I don't get WMP

Maybe it's all of that Apple kool-aid that I drink, but I just don't get Windows Media Player. I don't understand the design. I don't understand where I need to click. I don't understand why it has so many different viewing modes. I don't understand why it can't handle it's own invisible border properly when you drag it around. I don't understand the handling of the timers.

I like to see the timer display time left on the track. Most players represent that with a negative sign. -00:09 tells you that the track will be up in 9 seconds. Windows Media Player doesn't use the negative. The difference between counting up and counting down is...well there is no difference. You have to watch the counter long enough to figure out which way it is counting to know what mode you last left it in. Maybe not a problem to you, but I don't use it alot, and it's a problem to me.

While I'm clicking around trying to figure out the counters, I see something quite odd. The timer disappears and relocates to the title-bar, well the fake title-bar anyway. They show the time in a completely different way up there. More choices have to be better, right?

To recap, WMP starts by counting down. Click it and it will count up. Click it again and it will jump to the fake title-bar and count up. It seems you can't get it to count down in the fake title-bar. Less choices have to be better, right?

The real craziness is the poor little shuffle icon that gets sucked up in the mess. When the counters are down low, you get an icon to control the shuffle modes. When the counter jumps up top, the shuffle mode icon goes on break! It doesn't jump to the top. It just diappears completely! Now you have a blank area that could still have the icon, but it doesn't. No choice has to be better, right? (yes, you can still get to it in the menu...if you can figure out how to pop a menu)

Finally, just to make you slap your head one more time...if you "Show Menu Bar", you'll get a real title-bar. If you go do your click dance on the counters now, the counter and shuffle icon will disappear completely. It doesn't pop to the title-bar. It disappears and you can't get it back until you switch to fake title-bar mode and click. I seriously can not find a menu or right click way to get it back. You have to switch modes and click.

Can anyone justify this behavior? What use case am I missing?

No comments: