MP2 - V2.4.1 Mouse support for timeshift (1 Viewer)

chriskent

New Member
March 29, 2023
3
1
Home Country
Australia Australia
Hi,
I am new to Media Portal, I am an avid Windows Media Center user, love it and trying to hold onto it as long as possible. However my Win7 OS died and I believe Microsoft has made it near impossible to create a new Windows 7 machine, all the updates are blocked and nothing updates after the installer is complete, anyway moving on.
Trying to find a suitable replacement has been painful, nothing stacks up to it with ease of use and configuration of WMC.
MP comes close, but has a long way to go.
My main bugbear with MP is with the half-supported mouse features, some features work well with the mouse, but others do not. My use case is, I basically drive my Media Center with a mouse only (no remote control or keyboard).
So that being said, the timeshift is the most annoying, I can't use it with the mouse!!!
When will the timeshift on screen controls be improved to allow mouse control? Step forward (60 sec) Step back (10 sec) and drag of the timeshift bar, these are fairly standard and wanted operations for a timeshift.
The other bug with timeshift, is it does not show the time where the timeshift playback is at, so the feedback as to where you are is missing, this is even the case when using the right/left keys on a keyboard.
Anyway, hoping for some improvement, or indication on how we can give feedback to improve this product, I want this to work and be easy to use, I hope I can help.
Chris
 

ge2301

Lead Design MP2
  • Team MediaPortal
  • January 11, 2014
    8,709
    3,491
    Stuttgart
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    Welcome! At first you need to state which version of media portal you are using. There are media portal 1 and 2, which are different products. MP2 has a WMC skin.
    From your report I guess you use MP1, because MP2 has full mouse support. For MP1 I’m out and somebody else needs to support, because I’m not using it.
     

    chriskent

    New Member
    March 29, 2023
    3
    1
    Home Country
    Australia Australia
    Hi,
    I am using MP2, and after you mentioned WMC Skin, I tried this skin and what an improvement this makes to the UX over the standard skin.
    However, the mouse support for timeshift is still wanting more.
    I would like to see a skip forward (30 sec) and skip back (5 sec) buttons added to the play control section. Also, being able to drag and move the current playback position on the timeline would be expected (I've seen this asked for in a few posts now).

    Is this something I can customize myself? If so where can I find the user guide formodifying skins?

    Also, regarding the fast forward playback speed, how is this controlled? If I press the fast forward, it does go fast, but I lose sound. In WMC, one press of the fast forward must go to 1.25x or 1.5x speed and I still hear audio. When I do this in MP2, it goes fast but I lose audio. How can I change this so the first press of the fast forward still provides audio? Not sure if this is a codec issue or just the speed setting of the button.

    Anyway, I know I am asking a lot here, but this would vastly improve the UX for all those users who are familiar with WMC.

    Thanks for reading
    Chris
     

    ge2301

    Lead Design MP2
  • Team MediaPortal
  • January 11, 2014
    8,709
    3,491
    Stuttgart
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    I am using MP2, and after you mentioned WMC Skin, I tried this skin and what an improvement this makes to the UX over the standard skin.
    However, the mouse support for timeshift is still wanting more.
    What was the initial skin you used? "Default" or "Nereus"? "Nereus" should offer the best UX experience and I'm curious what was not ok. If it's just you got used to the WMC UX (Iwas also WMC user in the past) I fully understand that any other UX is not easy in the beginning.

    I would like to see a skip forward (30 sec) and skip back (5 sec) buttons added to the play control section. Also, being able to drag and move the current playback position on the timeline would be expected (I've seen this asked for in a few posts now).
    Please check the WIKI for details of the player. The Wiki is created for Nereus skin, but almost all points are also valid for WMC. There is also a WIKI for all skin relevant WMC features.

    To quote the relevant part:
    During playback, there are additional control buttons appearing for mouse users when focusing the right or left area of the screen.

    Left Area:
    • "<" InstantSkipBackward
    • "<<" SkipStepBackward
    Right Area:
    • ">" InstantSkipForward
    • ">>" SkipStepForward
    skip_overlay_nereus.png


    The instant skip and skip steps can be configured in settings > players.

    Drag and move is not supported by the player engine and also not possible for most file types by nature. For MKV containers also WMC could not handle it. Accoringly it will and can not be implemented.

