Xion Audio Player

TECH-A 3Z skin update

Post your latest skin designs and receive feedback before you release

Postby Freerun » January 30th, 2013, 12:39 am

This is my update to the original TECH-A Xion skin made by burnwell.
Thanks to him I found out about Xion and I started to learn Rainmeter and skinning of Xion.

Notice: To move skin around press and hold on PRG or VOL text under their sliders.
Also when player is active you can move it with that little triangle under song info.

Image
Download here

I'm pre-releasing because I need some feedback. I know this skin have some issues and I wanted to see if someone could give me some ideas how to solve some of them.
I've worked hard to make everything functional but I can't come up myself with solutions.
I suspect it requires deeper understanding of how Xion works.
It may be also good for Xion development as it touches some aspects that could be fixed in future.

I wanted to stay true to the original so the main design is the same. I've fixed some irritating bugs that previously made this skin almost unusable and added few features.

At final release I will prepare few versions like:
"basic" - original with bug fixes and polished graphics(sharper and cleaner text, buttons and more).
"clean" - same as basic + "missing" buttons and album art.
"3ZF" - will contain almost all features expected for final release.
and some variants of 3ZF that will f.ex. hide sliders and buttons when not active.

There is also a possibility to add color sliders for progress and volume instead of specified colors, I'm still considering it.

I have playlist in plans for future.
Last edited by Freerun on August 15th, 2013, 12:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby Freerun » January 30th, 2013, 1:04 am

Known issues:
:::Heavy on CPU
It was developed on quad-core and is using 0% cpu when playing but...
because of big transvolumer it's heavy on dual-cores(tested) up to 49% usage and single cores i suspect 99%

I've made a test and reduced size of transvolumer to about 1/10th of original and cpu usage on dual-core was still up to 5%

Even tho there is almost non cpu usage on quad-cores it can still go up to 6% when browsing all 14 transvolumers. Once transvolumer is shown(aclashow) it will use cpu to render, hiding it won't help and will still use cpu. Therefore even after hiding all other 13 it will use all 14 transvolumers at once. This result in 6% cpu usage on quad-core until Xion is restarted and only 1, last selected transvolumer is loaded.

I assume using transvolumer in skins is risky cause it's heavy on cpu by it's nature.
Maybe adding some delay/sleep/skip to transvolumer so it's not as precise on sound vibrations would increase performance.

:::Memory usage
Even after layers are hidden they are still in memory and use.

:::Saved settings
:Transvolumer and album art(when song have no art) gets disabled when Xion is closed with song stopped or paused.

:PL and EQ icons are back to "text mode" when Xion can't find song or when sound device used by Xion is unexpectedly disconnected or disabled. It also causes transvolumer and album art to disappear.

As of now if i would release this skin officially I would need to post 2 notices
1.After customization restart Xion to free up cpu and memory.
2.Never close Xion with song stopped or paused
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby Lance » January 30th, 2013, 2:42 am

Wow...that was a LOT of fun to play with. That screenshot doesn't do it justice. So much customization. Sweet!

Some feedback:

- I'd suggest replacing play with stop since pause functions as play too, and stop comes in handy some times.

- It took me like 20 minutes to figure out how to move the thing. Would be nice to have an extra ring around the edge somewhere set to moveable.

- Cpu is indeed high (I'm running dual core, was around 50%) but that's the same as my XDJ II skin. It's just going to be the case until Xion upgrades to hardware graphics (which isn't too far away.)

- There's a LOT of waste horizontal room either side of the track title, I strongly suggest using it and making the title at least double width. I could read about one and a half words. And although the text fade is nice, it's quite wide. Issues arise when a title isn't quite long enough to scroll and the fade cuts off the ends.

- Spotted a bug with your albumart. If a track doesn't have any, it displays "no art" but if the next track does has art, it doesn't update until you change the position again.

This is really great work though man! Perfect amount of transparency too. I'll be watching this closely.

Peace, Lance
I made the Xion Default skin. Ask me questions and stuff.

