Old 7th October 2007, 03:26   #1
clementj
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Easy Rating changes in Winamp (BAD)

The new ability to easily set track ratings in the local library will undoubtedly please some, it is also a big headache.

The problem is that when a computer is shared by several users, the owner may find all of their ratings suddently changed. So the easy ratings should be a setup option. Some users will also find that they tend to inadvertently change ratings by accident. It is just a little too easy.

This is precisely the case of what we do. We have a computer that is used by a number of individuals to program an evening of recreational dances. So anything on the surface which is easily changed, will often be changed inadvertently. iTunes has this problem that one can change any tags in a file by just clicking on the field. This is the reason why we are trying to get away from iTunes.

For us, concealment of the change file file attributes is adequate. However, some folks might want strong security such as password protection.

The programming of the option is very nice, but please could we have more ability to change hidden. Actually this also goes for the 3 pane windows. From out point of view having the change option hidden prevents problems. We need something which is simple looking, but sophisticated inside. So while I like the 3 pane option, plese make the change buttons hideable.
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Old 9th October 2007, 14:19   #2
shins
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How to disable ratings in media library:[list=1][*]Right click column.[*]Customize...[*]Choose Ratings.[*]Remove.[/list=1]

How to disable ratings in new main window:[list=1][*]Click the bottom right button in local media window. It should be labeled "Change the contents this area holds".[*]Choose "File Info Components".[*]Uncheck "Show Song Rating".[/list=1]

You'll find that Winamp is very configurable if you look around long enough for the right options.
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Old 9th October 2007, 14:46   #3
clementj
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THANK YOU!!! Yes, but the question is where do you look? The number of options has increased dramatically. My objective is to keep it as simple as possible for the users at our dance nights. It needs to be less Rococo. Of course I do not want it to be as apparently simple as iTunes, where you can not turn off the search for album covers. I will add the instructions to my tips on settin up Winamp.
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Old 9th October 2007, 14:55   #4
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do ctrl+shift+r in the view and block the setting of ratings easily on that dialog (i'm sure that allows it - can't confirm on a 5.5 install at the moment). and really with all of the hacks you're trying to do to the player, i think it indicates that winamp isn't the best solution for what you're trying to do - this is why there's typically custom programs for such things and the winamp client is unlikely to be altered for such things since it'll cause more issues for the general usebase which is where the priorities lie.

-daz
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Old 10th October 2007, 03:57   #5
clementj
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I think that Dr. O has just what I need.

I have not found a custom player that actually does what we want. So far I have found that the best solution to encoding, and setting up id tags is foobar2000, but it does not handle ratings. We used iTunes at first because it was convenient, but the problems with things on the surface being changed accidentally caused headaches. iTunes has gotten worse. MusicMatch is following the iTunes lead, and it is too easy to accidentally change things on the surface. I have managed to rehack 5.5 so it works, but with some sligntly inconvenient things like indicators not appearing until it is in play because the information is not available when in stop mode. Actually, we do not use the rating, but there are some who may wish to use it. At present the main hacks really desired are enqueue&play instead of clear,enqueue&Play, and a scrollup in the playlist when enqueue. Some players do this, and some do not. The play hack was implemented by using a menu editor to remove Play, and a skin kludge to remove the play button. The scroll is not needed if I could get notification of each enqueue. The skin is actually very usable now, with just a few small inconveniences. It does require a lot of setup!
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Old 10th October 2007, 08:24   #6
DJ Egg
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If you make the rating column thin enough, it turns back into just a number, ie. the star ratings disappear.

Can I lock this thread now?

Oh, and by the way, if multiple users are using the comp, then they should all have their own user profile (or guests should be using the guest profile) and Winamp will then save per user settings anyway, so none of your own personal ratings/settings/etc should ever be changed.... or if it's a one-profile only setup, then create a new desktop shortcut for winamp.exe with a /INIDIR=(path to some folder) switch, so settings for that instance get saved elsewhere.
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Old 10th October 2007, 12:57   #7
clementj
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Unfortunately my situation is one of multiple users, but they must have the same stable data base. Each user only uses it for 2 1/2 hours once every couple of months. There are many similar situations that exist in academia, and performing groups. Several teachers may take sections of a dance class, but they have to use the same resources. Or a substitute comes in and has to use the same resource.

This is also the situation in a party where the guests fiddle with the program. Even with a guest profile, the problem with many players is that when a tag is changed, it is changed in the original file. I don't think the ratings are stored in the file, even though there is a field for popularity in MP3. But then with separate profiles it is still necessary to port the ratings from one profile to the other, or setup 4500 ratings each time (we have 4600 dances, and another group has over 8000).

Dr O's message hit the nail on the head, but that sequence was well concealed.

Actually what would make a lot of sense would be to have an editing mode for the tracks where the information could be freely entered, and where cut/paste could enter the same information in multiple tracks (a la a spreadsheet). Then a configuration switch could turn it off. The problem of multiple users with the same database could be managed by having a configuration switch to turn off any additions/deletions/editing of the library, with a password to enter the configuration menu. Or even more sophisticated would be to have multiple libraries, with the ability to easily password protect a library file.

For our purposes, and most academic purposes just concealment is OK. The password is more for a party/little sister protection mode. So the immediate problem is solved.
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Old 10th October 2007, 13:16   #8
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You sound like you're looking for "Party Mode", a skin mode that basically full screens the player and locks it down so it can't be changed/turned off without a password. I think there's a single UI Winamp skin floating around that enters pseudo-party mode, but I don't think it uses a password, so the player could easily be messed up if one of the users starts clicking around.

Unless someone knows of a plugin that adds this kind of functionality, I don't know how Winamp can do this. You might want to check out Media Monkey. It's a music tagger first, player second, although it has full party mode support. Oh, and Media Monkey embeds ratings inside MP3 tags, so it's shared between users.
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Old 10th October 2007, 14:52   #9
clementj
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The other difficulty is that we need a program that prevents accidental switching of music tracks. In other words if you accidentally double or single click on an entry anywhere, it should not play immediately. Configuration and Dr. O's plugin fixes this. We also need a settable delay between tracks, and a stop at end of current track, on the surface. A party mode is not really necessary. I have been able to implement all of these in a modified modern skin, with a bit of work. Winamp is usable, and even preferable. In addition we have a useful delayed play, a memory marker, and a memory pause all of which can be useful for teaching music/dancing. Along with the availability of tempo change plugins it is actually ideal for amateur DJs and dance teachers. But it requires a lot of setup, and I have to keep ahead of random changes in behavior of the Winamp core. The other needs such as tagging/encoding in a transportable fashion is satisfied by foobar2000. The tagging is non standard because we need name, country, dance teacher/choreographer, level(easy, inter, advanced), genre (line, circle, couple, set...), album&artist. We shoehorn this into existing fields. Oh we also have just for fun, a logo capability, and configurable decorations/colors for a number of seasons. Other users can design and add their own logos/decorations. This gives groups a feeling of ownership.

Winamp and foobar200 do embed stuff inside MP3,4,FLAC...

All of these requirements have been met. But there are just a few problems that I keep pushing to have someone else solve. And I will continue to simplify the skin by removing unnecessary stuff. Eventually I might do my own single window skin, but until then...
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