User-hostile Music, Photos, & More GUI

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Schmye Bubbula, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Stop it, stop it, STOP IT !!!!!!!!!!

    Every morning I like to listen to classical music while getting ready for the day.

    And every morning it goes like this:

    - From TiVo Central, go to Music, Photos, & More.
    - Try to select Live365.
    - But between TiVo's accursed sluggishness & latency, and its trying to "do you a favor," just as you depress the remote's Select button, the selection automatically jumps back up to Product Watch and you select that.
    - Wash, rinse & repeat until after three or four tries, you finally luck-in to outwitting TiVo's variable timing and get to slip in and select Live365 like you want.

    There's more to this than the normal - otherwise desirable - TiVo behavior of all menus coming up with the selection already landed on the last one you previously were in: TiVo really, REALLY wants you to use Product Watch whether you want to or not, and additionally grabs your selection and goes back to Product Watch a *second* time, with the timing astonishingly calculated just as you've irrevocably committed to pressing the Select button.

    And wait, there's more: some days I see it rudely usurp my intentions a THIRD time and jump to Product Watch after I've moved it back to Live365 a second time, just as I hit the button.

    Try it yourself - you'll see.

    Grrrr! Want to do me a favor, TiVo? Then stop trying to do me a favor!

    Stop it, stop it, STOP IT !!!!!!!!
     
  2. minckster

    minckster New Member

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    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    You might have better luck with iTunes radio stations. If you move them to a playlist, TiVo can play many but not all of iTunes radio stations. I find the selection, reliability, and sound quality vastly superior to Live365.

    I'm accessing iTunes on an iMac G5 with a TiVo Series3, but I think it should work with iTunes on Windows too.
     
  3. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Everything you say is correct, minckster, but I don't run my computer while getting ready for work in the mornings. I would like to be able to just turn on my TV and play the - yes, inferior-audio-quality - Live365 music through my scrawny TV speakers, without having to spend several excruciatingly frustrating minutes having to repeatedly navigate through the menus to reach what's already available on my TiVo.

    I think TiVo needs to fix their problems in usability & basic functionality of this TiVo menu's user interface.
     
  4. GrondramB

    GrondramB New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    Perhaps there is something wrong with your Tivo. I have three Tivos active and 4 more in the closet and I have certainly observed sluggishness if its been a while since I completely reset them.

    And I've never seen a problem like this. What is Live365, is that one of the music channels you get? I do find it irritating to not be able to pause on music channel but Tivo doesnt seem to have a problem tuning to them.
     
  5. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Perhaps, but I have two TiVos that exhibit the identical problem, so I tend to rule that out.

    You seem to be talking about overall sluggishness, but I'm talking about what happens specifically in the "Music, Photos, & More" menu, when that overall sluggishness combines with that menu's moving the selection three times in a row to "Product Watch," presumably to "encourage" you to use it. Are you not getting that behavior when you go to the "Music, Photos, & More" menu?

    Yes.

    Nor do I have any problem tuning to any music once I get into the menu, but I'm talking about getting into the menu in the first place (or any other of the numerous menus within "Music, Photos, & More."
     
  6. GrondramB

    GrondramB New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    Schmye I appreciate the clarification .... I wish I could help but at least now I understand. If you see this on multiple boxes surely you are not the only one to deal with this. I'll help search for precedent. Good luck.
     
  7. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    how quick are you hitting the button to go into Live365. I do see that every time that Music, photos and more list of choices is created that it starts out yahoo! photos and then when the rest of the apps are determined and listed that product watch does always get the highlight. But my list forms quickly and once done the highlight does not bounce around but goes in on the app highlighted.

    maybe taken a few extra seconds the first time to make sure the list is fully formed and the highlight will not move will save you some frustration
     
  8. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    You of course couldn't see it bounce around three times if you just watch it while it's sitting there on Product Watch. (Because it first lands on Product Watch and its next two attempts to move it to Product Watch trivially would be unobservable.) But if you try to select something, you should be able to experience it wrestling your chosen selection out from under you and putting it back on Product Watch - twice in a row!

    How long do I wait after the entire list is built before trying to select what I want? Why, a normal amount of time that any reasonable human being would expect; the same duration used in any other TiVo menu without encountering this nonsense. Would you actually have me count off five or ten seconds before proceeding?

    Does no one get that this behavior is wrong and user-hostile?
     
  9. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    Dude, I just posted how it behaved on my 240 model Tivo. I did it a bunch of times to see what would happen. every time I came back to the list of apps I saw only Yahoo! photos and my local stuff. then the rest of the apps were presented on the screen in about 2 seconds. After all the apps and icons are in place the highlight did not bounce around on my 240 model TiVo but stayed on where ever I moved it.

    So what you are seeing on your TiVo is not normal behavior. It could be because of your internet speed or some glitch in your TiVo or low memory resources to work with, etc.. These are speculations on my part becasue I think you are seeing something that does not happen on most TiVo DVRs.
     
  10. GrondramB

    GrondramB New Member

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    Sep 2, 2005
    Speaking just for myself... and even as a long time critic of Tivo Corporate behavior toward customers, it was the term "user hostile" that made me feel initially defensive on Tivo's behalf.


    This led me to read up on Product Watch. I've missed all thos because years ago I got irritated with Tivo reqiring that you opt out if you don't want data collection.

    According I use only DirecTivos with the phone line unplugged.

    I guess because of this I have missed all the controversy surrounding ads.

    So I apologize for pre-judging on an issue I don't have to deal with.

    I am interested because I have been looking periodically at going to Comcast which would require different Tivos. To help me understand, if you don't mind, are you saying that the Product Watch causes a general performance problem, or that your product watch is malfunctioning or that the design keeps changing you back to ads when you don't want that.

    I think you are saying that last one, which, if true would discourage from changing to a more modern Tivo.
     
  11. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Neither of the three. The problem I'm trying to describe doesn't even involve actually entering the Product Watch section. The problem occurs only within the Music, Photos, & More section (which does contain the Product Watch item among the others listed, such as Live365, etc., but, again, I'm not talking about selecting Product Watch, except when this problem forces me to). What my complaint is about is the user interface behavior in the Music, Photos, & More section. It differs from the behavior in every other TiVo section as follows:

    - When the Music, Photos, & More section is first entered, the Product Watch item gets highlighted for you automatically. This differs from every other TiVo section, where the item you actually had entered the last time you were there conveniently gets highlighted (which is user-friendly and desirable). But that difference is only a minor problem.
    - What's really the big problem is that when you start scrolling around to the item you want, TiVo snatches away your chosen selection and moves it back to Product Watch (which this second time is user-hostile and undesirable) just as you're hitting the Select button, and you get taken into the Product Watch section, whereupon you have to back out and try again to get where you want.
    - What's more, if you were somehow deft enough to stop yourself before hitting the Select button, and again start scrolling back to where you really want to go, TiVo yanks your selection away a third time back to Product Watch right as you hit the Select button.

    Sometimes I have to back out of the unwanted Product Watch section three or four times before I can actually outwit TiVo and choose the item in the list I'm seeking.

    I don't know what this would have to do with my "Internet speed." And if I reboot my TiVos, *both* continue to experience the problem from the get-go, which I would think the reboot would clear all caches, etc., and start out fresh without "some glitch in my TiVo or low memory resources." I think this all started with one of the most recent software updates. I suspect this is just some TiVo marketing ploy to push me into Product Watch whether I want to or not, and the hell with the famous user-friendly TiVo user interface.

    But it sounds like thus far, ZeoTiVo cannot reproduce this behavior, so I just don't know.
     
  12. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

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    Silicon...
    When Tivo first started sticking apps in the "Music, Photos & More" (in ye old days we just had music and videos)...it was suggested that it would be nice if Tivo allowed us to choose a sort order for the apps. A locally fixed cached sort list on this Tivo listing might help with the 'bouncing around' as the apps first broadcast themselves and appear. [Of course hiding selected things would be a nice feature too]

    I wonder if the all the apps in Music, Photos and More, come from the same IP address. Otherwise we could find the Product Watch server IP and block it on your router.
     
  13. yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

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    Mar 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    I was just using my Music, Photos, and More screen on my S3 a couple of nights ago, and it still behaves as it always do. When it starts up, it only has a few items, then things like Yahoo stuff show up, and then the subscriptions I have from apps.tv show up. After a couple of seconds, everything is in place, and I can move my cursors around any where I want and stays there, it doesn't jump back to Product Watch by itself.
     
  14. Stu_Bee

    Stu_Bee New Member

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    Jan 14, 2002
    Silicon...
    I think what is happening is that some of the apps are appearing/displaying quite bit later for the OP....and each time a new app appears (ie is discovered by his tivo) the 'selection' goes back to the top item (For him that is Product Watch). Mine all appear roughly at the sametime, so I can't dup.
     
