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Author Topic: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA  (Read 5040 times)

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wwwombat

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BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« on: November 03, 2007, 02:37:14 am »
More a question for Chris as to how the BTN_NEXTALPHA and BTN_PREVALPHA buttons work.

Empirically it seems that if I use these buttons then I do land towards the start of the next / previous letter but invariably there's a few artists that also start with that letter on the previous page (which I happen to know so go looking for them).

It seems that a predetermined number of pages for the skin are assigned at startup and the first page that has the first strip starting with that letter is what is selected as the starting page for that letter.

As an example to illustrate what I'm seeing... Let's say my miniscule playlist consist of 26 songs with artists starting with "A" and 24 songs with artists starting with B. I then try to display these 50 songs 10 at a time and the first page of 10 fills with "A" artists... if I then press BTN_NEXTALPHA then instead of going to page 3 (song 27 being the first "B" artist even though the first song strip (21) starts with an "A") I appear instead to go to page 4 (which is the first page that has a strip that STARTS with a "B" artist).

Is this how it works and is there a possibility of reworking it (or at least providing a flag to do so if preferred) to really land on the page that contains an artist starting with that letter?

I do understand that if I don't have enough artist songs to fill a page (i.e. "X" has only 5 songs and so the remainder of the page are filled with "Y" artists) that the program would recognise this and a BTN_NEXTALPHA would therefore take you to "Z" (since I view it as you being on both a X and a Y page initially)

Other than that I'm ecstatic with what I'm seeing so far (I just want to tweak a few points)... I'm gradually compiling my song list and the cabinet to match is coming along well.

dibb1er

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2007, 05:13:46 am »
wow, you have 5 "X" songs?   :o

i've only got 2! ;D

anyway... I, like everyone else, get the same "first page with [letter] as first strip" thing, and personally, I dont mind.

but, if it were to be implemented, i dont think i would be complaining 

Chris

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 10:09:27 pm »
More a question for Chris as to how the BTN_NEXTALPHA and BTN_PREVALPHA buttons work.

Empirically it seems that if I use these buttons then I do land towards the start of the next / previous letter but invariably there's a few artists that also start with that letter on the previous page (which I happen to know so go looking for them).

It seems that a predetermined number of pages for the skin are assigned at startup and the first page that has the first strip starting with that letter is what is selected as the starting page for that letter.
Yes, this is a known shortcoming of NEXTALPHA/PREVALPHA.  Unfortunately, i have not found a good solution.  The jukebox is meant to simulate a mechanical jukebox so I am reluctant to "slide" the new artists onto the page (and as you noted it would take a complete reworking of the way pages are allocated), and if it goes to the first page with any artists of that letter it looks like it went to the wrong page.  I almost didn't release the feature for that reason.  However, paging through large collections was difficult without it.

I guess the best solution is to implement all three behaviors and allow the user to select the lesser of three evils in jukebox.ini.

--Chris
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

wwwombat

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 10:19:29 pm »
Aahh... don't get rid of it!! You're right, it's a godsend for navigating through large collections.

Personally I can live with "if it goes to the first page with any artists of that letter it looks like it went to the wrong page" since that's preferable in my eyes (so I'd be esctatic if a future switch could govern that or be made the default behaviour) but, in the meantime, I'm glad it's confirmed the behaviour is a result of a concious decision and not a bug.

Whilst "nice" I wouldn't worry about "sliding" the new artists into a page...apart from the recoding, it goes against the grain of the "old look" skins which you would of course assume to be mechanically locked in place.  :)

wwwombat

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 01:15:39 am »
And, to draw an analogy, if someone were to give me an Encylopaedia or Dictionary as a Christmas present (sucks I know but at least it's better than socks 'n' jocks) then if said tome were tagged (remember how Bibles, dictionaries and such used to have indents on the spine of the pages?) so I could immediately go to all words starting with WI then I would expect to go to the first page containing a word beginning with wi (wick?)... I would not expect to be taken to the first page with the first word that starts with wi (widgeon in the dictionary in front of me).

