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  • ExUser
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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #25
I'm just completely confounded by krabapple's reasoning and was trying to get more input.

If a playlist gets wiped, Ctrl-Z undoes the change, just like always. If you accidentally completely delete the playlist altogether, even that is recoverable. Autoplaylists are as easy as right-clicking in the album list.

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haven't used 'explorer'
My Computer? Files and folders? WTF.

I don't know how much more obvious you can get with the playlist metaphor than tabs, too. Even browsers are built around them these days.

Regardless of whether someone uses iTunes or foobar, if they don't know how to do something, they need to find out. While foobar's help might not be as extensive as say iTunes', all it really takes is asking me, in the case of friends.

I was asking for information, that's all. I know it works fine for noobies because I've experienced how simple it is for them, how awed they are by how it just works, how trivial it makes even hard tasks. These are not technical folks. They're completely non-technical. Yet foobar2000 makes everything so straightforward that I've never seen them go back to iTunes or Winamp yet.

I'm not drinking the haterade. Use what makes you happy. I was just looking for valid arguments that can't be solved trivially, and I haven't found any yet, so I'm content.

  • jmcguckin
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Reply #26
and please- if someone's really that un-savvy with technology that they "accidentally delete a playlist"


That would be me. 

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and as a result decide to give up on an application,


And yet I did not give up on foobar2k; quite the opposite.  What is wrong with me?

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I'm one to think that they shouldn't be allowed near a computer... what a weak argument if I ever heard one.


Ah, I'm seeing the Jimmy Fallon 'IT Helpdesk Guy" sketch from SNL in my head now.


I never said there was anything wrong with you, nor were you included in my "keep away from the computer" statement, but there is some amount of familiarization that has to occur with anything computer-related, software or otherwise, and since you missed the point of my statement the first time through, I'll reiterate- anyone who will shrug aside an application just because of doing something simple like accidentally closing a playlist, and not attempt to figure out what went wrong or if there is a way to undo the change, really needs to either gain a little motivation or steer clear of computers (since, as I said, computers take at least some effort to use and figure out).  where you determined that I included you in this statement, or that you need to tell your buddy to steer clear of computers, is beyond me.

but I digress- as Canar said, use what makes you happy, and since this thread is about your buddy, and it's clear that you prefer to introduce him to anything but foobar2000, all I can do is wish you and him the best of luck with whatever app you end up deciding on.
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 01:58:20 PM by jmcguckin
Archive- FLAC (-v 8)
Portable- QuickTime AAC (True VBR/-q 77)

  • greynol
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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #27
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it's clear that you prefer to introduce him to anything but foobar2000

What an inflamatory an unnecessary remark.

Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • antropoid
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Reply #28
I Think Foobar is the way to go, but I second media monkey and may be songbird

  • ExUser
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Reply #29
Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).
To be fair, the first post in this thread wasn't the most even-handed either.

  • greynol
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Reply #30
From someone who is ambivalent about the topic at hand, I see absolutely nothing wrong with the initial post.  I do see a lot of people getting defensive, however.  RonaldDumsfeld hit the nail right on the head.

I think this is one occasion where we will have to agree to disagree.

PS: Again, I have nothing but complete respect for foobar2000 and admiration of those who have spent endless hours making it what it is.

PPS: And to be fair, I do know exactly how you guys feel whenever I see people saying EAC is a nightmare to configure.
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 04:25:29 PM by greynol
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • krabapple
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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #31
Enough with the fanboy zealotry already (this is not just pointed at you jmcguckin).
To be fair, the first post in this thread wasn't the most even-handed either.



What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K.  Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose?  I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable).  But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 04:16:11 PM by krabapple

  • ExUser
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Reply #32
Meanwhile over in the foobar forum itself. A genuine n00b writes in to say he has used iTunes or WinAmp or something similar and recently decided to give foobar a try but is having a little trouble with some of the differences in design philosophy he cannot answer by reference to the existing documentation. 'Could someone please help?'

The irony is of course that some clever clogs inevitably writes back, quick as a flash, that foobar is not meant for casual users and that if he cannot work it out for himself then foobar is obviously not for him and he should try iTunes or WinAmp or whatever instead. Er yeah right kthxbye.
If you'd do me the honour of pointing this out, I'll go deal with him myself. foobar is certainly accessible to casual users, though like all software, there are different approaches to solving problems and obviously some people would rather use their desired way to solve a problem instead of using these different approaches.

