I've been using Helium for about a decade or so and I've loved it. I just tried the current beta build (12.0.14273.0) and I really like how the look has been modernized. Since I realize this is a beta I don't expect everything to be fully baked just yet, but after a couple days working with it I have some suggestions:
1. In the file renamer I don't see any option to pad leading zeroes for tracks. My tracks are all named '## - Trackname' so an album I just imported and renamed the tracks on is numbered 1, 2, 3, etc. instead of 01, 02, 03, etc. It's not catastrophic, but it is a bit inelegant for consistency :-)
2. In previous versions of Helium I settled on a view with a list of artists in the left column tree which then expanded to show all that artist's albums sorted chronologically. The main window view was split horizontally with whatever album I had selected on the top and the play queue on the bottom. This made for a very tidy and efficient workflow with everything visible. I don't seem to have that ability (or modernized approximation of it) in the current build, however. the best I can get is a vertical artist list with artist thumbnails (which I like), but clicking on an artist node shows me the artist page in the main window with the albums sorted alphabetically, with no option to show a split queue pane, no option to sort the albums chronologically, and a huge space up top taken up with the artist thumbnail which is a bit redundant since I know I have that artist selected as I just clicked it on the left! I did find the button to collapse the big banner strip, but it would be nice if that was a globally remembered setting to show or hide it. In the Artist view settings, an option to sort by artist then by release year would fix the other issue, as would an option to show the queue in a split pane instead of flipping back and forth to a different screen all the time.
Sorry that was so wordy, but I hope it all makes sense! Thanks for so many years of a great program.
The play queue can now be docked in the right sidebar, see this post for more information:
Fixed in Helium 12.0.3 (beta), https://implodedsoftware.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/helium-12-0-3-beta-now-available/
(Drag and drop is also supported broader than in earlier Helium versions)
The rest of the feature requests in this topic is tracked in other reports so we will close this as implemented.
Looking at your mockup more, I REALLY like the idea. The enormous top banner could even serve a practical purpose in that scenario if it showed the lyrics to the currently playing song, artist bio, or something along those lines. I doubt I'd keep it regardless, but it would be a nice option to have--- I'd use it occasionally and I would think a lot of people would enjoy that. I'd still want it to save its default state though since right now it's just a chunk of wasted space.
That's actually MUCH more like what I was hoping for, yes.
Clicking a button to toggle the queue isn't the end of the world, but in previous versions of Helium it was much simpler and efficient to drag albums from the left tree view under the artist node into the queue pane--- or tracks from an album dragged down from the upper album tracklist pane into the queue. The new implementation is probably prettier, but it's also less efficient... and I almost always choose usability over looks. So far in a few days of testing this seems like the only big step backwards in the new UI.
Your mockup is realistically the best I could hope for at this point unless albums are added as sub-nodes under the artist nodes on the left column again as in days of old. In the current iteration the album art could perhaps be sized smaller and though it would still require going into an album to get to the tracklist that might still be preferable to clicking over to a different queue window altogether.
> Now if I could hide that monstrous redundant banner by default
+1 from me, this setting should be saved between sessions!
> and get a split view for the queue life would be grand!
Though it is a great idea, this might be a little bit more difficult to implement.
The attached pictures is only a mock-up done by me, nothing official...
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Sven!
I would hope that at some point in the future the file renamer dialog gets polished so there's a more obvious checkbox for a 'pad leading spaces with zeroes' option. It clearly needs a bit more finesse, anyway--- the only choices are 'rename and move' and 'rename and copy' when I will always just want things renamed in place. Of course leaving it on 'rename and move' works without issues, but the wording just seems a bit weird :-P
I totally missed that sorting in the view dialog options. *blush* ---I was just looking at the 4 items under artist.
Now if I could hide that monstrous redundant banner by default and get a split view for the queue life would be grand! I'm really liking the update on the whole, though.