Coffeehouse Thread

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What sucks about multimedia on your PC?

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  • User profile image
    Steve411

    What messes up multimedia for you?
       The amount of songs that i add to my play list.

    For instance, does your video get cruddy when you turn on a device?
       Yes, expecially when you turn on a memory hoger.

    Is your audio glitching when your anti-virus program kicks in?
         
    Yes.. Sometimes it freezes the program.

    Are you getting the video quality you'd expect?
          
    Sort of yes, could you guys include all of the codecs in the next version of WMP? Some of them seem to be missing.

    What's the first things you'd like to see us work on some more?
     
    All of the codecs, the amount of time it takes to load the program. Give it a seperate 'section' of the processes, for example, when running Norton A/V, WMP would not get bothered by it, and not freeze up.

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    Where is the old media player that we all knew and loved?
       Maybe we should get that back instead..
             mplayer2 works the best. Always pick a non-memory-hoger. Wink
      
      start > run > mplayer2

  • User profile image
    BanjoFrog

    How many of you with home theater PCs (not MediaCenter) actually use WMP9 to watch DVDs?  I don't, simply because every time I sneeze or move on the couch, my wireless mouse wiggles and suddenly the picture shrinks, toolbars fly in, and I feel like I'm watching a movie during an earthquake.  Why can't this be simpler by default?

    -bf

  • User profile image
    GreenNinja

    2 things quickly come to mind:

    1) I agree with PaoloM that it would be nice to have something to organize codecs and to provide info about each codec (vendor name, file types it handles, version, etc.).

    2) When running media from a web page via MSN Video (e.g., MSNBC videos), sometimes I get an error when starting a video.  I don't remember the specific error (some C++ error), but it would be nice (and this is true for any piece of software) if the error would be informative to an average user (I am better than average, but still can't figure out some of these problems).  For example, what was the software trying to do when it failed (in this case, was it trying to load a codec, initialize the environment, invoke a function in a particular dll, etc.)?  What would the software developer (of the failing code) want to look at to diagnose the problem?  What would the software developer want the user to do to avoid/resolve the error?  Catastrophic failures should provide as much info as possible for the average person to fix the problem, if possible, or for the user to feedback to Microsoft so that the problem is fixed in the next update.

  • User profile image
    FrankCarr

    One simple request would be to put the 'now playing'song title information in the Start bar tooltip. MusicMatch does this and it's nice to be able to see the title/artist without having to switch tasks.

    Playlist management could be better. The process of creating, modifying, selecting and saving a playlist is confusing. It should be more straight forward in this area.

    Randomization of the playlist is weak and has some annoying glitches. For example, if you skip a few songs in the list when the player is paused, it goes back and plays the skipped songs when the current song is finished. The same thing happens if you jump out of the sequence.

    Video-wise, I'm pretty happy with the performance there, particularly since getting a 5.1 speaker system. A slight annoyance there is that a little jiggle of the mouse brings up the full screen mode controls. It would be nice to link this to something else other than or in combination with mouse movement as an option.

  • User profile image
    TheTodd

    There are several issues that I have with WMP.


    -It'd be nice if I could pause the current song, listen to something from a web page or a clip that I found on my hard drive then resume the song I was listening to.

    -Randomize the playlist is nice, but it would be nice to have it play in random mode but keep the playlist sorted as found.

    -(I'm sure it's there but) repeat

    All in all I find the UI to be clunky. Maybe that's because I've used WinAmp for most of my life.

  • User profile image
    clovejoy

    Another gripe abput playlists is that you cannot print them. I don't always want to print out fancy labels or liners. Sometimes, I just want to print a simple list of title and artist..

  • User profile image
    ChadG

    Great feedback Neil, this is the type of information I'm eager to hear. 

    Clearly, multimedia performance is something we're investing a lot of effort in.  Topics such as start-up latency (time it takes for a user to hear music or see video once they double click a media item), seamless switching between items of a playlist, and other topics such as resource consumption (are we being efficient with our use of CPU, disk bandwidth, & memory). 

