I have a Pi3 + HifiBerry which is working with OpenElec. (OpenElec kinda takes over the screen, makes modifying things tricky....) Anyway I hoped to make a little media player for music and videos. I want what I think is a pretty basic set-up: I don't need it to stream, don't really need internet at all. I access media through a memory stick or hard drive. It should be easy enough for my mother-in-law to use (much less myself, lol). I moved to OpenElec because it was supposed to auto-mount drives without having to configure (way above my paygrade), which it does. But...
1) there's no volume control on GUI with a "slider" sort of arrangement (like WinAmp). I can hit + or - key on keyboard, but volume doesn't move in smooth increments, it's either too loud or too soft.
2) GUI does not offer controls for Contrast, Brightness; or Gamma or Saturation. Usually the latter two are not necessary, but brightness can be an issue for my mother-in-law's older eyes, and brightness does vary quite a bit between different shows. With VLC it's super-easy to modify this setting. (Installing VLC on Pi looked like rocket science - and it doesn't seem to work very well, from what I've read.) If a scene is too bright, I go into Tools > Effects and Filters > Video Effects > Image Adjust. I can easily pause and toggle back and forth over the course of a single TV episode if an outdoor scene is overexposed. Very big plus.
I guess I could try Raspbmc or Xbian.... each time, I have to reformat, but mainly they all look like variations on the same theme, so I'm not convinced it will make much difference. OpenElec *is* working. But being able to control some very basic functions would be nice (EQ for music would be awesome). I'm scratching my head about why this is a thing at all: software has been doing this for a long time, and such features seem like they'd be core to any kind of media set-up. Do I need to be looking into Add-Ons... or does Pi just not deal well with this stuff for technical reasons??
Any advice very welcome, thank you!