UI interaction model: playlist vs. album

How about making playlist and album playback consistent?

With playlists:

  1. Click on song
  2. Shadow-boxed Play Now, et al. screen
  3. Click/tap on Play Now plays from that point, onward.

With albums:

  1. Click on song
  2. Shadow-boxed Play Now, et al. screen
  3. Click/tap on Play Now plays ONLY the clicked/tapped tracks.

One of many UI inconsistencies that drive me crazy, but at least the playlist model is closer to the interaction model for most media players.

Please make the album model follow suit.

EDIT: and, yes, I know I can click/tap-and-hold in albums to bring up additional selections, like Play From Here. Of course, the playlist version doesn’t do this (rightly so).

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The shadow-boxed screen is called a pawmasher. I agree that it would make more sense to have Play From Here in the pawmasher when an album track is clicked.

Would it be too many options for the pawmasher to show:
Play Now,
Play From Here Now,
Add Next,
Add From Here Next,
Add to Queue,
Add From Here to Queue,
Start Radio ?

If that is too many options, then perhaps the user could configure a default in Settings. At the moment, however, Play From Here is in an unintuitive place.


Interesting… pawmasher. That’s a new UI term for me (I do this for a living, but I guess I need to get out more).

I’m not sure what to suggest as the answer, other than to make the album model match the playlist model. I am not fan of the whole “queue” paradigm that seems to have taken over in some newer media players. IMO the end result is a lot of tapping to do simple things.

You have the ‘+’ buttons on the right-hand side of the track listings, which could be used to add to queue or playlist; a similar ‘+’ at the header could add the whole album and could sit next to the “Play suggested tracks…” tap region (I like that feature, BTW).

I just know this: there are too many taps required to basically play music and the inconsistencies present on different screens make the learning and recall curves steep. No one in my house likes using Roon, except for myself.

There are other examples: such as how one goes back from screen like the playback queue and full-screen album display. Sometimes going back is tapping something in the upper-right corner, sometimes it’s in the upper-left corner and sometimes its tapping on a button or link.

The flow doesn’t feel thought through, in some cases - especially the basic use cases, like play an album from this point forward. Think about how a CD player works: you press play or you press FF/RW or you press a number button on the remote for that track. In all cases, playback continues on from that point.

You guys are going great things and you’ll figure it out, but I recommend revisiting the basic use cases and examining the application flow.

Linking some threads where Playback UI has been discussed:

@andybob … as you mention in another thread, I realize the development team has no plans to change the playback model.

Fair enough.

Here’s a compromise suggestion: add a toggle to the queue to enable/disable “consumption” of played tracks. In other words, tracks or albums queue-up as they do today, and your model works unchanged, but the user can open the queue and turn-off the default behavior of consuming tracks (or removing them) as they are played.

Finally, with that in place, allow the user to tap/click freely within the queue and start playback from that point, onwards (i.e. NO pawmasher appears, but playback changes to that point without prompting - since it’s easy to tap a different track, there’s no need to guard against an errant tap, which is part of the reasoning behind the pawmasher, I am guessing).

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It’s not safe to translate “Andybob hasn’t heard of it” into “there are no plans”. I’m just a user (volunteer forum mod) and by no means privy to all the plans of the devs. They often surprise me with little fixes that have bubbled away on the backburner and then pop up.

Regarding the Queue and consumption of played tracks, have you seen Settings/History ? You can right click and select or shift right click and group select and add previously played tracks to the queue or a playlist using the + buttons (top for group, side for track). I appreciate you are talking about UI rather than functionality, but just wanted to be sure you’d seen that functionality.

I wasn’t aware of that and I will check that out. Thanks.

To be clear, here is my most common playback use case:

  1. Load an album or two into a queue

  2. Start tapping… maybe listen to track #3 of one album, then track #7 of another album, and, very often, re-listen to track #6 twice in a row, because I like that one and no one’s around to complain.

  3. Then, because track #6 reminds of something else, append another album into the queue and listen to that one a couple of time.

Try doing that with Roon as it exists today. You better be quick on the RW button, because if you are too slow, it vanishes from the queue. And, yes, you can hit the RW button a couple of times, but there is a lag between tap and play and it’s easy to miss your track.

This is not the same as creating a playlist, where you know what you want before listening to anything.

I just want to jump around… easily… in a quickly defined collection (albums, maybe within a genre, maybe within an artist). Not to point out the obvious, but iTunes Remote (on iPad, for example) works extremely well within this use case.


Not quite what you want but if you enable the Queue Loop then played tracks and not removed, they just go to the end of the queue.

I will try that… thanks for the tip.