As for the popularity of gmusicbrowser, I noticed that in audio player reviews it's often not mentioned or being overlooked, even though the capabilities of gmb are stunning. I think the reason for that has a lot to do with 'look & feel', something many users want these days, especially when they're listening to music. I think it's a major influence on the whole experience of music. It's a 'fun' thing. And the look & feel or elegance of a GUI contribute much to that feeling.

It is indeed already very awesome that users can switch between different layouts. But the whole feeling of gmusicbrowser is still somewhat generic and plain, yet on the other hand confusing for first-time users. Because gmb has lots of functions and access to these functions is somehow cluttering the UI for the average user or often not intuitive. One example: When switching between layouts, the settings button (the cog icon) is sometimes there, sometimes not, i.e. depending on the layout, the menus are there or not. The first time I used gmusicbrowser, I was desperately looking for the settings until I found they are hidden behind this little icon.

However, I know it would be a lot of work, to reevaluate the whole GUI. But as a starter, why not implement simpler things to begin with?

Gmusicbrowser: This name sounds so generic. I would rename it to something nice. And at the same time give it a new and attractive icon that is not displayed pixelated in the Unity launcher, but clean and shiny. This alone would attract more users and make gmb more popular. The UI is a vital part of the user's experience.

In order to avoid confusing for long time users of gmb, the new name could still have some reference to the old name. For example, keeping the very distinct 'G' in the name somehow. Spontaneously I think of something like 'G Player',  'G Tunes' etc. The icon could then be one awesome letter G in a fancy font and with nice colors.

Or do some wordplay and make it more fancy:
'Gee! Player' or 'Gee! Tunes'
(Gee! is bascially a way of saying OMG!)

Or take a completely different route and adapt the name according to the icon. The icon is fun, but needs to get polished up. But if there would be a polished up version of the camel with headphones, then it could be called something like 'Camel Player' or 'Camel Tunes'. Although I'm not sure of 'Tunes' as for Apple's copyright madness.

or 'CamelEon' / 'CamelEon Player'
(deliberately leaving out the H of 'chameleon', in reference to both, the camel icon and to a chamelon, to indicate the capabiltiy of switching layouts that look like other players.)

Or rename it withot any reference to the previous versions. Anyway, as for a new name, possibilities are endless. In my opinion, it should just not be as generic as it is at the moment. The above examples are really just quick examples. Other people might have much better ideas.

IMO, GMusicBrowswer has been branded far too long for a change like this.  A rename would cause incredible issues with the forks and scripts that are in place out there now.

I think word of mouth is the best way to broaden the horizons.  You also have to consider that some developers are not looking out to be the best... I also believe that GMB is more popular than you may think.  It is available on multiple platforms without issues..

I believe when Quentin adds components (online radio HINT) :D or anything new, then the online Blogs will run again all the features of GMB and then you will see more users.

More users does not necessarily mean your product is the best, just look at Apple. 

I know GMB is the best there is and I try to tell everyone who asks...

I guess the fact that gmb has been around for a long time isn't any issue. Probably it would just be the opposite effect. If gmb would suddenly appear in a brand new design and have a new name, blog articles on the internet would spread the word even more, exactly because of the new branding. After all, it's bigger news than just another standard update.

What I find in the linux forums I use and moderate, and the IRC channels I am a part of, is what users seem to want more than anything is a minimal and highly configurable type of application.

I think gmb fits those requirements perfectly as it is right now.  There may be other music apps with more bling, but I have not found one that also has a developer who has stayed committed to his design and that is available for any type of assistance.

Icon and name aren't very important.
Add new features to gmb and it will be automaticaly put in the news.

First : better integration in Gnome 3 (gmusicbrowser). Actually in all Gnome3-based system (Cinnamon, Unity, Gnome Shell) gmb doesn't appear in running application (no title in GS, no icon in Unity launcher, no "window" in task bar in Cinnamon - sometime it appears, but usually not). And GTK3 theme doesn't apply to gmb (which is in gtk2).

Second : Ipod/Iphone/Ipad and maybe others mp3 readers are not managable with gmb. Modern musicbrowser have to be compatible with those objects.

Third : I'm not using that but new musicbrowser are able to manage music online services. In gmb we just have good lastfm abilities (due to good plugin). May be more online service could make gmb more attractive for new users.

Fourth : I'm not using that but I often read complain about external hard drive managing in this forum. Work more deeper on this could be cool for geek-users.

Firth : Maybe a more modern theme could be commercial, but I'm also a gmb theme conceptor and the Shimmer themes are, for me, the best themes ever made for gmb (structure, astuteness, usuability : everythink is here) and all my themes are 90% copy and paste from Shimmer themes.


Those are all good points mgrubert, and I think within reach for Quention in future development.

I completely agree with point #5.  A robust layout theme is something that should be developed, possibly taking parts of all of the development that several of us have been involved with... That in itself would be like a new release.


Despite gmb defaults (listed above), gmb is the single musicbrowser which give me the total layout control, my priority (because my first computer use is playing music, my hobby, and the smallest default in a musicbrowser layout becames immediatly unbearable).

VastOne : I do my best to improve GMB but my skills aren't very usefull : I made layouts (some of them are in default version) and I made my best to improve french translation. And bug finding due to my deep gmb usage. No programming skill. Only love and passion for this great musicbrowser

^ I use Debian for the same thing...

I use Conky for the same thing

I use Tint2 for the same thing

I use GMB for the same thing

Each are small and light, each are easily customizable and each have very active development and support.

Quote from: mgrubert on October 13, 2012, 20:29:19
VastOne : I do my best to improve GMB but my skills aren't very usefull : I made layouts (some of them are in default version) and I made my best to improve french translation. And bug finding due to my deep gmb usage. No programming skill. Only love and passion from this great musicbrowser

That is the other reason I use GMB and all the others I listed...    :)

I have seen and used your layouts and think they are fantastic...

I make my layouts essentially for me, and I share them in case of some other people could think their are ususable.
I appreciate your opinion.

But what about Lisa motion ?

Sorry for not replying earlier.
About the look and feel and layouts, they could of course be improved, some things can be improved in the layouts themselves, some require improving the code. Maybe you (Lisa1980) are not yet familiar with how layouts work, they are defined by a simple text file that defines which widget are used and how they are organized.
The layout system is very powerful but has some drawbacks too : it's difficult to explain to new users how to do things without knowing what layout they are using. And users can be a bit lost when changing layouts (such as finding how to change to an other layout). I could of course force included layouts to have a setting button, or a traditional menu, but that would also reduce the diversity of the layouts. Currently changing layouts via the menu only let you choose a layout that also has a layout menu, though that layout menu can be inside a button as you have discovered (like in google chrome, that is the trendy way to replace menu bars)
By the way, about layouts and menu, some desktops now use a global menu (like on macs, I personally dislike it), a feature I'm thinking of adding is a menu that is only shown if there is a global menu, as there is really no reason (no space-saving) for layouts not to have a menu in that case.

About the name, gmusicbrowser is not a very nice name I know, I chose it because I needed to find name to release the first version (of course) and it did have some good points : unique name (no hits on google at the time, I would have taken gmusicbox but there was some hits), relatively descriptive (though it didn't have layouts at the time, else I would probably have explored chameleon names), and a nice (I think) abbreviation gmb.
I don't think I want to rename it currently as I've used that name for a long time now. Though I always thought at the time that if I were to rename it, I would try to keep the gmb abbreviation.

About the icon, I like the camel with headphone concept. But it's true the current icon has a bad resolution, for both tiny 20x20 icons and big icons used in docks. The icon is based on an old gnome icon that only has a 48x48 resolution. Two users have attempted to create a new version a few months ago, one was posted on the forum (this post). The other version by ochosi, but he didn't show me a final version, and I was waiting for it to decide which one I (and other people) preferred. I'll ask him if he finished it.

About making it more popular, I think currently what is needed is :
- adding some needed features (some were mentioned in other replies), currently I'm thinking in particular of a side-panel widget like many players have, that should be more familiar, easier (in particular for using static lists) and more appealing to new users.
It would also allows some included layouts that try to mimic other players to be more functional. Currently these layouts tend to not be very good, because they don't use some gmb-specific features, and have less features than the original because there is still some things that gmb can't do :) And I'm afraid that some new users try these layouts first because they are familiar with other players.
- improving layouts and better defaults options, to make it more intuitive, and to better show off some of gmb's features.
btw the default layout on ubuntu is the one made by ochosi (shimmer-desktop), which is rather appealing, though maybe a bit less intuitive that it could be. The "real" default layout ("lists library and context", which I'm using) is rather functional but not very appealing, it needs lots of improvements.

Thanks for that explanation and history Quentin... I have always been curious about the origins and thoughts you had around gmb. 

As for the layouts, the most appealing thing is that you can learn and use them.  When I first looked at them, I was overwhelmed by them but by studying what others had done and the overall docs from here, I was able to create a few of my own.  I also began downloading and collecting what other layout artists had done.

On the CrunchBang forums, I have quite a few converts to gmb who was struggling with the layouts and how to use them. I was asked to do a How To that was done here.

It is a general How To on setting up GMB and using layouts.  I have included in the collection what I have found and know of, if there are others that I have missed or if anyone wants some included, please let me know.  It is not much but the people who have used it on the #! forums have shown a lot of enthusiasm.  :)

Although this is a recurring discussion and I've made my points already a few times, I'll do a quick summary for those of you who aren't around long enough :)

About the name:
On the one hand, software names are overrated. Even apps with great names can suck and then you ditch them no matter what. But I agree (and it seems to be a commonplace, because even Quentin agrees with that to some extent) that the name is not ideal. Changing it is an option, in my opinion. I've seen it take place before (Thunderbird > Icedove, Firefox > Iceweasel, Postler > Geary). It's not really problematic in my experience, neither for users, nor for devs. But it's totally up to Quentin.

About the icon:
Yes, I've recently worked on the camel-head with my graphic tablet. I think it's possible to just do a high-res version of a camel with headphones if you're a skilled painter. I'm not sure I can do it, but I could certainly try.
I've already proposed a change of app-icon in the past, in X/Ubuntu gmusicbrowser ships with an icon created by Pasi and me. This icon is in accordance with our vision of more generic application icons, that symbolize the function of the app rather than its name.

About the default layout:
It's not easy to make a layout that is accessible to everyone and at the same time doesn't totally hide gmb's comprehensive functionality. I tried with "Shimmer Desktop", worked on that for quite a while. I also did an icon-theme (elementary) for gmusicbrowser. You can find all that in the package that is shipped in Xubuntu by default.

And a quick disclaimer: while I'm still enthusiastic about gmusicbrowser, my time to work on it has decreased over the last year. I've become more active in other projects (mainly Xfce), so I can't make any promises with respect to future contributions. This is partly also due to the project generally slowing down a bit, which is fine, and I guess if there's more development I might just hop on the train again ;)

I will quickly join the discussion, as I had a similar topic with Quentin a while ago (though not publicly)...

Anyway, my main point is: things can change, but not necessarily!

I think:

  • the icons sooner or later have to be changed or updated, just to adapt to the higher resolutions. If it's just a scaled one or a new one depends mainly on the options! If someone makes a nice new icon and many people like it: why not change?

  • about the name: it's for sure more complicated but not impossible! Again people can suggest and when the perfect name appears, Quentin doesn't want to stick in any case so...
    I like the idea of keeping the lettercombination "gmb" but I also like the idea to play with "cameleon".

  • for the layout: I like the freedom and customizability of gmb. I don't think we should make a "one-fits-all" layout, but a very good standard layout is nice. Maybe it would be an option to have a "Show advanced settings" which needs to be used to show all the options we see now and otherwise only a few!?! (offtopic: wouldn't that be an option for the gnome-desktop? Somehow gmb doesn't fit into the gnome philosophy ;) )

We (I say "we" because we can all contribute and I translate gmb) don't need to please everyone. gmb will anyway be a player for people with special needs/wishes. Still things can be improved and Quentin is putting a lot of effort into listening to peoples wishes! Thanks once again!

Greetings, staubi

P.S.: By the way the namechange of Firefox was not to Iceweasel, but from Firebird!