New Dynamic Playlist

Peter C. Ndikuwera pndiku at
Sat Jun 4 23:32:27 CEST 2011

I've been following the dynamic playlist branch for a few weeks and I
think the improvements made are brilliant. I could finally get a
simple dynamic playlist (based on "Rock and Pop") running.

However, usability is still a bit difficult for novice->intermediate
users. And as there seems to be a bit of duplication in how APG &
Dynamic Playlists are currently presented, I'll use some comparisons
to explain (and please note, I don't actually like APG's presentation)

Someone needs to know all the search bars arcane terminologies
(year:>2000 isn't immediately remembered by an ordinary user who uses
point-and-click to search in the search bar. APG presents this in more
natural language)

Another point: I keep double-clicking and/or right-clicking the
dynamic playlist name to edit it - this is probably a hold-over from
old usage and/or APG's interface.


On 05/06/2011, Valorie Zimmerman <valorie.zimmerman at> wrote:
> I certainly meant no insult to Ralf or his work! I should not have
> used the word suck, and I'm sorry I did. I apologize, Ralf.
> Valorie
> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 10:13 PM, Bart Cerneels <bart.cerneels at>
> wrote:
>> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 19:51, Ralf Engels <ralf-engels at> wrote:
>>> Hi Myriam, Valorie
>>> I am wondering.
>>> Which of the many improvements suck?
>>> - The example biases which demonstrate to a novice user some of the
>>> features and are instantly usable?
>>> - The removal/merging of the three bias categories into one short list?
>>> - The simplification into a tree-widget that supports drag and drop and
>>> all the other stuff that users are already familiar with
>>> - The new "search" bias that allows to easily convert a search into a
>>> bias
>>> - Or some of the other smaller improvements or bug fixes?
>>> Anyway, as long as no-one could lay a finger on a concrete usability
>>> issue I will just continue bathing in the soft and sensual pink light of
>>> a job well done.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Ralf
>>> On Sa, 2011-06-04 at 12:00 +0200, amarok-devel-request at wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 11:21, Valorie Zimmerman
>>>> <valorie.zimmerman at> wrote:
>>>> > Sucks.
>>>> >
>>>> > In a word. I find it unusable, and would rather see the old one back
>>>> > again, if this can't be made 1. discoverable and 2. accurate.
>>>> I must agree, the usability sadly has not improved, it is still far
>>>> too nerdy and unsuitable for the average user.
>> I personally don't want to belittle Ralph's work at all. I think the
>> new treeview for the dynamic playlists look very nice. Much respect
>> for that. And I'm sure if you understand the concepts well that it's
>> nice to use.
>> However I think we will not get anywhere with trying to use the
>> dynamic playlist Bias system in it's current form. The concepts are
>> just to hard to grasp for anyone not blessed with the gift of
>> understanding the codebase. In short we need to simplify it.
>> Here is what I propose:
>> - re-introduce  smart playlists, not dynamic but just build with a
>> query that will return as every match from the collections. This
>> should suite the usecase of a subset of dynamic playlist usage
>> already.
>> - On top of the Biases add a very simple similar playlist which will
>> be based on whatever is in the queue already. Ex: similar from
>> based on tracks; similar from echonest based on artists currently in
>> the queue; similar tracks using moobar data.
>> - A random mode/playlist category. With proportional bias towards
>> genre, rating, decade and age, no more for the sake of simplicity.
>> So in short: split up dynamic playlists in favor of user friendly,
>> easy to understand playlist concepts.
>> At the same time remove APG for obvious reasons and maintenance.
>> I've voiced this idea here in Randa already and it seems to be very
>> much accepted.
>> Bart
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