Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 9th Jan 2010 19:52 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Multimedia, AV Songbird, the open source iTunes alternative (which we reported on earlier), has landed a big deal with Philips. The Dutch electronics manufacturer will bundle Songbird with its GoGear line of .mp3 players as the music management and sync tool. While this is good news for Songbird, there are is a catch.
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Music Management in File Manager?
by tbutler on Sat 9th Jan 2010 20:49 UTC
tbutler
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm not sure how that would be better, Thom. I think music management is analogous to photo management. A file manager can do it, but the things people are looking to do with music really aren't the same as what they are trying to do with their Word Documents or source code files.

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Photos should be managed by the file manager too. All operations you do in a photo manager can easily be done inside the file manager (crop/resize/rotate/red eye/etc.). Implement a decent plugin system and rare functionality can be implemented too.

I hate how everything it tucked away in bloated programs which use databases and generally look completely out of place with the rest.

I do all my management inside the file manager; photos, films, TV series, music.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

I do all my management inside the file manager; photos, films, TV series, music.

So do I. I absolutely *hate* syncing, or organizing through some third party app. Though i can certainly see that some people may prefer, say iPhoto, iTunes (or what have you), i beg all developers of the world to pay attention and realize that there are more than one type of people in the world and make these things optional!

Reply Parent Score: 7

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

...

Implement a decent plugin system and rare functionality can be implemented too.
...

Well, I second that. However, mainstream OS'es are not Haiku/Syllable/SkyOS (unfortunately).

OTOH, one could pull off something like that through shell plugins (at least in Windows) - but "decent plugin system" isn't exactly the term, I'd use about that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I've not yet found a file manager that can query media databases and mass update/rename my music files. Even with extra utilities, it's not the same as telling Media Monkey or Amarok to update metadata and rename/move files based on it.

With my photos, I need jhead to do renaming based on metadata but this isn't recursive so it's a directory by directory plod. I've also not found something that searched for duplicate images. I've seen apps that find duplicates provided the are the same image/size but named differently. What I want is something that will find different sizes of the same image content so I can kill the smaller.

In terms of managing the movement of files from drive to device, the file manager is perfect. Flashdrive mp3 players beat "media manager" paired devices hands down. What I'd like to see is the manager included sync function as an additional option to managing the files directly through a file manager rather then the requirement to pair with a specific manager.

Reply Parent Score: 3

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

Photos should be managed by the file manager too. All operations you do in a photo manager can easily be done inside the file manager (crop/resize/rotate/red eye/etc.). Implement a decent plugin system and rare functionality can be implemented too.

I hate how everything it tucked away in bloated programs which use databases and generally look completely out of place with the rest.

I do all my management inside the file manager; photos, films, TV series, music.


And if you want a particular photo or song to appear in numerous lists? You create shortcuts or duplicate them? If you create shortcuts and want to copy that list to a device does the OS copy the shortcuts or should it just know that it needs to copy the original at that time? How does it differentiate between an external backup hard disk and your mp3 player that just mounts as a disk, or should it know about every type of mp3 player out there? What about the meta information about photos, music, movies, TV shows etc? Should the OS be able to handle that and show it - even allow it to be edited - in a meaningful way? How would these proposed plugins be implemented? Should all plugins be cross-platform? Wouldn't that then make them bloated?

And why stop there? Surely if everyone used an open document format you should just be able to edit a web page or spreadsheet or anything just from the file manager - after all they're only files too right?

I have no doubt it would be a piece of cake for Apple to integrate the functionality of the iLife suite and even the iWork suite into the "File Manager", and probably not too difficult for Microsoft with their offerings, but if they did I can guarantee there would be more than one punter who'd be screaming monopoly. And I doubt anyone would want to go through the painful process of updates and bug fixes for components they don't even use, because if its all integrated...

