I'm creating a media player with an album view like iTunes :

this kind of view

Now I'm wondering, when I double click on an album, should it be more user friendly to play directly the album or to show the tracklist ? Secondly, if I only click on the album, should I show the tracklist like the new iTunes or only select the album for "normal actions" like "add to playlist", "remove", etc... :

this kind

1 Answer 1


There is no clear hint that clicking on an album will play it, which is definitely going to cause some users some frustration.

I'd suggest that you provide some context. When the user hovers the album, if you are going to play, you should overlay a play icon to be clear that is what will happen. It may also be good to have different behavior depending on current state: if music is already playing, clicking on the album could browse. If no music is playing, then clicking on the album may play.

Thinking through my own personal preferences, rarely do I want to hear a whole album -- usually I want to play just a specific song, or may just be looking for info on it. Extending the hover idea, you could actually have both options available: play button at the bottom that is only visible on hover, which allows the user to decide. In fact, this is exactly what Google Play does:

Google play album example

Google also has additional context to allow playlist control:

Google album context menu

Either way, providing some type of hint about what action is going to be taken is a positive thing, particularly when you are changing state: eg: with a music app where inadvertently clicking 'play' on something can interrupt the current song, or remove a carefully constructed queue of songs, etc.

Another way to put it: When you navigate, you can "go back"; when you interrupt a song, there is no "undo" -- you can't make someone "un-hear" the interruption.

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