DeviantArt
User avatar
Lance
Xion Fan
 
Posts: 402
Joined: April 10th, 2008, 12:07 pm
Location: East Yorkshire, England

Postby Freerun » January 30th, 2013, 8:09 am

Lance Wrote:Wow...that was a LOT of fun to play with. That screenshot doesn't do it justice. So much customization. Sweet!

Thanx for nice words :) I really appreciate it

Lance Wrote:- I'd suggest replacing play with stop since pause functions as play too, and stop comes in handy some times.

I always say to myself that I will fix that but then I forget^^ so much going on in my head^^

Lance Wrote:- It took me like 20 minutes to figure out how to move the thing. Would be nice to have an extra ring around the edge somewhere set to moveable.

I'm sorry to hear that, I totally forgot to mention it. You can move skin pressing on triangle or VOL PRG text, that triangle shows only when player is active.

I think main idea by original author was to not move player by accident as it should fit exactly into Rainmeter skin. In original version you needed to point exactly at letters or that white triangle. I made it more convenient adding some semi-transparent white background around those, it was a hell to point earlier^^. Same was for buttons and prg/vol sliders.

Lance Wrote:- Cpu is indeed high (I'm running dual core, was around 50%) but that's the same as my XDJ II skin. It's just going to be the case until Xion upgrades to hardware graphics (which isn't too far away.)

So it will be solved in future :D that's good news.

Lance Wrote:- There's a LOT of waste horizontal room either side of the track title, I strongly suggest using it and making the title at least double width. I could read about one and a half words. And although the text fade is nice, it's quite wide. Issues arise when a title isn't quite long enough to scroll and the fade cuts off the ends.

Hmm I thought of it but was never a big issue to me. Since you pointed that out I will fix it.

Lance Wrote:- Spotted a bug with your albumart. If a track doesn't have any, it displays "no art" but if the next track does has art, it doesn't update until you change the position again.

Thanx I'm working on it now :)

I will update first post with better screenshoots when i'm done.

Thanx again Lance :)
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby Freerun » January 30th, 2013, 2:04 pm

I've fixed album art so it was switching from no art but if someone stop song with no art and restart Xion album art will not show up until switched. I had to remove svst from album art. At the moment it is impossible to save state for it because it will "freeze" just like Lance experienced.

For now I made 3 more buttons for each position >.< so users don't have to cycle through.
Also old albumart button hides arts.

I shortened fade for title and made it larger, for me it's pretty good now^^.

oh and here
Image
against black background with skin transparency set to 0
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby logokas » January 30th, 2013, 3:02 pm

I am impressed with the customization, but having absolutely no way to move it is a BIG No No. Definitely need to figure out a sensible location to move it.

Also, a button to hide all the elements of customization so that you don't accidentally touch any of them and fuck it up. It should also help with performance, which will be an issue with people who need to budget their cycles.

One other thing is that because of the circular design, you are wasting a LOT of space in the middle. Make a few elements bigger and/or move some of the controls inside. I would suggest, at minimum, to make the top center album art position the only option, and scale it up to make up for the empty space, and also scale up the length and size of track time, title, artist, etc.

Despite all this, I think this is the first skin I've seen that brings this much customization out of the box. Very impressive. The visual style is also something I appreciate, but it is lacking a black option, to make it stand out from white backgrounds. In current state, it will only be usable on dark backgrounds, it seems.
I shoot and ask questions later.

Take no offense of it.
User avatar
logokas
Xion Addict
 
Posts: 668
Joined: February 25th, 2008, 8:44 am
Location: Estonia

Postby Freerun » January 31st, 2013, 9:32 am

At first I wanted to thank you guys for your time, testing and all the feedback. It's really helpful.

logokas Wrote:I am impressed with the customization, but having absolutely no way to move it is a BIG No No. Definitely need to figure out a sensible location to move it.


I updated my first post after Lance's reply
Freerun Wrote:Notice: To move skin around press and hold on PRG or VOL text under their sliders.
Also when player is active you can move it with that little triangle under song info.

So there is a way but I understand those are very small click areas. Check screenshot below. I will think about it.

