Improve display of series/episodes in Up Next List

I’m just going to leave these screenshots from iPad here as a comparison between Plex, Infuse, and Emby, respectively.

Which interface do you prefer? Which ones are the most clear as far as what’s “on deck” and what’s “being watched?”

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After posting and studying these comparisons, I think I can see exactly where and how Infuse broke, why Plex and Emby still work, and how it can be fixed.

First, the broken:
Both Plex and Emby show an episode-level view of the combined “on deck” and “continue watching” views, while infuse shows it from a season level - this means that what Plex & Emby show are unwatched episodes, while a partially-watched episode has an indicator line; whereas Infuse seems to show a season-level view - each “episode” actually shows a SEASON title, not an episode one, and each “episode” has a partially-watched indicator showing where you are in the SEASON. This has the effect of showing an indicator line on everything, destroying the distinction between episodes that are “up next” and episodes that are “partially watched.”
I think this right here is the major breaking point of usability IMO. But, there’s further room for improvement….

Second, the layout itself - both Infuse and Emby use a landscape artwork for their “continue watching” section, while Plex maintains a portrait poster art. From a usability standpoint, the winner here IMO is Plex - but the landscape is indeed “prettier” - but that doesn’t matter if it’s not usable.

I think that Infuse worked so well previously is that it’s landscape top row being used for partially-watched media (plus new media) is because a landscape view is limited by nature to ~4 items on a screen at a time without scrolling. I would expect that for most people that fits well with partially watched media - most stuff is either watched or it’s not, only a handful are partials.
With an “on deck” or “continue watching” row, I think most people are watching a whole lot more than ~4 shows at a time - so a portrait view is most valuable, because you can see the most shows you’re watching “at-a-glance.” You can see in the screenshots above, portrait mode more than doubles media visibility, perfect for a “continue watching” section.

There are a couple of ways this can be addressed.
First, have infuse present its “continue watching” section with an episode-focused data pull, rather than season-focused. This right here will go a long way as it will return the distinction between upcoming and partially-watched episodes.
Second, have a row where “on deck” used to be that is the new “continue watching” combined row, with portrait artwork - even if this means it is a duplicate of the landscape top row.
Third, ideally once a new portrait “continue watching” row was in place, the Infuse top landscape row would be reserved for partially-watched media only (perhaps with newly-added to fill it out, similar to how it used to be). If that’s not a possible filter, and I don’t know why it wouldn’t be since it was possible before, then have options in place for portrait/landscape artwork display for the top row, and make the new portrait row I’ve been discussing optional the way the other categories on the Home Screen are.

Thank you for attending my TED Talk.

Edit: @james notice me, Senpai.

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I appreciate the detailed feedback.

There is a bug which is causing some items from Plex’s continue watching list to go missing after fully watching something. This obviously leads to a poor user experience, and is something we are working to fix.

Beyond that, I suppose whether poster or landscape artwork is displayed is a personal preference. Is one really better than the other?

The focus of the Watching list in Infuse is on the season, however opening a season will automatically select the first unfinished episode. As a result, you can see the progress of your in-progress seasons right from the home screen, and selecting one will ensure the episode which is up next is automatically selected so you can simply press play to start watching it. Alternatively, you can simply highlight the season item in the Watching list and press the Play/Pause button to start/resume the correct episode without having to dive into the details page.

Honest question. Would displaying info for the next episode alongside the series name/season info really have a meaningful impact? Maybe we can look at displaying this in the smaller gray text, sort of like the subtext which is used for movie year and season number in other areas. There is a risk of things appearing cluttered though…

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Hi @james i believe I suggested during beta testing that we not completely disable the inline on-deck line/item while we hash out the issues with continue watching, it was a very topical issue for Plex users during the change over and caused a lot of headaches for developers and users alike. This may help ease members into the transition and help establish that sweet spot that will leave at least most users satisfied.

To answer the question, as a series junkie, i prefer the Plex way of displaying CW, something which I got from the previous on-deck experience for Infuse. The CW helps me more with movies in progress. Plex managed to eventually hit the sweet spot on the CW by giving users the ability to set the number of items they would want to display thereon etc.

