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Author Topic: Useability  (Read 8567 times)

Vocalpoint

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Useability
« on: March 25, 2015, 08:11:58 am »

Personally I'd pay 10x the price for a product that had this feature set and just worked out of the box but perhaps I'm too lazy to be the target market :)

Agreed. Tis a shame that with all the bright lights behind the scenes at JR - they still cannot find a way to present the "power" in a way that is easy and useable - without needing a technical degree for basic usage.

I had a truly disheartening moment with MC this past weekend as my wife was having some people over for a small get together. While readying the house for the evening - I asked if she needed music and if I could get MC going for them. She responded that MC was too much of a hassle to find anything and she was going to go with "songza" instead.

That really hit me hard as I have been trying to promote MC as the "way" here for several years and none of the family will react to it in a positive manner. That to me - sums it all up to me that it's days are numbered for home entertainment purposes here anyway. Unless I am putting the music on.

VP

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kstuart

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 01:36:22 pm »

Agreed. Tis a shame that with all the bright lights behind the scenes at JR - they still cannot find a way to present the "power" in a way that is easy and useable - without needing a technical degree for basic usage.

I had a truly disheartening moment with MC this past weekend as my wife was having some people over for a small get together. While readying the house for the evening - I asked if she needed music and if I could get MC going for them. She responded that MC was too much of a hassle to find anything and she was going to go with "songza" instead.

That really hit me hard as I have been trying to promote MC as the "way" here for several years and none of the family will react to it in a positive manner. That to me - sums it all up to me that it's days are numbered for home entertainment purposes here anyway. Unless I am putting the music on.

VP



This indicates that the effort put into "making sure that it works for technophobes" - such as the 30 second timer before it automatically grabs files and imports them - is wasted.  Only techies are using MC20.

Which makes sense, because technophobes are not using Home Theater PCs at all - they are using iPods in base stations, or Spotify or Pandora.

Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 02:05:24 pm »

This indicates that the effort put into "making sure that it works for technophobes" - such as the 30 second timer before it automatically grabs files and imports them - is wasted.  Only techies are using MC20.Which makes sense, because technophobes are not using Home Theater PCs at all - they are using iPods in base stations, or Spotify or Pandora.

They promote MC as being for the "masses" - when really - when it comes down to it - this thing is really aimed at the several thousand techie males out there that still think audiophile playback is hip and cool.

To be fair - I am one of them - I truly love tinkering around with MC and it's never ending source of enjoyment it gives me with my music.

Despite this app being outstanding to it's tiny male driven cheering squad - the so called "Masses" that should be getting excited about using it - like my wife and son - could care less. All they want is "Can I get some music or a movie going?" followed by the enjoyment of said media. However - anytime MC is in that mix - some technical glitch (like a useless HTPC) or some other issue prevents them from choosing it.

They do not want anything to do with setup, understanding what the app does and especially encountering and fixing issues. They just want to enjoy their media as fast and as simple as humanly possible.

I had another incident here a while back - this time with a room full of 10 year olds who wanted to watch a movie with my son - when I went to spark up MC - of course it had performed some background update that went south leaving what looked like a distorted screencap of Theater View on screen - that could not be accessed or fixed in any way except to shut down the PC. They watched a movie via Netflix on our Oppo instead.

All the rest of the public will have gone to an easy peasy streaming service where the work is done for them and all the have to do is "press here" and enjoy.

And before you jump on me - please know that I put in a tremendous amount of time futzing around with my gear, PCs, software and networking to try and arrive at a stable MC environment - but nothing seems to matter. We always seem to encounter a stability problem with MC - just when we need it most.

Conversely - MC via JRemote is a whole other ballgame and passes the wife acceptance test with ease. But even then - I still have to do hours of work behind the scenes to get JRemote to "present" like a Spotify or Songza UI does.

