Bangarang – a media player

December 7, 2011

Happy hacking pops out a 2.1 holiday cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — jamboarder @ 2:19 pm

There’s nothing like doing what you enjoy for no other reason than for the sheer joy of it.  Even better, when such joy produces something you can experience. Bangarang 2.1 is now released.

I really enjoy creating stuff.  Occasionally, if I’m at all like other folks (debatable, I know), I look at the stuff of other people’s passions (music, paintings, architecture, whatever) and say man I wish I could do something like that.  I often find myself wishing for the passion of others while ignoring my own passions, my own motivations.  Working on Bangarang is one of my own avenues of creative expression. I do it with joy.  I’ve learned that, much like others who explore their own avenues of creative expression, I’m most creative when I choose not to do it from a place of anxiety or obligation to the work.  It sounds stupidly simple but I have the most fun when I’m actually having fun.  Fun breeds fun. Joy breeds joy.  And it is not just ok, but better, to take breaks when the fun diminishes.  That is the luxury of a hobby instead of a job. I do it for fun and I can take breaks whenever I want to.  And the fun does diminish.  It is the nature of living.  We can’t go about prancing around like we’re blissfully happy and eternally creative all the time.  We’re not.  And that’s ok, because it allows us to appreciate those joyful times all the more.

And the Bangarang 2.1 release paired with the holiday season is one of those times for me.  Happy holidays!

(Release notes are here).

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5 Comments »

  1. Thanks and happy holidays to you too.

    It would be nice to hear about the future plans for Bangarang. Just about only thing that Bangarang lacks that’s absolutely necessary for me is keyboard bindigs for media controls. Then there are also some Phonon releated performance problems that hopefully will also be sorted out. I find Banragang to be the most interesting media player out there and with Nepomuk the possibilities are endless.

    Comment by hoe — December 7, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    • Thanks much for the kind words. They are a part of the joy I mentioned. :-)

      I’m thinking you should be able to assign shortcuts to your media keys using the shortcuts editor in the Now Playing menu. Perhaps they aren’t working the way you expect, so I’m interested in any ideas there.

      More generally, I welcome ideas for the future. I have some ideas myself, but I’m always curious what others have in mind. The caveat, of course, is that I’ll always try to focus my activities on whatever motivates me – unless someone else has the time to work on what motivates them. :-)

      Comment by jamboarder — December 7, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

      • By media controls I meant on top of what’s already supported a way to move backwards and fowards on timeline. It’s a default feature in many media players like Dragon Player (PgDown/Up move */-10% of lenght, +/- move +/-10sec), SMPlayer (Left/Right move +/-10sec, Up/Down move +/-1 minute, PgUp/Down move +/-10 minutes) and VLC (Ctrl/Alt/Shift + Right/Left for different lenghts). I personally like the bindings that SMPlayer uses (same as MPlayer) the most and I would be delighted if those were to be implemented. I hope you will find developing Bangarang fun in the future too as your work is highly appreciated :p

        Comment by hoe — December 8, 2011 @ 3:31 am

  2. Oh, a holiday cake :-), a new version of my favorite movie player! Thanks!

    I’m not sure if that’s in your vision of what bangarang should become, but I’ll say what I am personally missing. I use bangarang as my primary movie player – and it’s doing a great job there. The reason I won’t use it as a music player as well is basically the – I’ll call it – minimal playlist, or the way to manage which tracks are played. This needs some clarification of course, about the way I listen to music.
    I load all my MP3s to the players playlist, and use the filter option to filter those I want to listen right now, and have those filtered played in random+repeat mode. This is for a simple reason: it reduces clicks and modifying the playlist all the time (the workflow would be just filter versus clear out the tracks, go to the options, search the media files, add them, go back, play).

    I’ve been doing this with JuK and Amarok, both work fine in this regard. Filtering the playlist isn’t part of bangarang, and probably out of scope for the goal what the vision behind bangarang is, but it’s just a note why it’s not working out for me. I’m fine having one music player and one movie player though, no big deal :-).

    Thanks again for your great work on bangarang. It’s a great and good looking player with wonderful quality which “just works”.

    Comment by STiAT — December 9, 2011 @ 3:10 am

    • Thanks much for your kind words. It is very encouraging to read them. :-)

      A preamble: I’m long-winded. :-)

      So, regarding the playlist. Really early on in the creation of Bangarang I did a bunch of research on the way different media players tackle the “play some subset of my collection that interest me right now” use case and found a variety of solutions. Of course all of them, including Bangarang, has upsides and downsides. One idea I found that stuck for me (I forget where I ran into it) is that the playlist does one thing: it contains what will be played. So all of the responsibility for finding what interests the user could be handled in a browsing context where much more useful contextual information could be provided to help the user figure out what might interest them.

      The challenge then was allowing the user to find what they want quickly and get to playing that as soon as possible. The end result after much trial and error was the Play All/Play Selected button which replaces the contents of the playlist and immediately plays. That also kept the number of steps to be pretty to those players that had a giant playlist/library with either searching or filtering. So, at minimum, the steps look something like this for those players:
      1. Click to focus/activate the search/filter field.
      2. Enter the text to search for/filter on.
      3. Click (somewhere) play.

      Some players actually have a few more steps than this but let’s go with this. :-)

      For Bangarang it looks something this:
      1. Click Media Lists.
      2. Click Search field.
      3. Enter text to search for.
      4. Click Play All to play.

      Step 2, 3 and 4 are basically the same 1, 2 and 3 for other players. The additional first step is a bit of a trade off, but one I thought was worth it for both the additional context the Media List view hopefully provides to help the user find what they want and to keep the purpose and function of the playlist as simple and clear as possible. It is definitely a workflow change for folks like you, but the number of steps shouldn’t be drastically different. Hey I could even add a search keyboard shortcut to collapse step 1 and 2. :-)

      Told you I was long-winded! Anyway thanks much for your feedback!

      Comment by jamboarder — December 9, 2011 @ 10:00 am


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