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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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

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.


Again, the posters on this site view the world from a geek's perspective - you wouldn't be posting here if if didn't have at least some IT background. From an every day user's perspective using a file manager to do this stuff is a nightmare.

I am addressing a situation with a client at the moment where employees - real estate agents - are taking anything from 50 to 150 photos of a property - of which they use 10 to 15 - yet are keeping not only the original high res versions of all 150 but are then, through lack of any understanding of how this stuff works, creating duplicates of the entire folder in lower resolutions for using on web sites. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the storage implications of this - especially when doing remote backups. THIS is the level of user mainstream OSes have to support, so yes it does mean that in many things we get the dumbed down version.

Some will say this is a training issue. Anyone who has had any experience working with teachers will know that you can do all the training you like, if they don't want to learn - or think it isn't something they need to know - it just goes in one ear, does a quick lap around the block and swiftly exits on the other side.

While I agree that for MY purposes and YOUR purposes such things may be a godsend, for the common user and the poor suffering techs who have to support them, they would be an absolute bloody nightmare. And it is that common user that the mainstream OS developers have to think about. If you want File Manager based management of this stuff I'm sure you could do some research and find an OS that does it, but don't hold your breath for it to come to anything that is mainstream.

Reply Parent Score: 5

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

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Most of your complaints were already addressed by BeOS. Custom lists? They're called queries, can be made permanent, and update instantly (as in, no delay). Of course, queries in BeOS were extremely powerful, and the UI could be a little overwhelming if you tried to dive too deep into the possibilities.

However, it could be made easier using something like drag and drop - what you use in iPhoto too, now. Instead of creating a query by specifying conditions, you could let the operating system define the conditions based on the files dropped into the query.

Sure, this wouldn't be easy to make, but most certainly not impossible.

While you call us geeks, I call you limited by what you see aorund you today. Dare to think beyond what you have now, and look at your computer as something that can make your life easier.

Right now, Microsoft, Apple, and the open source world do very little to make your computer work for you instead of against you. BFS-like queries are a magical ingredient which has never been used to its fullest potential (see my idea of using them to manage applications).

urely 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?


Why not? Why should I have to open Word in its entirety if I spot a spelling mistake in the file preview? This makes absolutely no sense to me, and is a classic example of developers NOT making life easier for us.

So yes, it should be possible to perform basic editing functions for word processor documents straight from the file manager. In fact, I'm annoyed that we STILL, in 2010, do NOT have this functionality.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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