Bryston Manic Moose Interface

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James Tanner

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Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« on: 24 Jun 2020, 11:08 am »
Bryston Manic Moose Interface

Hi Folks,

A thread for a discussion on our “Manic Moose” interface for our digital products – BDP’s etc.

Like most interfaces some of our customers love it and some find it lacking in certain areas. So, I would like to get feedback from those of you using it as to what you like and what you find troublesome. That way we can try and address the issues and make it better going forward.

I know some of you use ROON and other 3rd party interfaces with our BDP’s etc. so let us know what you prefer about those interfaces. I use Manic Moose exclusively because I have all my music in 'Folders' whereas ROON does not allow for that type of library setup.

Thanks for your input – much appreciated.

james

Mesanjah05

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jun 2020, 02:30 pm »
James,
Overall I am content with MM and as such have but one request.  I tend to stay in the default-directory structure.  What I would like to see is the ability to add a song to a playlist that is active with the option of placing the new song as "next" as opposed to it being delegated to the end of the list.  I understand that this option is available in album/artist mode, but I tend to avoid using that mode as in loads very slowly and in a haphazard manner on my ipad.

James Tanner

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #2 on: 24 Jun 2020, 02:51 pm »
James,
Overall I am content with MM and as such have but one request.  I tend to stay in the default-directory structure.  What I would like to see is the ability to add a song to a playlist that is active with the option of placing the new song as "next" as opposed to it being delegated to the end of the list.  I understand that this option is available in album/artist mode, but I tend to avoid using that mode as in loads very slowly and in a haphazard manner on my ipad.

OK thanks for the input - Chris reads these posts so I am sure he will make comments as we go along.

james

gbaby

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #3 on: 24 Jun 2020, 03:27 pm »
I like Manic Moose just the way it was developed. Its fine with me.

NorthMac

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #4 on: 24 Jun 2020, 03:42 pm »
Thanks James for opening this topic up.  In my view, to really open it up, the question should be: going forward what is the best user interface for Bryston digital products?  To me, it will not be any form of web interface like MM, except perhaps as an interface for deep-admin type settings that are used only intermittently. 

At a high level, the basic problem is that the web interface is nowhere near the level of excellence of Bryston hardware, and causes a disconnect in the user experience.  It is unfriendly, poorly organized, lacks many basic functions and is rather ugly to look at – all the things that Bryston hardware is not.  In the new world of digital music and streaming, the interface is what you interact with, and search with, and explore the world of your music choices with.  It should be front and centre with buyers, and it should be at the same level of design excellence as the hardware, and it is simply not.  The standard that has evolved in this sector, is not a web access, it is an app (or apps) accessed via smartphone or tablet – properly developed, these are what users enjoy using as controls.

I happen to have chosen to use Berrie’s media player apps almost exclusively over my 7 years with the Bryston BDP; Mpad when it was out, and now Rigelian.   These, like the apps developed by virtually all of Bryston’s competitors in the digital streaming sector, share these key design elements:

-   An album-art graphic centred experience that needs no manual
-   full use of metadata tags to allow multiple sorts of this graphic representation of users’ music
-   in particular access to instant sorting by Album, Artist, Genre, Composer, and Performer tags are all useful depending on the users’ music types
-   a simple and intuitive design with sort choices in a left column, and the majority of the screen devoted to the album graphics
-   streaming service choices are usually integrated in the same left column, again providing constant visibility and rapid access – streaming is integrated with users own music
-   many apps pull Artist information from web sources like last.fm, providing a sort of Roon-like additional layer

While Rigelian and other MPD players work well, they by necessity cannot fully integrate with Bryston equipment since they are universal – and there is something lost there as full access to streaming platforms requires going back to Manic Moose.

I note that both James and the initial poster use a folder directory to navigate – that is fine if people want to do that, but it competely misses the sorting and organizational options that rich file metadata provide.  Sometimes I want to cruise a genre, sometimes I want to search a composer, sometimes an artist….  I think the majority of digital music users do have their metadata sorted, and they want to use it in a visually satisfying way.

