MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Discussion about anything that might be of interest to MediaMonkey users.

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DJSigma
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by DJSigma » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:14 am

Lowlander wrote:And MediaMonkey 4 does asks as well.
Nope, it didn't ask me. I'll film a video of the install and post it here if you don't believe me. It doesn't ask during the install. When you first fire it up there is no "shortened version of the options" where it asks you either. It hijacks all associations for audio/video files without asking, then you have to manually go into the options and deselect any file types you don't want associated with MM, then you need to re-associate them with your chosen apps. It reminds me of RealPlayer from about 10 years ago in that respect. Very annoying. If it's not supposed to do that, then fine, but I've installed it twice now and it didn't ask me either time.

Onweerwolf
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Onweerwolf » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:48 am

DJSigma wrote:
Lowlander wrote:And MediaMonkey 4 does asks as well.
Nope, it didn't ask me. I'll film a video of the install and post it here if you don't believe me. It doesn't ask during the install. When you first fire it up there is no "shortened version of the options" where it asks you either. It hijacks all associations for audio/video files without asking, then you have to manually go into the options and deselect any file types you don't want associated with MM, then you need to re-associate them with your chosen apps. It reminds me of RealPlayer from about 10 years ago in that respect. Very annoying. If it's not supposed to do that, then fine, but I've installed it twice now and it didn't ask me either time.
It should indeed ask you, if it didn't something is most definitely not working correctly.

As for the collection stuff, I agree that it is confusing. I've said this before and I'm sticking to it. But once I figured out how it worked I started to really like it.
Image

Lowlander
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:26 pm

Onweerwolf wrote:As for the collection stuff, I agree that it is confusing. I've said this before and I'm sticking to it. But once I figured out how it worked I started to really like it.
I initially felt exited about Filters being so easily accessible, then I was annoyed with the splitting up of music files, and now (as you can edit Collections to your liking) I'm really pleased with this, especially as it makes DLNA sharing a breeze.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

KEP
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by KEP » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:15 pm

Sebastian78 wrote:I'm willing to sacrefice functionality over looks.
Wow, hard to recall anyone ever proudly proclaiming that level of superficiality! You win the prize.

Lowlander
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:35 pm

I definitely am willing to sacrifice looks over functionality. Most software I use looks worse than MediaMonkey. I once used to care a great deal about looks, but have since realized that looks don't cut the mustard, functionality does.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

KEP
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by KEP » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:49 pm

Lowlander wrote:I definitely am willing to sacrifice looks over functionality. Most software I use looks worse than MediaMonkey. I once used to care a great deal about looks, but have since realized that looks don't cut the mustard, functionality does.
Amen. I'm no MM fanboy, though I've certainly pointed numerous folks towards it. My kids laugh at it, too. Then they ask me, "how do I..." and you know the response, right? iTunes and its ilk are every bit as useful, and attractive (IMO), as a nose ring.

Normally, an app that provides skins starts off with 2.9 strikes against it. I cut MM some slack in that area, though, because of the incredible functionality it offers. But in response to some criticism here, I think I would be far happier if they ripped that skinning crap out, adopted the comctl UI du jour, and just moved on. A database shouldn't be sexy. Never seen anything sexy *and* bulletproof. (Insert Supergirl joke here.)

OKay, getting crotchety here, again... <g>

KEP
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by KEP » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:06 pm

r0k wrote:Actually i think most poeple here agree more or less on the fact the MMs interface can be improved. Most of the discussion came from some people seeing interface as more important than others. I'm not a typical user on that area as i still use some command line tools :lol:
Hell, I still *write* command line tools! :)

From a programmer's perspective, the best UI is whatever the host OS offers.

Anything beyond that is done in pursuit of being reminded that "No good deed goes unpunished."

KEP
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by KEP » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:11 pm

Sebastian78 wrote:Try to use MM on your widescreen, think it looks good?
This just blows me away. Why would you want to stare at a media player? Start your music, and let the screensaver kick in. Sheesh... :wink:

Lowlander
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Lowlander » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:22 pm

Sebastian78 wrote:Try to use MM on your widescreen, think it looks good?
That's why the HTPC frontend as a new mode like the Party Mode is a long standing request. I'm glad I can run off DLNA directly on the TV's, as Sony (Samsung actually is ugly) has a beautiful simple screen when playing tracks.