    Progress Bar​

    The progress bar is located between the player and function keys. It provides the total duration and the progressed time on top of the indicator.

    Mouse users may jump to any position directly by pressing at the targeting position in the progress bar. The current playback position indicator can not be dragged and moved over the timeline with playback.

    progress_bar.jpg

    Is this something I can customize myself? If so where can I find the user guide formodifying skins?
    There are some basic user guides, but they are not really helpful. the skins are based on MPF, which is basically a self-made engine working 99% as WPF. So, if you check any WPF/XAML tutorial, you'll most probably also be able to use it also for MP2. If you tell me, what you want to change, I can guide you to the corresponding position in code and offer hints. If you wish to go beyond design into the direction of new functions, the core code needs to be touched and here I can not really support, it's rather complicated code in #C and only for skilled developers (maybe you are).

    Also, regarding the fast forward playback speed, how is this controlled? If I press the fast forward, it does go fast, but I lose sound. In WMC, one press of the fast forward must go to 1.25x or 1.5x speed and I still hear audio. When I do this in MP2, it goes fast but I lose audio. How can I change this so the first press of the fast forward still provides audio? Not sure if this is a codec issue or just the speed setting of the button.
    This depends again on the player engine and source file format. I can not say more, but also believe, that hearing audio at different playback speeds is not something important. The function is used to find the correct position visually by image I believe. I say that, because development resources are rare and nobody would touch this point anyway due to a long prioritiy list.
     

    joecrow

    Test Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • August 9, 2012
    2,568
    1,916
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    What was the initial skin you used? "Default" or "Nereus"? "Nereus" should offer the best UX experience and I'm curious what was not ok. If it's just you got used to the WMC UX (Iwas also WMC user in the past) I fully understand that any other UX is not easy in the beginning.
    Just a short comment on this based on my experience with WMC, MP1 and MP2:_ I confess I still have difficulties with the Nereus skin in MP2 and in particular I still struggle sometimes to navigate back to icons/screens that were previously visible but disappeared as I advanced if you see what I mean, I find it very frustrating:mad:. Maybe it is my remote but I do not have this problem with any of the MP1 skins or the MP2 WMC skin
     

    joecrow

    Test Group
  • Team MediaPortal
  • August 9, 2012
    2,568
    1,916
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    I have really no idea what you mean ;) Can you provide 1 or 2 concrete examples?
    Sorry at the moment I can't as I have uninstalled MP2 on my desktop to test out the MP-1 x64, it will have to wait until I re-install MP2.:sleep:
     

    ge2301

    Lead Design MP2
  • Team MediaPortal
  • January 11, 2014
    8,709
    3,491
    Stuttgart
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    Sorry at the moment I can't as I have uninstalled MP2 on my desktop to test out the MP-1 x64, it will have to wait until I re-install MP2.:sleep:
    Sure, problems (unfortunately) do not run away ;). But you could also just install the client without server, so no conflict to MP1 is created. Your issue seems regardless of the server.
     

    chriskent

    New Member
    March 29, 2023
    3
    1
    Home Country
    Australia Australia
    Hi,

    It's nice to see some activity on this thread.... The first thing I would like to say is I've been a software developer for over 30 years, C, C++ a tiny bit of C#, and more recently Java and JS. So I feel I know my way around software, UI's etc...

    Just to back up a bit, my use case, might be unique - not sure, but I feel a lot of people would use a Media Center like me, I'm still a little old school with my TV viewing, but I use a PC to control my TV with a mouse only (no remote, no keyboard - all of what I need to control the PC should be doable with a mouse and sometimes on-screen keyboard). This is mostly to watch Live TV, that has either been recorded or has been saved in the timeshift buffer and we typically rewind to the start of the show and skip through the ads and fast forward the 'boring' bits. So I never really watch TV 'Live', that is TV at the time it is broadcasting, it is always watched later - if that makes sense.

    I also want to say, you mentioned MKV formats etc... I'm not really worried too much about playing Movies etc that are obtained externally, these play fine and don't really need the timeshift control here, my timeshift and replay options are mostly in reference to TV streams from a TV Tuner card, so not sure if this makes a difference.

