Sonos Version 6.4 Now in Public Beta



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it will Play Now (expected action would be that you would get Queue has been edited dialog)
No, because Play Now is non-destructive on the queue.


Chris,

Please don't give up... this is obviously important to you and perhaps everyone else here.

To go back and keep things simple then.. If you do a Sonos search and tap a single song, there are only a few things it can possibly do:

It can insert song into your queue (at point of focus) and begin playing it (which is what it does now)... Queue is not destroyed.

It can replace the whole unedited queue and begin playing (that's already an option on the context menu)

It can play the song next, or add it to end of the queue (but these options are also on context menu).

So what would you expect the tap on such a song (held outside of a playlist or album) to do?

If we can start with what you expect to see instead, I think there would be a better understanding of the point you are trying to highlight to everyone.
I'm really sorry if my earlier post confused things ... I completely accept my earlier mistake, but I was trying to simplify things... I just did it badly.

However, that aside, I really cannot see a problem with the default tap action on a single track (held outside of a playlist or album). I'm struggling to see what else could be done by the programmers, other than changing the default tap action to actually replacing the existing queue with the single track... I certainly don't want to see that.

I think the way it works now is just fine. I'm not finding an issue with it, albeit I'm sure I'm using a different controller device to Chris.
I agree with Chris' disappointment.

From my POV it is a cardinal sin for the UI to allow me to accidentally interrupt whatever is currently playing.

This used to be possible only when the queue was showing on screen. A previous update improved upon that situation by having the queue folded away by default, out of harms way.

The new change has now introduced this exposure into the browsing experience (!), and has made it hair triggered.

And for what? .. To save some people one further click to start playing their selection. I really dislike the change. It is like someone has recalled my car, and I find that they moved the brake into the middle of the steering wheel, so that they can sell more cars to amputees.

The other thing which irks me is that Sonos was initially so keen to deliver simplicity, that they went too far (IMO), and didn't implement configuration options.

Now they seem to have lost this focus, and the UI actions are becoming overloaded. Play Next works differently when the queue is exhausted, to how it works when the queue is active. ... Three times now I have accidentally caused queued and completed items to be replayed; another thing which does my head in.

Play Now works differently in a search list, than it does in all other situations. I understand Ratty's and Ken's point, but it is confusing IMO. An accidental tap when scrolling in a search list is a mood killer, whereas you are protected elsewhere.

Rather than overloading menu actions it would be better if it sought further instruction in situations where there were choices. Maybe a pop-up a question saying "This Track Only or ALL From Here"? for Play Next in a non-search list situation. That would be better than Sonos making modal assumptions about what I want to play, and whether I am OK to interrupt something.
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Thx Barry
Looking back over the posts regarding the beta, one of the biggest things asked for by the users was the simple 'Play' or 'Play Now' feature. I am not disappointed with it.

Some users said they expected it to add the selected track to the end of the queue, instead of inserting it at the 'focus' within the queue, but I think the latter was a much better innovative idea, as the queue could then continue on afterwards... but to the best of my memory the old 'play' context menu feature in v6.3 interrupted what was playing anyway ... So I don't see the reason why people are now complaining about the interruption effect that the 'Play Now' feature has on the queue.

Next, if I look back at Chris's early comments he says this:

- Edit Queue
- Search for Song
- when song results show accidentally tap on the song
- it will Play Now (expected action would be that you would get Queue has been edited dialog)

This is a misunderstanding by Chris ... There is no such dialog box in the software that simply warns a queue has been edited. (..or maybe I should say, "is about to be re-edited") by the user.

The reason the warning dialog box is presented to the end-user is to actually warn them that they are about to REPLACE an entire edited queue, not that the queue has simply been edited ... The 'play now' feature (as Ratty rightly says is non-destructive) in other words, the track selected is NOT replacing the queue... It is simply inserting the track into the queue (whether it has been edited, or not). The queue is not being replaced or lost. Hence no dialogue box will ever appear arising from the 'play now' feature.

I think that is where some of the confusion lies and I don't think anyone wants to see any more dialog boxes about adding tracks to a queue etc.

Next then, if the default action of inserting a single track from the songs results list is not acceptable, we have to ask 'what is a better option?'

