele
2010-02-18, 00:09
The squeezebox system always gets bashed for it's poor user interface when it comes to managing synchronisation.

Can we as a community come up with some good ideas that can the developers can use to improve on this?

Could we as a community come up with constructive ideas how the developers can improve it?
Not so much on the touch. They can get plenty of inspiration from iPeng, Sonos, Slimcontrol etc. But for the spinning-wheel/knob devices, Radio and controller. Maybe also leave out the VFD based devices as their limited visualization makes it hard to do the massive improvement that is needed. I don't own one, so I may be wrong. But my own focus will be on squeezeplay devices with a wheel/knob.

I will start out with a couple of ideas:

1. Let users define sync-groups that the system remembers. I.e. which players are in the group and which playlist should take over.

2. Easier stopping of multi-sync. If I e.g. sync 3 devices I need to switch between players to get the players to play individually. The party has finished, I just want to kill all sync "with one click".

erland
2010-02-18, 00:25
From a user point of view I think we need some kind of "zone" concept, I suppose this might be the same as what you call sync groups.

- It should be possible to configure a player so it's part of several zones but obviously it can only play music in one zone at the time
- In the user interface you should be able to select a zone (or a single player)
- When you select a zone and starts to play, it should move all players in the zone to the correct server and start playing them synchronized

Some samples of zones:
- Bottom floor
- Whole house
- Livingroom and kitchen

In this concept, the kitchen Boom might be part of all three zones.
1. The user select "Whole house" and start to play something, the kitchen Boom is connected to the sync group and starts to play.
2. The user select "Bottom floor" and start to play something, the kitchen Boom is disconnected from the "Whole house" sync group and connected to the "Bottom floor" sync group and starts to play the new music. The remaining players in "Whole house" keeps playing the old music.

I think it's also worth to look at iPeng as I think it provides the best synchronization configuration available for the Squeezebox products at the moment.

The issue that's going to trouble the developers are the fact that players might be connected to different servers. When you select a zone some of its players might be connected to MySB.com, some to the Touch and some to your full SBS server somewhere else in the house.

pippin
2010-02-18, 00:56
Please also have a look at the current incarnation of the SyncOptions plugin.

Muele
2010-02-18, 01:51
...some kind of "zone" concept, I suppose this might be the same as what you call sync groups.

Yes, thats what I meant. You just formulate it a whole lot better than me :)

aubuti
2010-02-18, 07:05
What Muele and Erland describe is pretty much how I use The Synchronizer plugin. I have several sync groups or zones defined, with a given player designated as the 'master' of each. Players can be in more than one sync group, which is especially useful for my Boom, which divides its time between the upstairs bedroom and the patio. Were there other features you had in mind, or are there gaps in The Synchronizer feature set that I'm overlooking, other than the obvious part about it being a plugin rather than built-in?

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 08:00
I don't think it is features really that is the main issue here, it is understandability and usability.

I've just installed the "The Synchronizer" plugin and even though I'm software developer myself I can't begin to fathom how the web UI side of it actually works. The setting up of sync sets has me complete bemused as to what I am supposed to do:

http://norman.cx/photos/links/sync.png

Chunkywizard
2010-02-18, 08:08
I have never used this before but it seems simple to me. You have Sync Sets and you say which of your players are in each sync set. Currently nothing is set. But if you wanted Office and Radio synced to Kitchen in the Downstairs sync group then click the menu item for them and set it to sync (in the Downstairs sync set). Looks quite useful, I might investigate it myself...

CW

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 08:14
I have never used this before but it seems simple to me. You have Sync Sets and you say which of your players are in each sync set. Currently nothing is set. But if you wanted Office and Radio synced to Kitchen in the Downstairs sync group then click the menu item for them and set it to sync (in the Downstairs sync set). Looks quite useful, I might investigate it myself...


I'd agree, that would be easy if that was how it worked...

But that isn't how it works. To get to this state all I did was create the three sync sets.

Taking the Upstairs set as an example, the dropdown lists are as follows:

Kitchen - "Unsyncronized or master", "Office", "Radio"
Office - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Radio"
Internet Radio - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Office"

I honestly don't know what I am supposed to set to get the various players into the right sync sets. I expect I can work it out by experimentation, but it is far from obvious (to me) without said experimentation.

Chunkywizard
2010-02-18, 08:16
Set Office and Internet Radio to Kitchen would be my guess. You point at the master.

CW

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 08:19
Set Office and Internet Radio to Kitchen would be my guess. You point at the master.

Some experimentation suggests that you are right. My point however was that the UI on first encounter is completely baffling and the average new user would never even do the experiments to find out how it worked.

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 08:37
To add to my confusion, now that I've started experimenting with The Synchronizer some of the other sync behaviour seems to have changed, for the worse. Everytime I switch player in the web UI all my synced players get unsynced.

