This is phenomenal. Were you a Windows Media Plyaer v8-v11 user? The playlist on the side reminds me of my favorite feature from the WMP8 days, where I could queue up music even while another album played. It was wonderful, and when I went Mac full-time nearly a decade ago, I lost the easy queueing in iTunes (where I had to create a playlist every single time).
Bravo, this is a great app and I would love to support it. I'd be willing to pay $39, but that may just be me. I'm going to switch to it full-time and see what happens.
And I don't need the same piece of software to handle my iPhone and my music library. Don't bother supporting iPhone sync, it's just not part of the value of a good music player. I can open iTunes when I sync (and now with iOS 5, I don't think I'll ever need to manually sync again).
If you want a gratis NewsBlur premium account, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org. It's the only way I know to actually pay you for such great software.
The other thing, so far Enqueue does not support syncing back to iTunes, so I won't have my star ratings and all that stuff...
1) Welcome dialog is... out of place. The design is not consistent with Apple UI guidelines, I can't tell the three options are buttons.
2) The cancel button on the welcome dialog looks like an odd man out. It's just floating there in the center, and I think the caption (cancel) is also something you can improve.
3) I think the now-playing thing in the sidebar needs to be pushed down by ~60 pixels, basically starting under the main bar across the rest of the screen. It's not very symmetric the way it is now. You should also have a divider between the close buttons and the now playing section - see Chrome.app for a good example of doing it smoothly.
4) Playlists: now change when I hover over the entries, I was expecting them to go blue. Clicking on them has no effect, I must double-click. non-intuitive.
5) I love the statistics and charts in History, but I wonder if the name is accurate? I'm seeing a breakdown of my music collection, but the only "true" history tab is "Recently Played" which is also given the least prominence.
6) When starting the app, the whitespace stretching from under the now playing section to the bottom of the screen in the sidebar is jarring. It doesn't look nice empty, I'm assuming something will show up there at some point in my playing around with it.
7) Playlists uses an entirely different UI from Library. I like Library's detail view drilldown. I think something like that should be used for the playlists too. See point #4.
That's all for now. May update later with more feedback.
Good work. It looks very promising. I love that it's fast and not-bloated.
No way to turn off Growl messages? Oops.
Add Playlist -> then press esc. The playlist gets added anyway with the default name.
Playlist list needs right-click functionality, even if it's the same menu that shows up when clicking the cog. Don't disappoint your users expectations as to how an interface will act.
Playlist tab's "Add Playlist" pretends to be a tab but it's actually a button. Very confusing. Don't do that - buttons are buttons, tabs are tabs. Even if they're right-aligned.
I think you have a bug when you turn on repeat and shuffle in the middle of a song. When the song ends, it will be repeated immediately, then everything works out.
You should be able to turn them off from the Growl preference pane. I was always under the impression that this was the recommended way to do things, the idea being to have a central place to control them. Now that full Growl costs money and people start using Mist (which as far as I know has no central pref pane to turn off notifications) I guess devs will have to start adding individual Growl options to every app.
FWIW, I've been paid thousands of dollars as an outside consultant to just look at an app provide my initial feedback. If it were just whimsical, subjective musings, I can assure that would not be the case.
Don't point them out like facts.
I have a question, though: Does this perpetually read or write from the iTunes library XML, or is the import a one-time affair? I use the hell out of ratings and smart playlists, and I want Enqueue to run side-by-side with iTunes rather than replacing it. (i.e., iTunes to manage music, Enqueue to play it back.)
Regardless, this is fantastic work, and I look forward to the finished version. This app is something I would definitely be happy to pay for.
I hate to say it considering the other feedback, but I'm not a fan of the UI. The giant words instead of icons, off colour and sort of grafted on now playing box, and no ability to hide the "browser" all put me off pretty strongly. Integrated preferences was a bad choice, too IMO. That's a good lazy solution for an app like Chrome to support all platforms, but for a proper OS X app I see no reason to avoid a standard prefs window. Prefs shouldn't be given equal prominence to actual application functions. In fact, because you are using words instead of icons and "Preferences" is such a long word, you are actually giving it greater prominence.
I'm lost as to the purpose of the sidebar. I get that it jumps to the currently playing album, but why can I scroll around to other unrelated albums? It's like there are two completely independent browsing frames in this window. Plus I can delete things in the other frame with the "x" button, but they just go away temporarily until I start playing a song again... I just don't get it.