I mean there is nothing wrong with updates to the looks/skinning, but in the end my feature wishlist for MediaMonkey trumps that for me. Besides MediaMonkey isn't ugly (it's all in the eye of the beholder).
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)

DJSigma
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by DJSigma » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:11 am

Lowlander wrote:Besides MediaMonkey isn't ugly (it's all in the eye of the beholder).
Hmmmm, it may be in the eye of the beholder, but some beholders seem to have selective blindness.

My MM3 installation looked like this: -

Image

When I first launched it, I pointed it in the direction of my music, removed a couple of toolbars. Job done.

Then I installed MM4 and was presented with this: -

Image

So slightly worse looking IMO. I decided to have a play around and see what the buttons do, so I'm mousing over the buttons in this area: -

Image

I moused over the icon that looks like a speaker, but nothing popped up to say what it does, so I clicked it and it just made the button to the right of it disappear: -

Image

Then I tried to view my music collection and rather than the genres listed in the MM3 image, I was left with this: -

Image

Nice!

So basically, it took over all file associations without asking, it's uglier, there's still no way to lock the toolbars, some of the buttons have no description of what they do next to them, nor do they have a tooltip, the bulk of my music is not showing in my library, and every time I tried to use the micro-player, the program just disappeared completely and I had to end the task with Task Manager. While some people care only for features, all of the things I've mention completely detracted from the user experience and it made me want to uninstall MM4 and forget it ever existed.

I will give it another go a few versions down the line, but for this software to be successful against something like iTunes - especially as what the developers want is for people to cough up cash and pay for gold/lifetime licenses when people can use iTunes for free - it needs to be more user friendly both in terms of looks and the basic functionality. I studied computing science at university, so I'm not a computer-illiterate moron. I can just recognise a bad UI when I see one.

gpzbc
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by gpzbc » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:22 am

DJSigma wrote: and every time I tried to use the micro-player, the program just disappeared completely and I had to end the task with Task Manager.
I really have no interest in talking about your issues, except the micro-player. With all music players, iTuens, WMP, Winamp, etc, you have to enable the microplayer toolbar on the windows taskbar in order for it to show up as a toolbar. Right click the taskbar --> enable MediaMonkey Player.
--
The gpzbc

DJSigma
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by DJSigma » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:30 am

gpzbc wrote:
DJSigma wrote: and every time I tried to use the micro-player, the program just disappeared completely and I had to end the task with Task Manager.
I really have no interest in talking about your issues, except the micro-player. With all music players, iTuens, WMP, Winamp, etc, you have to enable the microplayer toolbar on the windows taskbar in order for it to show up as a toolbar. Right click the taskbar --> enable MediaMonkey Player.
Yep, I realise that. It's enabled by default. I also tried disabling it and re-enabling it a couple of times but it didn't appear.

I'm sure if I wiped out my MM3 installation before installing MM4, some of these issues would go away, but again, I shouldn't have to do that when upgrading software. If the old version needs uninstalling first, the installer for the new version should prompt me to do that when I run it.

kjaem24
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by kjaem24 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:36 pm

I don't really understand the constant squabbling about the interface. There is a skin out there for nearly everyone. There are also numerous add-ons/scripts out there that improve the interface. I mean, they basically leave it in your hands to customize as you please. How much time are you spending watching your music play anyway?
I will say that my upgrade went flawlessly. There is not a program out there that can handle my 600GB library like MM. If I had a complaint I would say that it is starting to get a little bulky. I counteract that by removing all the unnecessary nodes and toolbars. What I am left with is a slimmed down interface (Noir skin) that is just as slick as any other interface. I mean, if you want to look like Itunes then go get the skin.

Onweerwolf
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by Onweerwolf » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:32 pm

kjaem24 wrote:I don't really understand the constant squabbling about the interface. There is a skin out there for nearly everyone.
The problem is that it looks dated and ugly. It can be improved slightly with skins but not much. This is because the skinning engine for MM is old and should be replaced.

There are certainly more important issues than looks but at some point something needs to be done imo.
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KEP
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Re: MM4 review: "From great to terrible?"

Post by KEP » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:20 pm

Onweerwolf wrote:
kjaem24 wrote:I don't really understand the constant squabbling about the interface. There is a skin out there for nearly everyone.
The problem is that it looks dated and ugly. It can be improved slightly with skins but not much. This is because the skinning engine for MM is old and should be replaced.
Skinning is highly overrated, IMHO. Rather than replaced, my vote (if it mattered) would be to simply rip it out.

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