I'm guessing that isn't the expected behaviour ?

aubuti
2010-02-18, 08:45
I don't think it is features really that is the main issue here, it is understandability and usability.
Okay. It has been a while since I set up my sync groups, so to be honest I don't remember the UI for setting it up at all. I'll take a look again, but obviously it's not a panacea.

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 08:45
And in some cases switching between players stops play back on all players, all very odd and confusing.

maggior
2010-02-18, 09:37
I haven't heard of the synchonrization plugin before...I'll have to check it out.

I like the ideas presented here. What I would also like to see is a sort of "follow me" feature. This is more of a playlist transfer feature, but it could use sync functionality to make it work.

On weekends I quite often find myself listening to music in one room (kitchen maybe) and move into another room (living room) for a while. My wife might come in and kick me out because she wants to watch TV, so I'll go into the family room maybe.

What I do now is chose my destination player, sync it to the currently playing player, go back to the original player and unsync it. Now music is playing at my new destination and not in the old location.

It would be nice to accomplish this with a single click or a smaller number of clicks.

pippin
2010-02-18, 09:39
I haven't heard of the synchonrization plugin before...I'll have to check it out.

I like the ideas presented here. What I would also like to see is a sort of "follow me" feature. This is more of a playlist transfer feature, but it could use sync functionality to make it work.

On weekends I quite often find myself listening to music in one room (kitchen maybe) and move into another room (living room) for a while. My wife might come in and kick me out because she wants to watch TV, so I'll go into the family room maybe.

What I do now is chose my destination player, sync it to the currently playing player, go back to the original player and unsync it. Now music is playing at my new destination and not in the old location.

It would be nice to accomplish this with a single click or a smaller number of clicks.

SwitchPlayer plugin does exactly that.

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 09:40
I like the ideas presented here. What I would also like to see is a sort of "follow me" feature. This is more of a playlist transfer feature, but it could use sync functionality to make it work.

On weekends I quite often find myself listening to music in one room (kitchen maybe) and move into another room (living room) for a while. My wife might come in and kick me out because she wants to watch TV, so I'll go into the family room maybe.

What I do now is chose my destination player, sync it to the currently playing player, go back to the original player and unsync it. Now music is playing at my new destination and not in the old location.

It would be nice to accomplish this with a single click or a smaller number of clicks.
You can do that with the Other Players plugin, works very well. Just go to the new player, select the player you want to move the playlist from.

Letten
2010-02-18, 10:13
See that's what I love about Squeezebox.

Someone presents a need, and BANG there are already plugins that does it - brilliant.


It's brilliant because the deafult userinterface doesn't need to be crowded with features only a few people use, but if You have a need, chances are there is a plugin that does it for You.

pippin
2010-02-18, 10:17
It's brilliant because the deafult userinterface doesn't need to be crowded with features only a few people use, but if You have a need, chances are there is a plugin that does it for You.

You are right about the plugins but wrong about the default interface.

The problem here is that the default interface DOES have the feature yet it sucks so much that people simply don't know how to use it (with more than two players, at least).

So you need to know that there are plugins to work around that.

I think it's a good idea to think which of these features would make a good addition to the core to fix the base feature.

pablolie
2010-02-18, 10:17
Most important thing for me would be to get the synch between a *Duet* and a *Boom* working reliably. There are issues, every time I play theese two products synched, in 7.4.1.

I am happy with the ability to synch SB3 and Boom. I am pretty sure the Duet is the culprit these days: they get out of synch, and then there are several seconds of pause. Typically early in the song. This iad worked perfectly previously.

maggior
2010-02-18, 10:37
You can do that with the Other Players plugin, works very well. Just go to the new player, select the player you want to move the playlist from.

Wow, this is really cool - thanks for letting me know about it! I should keep more up-to-date on what plugins are available.

Does this plugin work with the controller for when I want to move a playlist to a squeezebox receiver?

EDIT: To answer my own question, yes it does work on the controller. I'm going to try this out tonight - this looks really cool! Here's a link to the plugin info:

http://thespicers.net/otherPlayers.html

andynormancx
2010-02-18, 11:10
Most important thing for me would be to get the synch between a *Duet* and a *Boom* working reliably. There are issues, every time I play theese two products synched, in 7.4.1.


That's odd, I've never had any sync issues between my Duet Receiver and my three Booms, always rock solid.

tcutting
2010-02-18, 11:14
Most important thing for me would be to get the synch between a *Duet* and a *Boom* working reliably. There are issues, every time I play theese two products synched, in 7.4.1.

I am happy with the ability to synch SB3 and Boom. I am pretty sure the Duet is the culprit these days: they get out of synch, and then there are several seconds of pause. Typically early in the song. This iad worked perfectly previously.

When you say "Duet" do you mean the Receiver (which should work just fine) or the Controller, which wouldn't surprise me at all if it has issues as audio playback on the controller is hit-an-miss anyway, isn't "officially" supported, and I don't think has ever been optimized to allow synchronization?

pippin
2010-02-18, 11:24
That's odd, I've never had any sync issues between my Duet Receiver and my three Booms, always rock solid.