Honestly, besides startup time, iTunes does everything this does better and it does it with a more refined UI. I know the standard response is "great job! can't wait to see the progress!" but I feel like I need to be honest. There are a million iTunes replacements and companions out there. They all suffer from requiring more effort to manage two music playing apps and offer dubious benefit. They all have small dedicated user bases but they never take the platform by storm like they seem to be hoping to. I'll keep it around as I would like to see if it can handle a 20,000 song library with future updates, but I don't see myself using it over iTunes. Sorry.
EDIT - Before you reply about the draw of features like extended filetype support, last.fm and queuing, consider that almost every iTunes replacement/companion (and there literally are dozens of them) has these features already. That's also a reason to take comments like "Can't stand iTunes bloat, definitely interested!" with a grain of salt. If these people were actually receptive to change, they most likely would have switched to an alternative long ago.
You can hide the browser by right clicking the header and selecting 'hidden'.
Why is mine filled with things that aren't playing and I haven't played? If that is its intended purpose, then it needs to convey that a little better by not filling it with other unrelated content for no reason. As someone who rarely uses sub-lists and typically just flips around the main library, copying the entire existing library to the sidebar isn't a great idea. I get it for playlists and other subsections, not so much for the entire unfiltered library.
> You can hide the browser by right clicking the header and selecting 'hidden'.
Good call, although this is a UI issue in and of itself. No function like that should be hidden behind a right click, something many Mac OS X users don't even know how to do.
And yeah I probably should add a menu item for hiding the browser.
> As someone who rarely uses sub-lists and typically just flips around the main library, copying the entire existing library to the sidebar isn't a great idea. I get it for playlists and other subsections, not so much for the entire unfiltered library.
I guess it's not so simple if the app is built around that concept. I always use my main library and rarely have an urge to structure a queue, so maybe it's just not the app for me.
Then I can just use iTunes to sync my iPhone / iPod.
As a fan of "classical" music, may I make a couple of feature requests — which would actually make me switch from iTunes?
1. Multiple artist tag support. I want to tag tracks by orchestra, conductor, soloist(s), and to search by each independently. This would be a killer feature.
2. Grouping tracks by composition. The movements of a symphony are not "songs", they belong together by default, but it should be possible to select one separately from the others. This can be forced into iTunes by careful naming conventions, but first-class support for the distinction between "composition" and "parts of a composition" would be welcome.
Also, I think this is really missing from your FAQ:
Q: Why should I use Enqueue instead of iTunes?
As a recent Spotify convert, I may not find as much use out of it as I would have a few months ago, but thank you for sharing a free beta. I will certainly be watching this project in the future.
Also, I think the icon looks great, for what it's worth.
I tried it twice and it always fails on the same file ("Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (feat. Al Alberts)")
That said, I think this is a really awesome effort. iTunes has definitely become way too bloated, so it's great to see a serious alternative being attempted.
Will this be on the Mac App Store? Price?
1. Consider putting preferences in their own window. This is the standard Mac behavior, and it's a little confusing to have your app do something different. You could also use the standard preferences toolbar look.
2. The artwork for your playback controls looks off. Specifically, I think the anti-aliasing of the circles looks uneven.
3. For the gear menu at the bottom left corner of the window, consider adding a little arrow like in Mail.app. That helps me know that this is a dropdown menu.
4. I had no idea what the X would do in the bottom left corner of the window the first time I pressed it.
5. Tooltips would help. You don't seem to have tooltips anywhere.
6. I was very surprised that spacebar didn't control play/pause and was even more surprised that there is no keyboard shortcut for play/pause. EDIT: It appears that spacebar does control playback. Maybe I had a focus issue before. But it would still be nice to see it in the menu. :)
7. Having "Library", "Playlists", etc. at the top of the window is interesting, but ultimately I think you'd do better with a standard look/feel. Consider using the standard selected toolbar item look. (See the preferences of almost any Mac app to see what I mean.)
8. This is very minor, but you have an extra menu item divider at the bottom of the View menu.
9. The album artwork of the currently playing song (top left corner) looks very slightly off-center. I think there's one more pixel on the right side than the left.
Overall, it's very impressive! Good work. :)
6. I was very surprised that spacebar didn't control play/pause and was even more surprised that there is no keyboard shortcut for play/pause.
It's a small (and free) music player.
I've so far tried Cog, iTunes, Winamp for Mac, Fidelia and a couple of other ones (Songbird).
All fail on either two things:
1) FLAC support
2) Ability to handle a very large collection effortlessly, and easily (scan & import, search & play)
On Linux and Windows I've been spoilt for choice with players, but iTunes dominance on Mac has meant that few players have matured enough to offer a compelling alternative.
With Enqueue it's as if you've been doing this maturing in private and now have arrived with all of the basic requirements taken care of and done well. You've nailed all of the core expectations without being distracted by bells and whistles (just take a look at Fidelia's UI and then remember it fails to import more than a couple of thousand tracks per import cycle - they missed what's important, getting your music in there in the first place).
