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Standardize library links across all client apps


tomnjerry74
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tomnjerry74

EDIT
To clear things up: The title of my post is the feature request itself, while the bulleted content is one proposed solution that I’ve come up with to achieve it. It doesn’t have to be “solved” that way. Seeing as how many Emby users value customization, a different proposition could be the following.

  • Allow users to chose navigation styles on all clients by giving the option to utilize a navigation drawer (like the web app already has).

The point of this request is to accomplish exactly what the title says because, at the moment, different clients offer exclusive, different options that can lead to discrepancies described later in the thread.

END OF EDIT
—————————————————————

In order to streamline, modernize, and overall enhance library navigation through all of the clients, I propose the following changes:

  • Completely remove the "My Media" and "My Media (small)" options from the Home Screen personalization.
  • Utilize the navigation drawer approach (as seen in the web app) to display all of the library links.

Examples of apps and services that utilize this approach on TV clients:

image.png.f9fffd2496c7de8ceccf11fa50e94510.png

image.png.1c254c2c6f5d18798025072a27df0a71.png

Plex's latest funding will boost its own streaming catalog while supporting  others | Engadget

Download YouTube for Android TV 2.13.08 for Android

 

All of these services offer an easy-to-use navigation menu for library links on the left-hand side of the screen.

On the contrary, Emby's Android TV, Roku, etc apps lack this menu and rely exclusively on the users having "My Media" somewhere on their customized homescreen. 

 

As for mobile devices:

In the Emby iOS app, there are multiple ways of getting to the same "Settings" menu; selecting the icon in the bottom-right or the profile picture in the top-right. As both of these icons are always on the screen at the same time, one of them is undeniably wasted space.

Changing the bottom-right "Settings" icon to "Libraries" would replace the no-longer present "My Media" sections. This icon would slide up a small submenu of all libraries, or even a full-page list that blurs the background.

Quick mockup:

1.thumb.png.cce4ed100c7fd1cecee5ce19bb86ee0f.png     2.thumb.png.75ea35c448c5840ea4232deb6aad770a.png 

 

While customization - including the Home Screen section settings - is usually welcomed and praised, streamlining this particular aspect of the server across all clients should prove to be cleaner and more intuitive.

Edited by tomnjerry74
Added clarification
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Just FYI - your last example is not doing what you are requesting.  That is actually a very old version of our app.

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tomnjerry74
Just now, ebr said:

Just JYI - your last example is not doing what you are requesting.  That is actually a very old version of our app.

Are you referring to the iOS Settings and Profile picture icons?. Yes, this is the behavior on the latest iOS 2.0.8. Unless I'm out of date, but the app store shows no updates.

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mbarylski

@tomnjerry74 Completely agree. I've proposed this before, but it didn't get any traction. I don't know why we can't use the left navigation method when so many other services use it. I believe last time I suggested it, users didn't like it because it was like Plex. 

As for the mobile settings, I believe @Luke didn't want to do this because he didn't think users would know that they could get to settings through the user profile icon.

One other change to make on mobile is to get rid of downloads on the main page. It's already on the bottom, it's not needed on the home page too. It's a waste of space.

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3 minutes ago, tomnjerry74 said:

Are you referring to the iOS Settings and Profile picture icons?

No, I'm referring to your last example of apps using the method you are requesting.  That one is not.

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DJkhaled

OMG no way, please never change emby like that, the "my media" is perfect the way it is. Why do people want emby to look like other apps so badly, the side bar on the left is a horrible horrible idea. 

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tomnjerry74
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DJkhaled said:

OMG no way, please never change emby like that, the "my media" is perfect the way it is. Why do people want emby to look like other apps so badly, the side bar on the left is a horrible horrible idea. 

It's hardly about "looking" like other apps. There's a reason developers from some of the biggest companies in the world all opt for the same type of uniform navigation. Even if you were to provide a valid argument as to how it is a "horrible horrible idea" on its own, the very fact that it's what consumers are vastly used to holds some positive value.

Not to mention, Emby literally already has this in the web client. The point in removing the "My Media" and streamlining hardcoded, persistent library links - like I've proposed - is to make the interface cleaner and more direct across all clients.

Having the ability to remove/edit home screen sections such as "Up Next" and even "Continue Watching" can't really impact the necessary functions of the server. On the other hand, links to the libraries themselves are irrefutably so important that they deserve an immovable space.

Currently, if a user wants to utilize various clients across different devices, they are forced to accept wasted space if they are to have access to their libraries. More specifically - say I want a clean and intuitive web-app home screen. Well, seeing as there is a handy sidebar with links to all of my libraries, keeping the "My Media" section only enables unnecessary clutter. Hence, the logical thing to do would be to disable "My Media" entirely. Next time I pull up Emby on the big screen, the problem created by my useless endeavor presents itself when I have no library links because the side drawer isn't present like it is in the web-app; because methods to access my libraries aren't standardized across all clients.