Image
This Xion skin was mainly for use in combination with Rainmeter skin "TECH-A" by burnwell
My goals was to fix bugs, update graphics and make it usable and attractive even without Rainmeter skin.
I made a compromise for users that want to use player only and for those that use it with Rainmeter skin(including me^^), thanks to preserved compatibility and updated graphics.


logokas Wrote:Also, a button to hide all the elements of customization so that you don't accidentally touch any of them and fuck it up. It should also help with performance, which will be an issue with people who need to budget their cycles.

As I wrote earlier in first post I will make version that hides buttons and sliders when player is not active but button might be safer than indi_active, i will have to do some testing. Everything is visible at the moment because it's pre-release(even tho it's close to final) meant mainly for testing.

logokas Wrote:One other thing is that because of the circular design, you are wasting a LOT of space in the middle. Make a few elements bigger and/or move some of the controls inside.

It's a good point, some prefer really compact and minimalistic skins but this design was not meant for it from the beginning :). I liked original, I've seen potential and wanted to do something with it. This skin also needs to fit into Rainmeter skin TECH-A.
Image
That's the original skin made by burnwell and my starting point. I might create another version more compact in future, I have some ideas.

logokas Wrote:I would suggest, at minimum, to make the top center album art position the only option, and scale it up to make up for the empty space, and also scale up the length and size of track time, title, artist, etc.

I think i will need to remove top center album art position cause it covers cpu meters, I must think about it cause I like top position^^.

I have updated Xion skin with wider artist and track, that's all I can do if I still want it to fit with Rainmeter skin.

logokas Wrote:Despite all this, I think this is the first skin I've seen that brings this much customization out of the box. Very impressive.

Thank you very much :)

logokas Wrote:The visual style is also something I appreciate, but it is lacking a black option, to make it stand out from white backgrounds. In current state, it will only be usable on dark backgrounds, it seems.

Thanx for pointing out black option, It crossed my mind long time ago but was busy with other issues... I must work on my memory^^. I will definitely add blackness :)

Here is something I have prepared some time ago but I'm not sure if I should add it.
It's hard to get bright colors with those RGB sliders.
Image
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby Lance » January 31st, 2013, 9:52 am

A quick tip on the movement issue. You could add moveable to the beat transparencies themselves. In fact, it's good practice to add moveable to absolutely everything that isn't a button or some form of mouse interaction. It doesn't matter how wild or animated it is, it can still function as a drag engagement :)
I made the Xion Default skin. Ask me questions and stuff.

DeviantArt
User avatar
Lance
Xion Fan
 
Posts: 402
Joined: April 10th, 2008, 12:07 pm
Location: East Yorkshire, England

Postby Freerun » August 13th, 2013, 10:47 pm

Time has come

Image

Here is the latest update of my skin

Download here /updated

I had to rebuild a lot, implementing new solutions and redesigning functions.
There is even more customization with less buttons or at least visually less ;)

I've increased size of song title and artist name, I guess I could enlarge artist name a lot more.

Skin is now movable within transvolumer area and can be locked together with all customization controls.

There are 3 modes Color/White/Black for: transvolumers, buttons, vol/prg sliders and slider backgrounds.

Also there are 3 versions of skin White, Black and Black&White to support bright and dark desktops.

I've fixed CPU overload issue when toggling transvolumers so restart of player after customization is no longer required, although it's still mystic.

With new Xion updates old issues with disappearing of transvolumers and locking of album art are gone.

I need to test performance with older systems and optimize if possible.

I'm not going to tell much more about it because I want you guys to test it and share your first impression.
Last edited by Freerun on August 15th, 2013, 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby logokas » August 14th, 2013, 1:41 am

I am still impressed by the level of customization by this skin.

I am still disappointed by how unintuitive adjusting these colors are. It takes a very long time of tinkering and tweaking to get a desired effect.

As such, a special routine that cycles through a few 'presets' would be very useful. I do believe there are methods to do so.
I shoot and ask questions later.

