Old 7th November 2014, 22:40   #1
Victhor
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3rd party designs of Winamp UI - Part I

Winamp 2.0 UI

Jake Mapalo from Behance.










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Old 8th November 2014, 15:46   #2
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Interesting skin concept. What do you like about it, content, layout, or both?

Winamp can already match the content displayed here and more. Using it's query language, custom smart views and/or the ML main and refine search bars along with single column sorting (in the default smart views) can filter and present local media files in hundreds of ways. Multiple column sorting may finally be available in a Radionomy release, which would allow for even more powerful presentations of local media files.

Winamp's internal browser allows all internet content to be shown without having to switch to an external browser (e.g. current what's trending and daily top music info from multiple sources instead of just 1, concert info, artist bios, sample tracks, downloads, streams (other than SHOUTcast), etc.). The internal browser does not support tabs for keeping multiple sites open simultaneously (probably to save on memory usage), but the forward and reverse controls and the drop down list of visited sites lets you return to sites without having to reenter the URLs.

The layout is nice and Winamp could pick up some ideas from it. The artwork presentation is catchy. Winamp could add options to present albumart in circles, or diamonds, or CD/DVD cases (like cPro's "Now Playing" panel, with or without the glare effect), or in the tiles currently used. I assume the multiple artist images shown across the top are pulled real-time from the internet instead of being stored locally. That would spice up Winamp's artwork presentation also, but if the artwork can't be retrieved quickly it would have to be stored locally. However, showing multiple images for each file would also increase memory usage if they are all kept in active memory once displayed (like what is done now).

All in all, this skin concept does provide some 'food for thought'.

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Old 8th November 2014, 17:01   #3
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I'm not sure Winamp can achieve something similar to it right now. It's a radical change on inner aspects of the player so a lot of things may work in a similar way but are actually far away of this visual implementation.

I think this design does a great job achiving the actual trend in design (top playback controls, flat colors but with a layering of relevant items, big search bar, etc) but managing to keep the "Winamp feel" (multiple window at a time, robust Library, simple PL editor, etc).
Specifically I would change some bits; don't know why but I NEED A STOP BUTTON on every skin, without it a skin becomes a bit less "Winamp" IMO. Characteristic Winamp color is not so yellow, it's more of an orange like. I like the vertically-divided layout but I wouldn't fill it with so many artist's images, in fact, the top (and bigger) one wouldn't be all that functional on a day to day use. I wouldn't repeat so many "play" buttons (double-clicking it should be enough) and the design didn't solve one of the main "issues" Winamp has right now: the amount of buttons (designer just hid it all).

IMHO the best achievement of this design is that it wipped out my doubts about Winamp's color scheme; Winamp IS "dark and heavy", as opposed to the global trend of "bright and light" =) . Now I know how should I begin to imagine next Winamp's default skin...

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Old 8th November 2014, 17:32   #4
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I agree the concept is 'artwork heavy'. However, images let you find stuff quickly and I was under the impression that most folk like clicking on images rather than reading text.

1 good thing about Winamp's current design is that you can switch away from artwork dominant views when you want.

What I don't like about Bento is that it is too cluttered, imo. I like the cPro approach (and classic skins) that lets me keep panels closed until I want to work with them.

I think it's possible to be dark (or non-bright) without being heavy or oppressive. "Bright and light" tends to bother my eyes after prolonged viewing. I guess I'm getting old.

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Old 19th November 2014, 04:32   #5
bokuwatensai
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In my opinion it's a little bit oveloaded. A good UI should have no more than 4 areas, 1. player controls/equalizer, 2. playlist, 3. library, 4. anything else (cover art, lyrics, visualizations, etc).
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Old 19th November 2014, 08:30   #6
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This seems to be heavily inspired by Spotify, just less streamlined. It has a bit much going on all at once.
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Old 19th November 2014, 12:10   #7
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Overloaded?? I guessed I get too used to SUI skins.. I don't think it is overloaded at all, in fact, IT'S MISSING BUTTONS! The current library seems a bit overloaded for me, and it's less visual (too much text, compressed spacing).
But it's true some parts could be stripped out; the multiple play buttons aren't needed, there are some sort of columns or tabs that look misplaced (next to "overview") and the 3rd column could be potentially useless..

Compared to current library I think this design propose a better solution to the left column (good space and visible heriachy) and a more visual presentation of the content.

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Old 19th November 2014, 14:29   #8
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with any sort of change to the ui, especially in the library, it needs to be thought off across all skin types.

as i'd been knocking around an idea in my head where things could be adjusted to allow a bit more control over what is shown in the library window and placement e.g. allowing the tree to be on the right or maybe above or adding a dedicated panel area (like i hacked in with the classic art plug-in) for a mini file info mode or allowing other plug-ins to be put in it (subject to use choice).

and in addition to that, doing a few other things which allow for moving around what is shown in what panel, even the possibility of allowing some of the library views to be selected into it e.g. bookmarks or the playlist root (which would probably involve removing it from the tree when in that area to avoid issues). or even some form of 'mini-main' window

though i can see it making some setups more cluttered but for those using non-sui setups i.e. classic skins, it makes it possible to approximate a classic skin sui setup by effectively having things all inside of the ml window (which would then act like the main window). only thing is that i guess it starts to make Winamp more like the other media players.
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Old 19th November 2014, 14:35   #9
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I don't really understand, what's kind of generated or imported art and info and what's supposed to be taken from my library and available local info on your skin concept. Maybe you can clarify this a bit...

Personally I hate... or ad least expect it to optional, all UI elements that claim to bring me "latest news" on whatever. And... I think it's overloaded, too.

I use winamp to listen and organize my music, simple as that - and that's what I (only) want to see on Winamp UI: Player, Playlist, Cover-Artwork (current and collection), Library and maybe sometimes a structure tree.

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Old 20th November 2014, 04:11   #10
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It's not my concept, is from this guy called "Jake Mapalo" from Behance (link at top, before the big image).

It's just a concept of a supposedly new Winamp, not a skin or a proposal for the current engine. So it should be taken like that, a couple of ideas put together to simulate a player. It's part an exercise on design and part a rehearsal on how to face some problems. Usually these designs are useless as- is because it's actually really hard to accomplish it in the real life, but are rather good to open our minds on how a possible design solution can simplify stuff we've been dealing with for years or to use only parts of the idea to adapt it into a real implementation.

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Old 20th November 2014, 04:50   #11
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Um, wow ... Busy UI is busy.

I used BigBento for a bit, then it started to grate on my nerves - swapped to Winamp Modern and used a darker color scheme.

The only additional window open now is the Playlist window - I will occasionally open the Library to swap out playlists and that's about it. No real need for anything else. Heck, I don't even use the Album Art display despite having said art for a lot of my music.
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Old 20th November 2014, 12:09   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrO View Post
..specially in the library, it needs to be thought off across all skin types.
Well, it would be a hit if achieved, you manage to trigger an improvement / modernization across the whole system.. independently of what skin or type-of-skin is used. That would be wonderful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrO View Post
..e.g. allowing the tree to be on the right or maybe above or adding a dedicated panel area..
..allow for moving around what is shown in what panel, even the possibility of allowing some of the library views to be selected into it e.g. bookmarks or the playlist root (which would probably involve removing it from the tree when in that area to avoid issues).
That's a good outside-of-the-box thinking.. taking into account that the ML is quite characteristic of Winamp, any changes to it would really improve the user experience.

Maybe that's the point actually; not to add more features but to improve the existing, making it more flexible and allowing it to be "improved" only where possible.

In any way, I see it all as an improvement, you know I'm not on the boat of "everything-is-perfect-now-don't-touch-it".. Besides, the break in numbering (to 6.x) allows an elegant way to add an option (where possible / feasible) for those not liking the new feature (sort of "Enable Winamp 5 traditional ML").

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrO View Post
..or even some form of 'mini-main' window
Sort of like a "Quick access" page? :P

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Old 20th November 2014, 15:53   #13
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part of issue is some people want more info and others want less and it's what should be the default or what should be configurable and all of that fun.

like there is merit in adding more information to some of the options displayed like the playlist items so you have multi-line views and even artwork displayed with it. but then there's going to be people who don't like it and even if it's configurable would complain and go back to an older version.


as for the ml thing, it was more really for what can be done which would work irrespective of the skin (though for some skins it would make things even busier subject to what the user decides) whilst providing a means to alter the ui without too much of a radical code change under the hood.

since i quite like the embedded artwork part in the ui but being limited to width of the ml tree is a hinderence at times. where as having it maybe a full-width part below or above the selected library view would give more space for information in a child-panel without having to have a separate window area (as i otherwise do.

but it's just another one of those thoughts and i doubt it'll happen and it'll just all look the same as it currently does (be that good or bad depending on how you look at things).
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