Edited by tomnjerry74
typo
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DJkhaled

I still don't like your idea in fact I actually hate it, a side bar would just make emby look cheap and ugly and looking like a laptop screen running plex. On fire tv emby looks like a beautiful media setup it looks clean simple lists all my movies tv shows perfectly and I love it exactly how it is. Emby has it's own look it's own style for a reason and the developers who created this are genius in making it look sleek the way it does. The way it's lade out is perfect you got your my media at the top with your content below it and on the top right you got your settings that's out of the way non intrusive looking it's great. The only thing I can think of that I personally would like to see is when scrolling down have the top bar auto hide until you scroll back to the top and even that's not a big deal. When I have my friends over and they see my emby setup on my big screen they love it and most of them now have emby and are on this forum loving as I do. @tommnjerry74  I respect your comments thoughts and ideas but I don't agree, have a good day.

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mbarylski
20 minutes ago, DJkhaled said:

I still don't like your idea in fact I actually hate it, a side bar would just make emby look cheap and ugly and looking like a laptop screen running plex. On fire tv emby looks like a beautiful media setup it looks clean simple lists all my movies tv shows perfectly and I love it exactly how it is. Emby has it's own look it's own style for a reason and the developers who created this are genius in making it look sleek the way it does. The way it's lade out is perfect you got your my media at the top with your content below it and on the top right you got your settings that's out of the way non intrusive looking it's great. The only thing I can think of that I personally would like to see is when scrolling down have the top bar auto hide until you scroll back to the top and even that's not a big deal. When I have my friends over and they see my emby setup on my big screen they love it and most of them now have emby and are on this forum loving as I do. @tommnjerry74  I respect your comments thoughts and ideas but I don't agree, have a good day.

Emby used to have a side bar not that long ago. Did you hate the app all the years before they got rid of it? Having a side bar is not the end of the world. The side bar could be added back very easily without disrupting the home page that some people like. At the same time, those of us that want a cleaner home page could use the side bar and remove the extras that clutter up the home page.

Emby does NOT have the best UI available. There are many others that have a simpler and cleaner UI. As with all issues on this forum though, preference tends to split 50/50. Which is why I suggest adding the side bar for consistency, but allow the home page to be editable so users can choose whether to have everything on the home page or use the side bar to navigate.

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DJkhaled

I never used emby when it had side bars had no idea it ever did, hopefully if they put it that way the option to change it without side bars would be there.

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Its not a bad idea and we've toyed with it multiple times but know it will be controversial as any major interface change is.  One of the issues with this design in our world is that some people have many libraries but maybe only regularly access a few of them.  With the current layout, this works well and, even if you have 100 libraries, they never clutter the screen or inhibit your navigation.

With a typical side bar layout - with the libraries at the top and then other options (like settings and exit) at the bottom, this could be a real pain - having to scroll past all those libraries to get to the other entries.  Therefore, if we were to do this, I would suggest we break with the crowd and NOT put these other options at the bottom.  Instead, they should be at the top but, when the side bar gets focus, it lands on the first library.  Then you go up to get to the other options or down to get to other libraries.  Just IMO.

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GrimReaper

I, for one, would surely not like to see "My Media" section go. Don't mind the sidebar (and remember Android TV app times when it did have it "sort of" or "kinda" - and also remember not using it that much, if at all, simply scrolling through the sections was just as fast) but if it was introduced in a manner discussed here, kindly make it optional or at least do not revoke "My Media" Home Screen section. 

Edited by GrimReaper76
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mbarylski
4 minutes ago, GrimReaper76 said:

I, for one, would surely not like to see "My Media" section go. Don't mind the sidebar (and remember Android TV app times when it did have it "sort of" or "kinda" - and also remember not using it that much, if at all, simply scrolling through the sections was just as fast) but if it was introduced in a manner discussed here, kindly make it optional or at least do not revoke "My Media" Home Screen section. 

Yes, I was suggesting an option to hide my media on the home page not force removal.

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mbarylski
20 minutes ago, ebr said:

One of the issues with this design in our world is that some people have many libraries but maybe only regularly access a few of them. 

With a typical side bar layout - with the libraries at the top and then other options (like settings and exit) at the bottom, this could be a real pain - having to scroll past all those libraries to get to the other entries.  Therefore, if we were to do this, I would suggest we break with the crowd and NOT put these other options at the bottom.  Instead, they should be at the top but, when the side bar gets focus, it lands on the first library.  Then you go up to get to the other options or down to get to other libraries.  Just IMO.

I think the solution is to just allow pinning the libraries you most use to the side bar. 

I'm not sure I understand your suggestion, but it sounds like your saying list all 100 libraries. I might have that wrong, but I just can't visualize your suggestion.

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7 minutes ago, mbarylski said:

I think the solution is to just allow pinning the libraries you most use to the side bar.

