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Full Version: Change library screen - lengthen and sort?
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tl.dr. below
I'm not sure how many others suffer (enjoy?) my level of Control Fetish...  Big Grin but I do not allow MS to control my filing system.  Rather I manage the directory structure myself in a way that makes sense to me, YMMV.

Anyway, I am currently running 9 different libraries, because I play in way too many different bands...  At least being out playing so often keeps me out of trouble with "she who must be obeyed"  Angel Tongue

There will almost certainly be more libraries as time progresses.

There is, for all intents and purposes, no crossover between the charts used other than the occasional duplicated title so the directory structure top level is by band, with the exception of the default library which is unused, and the fakebook library.  Below said top level directories are a variety of subdirectories, usually listed by which instrument and part I'm playing:  Tuba, Trom1, Trom2, Trom3, BassTrom, Eupho, etc. etc. ad nauseum, ad absurdu

One of these libraries contains fakebooks, imported via .csv files (this one may end up being combined into one of the other libraries at some point).  The rest are combinations of music books and/or individual songs.

With so many libraries the "Switch Library" page needs to be scrolled to see the bottom ones...  At first this tricked me because there is no indication that the list extends below an undefined lower limit on the screen and I couldn't find my then latest library.  There is also no scroll bar visible, or at least until I scroll the list, then one appears momentarily.

I do not know if this is specific to e-ink devices or a general issue.

OK, getting to the point.

tl.dr.
I'd like to see:
  1. The list of available libraries sorted in the "Switch Library" screen, preferably with a choice for either an automatic, alphabetical sort or a manual sort.  If an optional sort criteria is not reasonable then I would find either acceptable, though the manual sort might be a little more useful.
  2. The available screen real estate for the library list extended downward (I can only see 7 entries at a time at present).
  3. An obvious scrolling indication (scroll bar?) that is always visible on this page when the list exceeds the window size.  I realise this would be different to other locations that need to scroll so maybe it is contrary to Mike's overall design philosophy - now I know it scrolls I can live with it.
  4. Quicker access to the "Switch Library" screen.  Perhaps under the overflow menu on the normal library page.  (I understand Mike has something already in the pipeline for this so I've only included it for completeness).

In reality, none of these have any actual urgency in my mind, but they would be nice, incremental improvements.
Most of the features that Lawrie requests here are not relevant for me as I organize multiple bands and line-ups with collections instead of libraries.
Nevertheless I use (only a few) multiple collections libraries and would appreciate an easier way to switch between them.
What I miss the most regarding collections libraries is a possibility to show on the main screen which collection library is currently used.
Hi Lawrie, itsme, Mike,

I agree with itsme that the features Lawrie requests seem irrelevant at least for me (and everyone that doesn't use multiple libraries, which I expect are most of the users). I would even go as far as to ask you, Mike, to not include the "Switch library" screen in the overflow menu, because I would not want to clutter up the screen with very special options that only few people use. I think it's ok that those people have some more clicks to change their libraries because if you would want to have everything available quickly you can always organize your sheets in Collections as opposed to libraries. Sorry Lawrie for saying this, but that's my opinion on it. Also making it easier to switch libraries might confuse users that are not very experienced with the app and could accidentally change the library and think they lost all their sheets.

@itsme: I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Because as long as you're in the library window, the name of the collection is at the top. You would probably want to have an indicator of the collection you are currently viewing when you opened the songs, right? I believe you can configure the title bar to show a subtitle and that could include the name of the collection the song is a part of. It's under "Anzeige-Einstellungen" (Display settings?). I think the easiest way to switch between collections is the little library window. You can show all your collections in there and quickly switch.
Hi MB,
umm, you can't accidentally change to a different library if you haven't already created it, and to create one takes a deliberate effort...  I think that part of your argument just doesn't hold water.
Also, a single extra line in the overflow menu doesn't really create clutter IMHO

I appreciate that you and I seem to operate differently.  That's fine, but please don't try to limit the functionality that helps me immensely just because you see no value in it for your own needs.

And FWIW I am a new user...  Just about a month now.   I play transposing instruments in Bb and Eb as well as concert pitch in treble and bass clef.  Often in the same band, and even at the same gig, depending on the day and the need.

I'm not going to go into too many details, but having to depend solely on collections is simply not granular enough for my approach to managing things.  It would result me me needing at least 50 collections as things currently stand, and I can envision needing at least a few 100's in the near future if everything was in a single library.  The simple expedient of a library per band makes this far more manageable, keeping me with only a few collections per library.

To give a physical analogy, I prefer to use filing cabinets with multiple drawers, not try to cram everything into a single drawer...
(12-01-2023, 09:25 PM)MB10 Wrote: [ -> ]Hi Lawrie, itsme, Mike,

I agree with itsme that the features Lawrie requests seem irrelevant at least for me (and everyone that doesn't use multiple libraries, which I expect are most of the users). I would even go as far as to ask you, Mike, to not include the "Switch library" screen in the overflow menu, because I would not want to clutter up the screen with very special options that only few people use. I think it's ok that those people have some more clicks to change their libraries because if you would want to have everything available quickly you can always organize your sheets in Collections as opposed to libraries. Sorry Lawrie for saying this, but that's my opinion on it. Also making it easier to switch libraries might confuse users that are not very experienced with the app and could accidentally change the library and think they lost all their sheets.

@itsme: I'm not sure what you mean exactly. Because as long as you're in the library window, the name of the collection is at the top. You would probably want to have an indicator of the collection you are currently viewing when you opened the songs, right? I believe you can configure the title bar to show a subtitle and that could include the name of the collection the song is a part of. It's under "Anzeige-Einstellungen" (Display settings?). I think the easiest way to switch between collections is the little library window. You can show all your collections in there and quickly switch.

Sorry, in my previous post was a typo so that it didn't make sense any more: I was confused and wrote "collection" where I meant "library", see above.
"Collections" is definitely a property per song and I understand completely how to deal with it in the display settings.
(12-01-2023, 10:20 PM)Lawrie Wrote: [ -> ]Hi MB,
umm, you can't accidentally change to a different library if you haven't already created it, and to create one takes a deliberate effort...  I think that part of your argument just doesn't hold water.
Also, a single extra line in the overflow menu doesn't really create clutter IMHO

I appreciate that you and I seem to operate differently.  That's fine, but please don't try to limit the functionality that helps me immensely just because you see no value in it for your own needs.

And FWIW I am a new user...  Just about a month now.   I play transposing instruments in Bb and Eb as well as concert pitch in treble and bass clef.  Often in the same band, and even at the same gig, depending on the day and the need.

I'm not going to go into too many details, but having to depend solely on collections is simply not granular enough for my approach to managing things.  It would result me me needing at least 50 collections as things currently stand, and I can envision needing at least a few 100's in the near future if everything was in a single library.  The simple expedient of a library per band makes this far more manageable, keeping me with only a few collections per library.

To give a physical analogy, I prefer to use filing cabinets with multiple drawers, not try to cram everything into a single drawer...
MobileSheets has many many thousand users for about ten years and many of them plays various instruments in different bands, so you're not alone. Maybe you take a look how others can do what they need with the existing features before requesting that MobileSheets adapts to what you think is fine for you.
Your approach with different libraries per band only makes sense if the repertoire of each band is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. As soon as there are songs you play in several bands I recommend keeping your sheets in a single library. MobileSheets offers more than collections and setlists to organize your library. You could e.g. use "Source Type" for C version / Bb version / Eb version / Bass Clef, "Albums" for books and "Custom Group" for the instrument. You can filter for combinations of song properties that can be stored and recalled as "user defined filters". Believe me, switching collections and filters is faster and more convenient than dealing with many libraries.
Hi Lawrie,

I do respect that you have a different approach to setting up MobileSheets. While I am more on the side of some of the suggestions itsme just gave, I totally understand that you made a different decision for yourself and are now in the process of trying to adjust everything to your needs. But as the menus and UIs of MobileSheets are the same for every user, I just gave my differing opinion on a feature request. I think that is the way a forum like this should work. It is Mike's job/responsibility to weigh these different opinions and decide how to develop the app in the future.

And I do stand by my opinions and would also appreciate if you respected that vice versa. I think the place to change the library is right where it is. I do see the space in the existing menus as precious and think changing them always brings some confusion to people who are used to the place where things are. I mind a "clutter" in menus more than "clutter" in the library list because in the latter case filtering, letter shortcuts and the "recent" tab give convenient options to stay oriented. And I believe that putting the options to change the library in a prominent place will lead to users perhaps creating a new one and then not knowing what they really did. This often pops up all over the forum with options that are new or previously unknown to the users.

That said, I'm always interested in the way this wonderful app is developed in the future and looking forward to seeing which way Mike goes in the end.
Quote:I'm not sure how many others suffer (enjoy?) my level of Control Fetish...  [Image: biggrin.gif] but I do not allow MS to control my filing system.  Rather I manage the directory structure myself in a way that makes sense to me, YMMV.

Ha, that's me too. Though I manage my different bands with collections, too.

If I recall correctly Mike is going to change the quick menu box to be more configurable. Maybe it's middle ground if switch library is a command that can be placed there. 

Regarding switching libraries I'm interested in it for other another reason that is space. My main library with files is very big (> 50k, backup > 25 GB) so I can't use that on my older iPad with only 16 GB space.

So I need a smaller library which is a partial of my main one. For this reason  I'd like a more convenient method to directly copy (or even sync) between libraries (without copying files since they use the same file sources).
I think a reasonable compromise is that I only display the "Switch Library" option in the overflow menu if more than one library has been created in the settings, otherwise it will be hidden as there is no other library to switch to. I would say the same would be true for the "Current Library" identifier/label (still not sure where to put this yet) - it doesn't really need to be shown unless there are multiple libraries in use.

Mike
Sounds good to me!
Showing "Switch Library" UI extensions only in case if more than one exist is a great, pragmatic and absolutely logical way to handle that. Great.
We discussed the question where to show the library name already without finding a good solution yet. 
For the Win10 version the title bar of the MobileSheets program window might be reasonable as it is the case in Notepad++ or in MuseScore3
[attachment=2530][attachment=2531]
For the Android and iPad version I still have no idea
Hm, I don't think we necessarily need the library name shown in all screens. I think it's needed in the screens where you choose the songs (and where you start up MS), so the screens with the songs, recent, collection tabs etc. And there's quite some space left in the black area at the top between the rating and the save icon.
(12-01-2023, 11:45 PM)itsme Wrote: [ -> ]<snip>
Your approach with different libraries per band only makes sense if the repertoire of each band is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. As soon as there are songs you play in several bands I recommend keeping your sheets in a single library. 
<snip>
You could e.g. use "Source Type" for C version / Bb version / Eb version / Bass Clef, "Albums" for books and "Custom Group" for the instrument. You can filter for combinations of song properties that can be stored and recalled as "user defined filters". Believe me, switching collections and filters is faster and more convenient than dealing with many libraries.
<snip>

Hi itsme,
in effect, this is actually the case.  Just because a song name may be the same has zero bearing on whether the chart is the same.
E.G. a lead sheet for "Satin Doll" is only suitable for the small jazz ensemble I play Trom in, but one of the concert bands I play Tuba in uses a part written to about grade 3 in a different key, and another concert band I play Trom in uses a grade 5 part in probably yet another key, while one of the brass bands I play Tuba , or sometimes Trom in, is a transposing part at yet another grade, but the other brass band I play in wouldn't play Satin Doll at all.  Then there's the different big bands playing different levels , and different arrangements, and I play different chairs depending on circumstance.

Adding parameters like "Source Type" etc. that you mention are all, of course, useful and possible.  However they all require considerably more editing of every song than to simply have songs/charts stored in different directories per band, with different subdirectories per instrument/chair and using different libraries per band with different collections per instrument/chair.

Switching libraries often will only happen when I'm doing chart maintenance/installation at home, NEVER at a gig, unless, like today, I'm playing in 2 different bands at the same venue.

I happily concede that my approach may not appeal to others, but to me it is the most logical method of reducing the labour required to manage things.  Absolute minimum editing of song entries is one of my goals.  I am extremely grateful such facilities already exist in MS.  The ability to have multiple libraries ended up, in fact, being one of the deciding factors in my choice of software.

I also don't think I've asked for major changes.  Most of them relate to the already existing "Switch Library" page, which would never be seen by those that don't want to use multiple libraries.  None of them are critical to my use, but they are refinements to already existing features.

The only one that would be more visible, and which others might not commonly use, is quicker access to said "Switch Library" page.  Whether Mike chooses the overflow menu from the normal main page (I believe this is called the library page) or not is completely up to him.  I only suggested that location as it seemed most logical to me.  It wouldn't be seen unless one entered the overflow menu and it would be a single line entry in an already fairly limited list.

I also note that Mike has suggested having the entry appear conditionally on whether there are multiple libraries or not.  I'm perfectly fine with this, but it requires extra coding that otherwise wouldn't be necessary.

I don't see that I'm trying to get the wheel reinvented here, just improving what already exists.
(12-01-2023, 11:51 PM)MB10 Wrote: [ -> ]<snip>
And I do stand by my opinions and would also appreciate if you respected that vice versa.
<snip>
Hi MB,
no disrespect was intended.  I'm sorry you felt there was.
(12-02-2023, 04:28 AM)Zubersoft Wrote: [ -> ]I think a reasonable compromise is that I only display the "Switch Library" option in the overflow menu if more than one library has been created in the settings, otherwise it will be hidden as there is no other library to switch to. I would say the same would be true for the "Current Library" identifier/label (still not sure where to put this yet) - it doesn't really need to be shown unless there are multiple libraries in use.

Mike

Works for me.  Thank you.

I'm also not sure where a "Current Library" identifier might go...

Perhaps where the setlist/collection identifier appears, you could alter the function of a press on the identifier to (momentarily?) show the current library rather than offer to edit the name.  OR, if the edit functionality is considered important enough, perhaps converting it to a long press to edit and a short press to show the library? <edit> or vice-versa?
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