Xion Audio Player

Xion Plugins, Single Interfaces and Multiple Windows

General Discussion about Xion Audio Player

Postby Cliff Cawley » September 19th, 2009, 2:40 pm

Since there seems to be a lot of discussion about single interface, or multiple interface, I'm thinking of some changes I can make, to allow all of these.

My current thoughts are going along the lines of combining all the existing plugins, into the Xion core. I.e. no separate Library, Playlist or Main Window. The Visualization may get rolled in as well. Only new non-default plugins would then show in the plugins list.

My questions then would be...

1) How many of you like to disable any of these plugins, or do you just leave them all enabled by default anyway? This will help me determine if rolling into the Core is a good idea. (It will definitely help things towards a unified single interface, if skinners decide to make those)

2) Has anyone had any problems with speed of the Playlist? Is it too slow, chuggy, etc or have the optimizations I've done made it usable so that you don't really notice?

3) If we were to move away from this forced 'Main window', 'Playlist Window', what happens if a skinner wants to just make an interface for the Main window, but doesn't provide a skin for a playlist window?(I.e. if I make it so there are a bunch of generic Canvas windows in order to support single, or multiple interfaces, if a skinner doesn't provide playlist pieces, how does the end user access playlist functionality?)

The answers to these questions will help me determine where I'll push Xion to go next. Depending on the answers, I can start laying some ground work for this. I.e. merging all the plugins into the core. In future updates I can allow for this extra functionality.

Cliff :)
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Postby cerberux » September 19th, 2009, 4:10 pm

1) How many of you like to disable any of these plugins, or do you just leave them all enabled by default anyway?

personally, I have everything enabled by default (although I don't use the library all that much)

Has anyone had any problems with speed of the Playlist? Is it too slow, chuggy, etc or have the optimizations I've done made it usable so that you don't really notice?

playlist runs smooth on my comp, but then my machine is less than a year old so I don't know if it's a good benchmark for these kind of things

If we were to move away from this forced 'Main window', 'Playlist Window', what happens if a skinner wants to just make an interface for the Main window, but doesn't provide a skin for a playlist window?

can't we just make it load the default playlist skin in a seperate window if there isn't one available in the skin file? or do you mean everything will be forced into one unified window like sonique 1 style?
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Postby Cliff Cawley » September 19th, 2009, 4:39 pm

cerberux Wrote:can't we just make it load the default playlist skin in a seperate window if there isn't one available in the skin file? or do you mean everything will be forced into one unified window like sonique 1 style?


What I've been thinking is that there is a concept of a 'Window Canvas' or a 'Canvas'.

Essentially a skin would need to describe the Interface for Xion.

Example A: If you were to have an .xsf, that contained a PSD file that had canvas(main), you'd get a single window with that PSD.

Example B: If you were to have a .xsf with 2 PSD files, one with canvas(main) and one with canvas(playlist), then Xion would create 2 window canvases, loading each PSD into the relevant one.

You could then also create your own custom canvases (the examples above were just that, they could have been named canvas(myawesomeplaylist)). So you could make a canvas(myconfigwindow) and Xion would create a new Canvas Window and load that PSD in there.

Example C: If you were to have a .xsf with 3 PSD files, all with the same canvas(id) then Xion would just load one at a time and when the user chooses a different skin, it'd just load that into the existing window instead.

Example D: If you were to have a .xsf with 1 PSD file, and you just added all the controls for the playlist and main player and gave it canvas(myhugesingleinterfaceskin) then you'd have your single interface.

So basically its extremely flexible, BUT it also means that if you create a .xsf and create a canvas(mycoolskin), but don't include playlist controls, that the end user won't be able to use the playlist features at all, since your skin doesn't provide them (and there's no concept of a default skin for a playlist, since the windows are now generic collections of controls).

Hope that makes sense. The first part seems awesome, the downside being that it means that skin authors need to make skins with at least the basic controls, i.e. playlist controls and main controls.

