I don’t remember who sent me the note about whistle, so if it was you and you’re reading this, I’ll apologize for not giving proper credit.
I tried whistle almost as soon as I heard about it, and I could see that it was a work in progress — not just because of some of its limitations, but because the git page showed updates within the days or weeks beforehand.
That’s the case now too, with changes as recently as two or three days ago, at the time of this writing.
I am keeping that in mind when I say that whistle still has a little way to go before it reaches a level of usability that I would consider.
So far, whistle is on the right track. It manages to use the screen space to its best benefit. It adopts a partitioned approach for visual effect. It doesn’t have color that I could find, but it does use pop-up style textboxes and selection bars for some navigation.
whistle also handles playlists, on-screen help cues and even a three-band equalizer that is controlled with keypresses.
So for the most basic, fundamental mp3 playback, whistle seems to work well. But. …
- You’ll notice I said mp3 there, and that’s a drawback for me. I rarely use, need or encounter mp3s these days, and that’s mostly by choice. When whistle can play back ogg files, it will be a step forward for me.
- The line drawings are a good addition, but they occasionally mangle or clip the contents of the box. The on-screen help, in particular, gets trimmed away in smaller box sizes, making it difficult for newcomers who don’t know the controls yet.
- Similarly, whistle has a minimum size below which it refuses to operate. The problem is, I don’t know what that size is. If the terminal is too small, you get this. It would be helpful to know what size is agreeable to whistle, and avoid that in the future. It might also be helpful to remember that some tiling managers contort emulator windows into very unusal dimensions. …
- whistle needs tab completion, particularly for adding music directories. Depending on where your music is found, adding a music directory to whistle is going to require a long, typed-out path.
- More color, which you probably thought I would say.
- Time indicators, shuffle play indicator, a progress bar would be nice, and I think it would be wise — just for the sake of new users — to use a pop-up help box (a la ncdu), instead of the badly mangled on-screen help. Either that, or arrange that information so it’s readable at the smallest dimensions.
- Finally, I can hear a difference in sound quality between whistle and, say, moc. It might just be the addition of whistle’s built-in equalizer interfering with my combination of moc-plus-alsaequal, but there’s something suppressing sound quality in whistle, and I’m not sure what or why.
Those are just my suggestions, and just after fiddling with whistle for a half hour or so. I can see that whistle is a work in progress, and I’m sure over time it will reach full speed.