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Author Topic: IDEA: Truely "Live" Taskbar Thumbnails Previews for Vista  (Read 9718 times)
WhiteLion
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« on: August 18, 2008, 02:46:43 AM »

I do have that live previews enabled under Vista and the only truly live Shot it shows is of the activated window.

To understand what I mean, you need to start up say 2 games with action on screen.

Minimize 1 and keep the other focused.

Now, look at the taskbar thumbnails.

The activated game’s preview is a true "live" shot and shows game movement/stat changes.

The minimized game’s preview shot shows only a capture from the second you had minimized it.

In static apps such has Office you would never notice that minimized window is an old screenshot not an actual live preview.

So you must load 2 games with constant movement and changes to see what truly I mean.

To catch you up to speed, I am running 7 games concertly and pulling 98% Cpu usage daily and constantly.

I have to focus on each game individually to see what the current status of my individual characters are, to know if it’s time to restock items in my store, see how much $$'s I made and if my pet is starving or not.

However, when I switch game focus there is a high chance that 1 or 2 of the games will jam. Turn unresponsive and black screen.

Yet that character is still online and their store is still operational. I know because I can view the store with another separate character in another instance of the game, but that 1 instance of game is blacked out only on my end.

Really weird. IF I had a true live capture view of all minimized windows it would be a true heaven sent blessing to me.

I have searched, searched & again searched with now more & more refined terms and the only thing that even sounds promising again & again is Visual Task Tips http://www.visualtasktips.com/.

I found yet another newer version, it swears to work on Vista and also says it would be silly to use it on Vista at the sametime, since Vista does have the capability built-in. It installs fine but, when I run the app on Vista64 it does absoutely nothing except sits pretty in the taskbar and lets me adjust it’s settings, to no avail.

I did use Visual Task Tips avidly at one point under XP and it worked very well, but I don’t remember nor realized if it was true "live" shots or not, at the time. Also, I wasn’t gaming back then and would have never noticed.

I do know there is an ALT-TAB wannabee "improvement" to Vista’s built-in one that is supposed to show live pre-views & was orginally made for XP. It’s not what I want, but I can settle for even that. However, again the only true "live" shot it shows is that of the active window.

I know Skrommel(sp?) had made a dual monitor app
which showed the other monitor's open apps on the current
monitor which you are using. My PC back then was not powerful enough to run it, flawlessly.

I do still have dual monitors and such an app that Skrommel has already made comes sooo close to what I need Wink

The problem with making this puppy for me is that I am running on 64bit.

Hehe...but I do fully have this new of quad of mine set to boot in auto mode to over-ride the driver signing thingy ;p

Please, I am begging, make a full Truely Live Thumbnail Preview for Vista's Taskbar. Or even some sort of a Live Desktop Viewer of minimized windows which works on 64-bit Vista. I do fully realize and expect such an app to be somewhat CPU intensive.


Keep Rockin,

WL
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2008, 03:43:09 AM »

Well.. I'm not sure if this can be done.
Vista does have live preview, if open 2 movies at a time, hovering over the taskbar buttons displays both of them moving.
The problem is that when apps are minimized, they "hide" the visual part, to use less resources.
Can't you run the games windowed?
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2008, 04:58:52 AM »

Quote
Vista does have live preview, if open 2 movies at a time, hovering over the taskbar buttons displays both of them moving.

During my searching, I did stubble across a few mentions of that. It has something to do with Media Player being fired up and works specifically for with/that.

I do not run the games in full screen mode, still each instantance does take a large amount of screen space. The game is an online one. There's only 2 choices full screen or almost full screen but draggable and not cursor responsive resizable because the game simply does not allow it to happen. Keeping all 7 instances open with dual monitors does not allow me to view each one's individual current status, without switching window focus. I have 1 widescreen & 1 17-inch monitor hooked up. It's impossible and I have done more then tried.
If I could somehow resize those windows it would be highly possible, but I can not. 

Having the ability to resize these game windows would be a semi-satisfactory solution to what I really want. It would be a livable solution but not a very convenient one.

A better solution would be something with a windowed interface that can show a true live preview of each minimized app inside. It would be super awesome.

