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Amarok 2.6 Music Player Released

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the onward-and-upward dept.

KDE 100

jrepin writes "KDE is proud to announce version 2.6 of Amarok music player. While it brings a reasonable set of new features, the focus of this release was on bug fixing and improving the overall stability. The new features are a complete overhaul of the iPod, iPad and iPhone support including solid support for device playlists; transcoding for iPod-like and USB Mass Storage devices; the Free Music Chart service is now activated by default; embedded cover support for Ogg and FLAC files; and album art support for tracks on the filesystem and USB Mass Storage devices."

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100 comments

Slow news day? (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40991585)

I'm a Linux and Amarok user, but do I really need a slashdot article about a primarily bugfix and stability point-release of a media player?

Re:Slow news day? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991651)

Yeah

Re:Slow news day? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991659)

And it's still nowhere near as good as foobar2000.

AIMP3 (0)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#40995143)

Just wait until you try AIMP3 http://www.aimp.ru/ [www.aimp.ru] . It is compatible with Winamp plugins, both DSP, general and visualizations, and many Winamp skins have been ported over.

it has a very small memory footprint, an *awesome* md5-based (so no dupes) Media Library that keeps track of when you first/last played each song, and how many times, an advanced tag editor, etc. It also runs better under wine than Foobar or Winamp.

The only reason people don't know about it is that it's Russian and very few English speakers run into it. Once I found it in 2007, I gave up Winamp in a heartbeat, and I've *NEVER* looked back!

Re:AIMP3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40995289)

You do know that foobar2000 supports all of that stuff (except for Winamp skins) too, right? For themes, you can download any number of user made themes from HydrogenAudio or make your own with a completely scriptable UI. You can pretty much make foobar2000 look and act any way that you want if you take some time to learn its formatting language.

FWIW, I have actually used AIMP before and it's a decent basic player. I would put it about on par with Xion, except Xion has a really nice method for skin creation in that it uses PSD files and the layers within for element placement and effects.

Re:AIMP3 (1)

Stachybotris (936861) | about 2 years ago | (#40997019)

For what reason, other than personal preference/nostalgia, would you boot into Linux and then run a media player in WINE? Is there some must-have function for you that Amarok, Exaile, XMMS, RhythmBox, or any of the other Linux-native players are missing? I just don't see the point...

Re:AIMP3 (1)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#41151141)

Once you try AIMP3, I believe you will understand just how badly it beats every other media player I have ever tried or seen. I mean, just being able to so many winamp plugins is enough, isn't it?

Re:Slow news day? (-1, Offtopic)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40991727)

Hah, off-topic? If that's off-topic, can someone point me to something on-topic?

Re:Slow news day? (4, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40991901)

I'm a Linux and Amarok user, but do I really need a slashdot article about a primarily bugfix and stability point-release of a media player?

Yes for one simple reason. Many Linux users fondly recall Amarok 1.4 and have been waiting on the edge of our seats for years waiting for the 2.x series to live up to the former glory*. It hasn't happened yet so new releases are always something to pay attention to if only for the inevitable let down.

*Clementine and friends while good are not Amarok 1.4.

Re:Slow news day? (5, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | about 2 years ago | (#40992587)

Actually, I'm of the opposite opinion for the same reason. I gave up on Amarok ever since 2.0, and I'm much more interested in Clementine releases. As soon as Clementine gets arbitrary labels ("tags" in the "web 2.0" sense) and fixes up their device support a bit (I'm particularly looking forward to the day MTP works smoothly with Android devices), it'll pretty much have covered all Amarok 1.4 features I cared for.

Re:Slow news day? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992677)

If you want glory, go to a glory hole. Just stick your dick in the hole and get a hummer courtesy of a drop-dead gorgeous sexy blonde. Or maybe it's a dude. But who cares? The point is you're getting a blowjob and for all you know, it's a chick sucking your cock. Definitely not gay. Unless you're the dude on the other side sucking dicks.

Re:Slow news day? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992985)

It's only gay if the balls touch.

Re:Slow news day? (5, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#40993363)

Amarok has been crap since 2.0. It was a great example of a FOSS project producing good software. Then, just when there was a program that everyone loved, they broke everything users liked and said, "Well, if you don't like it, that's tough, this is better and if you don't see it, you're a fool." Posts on boards where this was discussed were self-righteous from the developer end and users were angered by that.

I checked out many feature requests and saw the same kind of developer arrogance: We're not doing that because it's not a good feature. (Or because we can't without doing tons of work or because we don't want to or other self-important reasons.)

And that's when Amarok became an example of the worst of FOSS. Developers fell back on the old saw of, "We're not getting paid, this is volunteer work, and you're lucky we've done any of this for you." Yes, that's true, in part, but the other side to the story is that it's clear developers WANT people to use it. If they didn't, there would not have been a story submitted to Slashdot about this.

So if you want users to use and love your program, listen to them. If you want to do what you want, then do it - but don't wonder why users don't like it or why there's fewer downloads of later versions people don't like.

I used Amarok on Linux, hated it once it got to 2.0, but couldn't find one that was as good as the earlier version (and didn't find out about Clementine until much later). Eventually I switched to OS X, and found other Linux music players ported, but Amarok is still not ported - it relies on MacPorts, which is notorious for being unstable and problematical when updated. Developing an OS X port would be easier than developing a Windows port, yet after years it hasn't been done.

All this has proved that Amarok developers just want to do their own thing and don't give a damn about what users want - yet they still want users to download and use it.

