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Music Open Source Linux

Music Player Amarok 2.5 Released 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
jrepin writes with this quote from an article at The H: "The Amarok development team has released version 2.5 of its open source music player and organizer, code-named 'Earth Moving.' Among the changes highlighted by the developers are re-written support for USB mass storage devices, GPodder.net podcast synchronization and an integrated Amazon MP3 store. The GPodder.net support includes the ability to browse directly from Amarok through the list of recommended podcasts on GPodder.net. Users of playlists on Amarok will find the new playlist functionality in 2.5 such as the ability to use formatted strings in Playlist layout items as prefixes and suffixes, dragging and dropping tracks in an empty area in the list of playlists to create a new playlist, and, in that same empty area, the addition of a new 'create new playlist' action."
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Music Player Amarok 2.5 Released

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  • by PenquinCoder (1431871) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:18PM (#38444376) Homepage
    Amarok 2.0 came out and I ditched it. Up until then, it had been for me the best music player I've ever used. The redesign really screwed it up.
    • by countertrolling (1585477) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:45PM (#38444566) Journal

      Yeah but... now you can buy things on the internets. This will put Linux on the desktop for sure...

    • by darcling (987237)
      Yep... I'm still on 1.4.10 and I go out of my way to keep it that way. This is the best music player I've ever seen... it's simply amazing. v2.0 crushed my spirit and made me backtrack.
      • by Simon80 (874052) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:08AM (#38446272)

        In case you didn't follow the rest of the thread, I wanted to let you know that you should try Clementine. It's basically Amarok 1.4 ported to Qt, although they're still catching up on some less essential features.

        • by bhaak1 (219906) *

          "Essential features" like podcast support. That is a killer for me.

          I'm surprised that there isn't a good OSS music player around that includes podcast management at least as good as Amarok 1.4.10 does (Maybe there is but last time I looked I also needed libgpod support so maybe some great programs did fall through).

          • by Simon80 (874052)

            Yeah, I should have changed the wording there to be slightly less flattering, considering that last time I needed to put music on an iPod ("I'm telling you, it's not mine! Those things aren't my bag, baby!"), I ended up using RhythmBox. Clementine's support for it was pretty broken.

          • +1 This. I am still looking for a Podcast client which is anywhere near what Amarok provided back them. Does anyone know the progress of Clementine in adding podcast support?

            I honestly haven't looked at Amarok since 2.2 and was squarely in the Pana camp until Clementine became usable (around release 0.6). Amarok was far too heavy on the resources to be usable and frankly got in the way of listening to music. I guess it's gotten 'better' but frankly I kind of wonder why some KDE-based distros haven't ditche

    • by pwizard2 (920421) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:19AM (#38444748)
      Try Clementine. It's a bit rough around the edges but it looks like the old Amarok 1.4.
      • Im in love. Amarok 1.4 for a while was the main reason I used Linux. Its been years since Ive used it and ive always been unhappy with songbird and itunes. My music is wonderful again, thanks for the suggestion.

        I dont suppose anyone has a suggestion for merging my partially duplicated libraries (songbird and itunes)?

      • by richlv (778496)

        clem is cute, although there are some rough edges. like not changing track information in collection & playlist if you edit it =)
        it's also missing some features compared to amarok 1.4 (filter wizard comes to mind), but at least it's improving.

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        Does Clementine implement the "mini" view functionality of Amarok 1.4 yet? That was one of the main things I liked about the old software.
    • by unrtst (777550)

      I've happily moved to Clementine, which "is inspired by Amarok 1.4". Wikipedia says it's a port of Amarok 1.4 to the Qt 4 framework and GStreamer framework. To me, it seems like the way Amarok *should* have gone.

    • by richlv (778496)

      1.4.10. with a couple of tiny patches. but yeah, amarok 1.4 was/is THE music player.

      currently i'm using clementine as my primary player as it's sort-of-amarok-1.4, but amarok 1.4 is still... better :)
      i guess that tells something about the quality of 1.4. and yes, i tried amarok 2 - i used it for several months, but gave up in the end.

      i need a t-shirt with "amarok 1.4" ;)

    • by A12m0v (1315511)

      Try this one you might be surprise.