Cliff :)
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Postby logokas » September 19th, 2009, 5:29 pm

On the subject of putting the default plugins into the core, i'm all in if it means the default vis becomes a separate visualisation altogether apart from the flashy color stuff of milk3d etc.

I don't use the library though. So that would just leave the interface, playlist and vis plugins.

On the other discussion, about the canvas system, you can solve it if you can make it optional.

How viable or easy to make it is in code, i don't know, but it's really simple. Like Winamp, you have two skin types. One is the current, Basic style. The other however could be the Canvas style, and the skinner him/her-self would decide which style they want to use by naming their PSDs accordingly via a keyword 'canvas' to turn on the style.

How's that sound?
I shoot and ask questions later.

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Postby djinn2 » September 19th, 2009, 7:56 pm

Whether or not certain controls are available in a given skin is the situation we already have to a certain degree. Some skins don't have progress or volume sliders, I tend to give these skins a miss.

I think the choice of what to include on a skin should be up to the skinner. If a user doesn't like those choices then there are plenty of alternative skins.
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Postby SLoB » September 19th, 2009, 9:15 pm

Mainly use the playlist and main window
Vis is disabled, library is enabled but it's so basic it's not worth doing anything with

I don't see going a SUI route to be of much benefit atm especially as a better library is more of an essential addition than if you can add in more psds.

The majority of people still like separate windows in their media players, the SUI has been forced on them from numerous players for lots of different reasons.
Knowing you Cliff, you look for a good reason to include something and not including something for the sake of it and I just don't see this as being the next route to go down.

A better media library would certainly bring more people from other well known players to using Xion. I see the next route would be getting in a decent NON bloaty media library where people can do things as in the other media players, also have this window use the pl window as its shell, so rather than create just a playlist window, you create a shell window (standard frame) which is used for those.
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Postby Cliff Cawley » September 19th, 2009, 9:50 pm

SLoB Wrote:The majority of people still like separate windows in their media players, the SUI has been forced on them from numerous players for lots of different reasons.
Knowing you Cliff, you look for a good reason to include something and not including something for the sake of it and I just don't see this as being the next route to go down.


I wasn't suggesting I'd remove the ability to do what you can do now. I was just going to change the underlying workings to allow you to make what you have now AND Single Interfaces AND multiple interfaces. So essentially that would give you the best of ALL options since a skinner wouldn't be restricted to any one style.

SLoB Wrote:A better media library would certainly bring more people from other well known players to using Xion.


Yes, definitely, that's one of the things next up on the TODO list

Cliff :)
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Postby SLoB » September 19th, 2009, 11:01 pm

yep, knew it was additional stuff but I think the Media Library should take precedence over anything major.

There are still some feature requests from ages ago which would be more beneficial than adding in a Canvas concept.

Another idea would be to incorporate windows theming into skins, i.e. if a user selects a specific windows theme, then the skin can take advantage of the colours, styles so the player kind of adapts itself.

I don't think there will be a shortage of ideas and the new list thing is a good idea to get some votes on things that should be more beneficial.

atm we can already do something similar with a single window so I have voted for Media Library at this stage, it should use the playlist window shell as a standard frame from the word go, so literally be an extension of the playlist object.

I would also like to see auto tagging using CCDB or equivalent for CDs and Mp3/4s etc...

There is enough skinning stuff in Xion to last a while, the smaller things such as curved text, rotational buttons etc... would seem a better use of your time than look to the Canvas idea, HTML 5 will take care of this kind of thing going forward.

How about the idea to allow vectorised skins? Now that would truly rock, could be scalable and still retain the quality rather than a hardware/software resized raster
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Postby xonenine » October 25th, 2009, 9:05 am

I had always hoped that some kind of descriptor file could be included with each skin so that xion could read it and use/open the appropriate modules the particular skin needs. I am only an egg...hehe :)
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