Looking for a skin designer and fresh ideas (1 Viewer)

Fafnir

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  • November 19, 2006
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    Button on remote?
    No no, not in the remote. I mean menu entries in MP should rearrange their position with regard to the count of their usage. Was that understandable?

    Regards Fafnir
     

    Marcus Venturi

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  • March 23, 2012
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    It would be great, if the underlying engine would provide a blurred glass effect for transparent overlays, i.e. the parts covered by a transparent panel should modified with a gaussian blur effect, not only for Images, but also for live TV and Video.

    Blurred glass lets the background still be somehow visible, while giving a high contrast for text and logos.

    This is how it could look:

    Mave_Blurred_Glass.jpg


    I have also rendered a short video sequence to display how this would look on a TV info display:


    Please follow the YouTube link to watch the video in native 1280 x 720 resolution, because in the small window above the quality is bad (Just click on the Youtube logo in the lower right corner of the video)


    Would that be possible?
     
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    emphatic

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  • August 25, 2006
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    One thing that I have discovered from Netflix that I really like is User customized experience. When MediaPortal is opened, you get to choose who's using it. Me, my girlfriend, or our kids. I'm gonna get back to this in a moment.

    Layout wise, I'd love to see more than one view on the same screen. Music for example, having album covers in a Film strip layout at the top and when one is selected, you automatically see all available tracks below in a List layout overlay without having to click the selected Album. If you do click it, the focus shifts to the first track on the album. If you click Info on the selected item (or click OK/enter and hold it for a second) you get more options, like Add to Current playlist or Bookmark, for later consumption (like putting all of your most attractive media in a basket). This basket can be called upon when pressing the Green button on your remote. If the basket is empty, you'll just get a list of available sections:

    TV (latest) [check box]
    Movies [check box]
    Series [check box]
    Music[check box]
    Plugins

    Putting a check in that check box will add all of your favourite, user customized media and MediaPortal will remember this the next time this user has been selected. This removes clutter and narrows down the choices of media for your to enjoy. Add a small search button (that will search all media in your libraries).and you can get to any media type quickly.

    Watching media with another member of the household:

    I watch lots of TV Shows. Some I watch with my girlfriend. I've made one view in MP TV-Series for "my shows", and one for "our shows". Having more than one customized user of MediaPortal (now it's just who's holding the remote) could allow users to belong to "groups". Say I add Arrow to "our shows". Watching an episode will then change the Watched status for both of us. If I have Arrow in "my shows" too, watching it will still show the episode as Unwatched in "our shows", as only I am part of the "my shows" group.

    Hope this makes sense, I'm getting sleepy.
    Emph
     

    Scythe42

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  • June 20, 2009
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    It would be great, if the underlying engine would provide a blurred glass effect for transparent overlays, i.e. the parts covered by a transparent panel should modified with a gaussian blur effect, not only for Images, but also for live TV and Video.

    That's an easy pixel shader, no biggie - including the "fake" transparency. As said any graphical thing is possible (given it can compute in realtime easily). No restrictions for the artists.

    But I would opt for a depth of field variation here instead of a 2D blur as anything will take place in a real 3D space even though it might look just 2D. The layer you put above the background can be as thick as you want, you can have any material you like and if you want it gets subsurface scattering, reflections light sources, shadows, whatever. These are just effects. And all effects need to support the UI idea (DoF for sure does to put focus on something if used wisely)

    Yes, with all those 3D stuff you can still have a nice flat 2D UI even though internally a lot of 3D stuff is happening.
     
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    Scythe42

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    One thing that I have discovered from Netflix that I really like is User customized experience. When MediaPortal is opened, you get to choose who's using it. Me, my girlfriend, or our kids. I'm gonna get back to this in a moment.
    That's multi user usage and categories including categories among groups. Not UI related, but of course needs to be done.

    For example you come to a friend who runs MediaPortal. You can use your phone to control it (given he allows it) and it then even shows what you have seen and what not. Not saying it is a good idea, but you can have guests as well.

    Proxmity based playback? Notifications of recordings? Parental Controls? and whatever.

    All this is doable (just throwing around examples, that might not make sense in the end), But we need to get a UI concept first where we can embed all these ideas easily in.

    Once we have some basic UI, we prototype it for usage and can add how stuff is displayed and how it would work. But we still need to hammer out the raw things first before we can jump into such details.

    This basket can be called upon when pressing the Green button on your remote. If the basket is empty, you'll just get a list of available sections:
    Playlists, latest, continue where left of and stuff like this would be a category like every one else in simple terms.

    The question remains how to we display various including dynamic categories without wasting a ton of space or creating huge menus or endless scrollable lists.

    About automatically update content based on selection as kind like a "preview" we all so far basically agreed upon as this is something really missing and make sense to keep it move lively, more accessible.