    Once you get things to start playing back, does music typically playback without many glitches or other problems? 

  • User profile image
    cwoodruff

    Is that for XP only?  I have 2K here at work so I will also try it at home on the XP Pro machine.  I followed your instructions and cannot see the WMP menu selection.  Thanks for the help though.

  • User profile image
    ChadG

    OK, I'm trying to figure out this channel9 message board. 

    First, let me introduce myself.  My name is Chad Gibson, I'm working on the Windows digital media platform.  As scoble mentioned in this initial post, I'm trying to get more information from the general community on Windows digital media. 

    I just started a blog over at MSDN:  http://blogs.msdn.com/ccgibson, so I expect more fun conversation to occur over there as well.

    I'm hearing some consistent messages about multimedia performance (responsiveness, latency, bulkiness, efficiency), codec installation/download, background tasks interfering with multimedia experiences, better volume control, and other assorted topics.

    I'd like this initial feedback and try to ask & solicit some more focused feedback.  Perhaps I'll use my blog to do this, or perhaps I'll just post some more messages here on Channel9. Thank you all for your feedback!

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    - I want more codecs: DivX, Ogg Vorbis (with the possibility to encode songs with it), Real Audio/Video, Quicktime ...

    - I don't like to use Media Player when I just need to hear a little sound or song.

    - The 'Media Guide' sucks. There is no content whatsoever and when you want to play a video or song it opens popups and other * I don't want.
    (I just tried to open such a video (shrek 2 trailer) and it gave me a script error msg).

    I also want to see more wm9 content.

  • User profile image
    sparky

    ChadG wrote:
    ...and other topics such as resource consumption (are we being efficient with our use of CPU, disk bandwidth, & memory). 

    I have always been impressed with WMP's resource consumption.  The visualizations take an amazingly low amount of CPU time for what seems to be a lot of work.

    I agree with a previous post that creating playlists is somewhat non-intuitive.  The auto playlists are a great feature though.

  • User profile image
    ghos

    Its difficult to specify in WMP what needs fixing since I find it a chore to use.  Nothing is really intuitve as to where to find what and do what you want.  I found playlist creation difficult. 
    I suppose its a matter of someone creating the right skin, but I don't like any of them for WMP.  They are either too big and gaudy or too small and useless.  I do like the toolbar addition that XP has for WMP9 however it isn't skinnable(or theme aware), so therefore when using Windowblinds it doesn't match, nor does it match the corresponding WMP skin (which I could understand if it did that).  It sticks out like a sore thumb.
    I do like that it has notifications, although I can't recall if they appear on top of all windows, but do recall them being a bit small.

    I agree with those who mention it is slow loading.  However its a bit faster than MMJB for me (which I recently ditched, it is far too bloated and slow for me) and about the same for J. River MC, but Winamp is faster.

    For me visualizations don't matter, nor a lot of the other stuff some seem to enjoy.  I just like to listen to CD's, mp3's, internet radio and be able to view videos or movies from online such as the Channel 9 ones. I also generally like to keep the player out of site, using notifications to tell me of song(even though I often know it lol). WMP is very capable of playing those and I like that it can do so without opening another application.  Of course that depends on the site, how its written, as some open the app.

    If WMP gets a big overhaul into something that can be simpler to use, quicker to load, yet do fancy stuff for those who demand it, it will be something I might use more often.  As it stands now it is only my choice for streaming videos.

  • User profile image
    ChuckBuc

    ChadG wrote:

    I'm hearing some consistent messages about multimedia performance (responsiveness, latency, bulkiness, efficiency), codec installation/download, background tasks interfering with multimedia experiences, better volume control, and other assorted topics.



    Perhaps it maybe appropriate to ask what rocks about WMP 9?… Just so we don’t loose any of those in the "fix". I think the task bar player is probably one of the most under utilized features in WMP. I’m always showing people, “here do this and the player goes to the task bar and you can continue computing.”

