MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

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Sebastian78
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MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Sebastian78 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:38 am

Is Mediamonkey going the same route as Nero Burning Rom, RealPlayer, Roxio? Apparently so, according to this Norwegian review of MM4.

A summary of the article is:

"And so we rush to add MediaMonkey 4.0 is still only in beta, and we cross fingers that the developers take the sense - first and foremost in terms of presentation and interface. There is too much dilldall for a large part of the followers, we think".


"Dilldall" isn't translated haha! But basically means fickly, crowded and/or not polished.

I fear, that nothing will be done with the interface, which is still Mediamonkeys largest drawback. If nothing is done (Please look at iTunes best assets and Spotify to understand what I mean) MM will increasingly become a marginal software for reall really geeky mp3 hounds.

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... md%3Dimvns

Original link : http://www.dinside.no/881735/mediamonkey-40-beta
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:48 pm

This has been said for many years now and thankfully it is still around.

For me on XP MM4 is more minimalist than MM3 and the default Vitreous skin is a notable improvement over the MM3 Glided skin. It seems people get lost in the fact that you can customize MediaMonkey's interface so that MM3 and MM4 are looking pretty similar if needed.

And yes MediaMonkey could look more polished like iTunes, but then again many flee from iTunes because it's so polished it lacks user control over their own media. In the end that is what MediaMonkey users look for, control over their media. Any perceived (after all it's a personal taste) deficiency in the interface is more than made up with the features MediaMonkey offers. The decision to use MediaMonkey is for most a feature driven decision. Most people don't care about controlling their own media and no matter how pretty you make MediaMonkey they'd still stick with the standards like iTunes or WMP or whatever their portable device came with. For those who do care, the design is a secondary thing, as long as it doesn't get in the way it's fine. If significant resources are spend on the looks, MediaMonkey risks loosing their core user which is looking for feature driven development.
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Dreadlau
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:46 pm

I will be honest.
I feel like mm4 has become bloated.

I wish Mediamonkey would stop adding functionality.
And concentrate on the interface, ergonomics, performance, customization.

I want my Mediamonkey to open fast, I want my interface to look clean and streamlined.
I don't want to experience lags and freezes. I don't want to have to go through countless menus just to change a skin.

Another thing about functionality:
It's nice to add things, but it's better to make them work in any situation.

Example:
-Volume leveling doesn't work for videos.
-Cross-fading doesn't work for videos.
-"show art" view doesn't work for "now playing"
-"show art browser with details" view doesn't work for "now playing"
-"show column browser" view doesn't work for "now playing"

( I could go on like this. But my purpose is just to illustrate the problem. )
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:00 pm

Dreadlau wrote:I wish Mediamonkey would stop adding functionality.
Dreadlau wrote:-Volume leveling doesn't work for videos.
-Cross-fading doesn't work for videos.
Those look a lot like feature requests.
Dreadlau wrote:-"show art browser with details" view doesn't work for "now playing"
-"show column browser" view doesn't work for "now playing"
I don't think it will ever happen as they're for filtering and the Now Playing isn't meant to be filtered.
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Dreadlau
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:13 pm

Lowlander wrote:
Dreadlau wrote:I wish Mediamonkey would stop adding functionality.
Dreadlau wrote:-Volume leveling doesn't work for videos.
-Cross-fading doesn't work for videos.
Those look a lot like feature requests.
In a sense, yes.

But let me try to reword my idea.

Video is a new feature of mm4.
Volume leveling and crossfading are not.
Since mm4 Volume leveling and crossfading are not working anymore for every situations.

My wish is that Mediamonkey puts more effort in making the features "complete" instead of adding new ones.
Lowlander wrote:
Dreadlau wrote:-"show art browser with details" view doesn't work for "now playing"
-"show column browser" view doesn't work for "now playing"
I don't think it will ever happen as they're for filtering and the Now Playing isn't meant to be filtered.
re."show art" view: Since you didn't quote it. I take it we agree on this one

re."show art browser with details": As I recall the Monkeyflow plugin used to work with now playing. ( correct me if I'm wrong )
Surely if one guy managed to do that on his spare time, the team could find a solution for this.

re."show column browser": This one is a tough one. I'm not sure how to handle it.
If nothing can be done for this, it would be better if the panel didn't just disappear. Maybe simply empty the panel?
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:53 pm

It's not about possible, it's about desirability, the developers have chosen that it isn't desirable to have Art or Column Browser in the Now Playing as these serve as Filters and the Now Playing should always show the full Now Playing list.

On similar grounds the Art view isn't enabled. The Art view is designed around grouping tracks together into an Album. The Now Playing however should always show files in order they're to be played. This is why the Art view isn't enabled.

I personally don't desire these feature, but have nothing against them either. There is something to be said that although MediaMonkey is powerful, flexible and gives the user loads of control, their are these issues that come up where user control is limited despite seemingly no negative impact from having more control for the user.