So well done, seriously well done. If I hadn't just put myself on a literal ramen-budget diet I would right now be trying to badger you for your paypal to send you some money.
More than anything, you've just made my experience of being on a Mac considerably better.
Looks great on first impression, will keep playing with it.
Also, sent you an email :)
I'd like it that when I add a song no more than the song is added to my now playing list. When I double-clicked a song it filled the whole thing with my library. Sometimes I want to play just specific songs and not their albums either. At least it's easy to collapse and remove all other albums.
I didn't find the welcome dialog out of place, though there needed to be a little more indication that they're buttons. (I'm fine but my mom would be totally confused over what to do.)
I'm not a big user of AirPlay or Podcasts, though I would probably use the latter feature more.
Keep up the good work. I already like Enqueue better than iTunes. You've definitely caught my attention! If you keep to a similar UI and don't bloat the application I'd probably even pay for it (which is really saying something because I'm a bit of a cheapskate).
1. I find it odd that Preferences is a tab versus its own dialog. I shouldn't need to access it that often, so I don't think it merits the same visual prominence as my library or playlists.
2. If you stick with the all-in-one window approach, it seems like you should fold the "About" and "Check for Updates" dialogs into the main window, possibly as siblings to the Preferences items.
3. I wish the currently playing song was visually highlighted in the main library view.
4. I can't seem to enqueue an entire playlist from the top level Playlists screen.
5. There's no intuitive way to go "back" after drilling into a Playlist's detailed view.
6. There's no easy way to look at the contents of several playlists one after another.
I feel like 5 and 6 could be solved by redesigning the top level playlists view to include both the lists of playlists and their contents, a la the Library view. I get the impression that ComputerGuru wants something similar in his note #7.
Bravo! This is great!
Smart playlists are a must have feature, so glad to hear they are coming.
One thing that would be nice is if when you dragged a song from the library out of the window, the dragged items became references to the files (in the same way dragging an item out of Finder does). This would allow you to select a playlist, drag all the files out of it and drop them onto your iPod's library in the source list on iTunes, uploading those songs straight to it without having to worry about integrating that functionality into Enqueue itself. I'm not sure if it's possible to do so in Mac OS as iTunes itself doesn't do that, but I've definitely seen it done in Windows and it's extremely useful (e.g. finding a song in iTunes, dragging it out and dropping it on to an audio editor to open it).
A question: When you import from a location do you consider playlists and audio files?
It seems if you have a folder /music/album/ and inside are the audio files for the album and a playlist for this album that your app would create an entry in library for all items on playlist and the files thus duplicating.
iTunes used to do this but I believe now consolidates.
A few things from my first impression.
1. Importing music did not seem to show a progress dialog of any sort. For a user with a large library this may not be desirable.
2. The equalizer is a nice feature. Adding some more presets to the equalizer may be nice. Most come with a slew . (nit picking)
3. Playlist/History/Preferences areas should be the full width like the library window is. Those 3 areas feel out of place in consideration with the rest of the app.
4. Nice work, you just found a new user! Let me know you would like a guinea pig. Happy to help if I can! (Development or feedback.)
2. Will "import" copy all my music into a new directory? That should be explicitly mentioned (whether it does or not).
3. Love the fade in and fade out on pause. Is that time configurable? Also, a feature I've wanted forever is the ability to crossfade into a new song. Abrupt stops and starts are so bad at parties, etc.
4. Need tooltips on the "×" and gear icons in the bottom left. Also I wasn't expecting for the "×" to remove things from my playlist. And those need to look more like buttons.
5. The play/pause/next/prev buttons need work.
6. "Add to playlist" should have a "New..." option in it.
7. Love the concept of "History." Lots of cool directions to go here.
8. The info pane is cool but what's with the striped background?
9. I tried to drag songs from the Queue to a playlist. Gone, oops! And there's no undo!
10. How do I play a playlist? Double clicking doesn't seem to work.
11. "1 songs" in this playlist?
Overall, this is great. Keep making improvements!
A bit of (hopefully) constructive criticism:
I don't think you should add a whole album to the queue when I double-click on a single song; I expect just that song to go in the queue. I like that double-clicking an album cover adds the whole album to the queue though.
Support for podcasts is really important! I guess this is something you just haven't got to yet?
The things that would be a barrier to me leaving iTunes for this are podcasts, AirPlay & the iTunes store. If you had support for the first two and a bi-directional sync with the iTunes library, that'd be enough to convert me because I really like the experience of using this program & I think you've got a lot of things very right.
