Meridian - Progress update

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By snout

Ascended (15184)

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27-01-2003, 11:39

details details... how many ppl imported fst songs in MB? How many ppl will load MBwave songs in Meridian?

Well.. I think some people will give it a go. It's not an essential, but it would be great if it worked the right way.

How does it look now btw? in IT there's just one small column with all positions.. no need to have a screen-filling table..

Uhm... I was talking about the steps. Each page has 16 steps. In previous versions of Meridian the current step was highlighted while playing the song.

sure.. not technically shocking..

Indeed, creating a new song in tracker mode is not technically shocking, but motivates people to create their own music in Meridian.

to please a coder here, lets rename them to note analysers

Let him start coding again first! Tongue Nah, you're right. Note analyzers was the term I should've used all along Wink

So, all in, there's a lot of small usage-details, and not many 'musical' ideas imo.

That's because the musical part is quite good as it is already. And usability is very good as well, so we could only find these suggestions for improvement Wink

By Latok

msx guru (3815)

Latok's picture

27-01-2003, 12:22

Usability is ESSENTIAL for the succes of Meridian. I think musically and technically, Michiel pretty much knows what he's doing. Of course, if it concerns usability, he also knows a lot already. Still, getting feedback from users concerning usability is very precious....

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9850)

wolf_'s picture

27-01-2003, 13:18

" Usability is ESSENTIAL for the succes of Meridian."

ofcourse, the UI is the most important part.. but all the small details are not difficult to implement. It would be another story when suddenly someone comes with an idea that requires a lot of rewriting, that's why it's important to get these big parts done first, and then focus on details.

By Latok

msx guru (3815)

Latok's picture

27-01-2003, 14:00

wolf, you are right. But....Meridian has a history, you know. Michiel has been busy coding the program since 1994. And I believe this is the 3d time he practically has started from scratch because he wasn't satisfied with the programming structure he used.

In other words, there are right now 2 already pretty usable versions of Meridian. Let's call them 1.0 and 2.0. In version 2.0 the analyzers, step indicator etc. etc. were already implemented. Michiel has done that already...In version 1.0 Meridian even supported the AUDIO part of the Music Module....

These early versions were great as well, but in my opinion, on the usability part, there were some difficulties...

So this is the reason I am focusing on usability now. I don't want Michiel to make another version of Meridian and then after some months/years he decides this current version of Meridian isn't again not well coded or well thought through or something....Michiel will simply start all over again for version 4.0 and again, we would have a version 3.0 which isn't all that user friendly Smile

/me is just hoping for some kind of 'final' version of Meridian this time Smile I know it is Michiel his life time job. The program will never be finished. But for the project itself, it would be VERY important there will be some final built which is good on all fronts. And in my view especially on the usability front. Wolf, you are more Mr. Tech guy....I'm just a simple user, really.

By Latok

msx guru (3815)

Latok's picture

27-01-2003, 14:04

Michiel, don't get me wrong here Smile I do think Meridian is user friendly, it is just it needs some more on certain parts.....And snout has stated them above.....I'm not alone in this one, though....During the OSS fair, more people asked for things like step indicator, analyzers, scrolling through the data while playing, trackmode (all piano+drum and standard time interval) etc. etc. I know these are basic things, but they ARE important to create a userbase....I'm sure of that...

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

27-01-2003, 14:40

I totally agree with Latok.

Just because some minor detail is not hard to implement doesn't mean it shouldn't be mentioned! I would say BECAUSE it is not hard to implement it should be in there as soon as possible. Minor details are what gives a program polish. And polish is good (if you don't overdo it).

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9850)

wolf_'s picture

27-01-2003, 19:20

"Wolf, you are more Mr. Tech guy....I'm just a simple user, really."

Maybe Smile At the moment, when I'm busy designing Impulse Tracker 3, I mainly focus on the user-interaction with the software, and not so much with the tech. details, since they're fully user-customizable.. there's not much to design then Smile

Anyway, ofcourse the user-interaction is very important, if not more important than the features. (though I must say that this argument is stronger on the FM-pac than on the OPL4). It's just that small thingies like the renaming of a 'left' command takes a minute, and a major tech.part takes a week. So it might be better to work from inside to outside..