And until they catch on to this, Amarok, in any version, will still suck and will never reach the usefulness it had in version 1.3 and 1.4.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

neonmonk (467567) | about 2 years ago | (#40993639)

OT: Now that you've moved to OS X, what media player are you using? I begrudgingly use iTunes, syncing my Android phone via Samba & iSync. But it's not ideal, I'd much rather use something else, but sadly Clementine didn't feel polished enough.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#40994883)

I use Clementine, based on Amarok 1.3.

I don't use iTunes because it doesn't use FLAC, but may consider, at some point, converting to ALAC, since they've open sourced it.

The GNOME Way (1)

zidium (2550286) | about 2 years ago | (#40995157)

Amarok has been crap since 2.0. It was a great example of a FOSS project producing good software. Then, just when there was a program that everyone loved, they broke everything users liked and said, "Well, if you don't like it, that's tough, this is better and if you don't see it, you're a fool."

Ahh, so they went the name of the GNOME, eh?

Re:The GNOME Way (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#40998993)

Way or name of GNOME?

If you mean the way of GNOME, yes. Too focused on technical details so they can't see the forest through the trees and wondering why everyone doesn't see how wonderful their stuff is.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#40997383)

Perhaps the solution should be that users commision a developer to do something instead of complaining they can't get a developer to commit to writing them a feature for free.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#40998963)

Actually, that misses the point.

I ran my own software company, based on my software, until about 5 years ago, when I retired at 45 so I could enjoy life. (And it was my company doing well enough that allowed me to retire that many years early.) During the time I was running it, I used FOSS in my systems and I even released FOSS programs for others to use.

Like many people who work with FOSS, I'd love to see it out there and in use in every market and see FOSS software leaving a lot of closed source programs in the dust. And I see that desire in many FOSS developers. They often say that FOSS software is "just better." Then they might, if asked, go into long explanations on the differences between open and closed source software and why FOSS is better.

But the sad truth is that developers, when left to their own means, without someone saying, "Do this and that," do what developers like and think is cool, and then they often try to push the result on users, saying, it's better than what was there. Well, maybe to a developer it is better, but often to an end user it is not. And this comes down to developers who think from their point of view and are unable to see a user's point of view and insist the developer view is right and better. And they think users should change and see the light.

But that isn't going to happen. This is an area where users grab what the need and use what does the job. They don't care what developers say is good or bad. To them, good means it does the job, bad means it either doesn't, or it's a pain to use. So they say, "This program is bad," and that pisses off developers who insist it's good.

And we end up with more and more FOSS that doesn't fit user needs and users get in the habit of thinking, "Oh, that's some of that open source stuff, and the open source programs I've tried in the past suck."

From the user point of view, they DO suck.

And developers are too busy saying, "We're right!" to listen to that.

Which is why most FOSS is technically beautiful, but sucks.

Yes, someone can commission a developer, but there's the flip side: If you're a developer, and people bitch about your software, and bitch a lot, then maybe it's time to listen *IF* you want people to use it.

Or you can ignore what users say and continue to slide into obscurity and wonder why your program hasn't become a standard for people, like Firefox or VLC or Audacity and why the mindshare is small compared to everything else.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#41002639)

But the sad truth is that developers, when left to their own means, without someone saying, "Do this and that," do what developers like and think is cool, and then they often try to push the result on users, saying, it's better than what was there.

With regards to smaller projects, did you consider that the developer's audience might not the user who is bitching? I have worked on projects in the past that involved users trying to turn the project in a direction that had no relevance to the direction of what the application was intended to be.

Yes, someone can commission a developer, but there's the flip side: If you're a developer, and people bitch about your software, and bitch a lot, then maybe it's time to listen *IF* you want people to use it.

In my experience, people bitch regardless. Once you have reached a large amount of users, you no longer have the ability to discern if something upsets the majority of your user base or not. Also, it comes to a point where nothing you do will prevent the bitching, listening to that bitching will also get you down and can cause nervous breakdowns.

Meanwhile, if people are willing to pay to get something done, the developer is not going to care about how he uses that free time as much since he's been compensated and it at least helps separate where there is interest in more.

Or you can ignore what users say and continue to slide into obscurity and wonder why your program hasn't become a standard for people, like Firefox or VLC or Audacity and why the mindshare is small compared to everything else.

Man, I think I would have had a nervous break down if I tried to make a big effort in listening to user suggestions and complaints for a Skype plugin (proprietary) I wrote some years back and that is likely considerably less input than what Amarok developers get.

Or you can ignore what users say and continue to slide into obscurity and wonder why your program hasn't become a standard for people, like Firefox or VLC or Audacity and why the mindshare is small compared to everything else.

As a developer, my ego was never big enough think of "becoming a standard for people".

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#41005219)

I'll just take the points in order, easier that way.

1) I wasn't even thinking of smaller projects, but that's a good point. And that's when it's necessary, if the people are persistent, to make it clear what the purpose of the project is and what their desire is and why they don't coincide (and that's a good time to point out, THEN, that it's a volunteer workforce and how much would be required to make the requested changes). If they're difficult, that's when it's time to stop ignoring them. This can also, in some cases, be a chance to make a few dollars by making the changes -- but usually the complainers aren't willing to pony up the cash for what they need.

2) Yes, people bitch - but there are a few points here. First, is your goal to get the projet out there for users? If it's Open/Libre Office, then it is. If you're just writing the program for yourself (which could be one or more developers) and releasing it, thinking, "I find it useful, so others might, too," then that's a case where you may want bug reports and feedback from developers, but not want to create a user community, since that's not at all the purpose of the project.