    • by N7DR (536428)

      I stuck with it, but recently (and for the second time) an update completely blew away my database. Last time this happened I figured out a way to recover it, but now that amarok uses mysqle I don't know how to recover from the loss and so far no one has been able to provide me with a method that actually works. Goodbye, amarok; life is too short to deal with stuff like this.

    • I've switched to Clementine [clementine-player.org]. Forked from the Amarok 1.x codebase and is still actively maintained. It rocks.
  • by Meat Boy (1951992) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:23PM (#38444394)
    I really loved using Amarok back in the day, before the big UI revamp in the 2.x releases... this unfortunately seems like it hasn't evolved yet into something I'd like to use. I hope that it will find a lot of happy users, as the team is very dedicated, but I'll be sticking with Clementine over here. It's an Amarok 1.4 fork that's been the product of a lot of time, effort and love, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality library-based player. Still cross-platform, too! Check it out: http://code.google.com/p/clementine-player/ [google.com]
    • I'll always remember Amarok for not playing certain files because of "back end" problems or whatever the bullshit reason it gave, then not installing the proper codecs and failing upon prompt.

      Then I started using VLC and everything Just Played(TM). Ever since then, I haven't had a reason to use anything else.
      • by Meat Boy (1951992)
        Ha! Yeah, I remember having a similar experience as I initially wrestled with Amarok. I also remember having to jump through a lot of hoops to get it running as the classic code aged (post 2.x), and I could eventually no longer get it running properly in newer ubuntu releases. Suffice it to say, Clementine would not give you either issue, were you to ever give it a try. :) Certainly worth thinking about, if you did want a library player. VLC is a hell of a program, though! I use it for all my video needs.
      • by makomk (752139)

        From the comments in TFA:
        "So is it now possible to seek in flac-files?"
        "This depends on the phonon backend you use, it works with the vlc backend."

        Of course, unlike the old 1.x Amarok backends, changing the Phonon backend is a system-wide setting with the potential to break other stuff (not to mention cause licensing headaches - VLC is under the GPL v2 and some Phonon-using apps may be under GPL incompatible licenses).

    • by jmv (93421)

      Yes, I'm also a happy Clementine user. Hopefully some day the Amarok developers will realize they screwed up, and go back. I guess we can say the same of KDE and gnome devs...

      • by allcar (1111567) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:18AM (#38446308)
        Progress is not a smooth curve. You have to take some risks, or else everything stagnates. Don't be such a luddite.
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          It's a good thing the people who makes automobiles and passenger airplanes don't think the way you do.

      • by jbolden (176878)

        KDE is thriving at this point. They took a huge hit from the KDE 3 -> KDE 4 transition but now they get to enjoy the fruit of the upgrade.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Unfortunately, that transition was totally mismanaged, and they lost a lot of users and goodwill. I still see people complaining bitterly about it, who obviously haven't gone back to see how KDE 4.7 is not like 4.0 any more. Now we see Gnome shedding users because of their change in direction, but I don't think many people are actually switching over to KDE, because they associate it with Gnome ("not listening to the users") due to the way they mismanaged the 4.0 transition.

          They would have done much bette

          • by jbolden (176878)

            I don't think there is any doubt they mismanaged the transition. I think that a lot of the Gnome users will end up moving to KDE. Lets not forget that Gnome 2 is still available, in other 2 years.... And people who have been with Gnome for years are experienced enough to enjoy the features of KDE. Don't forget that Ubuntu is currently forking Gnome in a way that most likely will not work for them. I can see Ubuntu being forced to switch over.

            It wouldn't shock me at all to see KDE move back into first

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              I hope you're right. It'd suck to see it become a minor player and Gnome and Unity to be the dominant DEs used by all the main distros.

              They should make a KDE theme that makes it look much like Gnome2; this could bring in a lot of converts.

              • by jbolden (176878)

                They have one oxygen-gtk makes KDE look a lot like gnome 2, including the apps.

                Anyway I wouldn't worry: openSuse is a big player. Mandriva, Linpus, Kanotix aren't small. And there are plenty of other distributions like Mint which have KDE versions. Frankly I think Ubuntu is about to hit a brick wall with their approach to Gnome which leaves Kubuntu as a possible alternative.

                • by Barabul (1853988)
                  Slackware dumped GNOME years ago.
                  • by jbolden (176878)

                    True but that was mainly over the whole problem of having to maintain an integrated software stack which goes against Slackware's philosophy. Patrick even pointed people to GNOME Slackbuild (GSB), GWARE, Dropline.... to get the integrated stack with a slackware feel.

    • by Xolve (2527602)

      Amarok 2.4 is great. They made mistakes with 2.0 realease, it was not a complete software. The three pane layout and the toolbar at the top are really easy to use. I should say that it displaying covers in music browsers is a great idea. However an stylish cover theme and projectM visualizations arn the features I want to see in future releases.

    • by Kunedog (1033226)
      I just installed it on your recommendation but can't find any option to disable automatic updates. Any software that requires phoning home every time it runs is a non-starter for me.
      • by Meat Boy (1951992)
        Does it? I've been using it since the project began, and I don't know about an auto-update... that certainly isn't a feature in the linux builds, to my knowledge. What OS are you using? I can ask the devs about it... or you could bring it up on the google code page, yourself. The devs are generally reasonable, and perhaps it's something that can be changed/made an option. They've been very open to ideas in the past.
    • by turing_m (1030530)

      I've switched to Exaile. Does what I want it to, much like Amarok used to. I will have a look at Clementine.

  • by Trogre (513942) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:27PM (#38444438) Homepage

    Have they put dynamic playlists back yet?

    I still hold onto the hope that perhaps one day, Amarok 2.x might have the feature set that Amarok 1.4 had.
    And chew up the same amount of memory or less.
    But maybe crash less often.

    • by Talavis (906015) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:39PM (#38444502)

      Don't know when it was added to 2.x, but I'ts been working well since at least 2.3, when I started using it.

      Also I don't understand what people are complaining about; in my opinion the 2.x versions work much better than the 1.4 ones ever did (including having enough functionality).

    • by pxc (938367)

      Amarok has had Dynamic Playlists back for quite some time now. It's quite robust and sophisticated. Give it a look-see. :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...it really whips the llama's ass!
    • by fotbr (855184)

      This. There's still a hell of a lot to be said for a simple, minimal mp3 player. I'll keep using 2.9.5 as long as it still runs.

      • by icebike (68054) *

        I agree, simple is better.

        Why should a music player take full screen, or waste precious screen real estate replicating what the built in file manager already provides? All of them seem to be in an arms race with itunes to have te most complex and least well behaved interface. I just want to listen, I don't ned to know every fact about the music, the album cover, or even who played drums. Its music people. Not a spreadsheet or a rocket launch. Just listen. Stop making it complex. Just listen.

        • by Nutria (679911)

          Aqualung for Gtk and moc are my favorites.

        • replicating what the built in file manager already provides?

          Does the built-in file manager already provide support for playlists, other than as a folder of shortcuts? Does it provide for sorting by featured artist, BPM, or other metadata?

          • by icebike (68054) *

            It's music. Just listen to it.

            Sort by metadata!? That's like sorting your corn flakes by shape!

            • It's music. Just listen to it.

              It's possible to be in the mood for one kind of music and not another. For example, I find walking or running for exercise more enjoyable if the tempo matches my stride rate. Or perhaps I have children under 18 in the house and don't want shuffle to land on a swear-heavy track like "Starfuckers Inc." by Nine Inch Nails (well over a dozen fucks) or "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani (38 shits) or "Filthy Words" by George Carlin (shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits). Or perhaps I'm gettin

        • by pyrr (1170465)

          Exactly.

          It's easy enough to look additional details up when you want to. A good music player plays the music in the background, and provides very basic information if you want it. It's hard to say what exactly is wrong with the current Amarok package in the Kubuntu repository, but it can't even do that. The entire UI is taken-up with its failure to retrieve the Wikipedia article on the song or album, the lyrics, and album covers (which I didn't want anyway), but an even more fundamental failure to correct

      • Re:WINAMP! (Score:5, Informative)

        by PwnzerDragoon (2014464) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:08AM (#38446270)
        Have you tried foobar2000 [foobar2000.org]? It's simple and minimal like Winamp used to be, but still extensible with plugins if you need functionality not built-in.
      • by makomk (752139)

        From what I recall, Winamp 2.x has multiple serious security vulnerabilities (remote code execution through music files, mostly). The only version that's still maintained is the much more bloated Winamp 5.