Same here. Some with Radio in 7.4 but never with Boom.

Use 7.5...

pippin
2010-02-18, 11:25
When you say "Duet" do you mean the Receiver (which should work just fine) or the Controller, which wouldn't surprise me at all if it has issues as audio playback on the controller is hit-an-miss anyway, isn't "officially" supported, and I don't think has ever been optimized to allow synchronization?

Oh yes, that's true. Controller doesn't work well with Playback.

Letten
2010-02-18, 11:44
You are right about the plugins but wrong about the default interface.

The problem here is that the default interface DOES have the feature yet it sucks so much that people simply don't know how to use it (with more than two players, at least).

I was speaking more generally. Keep default core functionality and add plugins for more special needs.

I agree that sync can be a little difficult to understand but I still use it often.

My comment was a spontanious positive reaction to the fact that one users comment on a need prompted two answers referring to two diferent plugins that catered to that need.

Kuben72
2010-02-18, 15:17
I have used Eric Koldingers Synchronizer plugin for some time now. And it works and makes synchronizing usable. But for now it has a small problem: It turns on every player there is in the system, regardless of the player is not in the chosen sync-zone.
And the interface in SBS is hideous (Sorry Eric) but it works and without it I wouldn't know how to handle my 4 players.

Mnyb
2010-02-18, 23:33
Any improvement in sync should include a less insane handling of alarms.

The situation now, if players are synced if any of them have an alarm then the alarm is sounding in all players and the now playing playlist gets wiped out and replaced by the alarm choice ?

To begin with

1. A player should sound it's alarm alone and then rejoin the sync group zone or master ? if it was synced before. (wontfix bug :( 1)

2. A player should not wipe it's now playing activity it should resume to previous state after an alarm. (wontfix bug :( 2)

3. If you want "all house" alarm it should be possible to configure a master a zone or sync group with an alarm ?
Of course all players should return to whatever they where doing also after this alarm, so you don't end up with all players synced after the alarm.

pablolie
2010-02-19, 08:40
When you say "Duet" do you mean the Receiver (which should work just fine) or the Controller, which wouldn't surprise me at all if it has issues as audio playback on the controller is hit-an-miss anyway, isn't "officially" supported, and I don't think has ever been optimized to allow synchronization?

Strictly the Receiver. It will also have questionable synch with the controller on such occasions. The log never shows that anything went wrong though.

aubuti
2010-02-20, 15:40
Some experimentation suggests that you are right. My point however was that the UI on first encounter is completely baffling and the average new user would never even do the experiments to find out how it worked.
The ui would benefit from one of those "i" info balloons to expand upon the cryptic "Unsynchronized (or Master)", but the logic is rather simple.

The "Whole House" sync group is the easiest example, especially not knowing the layout of your house and what is upstairs and what is downstairs. First, decide which player you want to be the "Master" -- the other player(s) will use its playlist, rather than vice versa. Let's say you choose "Kitchen" to be the master. Then don't change anything for the Kitchen's drop-down. Then go to the Office drop-down and choose Kitchen, because it is going to sync to Kitchen. Then go to the Internet Radio drop-down and sync it to Kitchen. Click 'Apply' and the group is established.

Alternatively, let's assume for now that your Upstairs players are Office and Internet Radio. Let's also assume that you want Internet Radio to be the master. Then just go to the drop-down for Office and set it to Radio, click 'Apply', and you're done.

I haven't run into the problems you have with players getting un-sync'd and such, but those symptoms could possibly be a result of not setting the groups up correctly. For example, if you have two players sync'ing to different 'masters' in the same sync group then the results will be a little unpredictable.... But maybe it's something else that's giving you problems.

Muele
2010-02-22, 13:50
So basically what is requested is something like "The Synchronizer" plugin.
I have now installed it. It works, gets the job done. I will now replace SB's own sync on my main menu. But I really think it should be core functionality. Sync is a main differentiator and shouldn't rely on users fiddling about with third party stuff, let alone the less advanced users that are never going to install plugins that are not part of "the core".

Also I think it should be posible to administrate on the device as well as the web-ui.

Is this all that is need to get the Sync-experience up to level? (Besides the technical issues some still experience.)

What about semi-attached volume control. How can that be managed on a non-touch device?

Other stuff?

Mnyb
2010-02-22, 14:07
Also we need "master volume" vs player volume .

Syncing volume means that each player gets the exact same numerical value for volume this is probably the most wrong setting you can have. This only works if you gain stage and calibrate all your sb's/stereos to your boom's typical level ;)

Synchronize volume should mean that when i rise the volume with the "master" player all other players should follow relatively and increase by the same dB they should still have individual volume controls, so I can even out the volume differences between stereos and rooms.
The same volume can be very loud in one room but not in the other.

pippin
2010-02-22, 15:25
Also we need "master volume" vs player volume .