Second, if the goal is to get users to use it, as with KDE in general, and, in this case, Amarok in particular, then someone on the development team *must* keep in touch with the feelings of users. In this case, I've seen many people bitching over the new GUI in 2.0 and, from what I saw, the new GUI wasn't tested for user feedback. That's a prime example of what I'm talking about. It's a project with a goal of gaining users, but the crew totally ignored the needs of the users. It is common sense that a major GUI change will create a major reaction with users, so it's important to release what you can ahead of time to see how people feel about it compared to the old GUI. I have watched discussions over Amarok, and have seen very few positive comments when it hit 2.0. While it's true haters are more likely to speak up than those who are satisfied, that was still a missed opportunity from the Amarok developers to figure out what end users wanted.

I know it's a pain to maintain two GUIs, but they probably should have given serious consideration to doing that - or to reverting.

Third, yes, I know what hearing all the bitching is like. I used to teach special needs kids, which means nothing is enough for parents and everything is too much from the administration's point of view (where they want to maximize resources) and I write and, as I mentioned, retired from a software company. People love to bitch and some will be helpful when they realize they're listened to and some won't. But the bottom line is if you want people using the project, there's no choice. You have to listen to the "pulse of the public." This can be done through polling or a number of other ways, but if you're trying to market, in any way, then not listening to users is like target shooting with a blindfold.

3) It sounds like your plugin is either for use within an organization or that it has a price on it - in which case one major measure of user satisfaction is if they keep buying it.

4) Overall, and many developers hate it when I bring this up, developers are great engineers, but they're not human engineers. I love developers and the way they think and what it's like being in a room with them, but being the interface between users and a developer team is a special skill, and it's one very few developers have. The problems that I've seen (and this is one of them) is that developers know they're intelligent and think they can do it all, and often do see the user as less intelligent. This leads to them thinking if something is wrong, it *must* be the user.

I spent years working in residential treatment and teaching (before I started my business) and had to learn to deal with all different types of personalities and people with all different kinds of mental strengths in different areas. After leaving there and working with developers, I found that this is something most don't get. They think there's a right and wrong in things like a GUI and since they used logic, they're right. And often the problem is there are many, MANY layers of logic they don't understand, such as learning styles and working styles that mean many people who don't think like a developer - and developers think in several unique styles and just don't understand that most people don't and cannot think in that way.

This leads to different needs and different viewpoints and many times a developer can't understand that users need things done differently than the developers want to do things. This is one reason why Facebook, a company run by developers, while being used by many people, ranks as low, in customer satisfaction as public utilities and monopolies and other companies that people hate. The only reason they have the market is there's no real alternative.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#41007533)

Second, if the goal is to get users to use it, as with KDE in general, and, in this case, Amarok in particular, then someone on the development team *must* keep in touch with the feelings of users. In this case, I've seen many people bitching over the new GUI in 2.0 and, from what I saw, the new GUI wasn't tested for user feedback. That's a prime example of what I'm talking about. It's a project with a goal of gaining users, but the crew totally ignored the needs of the users. It is common sense that a major GUI change will create a major reaction with users, so it's important to release what you can ahead of time to see how people feel about it compared to the old GUI. I have watched discussions over Amarok, and have seen very few positive comments when it hit 2.0.

The absurd thing is that users could revert to the 1.x UI in Amarok, which makes this argument rather silly. It isn't that hard to look in preferences either.

I know it's a pain to maintain two GUIs, but they probably should have given serious consideration to doing that - or to reverting.

Which is the absurd thing, they are maintain more than two UIs for different preferences! Yet, there is still bitching.

3) It sounds like your plugin is either for use within an organization or that it has a price on it - in which case one major measure of user satisfaction is if they keep buying it.

It was a free closed source plugin for doing recordings and emulating a call center options menu, capable of forwarding it to other Skype users.

It was moderated into oblivion by angry Apple users because there was no OS X version and wrote stupid reviews like "no mac version", even though it clearly showed there was no mac version at the top of the page (this was before Skype's major redesign of the plugins site). But, that wasn't the source of what made me feel stress in the community, it was the people demanding some advanced corporate functionality in the plugin that was way out of my 'target audience' and constant demoralizing messages with vague statements as to the problem.

This is one reason why Facebook, a company run by developers, while being used by many people, ranks as low, in customer satisfaction as public utilities and monopolies and other companies that people hate. The only reason they have the market is there's no real alternative.

I don't think it helps that the majority of Facebook users can't express what they want properly. I remember when they were testing that new UI and asking for user feedback, a lot of users just couldn't give anything constructive - I don't think polling the community works that well as you suggested earlier. Especially when the majority of people who will be on the site, as you said, will likely be those who are unhappy with the product (although Facebook is probably a special case in this matter since they are a website).

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | about 2 years ago | (#41019399)

I remember with Amarok 2.0 not being able to find the UI for 1.x - was it added later? Even recently, when I tried it on MacPorts, there was a different UI, and I did check through all the preferences. Is it possible the ability to use both UIs wasn't on all platforms?

I'm on an iMac, I love it. It's not perfect, but after 10 years or so on Linux, there was no f---ing way I was going back to Windows, but I needed to be able to do professional video editing and there was nothing suitable on Linux for that. (Last I looked, none of the FOSS video editors were quite up to professional specs yet.) But on the other hand, I know what you're talking about. It's the Doctrine of Insufficient Adulation: If you're not 100% committed to OS X, then many fan boys will get quite nasty. I'm sorry that happened to your project. While I use Skype, I don't use it much and it sounds like the plugin market was kind of like the App Store or the App Market on Android -- that ratings and nasty comments can really do a program in. I take it you made it clear in your description it wasn't intended for those markets - I know even with that, people will get snotty because they think they can force a developer to do what they want.

As for Facebook, it's possible users don't always express themselves well. But, on the other hand, what part of, "We HATE Timeline!" is hard to understand? There's no need to force it on people who don't want it. For that matter, it's been a continual issue that people don't like the forced updates. FB could easily just publish an API, offer a few skins, and allow others to make and share skins. That would easily eliminate many of the complaints about FB - but they're never going to allow that because it's all about control, and this is an example of what I'm talking about. It's a company run by developers, so they don't care what users want, they, in their infinite wisdom, feel they know and will make users do what's best, instead of giving them choices.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about 2 years ago | (#40995987)

Many Linux users fondly recall Amarok 1.4 and have been waiting on the edge of our seats for years waiting for the 2.x series to live up to the former glory....

I thought I was the only one who thought 1.4 was awesome, but became largely pointless and unusable with the KDE 4 conversion (which is sad, because KDE 4 is awesome [except for Dolphin -ick- and Amarok 2.0]). 1.4 was user-friendly and largely intuitive. 2.0 was a confusing, unintuitive, jumbled mess, to the point that nothing of value will be lost if that entire code tree disappears.

It used to be a fantastic, pleasant piece of software, but stopped being so with 2.0.

Re:Slow news day? (1)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about 2 years ago | (#40992201)

The summary mentions quite a few things that go beyond bug fixes, have they oversold it? I've stuck with Rhythmbox personally.

Re:Slow news day? (3, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40992319)

I dunno, I'm still using the old version. But, to summarize the summary:
- Bugfixes
- Stability Increase (really, bugfixes by another name - instability is a bug)
- Improved iDevice support (which I don't use - I'm on Android)
- Change in default settings (which I could have changed anyway if I'd wanted)
- Improved album cover support (which I don't really care about - I listen to music when my eyes are otherwise occupied)

Granted, some people will probably find it's support of iDevices useful, and someone may care about album cover art, but there doesn't seem to be any major changes here.

Re:Slow news day? (2)

ustolemyname (1301665) | about 2 years ago | (#40994367)

"Transcoding for iPod-like and USB Mass Storage devices that complements transcoding for Local Collection"

AKA when I use it to copy music to my android phone, it automatically transcodes everything to a preconfigured format. I consider that a small, but very handy feature (as I keep all my music in FLAC).

Re:Slow news day? (3, Insightful)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 2 years ago | (#40993041)

Don't forget better support for close propietary hardware on an open source music player, because that's what we all want in our free software!

Re:Slow news day? (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | about 2 years ago | (#40993845)

Yes.

Re:Slow news day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994505)

I thought the same!

GUI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991589)

Does it have a decent interface yet? Until it does, it's Clementine for me.

Re:GUI (4, Interesting)

cruff (171569) | about 2 years ago | (#40991655)

Yeah, I ditched Amarok for Clementine also. I found it did the simpler stuff I wanted from a music player in a straight forward manner.

Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (4, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about 2 years ago | (#40991593)

You know, the version that was actually a good media library and something unique? The one that didn't totally blow chunks?

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991643)

Clementine is what you want.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991889)

Mod this up! It's a really nice qt port of 1.4, it actually runs faster than the original in GNOME, due to not having to load the KDE libs and is pretty feature-complete.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (5, Informative)

cronot (530669) | about 2 years ago | (#40991871)

Ask and ye shall receive: http://www.clementine-player.org/ [clementine-player.org]

The nice thing is that it's multi-platform, and it actually looks and works nice on other OSs - it's particularly nice on OS X, for those like me that hate iTunes.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

fjolnir (2690993) | about 2 years ago | (#40993135)

Are you joking when you say "it's particularly nice on OS X"?
Crashes about 5 seconds afters showing me it's absolutely hideous interface.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

Tom (822) | about 2 years ago | (#40994129)

Thanks for that link!

I loved Amarok back in my Linux days, and I'll give Clementine a swirl. Does it include the automatic-rating-of-songs-by-your-actions? That was one great thing I miss from back then. If you listen to a song full length it increases the score, if you skip it it lowers it, etc. - over time, it comes to a pretty good rating without you doing anything.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 2 years ago | (#40992177)

Add me to the list of people who could not figure out why Amarok's author made such ill-advised changes in 2.x. The UI went from being completely intuitive to maddeningly confusing, and (well, for me at least) iPod synching broke horribly, which effectively forced me to jettison the thing in favor of gtkpod.

At some point, an author needs to go back to the community and say "I'm sorry. I've heard the complaints, and it's pretty clear that my last version, although well-intended, was a complete mistake. I'm going to re-fork the last popular version and try to make something that looks basically the same and works better under the hood."

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

jyx (454866) | about 2 years ago | (#40992691)

The UI went from being completely intuitive to maddeningly confusing, and (well, for me at least)

I hear you bro. I'm still having to hunt and find the stop/play/shuffle buttons. Ive got no idea how to 'save' my own internet radio selections anywhere and I am constantly getting lost between my own directory tree layout of music and the internal 'here's your songs grouped by album meta tags that is expanded to a bzillion one song groups because of that folder of c64 remixs '

I am trying to learn how to use cause Ive gone Kubuntu after the unity debacle, it but its a challenge. Maybe when the kids are older Ill have some more time to figure it out but having to learn how to use a music player just seems just wrong.... :(

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

QilessQi (2044624) | about 2 years ago | (#41023353)

I hear you bro. I'm still having to hunt and find the stop/play/shuffle buttons

Wow, I was afraid I was the only one. :-)