The only thing that could top that, is a true live taskbar preview.

Thanks for your super fast reply.


Hugz,

WL



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jgpaiva
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 05:18:19 AM »

Quote
Vista does have live preview, if open 2 movies at a time, hovering over the taskbar buttons displays both of them moving.
During my searching, I did stubble across a few mentions of that. It has something to do with Media Player being fired up and works specifically for with/that.
Not exactly. It works with all applications, as long as they are not minimized. Try going to this site and hovering over the taskbar button of your browser, you'll see the animation there.

I do not run the games in full screen mode, still each instantance does take a large amount of screen space. The game is an online one. There's only 2 choices full screen or almost full screen but draggable and not cursor responsive resizable because the game simply does not allow it to happen. Keeping all 7 instances open with dual monitors does not allow me to view each one's individual current status, without switching window focus. I have 1 widescreen & 1 17-inch monitor hooked up. It's impossible and I have done more then tried.
What I meant was that you can keep them all in windowed mode, and not minimize them, and then just see their previews in the taskbar.

Also, you may want to give VideoInPicture a try, it might be adequate for your situation. Unfortunately, it's still a bit buggy Sad
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 06:45:58 AM »

I was going to come in here and suggest http://videoinpicture.wikidot.com/ but I see that jgpaiva has beaten me to the punch. I think it might work for your needs but there are some quirks about it that you need to know. I haven't worked on the program for quite a while because I originally wrote it for myself so that I could watch online videos in the Window size that I wanted. It works for me and I run it every time I watch an online video.

From past users, I know it works in 64-bit Windows. Currently, the program will only show resized, live preview thumbnails on the primary monitor of your screen (no multi-monitor support). You may experience a slight slow down in your system for an unknown reason. I think having many live thumbnails in a resizable Window taxes your GPU although not your CPU. It isn't polished, but it works.

jgpaiva, what other bugs have you experienced?
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 07:38:19 AM »

jgpaiva, what other bugs have you experienced?
At the time I tested it, it had a few issues with windows live messenger, which was the program I was using it mainly for, I believe I reported it somewhere here in the forum.
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 11:26:13 PM »

Quote
Not exactly. It works with all applications, as long as they are not minimized.

I don't watch movies much on the PC. If I am remembering correctly, I think Media Player does show live previews in even minimized windows.

Quote
What I meant was that you can keep them all in windowed mode, and not minimize them, and then just see their previews in the taskbar.

Chuckling...Now, that is an idea that never even crossed my mind and should have long ago. I guess I'm just to much of a clean desktop freak to have ever thought of it. Your idea would be very doable. I could slide all the open windows to the other monitor, then shut it off and yet still see all of the live stats when needed in the thumbnail previews. Plus use Skrommel's dual monitor app it would be almost a nearly perfect solution. cheesy

Quote
Also, you may want to give VideoInPicture a try, it might be adequate for your situation. Unfortunately, it's still a bit buggy


Uhmmm...WoW! Video in Picture is indeed the ultimate solution for me!
It's way more awesome than what I wished for and wanted in the first place. I never hoped of actually being able to legibly read the print in any truly live thumbnail enhancement program! Muchless have the ability to resize and place them where ever I want. Then to top it all off
Video in Picture's app is very small in size, has 0% CPU usuage, only 13.6k memory usage and works on Vista 64-bit. I am literally flabbergasted!
I have had it running about 30 minutes now. When I first started it up I got 2 Retry/Ignore warnings. These type of warnings are a frequent happening on this PC anyways because I knowingly do have the CPU kept quite busy with all of the games running on it.


Quote
I was going to come in here and suggest http://videoinpicture.wikidot.com/ but I see that jgpaiva has beaten me to the punch.

What a punch it is! My socks were truly knocked off smiley


Quote
I think it might work for your needs but there are some quirks about it that you need to know.

Only one "quirk" I've noticed so far, then again maybe not, I haven't learned how to fully set it up yet. Right now, I have to slide the thumbnails out of the way if a window opens up underneath them. Then again I also have 7 enlarged thumbnails up and plastered all over, lol.
I'm enjoying watching all my games at once for the very first time almost more than I enjoy playing it :p


Quote
Currently, the program will only show resized, live preview thumbnails on the primary monitor of your screen (no multi-monitor support).


