All registered music players show widgets

Bug #1213907 reported by Matthew Gregg on 2013-08-19
This bug affects 18 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
indicator-sound (Ubuntu)
Xavi Garcia

Bug Description

Using a current 13.10. Without using any media players recently most/all that I have installed are showing control widgets in the sound menu.

<>: "The menu should always show exactly only one set of playback controls, for the player that was playing most recently."

<>: "The playback item should be present only for the most recently playing player, and only if it can be controlled externally (CanControl)."

Related branches

Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :
Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Is this bug about having the players in the menu at all, or about that each player item is showing playback widgets?

If it is the latter, I agree that this is a bit weird, but it is in accordance with the current sound menu spec: "The playback item should be present if the player can be controlled externally (CanControl)." [1]


Changed in indicator-sound:
status: New → Incomplete
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

All of them, all the time. Is my screen-shot the correct behavior on 13.10? If so, that is horrible.

Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Yes, this is the currently-designed behavior. Assigning to Matthew, maybe he wants to revise the spec after seeing that screen shot ;)

Changed in indicator-sound:
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

The spec on the wiki says, "The menu should always show exactly only one set of playback controls. Whenever audio is playing, the controls should be for that player, and the Previous/Next buttons may or may not be present. Whenever audio is not playing, the controls should invoke the default Music player. ". That is not what I am seeing, so the spec may be correct, but the menu is not following it.

Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Matthew, that's in the section for the phone's sound indicator.

Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

Ugh.. You are correct. I was skimming the page too fast and thought that was for desktop since it was the pre 13.10 behavior. The old behavior can be seen in this image( The active/recent player showing controls, other installed players only listed by icon/name. The new sound menu is confusing and hard to use.

Please consider reverting this change.

Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) on 2013-09-02
tags: added: regression-release saucy
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

Well we hit Final Beta and this is still in place. Disappointing.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Matthew, thanks for reporting the bug. But while annoying, this is a *relatively* minor issue (because relatively few people will install more than a couple of music players), and there are many fewer designers and bug fixers than reporters. If you are, or anyone you know is, interested in joining the ranks of bug fixers, <> and <> would be good places to start.

Before 13.10, the sound menu showed playback controls for a compliant app if it was the default player *or* if it was running. This was bad because it required you to care about whether an app was running.

In 13.10, the menu shows playback controls for any compliant app, regardless of whether it is default or running. This has turned out to be excessive.

What we could do is show playback controls for an app if it is playing right now, or if it is one of the N most recently playing apps. On the PC, N might be 2 or 3.

That would also harmonize the behavior with the sound menu on Touch: there, N would be 1. And it would be a slight improvement on the current design: if you only ever used a non-default player, the menu wouldn't keep reverting to showing controls for the default player when your usual player exited.

Changed in indicator-sound:
status: Triaged → In Progress
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

Thank you for at least considering a change to the new default and your proposal seems better than what we have now. I think most users will at least have 3 players/controls, almost out of the box: Rhythmbox, UbuntuOne Music and YouTube. Even that I would consider too many to show, all of them, all the time.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :
Changed in indicator-sound:
assignee: Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) → nobody
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: In Progress → Triaged
description: updated
Lars Karlitski (larsu) wrote :

Thanks for updating the spec. I'll have a look at that early next cycle (it's much too late for a change like this now).

Changed in indicator-sound:
assignee: nobody → Lars Uebernickel (larsu)
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

I had hoped this would get some attention for 14.04, guess not?

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

@Matthew: while that bug would be nice to fix, it's a low importance one at the moment, not so many users run so many players and end up in that situation. It's also only a cosmetic issue and easy to workaround by changing your configuration.
(note that it doesn't mean it's not going to be fixed for the LTS, just explaining why it's not on top of the list)

Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

@seb128 Sure, I understand priorities, but I think you are wrong about "not many users running many players", perhaps you have stats on this? Like I commented earlier, almost out of the box everyone is going to have 3 widgets, which is too many. Seems like the sound menu is trying to be a launcher instead of a music control widget. We have the dash for that.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

> but I think you are wrong about "not many users running many players", perhaps you have stats on this?

no, but that fact has a count of 10 users who clicked being affected by it, which is a low number for launchpad reports.

Speaking for myself, but on that machine installed for 4 years I've only totem and rhythmbox in that menu, and I find it a pretty reasonable list/UI to use... which one is the third one that you expect most users to get?

Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

Any of the unity-webapps that integrate with the sound menu. UbuntuOne Music, Youtube, Pandora, Groovshark,etc...

Ted Gould (ted) on 2014-11-10
Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Lars Uebernickel (larsu)
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Triaged
Sneetsher (sneetsher) wrote :

@Lars or anyone going to fix this,

 Could you please make a look on this fix

That hides controls from inactive players keeping only their launcher. Which I believe is the best approach than lowering player number in the list only if you give the user a setting to control that.

Myself, I'm used to work with 3 players.

Can the fix @Sneetsher mentioned be merged. With this fix it works as proposed here:

Xavi Garcia (xavi-garcia-mena) wrote :

That change proposed does not work as expected, as it removes the entire player section, including its name, not only the player controls.

I would need a confirmation from design that this is the expected behavior for Xenial. If so, the change would be similar to just hide the player controls, not the whole player section.

For me (Ubuntu 15.10) the change proposed does only removes player controls (see screenshot).I guess this is exactly as proposed here:

Xavi Garcia (xavi-garcia-mena) wrote :

I've tested the change with current trunk, and as commented, it hides the whole section. (several changes landed in the past 2 or 3 weeks)
I'm already working on a branch that only hides the player controls.

no longer affects: indicator-sound
Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
assignee: Lars Uebernickel (larsu) → Xavi Garcia (xavi-garcia-mena)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package indicator-sound - 12.10.2+16.04.20160210-0ubuntu1

indicator-sound (12.10.2+16.04.20160210-0ubuntu1) xenial; urgency=medium

  [ Xavi Garcia Mena ]
  * This branch modifies the sound indicator on the desktop to only show
    the playback controls for those players that are active or (if any
    is running) the last one being active. (LP: #1213907)

 -- Xavi Garcia <email address hidden> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:22:08 +0000

Changed in indicator-sound (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
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