  • trout
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Reply #33
Like an iTunes that plays flacs? Ideally it should

-- play FLAC files [Yes]
-- be able to scan a drive/folder and update the music library automatically [Yes]
-- display album art  [Yes] (finding and downloading automatically would be nice too) [Yes], and basic track information (title, album, artist, date, tracknumber) [Yes]
-- allow EASY creation of playlists [Yes, but not exactly sure what your criteria is]
-- allow tag/filename editing (this is secondary to the other functions) [Yes]

Songbird might be a perfect fit. It is very simple and easy to use, yet does everything you describe out of the box. To keep the interface extra clean, make sure to uncheck all unnecessary plug-ins during installation. The only potential problem I'm aware of is some people report performance issues with very large libraries.

~ Sorry for my bad english.

  • ExUser
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Reply #34
What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K.  Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose?  I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable).  But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.
The issue is that other than automatically downloading album art, there's nothing in the list of requirements you make that foobar2000 doesn't do as effectively and user-friendly as any other music app, and it's certainly a sight easier than a lot of apps.

Given your first post, foobar2000 is really quite a good fit, you just don't seem to be familiar enough with its feature set to know some of the obvious answers (such as playlist creation).

You just seem to have this pre-conceived notion that it will not work for the application, which has proven itself to be false in my experience a couple dozen times. This seems bizarre for someone actually looking for the best tool for the job.

User-friendliness is actually a very pointed goal of foobar2000 and is a constant topic of discussion in the relevant IRC channels.

But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 04:35:32 PM by Canar

  • krabapple
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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #35
What it unfair about saying that I use F2K, yet don't consider it the most user-friendly music player out there (or even of the ones I've used)? Because that's all my first post implies about F2K.  Has F2K ever striven to be the most user-friendly app for this purpose?  I'd say not, it's goals are different (and also admirable).  But it could be our definitions of 'user friendly' just differ.
The issue is that other than automatically downloading album art, there's nothing in the list of requirements you make that foobar2000 doesn't do as effectively and user-friendly as any other music app, and it's certainly a sight easier than a lot of apps.


That F2K can do lots of neat stuff doesn't mean it's necessarily user-friendly...much less the *most* user friendly choice, which, if you'll note, is what I'm asking for in the thread subject.  If you seriously believe F2K to be that, just say so. I think F2K is a great Swiss Army knife as media players go but *useful* is not the same things as user-friendly.

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Given your first post, foobar2000 is really quite a good fit, you just don't seem to be familiar enough with its feature set to know some of the obvious answers (such as playlist creation).


And here I am , using it for a couple of years, still not quite on top of at least one fundamental function.  Before visiting this thread again, for giggles, I just spent another few minutes at it,  playing with various options for making playlists.  Hilarity ensued-- including disappearance (overwriting) of an incipient playlist..'and they said it couldn't happen'.

Actually, I have an inkling what might be wrong (aside from just not needing to make playlists often enough in the past, to sit down and figure it out).  Think I'll post a screen cap of my longstanding configuration, and maybe you'll see why I'm having a problem.  It will be a new thread on a different subforum.

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You just seem to have this pre-conceived notion that it will not work for the application, which has proven itself to be false in my experience a couple dozen times. This seems bizarre for someone actually looking for the best tool for the job.

User-friendliness is actually a very pointed goal of foobar2000 and is a constant topic of discussion in the relevant IRC channels.


I wouldn't know about IRC, I only know my experience with it as a very sympathetic user, and what comments I've seen here on HA about F2K's target user, over the course of a couple of years.  User friendliness seems a late-come goal at best, whereas for a long time it was secondary or even tertiary to F2K's main thrust.  That said, I applaud  that all along F2k could be got up and running with just a download and install (though even there you get choices which might daunt the naive user).  Adding "Quick Setup' was a real move forward as well. But a comprehensive non-jargony help function/resource is still needed...as are help buttons that actually bring up help when you click them ...as well as immediate relief like mouseover popups explaining what an 'NG Group' is for example, or what a playlist vs a playback queue entails.  You see where I'm going with this?  The average user wants computery stuff to be as 'intuitive' as possible and when it isn't they want quick enlightenment.  Apple's made a nice fortune off of these ideas.

Btw, one thing I've left out of this terribly fascinating discussion so far is that I do have a couple of other friends who already have F2k experience via me.  One took my recommendation two years ago to use it.  After two years, he says he's ready to move on to something a bit less..intense.  Btw, he's a PhD physicist btw and works in designing medical imaging devices and software.  The other is in real estate, not a computer guy except for having to use Office and email at work; I set up F2K for him at home, loading my own fcl to make it easy (for me).  But god forbid he ever accidentally (or on purpose) changes anything.  Unlike my physics friend, there's little chance my RE friend could have set F2K up himself and about zero chance he could ever troubleshoot it on his own if a problem arose. Anecdotes aren't evidence but there you go, obviously my experinece has been different from yours in this area.  Some more context: Like me, these are guys in their late 40s.  They didn't grow up with video games, even, much less home computers.  My generation missed all that by a year or two at least.  I was definitely an early adopter among them, and even I didn't seriously pay attention to computers until around the time the Lynx browser came out. 