I simply don't care if you ever figure out the multi-monitor support issue. I hope you do if that is what you want. I am just so thrilled with being told about and using this gem you have had made that it doesn't matter. Besides that, I would only want the thumbnails on my main monitor anyways Wink I seldomly use my other monitor unless I need to keep a very close eye on a few apps or games at once. Now, I will even use the other monitor even less because I think Video in Picture will make having to use it obsolete.


Quote
You may experience a slight slow down in your system for an unknown reason. I think having many live thumbnails in a resizable Window taxes your GPU although not your CPU.

So far, I am noticing no slow down whatsoever. I have a 1GB stock ATI GPU, so I expect none. The game itself is not a graphic intensive one either, plus I only have all the graphic features turned on in only one of the instances.

I have no constructive comments or ideas to give to you.

Video in Picture seems as polished has any app can be to me.
I can't see any area of the app which needs any improvement.
It's way more then what I ever expected to find.

Oops, there is just one little thing that does bugs me about it.

I have googled for hours in vain and I never came across it.  Kiss


I greatly thank you both, jgpaiva and videoinpicture, very much for making my wish come true.


Hugz,

WL



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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 11:51:29 PM »

.....
Oops, there is just one little thing that does bugs me about it.

I have googled for hours in vain and I never came across it.  Kiss


I greatly thank you both, jgpaiva and videoinpicture, very much for making my wish come true.


Hugz,

WL


Glad you liked it. I haven't had much success in spreading the word about Video in Picture even though it is one of my most useful and used applications on my computer. Perhaps people don't like that it's Vista only?

With a 1 GB graphics card, you have about 4 times as much GPU memory as I do and probably a better processor on that GPU.

As for sliding the previews out of the way to see pop up windows beneath, you can try right-clicking on the tray icon and mess around with the "Alignment" and "Pin Previews To..." options. If you choose "Snap to Grid" in "Alignment", you will be able to drag all your previews at once by just dragging your first preview on the left.
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008, 12:12:35 AM »

Oh yeah, just so that you know, you can crop your thumbnails by placing your mouse over one and holding down the Ctrl key. Borders will pop up around the live thumbnail that you can use to crop it. Also, this isn't well documented but if you double click near the bottom of the live preview near the middle, it will restore the thumbnail to it's starting size and no cropping. Double clicking on the left bottom or right bottom zooms in and out.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2008, 01:40:22 AM by VideoInPicture » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 03:24:23 AM »

You don't have to slide any of your game windows out of the way. Just use the Windows task bar to select them and it should bring them to the front.

There's also alt-tab which I think shows live previews of all windows at the same time. Though I'm not sure about that since I haven't used Vista for over 1.5 years now.
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 10:23:33 PM »

Quote
Glad you liked it. I haven't had much success in spreading the word about Video in Picture even though it is one of my most useful and used applications on my computer. Perhaps people don't like that it's Vista only?


I think people just don't know it exist and have not had the idea yet to try to improve Vista's already nice thumbnail preview feature.  tongue  thumbs up  Wink

Quote
With a 1 GB graphics card, you have about 4 times as much GPU memory as I do and probably a better processor on that GPU.


I already have added Video in Picture to my "must have" basic staples programs toolbox.
Alias though, it is causing bad responsiveness problems while I am playing the game. I find it to be really strange that it is causing this. It doesn't seem to make any difference if I have it showing 7 previews or none at all, the game play is still effected to the same degree. However, other apps such as OutLook, my VOIP phone and so forth seem to be unaffected.
It still has been more then super fantastic using Video in Picture for the past few days, none the less. None of the games have crashed once since I have been using it to check their current status. Now, that in itself is a miracle to me and one great tedious timesaver. Before, when one game crashed and 2-3 always did at least twice daily when I checked their status, it took me about 20-35 minutes to reset each one up. So, for now, I am only running Video in Picture when I need to check game status. Because of this, two parts of Video in Picture are quickly becoming annoying to me, since I'm restarting it alot. The first is the warning pop-up about it not being compatible with dual monitors. I already know this and I don't need to be told everytime. The second part is when I shut it down, it maximizes every window upon exiting. I counter it by hitting "show desktop" in windows quicklaunch tray and amazingly it causes all game instances to minimize without switching focus and causing crashes.
Despite the above problems, I will still full heartily continue to use Video in Picture daily and more often than not. It has already become invaluable to me and I would greatly miss not having it.