I understand that app development is a resource and cost – nonetheless talent in this field is out there even if it is not in-house right now.  Berrie from Rigelian as an example, I’m sure there are others.  Is there a shared approach eg. a joint venture of sorts, that could work with another maker?  But I feel that until Bryston makes available in some fashion their own app interface, the excellence of the Bryston designs will be undercut.  As an example, Aurender promotes its excellent Conductor app alongside their hardware – can we imagine Bryston doing that with Manic Moose? 

Lastly I would caution Bryston just relying on this forum as a measure of satisfaction for the web interface; I note that few of the posters in the initial years of the BDP-1 FAQ thread appear to be around – would be interested to know if the interface was a part of their leaving, but we will likely never know.   

Clive197

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #5 on: 24 Jun 2020, 04:10 pm »
I think Bryston should look at an app like Auralic’s Lightning DS, to see how a user friendly app should work, just a suggestion.

James Tanner

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #6 on: 24 Jun 2020, 04:33 pm »
That's interesting an APP vs a WEB Browser.

I will look into the plus and minus of both.

Thanks for the detailed input.

james

bobf

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #7 on: 24 Jun 2020, 07:55 pm »
I use Manic Moose for updates and settings for BDP3.

Most of my listening is from attached hard drive. Other listening is internet radio.

For playing music and internet radio I use MPDroid. This Android app is very fast at scrolling through music on the hard drive and convenient for making playlists. The internet radio stations I listen to are saved as playlists.

I tried Roon three times over three years and every time time found it hurt the sound when compared to Manic Moose.

Whatever changes are made be sure to preserve the excellent sound of Manic Moose.

zoom25

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #8 on: 24 Jun 2020, 07:59 pm »
Manic Moose was fairly easy to understand. It works well enough for my simple use. Roon is far better as an interface but it lacks folder view and that is one feature they are adamant about that will never be integrated with Roon as it goes against their philosophy. I still need folder view from time to time, so use Manic Moose. There are potential SQ considerations as well between MPD and RAAT. I use Manic Moose only with folder browsing in mind, so have had the database and metadata library stuff disabled. I do have Manic Moose running on a 27 inch iMac with enough real estate to have the window properly open in full size. It's not the best experience on smaller screens.

DLNA via any software has been very subpar for me. Improper syncs and stops. I have no desire to ever mess with that stuff. RAAT on a decent network has been absolutely trouble free both wired and wireless on the BDP. Apps like MPod and Soundirok also had their issues with updating correctly. For local music, Manic Moose all the way because I can get it do exactly what I want without any hiccups*. Simple.

(* I don't know if there were some changes with S2.40, but I've had this one constant weird issue that I don't think was there with S2.36. I have both NAS and USB drive in use. The NAS is always present and synced on the BDP. The USB hard drive moves around from to time, and thus it gets re-indexed on the BDP-1 from time to time from scratch. Whenever the USB drive is done indexing, no matter how long the unit has been running after that to make sure the task is finished, the BDP-1 always feels sluggish after that. I always run into the interface taking forever between folders and seeking tracks or changing tracks. Eventually it will freeze. I simply turn it off and then on, then it works flawlessly and instantly.)

Timslim18

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #9 on: 24 Jun 2020, 08:42 pm »
Thanks James for opening this topic up.  In my view, to really open it up, the question should be: going forward what is the best user interface for Bryston digital products?  To me, it will not be any form of web interface like MM, except perhaps as an interface for deep-admin type settings that are used only intermittently. 

At a high level, the basic problem is that the web interface is nowhere near the level of excellence of Bryston hardware, and causes a disconnect in the user experience.  It is unfriendly, poorly organized, lacks many basic functions and is rather ugly to look at – all the things that Bryston hardware is not.  In the new world of digital music and streaming, the interface is what you interact with, and search with, and explore the world of your music choices with.  It should be front and centre with buyers, and it should be at the same level of design excellence as the hardware, and it is simply not.  The standard that has evolved in this sector, is not a web access, it is an app (or apps) accessed via smartphone or tablet – properly developed, these are what users enjoy using as controls.

