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 Post subject: Interface, and null soundcard
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:42 pm
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I bought MuvAudio a few days ago and I have to say that feature-wise it is very good. I found the sound quality excellent and the recording fast enough for my purposes. All in all it's much better than it's more well-known competitor (I'm sure you know which one).

I have to say however that while the functionality is excellent the user interface could be a lot better. I found it very confusing at first (I'm a programmer so I'm definitely not of the novice type). Thankfully the manual is very good as the interface layout makes no sense at all. For one thing the main screen is shared with the recording screen. That doesn't make sense at all as these two screens have two totally different purposes and the only UI element they share is the playlist. I was wondering what the purpose of the player was when I loaded the program for the first time. The load playlist function is equally confusing. It was not obvious that I had to click audio or video to load my current WMP playlist. Then when I attempted to load a whole folder of songs it told me it couldn't process that many files at the same time.

Also, why is the 'Start recording' button in the middle of the screen and doesn't say 'Start?' (Automatic seems like a pretty obscure way to name a start button). Also 'Enable dedicated mode' doesn't enable it, it starts it. While waiting for the MuvAudio console was loading up, I was wondering what the heck was happening. Couldn't there be a loading screen? And again, the console has the right idea with show/hide details, but the screen it pops up doesn't show a lot of information relevant to the actual recording, just the playlist, the WMP instance and left/right sliders, so why is everything else there?

I think a better interface would be a 'screens' approach with the first one settings, including the recording speed setting, and the move files after encoding setting, then either 'Start dedicated mode' or 'Start playlist mode'. Then if you select the playlist mode, you would be shown the interface to make your playlist selection. If dedicated is selected, you would be shown just a field to select which folder to watch. Then a progress screen with the five recording stations and if you click you see the details. Importantly, this would be in one window, with one screen shown at a time. I would also suggest to unskin your app, don't attempt to skin an app if you are not a designer, it's just going to end up looking like 'programmer art'.

It would be nice if the recording progress indicators would start at 1% so the user would know recording as started vs. WMP loading.

Also, I had issues with the program not being able to load when was using my soundcard (Winamp on pause), why not offer an option to run the program without a sound card? A lot of people couldn't care less if they can't listen to the recording process.


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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 9:24 am
Posts: 1108
Thanks for the suggestions.

Can you explain what you are referring to when you said:

Quote:
Also, I had issues with the program not being able to load when was using my soundcard (Winamp on pause), why not offer an option to run the program without a sound card? A lot of people couldn't care less if they can't listen to the recording process.
?

We will definitely look into your suggestions and possibly incorporate some of them as we are always looking to make MuvAudio easier to use.

Thanks again,

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John
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