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JimH

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 02:45:52 pm »

Vocalpoint,
Are you on the "Stable" update channel?  If not, please switch to it.

http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Updates
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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 02:52:24 pm »

Are you on the "Stable" update channel?  If not, please switch to it.

Yes. Switched to stable about a month ago and switched off all auto update possibilities after that last "freeze" I described. I was using "Latest" for a long while with no issues but about 2 months ago things started happening on the HTPC. When I finally figured out what was happening - I shut down the updates and returned to Stable.

Unfortunately - we have had so many problems leading up to that discovery - that the damage seems to have been done - at least from the wifes angle :) She was very clear on no MC this past Friday night....but not from an update angle. 100% usability in her world.

VP

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mojave

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 03:08:40 pm »

They promote MC as being for the "masses" - when really - when it comes down to it - this thing is really aimed at the several thousand techie males out there that still think audiophile playback is hip and cool.
I have the opposite experience. My wife and kids (14, 10, 5, 3) use JRiver every day. Well, the 3 year old doesn't interact with it, but the 5 year old can find and play any music or movies on it and control playback with the keyboard including skipping back/forward. My wife asks me more questions about how to use Word or Excel than JRiver. I use the "Beta" update channel and they are allowed to install the latest Beta whenever it is ready.

My almost 70+ year old parents use it all the time. My dad is always ripping and tagging new albums to his classical collection. Several co-workers use it and I'm their main "support." I rarely have to help them with anything. So, from my perspective, JRiver is easy to use for the masses.

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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 03:34:46 pm »

I have the opposite experience. My wife and kids (14, 10, 5, 3) use JRiver every day. Well, the 3 year old doesn't interact with it, but the 5 year old can find and play any music or movies on it and control playback with the keyboard including skipping back/forward. My wife asks me more questions about how to use Word or Excel than JRiver. I use the "Beta" update channel and they are allowed to install the latest Beta whenever it is ready.

My almost 70+ year old parents use it all the time. My dad is always ripping and tagging new albums to his classical collection. Several co-workers use it and I'm their main "support." I rarely have to help them with anything. So, from my perspective, JRiver is easy to use for the masses.

Well - I won't get into comparisons between your family and mine. Also - it's not my job to be "support" nor to "convince" them its usable.

Also - you and I clearly differ on the meaning of "masses". "Masses" to me is like the "iPad" kinda masses. Where hundreds of thousands (or millions) find a product that just works and is easy for them to integrate into their lives without having to think to much about it. MC is not close to being in this class in it's current state.

I mean - I have spend countless hours/weeks/years working MC to the family and my wife chooses Songza? Yipes.

I fully expect the families of full blown beta testers (you) and admins (like Glynor) to have comments defending MC - and I fully appreciate that you are able to train the family to use MC to the max. You guys know it inside and out and have made it the centerpiece of your home media fun. But that's not the norm for most of everyone else and still nowhere near what I mean about "masses".

Again - just reporting on what I am getting for real world feedback here.

VP
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glynor

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2015, 03:52:52 pm »

I have the opposite experience. My wife and kids (14, 10, 5, 3) use JRiver every day. Well, the 3 year old doesn't interact with it, but the 5 year old can find and play any music or movies on it and control playback with the keyboard including skipping back/forward.

Same here.  Except the 3 year old does use it.

By the way, moving her "kids" view to the home page of Theater View worked perfectly.  She finds it and navigates back and forth like a champ now.  And, she completely understands the "f11" toggle.

It was hysterical recently, actually.  My wife and I went out on Friday for a well-deserved date night.  We hired a baby sitter.  She had used our system once before, but it had been about a year, and she remembered nothing but that it was "odd".  This time?  I told her "don't worry, Ani knows how to use it."

And then Ani excitedly gave her a demo of the functions.  Again, she's three.

