Wavebar as alternative to animated progress bar in "Now Playing"

Feature description:

I’d love the option to display a wavebar of the currently playing song instead of a flat progress bar or the animated wiggling bar, see screenshots as to how I imagine it could look like.

Problem solved:

I think plain progress bars lack information about the song.
When are the loud parts of the song coming?
Will the song remain silent or blast off my ears later on?
How is the overall loudness?
Was the click I just heard in the file or has my playback device a problem?
Is the song from the “loudness war” period and has no dynamic range or does my stereo suck?

A wavebar answers pretty much all of these questions at a glance (and I like how they look tbh).

Brought benefits:

Visualize the loudness, dynamic range and development of a song over time at a glance.
Quickly find the part of the song you want to hear (for example a suddenly silent part in an otherwise loud song is spotted instantly and vice versa).

Other application solutions:

MusicBee allows the user to select a Wavebar.
The screenshots I provide are actually edited with the wavebars taken from MusicBee.
I played the actual songs and resized the musicbee window until it fit the screenshots from Symfonium (at least in width).

Additional description and context:

I’m aware that for a wavebar to be created the whole song has to be loaded on the device, therefore I think a nice implementation would be a fade from the normal or animated progress bar to the wavebar that happens as soon as the song is fully loaded and the wavebar created.

Screenshots / Mockup:

Example 1:


On a side-note: the cast button on the top right is barely visible on very bright covers like this one.

Example 2:

3 Likes

As you said this requires the song to be fully loaded.

Song is loaded on demand at the necessary rate to ensure no pause but not fully to optimize network usage and battery and if you skip to not load unnecessary data.

The option could be enabled for local device and Plex that expose it but would not work for the other providers so not sure this properly fit.

Is there no option to enable caching of tracks?
I’m used to that from plexamp.

I usually prefer to have at least the next song cached even when I’m walking around the house since I have 3 wireless networks that my phone merrily jumps between and caching the next song prevents any pauses in playback.

I understand that caching can be detrimental if you often skip tracks or use mobile data, but at least for your home network it should not matter at all if the device caches the next track imho.

Making the wavebar only available if caching of at least 1 song is enabled would also fulfill the requirement of having the entire track loaded to create a wavebar for it before it starts playing. Same goes for tracks that are already downloaded to the offline-cache.

However, I understand if you don’t want to implement a wavebar.
I just think it would be a lovely option in conjunction with caching (either off by default or limited to wifi networks instead of mobile data etc.).

1 Like

There’s playback cache option for the caching. But this is done in a special way specific to the player and I can’t just send the data to ffmpeg to generate the data.

Having ffmpeg running in background to get the data on wifi could work, but can’t in mobile network.
And it can work for offline cached files too.

The thing is that for the moment I try to keep Symfonium consistent in it’s behavior between most of the cases and providers.

At some point I’ll probably start deviating from this rule so enable more things that only works for provider X or special case Y, but not now. Stability and clarity is more important for now.

That’s a shame.

I understand.

Guess I’ll have to wait for that point in time then. Thanks for clearing it up.

1 Like

Just want to voice my support for this as well, it would be an awesome addition.

3 Likes

I will add, if Plex is the data provider, Plexamp is gathering metadata from the Plex server - I don’t think Plexamp is generating the data on the fly.

I recently added new songs and Plexamp did not show the wavebar until I ran “Analyze” on my music library and the long running task completed.

I would really like to see this in the future, at least for local files. Every player I used before have this feature, so it’s quite sad that symfonium doesn’t have it.