I happen to have chosen to use Berrie’s media player apps almost exclusively over my 7 years with the Bryston BDP; Mpad when it was out, and now Rigelian.   These, like the apps developed by virtually all of Bryston’s competitors in the digital streaming sector, share these key design elements:

-   An album-art graphic centred experience that needs no manual
-   full use of metadata tags to allow multiple sorts of this graphic representation of users’ music
-   in particular access to instant sorting by Album, Artist, Genre, Composer, and Performer tags are all useful depending on the users’ music types
-   a simple and intuitive design with sort choices in a left column, and the majority of the screen devoted to the album graphics
-   streaming service choices are usually integrated in the same left column, again providing constant visibility and rapid access – streaming is integrated with users own music
-   many apps pull Artist information from web sources like last.fm, providing a sort of Roon-like additional layer

While Rigelian and other MPD players work well, they by necessity cannot fully integrate with Bryston equipment since they are universal – and there is something lost there as full access to streaming platforms requires going back to Manic Moose.

I note that both James and the initial poster use a folder directory to navigate – that is fine if people want to do that, but it competely misses the sorting and organizational options that rich file metadata provide.  Sometimes I want to cruise a genre, sometimes I want to search a composer, sometimes an artist….  I think the majority of digital music users do have their metadata sorted, and they want to use it in a visually satisfying way.

I understand that app development is a resource and cost – nonetheless talent in this field is out there even if it is not in-house right now.  Berrie from Rigelian as an example, I’m sure there are others.  Is there a shared approach eg. a joint venture of sorts, that could work with another maker?  But I feel that until Bryston makes available in some fashion their own app interface, the excellence of the Bryston designs will be undercut.  As an example, Aurender promotes its excellent Conductor app alongside their hardware – can we imagine Bryston doing that with Manic Moose? 

Lastly I would caution Bryston just relying on this forum as a measure of satisfaction for the web interface; I note that few of the posters in the initial years of the BDP-1 FAQ thread appear to be around – would be interested to know if the interface was a part of their leaving, but we will likely never know.   

I cannot agree more with NorthMac's practical, well reasoned and intelligent response to the question James asked.

For fifteen years, Bryston has been my brand of choice as it is a Canadian manufacturer of well-designed, reliable, good quality, audiophile category of electronics.  In addition to 11 other Bryston pre-amps, amps, processors, etc. I currently own both a BDP-1 and a BDP-3 as well.

Sadly (and embarrassingly as an obviously biased Bryston fan) I am reluctant to use either of my BDP's because of inconsistent performance (drop-outs, loops, etc.) and especially because of the abysmal user interface.  Abysmal from both a look and feel and functional perspective.  I really have to question anyone who finds the user interface anything but ugly to look at and awkward and frustrating to navigate. 
Had the BDP-1 been my introductory Bryston experience, I would never have bought another Bryston box.  I would have thought... if the software is so badly designed how could the hardware be decent?  As NorthMac postulated above, James, you cannot rely on this forum for feedback on MM because they do not represent the silent majority who have tried and rejected MM.

As an eternal optimist, I bought the BDP-3 in the hope that Bryston would sufficiently fund the development of an improved interface for its sonically superior hardware.

Since then, I find that I am spending more and more of my listening time (at least 8 hours per day playing RadioParadise-FLAC and Qobuz) with my two Squeezebox Duet systems because of both BDP's inconsistency of performance and archaic interface.

I tried Rigelian and Soundirok for a better BDP experience than MM but iPeng for squeezebox is so much quicker, intuitive and slicker than anything I have found.  The non-audophile users at home have no problem with iPeng/squeezebox function and navigation but just shake their heads at MM/BDP.  Enough said.

As NorthMac recommended above: if you can economically justify it, develop a good app,  And I would bet that the world will beat a path to the Bryston BDP door.  It goes without saying that ongoing active app support is just as critical.