So, I do suspect that perhaps it isn't necessarily MC that is making people's setups complex, but perhaps their setups are themselves pretty esoteric and non-optimal.  I've seriously never had anyone get confused with my system once I get them into Theater View.
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mattkhan

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2015, 04:15:03 pm »

I think you might be underestimating the effect of your knowledge here and how your child learns from that.

 I don't think Theatre view or jremote/gizmo are hard per se, there is just too much windows randomness around to make it bullet proof. Some of this is hardware, given it is a PC with pro audio kit, but it is impossible to predict that in advance. The whole experience is just quite glitchy really even before you get to the whole home side of things.

Note this is an almost vanilla install btw, the only bit of customisation is my audio hardware, so I don't get the "esoteric" setup comment. To have an esoteric setup, by definition, you need to know how to configure it but I don't get the impression that many people actually do. It would be interesting to know how much the average user really customises it.
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BryanC

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2015, 04:48:30 pm »

of course it had performed some background update that went south leaving what looked like a distorted screencap of Theater View on screen - that could not be accessed or fixed in any way except to shut down the PC

That's not an MC issue. That's a hardware drivers/Windows issue. A fairly common one too. The powers that be sunk so much time into developing HDCP and other DRM crap that they completely borked HDMI handshaking. 10 years later I still get nervous resuming my HTPC from standby or connecting to my employer's projectors via HDMI. I never had those issues with VGA and it's one of the main reasons I am hardcore anti-DRM. What should have been a step forwards was a major step back in many regards.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2015, 04:48:34 pm »

it's deliberately a v vanilla windows install that runs nothing but jriver, nevertheless it's glitchy enough to be annoying for no single reason. It's just not even close to an appliance like experience (which I don't actually expect as it's not an appliance)

My experience as well. My HTPC has nothing on it except MC and Windows updates when appropriate. No AV, no other software of any kind and it's easily the crankiest PC of the pack over here. Our other 4 Win 7 PCs are so solid you would have to unplug them to get them to shake in any way.

And my Windows Server (2008 R2) - sometimes I won't log onto to it for months at time and it still keeps chugging along. That is stability.

FWIW: I think my troubles began as soon as that Windows Driver (v20) was allowed to contaminate my HTPC environment - it's never been the same since then.

v19 on the same box was a dream.

VP

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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2015, 04:53:51 pm »

That's not an MC issue. That's a hardware drivers/Windows issue. A fairly common one too. The powers that be sunk so much time into developing HDCP and other DRM crap that they completely borked HDMI handshaking. 10 years later I still get nervous resuming my HTPC from standby or connecting to my employer's projectors via HDMI. I never had those issues with VGA and it's one of the main reasons I am hardcore anti-DRM. What should have been a step forward was a major step back in many regards.

While we do use HDMI - I leave our HTPC in full blown Theater mode - at the ready always. And we never "resume" anything.

Nope - my troubles began a few months back when I foolishly allowed MC to update itself from the "latest" channel. So if I did do a remote restart (RDP) - any new waiting archive would install and try to put the program back into Theater View and it would lock the box permanently. No amount of MC remote or anything could get it to settle down.

Only sticking MC back to Stable and turn off any ability to update - finally made the madness stop. Have not had this issue since I turned that off.

VP
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Hendrik

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2015, 05:24:01 pm »

FWIW: I think my troubles began as soon as that Windows Driver (v20) was allowed to contaminate my HTPC environment - it's never been the same since then.

You can just disable it in the Options under General -> Features, and it'll deinstall it from the system and it won't come back on upgrades either.
Then you can rule it out as a cause for problems, or at least know that it wasn't it.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2015, 05:54:12 pm »

You can just disable it in the Options under General -> Features, and it'll deinstall it from the system and it won't come back on upgrades either. Then you can rule it out as a cause for problems, or at least know that it wasn't it.

Yes. I removed it long ago - but the box still has never had the same stability as v19 did. Really don't want to invest any more time into it at this point.

