Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

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Weatherman
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Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Weatherman »

As the two MM versions (4 and 5) seem to be completely different beasts, as opposed to one "updating" or "upgrading" the other, I think it would be really helpful if the MM Team put out some info on their home page describing the different aims and vision of each. For those of us who have lost the will to live during the 4 or 5 years of MM5 Betas (and who knows how many more years before the final product?) the actual point of considering a move to MM5 is becoming lost too.
For what it's worth, I see the main differences as being vital to the kind of user who will use one or the other.
MM4 seems to be geared towards those of us who like organising and cataloguing, who enjoy going beyond the playlist and easy mediaplayer that MM certainly is.
MM5 seems to be concerned with providing an experience similar to streaming services, but ultimately it doesn't seem to be connected in any way to the funcionality of MM4.
Since different audiences and users will be attracted to one or the other, and since it is impossible to casually switch between the two (because the databases are separate and unique to each version of MM) I think it is important that Ventis Media and the team at MM provide clear information as to the distinct vision behind each of the versions of MM.
I thought I was helping MM developers by trying out MM5 and seeing how it works, but more and more it is a pointless task, because even if everything worked flawlessly with each release, what MM5 offers to the user seems to be so different to what MM4 offers.
Does Ventis Media intend, for example to have two versions of MM, where MM5 is the attractive, generic all round music player and casual organiser/filter and MM4 is for the serious chronologer and tagger?
In short, what is MM5 for?
Barry4679
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Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Barry4679 »

I have made many posts here about the lack of MM5 documentation, eg.
  • Quick Start for new users
  • Quick Start for users upgrading from MM5 and the list of upgrades and improvements
  • How To for key tasks
I have made so many posts on this subject, that they now just mostly ignore things I post here.

They either don't get it, or they are happy getting things polished to their liking, in their own sweet time ... in which you have to admire their persistence, and envy them for finding a job with such little apparent pressure.

However I don't agree with your characterisation of MM5.

From what I see MM5 offers (nearly) everything that MM4 did, but in most cases it does it significantly better. You mentioned that you have a specific interest in "organising and cataloguing". In my view MM5 is clear winner when it comes to browsing and connecting with your music collection. ... I am now quite impatient with MM4 due to the lack of browsing tools, and display options.

You will have noticed that I qualified above, by saying "nearly" everything has transferred over to MM5. I haven't noticed that they have dropped much, nothing that was important to me anyway. ... MM5 has lost the Virtual CD facility, probably because few people used it, and it addressed an issue which now pretty much dead, due to tech developments. That's the main deficit as far as i know.

It seems that next-to-nobody is converting their add-on scripts from MM4 to MM5. ... Who would blame the previous hobby developers, given the protracted development period for MM5, and the lack of support, and the lack of any apparent plan, and the lack of much info, or any consultation .... One would hope that people do come on board, once there is any confidence that MM5 will ever actually be released. ... They will have to re-develop the scripts however, just as the MM Developers have done, due to technological advancement.

So these add-on scripts will be a temporary, or permanent, loss for a lot of people. ... My own calculation is the MM5 vanilla is gaining me much more than I than I stand to lose.

Weatherman wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 5:35 am MM5 seems to be concerned with providing an experience similar to streaming services, but ultimately it doesn't seem to be connected in any way to the funcionality of MM4.
This is just wrong.

You should think of the new streaming facilities like this:
  • it is an opportunity to expand the concept of your "music collection" to now also include music that you don't own, but do stream from a music service (primarily Google Music, but now some limited connection to Spotify) .... MM5 allows you to join your home music collection, with your streamed Google Play Music collection, and catalogue and play it, as if it was a single extended collection
  • it also allows you publish your own music collection into Google's music servers, so that you can play from your own tracks, when you are away from home ... nb. Google offer to store and stream from up to 50,000 of your own tracks at no charge ... MM5 joins this all together, and allows you to make playlists that work within your Google library
  • MM5 allows you to store an offsite backup version of your collection on a variety of web locations, and you can manage and use this collection, using MM5
So these are extended facilities in MM5, which are added to all of the previous MM4 functionality.

MM5 is also technological refresh, which opens them up to touch screen devices, and the possibility of a cross platform versions. ... More customers coming onto the MM app would be a good thing for all of us.

Weatherman wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 5:35 am the databases are separate and unique to each version of MM
This isn't true either.

I have my own application which uses the MM4 database. My application works unchanged using the MM5 database.

I just downloaded the current MM4 in portable mode. It opens my MM5 database OK ... I am not saying this is recommended, nor practical in a go-forward sense, but the databases are not unique.

I do agree with your general point, that Ventis Media is shooting itself in the foot by neglecting to provide something to "sell" and explain the benefits of all of the MM5 enhancements. It is good to see other people reporting the same thing. :)
Weatherman
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Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Weatherman »

Very interesting replies and thought-provoking. Thanks.
I still cannot see how MM5 does "almost everything" that MM4 does and yet not have any MagicNodes or RegExpr scripts. How can not having these not be a disadvantage to MM5?

I fully accept that for some people the ability to incorporate their own music into their streamed music will be nice. But on the other hand I use Spotify to experiment with finding new music and I have MM4 for android on my phone for what I know I like.
Someone has said "I am now quite impatient with MM4 due to the lack of browsing tools, and display options", so perhaps again I am just not aware of what MM5 can do - this is because there is no information or tutorial.

Yes, I suppose if you take MM4 without MagicNodes, RegExpr and other scripts, and only look at the bare bones, MM5 will be seen as an improvement. But the reality is that MM4 DOES have all these scripts, and unless I'm missing something, MM5 doesn't do these "out of the box".

Someone said that MM5 is also "technological refresh, which opens them up to touch screen devices, and the possibility of a cross platform versions". This may be true, But I'm not sure how important it is given MM4 has been developed for android phones?

Someone said that the databases are not unique and MM4 Portable opens MM5 database. Fair enough. But I know that all my played stats disappeared when I opened up MM5 and let it scan my music, although other tags were preserved.

So it would be really nice to hear someone from Ventis explain to potential users the advantages and disadvantages of being with MM4 or MM5, because it doesn't seem that MM4 will die off and people will have to flavours of MM to try out.
Lowlander
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Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Lowlander »

MM5 is an update to MM4. The fact that Addons aren't available is up to the developers of the Addons. Some have indicated they won't update their Addons for MM5. One of the big problems is that MM5 uses a different scripting platform to make it read for cross-platform capability. This means a lot of work to update a script.
MM5 is also a big rewrite, which is why some things from MM4 may be missing on release. On the other hand many MM4 things have been improved and other features have been added.

When installing MM5 it should prompt to update the database. If it didn't you can copy the MM4 database to where the MM5 database is located, remove the MM5 database and start MM5 to have it updated.

You're right that people will keep using MM4 for a long time. If it ain't broken why change? This happened with MM3 to MM4 as well and as true for most software out there. Scripts will be an important deciding factor for people.

As far as documentation, that's never been a strong suit and this is the case for a lot of software, but this something that makes more sense once the product is finalized as otherwise you'll be spending loads of time re-writing it with every update.
Lowlander (MediaMonkey user since 2003)
Barry4679
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Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Barry4679 »

Weatherman wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 11:21 am But I know that all my played stats disappeared when I opened up MM5 and let it scan my music, although other tags were preserved.
Most of your "tags" originally came from your music tracks ... MM4 read them, and stored a copy in their database too.
Your play stats are different. ... MM accumulate this data as you play tracks, and they are stored in your MM database, but not updated into your tracks.

So it depends how you installed MM5. If you accepted the offer to import data from your MM4 database, your tracks plays would have been preserved ... you can see that mine were here.

But if you did not accept that offer, and instead allowed MM5 to build a database by re-reading your tracks, you will not preserve your track plays.

Weatherman wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 11:21 am it would be really nice to hear someone from Ventis explain to potential users the advantages and disadvantages of being with MM4 or MM5
Yes, well good luck with that. :roll:

I think they are like the proverbial frog, put into a pot of cold water on a hot stove. ..ie. they are approaching boiling, and haven't yet noticed the change.

They have participated in the incremental design and build of MM5, and haven't noticed that when someone new is confronted with the completed MM5 product, there is a fairly severe case of shock and confusion and annoyance.
Aralvor
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Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Aralvor »

My first thought when opening MM5 : the UI lags way too much

seems paradoxal as the main developping trend out there is to offer an optimal user experience with graphic interfaces

i expect my software to be a pleasure to use, not to have the impression every time i click a button, there is a delay
Weatherman
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:08 am

Re: Informing the public about the difference between MM4 and MM5

Post by Weatherman »

Thanks everyone for the interesting and helpful replies, including barry.
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