I've been playing with my new Push and realized a few browser shortcomings that I'm sure everyone else is running into.
The Push browser uses the virtual folders that Live 9's new browser creates. I'm not sure if it will ever be possible to browse the actual folder tree in Push, so I'm trying to work with it.
The problem is this. I have a blank drum rack and a sample library already organized in its own folder. I want them to talk to each other.
At the moment, if I browse for samples on a drum pad, I see Live's virtual folders. I have become aware that in order to have my samples show up in these folders, I must have them at some point contained in a folder of the same name, itself contained within the User Library. Live looks for folders with the specific name like 'Kick' or 'Hihat' and groups the contents of these folders into the virtual folder you see on the browser. As far as I can tell.
So far, I've moved my sample library into the User Library (Problem #1: this isn't ideal, the example being a shared library with another application like Maschine or Logic).
Now rather than reorganize my samples into folders with names that match Live's virtual folders (which would be too destructive to the existing file structure), I'm going through each existing folder of my sample library and whenever I find a load of kicks, I'm putting them in a 'Kick' folder. This maintains the file structure, but it does create a lot of unnecessary folders, so this is Problem #2.
However, now my samples show up in the 'Kick' virtual folder.
(There's a lot of kicks in there right now. Not convenient to navigate. This is problem #3).
So I've had to move my sample folder, add unnecessary new folders and created a massive and clunky to navigate virtual folder of kicks.
Now for some solutions.
I was really hoping that Live's browser would support shortcuts for folders and files the way it does for VST instruments, but seemingly it doesn't. I have all my VSTs in various folder hierarchies and so many 32-bit / 64-bit variations. It really helps to be able to just create some folders full of shortcuts to them so I can keep things organized without having to restructure the program files and .dlls.
If we had shortcut support for sample folders, I could create a 'Kick' folder in my User Library (in Samples, I guess) and use shortcuts to reference kick folders and files in other locations. This would solve problems #1 & #2. No moving the sample library and no creating unnecessary folders. Just a bit of shortcut creation, which is fine because that's about as much work as I'd do organizing samples anyway.
As for problem #3, it would be nice to be able to add custom virtual folder categories so that I could further sort and reduce the search time for my massive folder of kicks, etc. So I could have 'Acoustic Kicks' and 'Electronic Kicks'. That would halve my search time. Or perhaps virtual sub-folders? So the Kick folder could contain 'Acoustic' and 'Electronic' folders. And then whenever Live finds a folder called 'Kick' it then looks for any folder called 'Acoustic' or 'Electronic' and sorts things accordingly.
I'm aware that at least some of this can be achieved by hacking VirtualFolders.cfg, but I would rather not alter system files and then have them over-written with an update.
It remains that a folder of 2000 kicks is not practically navigable in Push's browser, so a solution must involve reducing the size of the list somehow, either through additional virtual folders or sub-folders or even just a way to actually access real folders, like the lower half of the browser on Live 9 does. Although if the latter, some solution to the limited number of columns on the Push browser would be needed to accommodate deeply nested folders. At the moment, four columns is the limit, but Push does have those lovely 'In' and 'Out' buttons that could be put to use, for example to move into and out of real folder structures. Then you could potentially have all four columns display the contents of one folder, and just move 'Out' of it when you're done.
And Virtual folders can be nice when they're practical, as the system is practically similar to taxonomy tags (i.e. you link to your kicks from the 'Kick' folder, which is like tagging your files and folders with the tag 'Kick'). Perhaps we could have custom virtual folders AND real folder navigation? So I could create a folder of Kicks full of shortcuts to my kicks so they show up where I expect them to show up in Push's virtual folders (a.k.a. tagging them), and also browse the actual file structure if I need to.
Anyway, that's my thoughts. Whaddya think?