I think it's stable for now but I am leaving it in a frozen state just to stop all the family hassle factor and hopefully be able to watch a a movie or two :)

VP
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JimH

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2015, 06:06:28 pm »

... the box still has never had the same stability as v19 did.
What else changed?
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6233638

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2015, 06:32:22 pm »

So, I do suspect that perhaps it isn't necessarily MC that is making people's setups complex, but perhaps their setups are themselves pretty esoteric and non-optimal.  I've seriously never had anyone get confused with my system once I get them into Theater View.
I think the issue is getting it to the state where you have all your media imported, tagged nicely, and have custom views set up which make Theater View easy to use.
I do think that Theater View still has a lot of unnecessary clutter, and some of the behaviors are not intuitive at all unless you are used to MC. (a lot of this relates to the rollers)
 
I have Standard View set up in such a way that it would be easy enough for people to use, if not for a few issues.
It's set up so that you can navigate all of the content easily without even having to access the tree or change views. You just need to click on the relevant tab.
If Zone Switch had an option to switch to a tab if it is already open, if search could be locked to a view or even indicated where it was going to search, and if locking a view prevented you from closing tabs, I don't think anyone would have a problem with my system at all.
 
And I have not really had any issues handing someone a phone to use JRemote on.
But again, that's after learning the expression language and investing a lot of time into trial and error to see what works and what does not.
My Standard Views can be quite different from Theater View/Gizmo Views. (those are often quite similar)
 
While people would not have much of an issue using MC as I have it configured, very few people have the patience, knowledge, or interest, in getting a fresh install of MC to this state.
There are a lot of things which could be greatly simplified in the new user experience.
And I think that it might be worthwhile revisiting the state of the default views and seeing whether they are all useful, if there should be additional views, or if there are modifications which should be done.

A very quick example might be the default "Artists" view in Theater View.
Rather than listing every Artist name on the top-level, I have an A-Z view displayed first that includes an "All Artists" option. (using a specific expression that means there will only be 28 items, rather than enabling "grouping" on the view)
This can greatly speed up the process of finding a specific artist with a remote, and does not hinder browsing since the "All Artists" option is the first item in the list.
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glynor

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2015, 07:50:45 pm »

I think you might be underestimating the effect of your knowledge here and how your child learns from that.

 I don't think Theatre view or jremote/gizmo are hard per se, there is just too much windows randomness around to make it bullet proof. Some of this is hardware, given it is a PC with pro audio kit, but it is impossible to predict that in advance. The whole experience is just quite glitchy really even before you get to the whole home side of things.

I think you're underestimating the impact a single piece of hardware with terrible drivers can have on a system.

I do agree (and have said before) that I think the default Theater Media Views could use a do-over.  But many of the posts here don't seem to have anything to do with that.  They are about the computer itself.

In any case, I really didn't give her much instruction at all.  I told her about how to turn it on and off, up/down/left/right/enter, and the F11 cycle (a button on my remote, of course).  And I showed her the view that was her "target" (this was the most challenging part, but she's got it now).  Later I showed her volume up and down and about how to go back by always going to the left.  She learned the FF/RW and Play/Pause functions herself (because she's used an iPad and iPhone enough to encounter those symbols and they match on my remote).

But... None of this stuff helps, and there's nothing JRiver can do, if your hardware isn't stable or well-behaved.  Niche hardware is often terrible.  I mean, really really terrible.  High-end audio is about as niche as it gets (and there is a ton of crap out there, probably even most of it, with driver problems) perhaps aside from the other stuff I support at work (specialty science hardware).  It isn't like a 10% of your problems thing.  It is 98% of the problem.  But, if you start from the position that "this DAC is sacred despite the trouble it causes" then... Well, you're asking for trouble.