Personally, I think there isn't a better option in this case, but I did suggest that you could let a tap on a single song (outside an album or playlist), replace the entire queue, but I think that would be a mistake to make that the default 'tap' option.

That's my view... I think it works just fine ...and i know Chris and others here, are saying things work differently elsewhere in the app... All I can say is that isn't true. The only place where things are inconsistent, that I can see is in the earlier reported folders issue, which Chris reported to Sonos last week.

If anyone can direct me to where there are other inconsistencies involving a standalone song and it's default (play now) action is different then I will stand corrected (again), but I think that people are either encountering the (reported) folder issue, or they are selecting non-standalone tracks that are part of an album or playlist ... which, of course, will replace the queue with/or without the Replace-Warning dialogue box, depending on whether or not the existing queue has previously been edited.

My fear is some of the misunderstandings here, will result in the 'play now' feature being dropped and put back to a later release date, whereas I think it works as I would expect in many ways, albeit I would like to see Rattys recent suggested solution involving the "exhausted-queue" matter implemented, before the beta becomes the next/final release candidate.
In fact I have just thought of one other possible option, which might solve Chris' accidental 'tap' issue and that is to maybe ask the Sonos programmers to remove the ability to tap on a standalone song in the results list and to shift the 'Play Now' default action to the top of the (right click) context menu... It means tapping a song would not perform any action, but a long press (or right click) on a song or selecting the (...) ellipsis, would reveal the context menu, which would contain all the 'play' options... but isn't that what v6.3 used to do?

Just a suggestion, but I still like how it works now, but I accept it may perhaps not be entirely user-friendly on Chris' particular mobile controller.
isn't that what v6.3 used to do?
Yes, but on a simple tap not a long touch.
isn't that what v6.3 used to do?
Yes, but on a simple tap not a long touch.


In which case I would have expected that Chris was once accidentally clicking on his search results tracks in the songs tab, but was 'acceptably', but regularly, seeing his context menu in the earlier v6.3 of the software.

Neither case is of course acceptable, so I think the current long-press, or the ellipsis, context menu option, available in the current beta, would solve things for Chris. That could mean removing the 'Play Now’ default tap-action entirely from a standalone song and switching the 'Play Now' option over to the current context menu. This is only a suggestion by the way.

Let me just say again, this is not something I would want to see myself, as I don't get the 'accidental tap' issue on my tablet controller, but the software should work as best as possible for all users and on ALL the different controllers that are available to the end-user.

I'm sure Sonos Support Staff read these threads and despite my earlier 'playlist mistake', which I have apologised for, they will hopefully see and get a clear understanding of this issue raised by Chris and look to possible solutions themselves, before the final software release candidate.

I have suggested one possible fix (which I don't particularly want to see myself), but if there are any other suggestions from people here, then I think they should submit the usual Sonos beta feedback and/or post any other suggestions here, so the developers can be made aware and decide what maybe best for the release candidate.

I really do hope though, that we do not lose the 'Play Now' feature entirely and that the developers decide to remove it until these things can be considered and then implemented at some later date. I really like the way it works right now.

I think adding the 'Play Now' to the context menu is a bit of a step back towards v6.3 and I quite like the current simple one-click 'play' options that we see in this beta.

I guess we also don't know what the company plans are for the 30th August and whether or not these single-click features may have any bearing on future Sonos plans of integration with some other third-party apps etc.
That's my view... I think it works just fine ...and i know Chris and others here, are saying things work differently elsewhere in the app... All I can say is that isn't true.

I don't agree.

L... to the best of my memory the old 'play' context menu feature in v6.3 interrupted what was playing anyway ... So I don't see the reason why people are now complaining about the interruption effect that the 'Play Now' feature has on the queue. .... [snip] .... If anyone can direct me to where there are other inconsistencies involving a standalone song and it's default (play now) action is different then I will stand corrected (again)

The production version protects you against accidental interruption of what is currently playing. Both the tap, and long tap, actions brought up the the Play Now, Play Next, etc menu, where you can make your explicit choice.

This issue has been introduced by the beta changes.

If I have searched for an album or artist or genre etc, it is still OK, as a tap just opens the item, and a long tap displays the popup menu. When the album or whatever has been opened, the currently playing track is protected by the new "edited queue" confirmation dialog box.

But if I have searched for a song, the tap action is now a hair triggered mood destroyer, as it starts playing the track, interrupting whatever track was in progress. This is unwelcome in my opinion. It is also to some degree inconsistent and unexpected, as no other list item tap has this destructive effect. I realise that the "Playing this will replace the queue" confirmation dialog box is a by-product of the fact that all other taps are selecting track selections, but the result is that in other circumstances a tap against an listed item cannot break the mood. In those other situations you have to do this explicitly by selecting a menu item.

Maybe I am OTT, but I think that the answer to the question "how often is it OK for the UI to allow accidental interruption of the currently playing track (or the forward queue)?" is the same as the answer to "how often is OK to drop the baby on its head?".

Neither case is of course acceptable, so I think the current long-press, or the ellipsis, context menu option, available in the current beta, would solve things for Chris. That could mean removing the 'Play Now’ default tap-action entirely from a standalone song and switching the 'Play Now' option over to the current context menu. This is only a suggestion by the way.

I can't speak for Chris, but it sounds like an improvement to me.

Some users said they expected it [Play Next] to add the selected track to the end of the queue, instead of inserting it at the 'focus' within the queue, but I think the latter was a much better innovative idea, as the queue could then continue on afterwards.

The "'focus' of the queue" explains away nothing. It is like saying "the driver hit you because he was drunk". It explains away, and forgives nothing.

And I don't think that it was in innovative idea. I think that it is a bug, or an oversight at best.

It is ok that the UI visually rolls the queue back to the beginning, as the user may elect to replay it. But Play Next's insertion point should still be at the end of the currently playing, or last played, track IMO.

The UI shouldn't deliver surprises. ie. The queue is exhausted. ... I select an album and Play Next ... I hear it start playing ... I see it queued ... all good apparently .... but if I scroll down to the bottom of the album, I see that it is to be followed by all but the 1st track of the old queue. ... Surprise!
Barry M,

All I can say is you and I are poles-apart with the way the v6.4 beta software now works. I doubt we shall ever reach agreement. I prefer the single one-click feature and I'm not suffering any accidental interruptions with my current controller.

The exhausted queue feature that you mention lastly in your post, is easily solveable according to Ratty and I think his earlier suggestion to resolve it was a very good idea. It's also easily understood as to why it currently happens and that is after a queue finishes playing the focus shifts back to the beginning ready to play the queue again, so anything added is fired into the position immediately after the first track... I don't see that as a major issue personally speaking, but it is something that I agree should be fixed, before final release, if that is practicable, within current deadlines.

As I don't get the accidental interruptions to my playing queue, I am happy with the much faster interface and don't want to see the return of always using the slower context menu options... I prefer one single press to play my music, not two or more... Not only is it faster, but a lot more music is now added to my queue than before and I find I am listening to more music than beforehand.

I don't agree about the Play Now feature inserting the track as just being an oversight or a bug... Before, in v6.3 the 'Play' context menu option (to the best of my memory) added the chosen track to the bottom of the existing queue, the queue stopped playing the track it was playing (if any) and began playing the chosen last track added. The entire (remaining) queue was effectively 'skipped' by the 'Play action, just to play the one newly added track. Then afterwards the music simply stopped.

The new 'Play Now' feature adds the track to below the current 'focus' of the queue and so in most cases it inserts the track into the existing queue and plays it and then the rest of the queue that follows it is then played... So effectively the music just keeps on playing to the end of the queue.

I don't see that as an oversight, nor a bug... It's innovative, compared to how things worked in v6.3.

So we will just have to agree to disagree and perhaps move on.

I did suggest the context menu 'fix' earlier to perhaps help solve Chris' 'accidental-interruption' problem in his songs-results list, but let me just say again, I would personally not want to see that feature myself, as I don't get the issue on my tablet controller, but it is right that the Sonos developers should look to try to please the majority of their users.

I guess whatever happens with the ongoing development of this beta, its nigh on impossible to please all the people, all the time.
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Looking on at the passion with which these views are being expressed about these changes - for and against - I would be a bit worried if I were Sonos. This has shown that we all have very different listening behaviours. I have to admit a lot of the changes I foiund to be unintuitive and disruptive but clearly others love the direction.

In terms of Play Now inserting tracks after 1st song after queue is exhausted is clearly a bug and can be easily fixed.
Looking on at the passion with which these views are being expressed about these changes - for and against.

Yes, there is a strong passion all round and I certainly don't mean anything 'personal' towards anyone by anything I have said here. I do appreciate some people may have a different viewpoint and their views are just as important as anyone else's, but it's better to 'air' these things and bring them into the open and not suppress or censor them, so the company can perhaps then find some degree of true common-ground between us all.

One of the stumbling blocks, that might be giving rise to some of the different views here, are the many types of different controller devices now in use for controlling the Sonos hardware. Whilst the controller software interface is meant to work the same (or similar) for the majority of devices it seems apparent to me that screen size and some differences between larger tablets and smaller mobiles may sometimes bring different user problems to the table and besides that, we all probably use the Sonos software in different ways.

My thoughts are that Chris was perhaps using a mobile and was finding navigation an issue and causing him to select songs by accident.. That's something I don't experience with my larger tablet.

Also (as another example) Chris was creating links to folders from his music library as links to his own albums/playlists which he 'stored' as playlists in his Sonos Favorites and that's when he encountered the recently reported folders issue, which Sonos has acknowledged and are investigating. I did not stumble on the folders issue, as I don't save such playlist links to my own music albums.

It's good though, I think, to ALWAYS raise these issues... We certainly should not 'fall out' with each other over such matters, even if we do strongly try to support our own points of view.

I'm sure if Sonos got rid of the 'Play Now' tap feature from the songs results list and moved it over to the context menu, that I would not be banging my drum about that - I would just accept it as a necessary compromise and move on, but that shouldn't stop me fighting my corner right now to keep the 'Play Now' tap feature in that list, as it seems to work just fine in the case of my own controller.

Compromise usually comes along eventually, even if that means I have to change the way I use the Sonos software... I am happy to change my ways to suit the views of the majority, in the same way that I am more than happy to say 'sorry' to people, whenever I get things wrong.
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Its not just that I'm using the mobile controller and fat fingering. Its just instinctively clicking on a song and I'm not always using my Sonos when I'm thinking about what I'm doing (I have been just clicking on the song for years now in search to bring up menu - I don't just stop doing overnight). I myself can teach myself to try and stop clicking on a song. However, visitors to my house I can't train like that. They are going to click on the song and stop the music - will happen and will happen a lot with the clicking interrupting the currently playing queue. I can't be alone in this with anyone else who has multiple users interacting with their Sonos. If it was just us owners then we could probably just "deal with it". The new methods for the Sonos controller are there to make it easy for a single user to interact and quickly play what is on their mind. In a multiuser environment with multiple people adding songs to a queue it is a very different situation.

I am not against the changes as some think. I know Sonos is trying to make it as easy as possible for people to quickly play the music they want and the new way is the way most people have learned to play on their mobile device with other apps (and will help sell more speakers with that familiarity - however flawed I think the method is). Its just a matter of some tweaks to not at the same time reduce usability for queue users. Refinement isn't there YET.
I don't agree about the Play Now feature inserting the track as just being an oversight or a bug... Before, in v6.3 the 'Play' context menu option (to the best of my memory) added the chosen track to the bottom of the existing queue, the queue stopped playing the track it was playing (if any) and began playing the chosen last track added. The entire (remaining) queue was effectively 'skipped' by the 'Play action, just to play the one newly added track. Then afterwards the music simply stopped.

The new 'Play Now' feature adds the track to below the current 'focus' of the queue and so in most cases it inserts the track into the existing queue and plays it and then the rest of the queue that follows it is then played... So effectively the music just keeps on playing to the end of the queue.


Ken, its a bug. If it was a feature, it would have inserted the new material at position 0, so that the subsequent queue replay included the whole queue, and didn't skip track #1. ... What kind of "feature" would that be?

I guess whatever happens with the ongoing development of this beta, its nigh on impossible to please all the people, all the time.

Now that it is becoming a mature piece of s/w, and growing into other customer sets, maybe they just have to start using the neglected Manage|Settings menu option a bit more heartily.

It is good that you are getting positive things from the changes. There are some changes in there that I like also. With just a few configuration settings, and a bug fix 🙂, we could all be as happy as you are. ... 1-Click on|off would do the trick, although maybe Amazon would have something to say about that.
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Yes a one-click off toggle in settings and the controller is fine - forces the > menu to always be used which is what the old version was (just that clicking action brought up that menu previously - which is hard habit to break instinctively)

One click has been tailored for the new method - just make an advanced setting option to turn off one click and I think all would be fine clicking on the > instead of the song name and pretty much is the same as old version then. No one would then accidentally click on song and get the pop up warning or have music stop.

Ryan can you pass that along (although I know they hate user definable options).
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Chris, I understand your reasoning but I still overall disagree with you.

I feel the way it behaves now when clicking on a song in search is exactly as it should behave. For the queue has been edited warning to pop up, this would be plain wrong. If in fact you are not asking for the "queue edited" warning but instead a menu popup with play now, play next etc then this is more sensible but I still think its better as it is.

For every person like yourself who wants a menu pop up to prevent "accidentally clicking on the song" there are plenty of others would be frustrated to have a menu pop up every time they want to play a song they have searched for instead of just playing it. As it doesn't replace the queue, no warnings are needed.

Okay, so if you accidentally click the song rather than the 3 dots button to the right, it will start playing but this would be the user's fault for clicking the song rather than the menu button. You can learn this but your friends who come over might click the song by mistake? Is it really that hard to tell them, "no don't click the song, click the menu button and add to queue"? They wouldn't learn this soon enough?

Is it really better to have a menu pop up EVERY time we wish to play a searched song just to avoid the occasional accidental play by new/inexperienced users?
Android build 331532141 seems a little more friendly. If I use the "..." options or press and hold on a track, I can add a single track to the Queue. I'm somewhat perplexed with the quick tap sometimes popping up the Edit Queue warning and other times simply replacing the Queue. In the "pass the controller around during a party" operational mode, I don't think that is is useful for the first user to encounter the popup warning, while subsequent users do not see the warning.

And, I continue to not fully understand why a segment of users is so adamant about the "play from here" characteristic. Yes, this is the way Cylinders, 78's, LP's, Cassettes, and CD's worked, but this was just the physical reality, not a deliberate "feature". With hard drive based music, I don't understand why we need to emulate this legacy reality because random access is so easy. For me, the random access characteristic is liberating. Certainly, "play from here" can easily be implemented for those who want it, but I prefer that it not be the default.
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Toggling one click off in settings is good idea to solve Chris's issue though I myself would never toggle it. But sure, implementing a switch in settings would solve the problem for anyone who finds it a problem.
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gtrance - realize when I say a pop up warning for play now I'm talking about the pop up only happening when queue has been edited. Just like pop up happens when you click on song/album you browsed to in library. If you haven't edited the queue it of course wouldn't pop up the message. I'm am talking about with edited queue only in all my comments. If the queue has not been edited then no pop ups occur at all.

Are you saying that if the queue has been edited and in a case where you are listening to a queue, not individually playing songs/albums, that you would still want the single press of a song to stop the currently playing song and play immediately?
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And, I continue to not fully understand why a segment of users is so adamant about the "play from here" characteristic. Yes, this is the way Cylinders, 78's, LP's, Cassettes, and CD's worked, but this was just the physical reality, not a deliberate "feature". With hard drive based music, I don't understand why we need to emulate this legacy reality because random access is so easy. For me, the random access characteristic is liberating. Certainly, "play from here" can easily be implemented for those who want it, but I prefer that it not be the default.


Because a segment of users (majority of users?) often like to listen to playlist or album but possibly not from track one and this makes it very simple to do just that. The old way required so many clicks to achieve such a simple thing, it was very frustrating and made the sonos system feel clunky and backwards in this regard. Before, when wishing to play an album or playlist from the middle, it required adding the whole lot then going to queue and finding the track we wish to start from and selecting it. Now we can just click it. Much better.

I do use the queue and often add tracks to the queue and make queue edits. But I do this when I have time at home, listening to music and building my queue as I please. But far more often in everyday use, I don't have time for adding and building a queue. I may be getting ready for work, getting the kids dressed, bathed, cooking dinner whatever. For these far more regular uses, I just want to hit play and go.

There is no right or wrong way in how we each use Sonos and listen to music so some will always prefer one way to another. But what grates with me is posts from yourself and others who seem to refuse to understand/accept why many users prefer the new beta way of playing music compared to before.
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gtrance - realize when I say a pop up warning for play now I'm talking about the pop up only happening when queue has been edited. Just like pop up happens when you click on song/album you browsed to in library. If you haven't edited the queue it of course wouldn't pop up the message. I'm am talking about with edited queue only in all my comments. If the queue has not been edited then no pop ups occur at all.

Are you saying that if the queue has been edited and in a case where you are listening to a queue, not individually playing songs/albums, that you would still want the single press of a song to stop the currently playing song and play immediately?


Yes Chris. As playing the searched song does not replace the queue, but merely inserts itself into the current position, there is no need to pop up the queue edited warning. For albums, playlists where they will replace the queue then of course the "queue edited" warning is essential (I've been thankful for the warning a few times already) but for playing a single searched for song that will not replace the queue, why would we need a warning.

Queue has been edited.

I search a song, and wish to listen immediately. I click it, It plays in the queues current position and then the rest of the queue continues as before. Perfect.

Or:

Queue has been edited.

I search song, wish to listen immediately, click it and a box pops up warning me the queue has been edited. So? It's not replacing the queue so why does it matter whether the queue has been edited or not? I've clicked it because I wish to play it. My queue may be edited, doesn't matter. If I click the song, its because I want to play the song, otherwise I would click the 3 dots button.

Again, if it were replacing the edited queue that would be different but it only inserts itself into the queue's current position so no warning required.
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But it stops the current playing music. The music in queue stopping abruptly is about as bad as the queue being replaced. That is our fundamental difference in opinion (nothing wrong with having a difference of opinion).

You have people over at your house. You have music playing and are building a nice queue of requests people want to hear that night.

Billy Bob whoever looks for his favorite song on the controller. Finds it. Clicks on song. Now all of a sudden the music stops and we all get to hear Billy Bob's song - Thanks a lot Billy Bob. Well Billy Bob didn't mean to butt in line and turn off Jane Doe's favorite song she was enjoying at that moment. All he did was click on the song. No warning ... no options. Jane Doe very mad at Billy Bob.

Note: Not giving the untrained Billy Bob the controller is not the answer. Sharing of music in a group is a fundamental part of what has made Sonos successful. It is the reason even before this version of the controller that people have asked repeatedly for a party mode that would disable play now (even disable ability to control volume, groups etc. by other users). We have taken a step back with the new controller when it comes to multi-user use that makes Party Mode even more critical to have if issue not corrected.
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Chris, yes in that scenario, a pop up would be helpful but this would mean that we have to endure a pop up everytime we wish to play a track (in edited queue) just to cover the odd circumstance that Billy Bob has come over and hasn't yet understand the very simple way of adding vs playing a searched song.

Other than that, it doesn't matter that it interrupts the currently playing queue. If I have clicked on the song, I want it to interrupt the queue and start playing, that is the very reason I clicked it in the first place.

As Ratty mentioned before, the queue is always in use, whether we have edited it or just started a new album from fresh, once the music is playing, the queue is playing. If I click on a searched song, it should and does play immediately in the currently playing queue. As it doesn't replace the queue, no warning required.

I guess we can go back and forth like this all day, we won't convince each other. My main two points to make in regard to your posts are:

1) The only scenario I see your way useful is to prevent accidental playing and I don't feel this is a reason to enforce an annoying pop up warning every 99 times out of a 100 we deliberately wish to play the searched for song to protect the 1 out of 100 times, Billy bob made a mistake

2) I felt it important to throw my 2 pennies worth into this discussion as your earlier posts made this behaviour sound like an obvious bug that needs fixing/refining when in fact, I feel they have it spot on.

😃
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or if you didn't want the pop up hit the .... and chose Play Now. 2 clicks and only when it is an edited queue not when just playing music without editing.

Note: I left off that Billy Bob probably had too much to drink when he forgot.

Last comment on ... I have given my opinion.
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If the touch controllers allowed multiple selections, so many of things that are unbelievably cumbersome to achieve now would be so much quicker - including adding multiple tracks from albums and play lists.