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less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organise

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:05 pm
by Volnaiskra
When I auto-organise my tracks via the menu option, a window pops up that, among other things, shows me the old and new names of my files. There are a number of UI problems with this window, especially when you have the red warning to the effect of "Duplicate and Overly long filenames are highlighted. Please edit them before continuing". This initially confused the hell out of me, and is uncharacteristically sloppy for what is otherwise a fantastic piece of software. That's a bit of a shame since it's part of a Gold feature.

First problem: The phrase "...are highlighted" couldn't be more confusing if you tried. I got this warning the first time I ever used the feature, so naturally I thought that by "highlighted" you were referring to all the files that were highlighted with a bright yellow background. In many programs (eg. MSWord) "highlighting" does exactly that: it highlights words with a bright yellow background. Similarly, a flourescent yellow pen is, at least here in Australia, called a "highlighter". So my first thought when seeing all those yellow filenames was 'holy crap! - that's a lot of duplicate or overly long filenames - what's going on here?". It took me ages to realise that you meant the files in red (they were way down the bottom of the list so it took me ages to even see them).

Second problem: As I mentioned, it took me ages to even see the red filenames, as they were buried way down in a sea of thousands of yellow filenames. Why weren't they displayed upfront? If an action is required of me to fix them, why force me to find them one by one in a small scrollable list?

Third problem: Once I finally realised which files you were talking about, and once I finally scrolled down and located them all, I still didn't know what the problem was. Were they duplicates, or were they too long, or were some of them both? After making me dredge through the huge list and find the red files on my own, you now required me to study each of their pathnames and figure out for myself what your issue with them was. Why not add flags or icons to them to better identify the problems for me?

Fourth problem: Once I figured out what the problems were, I still didn't really know what to do about it. All you say is to "edit" them before continuing. That gave me the impression that I could do that editing in the current popup window. But that didn't seem to be the case.

Fifth Problem: And anyway, what happens if I just press OK? I don't know, because that big red warning scares me off from pressing OK in case I muck up my collection. But I suspect that perhaps if I press OK it'll do two things: (1) It'll truncate any long filenames to under 255 characters (or whatever the limit is), and (2) it'll consolidate duplicate files into single files. In other words, it'll solve both problems on its own. If so, why make me go through all the above crap and why explicitly tell me to edit the files manually? Why not just say something like "If you continue, all overly-long filenames will be truncated, and all duplicate files will be removed. Please edit the source files if you don't want this to happen"?



That whole needless rigamorole was my introduction to MediaMonkey Gold: after buying it, the first thing I happened to do was check out the auto-sorting feature to see what exactly it was and how it worked. It wasn't the best of introductions. I'm sure I'm not the first person this has happened to.

It seems to me that most, if not all, of the above problems would be solved with some simple rewording of the text in the dialog box. Alternatively, you could force the user to select certain choices via radio buttons before continuing. For example:

FOR OVERLY LONG FILES:
  • Truncate all overly-long filenames after 255 characters
  • Where possible, keep artist, album, genre, etc. intact, but truncate titles
  • Prompt me to rename filenames one by one
FOR DUPLICATES:
  • Delete all duplicate files
  • add (2) to the end of all duplicate filenames
  • Ask me what to do with duplicate files one by one

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:10 am
by Buruan
I second this one.
I was going to get Gold either way as I think this is an awesome piece of software.
The feature I was mostly interested in was the auto arranging of the library.

Once I saw the PopUp i immediately abandoned the idea. It looked to confusing.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:46 am
by Lowlander
It's really simple. In yellow the changes are highlighted like elsewhere in MediaMonkey. In red as in Warning be careful the problem tracks are highlighted. The complicated part is getting your mask together, at least you can make it very complicated which indicates the power of this feature.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:05 am
by RobinGB
I third this.

Volnaiskra thanks for taking the time to make a very valid and detailed point to help the developers of Media Monkey improve what is a poor presentation of an error message.

1) I have the same problem, but I was lucky that as a user of mediamonkey gold for 6 years I knew what the yellow "Highlighted" text was, and that therefore the error message related to "red text". Red text should not be described as highlighted when text is also highlighted by the universal method (yellow background), red text should be described as red text!

2) However finding the "Red" text was difficult, the first was a long way down my list of 12000 tracks.

3) When I did find the red text I didn't know if it was a duplicate or a long name. Looking at it I assume it is in red because it is a long name, however the same file name has been used for 6 years with media monkey so why has it now decided to tell me it's unhappy?

4) Finally, what happens if I press OK and ignore the message??

Now I feel I can't use Auto Organise because I don't know what it will do on the red text files? I came to the forum to get help, but found only this thread.

Please let us improve what is a poor error message in mediamonkey.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:50 am
by rovingcowboy
I find it really simple to use, any red color change the pathway to the file. Or shorten the name.

You can not just have the program just willy nilly delete duppys when in some cases the song is an intro and closeing with the same title but shorter in the intro version.
And adding a number to the file names will screw up your database,

I said it before, forget how other programs do things and learn mediamonkey's way, this is mostly because mm does not make playlist files. Like other cheaper programs, mm keeps a database of the songs in your system that he uses to fill the lists in his tree with, and the now playing list. And having mm change things willy nilly has been tried befor and got a wth replys by those of us that like our librarys to be done the way we want them too.

In this case it is far easier to add an item to the pathway you want the songs placed in or change the file name your self.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:08 am
by Lowlander
If it is a duplicate filename the duplicate file will be overwritten and thus lost.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:36 am
by Edgar
For me, the worst of these problems is finding the highlighted names when I have a lot (more than a few hundred) of files selected. A third (sortable) column with one of three entries: [blank]; duplicate; overly long
would work (or a button "Next Problem" (or similar wording)).

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:39 am
by NewtonBoy
RobinGB wrote:I third this.
1) I have the same problem, but I was lucky that as a user of mediamonkey gold for 6 years I knew what the yellow "Highlighted" text was, and that therefore the error message related to "red text". Red text should not be described as highlighted when text is also highlighted by the universal method (yellow background), red text should be described as red text!

2) However finding the "Red" text was difficult, the first was a long way down my list of 12000 tracks.

3) When I did find the red text I didn't know if it was a duplicate or a long name. Looking at it I assume it is in red because it is a long name, however the same file name has been used for 6 years with media monkey so why has it now decided to tell me it's unhappy?

4) Finally, what happens if I press OK and ignore the message??

Now I feel I can't use Auto Organise because I don't know what it will do on the red text files? I came to the forum to get help, but found only this thread.

Please let us improve what is a poor error message in mediamonkey.
Consider this Fourthed or Fifthed.
rovingcowboy wrote:I said it before, forget how other programs do things and learn mediamonkey's way, this is mostly because mm does not make playlist files. Like other cheaper programs, mm keeps a database of the songs in your system that he uses to fill the lists in his tree with, and the now playing list. And having mm change things willy nilly has been tried befor and got a wth replys by those of us that like our librarys to be done the way we want them too.
"Learning the Media Monkey way" is a valid response to many issues, this is not one of them. It has nothing to do with the fact that Media Monkey uses a database. Good software design involves making the interface easy to understand, using generally accepted interface conventions. Someone who has never seen the software should be able to make reasonable assumptions based on knowledge of other software. The auto organize dialog box clearly does not meet that criteria.

Thinking about other software, I would expect a list of the files selected to be processed through the program feature. All files would be presented in the dialog box. There should be an indication for files that will be affected, and files that will not be affected. Highlighting should be reserved for files that are unable to be moved, with an indication of why. I believe a method to modify an individual file should be expected as well.

*Edit to add;
In fairness, when the filter would create duplicate files, both of them are selected, and you can tell that there are two files to be written with the same name. The problem is that unless I have the dialog box set very wide, I can't see file names, only folders without scrolling, or hovering. Usually, this helps me catch stupid mistakes when fixing track names.

I use the general structure; "<Root>\Music\<short word indicating type of album>\<Album Artist>\<Album>\<Artist> - <Title>
Here's an example file;

D:\Music\Comp\Siouxsie and the Banshees\The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees\Siouxsie and the Banshees - Song from the Edge of the World (Columbus Mix).flac

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:07 pm
by jlmoriart@gmail.com
Volnaiskra wrote: FOR OVERLY LONG FILES:
  • Truncate all overly-long filenames after 255 characters
  • Where possible, keep artist, album, genre, etc. intact, but truncate titles
  • Prompt me to rename filenames one by one
FOR DUPLICATES:
  • Delete all duplicate files
  • add (2) to the end of all duplicate filenames
  • Ask me what to do with duplicate files one by one
Has this not been fixed after all these years? I'm being driven nuts by these same problems. I would pay for mediamonkey today if they've implemented these changes.

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:49 am
by jiri
Thanks, some improvements would indeed help there. We'll look into it...

Jiri

Re: less confusing wording/functionality during auto-organis

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:57 pm
by jlmoriart@gmail.com
jiri wrote:Thanks, some improvements would indeed help there. We'll look into it...

Jiri
Awesome to see a reply, thank you. One last note is that, while I'm going through a large list, it's wayyy too easy to accidentally hit the check box next to "new path" and unselect everything. I just did this after spending 15-20 minutes going through my whole library and unchecking what I don't want to be moved. That would be fine if you could ctrl Z to the previous selections, but you can't, and that's probably the real issue.

Cheers,
John