Otherwise, Bryston risks being left behind in a fundamental audio/audiophile market segment of the future.

My 2 cents.  Thanks for reading.

WildPhydeaux

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #10 on: 24 Jun 2020, 10:01 pm »
For those with a little bit of computer historical experience I used to use DOSSHELL and similar character based "GUIs" extensively. Blazing fast, efficient and powerful - but utilitarian in visual appearance and in function. It got the job done and fast. Fast forward just a few years and file managers became much more graphical and visually appealing. I can successfully argue that this slowed efficiency for those just trying to get their work done because you were hunting and clicking the mouse instead of fast-fingered on the keyboard. But progress doesn't only care about that, Windows/Mac/Linux marched on and users demanded spoon-feeding and visual delight.

And the above example is WORK related. For PLEASURE related, it's even more important that it "looks good" and feels intuitive (intuitive being for those accustomed to current visual interfaces). Not saying MM is ugly, but... well, yeah I'm saying that but just in comparison to today's dedicated apps.

Cheers,
Robert

unincognito

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #11 on: 25 Jun 2020, 03:12 pm »
I understand that this option is available in album/artist mode, but I tend to avoid using that mode as in loads very slowly and in a haphazard manner on my ipad.

Yes we'd like to expand on that functionality as well, have more universal views that have the same feature sets regardless of how the library to presented, by file folder structure, album, genre, etc.

unincognito

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #12 on: 25 Jun 2020, 03:38 pm »
. Not saying MM is ugly, but... well, yeah I'm saying that but just in comparison to today's dedicated apps.


One of things we are attempting to do in Nutty Narwhal (Manic Mooses replacement) is provide methods to customize the UI's colour choices and plugins to possibly allow customizing the appearance and possibly even the layout of the library and UI, I get not everybody wants to look at shades of grey or necessarily wants to navigate by the same bits of data.  We are also experimenting with possible ways to merge streaming services (like TIDAL and QOBUZ) with 3rd party MPD clients(like Rigelian or MPDroid) and we've had some interest from developers to pursue this to help give more people what they want.

As much as I would love to make a one fits all solution I don't think we'll ever get to the point were we get 100% acceptance of our UI for the same reason I don't get 100% acceptance of the heat vents in my home, appearance is a thing of personal preference.  Its an unrealistic expectation for any company of any size and experience to make a universally accepted UI, if it was then I'd think either Apple, Google or Microsoft would have pulled it off by now and put the others out of business (atleast at a general consumer level); but that hasn't happened and likely never will happen, because people want choice because our preferences aren't universally the same. 

Thanks for the feedback,
Chris

beeah

Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #13 on: 25 Jun 2020, 03:58 pm »
One of things we are attempting to do in Nutty Narwhal (Manic Mooses replacement)

Is it too late to change the name to Narcissistic Nincompoop?  Asking for a friend.

unincognito

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jun 2020, 04:18 pm »
I happen to have chosen to use Berrie’s media player apps almost exclusively over my 7 years with the Bryston BDP; Mpad when it was out, and now Rigelian.   These, like the apps developed by virtually all of Bryston’s competitors in the digital streaming sector, share these key design elements:

-   An album-art graphic centred experience that needs no manual
-   full use of metadata tags to allow multiple sorts of this graphic representation of users’ music
-   in particular access to instant sorting by Album, Artist, Genre, Composer, and Performer tags are all useful depending on the users’ music types
-   a simple and intuitive design with sort choices in a left column, and the majority of the screen devoted to the album graphics
-   streaming service choices are usually integrated in the same left column, again providing constant visibility and rapid access – streaming is integrated with users own music
-   many apps pull Artist information from web sources like last.fm, providing a sort of Roon-like additional layer

While Rigelian and other MPD players work well, they by necessity cannot fully integrate with Bryston equipment since they are universal – and there is something lost there as full access to streaming platforms requires going back to Manic Moose.


Hi NorthMac,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and you raise some good points.