    If you are familiar with WMC, I must admit this is the best software ever for viewing live TV with recording and buffer playback, it just works, the UX is easy and the feedback on the timeshift bar is excellent, you know exactly what time you are at and so easy to scroll back and forth, step backwards and forwards and fast forward and rewind with no lag, glitches etc... If Media Portal 2 can ever match this, then myself and almost every other person clinging to WMV would be grateful - I would even pay for the software at this stage since no one can do it nicely like WMC. I would also consider getting involved with the development if I could add/fix this myself.

    Enough for today, I will give my feedback on skins and bugs I have found later.

    Chris
     

    ge2301

    Lead Design MP2
  • Team MediaPortal
  • January 11, 2014
    8,709
    3,491
    Stuttgart
    Home Country
    Germany Germany
    Just to back up a bit, my use case, might be unique - not sure, but I feel a lot of people would use a Media Center like me, I'm still a little old school with my TV viewing, but I use a PC to control my TV with a mouse only (no remote, no keyboard - all of what I need to control the PC should be doable with a mouse and sometimes on-screen keyboard). This is mostly to watch Live TV, that has either been recorded or has been saved in the timeshift buffer and we typically rewind to the start of the show and skip through the ads and fast forward the 'boring' bits. So I never really watch TV 'Live', that is TV at the time it is broadcasting, it is always watched later - if that makes sense.
    I guess it's really a rare case, most users use remote controls, then keyboards and last mouse. I tired to design things mouse friendly as much as possible, because it was almost impossible when I joined the team. As former WMC user I quickly decided to create a WMC-like skin which comes as close as possible in terms of appearance and functionality. As designer I coould do much for the appearance, but the functionality has limitations of the skin engine and requires often deep modifications in the models behind as you can usume.

    I also want to say, you mentioned MKV formats etc... I'm not really worried too much about playing Movies etc that are obtained externally, these play fine and don't really need the timeshift control here, my timeshift and replay options are mostly in reference to TV streams from a TV Tuner card, so not sure if this makes a difference.
    Could question, I'm not recording at all and just have some dummy ts files for skinning. If there is a difference between ts files and mkv containers I really do not know. Once you took a look it's probably best to see what works as expected and what not and we see further.

    If you are familiar with WMC, I must admit this is the best software ever for viewing live TV with recording and buffer playback, it just works, the UX is easy and the feedback on the timeshift bar is excellent, you know exactly what time you are at and so easy to scroll back and forth, step backwards and forwards and fast forward and rewind with no lag, glitches etc...
    Fully agree, it was the best media center ever, because simple, intuitive and just doing things as expected. I really hate the external configuration tools with hundreds of mostly useless options for some HTPC softwares. MP2 can be luckily fully configured in-GUI. Just for TV you need to use external tools in case the TVE3.x is used. But we also support TVMosaic, which can be configured by browser. I anyway recommend to use the latest installer, that is based on MP2.4.1, but new installation UX and the choise between the 3 different TV engines.
    https://forum.team-mediaportal.com/attachments/mp2_2-4-1-mp2-672_custominstaller-zip.211174/

    It's nice to see some activity on this thread.... The first thing I would like to say is I've been a software developer for over 30 years, C, C++ a tiny bit of C#, and more recently Java and JS. So I feel I know my way around software, UI's etc...
    That's great. In this case skin modifications are no burden for you. Changing code should be also possible, but as it is quire complex it needs always some time to come into it.

    If Media Portal 2 can ever match this, then myself and almost every other person clinging to WMV would be grateful - I would even pay for the software at this stage since no one can do it nicely like WMC. I would also consider getting involved with the development if I could add/fix this myself.
    Most of the team members are hobby programers and the product survives only, if new people join the team. Unfortunately we are always lacking developers, because the market is moving towards small android devices and modern TV's include already many "smart" applications. The thing is, people hardly realize that "smart" means somebody wants to make money with the user behavior it and it's not really about making people's life easier.

    Regarding "drag and move" support I investigated a bit. The implementation is possibly rather easy with just updating the preview image in increments while the position is moved. The problem starts earlier. MP2 supports currently only following mouse events:
    • Left,
    • Right
    • Middle
    • XButton1
    • XButton2
    MediaPortal-2/MouseButtonEventArgs.cs at 2889496551204d55c5a3c84583b0fd6ab6bbd010 · MediaPortal/MediaPortal-2

    I'm missing following mouse events:
    • LeftDown --> Long click, probably needed for the drag and move event
    • LeftDouble --> double click, that could be useful for certain functions
     

    Users who are viewing this thread

    Top Bottom