Skinning feature requests and some general features. (1 Viewer)


Portal Member
December 1, 2005
*I have been working on a skin for a while now, and while I do really like Media portals skinning engine overall there are a few issues that stand out.
(Note:I have been working off of the daily CVS builds not the RC)

1. As far as I can tell setting the ondown, onup, and, onright options for a list, thumbnail, or film strip (filmstrip doesn't seem to release focus using the keyboard period) control does nothing. This can be troublesome if your skin, like mine, places controls to the right of the view instead of on the left. Either you need to be able to set all focus options for all the controls (including the spinner control for the view) or there needs to be a key that can switch between control groups (assuming I haven't been missing it).

2. You cannot change the texture size for the small thumbnail view.

3. Similar to above you cannot change the thumbnail size of the filmstrip thumbnails.(I recognize both of these might be some odd behavior on my end, but as it stands it comes off as an issue)

Both of those pretty much destroy any kind of flexibility those controls have

4. Mouse control freaks out when you enter a non square grid with views. You lose the ability to properly mouseover columns that extend beyond the number of rows you have.

5. I have issues when trying to import across files. I cannot, for example, have MyMusicGenres.xml import a Music.xml and have Music.xml import View.xml. I have to have MyMusicGenres.xml have 2 includes. Chaining includes is a useful option.

*I also think that a few simple changes to the skinning could really help allow for more creative layouts.

1. Text on views should have an positioning options other than directly below the thumbnail. You can accomplish this to an extent by making the texture size smaller than the thumbnail, but then you lose the texture effect. It would just be nice to have the file name hover over the thumbnail or be above the thumbnail.

2. A view that allows you to display Albums and songs at the same time. It would say, for example, have the album list on the left and the song list of the currently focused album on the right. Each half would have sub view customizations (the albums might use a filmstrip format while the songs would be a list). This could be extended to anything with a simple database relationship (genres-shows, bands-albums, bands-songs)

3. Filmstrip view draw orders should be reversed. The selection portion should draw over the blown up view. This allows for some greater flexibility when skinning. Being able to make the selection vertical in orientation or a listview would be good too.

4. An option to NOT include both large and small thumbnails. If I can have just a list view, or just a filmstrip why can I not have just a single thumbnail view.

5. Allow pathing for the main Home menu I.E. allow it to follow a curve or other polynomial based path. This might help people come up with some more creative options besides the normal list view.

6. Horizontal menus (not that important since they tend to not utilize space as well, but are a nice option.)

* Some random suggestions (not really skin related).

1. A tagmask importing option. This is probably the only thing I really miss from meedio. I have a lot of music videos, anime, and shows that either don't have database entries or produce so many results it is to much of a pain to get their info. Being able to setup a simple tagmask that can read my directory structure and filenames to find out the series, episode number and episode title would be a godsend. I hate the fact most of my videos have to be manually added.

2. A more TV friendly windows app for configuration. I'm not thinking full integration into Media portal, just some larger text designed for 640x480. Having to change under the hood option is a bitch right now.

3. Some sort of default skin base that a plugin can build from assuming the skin lacks proper support for the plugin. Meedio does this to an extent and it is a very convinient feature.

Despite all this I really do think it is a great utility. I originally worked with Meedio, but decided to port my skin and use Media portal and use it as my core media center app. Just getting some of those minor issues fixed/fully implemented would make it perfect for me.

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