By snout

Ascended (15184)

snout's picture

01-02-2003, 15:43

Michiel de Vries just wrote a message to the MSX mailing list, responding to the list of suggestions on our forum. I think you're all interested in this one:

I'm glad to hear so much reactions on the demo of Meridian 3.0

beta in Oss. Here's the list of reactions and my point of view

about it:

LEF / RIG / CEN indication: use one letter or better abbreviations (LFT, RGT, CNT)

Oke, changed to LFT, RGT, CNT. (but... CNT looks like an abbbriviation of COUNT in stead of CENTER)

Insert / Delete step option (although you can use blocks to accomplish this)

In my opinion those functions have already been implemented in the menus 'Edit -> Insert steps' and 'Edit -> Delete steps'

Tempo settings: give the possibility to enter the tempo in Beats per Minute

Sure. Will be built in.

Moonblaster Wave conversion: Better handling of tempo changes and ENDOP instructions.

The conversion of Moonblaster files doesn't have the highest priority now. I will put all the effort in the Opl4 program editor, Opl4 drum editor and the player.

New song - tracker mode (so every instrument on Piano1, a drum channel and a standard interval between the steps)

Sure. Will be built in with a window how to up.

After exiting Meridian it should return to the directory it was booted from

Meridian is booted from Basic. The Basic program for launching consists of only 2 lines. The first line is the BLOAD command, the second is a CALL SYSTEM command. Maybe in this way it looks like Meridian is booted from DOS, but it isn't.

While playing a MIDI file, it should be possible to scroll up and down in the channels

Sure. Will be built in.

A position pointer on top of the screen would be highly appreciated

Sure. Will be built in.

While playing a song, an exit function would be nice, exiting directly to the position the song was at that time

Sure. Will be built in. (STOP key was meant for this purpose)

While converting a MIDI file, the progress indicator of Meridian 2.0 might have slowed down, but it looked cool and made conversion seem to go faster. We want it back!

Hmmmmm.... I'll think about it.

While playing a MIDI file, Meridian 2.0 had 'Equalizers' that showed a note was played on a channel, we want that back too!

Oke. I have to think where to display those equalizers. In the song editor, MIDI editor, track editor.....?

While dragging a window, it might even be possible to show the window contents using textbuffers and outi's.

Maybe... (Correction: textbuffers? VRAM-buffers! outi's? otirs!)

An option to switch directly between tone and program editors would be nice

Off course. In my own experience that's a basic issue. Has already been implemented using the SELECT-key. When the focus is on a tone property in the Opl4 program editor, the corresponding tone editor will be displayed.

A hotkey to play a C4 at any time in the tone editor would be nice

Implemented on F9 key.

More better stuff:

  • PCM tone editor modified for a clear separation between ROM tones and USR tones.
  • PCM tone editor can handle 330 ROM tones in stead of 384. This is because ROM tones 331..384 are empty slots in the OPL4.
  • Tonenames can hold 15 characters in stead of 10.
  • 4-FM tone editor can edit 100 tones in stead of 200. (better..?)
  • Due to the loss of 100 4-FM tones, more tones can be assigned to a program now.
  • Length of the datastructure of a program-tone decreased with 1 byte, from 9 bytes to 8 bytes, so more tones can be assigned to a program now.

Oke, that was it now

Gtx

Michiel

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

01-02-2003, 17:13

Maybe... (Correction: textbuffers? VRAM-buffers! outi's? otirs!)

On Z80, using multiple outi's is faster than otir. (Not on R800)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

anonymous's picture

01-02-2003, 18:50

Oke, changed to LFT, RGT, CNT. (but... CNT looks like an abbbriviation of COUNT in stead of CENTER)

Another method of notation would be L--, -C-, --R. Wouldn't that be nice? Tongue

Or use a loudspeaker icon (I'll use > and < here) so you can do "> ", "> <"," <"

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