As for completing features, the logic is that it's better to come with a new version even if some additional features could be added than delaying the new release for even longer. Although I do miss things in 4.0 which I find important must haves, I have to agree that it's much nicer to be able to play with the new features, than have to wait even longer to get them all feature complete. I think in the end it's a balancing act as to how features benefit. Video benefits many more people than crossfading videos does.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by nohitter151 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:18 pm

How can you cross-fade a video??
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Peke » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:22 pm

@Nohitter151
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:49 pm

Lowlander wrote:It's not about possible, it's about desirability, the developers have chosen that it isn't desirable to have Art or Column Browser in the Now Playing as these serve as Filters and the Now Playing should always show the full Now Playing list.
Obviously that's what they choose.
But I'm against that philosophy. At least for the art browser.
I would prefer the art browser to be enabled in now playing. The cover on the center would be the now playing file. The previous ones would be on the left side. And the next ones on the right side. It would be pretty handy.
In fact that view makes more sense imo to represent the now playing list than it does for browsing an entire collection.
Lowlander wrote: On similar grounds the Art view isn't enabled. The Art view is designed around grouping tracks together into an Album. The Now Playing however should always show files in order they're to be played. This is why the Art view isn't enabled.
Again something I dislike. Why is it not possible to show the artworks per file basis, like every other attribute or tags? Why is there no "artwork" column in "Details view"?
Makes no sense to me.
And I don't get what the problem would be to see the artworks in the now playing list and the now playing window. Is it so important that all files from an album are grouped together. How would it hurt to have them separated in that instance?
Lowlander wrote: As for completing features, the logic is that it's better to come with a new version even if some additional features could be added than delaying the new release for even longer.
When I see the new art browser. My reaction is that I would prefer it not to be implemented yet. As it is in my view far from ready.
I also think that Mediamonkey 4 is not ready in it's current state. And I would gladly wait a few more months for it to be released.
Lowlander wrote: Although I do miss things in 4.0 which I find important must haves, I have to agree that it's much nicer to be able to play with the new features, than have to wait even longer to get them all feature complete.
Even if I disagree, I can totally understand this.
And I'm sure a lot of users feels like you on this one.
Lowlander wrote: I think in the end it's a balancing act as to how features benefit. Video benefits many more people than crossfading videos does.
Don't forget that I only used crossfading as an example.

It's really a general feeling that I developed after using MM4 for a long time. ( I started playing with it even before it was downloadable on the forums )

What I'm feeling is that quantity has taken over quality. In that aspect, it is not balanced IMO.

But don't get me wrong, I still like MM very much and I have a total respect for the colossal amount of work that has been put on it.
Last edited by Dreadlau on Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by nohitter151 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:53 pm

Dreadlau wrote: I also think that Mediamonkey 4 is not ready in it's current state. And I would gladly wait a few more months for it to be released.
I think that if you were around for the MM 3 release a number of years ago, you would have said the same thing. It needs to be released at some point, and it's not like development will stop.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:01 pm

nohitter151 wrote:
Dreadlau wrote: I also think that Mediamonkey 4 is not ready in it's current state. And I would gladly wait a few more months for it to be released.
I think that if you were around for the MM 3 release a number of years ago, you would have said the same thing. It needs to be released at some point, and it's not like development will stop.
Yes, that's right. And the next cycle 4.1 will surely be more about optimization and bug fixing than adding new features.
It was like that for MM3 after-all.

I'm still concerned tho. As when it launches, mm4 might get more reviews like the one linked on the first post. Comparing it to bloatwares such as Nero.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by nohitter151 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:16 pm

Dreadlau wrote: Yes, that's right. And the next cycle 4.1 will surely be more about optimization and bug fixing than adding new features.
It was like that for MM3 after-all.
Actually, not. There were several new features added in 3.1 (it was a long time ago, I don't blame you for forgetting). Most notably among them were several new skinning features that we take for granted now:
-Custom icon sets bundled in skins
-Enable/disable tree lines
-Customizing +/- button image in front of nodes

There was also addition of the custom toolbar builder, enabled art+details view for now playing, mirror effect for art in art view, partial playcounts for podcasts/bookmarking, new search features... I could go on.

Many new features are already targeted for 4.1:
http://tinyurl.com/cnml477
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:18 pm

Many have reported that MM4 works faster than MM3, so I doubt that bloatware is a real concern. The old stuff still works the same and works faster for many.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Dreadlau » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Lowlander wrote:Many have reported that MM4 works faster than MM3, so I doubt that bloatware is a real concern. The old stuff still works the same and works faster for many.
It takes +- 6 seconds for MM to start on my setup. ( and its not a cold start )
it takes +- 1 second for WMP12 to start on my setup. ( again not a cold start )

( hdd: 500GB @7200rpm, cpu: Core2duo e6300 @1.86GHz ram: 2GB DDR2 )

That's a concern to me.
I switched from Firefox to Chrome for that kind of reason.
It's a real concern. And I'm sure for more people than you think.

I didn't perceive any gain in speed from mm3 to mm4.
Neither in navigation, loading of a tracklist, loading of a playing queue, ...

And in my understanding mm4 is supposed to be slower than mm3 because of the new extra filtering needed since the introduction of collections.

There is not only the problem of speed.
Configuring Mediamonkey, managing collections, ... is slightly more complex than in mm3.
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:14 pm

You can still go unfiltered with the Entire Library Collection which is the same as the unfiltered Library node of MediaMonkey 3.
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