Syncing volume means that each player gets the exact same numerical value for volume this is probably the most wrong setting you can have. This only works if you gain stage and calibrate all your sb's/stereos to your boom's typical level ;)

Synchronize volume should mean that when i rise the volume with the "master" player all other players should follow relatively and increase by the same dB they should still have individual volume controls, so I can even out the volume differences between stereos and rooms.
The same volume can be very loud in one room but not in the other.

You should try the SyncOptions plugin (or iPeng, of course :) ).

bburroughs
2010-02-22, 15:36
I recently got a second squeezebox, and have had my first chance to play with sync. I've got a duet and an SB3, and actually find the existing sync interface to be much more usable than I expected, considering all the complaints people seem to have about it. However, my main complaint is that when syncing 44/16 FLAC files, I get a fairly loud click on the SB3 every few minutes. Has anyone else experienced this?

Muele
2010-02-23, 05:30
I recently got a second squeezebox, and have had my first chance to play with sync. I've got a duet and an SB3, and actually find the existing sync interface to be much more usable than I expected, considering all the complaints people seem to have about it. However, my main complaint is that when syncing 44/16 FLAC files, I get a fairly loud click on the SB3 every few minutes. Has anyone else experienced this?

Please post a separate thread about that. If there should be any chance of a Logitech employee reading this thread it should keep on topic :)

Kuben72
2010-02-23, 11:06
You should try the SyncOptions plugin (or iPeng, of course :) ).

Why?? SyncOption doesn't deal with volume. It is a small plugin that has a few extensions for synchronisation.

pippin
2010-02-23, 11:34
Why?? SyncOption doesn't deal with volume. It is a small plugin that has a few extensions for synchronisation.
Yes it does.
Try the current version.

Kuben72
2010-02-23, 11:41
Yes it does.
Try the current version.

I am. Version 2.1.28. I even checked Peters website: http://www.tux.org/~peterw/. Latest version was 2.1.28 or am I missing something here?

pippin
2010-02-23, 13:52
Hm, maybe I'm missing something and it was a beta. Will check.
I DO have a SyncOptions plugin that syncs volume and I had some discussion (and changes) with Peter on how to make this compatible with iPeng's volume syncing.

Kuben72
2010-02-23, 13:58
Hm, maybe I'm missing something and it was a beta. Will check.
I DO have a SyncOptions plugin that syncs volume and I had some discussion (and changes) with Peter on how to make this compatible with iPeng's volume syncing.

That sounds just great. If Peter is willing I wouldn't mind testing it for him as well. I will even translate it to Danish for him :)

Kuben72
2010-02-23, 14:24
In Peters test catalogue I found version 2.1.31 and it has the settings for handling volume syncing, but as far as I can see it is not implemented yet. To bad. I have been looking for this for a long time.

pippin
2010-02-23, 14:24
Try his testing repo:
http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/slim7/repodata-test.xml
It's 2.1.31

Kuben72
2010-02-23, 14:34
Or it's not working. At least not from a controller.

pippin
2010-02-23, 15:23
Did you use the testing repo?
You have to enable volume syncing in the settings in the web interface

Kuben72
2010-02-24, 01:11
Yes I did. I am running SuncOptions 2.1.31. And yes I did enable volume syncing. But it didn't work when I tried adjusting the volume on one of the players that was synced.

pippin
2010-02-24, 01:38
Hm, this sounds like you should contact Peter.
BTW, here's the original thread around it:
http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=70903

Maybe there's some error in the "ipeng:1" logic so that the plugin is _always_ being disabled if you use the CLI command?

Or did you probably try within the grace period after syncing?

pippin
2010-02-24, 01:45
Just tried it again. Works for me. With the Controller, too.

Muele
2010-02-24, 06:28
'Tis a darn shame the thread got pulled so far off topic...

Hmm... or did it. Is the answer to just leave the sync UI as it is and leave it up to 3rd party to make a decent interface?

Ben Sandee
2010-02-24, 06:44
On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 7:28 AM, Muele
<Muele.46w3w01267018202 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> 'Tis a darn shame the thread got pulled so far off topic...
>
> Hmm... or did it. Is the answer to just leave the sync UI as it is and
> leave it up to 3rd party to make a decent interface?

I've been using the SqueezeCenter sync interface as-is for years now
and, frankly, I dont see where all the complaints are coming from and
I don't think it's really fair to imply that the current UI is not
even decent. I think for most people (the non-vocal majority) the
sync interface is good enough because you set it up once and just
leave it alone. I haven't had to resync the two players that I have
synced for a long time.

There are those who are constantly adjusting sync settings who may
have issues with this design, and the 3rd-party plugins are good
solutions for them.

Ben

pippin
2010-02-24, 07:02
I think for most people (the non-vocal majority) the
sync interface is good enough because you set it up once and just
leave it alone.

Well, frankly, I _DO_ change volume on my players several times a day. Even synced ones.
And I don't think changing volume is a rare use case for anybody.
And it sucks with the current sync interface on the controller.