I cant help but think of Audion when I see a paid music player on OSX. http://www.panic.com/extras/audionstory/
(Disclaimer: I develop a competing os x music player which can add music to (some) iOS devices)
It seems quite usable as-is.
Request: use replaygain metadata (also, less important, create it)
Request: detect duplicate files (ideally, by actual audio stream, or file content exclusive of metadata, but with file content duplicates is fine too).
Request: sync ratings/playlists (handling different directory/filenames/metadata by hash of content?)
(less important): play order: random-avoid-repeating-last-N (not pure shuffle), repeat-one
Small tidbit of advice: Developer Terin Stock seems to have overcome the media key dilemma with his GSDesktopHelper app which allows Grooveshark to hijack the media keys when it is running (If it is not running, the add-on does nothing).
You may find something useful with it.
More info: http://threestrangedays.net/gsdesktophelper/
Huh? It never went away. Cmd+B brings it up, or go to View -> Column Browser -> Show Column Browser in the menu.
That said, iTunes+GimmeSomeTune already gives me those features and a killer one: iPod sync. In my case, Enqueue doesn't have quite different features enough to make me switch completely from iTunes (yet?).
It's already very good work though, and the development seems to be going strong. Keep up the good work!
I've been doing some iOS music work lately and have a pretty good idea of some of the complexity you've dealt with to get to this stage.
Drop me a line if you're interested in chatting (email is in my profile).
You could consider adding a feature I think iTunes has been missing for years, a "cue up" button that will set a song to play after the current one is over.
When there's nothing playing, I feel like the blank album cover is pointless.
When the albums for an artist show up in the sidebar, clicking on once should expand it, not just highlight it. I'd rather not click on the arrow if it's already taking up all that screen space, because highlighting it doesn't really do anything.
edit: I couldn't find a way to import the album covers downloaded through iTunes.
I am more than impressed by this UI. It reminds me of Rdio's UI, which I find to be better than iTunes. Spotify needs a good designer like you.
Other than that, I love this app. I'm using it to (re)build my music library, something I had pending to do for a long time. Hope you keep working on it, there still a lot to do (dupes, auto-tagging using external databases, syncing back with iTunes, cover download, folder managing…) but I love it and will use it daily. Thanks a lot for your work!
Has all the features that I need, without the extra bloat of iTunes. Perfect.
All it needs is a more beautiful, polished UI. Currently even iTunes looks better, but if you improve the aesthetics, you've beaten iTunes in every way. (Hint: Maybe take a leaf from the book of Sparrow, the Mac Gmail client.) Also, a mini-mode that simply shows the Now Playing list with a search bar to add new tracks.
I've been enjoying using Enqueue for a day or so now. My only gripe so far is that I expected to see Play/Pause controls in the option-click/right-click menu of the dock icon. My keyboard's media keys just launch iTunes and I'd like an easy way to pause the music when on a different desktop to the Enqueue UI.
Please also consider adding Internet Radio.
One suggestion, when I hit enter when I select a song, I expect the song to start playing, instead of renaming the track number.
The only missing thing if you ask, a quick way to set the song I am currently listening on auto-repeat, usually you just click the repeat button once more and it shows a "1" on it, it's better to avoid to have the user create a one song playlist for that.
And I agree [with the other comments] about the words (menu items along the top), use icons or use the os menu bar.
Preferences should only be where Preferences is in every other mac app. It's the first place I'd look to change the preferences. Why even take the space atop the app?
No font sizes? And resizing the browser panels?
Importing a large library is a problem. Took me a few tries.
Overall I like it, though.
Are there similar apps for Windows? Apart from foobar2k, which I kinda like but only use for simple playback (eg. search for specific album, then play it) than managing my library.
I would suggest you these:
1. Equalizer (16 bands min would be awesome).
2. Make it hackable as soon as possible, Audio Plugins is a good start. (please not ruby, Objective-C is fine).
Otherwise, the app is fairly solid. The design could use a bit of tweaking, but that's pretty much it.
Good work, looking forward to the official release!
I think you're missing a "be" there, on the http://www.enqueueapp.com/features.html page
I love it, and it's improving regularly.
The playlist bar is its killer feature -- iTunes DJ is crap in comparison.
i just want to make sure you know that you at least have SOME users (me) who really LIKE how you have handled preferences. I much prefer your implementation to other OS X apps.
If you can improve on a formula, no need to stick with that formula. It's a philosophy that worked for Steve Jobs...
Good f'ing work man!
me too, me too. it just makes sense that way.
iTunes + AirPortExpress == poor-man's-sonos.
Also, podcasts would be good.
iTunes: Now with 100% less beachball.