[Bug 34380] Noatun Playlist Skinning and Integration

Charles Samuels charles at kde.org
Sun May 4 01:51:22 BST 2003

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------- Additional Comments From charles at kde.org  2003-05-04 02:51 -------
Subject: Re:  Noatun Playlist Skinning and Integration

On Saturday 03 May 2003 4:10, Beat Fasel wrote:
> Following the discussion at the Dot http://dot.kde.org/1051820688, I have
> the impression that the reasons why so many people are unhappy with
> Noatun/Arts are threefold: 
> (1) Interface (playlist functionality, playlist skinning, application
> layout)
If they don't like it, they're free to write a plugin that does appeal to 
their <b>opinions</b>.

> (2) Stability (Interface of Noatun and/or Arts)
I know of exactly one way to crash noatun, and it's fully because of a 
KDialogBase bug.  This might have been fixed.

> (3) CPU consumption (and threfore skipping of songs under heavy load)
This has absolutely nothing to do with CPU usage.  Just the IDE drivers having 
too much latency, and mpeglib not buffering input enough.  Linux 2.4.20 seems 
to behave much better. SCSI on almost any kernel will behave much better (in 
fact, nearly impossible to skip).

I'm not the author of mpeglib, so bug someone else.

> In this post, I only focus on point (1) and specificly on skinning.
> Unfortunately, I don't like Noatuns default layout and am using skins
> therefore. However, if only the main application is skinned and the
> playlist/equalizer not, it gives the impression that there are three
> independent applications. Furthermore, the playlist and the equalizer
> cannot be docked, so if you would like to move around the Noatun and make
> space for another application, you have to move three windows (Noatun, the
> playlist and maybe the equalizer)!

Well, I've been considering a solution to this problem, as stated on the KDE 
3.2 feature list.  Plugins should "register" their windows, under specific 

Noatun (or a plugin, even) could so something clever like move one window when 
another moves (emulating XMMS's approach).  You could creating an iTunes-like 
interface and have one plugin envelope other plugins (i.e., playlists and 

I don't entirely think of Noatun as a media player, I more like to think of it 
as a media player toolkit.  Anyone is free to anything they want in terms of 

> As I said before, I think that Winamps/XMMS's interface approach is not
> perfect, however, good enough. That I am not alone with this opinion you
> can see in this online poll:
> http://www.debianplanet.org/node.php?id=943&pollresults[943]=1
I'm not trying to win popularity contests, if I were, I'd be duplicating 
Windows Media Player's sorry excuse for a UI.

What I'm trying to do is make myself happy with a good media player, and 
anyone else is free to bask in Noatun's warmth.

> Favourite Linux music players (04-05-03):
> XMMS: 82% (661 votes)
> ogg123: 5% (41 votes)
> mpg123: 5% (37 votes)
> (net)Rhythmbox: 4% (36 votes)
> Noatun: 3% (25 votes)
> JuK: 1% (6 votes)

Windows: 92%
MacOS: 5%
KDE: 2%

Which is the best desktop?

Intel: 90%
PPC: 5%
Sparc: 2%
Alpha: 1%

Which is the best CPU?

The fact is that even popularity contests aren't accurate.  People dislike 
change, and I can imagine that a good chunk of Noatun users are those who 
have never liked XMMS or Winamp (like myself).

> Now I understand that the authors of Noatun don't like Winamp/K-Jofol's
> skins and/or playlists. However, Noatun is the central Media application of
> KDE and so I guess there should be a player that a lot of people can use
> and like.
You're right, Noatun should be something lots of people could enjoy.  That's 
why I'm heeding popular demand and considering the "Widget registry" system 
I've outlined above.  That's also why I've been working on a new playlist 
(no, it won't be skinable).  That's why I even wrote Equalizer support, a 
feature I rarely use.

But I'm not going to change what I feel is a very well done design, or force 
"skin cancer" upon my users in the name of popularity.

> See it also like this, if you allow for improved playlists and skinning,
> there will be not many people left critizing your work and comparing it to
> Winamp/XMMS/K-Jofol, as it will look and feel (if these skins are
> activated) the same. Just for your peace of mind! :-)

A playlist plugin can do whatever it wants in terms of UI.  If you want to 
fork my playlist and make it skinable according to the XMMS skin format, you 
are free to.  Maybe it'd even end up in the KDE cvs repository!

> Anyway, I like Noatun and Arts and am deeply impressed by the work you guys
> are doing! Beat

Well, I do appreciate this, but it's important that I'm not doing this program 
because I'm trying to win a popularity contest.  I'm not trying to get users, 
and that's why Noatun has so little similarity to any other media player.

You're going to have a hard time convincing me, as I'm happy enough just 
having a media player for myself.

- -Charles

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