We having been experimenting with some techniques to integrate streaming services like TIDAL and Qobuz into 3rd party MPD clients like Rigellian for example to help bring these services to the clients that people like to use.   We would like to expand upon how people navigate there music libraries, although some of these suggestions have been implemented, like being able to sort by tag data.

We do currently allow users to have there libraries sorted by tag data and integrate there music libraries with online API's to grab data about artists and albums, may I inquire as to how it doesn't perform to your satisfaction (understanding you'd like to see composer and performer fields to be added)?

The music library, home position, found on the right (rather then the left)


An album booklet downloaded using Bryston API by the BDP's firmware





Chris

unincognito

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2020, 04:40 pm »
DLNA via any software has been very subpar for me. Improper syncs and stops. I have no desire to ever mess with that stuff. RAAT on a decent network has been absolutely trouble free both wired and wireless on the BDP. Apps like MPod and Soundirok also had their issues with updating correctly. For local music, Manic Moose all the way because I can get it do exactly what I want without any hiccups*. Simple.

(* I don't know if there were some changes with S2.40, but I've had this one constant weird issue that I don't think was there with S2.36. I have both NAS and USB drive in use. The NAS is always present and synced on the BDP. The USB hard drive moves around from to time, and thus it gets re-indexed on the BDP-1 from time to time from scratch. Whenever the USB drive is done indexing, no matter how long the unit has been running after that to make sure the task is finished, the BDP-1 always feels sluggish after that. I always run into the interface taking forever between folders and seeking tracks or changing tracks. Eventually it will freeze. I simply turn it off and then on, then it works flawlessly and instantly.)

I've never liked the DNLA protocol myself, but our next software release I think we're going to switch to a different implementation (likely upmpdcli)

If you'd like to further discuss the USB drive issue your having with your BDP-1 it might be best to either start another thread or PM/email me about the issue to prevent this thread from getting overwhelmed with something a bit off topic.

I appreciate the feedback,
Chris

James Tanner

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #16 on: 26 Jun 2020, 12:26 pm »
Is it too late to change the name to Narcissistic Nincompoop?  Asking for a friend.

I do not know if you meant this in jest but if you did not please do not contribute to our forum.

I do not have time for negative people who contribute nothing other than the need to attack others.

Please stay away.

james

WillyP

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #17 on: 26 Jun 2020, 12:34 pm »
I've never liked the DNLA protocol myself, but our next software release I think we're going to switch to a different implementation (likely upmpdcli)

I appreciate the feedback,
Chris

It is possible to configure a BDP-x or a BDA-3.14 as a Logitech Media Server with Manic Moose and I assume also with Nutty Narwhal. My current server is based on LMS, so I am familiar with this software, but I am very interested in the BDA-3.14. What are your thoughts about using LMS for the BDA-3.14?

WillyP

unincognito

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #18 on: 26 Jun 2020, 12:56 pm »
It is possible to configure a BDP-x or a BDA-3.14 as a Logitech Media Server with Manic Moose and I assume also with Nutty Narwhal. My current server is based on LMS, so I am familiar with this software, but I am very interested in the BDA-3.14. What are your thoughts about using LMS for the BDA-3.14?

WillyP

To be honest I was thinking about removing support for the client in nutty narwhal let alone adding the server aspect to it and hadn't realized the software was still being maintained.  I can't promise it'll make it in to the firmware, but will certainly investigate it, thanks for bringing it up.

Chris

gbaby

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Re: Bryston Manic Moose Interface
« Reply #19 on: 28 Jun 2020, 04:20 pm »

As NorthMac recommended above: if you can economically justify it, develop a good app,  And I would bet that the world will beat a path to the Bryston BDP door.  It goes without saying that ongoing active app support is just as critical.

Otherwise, Bryston risks being left behind in a fundamental audio/audiophile market segment of the future.

My 2 cents.  Thanks for reading.

I strongly disagree with your opinion of Manic Moose. I think Manic Moose is great and is intuitive to operate. I also think it looks great escpecially if you have your cover art.  :nono: