Individual font sizes for title, album, artist etc. in now playing + side-scrolling for the album tag in now playing

Feature description:

Let the user choose the font sizes for title, album, artist, album artist etc. tags in the now playing tab individually.
Also enable side-scrolling for album tags. It’s currently only active for the title tag.

Problem solved:

Title is very big compared to for example artist, no matter which of the currently available typography settings is chosen. The smallest one I found so far was “Nunito”, and even there title is huge compared to the other tags.

In case of Nunito on my device it’s 31px height bold for title, 18px bold for album, 16px for artist & album artist/composer and 12px for year. Personally I think that’s hard to read and not very functional. Title is big enough to still be readable from 2ish meters away (for me) while artist and year are on the border of being too small.

With long titles this leads to needless side-scrolling. Especially for folk music where one song often contains multiple standards, jigs, reels etc. that each have their own name. This is also very common for live versions of songs where the venue and date of the recording are included in the title tag in braces.

Pretty much the same problem exists for album tags that are too long as they currently do not side-scroll, which at least title does. The information is not visible in the now playing tab for the album tag if it’s too long to fit currently.

Brought benefits:

Users who listen to music with long title names can choose a smaller title font to avoid or reduce side-scrolling without affecting the other tags.
Users who value for example the artist tag as more important than the title tag can make the artist font bigger to reflect the importance and highlight the information they care about.

Long album titles would be fully displayed with side-scrolling.
Displaying all information in a way that’s visually pleasing is paramount for many enthusiasts.

Other application solutions:

In MusicBee the fonts + font sizes of text in pretty much every panel can be customized individually to fit the users taste and preferences.

Screenshots / Mockup:

This is a phone app for phone screens, not a windows app. I don’t think there’s an app on Android that allows such configuration whatever the app type (except writing apps of course :p)

If your arms are 2 meter long you probably have a lot of other specific issues than Symfonium :wink:

The font size are chosen to introduce a necessary hierarchy in the displayed information from most important to less one to allow quick find of what you want.

There’s not 2 scrolling texts just one below the other, because it’s just not readable at all rendering both lines useless.

So to resume I’m opened to reduce the album font size a little to have less difference with the album one, but can’t add such level of configuration, there’s already way too much settings for that.

If one day there’s support for external now playing theme, then they’ll probably handle this.

That’s exactly my point. I don’t have 2 meter long arms which is why I don’t need a font big enough to be read from that distance while showing me less information and wasting screen space at the same time.

I doubt that people need a font almost twice as big + bold compared to the artist to find the song title. Making it slightly bigger or even only making it bold would suffice to that end.

I don’t recall encountering an app where the font size defaults were so far off (at least for my preferences, expectations, needs and experiences) that such configuration felt as needed as in this case.

With a reasonable title font size there’d be more than enough screen real estate to simply let the album title flow to a second line (which could be an option that people who’d rather have the cropped “…” version could disable).

I think you mean the title font size. If so, that would be a welcome change which would at least alleviate the need for further configurability a fair bit.

That would be lovely.

Let’s compare it to other phone apps then, shall we?


The Plex app has a clear lack of information for my taste (album title, album artist and year), however the title is displayed fully and in a reasonable font size, only highlighted through being bold.


The Jellyfin app chose to let the title flow to a second line instead of cropping it or using side-scrolling. They also crop the album tag. However the font sizes are reasonable and highlighting is once again done via bold text.


The Plexamp app leaves nothing to be desired in this respect.
The title fully fits the screen, is highlighted through being bold instead of being huge and the album name scrolls from left to right and back to display all information including the release year while having the majority of the information on the screen at all times, which I prefer over text that scrolls through in only one direction and then starts over, showing little information while transitioning from end to start.
Plexamp also managed to implement the wavebar feature which I suggested in the past which Symfonium does not support due to provider specific limitations that prohibit it from simply sending the data to ffmpeg if I recall correctly.

I’d add more mobile music player apps, but I don’t use any more than these.
The pattern should have become clear at this point tho. Or do I have to increase the font size of my text to 31px for my point to come through?

You probably should have skipped that sentence to actually make your point and not make me rethink my proposal to tweak the font size …

Seriously WTF …

Well that sentence kind of asked for a similar response, did it not?
I don’t know why you felt the need to ridicule me when all I did was try to help you improve the user experience in your app.

You are old enough to know the meaning of smileys …

Your sentence made no sense for me hence the joke …

Already implemented a few things for you don’t think I saw a thanks either …

So no that sentence did not ask for anything, but you endless argumentations recently trying to make your need the global needs certainly are.

Next time just say the title font size is too big. Don’t ask for something you know I won’t do.

Honestly, I don’t know the meaning most of the times. I’m an autist, that stuff doesn’t come naturally to me at all and I often misinterpret things.
Your sentence looked like you’re making fun of me to me.

I literally put my phone on my chair, stepped back and measured from how far away I could still read the title.

I’m grateful for all the features and fixes you’ve implemented for me. I usually leave a heart on your solving comment since I’m unsure if it’s considered spam to slap a “thank you” at the end of each thread.

I realized that what I was asking for was unreasonable if implemented well and not that useful if implemented half-assed. I had a bad day and was frustrated after trying to get scrobbling to work properly for a month. I badly wanted a simple solution for my “simple” problem and ignored the majority of the implications. Sorry for being unreasonable.

Pano-scrobbler has been working well for me so far and I’m thankful for that recommendation as well.
The idea that a player should do the scrobbling internally has been my mindset for over a decade and I had a really hard time letting it go.

While the huge title font size is the main problem for me I think being able to choose which tag should be displayed in which size, bold or not etc. would be a really nice feature. I didn’t know it would be hard/impossible to implement in the fashion I described.

I really like your app, it’s the first android app to properly support all my multi value tags, the only one to correctly display my album art and also the only reasonably responsive app for my massive library.

When I care about something I can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Sorry.

It’s neither of those, it’s about being reasonable. There’s 5 possible different lines, that would mean 10 options just for you to maintain in every single variation of the now playing.

Then people want configurable size of the icons, of the buttons, of the rating bar, and there’s thousands of options that no one will use and that will insanely slow me down every time I want to add a feature there.

The default size should work for most cases (And currently do as no other remarks since the app start)

Readable yet fit in the most filled screen version

But also in the other clean states

Too big can’t fit all, too small can’t read or feels empty.

It’s way easier for apps that have 1 simple now playing screen than for an app with multiple dozens of variations.

All I can do is speak from personal experience. When I installed Symfonium on the phone of my sister she asked me (unprompted by me) why the title was so big and if I can’t make it smaller.

And when I listened to something on my phone and my father asked me what I was listening to, I showed him my phone and he could not read the artist because it was too small for him to read. Granted, his sight is not great any more but he can usually read what’s on my phone without problem.

What annoys me personally is that not all information for many songs and albums is being displayed while it could be with a smaller font for title and side scrolling for the album tag. I have hundreds of albums that are Remastered, Remixed, box sets or merely different versions of the same album which all have long album names and the information that differentiates them from one another is usually at the very end, which is not shown.

What I suspected was that there’s a certain height percentage of the total screen height that’s currently used for title, album, artist, album artist/composer, file information etc. which each of the tags is then scaled to depending on the default font size scaling and depending on the resolution of the device. Please explain to me how it works if that idea is wrong.

I thought you could implement constrained scalers for each of the text items of now playing. So, per default everything is scaled to 100% of the default font sizes you chose with a fixed vertical padding, adding up to the total height of the area that’s used to display the information, title being big, artist being very small etc. which is able to display all possible fields like you showed in your screenshot.

And then the users could rescale the text fields to fit their needs while still being restricted to the total height of the text area. So per default, nothing could be increased in size without first reducing something else in size so the overall layout doesn’t get thrown out of the window and every tag can still be displayed.

Then people could for example reduce the title size by 30% or 10px (I don’t know if percentage scaling or pixel scaling would be easier to implement tbh) while increasing the size for artist, album or another tag by up to the height amount gained by reducing the title height and just shift the sizes around to their liking without throwing the overall layout off. You could also set reasonable min and max values to prevent text from being illegible or ridiculously huge.

In my head that should work. Default font sizes + padding = total available height of the area - reduced height by decreasing the font size of one item = amount that other font sizes can be increased by.

That way it should only affect font sizes, no icons, the default layout would not be harmed because of the restricted scaling and each user could choose which text they want how big, within reasonable limits.

And a different now playing layout then would simply start off with different default scaling within the same total height.

That might happen and it’s obviously up to you if you think the possible gained customizability justifies the amount of work needed to implement the asked for feature.

True, but it also depends on the defaults chosen. For example the plexamp defaults are perfectly reasonable for me and I see no need to customize them. Title and artist are highlighted by being slightly more bold than the album tag and all in a readable size while displaying close to all the information. And the small part of information that did not fit is also shown by side-scrolling from left to right and back in the album tag.

I’d also be perfectly happy with a 2nd fixed layout if the restricted scaling I proposed is too much work to implement.
The current layout as the default as you say that it’s good enough for most cases and a second one where all text fields are close to the same size and highlighting is being done by shades of boldness like in plexamp.
I would still advocate for the album tag scrolling from left to right and back tho as even with a small font size many album titles are simply too long to fit.

As said already 2 scrolling lines with different length are just completely unusable and more distracting than anything.

You can click the album title to browse it and see it full (If it still does not fit you can click on it again to expand)

If they both scroll only in one direction and then start over, yes, it’s neither pretty nor usable, I agree.

Then again, it rarely happens that both title AND album are too long to fit at the same time so I don’t think that problem would occur often.

Can’t you use scrolling from one side to the other, then pausing and then scrolling back in the other direction like in plexamp? For me that’s easier on the eyes and less distracting and it leaves less white space on transitions (also doesn’t remind me of an NTV news banner as much).

Here’s the worst case (title AND album too long) from plexamp. While it’s not super pretty I think it’s preferable to cutting the information off to avoid scrolling.

I’ve been doing that as a workaround so far, I just think the need to do that could be eliminated.

This Plex version with double scroll in both direction is even worse, it’s completely unreadable and absurd…

We read LTR having the text moving RTL is not readable. And having 2 different texts moving at the same time in 2 different directions? Really?

Even if it’s rare (for your device, you need to think about small screens too), when it happens it’s not usable. Unlike text cut that always ensure that both are readable.

So if even with those 2 videos you are not convinced there’s no much I can add to this discussion.

I think it’s better. I guess our preferences don’t align then.

I usually focus on one piece of information at a time, having the other information go in the opposite direction instead of in the same direction can actually help to separate them visually.

I suppose the goal is having most of the information on the screen for the longest time possible. By going back RTL after a small pause there’s 0 white space after/before the information.

By only going LTR like in Symfonium there’s a period of time where you have a small part of the end of the information followed by white space and a small part of the beginning of the information. I think that’s less useful than having the majority of the information on the screen going backwards for a few seconds before starting over again LTR. Btw. I have no problem reading a few words RTL.

side-scroll
This and
side-scroll1
this is far less useful/readable to me than
Side-scroll2
this or
side-scroll3
this.

If you dislike the idea of scrolling RTL, a compromise might be going LTR until the end of the information, then pausing for a second and fading out the information after that, followed by fading it in from the beginning to start over the LTR cycle. Thus avoiding both the white space problem of the current solution in Symfonium and also the RTL problem of the plexamp solution.

That might even be better than the implementation in plexamp.

You could add a toggle to enable/disable side-scrolling. That way people with small screens could decide if they’d rather see possibly distracting scrolling text or only a few words of the album title.

Another idea I just had is that you could add the option that pressing and holding on unused space in the now playing tab (for example beside the year or album artist/composer field) temporarily enables side-scrolling for the fields which are not displayed fully. That way the user could activate the feature easily at any time when desired, let go after reading and everything would remain 100% readable and cropped in the default state.

I’m all for flexibility.