I tend to stick to hardware that has 100s of millions of customers.  I'm even planning to abandon AMD video cards for my next purchase because they've lost too many customers, which means they've fired too many engineers, which means they've fallen behind on the driver game.  I think it is essentially impossible to have a hardware vendor with 4 developers (or 1) that can competently make a hardware driver.  Especially if they're making a driver for something so complex and difficult (mostly due to the realtime nature) as a video or audio device.  These things are hard.  They take massive resources to test and debug problems across massive installed bases.  Why?  Because everything is broken all of the time.

I would never tolerate a driver problem that makes my system flaky for some perceptual quality difference.  The quality of the experience matters way, way, way more.

But, in a way, you're right.  Computers can be obnoxious beasts, and I have a ton of experience with supporting systems.  My server system can be a little flaky because I'm lazy, but I'd never tolerate it on my HTPC.  If it crashes, even one time, I immediately make it my mission in life to find the cause.  If a piece of hardware, or a driver, is the cause, nothing is sacred.  I throw it in the trash.
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rammingspeed

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2015, 09:55:28 pm »

I don't think you have to be a technophile to use the application.  The stock set up in most cases is pretty usable right after install.  I really like the power and flexibility that JRiver gives behind the scenes.  The trick however is that in the family room, and for many non technical end users, for simplicity sake it is going to be run all from Theater view.  They want to navigate and use it with a remote control in that environment.  The problem with Theater mode that  impedes acceptance for the rest of my household is the navigation paradigm.  It is quite simply so different from similar applications that technophobes get confused by it.  All you really have to do is use the up and down arrows, the back button, and the enter button and you can navigate anywhere.  The problem is that the top menu and cascading menus under it are quite simply not intuitive. The use of the back button and arrows are not always intuitive and users get frustrated trying to use it.

I really feel that the JRiver would benefit from an external UI design review of the Theater view flow and navigation.  A refresh here could make an excellent core program even better and help gain wider acceptance as a home theater platform.
   
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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2015, 01:55:40 am »

In our case it was not instability but ui preference by the other family users that let to jrmc only be used by them  with the wdm driver as a player.

At one point I setup Plex to duplicate jrmc's library. Now they either AirPlay videos from the iOS Plex app to Apple tv or select the Plex app instead of jrmc theaterview on the htpc's. And for video I have been doing the same lately because I also prefer the Plex ui over theaterview. With audio they only use spotify but they do prefer to airplay it to the htpc through the wdm driver in the living room because they actually care that it sounds better with room correction using jrmc's convolver. It did surprise me that they cared about that.
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Frobozz

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2015, 02:02:22 am »

I really feel that the JRiver would benefit from an external UI design review of the Theater view flow and navigation.  A refresh here could make an excellent core program even better and help gain wider acceptance as a home theater platform.
   

JRemote fills that use.  Use JRemote when you want a simpler less techie interface.  Use JRemote when you need a simpler interface for the wife or kids or even for you.

I'd actually like to see JRemote ported to a Windows 8 "metro" application so it could be used on a laptop or desktop computer or Windows tablet.  Android and iOS are nice.  But getting to use the bigger screens on the Windows computers would be nice.
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~OHM~

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2015, 02:42:30 am »

I'd actually like to see JRemote ported to a Windows 8 "metro" application so it could be used on a laptop or desktop computer or Windows tablet.  Android and iOS are nice.  But getting to use the bigger screens on the Windows computers would be nice.

+1
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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2015, 08:01:38 am »

What else changed?

Outside of V20 - and Windows Updates as required - nothing else is updated.

I did update the video driver just once back in 2014. This was WHQL direct from Intel and specifically issued by ASUS for this motherboard. But v19 ran against that driver for months with no issue so that is not a cause for concern.

I am thinking about just wiping the drive and returning this box to the leanest most stock build possible - and then simply add MC (stable) to the mix as the only piece of third party software on it. Then see what happens.

VP
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mattkhan

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Re: Useability
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2015, 08:59:42 am »

I think you're underestimating the impact a single piece of hardware with terrible drivers can have on a system.
I don't disagree with that but I don't think it's true to say that there's nothing jriver can do & I suspect it's not true to say that these are niche driver/hardware issues though I'm sure they exist. I understand that windows is annoying (to me) and I don't blame jriver for that :) The "what do you like" thread is full of people saying they use it for PQ/SQ and the latter camp tends to use pro audio hardware which generally does have v stable drivers.

Two examples to illustrate.

A useability one first in how jriver responds to server side glitches. You use gizmo to select something to watch. It (often? always? I'm not in front of it so can't check) doesn't provide any indication that it has actually actually actioned your command and instead drops back to the playing now screen of whichever zone you were in (generally not the one you just told it to play in). Starting a video tends to take a few seconds to get going anyway (perhaps screen has to switch refresh rate or maybe jriver is buffering the start of the film) but in the absence of any feedback, user is unsure over whether anything is happening or not. Result is invariably breaking out the keyboard to prod at it to find out as trying to explain that you have use gizmo in a v specific way to know what it is doing breaks the abstraction between user/remote and the end system completely. Perhaps jremote works more reliably and with a better UX, I haven't used it long enough to find out. Perhaps this is my/our fault for not knowing how it is meant to work but, again, it's neither intuitive nor explained how it is meant to work so how are you meant to know?

A standard hardware one next. You use the standard MCE remote & IR receiver but it doesn't work in jriver. You know it works in windows because windows sees the events correctly and you can dump out the correct IR codes. Nevertheless jriver isn't responding correctly, even if it is responding at all, you don't know if it is working properly because the key-command map is not published anywhere (AFAIK).

Theatre view is the other obvious one but that was mentioned by another poster.
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JimH

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Re: Useability
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2015, 09:12:50 am »

mattkahn,
MC works with the standard WMC remote.  I don't think that's what you have though.

Most of our users don't run "pro" audio hardware, as you seem to believe.  Maybe 10% do, depending on how you define "pro".

As glynor said, if the hardware doesn't work, MC won't work.  It's not possible to program around driver bugs.

I'll give this thread another day or two before I close it.  General complaints don't get anything for anyone.  If you have specific suggestions, choose one or two and start a thread with the details.


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mattkhan

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Re: Useability
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2015, 09:23:49 am »

mattkahn,
MC works with the standard WMC remote.  I don't think that's what you have though.
I have the IR receiver shown in http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Remotes#Media_Center_Remote & I know it works in itself. There is no way to know whether it works or not in jriver through because there is no way to diagnose what jriver is doing/seeing. It doesn't say anywhere that you can't use an MCE compatible remote with the official IR receiver afaik so I assumed that was a supported configuration.

Most of our users don't run "pro" audio hardware, as you seem to believe.  Maybe 10% do, depending on how you define "pro".
no I don't believe that. I was just using that as an example of hardware that seems commonly used and also generally seems to have stable drivers. I don't have any stats to back that up, it was just an idle observation. My point was that I don't think what is being discussed is fundamentally a driver issue, it's at least partially a UX issue.
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JimH

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Re: Useability
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2015, 09:56:57 am »

It doesn't say anywhere that you can't use an MCE compatible remote with the official IR receiver afaik so I assumed that was a supported configuration.
It will work with similar MCE remotes.  If you have problems, please use the thread where you've reported them.
Quote
no I don't believe that. I was just using that as an example of hardware that seems commonly used and also generally seems to have stable drivers. I don't have any stats to back that up, it was just an idle observation. My point was that I don't think what is being discussed is fundamentally a driver issue, it's at least partially a UX issue.
Again, start a thread with a proposed change or two.
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mattkhan

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Re: Useability
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 11:45:46 am »

I will retest with the latest version and report back in that thread.
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csimon

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2015, 11:48:15 am »

I really feel that the JRiver would benefit from an external UI design review of the Theater view flow and navigation.  A refresh here could make an excellent core program even better and help gain wider acceptance as a home theater platform.  

+1

I'd actually like to see JRemote ported to a Windows 8 "metro" application so it could be used on a laptop or desktop computer or Windows tablet.  Android and iOS are nice.  But getting to use the bigger screens on the Windows computers would be nice.

+1

A "core product" revamped, combined 10' interface and Windows touch-enabled app would be perfect. The problem with Android and iOS is that the OS life is far too short to invest in them (look how quickly iOS JRemote was abandoned).  But I don't know what JRiver's strategy is now regarding remote apps. It's now not in their interest to provide an out-of-the-box touch-friendly version of Theater View for Windows as it competes directly with their paid-for JRemote app, with Windows tablets now becoming extremely cheap. But would a Windows JRemote port come as part of the MC product without an extra charge???
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Vocalpoint

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Re: What Vocalpoint Doesn't Like
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2015, 12:33:59 pm »

The problem with Android and iOS is that the OS life is far too short to invest in them (look how quickly iOS JRemote was abandoned).  

JRemote is abandoned? That is news to me. If true - that would be a shame.

VP
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JimH

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Re: Useability
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 12:43:01 pm »

Not true.  I don't have any idea why he said that.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Useability
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2015, 12:49:16 pm »

Not true.  I don't have any idea why he said that.

Whew. Thanks!

VP
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csimon

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Re: Useability
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2015, 01:12:54 pm »

Not true.  I don't have any idea why he said that.

Erm, yes, you do. You know exactly why I said that!

No further updates or bug fixes to v2, as of summer 2012, for those who can't move to v3 even though the bugs had been reported for along time.  I don't trust JRiver any more to be able to provide support and updates and bug fixes for paid software beyoind 1 year.  Complete abuse of paying customers.
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Vocalpoint

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Re: Useability
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2015, 02:32:00 pm »

Erm, yes, you do. You know exactly why I said that!

No further updates or bug fixes to v2, as of summer 2012, for those who can't move to v3 even though the bugs had been reported for along time.  I don't trust JRiver any more to be able to provide support and updates and bug fixes for paid software beyoind 1 year.  Complete abuse of paying customers.

Can I ask why can't you use v3?

Let's be fair - 2012 was a long time ago. Are you still running a 2012 version of MC as well?

VP

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mattkhan

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Re: Useability
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2015, 02:46:55 pm »

I thought the model was that each major version has a year long lifespan for updates?
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mojave

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Re: Useability
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2015, 03:14:05 pm »

Erm, yes, you do. You know exactly why I said that!

No further updates or bug fixes to v2, as of summer 2012, for those who can't move to v3 even though the bugs had been reported for along time.  I don't trust JRiver any more to be able to provide support and updates and bug fixes for paid software beyoind 1 year.  Complete abuse of paying customers.
You are talking about JRemote. I don't think JRiver owned JRemote when it switched from v2 to v3. The developer had to move forward with making JRemote work with new versions of iOS since Apple completely redesigned their user interface starting with iOS7.
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mwillems

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Re: Useability
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2015, 03:14:48 pm »

I thought the model was that each major version has a year long lifespan for updates?

That is the model for the main JRiver Media Center software package.  It's unclear what the model is for app-based purchases like JRemote, because it's kind of a new area.  JRemote was a third party program until recently (I think summer of last year?), and Gizmo is free.  No pricing/support policy has been announced for app purchases (to my knowledge).  

I'm not really sure what's customary in the app arena, but most of the pay apps that I personally use for android have minimum OS requirements, often fairly recent versions of android. I think the market may be a fast moving one and my sense is that, in general, older hardware tends to get left behind.
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JimH

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Re: Useability
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2015, 03:42:26 pm »

Erm, yes, you do. You know exactly why I said that!

No further updates or bug fixes to v2, as of summer 2012, for those who can't move to v3 even though the bugs had been reported for along time.  I don't trust JRiver any more to be able to provide support and updates and bug fixes for paid software beyoind 1 year.  Complete abuse of paying customers.
That's disappointing to hear.