Btw, did I mention that regardless of all this, I truly like and admire F2K for all the amazing stuff I *have* figured out how to do with it, and still use it as my player of choice?



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But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...


Not my words. But you do seem offended . Which was absolutely not what I was trying to do.
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 10:20:12 PM by krabapple

  • shakey_snake
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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #36
Rather than repeating the same line of arguments that Canar has used (which I agree with almost completely), have you looked at musicbee?
I can't say I've used it extensively, but for a brief time its development sparked my interest as something to recommend for people who try fb2k and for whatever reason don't like it (however dumb their arguments ).

It seemed to pretty much be an iTunes that plays FLAC.
  • Last Edit: 08 December, 2009, 11:09:33 PM by shakey_snake
elevatorladylevitateme

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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #37
My impression about the ultra pro fb2k angles is this:
IMO the fb2k developers have put in a great deal of work trying to make it more appealing to the non-technical. But I don't think it can (or even should be trying to) really compete with a good "out of the box", simple player (that said, I don't think anyone's written one yet - MusicBee, MusikCube (v.2 when/if it comes out) and MediaMonkey are probably the closest). The simple database based players currently out there aren't that good IMO, and fb2k is very good but too flexible/powerful to ever really be simple.

@ Canar, shakey_snake, anyone who knows fb2k inside out can make anything that needs to be done sound simple, but it's only simple because they already know how to do it. Properly simple software doesn't require a support forum.

So I can totally see where Krabapple's coming from, I was looking for exactly the same thing for the same kind of person (i.e. the kind of person who doesn't want to hear "and if you get stuck register @ xxx.com and ask them, they're really helpful"), and I never found anything that I could enthusiastically recommend. Like I say MusikCube v.2 when it finally comes out, but their development is frighteningly slow.

C.
PC = TAK + LossyWAV  ::  Portable = Lame MP3

  • ExUser
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Reply #38
If you seriously believe F2K to be that, just say so.
I think so.
Think I'll post a screen cap of my longstanding configuration

Hilarity ensued-- including disappearance (overwriting) of an incipient playlist..'and they said it couldn't happen'.
Click on the playlist view (the one with the files) and hit Ctrl-Z. Files should reappear.

The feature that you seem to be struggling with here is the Library Viewer Selection Playlist. When it was created, it was enabled by default. Now it is disabled by default, for the very reasons you are showing right now. The setting can be changed at Media Library > Library Viewer Selection Playlist > Enabled.

But a comprehensive non-jargony help function/resource is still needed...as are help buttons that actually bring up help when you click them
This is wiki content. If you are confused by part of it, you could request a change or even change it yourself. I'm kind of a jargony guy, as are a lot of us. If you could give help improving documentation, I'm sure we'd all love it.

...as well as immediate relief like mouseover popups explaining what an 'NG Group' is for example, or what a playlist vs a playback queue entails.
"NG Group" is not a Default UI term. The queue is functionality most users do not need but some users want. Playlists are well-understood and playback queues are well-understood by those that want them. WMP also has this functionality.

One took my recommendation two years ago to use it.  After two years, he says he's ready to move on to something a bit less..intense.
This is a "normal" user to you? My mom (housewife, 50s) uses foobar2000. My sister uses iTunes because she avoids what I like by default. My dad (carpenter, 50s) uses foobar2000. My grandma (retired, 70s) uses foobar2000. A bunch of girls I know use foobar2000 thanks to me. Lots of guy friends. My cat used foobar2000 once, though I doubt it was intentional. She turned it off.

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But hey, just write me off as another zealot fanboy...
Not my words.
No, they're mine. And I am! And I'm actually kinda okay with being a zealot fanboy, though I really try hard to not be overly annoying. *waves a foobar2000 flag*
  • Last Edit: 09 December, 2009, 08:25:04 AM by Canar

  • 2E7AH
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Reply #39
Another idea 1by1

All suggested players can't handle embedded cue sheets AFAIK, foobar can

  • 2Bdecided
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Reply #40
and please- if someone's really that un-savvy with technology that they "accidentally delete a playlist"

That would be me. 
I don't know about intentionally deleting it, but most of the other ways of wrecking a playlist (which I do often!) are sorted simply by clicking undo.