BTW, I installed Clementine... it's definitely worth a try if you loved Amarok 1.x.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (2)

skeletal (2597067) | about 2 years ago | (#40994633)

Amarok 2.0 was the reason I stopped using Linux for a while, because with the KDE 4 upgrade there was no usable music player. Now Amarok works somehow, but does all kinds of useless shit. I will never buy any songs through my music player, I don't really care abot seeing album art or the lyrics in the music player. I just want to listen to my mp3/ogg files! The developers have turned it into some monster, like how Winamp 2.x was nice and did one thing well, and then in the next versions they added a toaster and a kitchen sink. I just want to see my song collection, with different views (sorted by author/album or as a directory tree) and be able to add songs to a playlist. None of the other shit is needed I was very happy when I found out about Clementine

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

mattcasters (67972) | about 2 years ago | (#40994957)

I disagree. You can still easily search your collection and adding to a playlist has become much better than it was in the 1.x days. The rest of the "monster" features you mentioned so trollfully are configurable, easy to disable with 2 clicks of the mouse.
I'm still on Amarok 2.5.0 but I'm looking forward to 2.6.

Re:Wake me up when they release a new 1.x (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40995109)

How about editing a playlist and saving it over the original. Ridiculously complicated in Amarok 2.x

Does it still make you chose a store? (1)

dclozier (1002772) | about 2 years ago | (#40991765)

Would someone please tell me why the hell I have to pick a place to purchase my music from? All I want is a simple mp3 player. I'm not going to purchase a song as a digital download. I'd rather just get the CD and rip what I want and keep the CD around as a backup. Amarok has turned into the jack of all trades and master of none.

Re:Does it still make you chose a store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991813)

Uhh, pretty sure that Amarok was *never* intended to be a simple mp3 player.

Re:Does it still make you chose a store? (1)

dclozier (1002772) | about 2 years ago | (#40991881)

Yeah I'm sure it wasn't either. Such a thing is an elusive animal on KDE it seems.

Re:Does it still make you chose a store? (1)

mattcasters (67972) | about 2 years ago | (#40994963)

Yes, it's intended for smart people. I like it that way :-)

Re:Does it still make you chose a store? (1)

dclozier (1002772) | about 2 years ago | (#40996109)

Amarok is more intended for masochists than it is for smart people. Smart people have moved on to using Clementine ;)

Re:Does it still make you chose a store? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993347)

Would someone please tell me why the hell I have to pick a place to purchase my music from? All I want is a simple mp3 player. I'm not going to purchase a song as a digital download. I'd rather just get the CD and rip what I want and keep the CD around as a backup. Amarok has turned into the jack of all trades and master of none.

We have to use the extra CPU cycles for something...

why is this better than the client/server MPD? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40991847)

with mpd, you pick any number of front-ends, android, web, local, ncurses, pure cli! whatever you want.

lots of plugins for sound arch. it connects to alsa just fine, of course.

it has a decent enough api.

it even 'tunes' in most streams ('internet radio'). I use it daily for that.

uhm, what else do you guys want? why isn't mpd and its various front-ends more ubiquitous?

(current system I use is based on voyage linux and mpd. fanless mini-itx box and with UAC2 usb audio and a good dac, it supports up to 24/192k music.)

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991899)

It isn't. Amarok is a turd, and has been for many versions.

MPD is broken. No one wants to listen to music only find tracks stopping midway and then wasting time trying to diagnose what's going on. That's why almost no one uses it, and prefers local application.storage options.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40992173)

this happens to you?

I've been using mpd for years and on various platforms (from low end via c3 chips to current atoms and e350's).

it never stops midway. you must have some other issues because I doubt its mpd.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991951)

They both suck.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40992193)

no. content-free ac posts suck.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992327)

Yes. MPD is crap, cock jockey.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (1)

caseih (160668) | about 2 years ago | (#40992497)

I think you answered your own question.

Think about the type of user that Amarok is going to be used by. Think iTunes refugee. Somehow I doubt they will be impressed by a client/server architecture or nice programming API.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992829)

Somehow I doubt they will be impressed by a client/server architecture or nice programming API.

MPD is hardly impressive in terms of architecture or API. It's a trivial media server that has a mediocre code base and a protocol that's incredibly slow for anything even remotely complex. Congratulations.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992751)

uhm, what else do you guys want?

I use both Amarok (2.x, I like it more than 1.x these days) and mpd, but they have different use cases, at least for me.

I like mpd's client-server design and I use it frequently for streaming my music or listening when I don't have a GUI running, but its random song selection is inferior to some of the "fancier" players, like Amarok, that try to be more than just a basic music player.

Amarok, for example, can choose a random album, play it in full, and then switch to another. It can also adjust the randomness by user-defined rankings (1-5 stars), a "score" based on how much of a song you listen to (changing songs early lowers the score), or even favour less-frequently heard songs. It can also generate playlists based on criteria, such as creating a two-hour playlist of classical randomly.

The feature I use most, though, is the "dynamic playlist", which creates a random playlist of fixed length, and constantly culls old entries while adding new as you listen. Its song selection is configurable by multiple biases, so that you can have, say, 20% of the playlist be rock, 20% heavy metal, and then the rest randomly chosen.

The playlist is followed linearly, but randomly generated, so that it's easy to drop in additional music if I decide I want to listen to a specific song or album without affecting the playlist's behaviour. For example, a song from a Nightwish album I want to hear came up on random earlier and I decided I wanted to hear more, so I dropped that album (and a couple more) from the context pane into the playlist to listen.

I like mpd, but I find myself doing too much manual control of the playlists and song selection when using it. With Amarok, I set up a dynamic playlist that suits my mood and mostly forget about it, except for the occasional "Oh, good song, I want to hear this album now" which is a simple click-drag-drop that takes seconds.

Obviously, this is biased heavily toward how I listen to music, so it won't suit everyone. I listen to a lot of different styles depending on my mood, so the bias selection is important to me, and I like full random (not album-based random) with the ability to easily drop in a full album when I feel like it. I used to deal with this stuff manually with playlists and genre sorting on my hard disk, but using Amarok and tagging my music is a lot easier and requires less maintenance. YMMV.

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994803)

And what is MPD's advantage over Clementine or Amarok or any descent music player?

Re:why is this better than the client/server MPD? (1)

Caesar Tjalbo (1010523) | about 2 years ago | (#41003545)

I'd love to have an Amarok 1.4 like front-end to MPD. Currently using GMPC

Worst. Media. App. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40991925)

Amarok has the most confusing worst UI I have ever seen. It doesn't work like anything I want from a media player.

Re:Worst. Media. App. Ever. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#40997145)

I don't understand, what prevented you from changing the UI to something acceptable?

What do you want? (2)

GoJays (1793832) | about 2 years ago | (#40991991)

Not sure what many of you want, I hear so much negativity about Amarok.

What I like about Amarok...

It plays all of my music formats, .flac, .mp3, .ogg

It has customizable layouts and sorting options. This cancels out any haters of the Amarok 2.X default layout, saying 1.4 was superior. If you read a little, you would realize you can make it look and act just like 1.4.

MYSQL backend. I can backup/restore my database with ease.

Lyrics, tabs, wiki articles, pictures it is all there if I am curious about a track

Last.fm support

Doesn't bog down your system with large playlists. I can have a playlist of 10 000 songs and it still runs smooth, do that with iTunes and it is sucking system resources like a new born.

In the end it is just a music player, but what do people really want that makes it so horrible and not what it use to be?

Re:What do you want? (5, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | about 2 years ago | (#40992233)

I haven't tried it in about a year and half but the killer for me is complete support for LOCAL metadata embedded in tags. I've taken the trouble to find high quality artwork and lyrics for as much of my collection as possible. I've embedded this in id3 tags and for the bit of vorbis in my collection the tags they have. If a media player I'm trying to use goes searching the net first for this information and disregarding the tags that are RIGHT IN THE FUCKING MUSIC FILE then I don't have a use for it. Amarok 1.4 could be fixed with plugins but these plugins of course didn't work in 2.x. What's more, 2.x has extensively rich functionality for pulling this information from the net and sticking it in it's database (pray it does so correctly) but neither reads or (fully) writes the tags I put considerable effort into putting correct information into.

It should also be possible to display the artwork and lyrics along with the rest of the application's interface in a usable way. No four clicks to get to the lyrics.

Yes, yes, yes, Amarok does use the tags for Artist, Album, Track Name, etc. But like MANY players it doesn't (or least didn't?) even attempt to look in the metadata tags for artwork and lyrics. Guayadeque gets this right and Songbird/Nightingale also get this right if the excellent MLyrics plug-in is installed. I haven't found much else in Linux/BSD that does. Incidentally, someone else mentioned MPD. That doesn't handle this either.

Re:What do you want? (0)

mattcasters (67972) | about 2 years ago | (#40994997)

Not sure what you're talking about. Artwork and Lyrics are shown automatically when they are available.

Re:What do you want? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40997369)

Past versions I've tried didn't display them if embedded in the id3 tags. They would search online for them and display that if it could find it. One of the reasons Amarok has historically been weak on this is they are going too far out of their way to avoid offending Amazon which is their major source for searching art. I haven't heard that this has changed.

Re:What do you want? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#40996037)

As a side question, how are you adding the cover art to the id3 tags?

I'm using easytag, but development on that appears to have stalled.

Re:What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40997427)

Kid3 is pretty good these days.

Re:What do you want? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40992369)

Off the top of my head the things which have made me avoid using Amarok for the past several years are:

1. Stability: it crashes a lot. Hopefully this release fixes that.
2. Terrible, unintuitive interface
3. The above poster claims it plays all music formats, this is only true if the underlying operating system supports those codecs. Amarok doesn't support much of anything out of the box. Codecs have to be installed and then the player needs to be restarted.
4. Amarok is terribly slow to start and the UI is often unresponsive.
5. Pop-ups, initial installs have a ton of pop-ups and nag screens.

Rhythmbox does everything Amarok does, has a better default UI, is much lighter and rarely (if ever) crashes.

Re:What do you want? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#40997125)

My only question to you is, if Amarok's interface is so horrible, why didn't you change it?

It's not like you can't use a 1.x interface or have it appear as any other popular media player.

Re:What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41009587)

You keep saying this.
Care to point to a simple walkthrough that will make 2.x look and behave just like 1.4?
I bet you can't.

Re:What do you want? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#41009875)

Look in preferences.

Re:What do you want? (0, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#40993023)

I know it's fashionable to shit on iTunes, but i have a playlist with a 32656 song library playing right now, and it is using 1.6% of the CPU and 170 MB of ram. It's also serving this library to my wife's laptop in the living room, as she is listening to different songs.

iTunes is easily, bar none, the only worthwhile digital music player / library maintenance application that exists now. The only people who don't like it are the people who insist on using it like Winamp, ie throwing all their music into one huge folder.

Re:What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993515)

iTunes is fucking garbage.

Re:What do you want? (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#40993675)

It's better than everything else. If Quicktime is garbage, everything else is fucking pathetic sub-retarded garbage water concentrate.

