MovieGallery

I’m still looking for a good movie management application. MovieGallery, from Sweden’s Bitfield AB, provides most of the features I want; ratings, playlists (manual and smart), and different ways to view my collection (as thumbnails or a list), etc. The biggest functionality gap I see is the lack of support for movie formats not supported by QuickTime. Adding support for Real, DivX, and Windows Media Video is probably more difficult than QuickTime, but it really is a must if the application is to be a comprehensive movie manager.

Comments and suggestions based on MovieGallery version 1.3.2.

General Suggestions

  1. Consider a gallery window design similar to that of the latest releases of NetNewsWire and Mail. Eliminating unnecessary borders and repositioning widgets can reduce visual clutter while improving clarity and functionality. This would probably restrict the application to one visual style (eliminating brushed metal), but I think the benefits of a revised layout would outweigh those of allowing style customization.
  2. The playback progress bar is visually distracting due to the high-contrast coloring and the constantly moving counter. Using a lighter color for both the playback timeline and the timer would make it less prominent.
  3. Control/Right-clicking on the List view column header row should present a menu allowing the user to toggle the display of columns. Try this in iTunes or Mail to see this in action.
  4. It would be great if users could drag-and-drop images onto the existing movie thumbnail to set the image as the thumbnail.
  5. Similarly, I’d like to be able to paste an image from the clipboard to the movie to set it as the thumbnail.
  6. Allow users to add movies to galleries by dropping the movie file on the MovieGallery Dock icon. A new gallery would be created if none are open.
  7. Images dropped outside of video thumbnails (assuming the above feature were implemented) in gallery windows should be rejected with the zoomback animation.
  8. Movies dragged from one gallery to another should retain their custom thumbnail.
  9. The icons at the opposing ends of the thumbnail size and volume level sliders should serve as buttons to select the smallest and largest values possible.
  10. Because they are not mutually exclusive, the Shuffle and Loop buttons should not be joined.
  11. On the Share dialog sheet, the Escape key should be mapped to Cancel. Same goes for the Playlist sheets.
  12. For movies shorter than an hour, do not display the two leading zeroes.
  13. Rather than prompting the user to confirm the removal of movies from a gallery, the removal shortcut could be changed to Command-Delete (a two-key shortcut reduces the likelihood of accidental deletion) and support Undo. If you insist on a dialog:
  14. The dialog should be a window-modal sheet.
  15. Yes/No phrased dialog buttons should be avoided in favor of labels that communicate the action to be taken. Here are my design suggestions for single and multiple movie removal confirmation dialogs.

Menus

  1. Consider combining the contents of the File and Gallery menus under a single “Gallery” menu. The current File menu’s commands only apply to galleries, so it seems logical.
  2. The View menu should have a Show/Hide Toolbar command. The HIG-recommended keyboard shortcut is Command-Option-T, although Apple has (for reasons beyond my comprehension) chosen to make this the default for toggling display of the Character Palette.

Preferences

General

  1. On Launch: Open A New Gallery/Re-open Previous Galleries/Show Gallery Chooser dialog

Appearance

  1. The gray set as the default for the “Unified Title/Toolbar” window theme is too dark. Try rgb(240,240,240) instead.
  2. Thumbnail View Background Color:
  3. Thumbnail Border:

Published by

Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.

One thought on “MovieGallery”

  1. Take a look at BitPlayer in the near future. We’re integrating support for most AVI codecs, Windows Media, and RealPlayer files (and going open source, too). Drop me a line if you have any thoughts about the current release you’d like to share.

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