  • 2Bdecided
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Reply #41
I thought Foobar was very difficult to set up and avoided it. But then I found this guide: http://techie-buzz.com/media-tools/how-to-...sic-player.html. I went to http://browse.deviantart.com/customization...ar2000/#order=5, and installed the theme DarkOne v1.6. So now there is nothing difficult about it, and it is better than anything else out there.
What I'd like would be to download a single file (or archive), double click it (or something in it), and just have that lot set up for me. For example. Without any further input from me.

Cheers,
David.


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Reply #42
Hmm.. I find Foobar the easiest to use of the 4 or 5 I have installed in Windows.  Amorak is my overall favorite (Linux) but didn't work for me on windows the last I tried... that was their first shot alpha release, so maybe ok now.

amarok.kde.org

  • 2t0nEg
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Reply #43
As stated a few posts above, J-River Media Jukebox MC 12 is an alternative, if you're looking for an iTunes type app that plays flacs...My prefered player is f2k, however am starting to really like MediaMonkey...It's nice that we have plenty of choices out there,eh!..

  • shakey_snake
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Reply #44
@ Canar, shakey_snake, anyone who knows fb2k inside out can make anything that needs to be done sound simple, but it's only simple because they already know how to do it. Properly simple software doesn't require a support forum.

2 things:

1) All software requires some sort of support forum because what is incredibly simple to one person isn't for everyone. I personally find iTunes incredibly frustrating to use, for example.
2) The hardest thing about fb2k (that might make what you are saying somewhat true) is the fact that fb2k is modular by design and sometimes users may need to install components that don't come in the default install package. However, http://www.foobar2000.org/components goes a long way to making that about as easy as it's going to get.

But there's lots of simple stuff fb2k does extremely well, and in line with windows style guidelines which can't be said for most media players (like even WMP, for instance). In fact most software regularly used on Windows probably doesn't use the recommended interface metaphors, which is probably what makes fb2k confusing for some. I see that as a general Windows problem, though, not a fb2k one.

As for more anecdotal evidence, my wife uses fb2k+foo_upnp to play our music on her laptop all the time, without incident.
  • Last Edit: 09 December, 2009, 10:16:47 AM by shakey_snake
elevatorladylevitateme

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What's the most user-friendly media player software? (must play FL
Reply #45
There's a lot things fb2k is good at, but I've had my biggest problems explaining this. It's difficult to explain metadata handling if people have some very obscure thoughts even about what files and folders are. Ever keep in mind there are people out there (and there are many of them) who cannot distinguish between the audio player and an audio file, because they are kind of overchallenged by the whole computer thingie)
Finally, I end up making things working via explorer and double click. And giving them wmp, because it has biiig buttons, gives them useless visual fx, speaks their language and they can ask someone else just in case... BTW why do fb2k folks often feel offended so quickly? At least this is my impression.
Personally I have my biggest problems with wmp, I'm always searching for functionalities. For me it is confusing, but for others wmp seems to work.
I don't think fb2k has to attract computer n00bs. Because from experience this is equivalent with loss of freedom. An old discussion. fb2k should be targeted against the techies. Period.
  • Last Edit: 09 December, 2009, 10:44:03 AM by Squeller

  • shakey_snake
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Reply #46
This post is a great example of iTunes not making any sense or being easy, whatsoever.
  • Last Edit: 09 December, 2009, 10:25:45 AM by shakey_snake
elevatorladylevitateme

  • greynol
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Reply #47
The people interested in "easy" don't even know what ID3 means and would never have such a problem, let alone seek help for it.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.

  • shakey_snake
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Reply #48
I'm more looking at the user interaction metaphors.

1) "select tracks"
  -ok people should be able to do this, although some people don't know how to select multiple items from a list using Crtl+click or shift+click. But iTunes has a lasso, right? Any dullard should be able to use that.

2)go to advanced->
- WTF, really? If you want to preform an action on something you just selected, why would that action be in the main menu? Isn't the purpose of a context menu to provide commands based on the context of what is selected?

Secondly, why is this menu called "advanced"? What does that description even tell someone looking for something? Here's what it tells me: "OK I need to look in other menus first, but if what I want to do is considered unlikely (but I need to do this right now, so it can't be too unlikely, right?) I should look in "Advanced". So let me hunt now..."
elevatorladylevitateme

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Reply #49
Look, to me this really seems like PC people trying to convince Mac people that Windows is really very simple.  It seldom happens, and I don't suspect it's happening here.
13 February 2016: The world was blessed with the passing of a truly vile and wretched person.

Your eyes cannot hear.