Re:What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40995245)

The VLC framework and GStreamer piss all over Quicktime.

As for music players and library management, foobar2000, MediaMonkey, Songbird and VLC Media Player, amongst others, are so far ahead of iTunes in performance, supported formats, features, plugins and/or customizations as to be ridiculous to even make a comparison.

I use a heavily customized fb2k with support for pretty much *every* audio file type, from various FM synth formats (ROL, CMS, CMF, Silents, etc.), tracker formats (Protracker, 669, Screamtracker, Impulse Tracker, XM, etc.), console/arcade audio formats (NSF, VGM, SPC, PSF, USF, QSF, PSF2, etc.), MIDI via FluidSynth (GM, GS, XMI, XMF, etc.) to the more common digital audio formats (MP3, Vorbis, FLAC, APE, WAV, AAC, WavPack, etc.). It also has ASIO support, direct kernel streaming, loads of chainable DSP effects, a UPnP server, ReplayGain, scriptable mass-tagger, automatic timestamped lyrics download, automatic artist information download from multiple sources, a waveform seekbar and a completely custom UI. And that is just what I have configured on my own copy. There are tons of other components available [hydrogenaudio.org] that add an almost unimaginable amount of features and extensibility. By comparison, iTunes looks like absolutely pathetic.

Oh and by the way, I have a 40K+ library loaded up and foobar2000 is currently using ~170MB RAM and ~0.75% CPU. So as I said before, iTunes is garbage.

Re:What do you want? (2)

collet (2632725) | about 2 years ago | (#40993535)

I'm not sure if you're talking about iTunes on OSX or Windows, but for my Windows-using friends it does seem to have a noticeable impact on performance when it's running.

Although I have my thousands of fancy FLAC files, my friends iTunes libraries are just crappy mp3s they downloaded and there's barely ever more than a thousand of them.

I've heard that iTunes performance problems are due to the libraries it uses. Is that true?

Re:What do you want? (-1, Troll)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 2 years ago | (#40993689)

Well, I don't play around with toy operating systems. Haven't in many years, so I can't tell you how well it works on Windows. However, consider this - Quicktime (and Safari) on Windows are running basically all the necessary OS X libraries inside a process, essentially running the whole Cocoa UI / library stack on Windows. This technology was a leftover of the Openstep days.

I have well over ten thousand ALAC files (basically Apple's FLAC, but engineered so portable devices can decode them with almost 0 CPU effort) and a bunch of MP3s. As I said, my library is 32656 files, and iTunes is using less than 2% of the CPU and less than 200 MB of RAM. I'm sure it would be using even less if this system didn't have 16 GB - it doesn't really swap stuff out like I saw on the old Powerbook G4 with 1 GB ram.

Anyway, I feel pity for your poor friends, still playing around with Windows.

Re:What do you want? (1)

collet (2632725) | about 2 years ago | (#40994833)

I've been using Ubuntu ever since it became uncool (11.04) :)

FLACs are just better to work with in my opinion, converting, tagging, CUE sheets etc.

I wish the Matroska audio container had more support. I mean, MPEG container is great but it's not really useful unless everyone can use it. I mean, imagine a world where every single music file was (seemingly) the same format?

Re:What do you want? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994049)

iTunes is easily, bar none, the only worthwhile digital music player / library maintenance application that exists now.

Souds marvellous. But I can't find the download link for the Linux version.

Re:What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40993463)

It plays all of my music formats, .flac, .mp3, .ogg

Ah, just like xmms, mplayer, vlc. etc. etc.
(ok, not fair, but most software 'media' players will play all formats nowadays without thinking (assuming the appropriate libraries are on your system).

It has customizable layouts and sorting options. This cancels out any haters of the Amarok 2.X default layout, saying 1.4 was superior. If you read a little, you would realize you can make it look and act just like 1.4.

You might have the wrong end of the stick here, not that I run Amarok 1.4 (or 2.x) much anyway, but the biggest issues I recall betwixt 1.4 and 2.x were mainly borked functionality (and, despite what you say, 2.x is/was a resource hog compared to 1.4, at least on my machine), not the UI (though, it was a bit of a dog's dinner in 2.x by default)

MYSQL backend. I can backup/restore my database with ease.

MYSQL?, ach no, this is both passé and a fail. It needs an ORACLE/DB2 backend to be truly sexy..call me when they implement either (or if they implement a xBase one..nostalgia can be a bitch sometime - despite being mainly a hardware type and assembly programmer, I also wrote (far too much) dBase code over the years, for these sins, may the FSM forgive me..).

Re:What do you want? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#40994659)

There is really a plethora/bonanza (depending on how you look @ it) of audio/video players [kde.org] . Dragon Player, Juk, Kaffeine (my favorite - I prefer a single window to play both video & audio), KMPlayer, KPlayer, and more. I do wish, however, that they all could handle iPods, iPhones, IPads, Androids and everything else seamlessly.

Re:What do you want? (1)

wol (10606) | about 2 years ago | (#40998437)

Let me know when I can substitute postgresql instead of mysql.

Re:What do you want? (1)

Bambi Dee (611786) | about 2 years ago | (#40998611)

I may have the same problem with Amarok that a lot of people seem to have with KDE in general (except I do like KDE, but prefer Clementine): for me there're just way too many little knobs and gadgets to search, sort, filter and browse music sources and playlist. I much prefer a classic file-manager-like list view with draggable, resizable, sortable and toggle-able columns for my playlist; with Amarok 2.x, designing playlist layouts is a bit of an art unto itself. It's not that Amarok doesn't work or anything like that, it's just a matter of ...style.