Take no offense of it.
User avatar
logokas
Xion Addict
 
Posts: 668
Joined: February 25th, 2008, 8:44 am
Location: Estonia

Postby Freerun » August 15th, 2013, 12:51 pm

I just did a small update

Fixed more readable font
Now back of 2:nd type vol/prg sliders use same hue as background of sliders, earlier it was static gray
Hopefully fixed all glitches with hue sliders

Link to skin have been updated in previous post.


As for presets I'm not sure if it's possible. Transparency and (I think) hue can't be controlled this way. If we had something like modify(sliderlayer) setvalue(0-100) then it would be easy. I don't think presets are important for this skin anyways.

edit:
It's possible to make presets for transparency with aclafadeto(x) but there is no way to change hue this way.
Last edited by Freerun on August 17th, 2013, 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby logokas » August 15th, 2013, 7:33 pm

If not presets, at least make some sort of visual representations to which slider controls what element. Every time i try to mess around with this thing, I forget which one controls what part, and I have to touch every single one and likely jumble up my configuration to figure it out again.

mouseover indicators might help?
I shoot and ask questions later.

Take no offense of it.
User avatar
logokas
Xion Addict
 
Posts: 668
Joined: February 25th, 2008, 8:44 am
Location: Estonia

Postby Freerun » August 16th, 2013, 12:20 am

Now I got your point logokas :)

I was waiting till someone will complain about that.

Image

overall left side is for buttons backgrounds and right side is for sliders backgrounds while two center pairs of hues are for 1st and 2nd type prg/vol slider

Transparency and darkness have tooltips, I can add tooltips to hue sliders, as for some indicators or markers I think I can come up with something but I can't promise :)

I already have something in mind, will see, I've got some other work to do today.

What if on mouseover blink corresponding element few times? (this indicator will dissapear after blinks)
Or on mouseover enable like 1-2 pixel border on element (this will stay until mouseleave)?

heh and I just felt like I'm nearly done :D oh well it's not that much to do anyways :)

Thanx for the input logokas :)
Last edited by Freerun on August 16th, 2013, 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am

Postby Lance » August 16th, 2013, 12:28 am

This is pretty fantastic man! Your enthusiasm is rubbing off...have skins to finish myself. Marvelous work :)

Sticking with tooltips should be just fine IMO, much less work to do considering how much you've done already. You can always update later.
I made the Xion Default skin. Ask me questions and stuff.

DeviantArt
User avatar
Lance
Xion Fan
 
Posts: 402
Joined: April 10th, 2008, 12:07 pm
Location: East Yorkshire, England

Postby Freerun » August 17th, 2013, 12:31 am

Thanks a lot for those kind words Lance :) It's very appreciated.

I've added tooltips and fixed indicators on mouseover but there is one little issue^^.
Download: here

//Blinking on mouseover was not possible, it just hit me this morning when I woke up^^. //There is no support to preform modify(x) on mouseover so I can't play an animation.

I made static indicators, "invisible" buttons under the hue sliders.
It has one little bug:
When you change hue and slide mouse away from slider rather than following the hue slider curvature and then drop mouse button the indicator will stuck and won't disappear. It will disappear as soon you move your mouse over any part of the skin again.

This happens because hue slider is above this indicator button. So slider steals mouse event and button under gets locked.
If I move button above slider then I can't set hue as the button use mouse event. I can set button to passthrough but then it will obviously ignore mouse over event.
I tried to trick it but I failed and can't figure it out.

So for now there are indicators, but if they get stuck you need to swing your mouse pointer over the Player^^. That's not much of an issue but I want to know your opinion guys.

So please if you have time go ahead, test for yourself and tell me if it's acceptable or should I get rid of it and stay with tooltips.

(hue tooltips show only when player is in focus, i will fix that)


edit:
I've removed indi_active from sliders, it was just annoying^^
Those indicators when locked get "in the way" when changing hue therefore I'm thinking about different positions for mouse over detection so it's not conflicting with hue sliders.

Image
Freerun
Xion Supporter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: January 11th, 2013, 3:41 am
Next

Return to Pre-Release Skin Designs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests