Spotlight on a Banshee Feature

Tonight I popped a new CD into Banshee, hoping it would fetch the metadata from MusicBrainz. Unfortunately, there’s no entry for this album yet in MusicBrainz, so I was left with a track listing of “Unknown.” I was a little put off by the prospect of having to manually enter the metadata myself, but set to it anyway. Once the editor was open however, I was reminded again of why I spent so much time designing this dialog. There are still some minor things I’d like to improve, but for the most part I think it’s one of my favorite features, though it is somewhat of a shame when it becomes necessary to use.

Album Metadata Editing in Banshee
Watch the screencast! (Ogg/Theora video, 7.4MB)

Why is editing an album by hand so fast?

  • Enter the common information first
  • Synchronize the common fields across all the tracks
  • Enter the track names without having to use the mouse, click any buttons, lose focus, clear a field, etc. Enter the track name, press enter to move on to the next track and begin typing.
  • Save the edit

Also, I recently added undo support for each text entry field. If you make a mistake, just undo it. Key bindings are like they are everywhere – CTRL+Z for undo, CTRL+Y or CTRL+SHIFT+Z for redo.

So what’s missing? Just some obvious things:

  • Album art support – this actually mostly done in code, and has been for a long time. If someone wants to complete it, they have some free beers coming. I’m not entirely sure what’s missing, but I think it’s mostly UI related.
  • Submit to MusicBrainz – this would be slick. More beer for patch!

For anyone itching to know when the new model/view stuff is coming, I should point out that I have been taking a 2 week break to work on a couple of minor features/fixes releases. I will resume my work on the new stuff I wrote about a month ago in the coming week or so. Stay tuned.

Also, because I started merging the new work into trunk, I have been doing 0.13.x work on a totally non-obvious “branch” (that for some reason ended up under /tags, but I don’t feel concerned enough to move it). If trunk has seemed quiet lately, it’s because it has been! I would strongly recommend anyone who usually follows trunk to update their checkout to /banshee/tags/banshee/banshee-pre-ng-merge. Once I get back into working on trunk it will be messy and broken for a while. You have been warned! (But good times are ahead – and sooner than can be imagined!)