Quote
As for sliding the previews out of the way to see pop up windows beneath, you can try right-clicking on the tray icon and mess around with the "Alignment" and "Pin Previews To..." options. If you choose "Snap to Grid" in "Alignment", you will be able to drag all your previews at once by just dragging your first preview on the left.

Thank You! I did quickly managed to find the "pin to desktop" feature, on my own and I have been happy has a lark ever since cheesy


Quote
Oh yeah, just so that you know, you can crop your thumbnails by placing your mouse over one and holding down the Ctrl key.

Super neato feature! I love the cropping mat!  Kiss

Hehe...you overlooked one major thing though, while a errrrr.....
I'll just say, while mapping a certain other feature out, lol.
I'll let you figure it out.  Wink


I also love how it auto hides all the open windows on the task bar.

I still have no suggestions for any feature to be added to it. I don't think I ever will.

I am way better off using it than when I was not.

It is an awesome program you have made and I bet MS would be very interested in it.  Wink Cool smiley






Quote
There's also alt-tab which I think shows live previews of all windows at the same time.
 

Thanks!  smiley
I would have had to keep all Windows maximized for all thumbnails to be truly live shots, even with the ALT-Tab and Flip3d feature



Hugz,

WL

« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 10:29:54 PM by WhiteLion » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 11:25:48 PM »

I already have added Video in Picture to my "must have" basic staples programs toolbox.
Alias though, it is causing bad responsiveness problems while I am playing the game. I find it to be really strange that it is causing this. It doesn't seem to make any difference if I have it showing 7 previews or none at all, the game play is still effected to the same degree. However, other apps such as OutLook, my VOIP phone and so forth seem to be unaffected.
It still has been more then super fantastic using Video in Picture for the past few days, none the less. None of the games have crashed once since I have been using it to check their current status. Now, that in itself is a miracle to me and one great tedious timesaver. Before, when one game crashed and 2-3 always did at least twice daily when I checked their status, it took me about 20-35 minutes to reset each one up. So, for now, I am only running Video in Picture when I need to check game status. Because of this, two parts of Video in Picture are quickly becoming annoying to me, since I'm restarting it alot. The first is the warning pop-up about it not being compatible with dual monitors. I already know this and I don't need to be told everytime. The second part is when I shut it down, it maximizes every window upon exiting. I counter it by hitting "show desktop" in windows quicklaunch tray and amazingly it causes all game instances to minimize without switching focus and causing crashes.
Despite the above problems, I will still full heartily continue to use Video in Picture daily and more often than not. It has already become invaluable to me and I would greatly miss not having it.

I'm not sure what I can do about the intermittent slowdown issues at this point, it may just be related to how Video In Picture has to work to ensure that the Window stays live. Although, it could also be related to how Video In Picture hides the taskbar buttons and keeps them hidden. I'll see what I can do when I do a code clean-up after this weekend. It's about time I started working on Video In Picture again and try promoting it.

I will remove that pop-up warning about multi-monitors. For when Video In Picture exits, would it be more preferable to have the target windows of the previews be minimized instead of maximized?
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 12:23:16 AM »

I have just quickly done up version 0.2.9 that addresses the multi-monitor pop up message and it now minimizes the Windows in the previews when the program exits. When you double-click to close just a single preview, the program will still show it as maximized because I think this is the intuitive thing.



***Edit: See post below for an updated version or go to http://videoinpicture.wikidot.com/download-vip
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 01:12:35 AM »

 cheesy Kiss cheesy OMG! You are so fast!  Thmbsup Kiss

You have not only redone it, but have it up and already to go!

