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Change back button & swipe down functionality on the player screen


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There is another request for this feature, but it's old, and there is still no way to enable what seems like the agreed upon way an Android app should work.

The purpose of the back button on Android has almost always been to return to the previous screen, not to do some other action. In Now Playing, clicking back should return to the previous view, not to the launcher (or the current album track list when "start at library" is on).
For example, if I browse some genre X, and then go to the player UI to rewind the currently playing track a bit, clicking back should show me genre X again. This is because both the album track list and the homescreen are already accessible in a much more intuitive way, same as in other music apps.
Swiping down in player ui should probably do the same.

Virtually every other player works this way, so in my opinion this should be the default. At least an option to enable that would be much appreciated.

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This is really a carry over from Poweramp V2 I think, and yes it has been requested a number of times in the past. I do tend to agree that Back should mean Back (as in go to previously viewed screen), as there are other buttons at the top of the library screens than navigate up to previous levels.

I'll add this to the Frequently Requests Features thread.

Andre

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Swipe gestures are pretty convenient in my opinion, especially if you have a brick phone. Like, literally a huge brick. Reaching out for the buttons is pretty hard on a big screen with one hand, even for me it's uncomfortable and my palm is big, almost dropped the phone many times because of this. The last thing you want is to drop your $1500 phone. From the palyer screen you can swipe down to show the list view, if you browsing your library and want to go back, you can swipe right. As I said, swipe gestures makes it a lot more comfortable to navigate, what's the point even to use buttons if you have navigation gestures? I don't know, but I don't want swipe gestures to be tampered with. It's perfect the way it is. Maybe make it costumizable for the people who want them to be customized, but the people who are happy with it, can leave it in default. So it's a win-win. 

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I actually very rarely use any page-swipe features for anything in PA to be honest - sorry Max, I know you put a lot of work into making them function smoothly. Taps on specific labelled buttons just seem so much more efficient and intuitive. I do scroll up and down lists of course, but no swipe left or right as my little brain finds it a bit counter-intuitive to swipe both left or right to go up a level.

In fact, when I think about it, other than switching between tabs in apps (or changing home screens) I rarely use whole-page swipes at all. I will swipe individual items away, or drag or pinch things (e.g. maps or photos, but otherwise it's mainly scrolling up or down web pages or other list-style content. 

Andre

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I don't see anything wrong with the swipe actions in Poweramp. 

The request for not being able to leave Poweramp with back button will be annoying for. 

Infact, I see any website or app that refuses exit with back button as malicious, I uninstall or never visit such. 

My advice is, just get use to Poweramp navigations, or maybe Max should set it as an option to switch navigation pattern.

Bencherished 

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I wouldn't mind an option to have to press Back a second time to exit. But as PA doesn't really 'exit' while playing anyway, it just closes the user interface, it seems a bit of a moot point anyway.

I would like an option to edit what swipes and taps do on the Player UI (up/down/left/right/tap/long-press) and also to edit the four buttons under the artwork area, which is a long-standing request that is somewhere in the to-do list.

Andre

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2 hours ago, Bencherished said:

I don't see anything wrong with the swipe actions in Poweramp.

The reason I suggested to change the swipe actions was because again, nearly every other player works this way. For example, in Soundcloud, swiping down simply closes the player UI and shows the previous screen. Of course I'm suggesting this to be implemented as a toggle rather than a non-configurable change since I understand that some users may have gotten used to the way it works now.

2 hours ago, Bencherished said:

The request for not being able to leave Poweramp with back button will be annoying for.

As far as I'm concerned, most Android apps only exit with the back button if you're on their default, top-most view (in PA that would be the library screen or player UI depending on the settings), sometimes requiring two back presses. Otherwise the back button goes, well... back, to the previous screen.

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2 hours ago, osif32 said:

As far as I'm concerned, most Android apps only exit with the back button if you're on their default, top-most view (in PA that would be the library screen or player UI depending on the settings), sometimes requiring two back presses.

That's exactly how PA works at the moment. When you are already at the original entry screen (which as you say could be the Player UI or Library depending on your setting) the Back button exits back to Android.#

The bit that I'm with you on is when you tap on the artwork area in the Player UI, which takes you to view the currently playing song in the current songs list. I agree that the logical expectation at that point would be for the Back button to return you to the Player UI where you came from, not to traverse up the next layer in the Library (e.g. going up to the higher Albums or Folders views).

Andre

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5 hours ago, andrewilley said:

The bit that I'm with you on is when you tap on the artwork area in the Player UI, which takes you to view the currently playing song in the current songs list. I agree that the logical expectation at that point would be for the Back button to return you to the Player UI where you came from, not to traverse up the next layer in the Library (e.g. going up to the higher Albums or Folders views).

In that case it's a misunderstanding, I think. What I meant is that once you're in the Player UI, there should be a way to return to the previous screen. For example, if you're browsing the year 2007, then click to bring up the player UI screen, there is no way to immediately go back to the year 2007 screen as far as I'm aware. My suggestion is to add an option which makes the back button do this.

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8 hours ago, osif32 said:

The reason I suggested to change the swipe actions was because again, nearly every other player works this way.

So that means Poweramp must stand in the line of the millions of other players? I don't get this... Poweramp is not focused on to be just "one of them" 10 years Poweramp user, I can fairly say that it's still one of a kind. I think that's the main reason people love Poweramp, and the reason it is so successful, because it's not "just one of them"

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1 hour ago, Xander71 said:

So that means Poweramp must stand in the line of the millions of other players? I don't get this... Poweramp is not focused on to be just "one of them" 10 years Poweramp user, I can fairly say that it's still one of a kind. I think that's the main reason people love Poweramp, and the reason it is so successful, because it's not "just one of them"

Agreed. If you want an app that works like those others, just use those others.

