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Author Topic: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)  (Read 21998 times)

glynor

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How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« on: August 06, 2006, 09:23:03 pm »

A friend of mine recently switched to MC from years of using iTunes.  She likes it so far, but recently sent me a list of questions about some of MC's functionality.  While I was answering one of them, I decided that others could probably use the explanation as well, so I'm posting my response here (plus then I can use pictures in my response).

Quote
Is there a way to have the song that's playing now show in the library (iTunes did this and I liked it).

Sort of, I'll show you.  MC does work a bit differently than iTunes.  It maintains a distinct "Playing Now" list which contains the currently playing track, and all of the files that will play (in the order in which they will play).  Everything that gets played, gets "sent" to this special list.

When you switch to Playing Now (which, for you, currently crashes MC because of a problem with G-Force) there are actually 2 panes on the Right hand side of the program.  The topmost pane (probably the only one you currently see) is the Video or Visualization window.  The bottom pane is the "Playing Now" list.

Assuming you can solve your G-Force problem following my instructions in the other email (or just uninstalling it and leaving it off for now if reinstalling it doesn't work), then switch to Playing Now.  Look down at the bottom of the visualization/video window.  See the Bar with the two arrows pointing up?  Click on one of the arrows.  The list that appears is the "Playing Now list".

You can manually resize the "division" between these two panes by click-dragging on the little "handle" between the two arrows.  Also, see how when you clicked on one of the "up" arrows before to reveal the list, the one on the right turned into a Down arrow?  You can click on it now to make the list go away completely again.  Or, you can click on the still upturned arrow (the left one) to hide the Visualization/video window and see only the list.



As you can see in the above image, MC makes extensive use of these divider bars.  You can also show/hide the Tree by clicking on its divider (and change its size by click-dragging on the "handle" between the two arrows).  In other places in the Library, you can use it to show/hide/resize the Panes navigation tool (the method of narrowing down files similar to what you can use in iTunes).

When you are actively playing music, the Playing Now list will always "jump down" to show you the currently playing track (when a new song/video/whatever starts).  When you are browsing around in the "Library" (which is basically everywhere else except Playing Now) it doesn't jump to show the current playing song.  That's because that would annoy people like me who might be trying to do something else (making some other list for example, or choosing the next song to play).

You can manually re-order the items in the Playing Now list by dragging the files up and down, sort them by clicking on the headings (for example, click on "Artist" once to sort them A-Z for artist, click on it again to sort it Z-A), or shuffle by right clicking and choosing "Shuffle" (or turning Shuffle mode on with the button near the search bar at the top).  Either way, MC will play whatever comes next in that list after it finishes the current item.  You can even make lists that switch back and forth from music to videos.

(A special note: Images are kind of a special case.  If you start "playing" an image while you are already playing music, the image doesn't show up in the Playing Now list, but instead becomes part of a special internal image slide show.  This is so that you can set slideshows of pictures to music and have a cool little playback session.  Check under MC's help file -- under Images and Playing Now -- for more information on how this works.)

There are also lots of ways to add songs/videos/whatever to the Playing Now list.  You can, of course, just double click on a file.  That replaces the current Playing Now list with whatever list you just double clicked on, and then plays the file you double clicked.  However, there tons of other ways...

You can drag-drop a file from the Library over onto the Playing Now item in the Tree.  It will then ask Play or Add to Playing Now.  If you choose Add then MC adds the file to the end of the current Playing Now list, whereas Play replaces the list with just that file (or files if you drag-drop more than one).

You can also select one or more files from any place in the Library and Right Click.  From in here you still have the above two options, but you can also choose Send To and then Play > and then MC gives you a whole bunch of options.



Most of these should be pretty self-explanitory.  The one I use the most is Add (as Next To Play).  This lets you build a list on the fly "as you go" and yet keep the music going.  I'm sure you've seen me do this lots of times.  Generally, the difference between the Play options and the Add options it that Play replaces the current Playing Now list whereas Add retains the current list and adds the new item to it.

One really nice feature of MC is that it keeps a list of the last few "actions" you've done in the Right-Click menu right at the top (at least until you close and restart MC).  So, if you're using that Add (As Next To Play) function, after the first time you won't have to dig down under Send To every time.



This is super-useful!

There's other ways to add stuff too, but those are the most common ways.  Of course, much of this is customizable by mucking about in Options.  For example, you can change it so a double click always Adds As Next to Play instead of Replacing.  I don't though because it doesn't "feel" right to double click on a song and not hear it immediately.
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glynor

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 12:43:37 am »

One important thing I didn't mention before is that the Playing Now list is transient.  Never consider it a permanent playlist.  It's way too easy to mess it up by going somewhere else and double clicking.

One very cool feature you can use to save these cool playlists you've made is to Right Click on Playing Now in the Tree and choose Send To --> Playlist --> Create Playlist.  Then enter a name for the new Playlist in the dialog that appears (and optionally choose a "folder" to store it in).  This will "save" the playlist for all posterity.

Also, you'll notice that as soon as you've played something with MC you get a new choice under Playlists in the tree called Recent Playing Now's (which the English nerd in me feels shouldn't really have an apostrophe in its name since it isn't posessing or contracting anything but that's another complaint for another time)... Either way, underneath it MC keeps a cool record of all of your recent Playing Now lists. It "starts a new one" each time you "replace" the list by double clicking on a new file (or something else that I explained above which "replaces" the list rather than adding to it).  It's great for those times when you spent a long time putting together a super smooth playlist to entertain your homies and some dork-head double clicks on a song and messes it all up.  No big loss, you can just go back to where you were by heading down under Recent Playing Nows.

Be careful though, this super cool feature has somewhat limited usefulness as the lists contained inside vanish when you close and restart MC.  Unfortunately, there is no way (currently) to make these persist when MC is closed.

There is an option to have MC not clear the Playing Now list itself when you close/reopen it (which I should have turned on for you).  For some reason this option doesn't also "protect" the Recent Playing Nows lists though.

PS.  It's pretty great that I both corrected grammar and used the words "homies" and "dork-heads" in the same posting, don't you think?   ;)  ;D
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johnas

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 11:31:28 am »

glynor,
Really nice tutorial. My MC11 install doesn't work same as yours: I don't get the "Send To -> Playing Now" option that you do in your context menu.

Here's a capture of the context menu I have, any advice on how to configure it so that I have the send to playing now option would be appreciated.

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glynor

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 02:25:19 pm »

Wow!  No... I have no idea why it wouldn't show.  You don't even have the "default" play option!

What skin is that?  Have you tried other skins at all?
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modelmaker

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 02:29:57 pm »

Something ain't right there! Send to and add to playing now are always present in the right click menu.

Try a different skin.
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glynor

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 02:34:51 pm »

Yeah... Definitely.  I just tried using all the default-included skins, and it shows on all of those.  Something's weird, and it's probably skin related (just a guess but still).
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johnas

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 04:06:22 pm »

Same isue with the other skins, but I just did a complete reinstall and it is fixed. Thanks for the suggestions
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Tangoman

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 05:45:40 pm »

Hi all
I have had this mix up several times in the list pane or playing now window the send to ----> options wouldn't appear but did appear in the upper columns. Fixed after reinstall though.
Cheers Tangodude
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gappie

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 03:12:30 am »

nice explanation mr glynor.

for those without the send to options. did you check the features under general in the options menu. send to is item of that list. when unchecked there is no send to.
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Matt

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 01:02:52 pm »

This is still one thing that i miss in MC, you can't find the currently playing track in the library automatically, you have to find it manually and scoll for it (or type the first letters in the resp. field - which is a real pain if you don't have it sorted in artist or title, then you have change the sorting-fields also.
sure the now playing autoscrolls to the current track as you wrote, but the problem is, for e.g. if iwant to remove or delete the current song playing, then i can't go to the playing now list becuase from there i can't delete any songs, just remove them from the list, i.e. i have to scroll in the library (manually) and delete it from there, which is quite tiresome if you have a large library with +20000 tracks.

Correct me if i'm wrong,I suppose, essentially, i'm looking for a way to delete tracks in the now playing list, or have an option like iTunes to go automatically to the currently playing song in the library.


In Playing Now, Shift+Delete does a library delete.

Also, try right-click "Locate" on a file.
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mabes

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Re: How Playing Now Works (Showing the Current Song)
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 12:10:30 pm »

Either way, underneath it MC keeps a cool record of all of your recent Playing Now lists. It "starts a new one" each time you "replace" the list by double clicking on a new file (or something else that I explained above which "replaces" the list rather than adding to it).  It's great for those times when you spent a long time putting together a super smooth playlist to entertain your homies and some dork-head double clicks on a song and messes it all up.  No big loss, you can just go back to where you were by heading down under Recent Playing Nows.



I deleted that playlist, because sometimes after playing, ahem, certain videos I forget to clear it. Can I add it back but with the option not to save videos in the list?
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