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The meaningful impact would be being able to differentiate at a glance between partially-viewed media and up-next - the way you can in your competitors. It’s not about the series name/season info, it’s about the progress bar.

Basically infuse just needs to revert the top row to how it used to be, and display the new combined Continue Watching as a separate row, the way the way the others do it - and ideally Portrait, like Plex, as opposed to Landscape, like Emby. (But even landscaped it would be an improvement over the way it is now.)

Until this happens, Infuse is broken. :man_shrugging:

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Are you saying you want to distinguish between an in-progress episode vs in-progress season?

Personally as a non-plex user I prefer the landscape since it shows progress of items and separates this section from other sections. But actually it would probably work to add an option for each favorite or list to set as landscape or portrait. That way people could chose.

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No, I’m saying I want to distinguish between an in-progress episode vs an unwatched one. I couldn’t care less about season progression from the Home Screen.

My thought on this is as much as I dislike the combined on deck and continue watching thing since it came to Plex (and Emby/Jellyfin) it become more tolerable, as at least certainly in the case of Plex there is the option to drill down to a specific library. You still see the same view but at least then the combined OD/CW will only relate to shows or movies.

With Infuse there’s no such option so it’s just a one row mishmash of partially watched movies, partially watched episodes and the next on deck episode.

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Exactly. I’d even go so far as to say it doesn’t suck, at least the way they’ve implemented it.

After using this for a couple weeks, I completely prefer the pre-7.3 behavior of Infuse. I don’t like the combined in-progress and on-deck, even if the proposed changes are made to align more closely with Plex.

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I swapped to my jellyfin instance and used that with Infuse. The pre 7.3 (sane) behavior is retained for now atleast.

Moved this discussion to its own thread, since it’s separate from the missing items bug.

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I always revert to what’s wife and children friendly.

The in season progress bar is confusing, either remove or display as the partial watched episodes only.

Continue Watching and On Deck should be separate in my eyes, it allows you to distinguish what you are watching sometimes upto 10 shows and what’s ready to be started Ie New Season.

I prefer posters as it’s more on the screen without having to scroll.

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This is my choice too. When these are mixed it really does make it difficult to use.

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How does one actually get rid of the defunct On Deck on the home screen. Just hangs there now not updating and cannot find a means of removing it?

I am not a designer but I can sum up my problems with the current set up:

  • 3 items on the screen is not enough “on deck”
  • “Recently added” makes it more confusing now because it is hard to distinguish between “in progress” and “recently added” and my “in progress” list is long (currently 10)
  • In progress seasons and unfinished shows look indeed the same

Personally, I was happy with the old set up but happy to accept a new way if it was more usable.

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This is clearly a very well thought out post and the comparison images are eye-opening. I basically agree with everything, especially the need for an episode focus in Continue Watching. I don’t think season progress is crucial information, certainly not to the point of needing indicators on the home screen. The fact that this indicator makes it difficult to distinguish between different types of items makes it even worse.

Initially I did like the 7.3 changes. And it does look good, but after a couple of weeks there is no way around the fact that my user experience feels like it has gotten worse. 4 items at a glance is just not enough. I tend to be watching upwards of 10 tv shows at any given time so not being able to get a nice overview of the content i’m watching is a problem. I sometimes catch myself quickly peeking at the Plex app for that instead, which is a shame as I didn’t buy Infuse’s lifetime for no reason.

Before 7.3 I used the top row as Recently Added Only and I really liked this setup. Recently Added items are relevant but not crucial which is why it worked with landscape posters. I would much prefer to go back to that and having a dedicated combined Continue Watching row with portrait posters. If a dedicated row is no longer an option for some reason, I think an episode-level focus and the removal of the season progress indicator would still be a big improvement.

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We’re working on some changes here for the upcoming 7.3.5 update.

  • Display current episode’s number and title under series/season
  • Switched to episode progress instead of season
  • Added year under movie titles (for consistency)

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“Beyond that, I suppose whether poster or landscape artwork is displayed is a personal preference. Is one really better than the other?”

Then couldn’t it just be an option in the settings, either landscape or portrait artwork for Up Next?

Like many others in this thread, I really miss having the portrait posters.

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This is good. Works fine.