 
As for your question about preferring to have the target windows of the previews be minimized instead of maximized when Video in Picture exits. I was going to say yes, most definitly for my situation. However, for others I am not sure but I have a hunch it would also make most of the masses happier too.

I am very happy to hear and see that your interest is now rekindled with working on the program.  Kiss

I will also eagerly post info about it in other forums and share it with all I know.

Keep Rocking,

WL




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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 01:31:31 AM »

One more post tonight, I have uploaded Video In Picture 0.2.9 Final to this thread. You should use this version instead of the one I posted above because I compiled this version for the .Net Framework 2.0 instead of 3.5, which means that it will more likely run on someone's Windows computer without having to update to the latest version of .Net. I have updated my website for Video In Picture with this new release: http://videoinpicture.wikidot.com/download-vip

* VIP0_2_9Final.zip (365.08 KB - downloaded 216 times.)
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2008, 01:42:52 AM »

WaHooo!
I just got done playing with your update.
VIP0.2.9 Test Version.zip is absoutely perfect!
It does indeed have a nice quiet start up now and places everything back to where it was upon exiting. That makes running it and restarting it very smooth now without me having to add any input whatsoever, very sweet!

I only wish that I could help you with solving intermittent slowdown issue. The only thing I notice on this end, is that Vista's DWM.exe's Cpu usage seems to go up a notch while ViP is on. Maybe it's related or not. I wonder if the slow down would happen on a machine with 2 GPUs. It would be a nice test to do.

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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2008, 08:26:39 PM »

VideoInPicture,

I am still using your VIP0.2.9 Test Version.zip, since I only have the latest .NET installed.

I am thrilled with the changes you had made to it due to my suggestions.

I have become very dependent on using it now.
I also feel that ViP was costumed tailored to fit me and my needs to perfection.

With that said, please accept my small incentive to continue future development.


Hugz,

WL
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2008, 12:42:01 AM »

FYI, if you have a new version of .NET, you have all the previous versions as well. You don't need to keep an outdated program because it was designed to work with the latest version of it's framework. smiley
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2008, 03:53:36 AM »

True...yeah..maybe...wrong...lol  cheesy embarassed undecided

I only have the latest flavor of .Net.  I make sure of that purposely, because having older versions are nothing but a freaking giant disk waster when it comes to space.
No, I'm not pushed for space, but I do believe in the cleaner the better. Sure, some proggies complain(especially the Older ones(while installing cause .net 2.0 ain't on board), but I manage to get them installed and my 1 & only    latest version of .net steps in and does the rest of the trick on it's own.

.Net is backwards compatable and very much so at that. .Net in all of it's flavors on your HD all at once...whoa boy!  UnNecessary and also a huge gig eatter.
Sure a few proggies may complain because it can't find the proper version of .Net while installing. Some will even refuse to install if you don't let them auto DL an old old version of .Net.
The trick is learning on how to get them(the sticklers) to install instead of sitting there dumbly and hitting the Okay button plus waiting forever for each of the sticklers to self DL & install the .Net version of thier choice while it adds gigs of un-necesary crap to your HD.

Having the ability/knowledge to refuse these "so called unecessary auto feeds of more un-needed crap to get an older version successfully installed is maybe what many should learn take the time-out and actually read what those installers are asking before/while being installed.


In the long run, your disk will be cleaner, your backup jobs faster, your repair jobs quicker.



BTW, I have no, zip, outdated programs installed to begin with. This thread never stated that.

However, I am giving Vista one last hard whirl of a chance to win me over. I doubt it can, because I really really hate how it's connection stuff all works.

Anyhow, I do run and have sucessfully suceeded at tricking Vista64 into running a few older "must have" apps, at any boot up time, I wish.

The subject of running older programs in this thread did not exist.

Nothing has been said about running  an "outdated program".

I'm sorry.

I posted here looking for something that I truely wanted & needed.

Within a 24hour span my wish was granted and happily landed on my dinnerplate.

Less than 28 hours after that, the dream program
was refined to meet at least my personal total satisfaction.

Now, you come in out of the blue and try to stick on a "OLD" label?

Nah, I think not.

Or u r seriously defunct on reading capability.


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