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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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

jabbotts Member since:

In my Windows days, acdsee was a fantastic blend of file manager and media manager. If you can find it, look at acdsee "classic" as the version after that started adding in extra crap.

Your point about media managers for common users is also why I suggested it's ability to sync content (in my case focusing on music) in addition to providing a simply mounted drive view.

I also think the challenge for average users learning the file manager is generally overstated though. Windows file manager isn't that complicated to use and provides a clear icon view as does the osX file manager and various X DE managers. You can spend a day training them on a specific type of media manager or you can spend a day training them on the file manager which allows them much more than just the limited media type. It's the same with any other program, the user who opens Word then goes looking for there .doc is not nearly as effective as the user who opens file explorer and sees all relevant files grouped together within a project related directory; open the file, let the system deal with feeding it to the right application.

I do get grief with teaching average users though too. In my case, we can train them to better use the Windows file explorer and a rational directory structure or we can spend an absurd amount of money on implementation and training for a full CRM system.

(I'm not a professional F1 race driver, but I am required to have a minimum understanding of how to start a car and steer down the street.)

(edit): I meant to repeat the original suggestion - by all means, allow the media manager to sync content. But, do this as an added layer on top of allowing users to manage files directly through the file system. This way, one can work as they like and no one is forced to use a specific proprietary app.

Edited 2010-01-09 22:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2