  15. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I have a 540 ST Tivo. I just went into "Music, Photos, & More". It took 8 seconds to build, and the app that was highlighted was the one I last used.

    Two to three weeks ago, I started having sluggishness in my Tivocast menu and was not getting downloads, so I shared in your frustration.
    I counted 19 seconds between key press and UI response.
    Things are OK now (so far), so I just chalked it up to Tivo tweaking their servers.
    We'll see...

    My suggestion* to you is to power down EVERYTHING and then power back up in the following order: Cable/DSL modem, router, Tivo, computer.


    * If you've already tried this, I apologize.
     
  16. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    actually that is the root casue of your problem. Here is the missing piece of the puzzle for you, HME apps are not a predertimned menu item per se - HME apps work from a server outside the TiVo and thus the functionality of remembering the last menu item used does not apply to HME app listings. Go to find programs - anything up high is a stock Tivo app and the highlight will remember which item it was on last. The bottom three for "download TV and movies", Kidzone, and "Universal Swivel Search" are HMe apps and the highlight will not remember being on those after you go into the HME app part of those menu choices

    so it is not a "deliberate" snatching of the highlight back to Product Watch but just the hassle of how HME list of apps remakes itself coupled with your particular "Music, Photos a& More" list building. A slow resposne from the internet would effect getting all the Yahoo pieces built quickly and some menu items might be slow for other reasons maybe you have apps.tv or PlayTeeVee included and it is slow to build. This 'snatching the cursor' behavior I have seen when I used HME on my old and slow ToshiVo RS TX20.

    I know this does not fix it and still the hassle of hitting product watch is there but on the ToShiVo I found that I just had to wait for the list of apps to settle down before selecting one to use.
     
  17. Schmye Bubbula

    Schmye Bubbula Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    Useful reply, ZeoTiVo - thanks! I now get that the Music, Photos, & More listing is fundamentally different from all the other TiVo menus, in that they get built from an outside server, and thus the listing can be variable, and its sorting order depending on the timing of their fetching over a fluctuating Internet connection.

    Nevertheless, it still comes back to a user-hostile GUI design. My above-described frustrations have shown that this Music, Photos, & More section can verge on the unusable. I remember stories here by TiVo employees about the lengths to which the design engineers went to get to the famous TiVo usability. You know, like the classic Mac OS before Mac OS X came in and went one step forward, two steps back, and Steve Jobs actually disbanded the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. To this day, some of us - especially those in publishing & prepress - still are suffering big losses in our workflow productivity.

    Has TiVo foresaken their prior emphasis on ease-of-use, and currently are riding only on the coattails of their earlier momentum - their reputation for user-friendliness - like Apple did? Had Tivo done sufficient usablility testing on the Music, Photos, & More section, they would have done something like completely disabled the auto-highlight function, so the interface would respond to the user's expectations. It's called the "Grandma Test."

    Meanwhile, I guess the only workaround is, as someone else earlier suggested, to wait longer for the listing to build before making a selection and pulling the trigger.
     
  18. kmcorbett

    kmcorbett New Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Newton MA
    I agree 100%. As a former software engineer in the publishing field (ATEX, Interleaf, Bitstream, and Harlequin) I feel your pain.

    I recommend you start up the menu, turn on the coffeemaker, and then come back to turn on music. If your coffeemaker is on a timer, you can use the time to pop the bread in the toaster.
     
  19. kmcorbett

    kmcorbett New Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Newton MA

    Come to think of it: The real question is, why do you have to use the TiVo menu to start the morning music in the first place?

    Why don't any of these state-of-the-art music and video devices have proper timer functions? Wasn't this problem solved in the 60s with clock radios?

    My TiVo and Roku Soundbridge are firmly stuck in the paradigms of TV and radio devices, respectively. That's so mid-20th century!

    My goal is to rig a PC to wake up my sound system and run a playlist on shuffle through my favorite media player software. (J River MediaCenter rocks!)

    Then all I will need is a sensor to detect when I come down the stairs. Hmm, it will need some sort of intelligence to know when I'm just coming down to check out that odd noise in the foyer...
     
  20. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004
    well like I siad, it just takes 2 seconds on my TiVo DVR (DT model) to build the list and after that the highlight works just fine. So on my TiVo the HME apps list is very user friendly for a grandma.

    Now what I would like is a way to select which apps show up from the list so it does not have to build them all, but that is not the TiVo KISS approach as then people need to know to go configure the screen which TiVo design avoids at all costs so far.

    the idea of a timer sounds really cool :up:
     

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