Now you have a semi-combination of the two interfaces.  I don't think that is a good idea. This request is to make library navigation from a side drawer.

7 minutes ago, mbarylski said:

I'm not sure I understand your suggestion, but it sounds like your saying list all 100 libraries. I might have that wrong, but I just can't visualize your suggestion.

Most apps would have a side bar like this:

Home
Library 1
Library 2
Library 3
...
_______________
Settings
Exit

I'm suggesting instead:

Exit
Settings
Home
________

Library 1  <--- Initial focus lands here
Library 2
Library 3
...

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mbarylski
22 minutes ago, ebr said:

Now you have a semi-combination of the two interfaces.  I don't think that is a good idea. This request is to make library navigation from a side drawer.

It works really well in Plex, but I know how much Plex is despised in this forum. 😅 But, just for giggles, here's how Plex does navigation.

image.png.73a23c8a39bbeb0dc02f9e4a04d609d3.png

 

22 minutes ago, ebr said:

I'm suggesting instead:

Exit
Settings
Home
________

Library 1  <--- Initial focus lands here
Library 2
Library 3
...

I see what you're saying now. I don't think you need all that other stuff. Just this (and I would add more for libraries rather than list out 100's). That said, if you do the initial focus like you suggest, I think that would work too. 

Library 1  <--- Initial focus lands here
Library 2
Library 3

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GrimReaper
31 minutes ago, ebr said:

I'm suggesting instead:

Exit
Settings
Home
________

Library 1  <--- Initial focus lands here
Library 2
Library 3

Or make those as three icons in a single row above Library 1?

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The "more" approach is another possibility but that still means you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to settings and exit (which are going to be expected in any kind of nav menu like this).

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mbarylski
8 minutes ago, ebr said:

The "more" approach is another possibility but that still means you have to do a lot of scrolling to get to settings and exit (which are going to be expected in any kind of nav menu like this).

The more could just be for libraries. And the only other buttons needed are Home and Settings. I don't know why Emby has all this other stuff in nav. I know, I know....someone will complain if you remove anything. 😁

image.png.ff78578072d28416814b33624a0f43c4.png 

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tomnjerry74
1 hour ago, ebr said:

One of the issues with this design in our world is that some people have many libraries but maybe only regularly access a few of them.  With the current layout, this works well and, even if you have 100 libraries, they never clutter the screen or inhibit your navigation.

With a typical side bar layout - with the libraries at the top and then other options (like settings and exit) at the bottom, this could be a real pain - having to scroll past all those libraries to get to the other entries.

This is valid point and would definitely need a solution. To be honest, people having so many libraries never occurred to me as it seems nonsensical; considering the intended point of a library is to house a specific medium. Then, the media is broken up further to the users' liking through collections and playlists. Leading me to believe that the large majority of Emby users should have more playlists and collections than they do libraries.

Playlists and collections are already listed, in full, on the sidebar and can require a large amount of scrolling.

While that is an important concern, I don't see how it is relevant to specifically Emby given the fact that it was already ignored when implementing playlists and collections, two things that are very likely to be at least five times the size of someone's total libraries.

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CBers
On 02/08/2021 at 18:23, tomnjerry74 said:

Completely remove the "My Media" and "My Media (small)" options from the Home Screen personalization.

You know you can turn that off right?

 

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tomnjerry74
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, CBers said:

You know you can turn that off right?

 

 

10 hours ago, tomnjerry74 said:

Currently, if a user wants to utilize various clients across different devices, they are forced to accept wasted space if they are to have access to their libraries. More specifically - say I want a clean and intuitive web-app home screen. Well, seeing as there is a handy sidebar with links to all of my libraries, keeping the "My Media" section only enables unnecessary clutter. Hence, the logical thing to do would be to disable "My Media" entirely. Next time I pull up Emby on the big screen, the problem created by my useless endeavor presents itself when I have no library links because the side drawer isn't present like it is in the web-app; because methods to access my libraries aren't standardized across all clients.

 

Edited by tomnjerry74
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7 minutes ago, tomnjerry74 said:

Playlists and collections are already listed, in full, on the sidebar and can require a large amount of scrolling.

That is only done on interfaces where drag and drop is possible.  We would not have those on a TV interface.

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tomnjerry74
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, ebr said:

That is only done on interfaces where drag and drop is possible.  We would not have those on a TV interface.

I think something like this would be a very effective solution. A "double drawer" of sorts that slides out when the user would actually select the libraries icon.

Edit: Or they wouldn't even have to necessarily select the icon. To reduce inputs, it could pop up when scrolled over and to get to it simply press the right arrow. Or continue scrolling and ignore it.

image.png.c31aca31e460f2231aad374c534f75b2.png

Edited by tomnjerry74
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mbarylski
14 minutes ago, CBers said:

You know you can turn that off right?

How would someone access their media if they don't show My Media on the home page? On the TV interface it's the only way to get to libraries. 

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