Rhythmbox cannot be quickly opened from Indicator Applet

Bug #539426 reported by xrayA4T on 2010-03-16
This bug affects 24 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
indicator-application (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: indicator-applet

When Rhythmbox appeared in the Notification area and not the indicator applet you could toggle the visibility of Rhythmbox by clicking on the icon. In Lucid the icon is now in the indicator applet and to show Rhythmbox you need to click on the icon then select Show Rhythmbox.

Possible solutions are:
1. Double click icon to toggle Rhythmbox display
2. Make icon click toggle Rhythmbox display and right-click to bring up current click menu. This would require adding an icon like the line at the start of the notification area where you could right click on to bring up the applet menu (remove, move etc.)

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2010-03-16
affects: indicator-applet (Ubuntu) → indicator-application (Ubuntu)
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report, the purpose of the new design was to have all those icons looking and behaving in a consistent way, right click menus are not discoverable by users and having some icons reacting on left or right click confuse a lot of users. Could you explain your usecase? Do you need to open the UI often? What do you need there which is not in the menu directly?

summary: - [Lucid] Rhythmbox cannot be quickly opened from Indicator Applet
+ Rhythmbox cannot be quickly opened from Indicator Applet
Changed in indicator-application (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Incomplete
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

I have a question: Why would you like to access rhythmbox so quickly? you can change track, play/pause quit even see which track is currently being played from the rhythmbox indicator icon (very quickly). and also please I am not the developer so ignore me if you dont like the question.

Changed in indicator-application (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

only a 7sec difference ;)

Changed in indicator-application (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
xrayA4T (xraya4t) wrote :

It was really about reproducing the functionality that was available when Rhythmbox had the icon in the notification area rather than the indicator applet.

I keep rhythmbox running by closing rather than quitting. It then closes while the icon remains. I was just used to the notification area "standard" of toggling show/hide window by clicking on the icon (as in pidgin, lifera, alarm clock, and rhythmbox before)

Not knowing the reasoning behind moving things from the notification area to the indicator application, I just feel that the indicator application loses out by not having a right-click option. The notification area use cases seam to be click for a quick action (toggle view state, show available networks) and right-click to configure or change preferences. By having the icon to show the start of the notification area you can click on that to change the applet settings rather than right-clicking anywhere on the applet.

I think the indicator application could be better by having a click and a right click action. Possibly that could be a click and a double click action. It could even be that the quick action could be configurable, e.g. in Rhythmbox it might allow show/hide or play/pause, volume might be mute/unmute or simple volume change. There is also no tool tip on the indicator application (but that might be raised as a separate enhancement)

I agree with the need for consistency but visually the notification area and indicator application look the same so there is the possibility of confusion between the two as they currently behave differently.

What might be a compromise for me would be to alway show the icon in the indicator application like the envelop icon is always shown and then show rhythmbox would start it if it is not already running as clicking on Pidgin does under the envelop icon. If we are going for consistency I'd make it a media icon and allow each media play to have an individual sub-menu like we have for Evolution, Microblogging and pidgin in the envelop icon.

I am happy to live with the new change so if you want to mark this as won't fix or investigate as possible enhancement I am quite happy.

Edward (edward-coffey) wrote :

The other Rhythmbox functionality missing from the indicator icon is middle-click to pause/play. I suppose this is not "discoverable" either, but that doesn't seem like a good rationale for removing functionality. I'll have to take your word on the discoverability of right-click menus - as an experienced user right-click context-menus seem obvious, but I suppose there is quite a gulf in behaviour between experienced and inexperienced users.

In regards to the original bug, my use-case is this: Rhythmbox is on random-play, and track 6 of an album starts playing, I want to hear the whole album from the start; I need to switch off random-play and skip back 5 tracks. The only sane way to achieve this is with the full UI (otherwise it's 2 clicks for every track you want to skip). The same occurs at the end of the album when I want to go back to random play, or even just any time I'm not sure what I want to hear and I just need to skip through several random tracks before I settle on one.

If the suggestions in the comments for bug #519553 end up in production, I can't see any reason not to add extra functionality back in to the right-click menu, rather than force all users down to the lowest-common-discoverability.

David (david-viertl) wrote :

Actually the new indicator-application policy adds another regression while it's no more possible to scroll over the rhythmboxs' icon to change volume.

I use the UI for everything: look for a new album, new playlist, add songs to play queue, switch to radio station, check the next songs, show the nice album cover to a friend... hey that means everything except stop/next! that's a lot and it's what I'm expecting from a complete music player such as rhythmbox.

7 sec it's a lot compare to no delay at all and that's mean you have to go through the menu to find the "show rhythmbox" entry that's lost at the far bottom of it.

I definitely wonder if all these regressions worth the unification in applet notification behavior.

Otherwise lucid lynx rules thank to everybody that made it possible

flm (flmommens) wrote :

I completely agree with David. I switch back and forth between my music collection and radios a lot and the UI is needed for that.

Thanks for taking interest in Ubuntu. One of the design goals of the
Application Indicators is to make every item in the panel behave like a
menu. Changing this would violate that design. Sorry that isn't what
you'd prefer.

  status wontfix

Changed in indicator-application (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Won't Fix
menthurae (menthurae) wrote :

I also agree with David's comment - as I use Rhythmbox in the same way, needing two clicks to access the UI is annoying.

Jori Niemi (yfkar) wrote :

Totally agree with Edward and David. Left click for opening UI, middle click for Play/Pause, scroll wheel for volume, right click for menu were things that I used all the time with my music player. (Actually, getting the menu was the thing I used the least and now it's the only one that you can do). I don't understand how they are not discoverable and they're very useful and quite intuitive after you find them out. I've really missed that functionality when being on Windows XP and now suddenly Ubuntu does that worse than Windows did? In Windows XP, I can at least open Winamp with one click in the tray.

Talking about discoverability: I tried to remove the mail icon from the panel by right clicking on it and selecting "remove from panel". Afterwards I started wondering why I couldn't find my music player tray icon anywhere even though music was still playing. It took me a while to find that one out. Will the beginner user that just wanted to remove the mail icon find out that he just removed something called "Indicator Applet" and that's why his music player icon can't be found anywhere?

Otherwise, Lucid is great. (Which is why I care about this, I like using Ubuntu and this is something that affects me a dozen times a day.)

Jori Niemi (yfkar) wrote :

(Oops, looks like the middle part of my post would be better in #519553)

unggnu (unggnu) wrote :

This is really annoying. I don't have problems with the menu on left click but can't a double click show the Rhythmbox window like in the past. This shouldn't even break the guidelines I suppose.

Philipp Gassmann (phiphi.g) wrote :

I really miss the single "click" options on the tray icon (play/pause, hide/show, volume control)
I used to have a additional starter (rhythmbox-client --next) which starts the next track.

Now that the behaviour changed, you need at least two clicks for every action.

Is there a possibility/workaround to get the old behaviour? Is this a changed configuration, which I can revert or is this changed code in rhythmbox?

Ole Laursen (olau) wrote :

I'm also annoyed, although I guess one will get used to it after some time. Another regression is that you can't see whether it's playing or not, it was kind of neat.

JP Senior (jp-senior) wrote :

Agreed, also annoyed with the new indicator applet behavior especially considering rhythmbox is the only application on my desktop that makes use of it.

Opening the full UI is very annoying.

Please revert :)

Ole Laursen (olau) wrote :

I haven't gotten used to it yet, one click + mouse aim (which is harder because full UI is not the first) + click is just so incredibly irritating. Then hiding it again is also annoying because you have to use the cross, which is in the opposite corner. Argh.

Does anyone know whether there's some way to get the notification area icon back with some simple hackery? Seems this bug is preventing it:


The only alternative I can think of is not to hide it, instead stick it on an extra virtual desktop and always use the desktop switcher to get to it.

Ole Laursen (olau) wrote :

Also to understand why this is problem, not everyone's universe consists of songs that each lasts one track. When you play one album at a time, you have to bring up the full UI to select a new one. As you can imagine this happens once each hour.

paercebal (paercebal) wrote :

I just discovered the "indicator applet" because after weeks of annoying behaviour of Rythmbox, it became *seriously* annoying to fill a bug and read all the comments. I have no "indicator applet". Apparently, this is optional, and this is cool with me.

Still, until 5 minutes ago, I had in the notification area the icons of the apps currently executing, that is:

- Keyboard preferences
- Pidgin
- Tomboy
- Skype
- Network
- Rhythmbox

And guess what? All those icons open a context menu using the right-click... All but Rhythmbox for whatever usability reason (at first, I thought it was a bug that would be resolved a few days after upgrading to lucid).

I really do understand the reasons for usability changes, even if I disagree with this one... But then, someone decided putting windows buttons to the left would give Ubuntu a cooler look...

Still, I would have liked some way to revert to the original behaviour, because, when in the Notification Area, the Rhythmbox icon is not behaving like expected (isn't there some basic UI rule about behaving as expected ?)

For the Lucid left-handed-mac-like buttons, using a Vista theme on top of Emerald/Compiz corrected the mistake, so I as far as I am concerned, I'm happy with the Ubuntu UI team experimenting with alien looking usability gizmos.

But I've yet to find a way to revert the behavior for Rhythmbox...

But it doesn't end here...

I tried the Indicator Applet, which seemed promising, but all it seems to do is to have me use Evolution (I use Thunderbird, so it ends as another annoying window on my screen...), and kidnap the Rhythmbox and Sound icons from the notification area...

Annoyed by the fact I had now two zones where my active icons went, I just removed the Indicator Applet, and guess what ? The kidnapped icons didn't go back to notification area... And Rhythmbox was still playing without anyway for me to bring the app window back.

I am now trying to repair this, but I felt I had to share this moment of WTF with you... All this because of a uncustomizable forced usability feature (to be compared with Thunderbird's Migration Assistant to offer the choice between old and new features).

Believe it or not, I replaced my monitor yesterday, and spend the evening configuring both NVidia and XOrg, booting and rebooting just to have it play cool with Ubuntu on the new resolution.

And even with that, somehow, I feel more frustrated *now* with Rhythmbox...

Sense Egbert Hofstede (sense) wrote :

The problem you're experiencing with the icons not showing up in the system notification area is because indicator-application-service is not stopped when you remove the applet. The consequence of that is that the applications still think they're being shown as an Application Indicator.
As soon as the service dies the indicators will switch to fallback mode and should show up in the notification area.

Eddward (eddward) wrote :

I just updated to Lynx due to the update manager complaining about Koala repos disappearing. I too am extremely irritated by the decrease in usability in Rhythmbox. It's the first item on my list of post upgrade fixes that I have no way to fix. I'm afraid to do another Ubuntu upgrade. These pointless changes to remove useful features with no choice or backout plan are infuriating.

This regression is something I trust will not be fixed in Ubuntu unless enough upstreams fight back. Is this at least the sort of thing I could fix for myself if I learn to use launchpad and build a new version for myself or is there some more fundamental change in Lynx that would break me if I build Rhythmbox minus the patch to cripple the Rhymbox icon? By way of comparison, would it be more work than migrating Debian or going back to Gentoo? This is a serious question. I guess I could put up with learning launchpad to 'configure' my system if it's not oppressively difficult to discard the handful of obstructive patches that seem to come with each release.

Donjan Rodic (bryonak) wrote :

I agree with those who find the new status icon very annoying.
While the new behaviour may or may not (!) be intuitive for someone who has never used a computer before, the old approach is clearly more intelligible even to relative novices. Confirmed by my girlfriend, my sister and a bunch of friends ;)

Here's my fix for 64bit systems:

And here's HeWhoE's fix for 32bit systems:

Donjan Rodic (bryonak) wrote :

Maybe I should offer a rationale for wanting the old behaviour back:

All the icons in my gnome-panel behave like this: right click gives a context menu, left click pops up a window or at least some kind of dialogue.
I remember that when a new IM client was introduced (Empathy in 9.10 i think?), the single reason I switched back to Pidgin was that one couldn't easily fix the IMO broken status icon handling.

Last time I looked, KDE panel icons as well as XFCE panel icons behaved "correctly". When I happen to be on a Windows machine, the panel icons also give a context menu on right click and a popup on left click (and sometimes on double click). It can be considered standard behaviour.

IMO it's just intuitive once you've seen a few different UIs, and even more so if you come from only Windows, previous GNOME or KDE.
Fast left click to open the application is like left licking on the window list in the panel to bring something to the front. Crippling the latter functionality by introducing a context menu (on left click) would be very similar to what has been done to Rhythmbox' status icon.

patryk (pbratkowski) wrote :

Terrible design decision IMHO. There should be an easy way to revert to the classic and classy way it used to work.

patryk (pbratkowski) wrote :

An alternative solution I thought of...

I went to System / Preferences / Keyboard Shortcuts

I set: Sound / Launch Media Player to Ctrl+Alt+M

I can now open it with that shortcut... I can live with that :D

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