Reply Parent Score: 6

tbutler Member since:
2005-07-06

That was actually one of the reasons I switched away from Linux. I got tired of manually organizing my photos and iPhoto offered a better (and, at the time, mostly unchallenged) way to do things.

The trouble is the file manager cannot have an interface specialized to photo management unless it has some kind of OLE/KParts type system where it is only a container for various component applications whose UIs it continuously morphs into. But, if iPhoto embedded into a Finder window, I don't see how that would benefit the average user to any significant degree.

Personally, I'd prefer one good tool for each job that integrates beautifully with its siblings rather than one mediocre tool for all jobs. Contrary, say, to the attempt to make Konqueror everything in KDE, I think the project was smart to realize the need for a lightweight file manager separate from the web browser so each can be tailored to its own task.

As to music, I'd rather not have to manually create and change the folder structure.

Of course, I also regret the disappearance of spatial file management from the mainstream.

Reply Parent Score: 3

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

All operations you do in a photo manager can easily be done inside the file manager (crop/resize/rotate/red eye/etc.)


Kill me if that ever happens. I already have emacs on my machine. I don't need another programs that does EVERYTHING.

I do all my management inside the file manager; photos, films, TV series, music.


Just because you do all of your management inside a file manager doesn't mean that everybody else wants to. I would rather not bloat up my file manager with all kinds of whiz-bang features.

Edited 2010-01-10 14:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

One the one hand, I strongly disagree with you about using the file manager to view and manipulate documents. A file manager that also tries to perform lots of tasks specific to given document types will quickly become the most slow and bloated bit of software on your computer. I'd prefer that my file manager just manage my files, and leave actually using/manipulating the contents of those files to applications that are actually good at it.

Urgh, the idea of a file manager that's also trying to be a document viewer, music player and photo-editor, among God knows what else... is truly, truly cringe-worthy. Konqueror was trying to do that, and I freaking hated Konqueror for it.

But, specifically, for the task of moving media onto media players... that probably is a job for a file manager, as it involves moving your files between devices. And actually, on some platforms, with some devices, you can just use your file manager (my iRiver, for instance). The reason you can't just use your file manager with many media players has much, much more to do with the distributors of those players wanting to lock you into their platform and control your use of the device than any deficiency in the host OS or flaw in its design.

Reply Parent Score: 3

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

The file manager concept as we know it from Windows, Mac and most other contemporary OSes, are closing in fast on its best before date.

They reminds me of the time when you located your favourite web page by finding it in Yahoos tree.

As we store more and more information on our computers, structural retrieval is becoming harder and harder.

Today we google or bing for files on the internet, why not have similar solutions for our hard drives.

It should be possible to add an arbitrary amount of meta data to each file. This meta data could be added manually or autmagically, e.g. if we get a file by mail the system should add metadata carrying information on from whom we got it. If we send a file to somebody by e-mail the file should know that too, If it is a webpage, it should know what other pages it links to or from. If it is photos facial recognition software could try to put names to the person on the picture, provided we once had given it a picture of that person and specified a name manually. For songs there are services on the internet that can tell you who wrote it or who sings, that kinds of services could be integrated to create meta data, statistics and rule based systems could be used to provide meta data that could answer question like: Give me that sales forecast for customer X in project Y two weeks ago.

The problem is to get good configurable user interfaces. For common tasks like photo and music management most file managers could have default views that the user to easily could modify if needed.

In other words file managers, should be more like music managers or photo managers, not the other way round.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

In a way I agree: the system should automatically add metadata to files, anything that could prove useful sooner or later, and should have a system for "plugins" that extract even more metadata for certain types of files, for example in the case of images a plugin registered only for image data could try and recognize the people in the picture.

But that raises an obvious privacy concern: how much of the metadata should be visible and accessible to other users of the computer? And how much of it all should be sent along when you f.ex. compose an email and make an attachement?

Reply Parent Score: 3

milatchi Member since:
2005-08-29

Profound post, and point that I very much agree with.

Reply Parent Score: 1