                I think, as with most growing applications, WMP is reaching a level of configuration burden on the user. For instance the EQ adjustments and the play speed are way cool but will trash a 550 MHz AMD. Not a problem for me anymore since I shot and buried mine so no adjustment needed there. But someone upgrading their old player and not knowing that this is a CPU separator may tend to blame the app. So information may be the key.

  • User profile image
    nektar

    Provide keyboard shortcuts that work! Make keyboard shortcuts customizable as well if possible. Currently, the Rewind shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+B never ever works and the Jump Forward command CTRL+SHIFT+F works only for files played from the local computer but not for music played on cds or on the Internet. In addition the CTRL+SHIFT+F shortcut changes the speed of the song instead of jumping forward in it as it should. I believe that adding straight forward shortcuts to the player will assist everyone of us, since we would be able to quickly access its functionality without spending time with the mouse. Take example from the old Winamp v2's shortcuts:
    z for previous song, x for play, c for pause, v for stop, ctrl+v for stop after current song (something that WMP does not support!), shift+v for fading out (something that is not easy to do in WMP!), b for next song, j for jumping to a song by typing the beginning of its name (very handy!), cursor right for forward, left for rewind, up for volume up and down for volume down.

  • User profile image
    nektar

    We discussed Media Player improvement before on Channel9.
    From: How should Media Player be improved?
    http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=3981#3981

    Support for more formats: Since WMP is provided with every copy of Windows it should by default support most popular formats for streaming, playback and ripping cds and not simply what Microsoft offers. Also developers would be greatly assisted in their own programs if the standard Windows codex could support most of the major formats for playback. Currently, WMP only supports ripping to WMA. I think it should support wav, mp3, aac and if possible Real Audio. Ripping cds to wav is very useful to my mind and should be added. Since most sound editing programs accept the wav format whilst support for wma is not so high still and if not using lossless WMA the sound quality also degrates, wav should be supported by all means. In addition Windows should include codex that playback aac format, Quicktime video, mp4 video and if possible streaming Real Audio/Video in addition to the current support. And if all these formats should appear to some to be very costly for Microsoft, it should be pointed out that Real Player v10 currently supports all of them and even more with extra plugins and it is still free. So, the only reason for Microsoft to continue only supporting WMA for ripping and for streaming over the Internet and not supporting aac, Real Audio/Video streaming, ripping to wav, etc, appears to be to push its own WMA/WMV format. Without saying that WMA is not a good format, since WMP ships with every copy of Windows it should at least support a bit more.
          

  • User profile image
    Rolus

    First I want to list what I like about WMP9

    The Streaming Video is much better than QuickTime running on my XP machine. This could be amn Apple vs PC thing as far as programming goes because WMP was pretty poor on my Mac.

    I have been using iTunes since it was released for PC, I have to say it is pretty good. When I rip CD's for my iPod they sound great, when I use WMP I get skipping, weird souns etc. So I think iTunes wins for free Ripping/Burning software.

    For internet TV and Streaming Audio I use the New WinAmp 5. They have it right, it's small and uses very little system resources, when I tried to use either iTunes, or WMP, with VS.Net open I got stalls, crashes and generally poor performance both from VS.Net and the players. WinAmp is my Choice for Streaming Audio.

    When I watched my friend put together a home movie using iMovie, I was a bit jealous. Not because of the ease of use, which I think that WMM comes close on; The SPEED of his iMac was impressive when doing his home movies, and the Quality was quite good. I know I couldn't do the same thing with my P4, without a lot of tweaking, restarting and cajoling. For Media creation it's a whole other OS, Mac wins in this category! <sorry>.

    So WMP people, go over to the MAC BU at Microsoft observe on what they do well, then do better!

  • User profile image
    Epsi

    My pet peeve is that if I have a data DVD or CD or something in the drive, and i quickly start up WMP, and hit the little drop-down box next to minimise to start up "All Music", the whole WMP UI locks up while the DVD drive tries to recognise the disc that's in there and it's really annoying.

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