Should mousing over (but not clicking) audio files on the desktop cause them to play invisibly?

Scott Ritchie scott at
Fri Apr 3 20:08:03 BST 2009

Andreas Schildbach wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-04-02 at 13:59 -0700, Scott Ritchie wrote:
>> So, by default Gnome has a feature that I've seen confuse at least a few 
>> users - if you leave the mouse over top an audio file it will 
>> automatically start playing the file, even if it's already open or you 
>> have other music playing at the same time.
> A possible compromise could be: only play audio preview if file is selected (e.g. single click or cursor arrows). To be discussion: What happens on multi-select?
> Best regards,
> Andreas

The problem is that previews are too easy, so easy that they can be done 
on accident, especially on the desktop.  Requiring a click does force it 
to be deliberate, however we do lose some use cases -- eg someone 
selecting multiple files inside a folder, trying to remember which one 
is the one he wants, and previewing them before selecting. I'm not sure 
how much this hypothetical user is also slowed by requiring clicking in 
the first place.

I think we benefit most if we limit the preview feature to folder 
browsing outside the desktop (and remember we do put Places->Desktop by 
default so you can browse there if you have audio files).  This way we 
can convey the fact that a preview is occurring in an even more obvious 
way: not just with an icon or a notification message, but also using the 
nautilus window itself.

Anyway, for Jaunty, I'm sorry I didn't bring this up earlier.  Is the 
mentioned desktop patch ready enough to be included, or is the decision 
"leave it as is vs disable it entirely"?

Scott Ritchie

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