The fact that the first word on the page starts with WH (wholesome) would not throw me... I know the alphabet and can scan forward through the page to find the WI's. Landing on the "Widgeon" page and having to turn back a page is counter-intuitive though (not much more manual effort I grant you...)

A telephone directory would be structured on the same principle.

blah69

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 10:37:36 pm »
I agree that the next Alpha is critical to anyone with a large music collection.  Any thought on adding a "alpha" slider on a cd skin, like in the picture below?


Chris

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 08:52:09 pm »
I am working on adding a "slider" control type, but it would be based on absolute page, not alphabet.  However, I can probably make an alphabet version too, although I'm not sure how the display would work.
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

Chris

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007, 08:10:59 pm »
There's another issue here, part of the reason things are done the way they are.  Imagine the following pages:

Pg 1:
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Mamma Mia - ABBA
Look of Love - ABC
All that She Wants - Ace of Base

Pg 2:
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
Cryin' - Aerosmith
Under My Wheels - Alice Cooper
Every Heartbeat - Amy Grant

Pg 3:
Baby Baby - Amy Grant
Manic Monday - The Bangles
Help - The Beatles
Reflection - Christina Aguilera

Pg 4:
Since You're Gone - The Cars
Drive - The Cars
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows

Pg 5:
Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Hotel California - The Eagles
There Goes My Everything - Engelbert Humperdinck
Drowned - Entombed



As currently implemented, pressing NextAlpha on page 1 will go straight to page 4.  With the suggested change, pressing NextAlpha goes to page 3.  But what does pressing it again do?  Does it go to page 5 (the last artist on 3 is a C, and the next change is the D on 5) or stay on page 3 (moving strictly from A to B) and then stay on 3 for the next press (strictly from B to C), only changing to 5 after the third press on one page?

To be honest, NONE of these options "feels" right to me, which is of course why I almost scrapped the feature entirely.

Any thoughts?  What would you expect pressing NextAlpha to do on the above set of pages?

--Chris

--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

blah69

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 01:24:54 pm »
There's another issue here, part of the reason things are done the way they are.  Imagine the following pages:

Pg 1:
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Mamma Mia - ABBA
Look of Love - ABC
All that She Wants - Ace of Base

Pg 2:
Walk This Way - Aerosmith
Cryin' - Aerosmith
Under My Wheels - Alice Cooper
Every Heartbeat - Amy Grant

Pg 3:
Baby Baby - Amy Grant
Manic Monday - The Bangles
Help - The Beatles
Reflection - Christina Aguilera

Pg 4:
Since You're Gone - The Cars
Drive - The Cars
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows

Pg 5:
Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Hotel California - The Eagles
There Goes My Everything - Engelbert Humperdinck
Drowned - Entombed



As currently implemented, pressing NextAlpha on page 1 will go straight to page 4.  With the suggested change, pressing NextAlpha goes to page 3.  But what does pressing it again do?  Does it go to page 5 (the last artist on 3 is a C, and the next change is the D on 5) or stay on page 3 (moving strictly from A to B) and then stay on 3 for the next press (strictly from B to C), only changing to 5 after the third press on one page?

To be honest, NONE of these options "feels" right to me, which is of course why I almost scrapped the feature entirely.

Any thoughts?  What would you expect pressing NextAlpha to do on the above set of pages?

--Chris



I would think it would do the second one.  This only becomes a problem if you have a very small collection (I suppose it could come into play on "Q", "X" or "Z").  I see more of an issue with "#" and "Various Artists" listings.  Right now mine reads all of those as different and it takes like 6 or 7 clicks to get through all of them.

wwwombat

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 06:58:54 pm »
IMHO, pressing NEXTALPHA should first look at the last song represented on the page since that is the last song my eyes should alight on before turning the page.

Using this character as the starting point it should shift to the next letter in sequence.

In your example, starting from page 1 (A's) you shift to page 3 because it happens to contain the first artist beginning with B i.e.

Baby Baby - Amy Grant
Manic Monday - The Bangles
Help - The Beatles
Reflection - Christina Aguilera

However it just so happens that it also contains the first artist beginning with C. I feel in this case pressing NEXTALPHA should take you to the first page with an artist beginning with D and NOT "ignore" the keypress and stay on the same page (that just makes me think my wiring isn't sound). i.e. you should be on:-

Pg 5:
Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Hotel California - The Eagles
There Goes My Everything - Engelbert Humperdinck
Drowned - Entombed

and again, if you pressed NEXTALPHA here you wouldn't stay on this page (for Eagles) but instead find the next page that has an artist beginning with F (or G etc. if no 'F's found)

This seems logical to me and, as blah69, states it should only come into play if "you have a very small collection (I suppose it could come into play on "Q", "X" or "Z")."

PREVALPHA would work the same way (but in reverse) by looking at the first song on the page displayed and doing the math.

So FORWARD in your example starting at page 1.

Pg1 (A) -> NEXTALPHA -> Pg3 (B (and A AND C)) -> NEXTALPHA -> Pg 5 (D (and E)) -> NEXTALPHA -> Pg 1 (A)

BACKWARD starting at page 1 in your example set:-

Pg1 (A) -> PREVALPHA -> Pg5 (E (and D)) -> PREVALPHA -> Pg3 (C (and B AND A)) -> PREVALPHA -> Pg 5 (E (and D))
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 07:16:03 pm by wwwombat »

Chris

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2007, 12:20:22 pm »
OK... this is good.  For some reason I hadn't thought of grouping all "numbered" artists (Are there any other than "2 Live Crew"?) together.  "Various Artists" should all be treated as V; I'll have to look into that.

--Chris
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DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

wwwombat

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 10:27:41 pm »
"Numbered" artists on my collection so far include

12th Man, The
1927
2 In A Room
2 Live Crew
2 Unlimited
20 Fingers
28 Days
2Pac
3 Doors Down
3 The Hard Way
30 Seconds To Mars
38 Special (I dropped the leading . because that was stuffing things up)
3LW
3T
4 Non Blondes
4PM
50 Cent
5000 Volts
98 Degrees

The NEXT_ALPHA button treats each of the numbers as a different starting "letter" (although there's not that many page flips as the behaviour of the ALPHA keys under the current version of wincab plus the lack of "good" songs attributable to most of these artists means that only a couple of page turns rather than 6 gets me to the A's)

Before anyone questions my taste in music the aim is to achieve the best of each artist in my collection and if the song made the ARIA top 100 charts for the last 20 years then it gets included... it doesn't mean that I personally like it.

Chris

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 07:51:20 am »
Thanks for reminding me about this... I'll get it in tonight.
--Chris
DOSCab/WinCab Jukebox: http://www.dwjukebox.com

blah69

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Re: BTN_NEXTALPHA / BTN_PREVALPHA
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2008, 11:37:48 pm »
"Numbered" artists on my collection so far include

12th Man, The
1927
2 In A Room
2 Live Crew
2 Unlimited
20 Fingers
28 Days
2Pac
3 Doors Down
3 The Hard Way
30 Seconds To Mars
38 Special (I dropped the leading . because that was stuffing things up)
3LW
3T
4 Non Blondes
4PM
50 Cent
5000 Volts
98 Degrees

The NEXT_ALPHA button treats each of the numbers as a different starting "letter" (although there's not that many page flips as the behaviour of the ALPHA keys under the current version of wincab plus the lack of "good" songs attributable to most of these artists means that only a couple of page turns rather than 6 gets me to the A's)

Before anyone questions my taste in music the aim is to achieve the best of each artist in my collection and if the song made the ARIA top 100 charts for the last 20 years then it gets included... it doesn't mean that I personally like it.

Don't forget...

10,000 Maniacs
311
10 Years
50 Cent
12 Stones
12 Summers Old
19 Wheels