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I want Poweramp to have an optional toggle that enables functionality which is common among nearly every player on Android. The reason the back button does what it does in other players is not because of some conspiracy or because they don't know any better, but because that's what it also does in like, every Android app, not just players. Have you ever used an Android browser? The back button doesn't open the tab view or settings, it takes you back to the previous view or webpage. I'd be really weird if somebody released a browser where the back button works differently.

Also, there may be other reasons one may want to use Poweramp aside from the objectively weird navigation, don't you think? I wouldn't be sitting here writing this otherwise.

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I can understand, it would be ok to have it customizable for the one's who want it. It's not the point. The point is, why should any app work the exact same way as ten others? It's a written law every music player should work the same way? Most of us using Poweramp as our ONLY music player (guess why) we got used to it over the years, we like it, we love it. It's fully customizable, even the skins for Poweramp fully customizable. Let's not talk about every function like for example, parametric equalizer. The whole point of Poweramp is to stand out of the common music players. It was always an advanced music player, and pretty much it's the best music player in android platform. For common usage, there's another 10 million music players out there to choose from. In short, Poweramp is not for the common user anyway. 

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9 hours ago, Xander71 said:

why should any app work the exact same way as ten others?

There is of course one very good reason for a common design language when it comes to the overall way that interfaces operate, and that's user familiarity and ease of use. That's why Google (for better or worse) goes to great lengths to try to ensure that all Android apps operate in much the same way in terms of their design language, look & feel, and user interface. So anyone who basically understands how Android works should be able to download and start using new apps seamlessly.

The downside of this is that a great many apps look like generic homogenous copies of each other, with the same buttons in the same layout and similar options. Poweramp, like other 'power user' apps, has never slavishly followed that trend and prefers to do things its own way, which can lead to a longer learning curve. But once you've mastered its complexities and dug into the Settings to find all sorts of extra opportunities, it's far more versatile than the sanitised - indeed, almost childish - interfaces of Samsung's music player, Sonos app, etc.

Just look at VLC and foobar2000 on PCs. Neither of them slavishly follow the latest Windows 11 design guidelines - in fact in many ways they still look like Windows 95/XP programs - but the features hidden away within their interfaces are second to none.

Andre

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Posted (edited)

  

9 hours ago, Xander71 said:

I can understand, it would be ok to have it customizable for the one's who want it. It's not the point. The point is, why should any app work the exact same way as ten others? It's a written law every music player should work the same way? Most of us using Poweramp as our ONLY music player (guess why) we got used to it over the years, we like it, we love it. It's fully customizable, even the skins for Poweramp fully customizable. Let's not talk about every function like for example, parametric equalizer. The whole point of Poweramp is to stand out of the common music players. It was always an advanced music player, and pretty much it's the best music player in android platform. For common usage, there's another 10 million music players out there to choose from. In short, Poweramp is not for the common user anyway. 

I'm not suggesting to convert this app to a generic music player, I just want a feature that makes using it more intuitive. The back button not taking you back is akin to the power button working as a play/pause button, or the volume buttons playing the previous/next song. You could get used to it though, it's fine, because you can still lock your screen by exiting the app and clicking the power button, and you can still control the volume with the knob on another screen. And it makes the app more unique. Why not implement this?

You really don't need to advertise PA to me, I bought it and I use it daily. But in case it wasn't obvious, it's not perfect. Otherwise the developer(s) ought to freeze everything in order to avoid accidentally ruining it. No, my suggestion would not ruin Poweramp if implemented, and it would not make it "just like the other players". There are no advantages whatsoever to having the back button work the way it does now, but again, I agree that it should be toggleable because some people are used to it. There is no way to return to the previous screen from the player UI, so at the moment it's just limiting & counterintuitive behavior that makes Poweramp a bit worse and less powerful than other players, in this specific case.

Edited by osif32
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6 minutes ago, osif32 said:

The back button not taking you back is akin to the power button working as a play/pause button, or the volume buttons playing the previous/next song.

I think we're all in agreement here that an option to make the Back button function more intuitive - by always going 'back' to the previously used screen, as usually expected, no matter where you have landed - would be a good idea. I don't think anyone is arguing against that?

Andre

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8 minutes ago, andrewilley said:

I don't think anyone is arguing against that?

No one is arguing about anything andre, we're here to have conversations. 🙂 To make it customizable? Of course I'm in, there's no downside to it. To change the behavior of the app on the other hand? Well, I'd be pretty mad to be honest, if I'd had to learn to use Poweramp again, after all that 10 years of usage.

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The biggest interface changes occurred between PA v2 and PA v3 abut six years ago. Lots of cheese was moved in those first betas, and some of it was quickly moved back again before the main public release. e.g. the initial releases only had a Play/Pause button, no 'Pro Buttons' feature for track/category control; there was no overall track progress bar, only a waveseek graph behind the Play/Pause button; and there were no star ratings, only the basic thumb up/thumb down facility. But once the interface had settled down for public release, there have been very few major UI changes beyond what skins have to offer.

Andre

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Posted (edited)

Another thing I have found is that there is no way to go to the album when playing from the queue. Other players solve this by having a dedicated queue button in the Player UI (and to make the queue more useful, it shows all upcoming tracks, not just the ones you added manually). Clicking on the album cover instead always sends you to the album. I think this makes sense and it'd be great if it was possible to configure PA to work this way. But in case the devs are afraid of "making it just like the other players", fixing the back button would already help since you'd be able to return to the screen you want to see.

Edited by osif32
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@osif32 No problem.

There are plans for an additional display option to view all planned upcoming tracks (and playback history too) in its own screen by the way, which you also mentioned. It would present a flattened list of every song scheduled to be played,  regardless of the current playback mode (category, playlist, queue, shuffle, etc).

Andre

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