Mnyb
2010-02-24, 07:30
On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 7:28 AM, Muele
<Muele.46w3w01267018202 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> 'Tis a darn shame the thread got pulled so far off topic...
>
> Hmm... or did it. Is the answer to just leave the sync UI as it is and
> leave it up to 3rd party to make a decent interface?

I've been using the SqueezeCenter sync interface as-is for years now
and, frankly, I dont see where all the complaints are coming from and
I don't think it's really fair to imply that the current UI is not
even decent. I think for most people (the non-vocal majority) the
sync interface is good enough because you set it up once and just
leave it alone. I haven't had to resync the two players that I have
synced for a long time.

There are those who are constantly adjusting sync settings who may
have issues with this design, and the 3rd-party plugins are good
solutions for them.

Ben

Yes but you don't set it up once ! You change sync depending of situation.
Who does set it up once ? normal use IS constantly changing sync ?
You don't want music in every room all the time, that must be the corner case ?

And the fact that alarm goes to every player actually forces you to unsync every evening, or go around and turn of players and make sure that power is not synced.

If you have only two players, the included UI barely passes as ok.
But tell people with 7 players that current UI is good enough ;)
I thinks it's a border-case on 3 players.

But the omitting of master volume makes it's non-functional for more than 1 player, I just don't sync volume but adjust them individually instead.

aubuti
2010-02-24, 07:36
I've been using the SqueezeCenter sync interface as-is for years now and, frankly, I dont see where all the complaints are coming from and I don't think it's really fair to imply that the current UI is not even decent. I think for most people (the non-vocal majority) the sync interface is good enough because you set it up once and just leave it alone. I haven't had to resync the two players that I have synced for a long time.

There are those who are constantly adjusting sync settings who may have issues with this design, and the 3rd-party plugins are good solutions for them.
I think a lot of the interface issues come up when sync'ing more than two players. For those cases the current standard ui is a lot more awkward than sync'ing two players. It tries to satisfy two different "perspectives" (the SBC's and player's), but it can be confusing. I personally have no interest in volume sync'ing -- either absolute or relative levels -- and I don't think that's a rare viewpoint.

Ben Sandee
2010-02-24, 08:04
On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 8:30 AM, Mnyb
<Mnyb.46w6rb1267021921 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:

> Yes but you don't set it up once ! You change sync depending of
> situation.
> Who does set it up once ? normal use IS constantly changing sync ?
> You don't want music in every room all the time, that must be the
> corner case ?

Umm, yes I do and did.

Sync is ESSENTIAL for me. I have two players always in sync and if I
ever used my third player I would put it in sync with those two and
leave the entire group alone. Their volumes and power are all
controlled independently because only someone actually in the room has
any idea if the volume is correct for the current situation. I never
change anything related to sync settings and everything just works
exactly as I want it to.

Like I said, lots of you guys jumping all over me are a vocal
minority. I'd love to see stats on SB adoption but I would bet that
the vast majority of people with more than one device have only two
devices and they aren't constantly changing sync settings.

Am I saying that things work perfectly for you? No. I'm saying it
works perfectly for me and a lot of other people with simple needs.

Ben

Ben Sandee
2010-02-24, 08:08
On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 8:02 AM, pippin
<pippin.46w5gn1267020241 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Ben Sandee;520095 Wrote:
>> I think for most people (the non-vocal majority) the
>> sync interface is good enough because you set it up once and just
>> leave it alone.
>
> Well, frankly, I _DO_ change volume on my players several times a day.
> Even synced ones.
> And I don't think changing volume is a rare use case for anybody.
> And it sucks with the current sync interface on the controller.

I got rid of my controller a long time ago so no comment on that.

I also adjust the volume on my players all the time, but I don't sync
volume. That simply doesn't make sense for me because only someone
actually in the room with the device can know what the proper volume
is.

I think that volume syncing is a feature that goes beyond what a
"decent" implementation must have.

Ben

pippin
2010-02-24, 09:26
I think that volume syncing is a feature that goes beyond what a
"decent" implementation must have.


Then I think you simply haven't seen a good one, yet.
Feels very natural with iPeng and is actually a big selling point for Sonos.

It's one of those very, very rare cases where I didn't get a single complaint about it being the default setting in iPeng. Usually, whatever you do, some people want it the other way around. But yes, you can indeed turn it off.

aubuti
2010-02-24, 10:02
Then I think you simply haven't seen a good one, yet.
Feels very natural with iPeng and is actually a big selling point for Sonos.
You don't have to see one to understand the concept, which is simple enough. For my purposes (and apparently Ben's), local control of volume is the only thing that makes sense. If I turn it down in the study so that I can take a phone call that doesn't mean the people listening in lounge want it turned down. And if I want it turned up in the lounge to enjoy it more it doesn't mean my neighbors want it louder on the outdoor speakers. Maybe if I was running a club or restaurant or something, but certainly not in my home.

Obviously your purposes are different and that's fine, but please don't play it as "if only you have seen one".

