The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Post by Angstrom » Wed May 27, 2015 3:00 pm

Max7 can now be used (unofficially) as the M4L engine / editor. And as a person who has suffered at the hands of M4L quite a bit , crashes and bugs, etc. I've just installed it because Ableton devs advised all us Windows users having trouble to go install it.

So... the Max7 browser. Is very good.
It has all the things a modern browser for a complex and professional media application should have.
  • It has tags and user tagging
  • you can perform compound searches on tags and text strings (EG: Tags:[audio][audioplugin] "kick" , or Kind:Patcher, package:max for live)and the GUI informs you what is active in a clear, intelligible, intuitive and actionable way
  • the interface is very immediately learnable, learned actions are repeatable elsewhere, and all user actions demonstrate Affordancevery well.
  • you can search for your presets, in a specified date range, by your usage count, and by many other things too
  • you can save all your complicated compound searches as bookmarks to re-use later
  • you can create "advanced searches", and these are explained
  • it has user "collections", IE: arbitrary non-exclusive groupings of stuff you might need in different circumstances
  • you can add multiple list view columns, and sort on them, and this action is reflected quickly in the GUI with no awkward lag.
  • It looks really nice and simple, but is powerful and flexible
  • and lots more ...
Cycling74 wrote: the File Browser has an easy to use search syntax.
Want to see all Max for Live devices created in 2014? That’s package: “Max for Live” after:2014-01-01. Searches you’ve made recently are available for easy recall, and if you’ll be looking for certain items regularly you can bookmark a search.

I'd just like to say a bigwell done, and a congratulations to the team who made the Max 7 browser. It is a very good example of a browser which must deliver appropriate content to many different sorts of people all using a complex application in many different ways and with different workflows. This browser makes a very good attempt and allowing all the disparate users in all circumstances to locate and access to their content and not to feel confused while doing so.


and then ... there's the Ableton Live 9 browser. squatting like a drunken malevolent toad on top of my content. I might be able to tie a string on my preset if I call it "angstrom_presetname_tagname_identifier" and remember to create a folder of the correct name to save it in. but that's no guarantee.

I hope that anyone who may be developing a browser would take a long look at the Max7 browser, especially if they happen to be making a browser for a complex application which must serve many disparate usertypes in different circumstances.

I hope that this time around Ableton are less defensive about obvious flaws, and a bit more proactive about investigating requirements and delivering a product fit for use

Otherwise they might produce another unusable abortion.

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Re: The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Post by stringtapper » Wed May 27, 2015 3:22 pm

And guess who Cycling 74 has cited as the biggest inspiration for the radical design changes in the Max 5–7 generations?

Unsound Designer

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Re: The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Post by Angstrom » Wed May 27, 2015 4:00 pm

I used to get inspired when I'd go and see a band who almost got it right, their near miss of success and slide into failure illuminated an area, a path they could have taken.

I'd go home and inspired by their awfulness I'd create something which avoided it.

I'd learn by other peoples mistakes.

I'm sure Cycling74 were inspired by working with Ableton. They said " lets not make a database which relies on absolute file-paths to construct arbitrary inflexible hierarchies" and "lets not prioritise factory content, lets not assume users work a certain way and force them into it, and lets not relegate user content to the cellar"

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Re: The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Post by spacecat » Wed May 27, 2015 6:07 pm

I tried real hard in the beta of 9 to point of the browser flaws...
For quite a while..

Anyway, im still enjoying my live 8...
Waiting on v10 or so to jump aboard again...
9 is nothing for me and im not going to get it...
Breaks my heart.. But yeah..

This is the last post about the browser that i will make..

Take care n love@all


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Re: The Max7 Browser versus the Live 9 browser

Post by Valiumdupeuple » Wed May 27, 2015 6:57 pm

I won't say Live 9 browser is a success, they've surely missed a lot of important things that you Angstrom have cleverly pointed out several times.
But. I've switched to Max 7 during its beta testing phase and today I still feel not as comfortable with it as I was Max 5/6... and the new browser being one of the reasons. They've tried to put in there things that were imho more easily accessible in the past, the hierarchy feels clumsy to me...
Surely some good ideas, but I don't think it's a success either. But that's maybe because I'm not a hardcore Max user and I'm missing something.
Oh, and this new GUI, and those objects with huge horizontal borders and no vertical one, so much wasted space, so uneasy for the eye, the removed palette...
Snippets are excellent and Gen included is a no-brainer, though.

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