Hide tray icon

Posts: 3
Joined: May 22, 2017 - 06:16
Hide tray icon

Hi,

I would like an option to hide the VirtualMIDISynth tray icon.

The tray icon was very useful at first, but now that it's set up, I want VirtualMIDISynth to be a transparent replacement for the default Microsoft software synthesiser. I don't like having tray icons unless they indicate something more than "this program is running".

I understand that closing VirtualMIDISynth with the tray icon hidden might be a problem. I suggest that the option hide the tray icon unless the Configuration dialogue box (which appears when VirtualMIDISynth is launched) is visible. This would allow someone to close VirtualMIDISynth, if need be, and also turn the hide tray icon option off.

Your software is rather nice and has me listening to old MIDIs again with new sound fonts. Bravo! Good job, and thank you for making it free.

Posts: 1125
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Hide tray icon

Tray icon in VMS is needed to:

  • open the configurator
    Lot of users change soundfont and/or configuration at runtime.
  • open MIDI Mixer
    MIDI Mixer is one of the most beloved and used features of VMS; the only way you have to open it is through the systray icon context menu.
  • remember the user that VMS is running
    VMS2 actually starts at first usage and remains active till manually closed; this is something I'm going to improve, but actually it works like that.
    If you loaded 1Gb soundfont and forgot you started VMS (maybe some hours ago), then you have no means to remember you're wasting your RAM.
  • close VMS easily
    Yes, you could click on start menu Configurator link, open the configurator then close VMS... but this sounds cumbersome and counterintuitive.
  • VMS users are musicians
    most of VMS users are musicians, not technical gurus. Giving them such an options coud lead lot of support issues...

This is why I don't like to add an option to hide the systray icon.
But I understand you bother seeing it ;)

Why don't you drag it to the hidden icons area?
Windows will remember your choice and, once reopened, will place VMS icon into this hidden zone so you won't see it anymore until you really need it.

Posts: 3
Joined: May 22, 2017 - 06:16
Re: Hide tray icon
coolsoft wrote:
Tray icon in VMS is needed to:
open the configurator
        Lot of users change soundfont and/or configuration at runtime.

Do you have stats on this? I am a user and I don't change the configuration at all. Once I configured it and was happy with the output, that was basically it for me. If I want to change the configuration, I'm happy to relaunch the program to do so.

coolsoft wrote:
open MIDI Mixer
        MIDI Mixer is one of the most beloved and used features of VMS; the only way you have to open it is through the systray icon context menu.

You've provided a global shortcut key (Ctrl+Alt+M) for this.

coolsoft wrote:
remember the user that VMS is running
        VMS2 actually starts at first usage and remains active till manually closed; this is something I'm going to improve, but actually it works like that.
        If you loaded 1Gb soundfont and forgot you started VMS (maybe some hours ago), then you have no means to remember you're wasting your RAM.

I'm fine with this. Nowadays, the RAM use isn't such a hassle. I have 32 GB of RAM in my system, and I don't think that's particularly exceptional.

I can also use the Task Manager to work out what's going on.

coolsoft wrote:
close VMS easily
        Yes, you could click on start menu Configurator link, open the configurator then close VMS... but this sounds cumbersome and counterintuitive.

It would be easy enough. 7 Taskbar Tweaker takes a similar approach to allowing users to hide the tray icon and nobody seems to complain about it.

coolsoft wrote:
VMS users are musicians
        most of VMS users are musicians, not technical gurus. Giving them such an options coud lead lot of support issues...

Yes, but you're looking for ways to expand your audience, right? Not just appeal to musicians.

coolsoft wrote:
This is why I don't like to add an option to hide the systray icon.
    But I understand you bother seeing it ;)
Why don't you drag it to the hidden icons area?
    Windows will remember your choice and, once reopened, will place VMS icon into this hidden zone so you won't see it anymore until you really need it.

This isn't a solution for me. I'm trying to maximise the available taskbar space, and having a hidden icon will just show an arrow instead of the icon that was there (same amount of space).

Instead of a checkbox, would you consider a command line switch? I could set up my own entry to have VirtualMIDISynth run on startup. You only need mention the command line switch in the documentation. I think that would almost completely elminate the threat of novice users activating the feature by mistake.

For instance, in Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run, I could have:

"C:\Program Files\VirtualMIDISynth\VirtualMIDISynth.exe" --no-tray-ico

The application would run on startup without a tray icon. If I later wanted to change settings, I could launch the Configurator shortcut.

Posts: 1125
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Hide tray icon
Gurok wrote:
Do you have stats on this? I am a user and I don't change the configuration at all. Once I configured it and was happy with the output, that was basically it for me. If I want to change the configuration, I'm happy to relaunch the program to do so.

Yes I do, otherwise I wouldn't have spent such a huge lot of time to add live-settings feature to VMS2.

Gurok wrote:
You've provided a global shortcut key (Ctrl+Alt+M) for this.

That's partially true: the global shortcut sadly works only for the first device mixer. If you want to open the MIDI Mixer of device # to #4 you need the context menu.

Gurok wrote:
I have 32 GB of RAM in my system, and I don't think that's particularly exceptional.

Well, I'm a professional developer and sysadmin and I've never had that much RAM on my workstations.
The most I've had was 16GB so, IMHO, 32 is exceptional :D

Gurok wrote:
It would be easy enough. 7 Taskbar Tweaker takes a similar approach to allowing users to hide the tray icon and nobody seems to complain about it.

I agree, because those people installed that software to hide icons on purpose.

Gurok wrote:
Yes, but you're looking for ways to expand your audience, right? Not just appeal to musicians.

Of course, I've always tried to accomplish user request but keeping VMS as much KISS as possible.

Gurok wrote:
This isn't a solution for me. I'm trying to maximise the available taskbar space, and having a hidden icon will just show an arrow instead of the icon that was there (same amount of space).

In my hidden arrow I have 5 to 8 icons: debugger, network, USB, firewall, XAMPP and audio/video drivers. They all together took the space of one, so I'm saving space, not loosing it ;)

Gurok wrote:
Instead of a checkbox, would you consider a command line switch?

This is really a good idea that I haven't thought about.
It's as geeky as the users that will use it, and won't harm normal users.
Will give it a try...

Posts: 3
Joined: May 22, 2017 - 06:16
Re: Hide tray icon
coolsoft wrote:
This is really a good idea that I haven't thought about.
    It's as geeky as the users that will use it, and won't harm normal users.
    Will give it a try...

Thank you for considering it. It would mean a lot to me!

And yes, I know if you hide multiple tray icons, the arrow works well, but I only have one tray icon that I'm trying to not show. The rest of my background applications can be hidden via menu options (like in 7 Taskbar Tweaker).

Also, I am sorry, 32 GB is a lot, but I guess I was trying to say that 32 GB is the future. So... RAM should be less of an issue in the long run.

Posts: 10
Joined: February 12, 2015 - 13:18
Re: Hide tray icon

I also don't like VMS to keep running after I don't need it anymore. Just because I ran a Doom source port for a while doesn't mean I want VMS to be in memory and in the systray until I restart or manually close it.

Can't you implement some advanced option to automatically close when the device is unused for a few second?

Posts: 1125
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: Hide tray icon
VGA wrote:
Can't you implement some advanced option to automatically close when the device is unused for a few second?

That request is already on the TODO list; I can't actually remember the thread where it was discussed (maybe it was the alpha or beta thread).
Will add it soon.

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