Ben Sandee
2010-02-24, 10:04
On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:26 AM, pippin
<pippin.46wc4n1267028881 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Then I think you simply haven't seen a good one, yet.
> Feels very natural with iPeng and is actually a big selling point for
> Sonos.

Even if I saw the best implementation ever I wouldn't use it because
it simply doesn't make sense for my use case. I'm not saying others
won't find it useful, but to suggest that I don't use it because of a
poor implementation is simply not true.

The thread houses a discussion about a "poor", "useless",
"non-functional" UI and I just wanted to point out that it's not
really helpful or accurate language.

Ben

pippin
2010-02-24, 10:28
Obviously your purposes are different and that's fine, but please don't play it as "if only you have seen one".

Actually, I'm not so sure. I believe it's the same as the 90% of people who come in with a "why would I want to stream to a 2nd room" when they first think about a Squeezebox or something similar. They, too, can imagine the use case, I'm sure about that, they just don't see how useful it is when they didn't use it...

Agreed, maybe my rooms are closer and my doors more open, don't know. But if _I_ turn down the music to take a call I don't want it to come in, full volume from the next room. I agree that I usually use pause for that one, though...

And whenever I hear music in one room and somebody else does independently in another, chances are pretty high we listen to different programming, too.

The main use case _I_ have is really adapting to time-of-day volume. I _do_ want to use a different volume level at 3am than I use at 3pm and yes, I do want the radio in the kitchen turn down with the volume in the living room in that case. I may be special in that these kinds of volume changes definitely make for most of my volume adjustments.

And whenever I had to turn down the volume in three rooms independently, just because it was getting later I really knew what was missing...

pippin
2010-02-24, 10:32
The thread houses a discussion about a "poor", "useless",
"non-functional" UI and I just wanted to point out that it's not
really helpful or accurate language.


The thread is about suggestion on how to improve sync UI especially on controller and maybe radio.
Note: this doesn't not necessarily mean synced UI (although it does for volume); I agree that if you always keep your players synced you don't have to care about how you change sync state. But the fact that some people or even a lot of people don't use a feature doesn't make the implementation of that feature a good one.

Muele
2010-02-24, 12:03
I guess it depends very much on how many live and use the system.

We are 5 in the household of which 3 are old enough to be using the system actively.

Usually nothing is synced and noone but me has been able to manage sync.

When I'm home alone I like to sync everything and listen to music at a decent level across the house. I normally keep one controller with me in that usecase. I don't sync volume. But being able to do so would be really great.
The way it's done on Sonos (as far as I know at least) is that there is a master slider and individual sliders for each player. Great interface for a touch-device.

But how can something similar be achieved on the button'n'knob interface?

Mnyb
2010-02-24, 12:03
Let's say I want to lower the volume on one player but i synced all my players together to one of them ok.

Now to independently change to volume at one player which is my use case now .
I have to to switch player with my controller to get to the individual players volume !?
Therefore I'm seriously thinking off getting an iPhone/iPod, does not iPeng have a menu with all players volume accessible at the same time ?

Sometimes I would like to sync volume:
But the use of the same volume at all players simply wont work one or two players is always to loud, sync volume is simply not possible to use as implemented now, almost nobody has all rooms gain staged the same. This can not be a corner case seriously ? You must have some sort of independent adjustment too, even if they are synced it could be so simple as some negative bias you set in the preferences (but master volume and player volume concept would be the best).

I too have a rather smallish place and open doors so i hear all players from all rooms at the same time, so for now independent volume is the thing thats works for me. So if I want to listen softer I have to switch player 3 times with the controller and adjust each one of them ? Bizzare.

The syncing itself works splendidly as i actually hear all player all the time.

It's the UI that is awkward and confusing, if I for example suddenly want to sync my kitchen player with my living room player, I have to choose the kitchen player with my controller and then sync !?
And then change back again,because i'm doing the playlist from the living room (30 minutes later I unsync )

Thats because the sync menu only gives you the option:
Sync < current player> to:

player x

player y

player z

When whats needed in most cases is really this option:

Sync player with <current player> :

player x

player y

player z

You can have both options in the scroll-down I think.

And the opposite options to unsync of-course.

Ok in very few words, summary:

A sync UI designed so that you have to change player with the controller all the time is flawed, this must be bad for everyone rigth/wrong ?

Kuben72
2010-02-24, 12:24
I agree with that statement. I will even go further to say that you should be able to sync any two or more players from the controller/player without have to be one of them. And thereby I introduce a third version of yours two possibilities where you first choose the player you want to sync with another.

PS: @IPeng: I got Peters plugin to work. It must have been something with the grace period. Thanks for bringing our attention to this new version of Peters great plugin.

Muele
2010-02-24, 12:43
I agree with that statement. I will even go further to say that you should be able to sync any two or more players from the controller/player without have to be one of them. And thereby I introduce a third version of yours two possibilities where you first choose the player you want to sync with another.

I think thats a pretty good idea. For most users it could actually be as good as "predefined" zones and much more flexible.

pippin
2010-02-24, 13:04
I believe what iPeng does on the sync and the volume access could be done on the controller as well:

1. Sync.
- offer a list of all players and allow to check some of them with a check mark
- selecting a sync menu (or pressing + or something) gets you to a menu which shows the different players you selected and what they play and you select which one should be the master.
- an unsync menu item would unsync the selected players
- show players from other servers, too and pull them to the current server is synced in.

2. Volume:
- normal volume controls do either master volume or current player volume, depending on setting
- holding a volume button would bring up a menu with a slider or a volume level for each player and then pressing volume up or down while a player item is selected would change the volume on that player.

Ok, iPeng also does some dance drag'n drop stuff and has a bigger screen for eye candy around this but functionality wise this could be done on the controller UI as well.

Mnyb
2010-02-24, 13:04
I agree with that statement. I will even go further to say that you should be able to sync any two or more players from the controller/player without have to be one of them. And thereby I introduce a third version of yours two possibilities where you first choose the player you want to sync with another.

PS: @IPeng: I got Peters plugin to work. It must have been something with the grace period. Thanks for bringing our attention to this new version of Peters great plugin.

So if we have a completely "current player" independent sync option to ! yes.
Maybe a higher level menu:

1 sync to < current >
2 sync with < current>
3 build sync group ( or what we should call it)

Which then forks to a menu where you pick and choose players, radio buttons where you mark all player you want to sync.

Except for 3 where you first choose which player that the others should be synced to ?

Mnyb
2010-02-24, 13:15
I forgot if a better UI to actually sync players is done:
It solves a 1/3 of the problem which still leaves Alarm and Volume handling to creative solutions .

Alarm handling is my real problem I don't want it to blare out of all players.

pippin
2010-02-24, 14:17
Now THAT one is easy: turn them off.

Muele
2010-02-25, 13:50
So we have touched upon three areas: setiing up sync groups, managing volume and alarm behavior.

Could we dwell a bit more on the alarm behavior? What is most desirable behavior. (Are there several posible behaviors that should be posible to choose from in the SBS settings?)

tcutting
2010-02-25, 14:55
I would say an alarm should be specific to a particular player. An alarm event should cause that player to be disconnected from it's "sync group" and the alarm apply to only that player.

sebp
2010-02-25, 15:13
Let's say I want to lower the volume on one player but i synced all my players together to one of them ok.

Now to independently change to volume at one player which is my use case now .
I have to to switch player with my controller to get to the individual players volume !?


I agree with that statement. I will even go further to say that you should be able to sync any two or more players from the controller/player without have to be one of them. And thereby I introduce a third version of yours two possibilities where you first choose the player you want to sync with another.

You guys should really test the OtherPlayers plugin! :D

Mnyb
2010-02-25, 15:25
You guys should really test the OtherPlayers plugin! :D

I use it, it does not solve all problems you still have to switch player

And the this plugins ability controll other players volume does not extend to controller menu.

On an SB3 or BOOM you can controll another players volume, but not with the controller

Mnyb
2010-02-25, 15:33
So we have touched upon three areas: setiing up sync groups, managing volume and alarm behavior.

Could we dwell a bit more on the alarm behavior? What is most desirable behavior. (Are there several posible behaviors that should be posible to choose from in the SBS settings?)

Mo pow as stated earlier in the tread:

To begin with

1. A player should sound it's alarm alone and then rejoin the sync group zone or master ? if it was synced before. (wontfix bug 1)

2. A player should not wipe it's now playing activity it should resume to previous state/playlist after an alarm. (wontfix bug 2)

3. If you want "all house" alarm it should be possible to configure a master a zone or sync group with an alarm ?
Of course all players should return to whatever they where doing also after this alarm, so you don't end up with all players synced after the alarm.

The wont fix statuses, yes i tried both 1 and 2 in bugzilla with little sucess nobody was with me on this :-/

All this may need some options you can probably think up situations where none of this is desirable.

sebp
2010-02-25, 15:38
And the this plugins ability controll other players volume does not extend to controller menu.

On an SB3 or BOOM you can controll another players volume, but not with the controller
My bad, you're right, the Squeezeplay UI isn't as complete as the VFD one.
But I guess it shouldn't be that hard to add this feature to the plugin...

Mnyb
2010-02-25, 16:01
My bad, you're right, the Squeezeplay UI isn't as complete as the VFD one.
But I guess it shouldn't be that hard to add this feature to the plugin...

It's my fav plugin moving the playlist around with me :)

gorman
2010-02-26, 00:56
Maybe also leave out the VFD based devices as their limited visualization makes it hard to do the massive improvement that is needed. I don't own one, so I may be wrong. But my own focus will be on squeezeplay devices with a wheel/knob.Well, I would argue that the VFD based devices still constitute the *GRAND* majority of SB userbase. If Logitech wanted to dump it, they'd be free to do that. As I would be of taking my money elsewhere the next minute.

And, honestly, without even having read the thread, giving users the ability to create synchgroups accessible through remote shortcuts would be entirely withing the VFD based devices "limited" visualization (limited as in "actually readable from the couch, where people tend to listen to music").

pippin
2010-02-26, 01:48
This wasn't about dropping VFD device support but the other way around that these feature in OtherPlayers is ONLY available on VFD devices

Kuben72
2010-02-26, 15:24
I would say an alarm should be specific to a particular player. An alarm event should cause that player to be disconnected from it's "sync group" and the alarm apply to only that player.

I think that should be optional or at least it should return to the sync group when the alarm is ended.

Muele
2010-03-08, 05:11
I have now filed three enhancement request.

Please read, comment and vote :)

Bug 15848 - Improve synchronization user interaction - Managing devices
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15848

Bug 15849 - Improve synchronization user interaction - Managing volume control
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15849

Bug 15850 - Improve synchronization user experience Alarm handling
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15850

Muele
2010-03-08, 06:18
Bug 15848 - Improve synchronization user interaction - Managing devices
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15848
has already been killed as a duplicate of
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6806
A bug from January 2008 with status Future. EDIT. I think that is a shame, since some new ideas came up in the thread, which are not in the old bug.

and
Bug 15850 - Improve synchronization user experience – Alarm handling
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15850
Marked duplicate of
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=8593 which is Status Wontfix. I guess I knew that would happen, but I filed the request anyway out of loyality to the forum-thread

Apparently Logitech thinks this part of the UI is best left to 3rd party devs to cope with.

Anyway: going through this exercise showed me the way to a plugin, The Synchronizer, which basically solves my needs for Sync-UI although it could be done both more pretty and intuitive. Thanks to Eric Koldinger for writing it.

pippin
2010-03-08, 06:33
Bug 15848 - Improve synchronization user interaction - Managing devices
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15848
has already been killed as a duplicate of
https://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=6806
A bug from January 2008 with status Future. EDIT. I think that is a shame, since some new ideas came up in the thread, which are not in the old bug.

Then add them to the old one. No need to have redundant bugs in the db, doesn't really help either.

Muele
2010-03-08, 07:59
Then add them to the old one. No need to have redundant bugs in the db, doesn't really help either.

You are of course right. No point in having two bugs about the same issue.
I just felt a slight annoyance that the request I filed only survived about as log as it took to actually write it. And that without any response from Logitech as such.

I wont bother adding to the old request as it is already overloaded with different approaches to the issue. I did vote for it though. Not that I think it matters. Its a 25 months old bug with no assignee...

Anyway with "The Synchronizer" and "SlimCtrl" for my phone I have the Sync-UI that is needed for my use. And obviously thats how Logitech wants it. I just wish The Syncronizer had an icon in Squeezeplay, so it appeared more native.

JeffHart
2010-03-10, 21:09
I'll agree that the native sync UI could be more intuitive and have installed OtherPlayers, however, now that I'm familiar with the native UI I use it 95% of the time.

On the subject of master volume, it hasn't been an issue - when the phone rings I hit pause. I do the home office thing so silence is the best background. I use the controller, iPeng and remote to change the volume on my Boom, but leave all of my Receivers on 100% and use the sound system volume control. One exception is the bedroom setup where I need the audio lower - happy with the sound of the Cambridge radio, but not enough low end granularity. I listen at night - the missus is sensitive to sound but I'm ok with an extremely low volume which requires lowering the gain on the Receiver and the volume on the Cambridge on step up from 0. And at this point the I'm not syncing.

Thanks for the tip on changing the default iPeng setup :) Happy with the iPeng but am always adjusting the gain on the Receivers when they are synced with the Boom.

kolding
2010-03-16, 23:32
I'd agree, that would be easy if that was how it worked...

But that isn't how it works. To get to this state all I did was create the three sync sets.

Taking the Upstairs set as an example, the dropdown lists are as follows:

Kitchen - "Unsyncronized or master", "Office", "Radio"
Office - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Radio"
Internet Radio - "Unsyncronized or master", "Kitchen", "Office"

I honestly don't know what I am supposed to set to get the various players into the right sync sets. I expect I can work it out by experimentation, but it is far from obvious (to me) without said experimentation.

At long last I've improved the interface a bit. Ok, not much.

Now The Synchronizer has the option of creating a new sync set, using the current configuration of players in the system. Set-up the players the way you want them synchronized, and go create a new set with the button checked, and voila, you've saved that configuration. You can edit it later, should you so desire.

In version 0.10 at http://www.koldware.com/SlimStuff/Synchronizer-0.10.zip

Give it a spin, let me know if it works for you.

If you still don't like the interface, feel free to suggest a new one. I'm willing to listen.

Eric

kolding
2010-03-16, 23:35
You can do that with the Other Players plugin, works very well. Just go to the new player, select the player you want to move the playlist from.

Also, the GrabPlaylist plugin does a similar thing.
http://www.koldware.com/SlimStuff/GrabPlaylist.zip

Eric