Expand album review in same window [SOLVED]

When you are viewing the artist/album info in the top half of the Roon screen, there is a small down arrow to expand and view all the text. When this is pressed, the text appears in a somewhat bland and ugly white box. I think it would be better if the text expanded in the existing space and on the same background, with the option to minimise it again.

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Or alternatively, for the ability to scroll through the text in the existing space.

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I agree with this one. The call out box for Artist Bio or Album Review is a bit un-Roon-like.

So there is already a “Tau of Roon” - that’s pretty good going for a system which has been above ground for less than a week.

I agree with the OP too.

We tried this a lot of different ways and could never make it look good or behave well. I’ll put it back on the list to investigate.

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Agree as well, the current implementation is ugly and it’d be so much nicer if the text simply expanded Into the existing screen rather than opening a larger window on top.

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Agree as well. This was one of the first things I didn’t care for and posted about elsewhere. I will start reading, click the blue arrow, a window pops up and I need to scan it to find where I left off. Would be nice to load all the info in the main window and make it scrollable or something other than white pop up box.

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I agree with the OP. The pop-up is ugly and doesn’t add to the Roon experience. A simple temporary workaround would be to make the display reflect the same font/background as the source text. There would be some continuity to the experience.

The white pop-up that appears after clicking the down arrow is hard to read, doesn’t look good (IMO), plus you lose your place. Would it be possible to make the first view full screen so you can scroll while keeping the fan art in the background?

Thanks.

The “More” window that opens when the button ‘More’ is clicked to get, well, more info about an album has a very jarring white background. Just from an aesthetic standpoint wouldn’t it be nicer to have either a contextual background (blurred close-up of a section of the original screen’s background, or some neutral color that contrasts well with print but also complements the other colors being displayed on the screen?

Just a minor request, but I think it would enhance the already excellent design of the UI.

Otherwise, I’m enjoying exploring Roon very much; I’ll enjoy it even more when Auralic Aries integration as an endpoint and iOS remote control becomes available.

Thanks,

Steve Z

Agreed! I find that I start reading, open up the rest, and have to find my place…

We agree this could be better, guys.

Finding your place again in the review/bio is definitely annoying – we’re working on it.

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Good to see you are working on it. Disagree that this is just a minor request, should be high on the list.

When the pop-up opens I search for my sunglasses. Seriously the pop-up is so jarring and hard to read you don’t need to find you spot, I generally just close it.

Thanks for looking into this, definitely a valuable area for improvement.

Just another thought as to how this might be implemented - scrolling up over the artist/album info causes the background image to become much more opaque and causes the text to scroll right up the main window. Either the background image becomes darker with lighter text, or vice versa. The user can pause their reading, scroll down and select a track to play, and then scroll up to the main window to resume reading. When the user visits a new screen (i.e. a new artist or album), then the reading view is “reset” back to how it was again.

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Yes, please! This would be the most intuitive and convenient way of reading it.

Actually, I think Roon has too many windows, panes and popups in general. A lot of the functionality could be smoother and better integrated and it would really improve the Roon experience.

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A long post – something I had been thinking about, and now several others raised the same issue.

First, let me state that Roon has an excellent user experience, both design and functionality. And so did Sooloos before it.

With the praise out of the way:

I have a strong aversion to modal dialog boxes, such as the one used for Credits and Review. They break the flow. They emphasize that this information is distinct in some way, not the same as the other information. Puts me in a different interaction mode, and requires that I get out of that mode when I want to do other stuff. And it leads to niggling inconsistencies and confusion: for example, I can scroll the main page with PageUp and PageDown, this works in the Credit box, but not in the album review box. Oversight, sure. But what if it wasn’t a separate thing? And if I am in credits and want to go Back on the underlying Album page, do I need to close Credits first? Sooloos was worse with a plethora of ways of closing the current context, on Control:15 and iPad. So specific technical issues, but mostly it is a philosophical complaint: it reflects a judgment by the software designers that Credits is different from Appearances, and I may disagree.

In addition, the forum has various suggestions for changes, such as removing the track listing on the artist page.

I think you can solve all of these by (a) inlining all the information in the main scrolling page, including review and credits, and (b) make segments collapsible. The Guardian uses this technique for sections on their web site, the New York Times uses it in their iPad app:

Note that the design has three-state logic: this shows the default look with the most interesting information, the user can hide the entire section (upper right) or expand it to see more (bottom). Hide is very useful for somebody who doesn’t care about the artist’s main tracks (for the chamber jazz artists on ECM, I never think about tracks). Expand is obviously useful – you have Expand for the review today, but it doesn’t expand, it pops up a dialog box.

In addition, you should make Hide sticky across all displays and across sections. So this becomes the way to accommodate the requests for changes like removing the Tracks listing: the user can just hide them and they stay hidden. This combines two fundamental principles of mine:

  1.   User interface state should be persisted, there should be no concept of a “session”, that is an implementation detail.
    
  2.   User interface configuration should be set where they are, instead of having a separate area for setting defaults in the Settings area. I don’t need to set whether I want tracks to be included on the Artist page, just remove them and they stay removed.
    

I think this would improve consistency and simplify navigation.

Should all modal dialog boxes go? No, they make sense for specific actions that in fact do break with the flow, like patching up album identification.

How much is sticky? And to what extent should state propagate across devices? I think the device I’m using is also an implementation detail, if I am using my tablet to play music and then I walk over to the 23 inch desktop for more powerful navigation, I think I should be in the same place. But not for a device that is playing on a different output device, maybe a different room. And some state is specific to the user profile. Etc. etc. you have to think it through. But the principle is a useful starting point.

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I’m working on persisted user interface state … hoping to get the start of it in the build in 2 weeks.

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@Danny Great. This could also solve a minor nit: when I get back to a tablet that has been sleeping, Roon comes up first in the right place, but then it has to reconnect and after that it jumps back to the initial overview page.

It does feel to me that the album review should be in place and scrolling.