Expanded tools for managing set lists

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spinality
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Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 6:27 pm

Expanded tools for managing set lists

Post by spinality » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:44 am

Set lists are great, they are one of the big advantages of iGigBook. They are so useful that I use them for more than just the 20-30 tunes that I'll play on a given night. I use them for keeping track of master tune lists for different bands, practice lists, pending lists, etc.

That's why I'm adding this note. When a set list gets big, it gets a little hard to manage.

I have a few suggestions for what would make this easier, but I'll start by describing the problems. There are lots of different ways to address these, and any assistance would be helpful. Again, the system is already doing a great job, and that's why I use iGigBook instead of the many other music readers I've bought. It's why I just bought an iPad Pro as an upgrade to my iPad and Android tablets, all of which are only used for iGigBook. But big set lists could be a little easier to work with.

So first, here are things that are a little inconvenient with large set lists:
  • Creating and editing are different tasks. The process of adding tunes to a set list is usually a different activity and mindset from the process of managing the contents of an existing list. When managing the contents, I'm mostly moving and deleting entries rather than adding new ones.
  • Few titles shown. The set list manager only shows a few tune titles at a time. To move tunes around in a large set list, a lot of scrolling and dragging is needed. This is especially apparent on a big device like the iPad Pro.
  • Move one title at a time.The set list manager lets me move one tune at a time. But I frequently add several versions of the same tune to a set list, from different books. (In a 'pending' or 'practice' list this might be to compare the versions. In an actual gig set list, it might be to be sure I have a few different keys or versions ready for different contingencies.) This means I need to drag each of two, three, or more versions from where they are to where they need to be.
  • Added tunes go to the end.When I add a tune, it goes at the end, but that isn't usually where I want it. Dragging it up across many scrolled pages is time-consuming. It's multiplied if I add a few versions of the same tune. This is not a problem if the list is alphabetical (I can just sort it) but that is not usually how my material is organized.
  • No preview on tunes already in list.When adding tunes to an iOS set list, there is a handy page preview; but this isn't available for tunes already within the set list. If I have several versions of the same tune and I want to delete one or more of them, e.g. if we've picked the version we're going to use, it's hard to determine which one is which. I might wind up deleting the wrong one. I need to go to the set list viewer, see what order they're in, then remember to keep the third one.
With this in mind, here are some things that would make my large set lists much easier to use, and much more valuable.
  • New editor app. Perhaps the simplest approach would be a new stand-alone app for manipulating the contents of a set list, with easy controls for viewing and reordering the entries. It would display a whole page of titles (dozens as opposed to the handful shown today) and would use the kind of interface familiar from file manager apps, with multi-select, copy/paste between lists, PDF generation, etc.
  • 'Edit mode' in set list viewer. If the viewer had an 'edit mode' that let me change the order, that would speed things up a lot. Because the viewer provides a whole page of song titles, instead of just a few at the bottom as in the manager, scrolling would be much reduced. This would probably be my preferred solution -- add a 'gear' or 'pencil' icon to the set list viewer that allows the entries to be moved around.
  • Preview in manager's set list contents. Within the set list manager, if the useful preview page shown on title searches could also be shown on set list entries, that would save a lot of time in examining current contents.
  • Multi-select in set list manager. We currently have an icon on each title for deletion. A new toggle button could be provided, to switch between 'delete mode' and 'multi-select mode'. 'Delete mode' would work just like today. 'Multi-select' would turn all those icons into checkboxes. We would then check one or more title, and then be able to drag all the selected titles to a new position (i.e. drag any one of them as we do today, and all the others would be placed immediately after it). (If an 'edit mode' were added to the set list viewer, multi-select would be handy there as well.)
  • Manage list mode. A new toggle could be provided, to switch between today's 'add tunes mode' (with a large space for title searches and a small space for set list contents) and a new 'manage list mode' (with the reverse, a small space for title searches and a large space for set list contents). This would reduce the amount of scrolling needed. (Another approach would be to make the two regions resizeable, presumably a much harder project.) Here's an example of how this might look on an iPad Pro.
    iGigSLMbb.jpg
    iGigSLMbb.jpg (146.06 KiB) Viewed 3188 times
  • Split window mode. A new toggle could be provided, to switch between 'add tunes mode' and 'split window mode'. In the new 'split window mode' the left and right parts of the page would each display a list of titles from a set list -- either two different set lists or two positions in the same set list. We could then drag titles from left to right or right to left. When doing this within a single set list, I could drag new titles from the end, where they are added, over to the places where I want them. This is similar to what we do today with copying set list contents to the search results; but it would let us move just selected items, and (most important for me) let us move items within a single set list. Here's an example of how this might look on an iPad Pro.
    iGigSLMcc.jpg
    iGigSLMcc.jpg (155.52 KiB) Viewed 3188 times
  • Add tunes at current position, not at end. When clicking 'add song' (or maybe via a new button 'add song here') put the song at the top or middle of the current list of viewed titles, rather than at the end of the set list. This could be handled in a few different ways to make it intuitive. That would save a lot of time when adding material that belongs in the middle of the list.
  • Implement Android-style 'move up/down' buttons, plus others. The Android version has 'move up/down' buttons instead of title dragging. Adding this to iOS, plus several other actions such as 'move up/down 10', 'move to top', etc. could speed things up when moving items in large lists. This would be really helpful with 'multi-select'.
I realize that none of these would be simple changes. However the underlying use cases reflect things that I do every week -- areas where I feel that significant time and effort could be saved if the tool had a few additional widgets. Please understand that these 'wish list' suggestions are simply attempts to give you feedback on how iGigBook is currently being used, and on ways that it might possibly address a wider range of uses. It may or may not be possible or practical to address these needs -- but I will keep using iGigBook to do these things one way or the other. Thanks again for a great tool.

