My impressions of this skin.
Really nice overall, the nicest change for me was the font(s), much much nicer with these new ones. The media Info screens are lovely. Quite quick too. Love the icons in the settings screen. Makes me almost wish we could use them on the homescreen. The red colour is perfect with the white/grey. Ive found lately that I like xbmc just to be the hub, neutral, limited amounts of art on display (seems to be what this skin is all about). -(an argument for allowing the icons to be homescreen icons perhaps)?
A few thoughts/criticisms:
1) I like to browse music by files, always have, probably always will, I'm the master of organising my music. Is it possible to make the MUSIC homepage link take you to music files mode? (by the way, love the party mode dropdown/submenu idea, much needed IMO!)- quick, easy access to a variety of tunes.
2) Browsing music/pictures in the grid. Its just my opinion, but for me, the items which are un-selected just look a bit too washed-out. I think most of the skin is elegant and subtle, I think this viewmode lets it down a touch. Would it be against the design ethos to have them all in focus? (full colour), and to indicate the highlighted item, just increase its size (as in posterview).
3) Maybe this is too drastic a change, but I cant see any way to remove Programs entirely from the homescreen. That would be good. I dont use xbmc for tv library either, (just movies). -wish I could remove homescreen items basically.
4) Video OSD is good enough, always appreciated the 'Time ending' detail of Aeon/Mediastream though, miss that. (so and so video will end at...)
5) Updating the homepage section images. Quite a hiccup caused by loading them all in at once (asrock 330). Would it be less clunky to load on 1 by 1? ie:
music ---> movies ---> videos
from left to right kinda thing. Maybe the menus items themselves could pulse a bit as if receiving new life (think xbox 360 menu items). I think this would be good.. as I think perhaps the homescreen is too static/bare?
6) Maybe it could do with a powerdown/favourites area at the bottomleft (like Xperience). (i guess it might conflict with the whole up and down scroll on the icons tho).
7) Could the up-down (sub-menu?) item/texts be made to visibly scroll instead of just change from one to the other? Might look nicer.
8) Browsing images in files layout. Maybe the display size of the image preview is in a nice proportion to the rest of the screen, but if think it should be bigger. I know this will vary from user to user, but if you take the recommended viewing distance (to which I think I adhere); I sit 6 feet away from the 40" screen and I find the images too small to be satisfying to glance at.
Transitions in this viewtype, I think imageviewing is not given enough attention by xbmc in general. I recently discovered Moovida and their approach to transitions was beautiful. If youve not seen it, do check it out, it makes viewing the images much more enjoyable (even for such simple transitions).
example (at about 3mins in):
Maybe the files viewtype (for pictures) could shuffle the images off to the left as you scroll down, replacing with the new image. (imagine it fading out as it moves away). I think it could look nice/subtle.
9) There's no 'play disc' menu item when you have a CD/DVD/BD in the drive.
10) Seems to be no onscreen keyboard or audio settings menu (latter, when accessed from the video OSD). -just noticed there are a few notification box graphics parts not present in this skin, I guess these are still to be done.
11) Problem when moving around menus? left left, right right (on settings or homescreen), highlight seems to double-back on itself? Not sure how to describe (anyone else see this?)
12) Rocky 6 failed to add to the database so I selected SetContent to add it using imdb instead of themoviedb... black screen followed by crash, log:
13) NowPlaying details, any plans to add duration (elapsed/total) infos?
(I currently get some text overlapping issues in my nowplaying area (artist overlaps song title), just to say.
Sorry for such a long post. Wanted to get down everything I could.
Pretty annoyed at the mo tho, seem to have f'd my dinovo mini touchpad.