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  #21  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:10 PM
onlydarksets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pony99CA View Post
For those of us who have never seen a Zune in action, can you give us a list of reasons (maybe with screen shots) why you think this is a good idea?

I have no problems with the current Media Player UI, so I don't know what the fuss is about.

Steve
Here's a few things:
  • Full screen album art
  • Song information you can actually read
  • Fluid menus
  • Better video support (I'm assuming this would include video)
 
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  #22  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:18 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pony99CA View Post
I have no problems with the current Media Player UI, so I don't know what the fuss is about.
Wow...really? I don't even know where to begin. First, I'd suggest that you see how easy it is to add new music to your device, have WMP Mobile find it, and you play it - all without using your stylus. Then compare that process to pretty much any MP3 player on the market and you'll quickly see that WMP Mobile leaves much to be desired...
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  #23  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:20 PM
onlydarksets
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Wow...really? I don't even know where to begin. First, I'd suggest that you see how easy it is to add new music to your device, have WMP Mobile find it, and you play it - all without using your stylus. Then compare that process to pretty much any MP3 player on the market and you'll quickly see that WMP Mobile leaves much to be desired...
I've never had a problem with adding new music to my device, other than the atrociously slow USB 1.1 connection (which, of course, Zune on WM won't solve). Other than that, I agree for WM Pro.

However, Pony has a Q9 I believe, which is a better experience than WM Pro.
 
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  #24  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:25 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab124 View Post
Does it bother anyone else, or just me, that Windows Mobile is being referred to with increasing frequency as a "phone" OS?
Non-phone based devices - strictly Windows Mobile PDAs - are a dying breed. They hit their market share peak a few years ago, and it's been downhill ever since. There are certainly a lot of people that like non-phone PDAs, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they're in a small minority compared to the rest of the buying public and as such, Windows Mobile is all about being a great phone.
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Pony99CA
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Default The Start Menu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattle-Dog View Post
I respectfully disagree. I think a phone of the caliber of Windows mobile phone, should not have to dig through menu's to find needed applications or information.
You don't have to "dig" through menus to launch programs or find information in Windows Mobile. On the touch version, you use one menu (two if you count the Programs folder as a menu).

Have you looked at a lot of feature phones? You select what category of stuff you want to use, then use a Menu key to get more specific! They are very menu-driven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattle-Dog View Post
The start button is a great way to manage hundreds of applications and 100's of GB's of information and optimized for a mouse interface.
I disagree. I always thought the Start menu was kind of a kludge. I thought OS/2 was much better. The Start menu is actually quite horrible managing hundreds of applications. Have you seen menus with so many items that they take more than one column? Yuck. (I arrange my programs into logical categorized folders to keep the Start menu smaller.)

The Start menu also has nothing to do with managing "hundreds of GBs of information". Files are managed by Windows Explorer, and the only relation it has to the Start menu is that there's an icon to launch it there.

Finally, remember that the Start menu debuted in Windows 95. Did anybody even have hundreds of GBs then?

That said, given that's how Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP worked, it makes sense for Windows Mobile to behave similarly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattle-Dog View Post
I don't think it is the best way to organize a user interface for a small screen (even for the Touch HD relative to a desktop) device that (should) specializes in keeping you most import information and applications as easy to get to as possible.
The Start menu is meant to give you access to all of your information. The Today screen (or Home screen on the Smartphone) is meant to make accessing your important stuff easier.

Also, if you don't like the menu part of it, check out the Smartphone OS. The Start menu is just the left softkey on the Home screen, and just takes you to your list of programs (like tapping Start and Programs on the Pocket PC), with a couple of minor differences (you can have some favorite programs listed first, and Settings appears in the list).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cattle-Dog View Post
In short, I don't think you have to sacrifice flexibility as a mobile computing system at all while modernizing and specializing the UI for a small phone based device. Short of the home screen, even 6.1 is essentially the same UI that was on my HP 300LX.
That's actually the beauty of it. It works (sort of) like your PC and provides a sense of consistency and familiarity (which are good things). For a good defense of the Start menu, see Why We Love the Windows Mobile Start Menu.

By the way, in case you don't know the history of Windows CE/Pocket PC OS/Windows Mobile, the original Windows CE Handheld PCs looked much more like your desktop PC (Start button in the lower left, task bar at the bottom, system tray in the lower right, menu bar at the top, desktop with icons, etc.). It was very nice and very familiar. (Microsoft even called these "PC Companions", because they were intended to sync with your PC, not generally be used as stand-alone devices.)

When Microsoft created the Palm-Size PC, they kept that similar interface and added the virtual keyboard. This and the switch from landscape to portrait displays made the task bar very crowded. I don't know of many people who liked that user interface.

So, when the Pocket PC UI was being designed, Microsoft did change things to make it work better on smaller screens. Didn't you ever wonder why the Start menu is now at the top left and much smaller, or why the menu bar got moved to the bottom?

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  #26  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:41 PM
Pony99CA
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Default Adding Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
Wow...really? I don't even know where to begin. First, I'd suggest that you see how easy it is to add new music to your device, have WMP Mobile find it, and you play it - all without using your stylus. Then compare that process to pretty much any MP3 player on the market and you'll quickly see that WMP Mobile leaves much to be desired...
As darkassets mentioned, I primarily use my Q9m now, so I never use a stylus. However, I also have an iPAQ hx2790, so here's what I do to add music.
  1. I take my memory card out of the device and put it in my PC.
  2. I copy new albums that I've ripped (the folders in Windows) to the appropriate folder on the memory card.
  3. I launch WMP, sort by artist, find the new album and play it. (I may have to update the library, too, but I don't remember.)
Yes, on the iPAQ, I do have to use the stylus (or a fingernail), but I don't view that as a big deal. It's a stylus-based interface, so I deal with it. If non-phone Pocket PCs had softkey buttons, I might not have to use the stylus at all (assuming I have mapped the buttons in WMP to hardware buttons).

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  #27  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:46 PM
onlydarksets
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The dislike of WMP on the desktop is confusing to me - what is it that people don't like? I always used it to manage the music on my phone, and it worked very well. It was a must for DRM music, of course, but I found I used it for syncing all my music.
 
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  #28  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:47 PM
Pony99CA
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Default Zune Advantages

Thanks for the list, darkassets. Without having seen a Zune still, here's my evaluation of those features:
  • Full screen album art -- Nice, but not really a big deal (to me). I'd think WMP could be tweaked to do it, too.
  • Song information you can actually read -- Very nice, but again I think WMP could be tweaked to allow larger fonts.
  • Fluid menus -- I'm not sure what this means, but it sounds like UI sugar.
  • Better video support (I'm assuming this would include video) -- This is a biggie, of course, but if WMP supported user codecs, wouldn't that be sufficient? Or is there something more I'm missing?
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  #29  
Old 10-03-2008, 11:33 PM
Cattle-Dog
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I currently have a Q9H myself, with 6.1 on it. It is a step in the right direction and I think its one of the best MS based phones available.

That said, I still think the UI has been long neglected (even more than mobile media player?) and I don't think it is because they nailed it the first time. I think it is a product of what they knew and trying to develop a mobile computing market and it was sufficient for the times. Now, 12 years later, a lot of it's (mobile platform) focus has changed, the market has changed, and the hardware has changed. I think it's time for a major modernization of the overall UI.

There has been bluetooth mouse support and integrated mouse pads to try to make the UI a little more palatable in today's times. HTC has gone to great lengths to try and modernize it themselves. I think people (especially us kinda peoples, lol) are eager to purchase applications to optimize their homescreens or just hack it themselves, to try to squeeze as much onto them as possible. Why, because on the fly in a pinch, it's not the most intuitive UI to muddle through. Certainly not complicated, just not intuitive. Some items are directly off the Start menu, some are nested in other folders, some are double and triple nested! Some features are a menu option or sub menu option (many phone settings are sub sub sub menu options!), other features are MIA unless you add them or the phone manufacture or service provider includes them (task manager, close applications, etc).

Overall, its a great OS and the one I prefer. I just want them to keep up with the times better.

Last edited by Cattle-Dog; 10-03-2008 at 11:39 PM..
 
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  #30  
Old 10-04-2008, 12:06 AM
melsam [MS]
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It's great to see people excited about this news, although keep in mind that SteveB didn't confirm nor deny a "Zune Phone". It's speculation at this point, but I totally agree with Jason - it's a win win in many ways, for Microsoft, and customers of both - Windows Mobile and the Zune Pass (subscription service).

The only "downside" I see to this is the amount of time it would take to build and integrate everything together. Hopefully that's not what's causing the delays in getting the next version of Windows Mobile out

-Mel
(PM, Windows Mobile)
 
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