[conspire] Re: [q5] (XMMS/audio player) thank yous

Eric De Mund ead-linuxmafia at ixian.com
Wed Nov 3 10:16:25 PST 2004


Eric De Mund <ead at ixian.com>:
> Thank you. I might look into this, down the road. Re "cleaner look
> than XMMS", note that XMMS supports classic (as opposed to modern)
> Winamp skins. I decided to run with the "Nucleo NLog v2G" skin, which
> is elegant and clean, functional, and easy on the eyes over the long
> haul:
>     Nucleo NLog v2G (7.1M downloads strong)
>     http://www.winamp.com/skins/details.php?id=81567

Don Marti <dmarti at zgp.org>:
] It looks nice, and I'm sure it's good as skins go, but I like regular
] UI elements because they're obvious. If something is a regular GTK+
] widget instead of a little picture of a hardware control, it's easier
] to tell how to change it.
] For example, look at the "shuffle" and "repeat" controls. To change
] them, do you have to drag, or is a click enough?

A good question. I presumed both, and just went and checked. It turns
out that a click is enough. This click will work to toggle the control
even if the mouse is positioned exactly on top of the slider button
glyph (as opposed to the place where you want it to go). A slight bit
counterintuitive, but it *does* result in slightly greater ease of use,
so I'm happy.

Those controls are intuitive enough, for me. However, the ones that are
not intuitive are the volume and balance controls. They're visually
represented as dials, but after a couple of weeks I've finally realized
that they act as left-right sliders. Annoying to learn, certainly,
though now that I know this I do find them easy enough to use.

So what I like is that this skin (and perhaps the other quietly esteemed
Winamp skin, the Kenwood skin) takes a perfectly good though visually
clunky tool, XMMS, and makes it attractive (a) without graphically going
overboard with a "cool" look, and (b) with control elements that become
bothersome with their busyness and counterintuitive nature or position-
ing over long-term use.

I like a "cool" look as much as the next person, but if I'm having to
take mild pain relievers after a week to withstand this cool look,
that's where I draw the line.

"Don't let your search for the great idea blind you to the merely good
or promising idea. Often that's all the warrior needs. If it's a great
idea so much the better. But if you reject everything except the very
best, you may leave your warrior with nothing to fight for." --Bob

Eric De Mund              |   Ixian Systems, Inc.   | cell: 650.303.4336
email: <ead at ixian.com>    | 650 Castro St, #120-210 |  fax: 240.282.4443
http://www.ixian.com/ead/ | Mountain View, CA 94041 | Y!IM: ead0002

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