In the winLAME 2017 beta versions,the users of winLAME have the opportunity to fill out a small survey to give feedback. This was done using the two "Send a Smile" and "Send a Frown" smiley buttons in the winLAME menu band or the toolbar. The two feedback forms are also available using the website links.
Note that you can always take the survey using these two links:
Here are the collected responses from the feedback survey in the "2017 beta 1" time frame.
Let's start with the frowns first. The following two questions were asked:
Only the answer to the first question was mandatory. There were 37 answers, which are summarized and abbreviated here. Some answers were double or were variations of other answers and were left out from the list.
There were some serious bugs reported using the survey form. Unfortunately this form is not the best way to report bugs, and so in the meantime I added a sentence below the survey to report bugs in other ways. When fixing bugs I often need more information, e.g. a crash dump file, or I let the user try another build of the winLAME.exe if the bug is gone. Nevertheless I tried to reproduce the errors and come up with a fix for these bugs.
There were some feature wishes also. The first, to offer cropping (MP3) files would be an interesting feature, but unfortunately adding audio file editing is outside of the scope of what winLAME should or could do. The "doesn't save settings" is a valid point. Nowadays settings that one has adjusted should be saved immediately - I often stumble over this myself during debugging winLAME.
These are some points that deal with the new user interface and with the icons used. The new user interface is different, in that it presents you the list of tasks that are worked on, which is necessary now that winLAME does parallel encoding. The way of setting up encoding with a wizard (which I guess is winLAME's reason for success) is still used, both in Modern UI and in Classic UI mode.
I'm using some stock icons (famfamfam's silk icon set, in fact) in winLAME. I'm not an artist, so I can't design new icons (that would look even uglier), so if you are a graphics designer and/or you want to provide better icons, get in touch with me!
Now to the positive feedback. The following two questions were asked:
Only the answer to the first question was mandatory. There were 70 answers, which are summarized here.
These two points were given often. The easy to use UI was always the strength of winLAME. My guess is because the wizard approach doesn't shove all of the options in your face at once, and still give you the feeling you're in control. The fast conversion is natural nowadays, with CPU's much faster than 17 years ago when winLAME started.
There were some big feature requests in the answers. These are all great, but they have a downside - someone has to code them. As I'm working on winLAME only from time to time, these features most probably won't get worked on. Remember that coding the new Modern UI together with the multithreaded encoding took me about 7 years, working at it on and off. Nevertheless, winLAME is Open Source, and if you have some C++ coding skills, you could tacke one of the features and try to develop them. Contact me if you have questions during coding, or hack on your feature right away. Note that winLAME is using the GPL license.
These are some minor features or things that were requested. They might or might not get into the next "2017 beta 3" version of winLAME. As above, if you are a coder, you may implement these features yourself.
There are so many features in winLAME that sometimes a feature is already built into winLAME without the user noticing. I improved the winLAME Help File and updated all pages, so if in doubt about an option or feature in winLAME, press F1 and start reading. About the features mentioned in the survey: The requested LAME preset is already there, it's called "Archiving: Best Quality". FLAC tags also should be read already. If there's anything missing, report a bug or contact me.
About the Linux version... there's a package called Wine that emulates Windows on Linux. Starting from Wine-2.0 it can also run winLAME without problems. I used the winLAME setup package on Ubuntu 16.04 to test this. Ubuntu has the package "Play on Linux" which sits on top of Wine which makes installing winLAME possible even for non-hackers. I may post an article in the future about how to install and use winLAME on Linux.