Maybe you've read this but it might be worth re-reading...
http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=81987.0
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mattkhan

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Re: Useability
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2015, 05:36:55 pm »

It will work with similar MCE remotes.  If you have problems, please use the thread where you've reported them.Again, start a thread with a proposed change or two.
circling back on this, I was failing to get it to work again and reported http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=96516.0 but then I noticed something (the repeat setting not sticking), searched and found the solution on the wiki. Thanks for prompting me to look at this again.

I think it would be a good idea to get the remote pages consolidated into 1 on the wiki. There are maybe 4-6 of the pages listed under http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Category:Remotes that deal with the MCE remote. I don't know who has edit permissions there though?
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glynor

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Re: Useability
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2015, 05:38:54 pm »

I don't think JRiver owned JRemote when it switched from v2 to v3.

Correct.  For the record:

JRemote v3+ requires iOS 7 or later.  This will run on:
* iPhone 4 (released June 2010) and newer
* iPad 2 (released March 2011) and newer (including all minis ever released)
* iPod Touch v5 (released October 2012) and newer

The main devices it doesn't run on:
* iPhone 3GS (released June 2009)
* iPad 1 (released April 2010)
* iPod Touch v4 (released September 2010)

For those, v2 still runs and works.  It does not have the latest bugfixes, but I use it on my old iPhone 3GS (which got handed down to my daughter) every single night, and it works okay.  There are some bugs, but it works like it did when I used it.  I certainly feel I've long-since gotten my $10 worth.

Edit: I fixed the year for the iPod Touch v4.  That was just a typo.
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Ferdi

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Re: Useability
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2015, 11:58:13 pm »

I am amused how a usability thread is so quickly turns into a discussions about bugs (or not), drivers, trust, continuity, and statements packed with abbreviations that many don't know. This says much about the user base and underscores the points of the original poster. I don't mean that in a bad way, after all, I am using JRiver myself for years.

I am still using JRiver almost exclusively on me PC: for listening while I am working on it and of course to manage my music library. Nothing beats JRiver in that, absolutely nothing (only exception: Media Monkey for iPhone sync). I also use JRemote to airplay to two stereos: no zones, no simultaneous play. That use type will increase next week when my Id arrives.

However, anything beyond my current use cases requires way too much dedication, technical skills, all sorts of hardware bits and pieces (servers, renderers - reading required!!!, dacs), knowledge about file formats, knowledge of abbreviations (even in this thread I am lost a couple of times).
This is nothing someone who's not tech savvy will be able to set up and maintain. Even the step by step instructions that many here post require profound computer knowledge.
I had a big laugh reading another post the other day where someone said that JRiver is way easier than Photoshop. Disagree completely: there's thousands of videos and short, pointed how-to's out there that let the most basic beginner quickly do what he wants to do. As great as the help on this forum is - for me it often always involves many-step-research on google to understand what it's about.

Anyway, technical complexity can be hidden by a great User Experience (more appropriate term than Usability) only to a certain degree, and this requires significant investment in frameworks for wizards, automation, controls etc. Is it worth it? Depends on your goals.
Sonos went down this alley and invests heavily. They succeeded and grow like nothing. Their setup and combination of hardware and software is rock solid and just unbelievably easy. Only, I don't like their app and the hardware isn't nearly as good as the audio set up that i have at home. Therefore do I stick with JRiver.

But: Do I recommend JRiver to friends? No. I don't know anyone who'd be willing to invest that much time. For most people, Sonos, Airplay and other offerings are the better choice by far. And that's sad, because i just love JRiver, this community, and the idea of supporting a small independent developer team.
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JimH

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Re: Useability
« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2015, 07:15:09 am »

This thread is a good example of how _specific_ suggestions can make a difference in MC's development.
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