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Thread: ME 2.0.20 bugs and design flaws

  1. #1
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    ME 2.0.20 design flaws

    Hi Guys,
    I would like to congratulate with CarComp and Phat_b for their work on ME2.0 .
    It worth that number because they have implemented a clever music management with search engine.

    I don't want to appear as the last come, and sorry for this long post.

    The BUG that QuickCarl discovered! With ME1.7 I had "c:\canzoni\mp3" folder for songs and "c:\film" for films. Since there is no "film" folder but a unique "media" folder, I moved film into canzoni. The tree structure:

    c:\canzoni\mp3\(subfolder for each album)
    c:\film
    c:\canzoni\lyrics
    c:\canzoni\secondary mp3 (songs that I don't listen to often and shouldn't be in the DB)

    has caused the "loop" bug (ME closes and reopens continuosly), resolved by terminating its process and deleting "settings.ini".
    I had to make "secondary mp3" files and "film" folder into "mp3" folder, otherwise it wouldn't build the database and loops.


    Also I think the file extensions manager is a little buggy.

    There are some design flaws that in my opinion prevents a smooth experience of the carputer, most of them about usability. And some of great ME1.7x things has disappeared.
    I think you should inspire to mobile phone software, especially Nokia, which is very intuitive and uses a few buttons.

    These are my suggestions:
    - "play music" and "play movie" doesn't work the first time, as said in the manual. This is against usability. They should work immediately with the first file in alphabetic order. Or at least pop-up a suggestion, instead of displaing nothing.
    - ME1.7 movies management was so good. I don't know why they are into the same "media browser", I have to scroll between the huge archive. It was so lovely to have a movie list separated from music list. You could avoid this even if you store all the infos in one database.
    - on Epia 800 it's quite slow but acceptable.
    - You can't adjust ME window size and position. I use overscan tv-out so I can't read the borders. Even for the movies, you can't set the aspect ratio.
    - You said that the use of WMP makes easier to manage visualizations. I think that visualizations on ME1.7x works well. I read on the forum that you have to enable them every new songs. It's a pity. And you lose support to hundreds of plug-ins that winamp has.
    - Skipping to other song makes a little delay that there wasn't with ME1.7x. You could do it with VB WM control by using two instances of it, one fading out and the other fading in.
    - "SWMP" is a cryptic acronym. It have more sense to call it "playlist" button.
    - "search" button should work while playing music, instead of pressing "SWMP" then "search". So you have two easily reachable modes to add music in your playlist, by search and by scrolling the database.
    - update db shouldn't be automatic when playing on file extensions. It's easier and faster do all work on them, then when you have finished launch the DB update.
    - there are certain situations which seems ME is locked up. You should make a "loading..." advice. For example, selecting "media browser" sometimes appears the background but not the folders/songs.
    - Keypad buttons are not enough for fullfilling all the supported buttons in ME. You should implement a way to assign more functions to every button, which changes accordingly to the context.
    - Browser CD/DVD is a great thing. Make it available also for USB mass storage

    A question:
    - if it's playing music and I press the power button of my pc, it hibernates, then after resume it plays from when it was stopped. Is there a way to doing this using the "shutdown" function?

    Well thank you for the patience, I hope to be useful.
    -NicGalla-
    custom-made aluminum case | MK2.8+ PSU | EPIA 800 | 256 Mb DDR | 120 Gb 7.2k WD | Wireless Chieftec mouse & keyb | Trust USB Keypad & USB webcam | Majestic TFT 7" 16:9 | WinXP & ME2 | connected to factory head-unit in a PT Cruiser 2.0L

  2. #2
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    Now I have tried ME2.0 on my PC.
    Here it's clear how great is their work, it scales beautifully from 640x480 of my carputer to 1280x1024 of my PC!
    And it works regardless of international settings (in ME1.7 you had to set USA as country in windows).
    Now I see what I was missing on my carputer screen because of overscan. ME says "busy" or "database online", so some suggestions aren't correct.
    However you should display these messages in center screen, or implement the "customize window size and position". it shouldn't be difficult since ME2.0 interface is already resizable by screen resolution.

    It works FAST on my Athlon XP2500+@2250 mhz. So the responsiveness is hardware-dependent. Maybe some tweak in the refresh DB routine...


    Music should continue to play while selecting external applications!
    -NicGalla-
    custom-made aluminum case | MK2.8+ PSU | EPIA 800 | 256 Mb DDR | 120 Gb 7.2k WD | Wireless Chieftec mouse & keyb | Trust USB Keypad & USB webcam | Majestic TFT 7" 16:9 | WinXP & ME2 | connected to factory head-unit in a PT Cruiser 2.0L

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicgalla
    The BUG that QuickCarl discovered! With ME1.7 I had "c:\canzoni\mp3" folder for songs and "c:\film" for films. Since there is no "film" folder but a unique "media" folder, I moved film into canzoni. The tree structure:

    c:\canzoni\mp3\(subfolder for each album)
    c:\film
    c:\canzoni\lyrics
    c:\canzoni\secondary mp3 (songs that I don't listen to often and shouldn't be in the DB)

    has caused the "loop" bug (ME closes and reopens continuosly), resolved by terminating its process and deleting "settings.ini".
    I had to make "secondary mp3" files and "film" folder into "mp3" folder, otherwise it wouldn't build the database and loops.
    Can you please elaborate on this more? Are / were you seeing error 91's in your debug.log? I'm not understanding what directory structure caused the problem, and what your root media directory setting was at that time. About your comment regarding files you don't think should be in the db, all your media files should be in the db. The time spent loading the info up front makes the lists load that much faster later on because we don't have to read the ID3 tag info from the files. This isn't really noticeable when playing small lists such as albums, but it will become immediately apparent to you if you load up a playlist of 5000+ songs.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicgalla
    - ME1.7 movies management was so good. I don't know why they are into the same "media browser", I have to scroll between the huge archive. It was so lovely to have a movie list separated from music list. You could avoid this even if you store all the infos in one database.
    We consolidated the browse for movies / music because the main menu was getting full and the two buttons loaded the exact same form, only in different operating modes. This is how this will work in all future versions of MediaEngine (or at least until the next major re-write). As we add features and functions, this trend will continue (i.e. we might add a picture slide show type function at some point, it will locate files inside your media folder as well.)

    I like to break my media up into this type of folder structure:

    e:\Media <<< i set this as my media folder
    e:\Media\MP3s
    e:\Media\MP3s\playlists <<< i set this as my playlists folder
    e:\Media\MP3s\Albums\(folders by album name)
    e:\Media\MP3s\Singles (couple thousand singles in here)
    e:\Media\Movies

    But that's just my preference.

    One thing I've noticed that can really slow down updating the database is setting your media directory to the root of a drive that also contains the system 'program files' and other folders that contain no playable media. I'm guessing this is happening because ppl dont want to move / restructure their media. This causes the db update app to spend an enormous amount of time counting files in these directories that it will never index. Keep all your media in one folder and this won't happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicgalla
    A question:
    - if it's playing music and I press the power button of my pc, it hibernates, then after resume it plays from when it was stopped. Is there a way to doing this using the "shutdown" function?
    You can check the 'Load to Play MP3' option in settings>appearance and it will give you the same effect. In a future version that option might be changed to resume to whatever was playing prior to shutdown.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicgalla
    It works FAST on my Athlon XP2500+@2250 mhz. So the responsiveness is hardware-dependent. Maybe some tweak in the refresh DB routine...
    Hard drive speed makes a phenomenal difference. I noticed you have a 120g Western Digital hdd in your setup - WD drives have been very slow compared to the same rpm IBM and Quantum/Maxtor in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by nicgalla
    Music should continue to play while selecting external applications!
    No, it would be a nightmare. The biggest single feature of MediaEngine is the one that nobody even appreciates except those of us that developed it: it can be controlled with touchscreen / mouse, keyboard and remotes, and any combination therof simultaneously. Keeping the application in control of things when there's no mouse or keyboard connected to the pc is why we don't leave music playing while you launch other applications. It's all fun and games until someone kills somebody b/c they were trying to reach into the back seat to press ctrl+alt+del while doing 75 mph.
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    Updated binaries are available that deal with many of the bugs reported so far. Latest version for mediaengine.exe is now 2.0.22 and DB_UPDATE.exe is 1.0.4

    The installsheild build is not yet updated with these fixes.

    Look under '2.0 Bugfixes' at http://mediaengine.org for more details.
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

    FIC K7MNF-64 / Athlon 3200 | 256 DDR | 120 GB 7.2k WD
    WinXP Pro | MediaEngine | 12.1 VGA TFT Touch|Creative CIMR-100
    350w Vector | 320w mATX PS | Hellroaring BIC95150 | ButterflySDC

  5. #5
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    Dear Phat,
    I downloaded new binaries, and they seem to work well.

    However I discovered a new bug (there was also in 2.0.20): the On-Screen Keyboard won't work if you try to search a song within the New Playlist function. You can type one character then the OSK locks up and you have to press QUIT button to come back.

    Well I'm a developer too, and it's irritating when people don't understand your program's behavior, after all it seems logical to you
    I'll try your folder structure if improves speed and I'll tell you.

    However it's tricky to find your movies, compared to ME1.7. You should implement a "file type" function that show only audio or video files one at a time.

    I don't think it's HD, maybe VIA C3 that has slow performance. The Athlon PC takes the MP3 from my server using a 100 mbps ethernet connection, which implies latency but it's still faster thanks to 2500+@2250 mhz horsepower...
    And new Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 are slower than many previous generations HDs...

    I agree with what you think about "Music should continue to play while selecting external applications!". However you should consider that not every application needs your attention. I have made a small app which display the webcam mounted near the third brake light and should help while parking. You press ENTER and the app quits. It's a pity that you have to stop the music for this.

    Don't forget these major issues:
    - You can't adjust ME window size and position. I use overscan tv-out so I can't read the borders. Even for the movies, you can't set the aspect ratio.
    - Browser CD/DVD is a great thing. Make it available also for USB mass storage. Since Windows shows or hide the drive letter, it's very easy to detect when it's plugged in or not.
    - Makes "Search" button available when playing music, and rename "SWMP" button with "Playlist" button or something easier for newbies....
    - there are certain situations which seems ME is locked up. You should make a "loading..." advice. For example, selecting "media browser" sometimes appears the background but not the folders/songs.


    Thank you for your time, and after all ME is the best!
    -NicGalla-
    custom-made aluminum case | MK2.8+ PSU | EPIA 800 | 256 Mb DDR | 120 Gb 7.2k WD | Wireless Chieftec mouse & keyb | Trust USB Keypad & USB webcam | Majestic TFT 7" 16:9 | WinXP & ME2 | connected to factory head-unit in a PT Cruiser 2.0L

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