    That is one important building block we so far all agree upon! (y)(y)(y)

    Now is the question how do we display these categories and what do we put into the menus to access them easily.

    Putting a check in that check box will add all of your favourite, user customized media and MediaPortal will remember this the next time this user has been selected. This removes clutter and narrows down the choices of media for your to enjoy. Add a small search button (that will search all media in your libraries).and you can get to any media type quickly.
    Searching would just be an overlay just like you know from smart phones as it is a "jump to anywhere" and need to be separated from the rest. Sure can contain search, favs, similar stuff and not limited to a search. (oh yes, and of course you can type directly on your smartphone or search from there. These are basic requirements for me).

    Again how to be access this easily and where do we put it? Sure we can assign tons of buttons or various swipe gestures.

    Such OSD - like for searching - would make sense to place some not essential stuff. But again how do we display these? And what do we consider essential and what to we consider optional and not much used. Is full browsing a Series Library more common than selection unwatched items or favorites based upon rating? For me it never was. Most of the times I jump to the new stuff recently added (in my case automatically).

    Do you see where I am going here from a usage point perspective? It's not like we have to "TV Series -> Select Series -> Select Season - Jump To lastest unwatched automatically -> Press Play".

    Sure this seems the most logical way if you just want to organize stuff from a top-down perspective. But it is not good interface design.

    But isn't the actual usage pattern different? Just observe yourselves how you actually use MediaPortal and how many steps you executed each time to reach a point. This is what needs to be minimized and easily accessible.

    It's not like "start with last used window" is a solution. This is bad as you always start at a different location and probably never the one to use. You are immediately lost and need to find your bearings again. Jumping to the top of a hierarchy is also a poor excuse even though one that always works.

    But I am sure there is something better. If everyone really observes what he is doing and writing it down including the steps he did, we actually can get some base date for usage and find out where it points us. I know mine, but not what you guys are doing. So keep an eye on it for a week or two and share your reports. I am sure we find some usage patterns to give certain functions a priority among others.

    These are very important question that need to be answered for a usage and UI concept.

    As said, I'll try with the community to come up with something that breaks what we basically use since forever because it is not really efficient.

    That doesn't mean that a classical hierarchical view will not be available. But this is probably more an option for ppl. liking to do what they ever did.
     
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    wizard123

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    Something sexy for a saturday lol

    The green on guide is the progress of the program instead of having a vertical strip to indicate.
     

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    pur_berger

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    Such OSD - like for searching - would make sense to place some not essential stuff. But again how do we display these? And what do we consider essential and what to we consider optional and not much used. Is full browsing a Series Library more common than selection unwatched items or favorites based upon rating? For me it never was. Most of the times I jump to the new stuff recently added (in my case automatically).
    Wouldn't this be some sort of automatic learning shortcuts - I mean - if the MP recognises that you always go to
    "TV Series -> Select Series -> Select Season - Jump To lastest unwatched automatically -> Press Play"

    You could let it decide to make a shortcut when going to the series menue "TV Series - Jump To lastest unwatched automatically -> Press Play" and get back to teh complete path if needed by escape. Same with TV - for example when you always look news at 19:00 the system could bring you to the news channel automatically when choosing TV if it is that time instead of opeinng the last used channell. Or movies - If you have stopped a movie you could put back there when returning from TV.
     

    Pat Clark

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    April 25, 2012
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    1. I like the flash and appearance of "fancy" graphic presentations like film-strip, but in actual use, they soon become annoying if you have any large number of items. Many of us have hundreds of Movies, Albums, Pictures, Recordings that become unworkable in a graphic presentation, so LISTS are the most flexible. They support browsing among large numbers, either because you're not looking for anything specific, or because you don't remember the title or name.

    I would be satisfied with a "windows explorer" style interface, where "folders" are not necessarily true directories, but dynamically created sub-lists like genre. The eye-candy would be restricted to the background, fonts, etc., and artwork / thumbnails / descriptions one at a time as items are highlighted.

    2. I'd like to see full visual control of the audio amplifier from MP. (Maybe there are some amps that could support such a thing via CEC or something -- these could be identified / recommended as fully supported with respect to this and other characteristics such as proper HDMI handling.)

    3. I hate remotes. I use them only when absolutely necessary -- a mouse is much better, and better support in MP should be a high priority.

    4. Touch controls are useless for a 10 foot interface. Don't make a Windows 8 -style, mistake.

    5. If I were in the market, and knowing what I now know, I would buy a recommended PC / Amp / TV that is fullly supported in a default configuration.

    6. Beware of content providers -- they'll do whatever they can to thwart a good system. A cable-box, for example can be deliberately made indispensable, as satellite boxes are.
     

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