Worst UI ever. (1)

Zobeid (314469) | about 2 years ago | (#40992091)

By coincidence I just took my first look at Amarok, coming from a background with the Mac and iTunes. Wow... I have never seen a more bizarre, confusing, cantankerous user interface. I couldn't figure out how to do anything, and I couldn't figure out what Amarok was trying to do. I found myself wondering about whoever designed this program. Were they on drugs? Seriously... How did somebody come up with this?

Re:Worst UI ever. (4, Funny)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#40992157)

Wow... I have never seen a more bizarre, confusing, cantankerous user interface. I couldn't figure out how to do anything, and I couldn't figure out what Amarok was trying to do.

Huh, sounds like the UI "designers" from The GIMP finally moved on to another project. Must be why it's (slowly) getting better.

Re:Worst UI ever. (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 2 years ago | (#40997041)

Coming from a background of Windows, Linux, OS X, Amiga OS, BSDs, Solaris etc. I had no more difficulty picking it up than iTunes, Real Player or Windows Media Player in full view mode.

I honestly didn't really see what was so hard about Amarok's UI.

Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (2)

ffflala (793437) | about 2 years ago | (#40992255)

I used to use Amarok as a music player until the 2.x series. I suppose they had a vision, but I certainly don't understand what it was, exactly. I want a music player that (1) plays as many formats as possible, (2) on as many different OSes as possible, for which (3) adjusting playback controls, eq, and playlists, etc are as simple as possible.

Amarok used to seem like a good candidate for that criteria. I gave 2.x a fair try, but didn't understand what the point of the design changes were, and it seemed to become a pretty buggy application. I soon moved to VLC for playback and haven't bothered to look back at Amarok sense. Does it actually offer any advantages over VLC?

Re:Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 2 years ago | (#40992333)

On a related note, does it have any advantages over Winamp? Winamp has a small footprint and plugin support (with lots of plugins), a simple UI, a decent library feature, and has been my music player of choice for a very long time. I've tried other things but alternatives just seem so bloated (especially iTunes - oh dear god).

Re:Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (1)

westyvw (653833) | about 2 years ago | (#40993053)

Or QMMP is using linux. And you can skin it with WinAmp skins.

Re:Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994823)

Not everyone wants UI that is just "simple".

Re:Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994501)

At this point, I'm not sure if Amarok 2.x has any advantages over cat, and you're asking about VLC?

Re:Does Amarok have any advantages over VLC? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40995999)

Amarok's main advantage is its SQL backed library. You can load hundreds of thousands of tracks in it and it can search through them without breaking a sweat. Complementing this is great metadata support. So if I want to listen to all the classic rock albums I have from 1979, that's easy to do.

ncmpcpp + mpd (2)

jampola (1994582) | about 2 years ago | (#40993289)

All I need is a terminal and we're in business!

Obligatory Apple Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40994311)

Going back a few years I was a very happy with my Apple iPhone 2G syncing music over wi-fi using amarok to manage it all.

Loved it. Worked great. My shiny new phone and Dell ubuntu system I felt I had a massive e-penis to the envy of my co-workers.

Then apple screwed it up - changed the format of the iTunes database on the phone in an update. Cant remember, but the update had some other features I needed. Apple then- started their legislate not innovate program against projects trying to reverse engineer the iTunes db. Then amarok 2 came out.

Well that was that. Bye amarok , bye apple.

XMMS (2)

Nahooda (906991) | about 2 years ago | (#40994317)

I still use the Winamp-style XMMS 1.2.x. It's fast, slick, easy-to-use and intuitive. However, it seems to be from another era. Since the rise of iTunes, many audio players tend to become huge software packages with library functionality and dozens of other unnecessary functions like showing covers. All of them support that "You-don't-have-to-know-where-you're-files-are-we-will-find-them-for-you" thinking which is aimed at totally inexperienced computer users who don't get the concept of files being organised in folders.

Another more modern Winamp-style player is Audacious but it doesn't seem to work properly on my workstation. Luckily, there always seems to be someone who creates XMMS 1.2.x packages for current Linux distributions.

-nahooda

Re:XMMS (1)

equex (747231) | about 2 years ago | (#40995625)

I loved XMMS 1.x series too. I had friends way back trying to woo me into Linux by touting XMMS being 'like WinAmp but a lot faster'. I think they even clocked the playlist population speeds! Audacious is pretty decent too. The problem I always had with various Linux media players is that they have some sort of trouble streaming from network shares. While I love tinkering with Linux, I do require out-of-the-box functionality for playing music over network while doing it.

I would chime in on the whole Amarok thing but... (1)

Arabian Nights (2597797) | about 2 years ago | (#40996705)

I used Amarok 1.*, loved it. It switched to 2.*, and I had the reaction posted all over this thread. I would be more specific, but I saw someone mention "Clementine," which I've never heard of before. A quick "sudo apt-get install clementine" and "Click here to find your music library" later I'm using the first music player I've actually enjoyed using since I was a college student in 2008! Thanks ./ and Clementine!

I actually like Amarok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40999377)

I came to Amarok when my Rhythmbox install started acting up, which must have already been post v2. Eventually it started acting up and I switched to Clementine, which started acting up, etc... but I still liked Amarok. The killer feature was originally "Stop playing after this song", but the lyrics and wiki in the middle pane are also great.

My favorite feature now is that it saves track rating back to the file instead of just in some proprietary db. When programs kept messing up on me I kept losing all the information I'd been entering through those programs and I looked long and hard for one that would save it to the file. It sucks that using that feature messes up torrents you're seeding, but that's inevitable.

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