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Phil Smith
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Re: Expanded tools for managing set lists

Post by Phil Smith » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:56 am

The limitations that you are experiencing are due to the fact that set lists were not designed to be used in the way that you are trying to use them. Having said that, there are some things that you can do to address some of the issues that you are having.
  • Creating and editing are different tasks. The process of adding tunes to a set list is usually a different activity and mindset from the process of managing the contents of an existing list. When managing the contents, I'm mostly moving and deleting entries rather than adding new ones.
  • Few titles shown. The set list manager only shows a few tune titles at a time. To move tunes around in a large set list, a lot of scrolling and dragging is needed. This is especially apparent on a big device like the iPad Pro.
  • Move one title at a time.The set list manager lets me move one tune at a time. But I frequently add several versions of the same tune to a set list, from different books. (In a 'pending' or 'practice' list this might be to compare the versions. In an actual gig set list, it might be to be sure I have a few different keys or versions ready for different contingencies.) This means I need to drag each of two, three, or more versions from where they are to where they need to be.
  • Added tunes go to the end.When I add a tune, it goes at the end, but that isn't usually where I want it. Dragging it up across many scrolled pages is time-consuming. It's multiplied if I add a few versions of the same tune. This is not a problem if the list is alphabetical (I can just sort it) but that is not usually how my material is organized.
  • No preview on tunes already in list.When adding tunes to an iOS set list, there is a handy page preview; but this isn't available for tunes already within the set list. If I have several versions of the same tune and I want to delete one or more of them, e.g. if we've picked the version we're going to use, it's hard to determine which one is which. I might wind up deleting the wrong one. I need to go to the set list viewer, see what order they're in, then remember to keep the third one.
Move one title at a time.
The list on the right which contains the songs in the set allows you to individually add its items to the Set Work Space, you do this by taping the item you want and then taping it again to add it to the Set Work Space. Let's say I have 3 sets S1, S2 and S3 and I want to pull 5 songs from S1 and 3 songs from S2 and add these 8 songs to S3. I select S1 from the left and then using the list on the right tap twice on the 5 songs I want which adds them to the Set Work Space and I repeat this process with S2. I then select S3 from the list on the left and then on the right select Add Results and my 8 items are added to S3.
No preview on tunes already in list.


You can take advantage of the ability to add the contents of a Set to the Set Work Space, which makes visible the source of the song (the PDF it comes from) along with page preview. You can also take advantage of the View Jumper, the first icon at the top right whenever you're viewing a PDF page. This allows you to view a full page in the Gig Set Viewer and then "jump" to the Set List Manager without having to back out from the page view. Selecting the Gig Set View tab takes you right back to the song you were viewing.
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spinality
iGigBook User
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Expanded tools for managing set lists

Post by spinality » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:31 pm

Thanks for these suggestions. And yes, I realize that set lists weren't designed for this purpose, but nevertheless they remain the best tool available for this kind of activity. So I continue to work within the available framework, and it is workable...but if, in the future, you are able to make life easier for working with large set lists, then that could give the product a wider range of uses.

spinality
iGigBook User
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Expanded tools for managing set lists

Post by spinality » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:43 pm

Let me make one further comment: On large displays like the iPad Pro and big Android tablets, it "feels" like there's a lot of under-utilized space. Working in a little scroll area containing only nine tunes from the current set list can feel constraining, when so much of the rest of the page seems available. If there were any way in future to let us adjust the proportions of how much space goes to the various areas/functions, that would speed up my own activities a lot, and help us tailor iGigBook use to our own needs/styles, which do vary from user to user and device to device.

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