        • by fotbr (855184)

          I'm not worried about remote code execution through mp3s since the vast majority of the music I've got is stuff I've ripped from my cd collection. Everything else came from a source I trust (Amazon's store).

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        There's still a hell of a lot to be said for a simple, minimal mp3 player

        Too bad Winamp no longer is. Plus, unless I'm mistaken, there's no Linux version (but that's OK, XMMS is a better Winamp than Winamp).

        And I kind of like the extra bells and whistled in Aramok. I especially like how it finds lyrics for the song that's playing, even if the lyrics are often ((gracenote_takedown)). I'm especially impressed when I sample a cassette or LP, convert the sample to .ogg, and it STILL can find the lyrics. Impress

        • by fotbr (855184)

          Yeah, that would be why I specified a version of Winamp. XMMS was decent the last time I could be bothered to use linux on the desktop. Now the desktop is either windows (games) or osx (most everything else) depending on what i'm working on, and the linux machines are remote command line shells.

          I don't care about finding lyrics, or album artwork, or "visualizations" or anything else. I just want a music player to play music.

        • There's still a hell of a lot to be said for a simple, minimal mp3 player

          Too bad Winamp no longer is. Plus, unless I'm mistaken, there's no Linux version (but that's OK, XMMS is a better Winamp than Winamp).

          XMMS has been inactive since 2007. Use Audacious if you want an actively maintained Winamp clone on Linux. :)

  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:09AM (#38444698)
    could someone post the result of running

    grep -ir "amazon" * | wc -l

    in the amarok 2.5 source tree?

  • Playlist Editing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blackpaw (240313) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @12:28AM (#38444806)

    I found the description a bit confusing but it *sounds* like they have improved the playlist creation and editing - that was what pushed me away fro Amarok 2.x, creating and editing a playlist was incredibly awkward involving multiple swicthes between various panes. Not to mention very buggy. The bugs were mostly fixed, but the actual process remained a usability nightmare.

    Will check it again once it reaches the kubuntu repos.

  • Am I the only one who is still using old school players? :/

    • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:15AM (#38445080)
      no indeed. http://xmms2.org/wiki/Main_Page [xmms2.org] and/or

      git clone git://git.xmms.se/xmms2/xmms2-devel.git

      compiles easily. and it's only heard not seen. it does exactly what a music player ought to do and no more.

      blessings upon the maintainers.

      • by antdude (79039)

        But I want the GUI player, not command line. Hence, why I still prefer the original XMMS.

          • by antdude (79039)

            Ugh, so I have to run a front end over a daemon? Why can't we just have a simple GUI audio player like original XMMS? :(

            • Audacious

              http://audacious-media-player.org/ [audacious-...player.org]

              • by antdude (79039)

                Perfect!!! Too bad old XMMS doesn't get updates. :(

              • I use streamtuner + streamripper + audacious . Mostly listen to streams from http://somafm.com/ [somafm.com] , because I otherwise don't like music enough to bother creating my own playlist / collection. Streamripper saves the stream to a big directory, so I can time-shift it into the car / subway later, while proxying the stream to audacious.

                Every once in a while I'll drop them a donation, and buy a few tracks that I really like on Amazon. Which is much more than the music industry would get from me if I didn't lis

            • Do you use pulseaudio or alsa-server? then you're already running a "front end over a daemon". hell, if you're running a kernel audio module (and i'd bet you are) you're running some front end over something that behaves (except for some techno-lawyering) just like a daemon. Your disgust is, in my humble opinion, misplaced.

              As a broader hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn polemic: folks that fancy themselves as techies (most slashdot commentors?) would do themselves a favor in education not to become so rigid

      • by Hatta (162192)

        XMMS2 is not an old school player. With command line and network modes, it shouldn't really even be called the "X" multimedia player anymore. They're trying to compete in the same space MPD is, which is a good thing, but significantly different from XMMS1.

        If you want XMMS1 these days, you'll have to find a distro that carries GTK1.2. This is harder than it seems, AFAIK you can't apt-get XMMS on Debian anymore. The easiest alternative is Audacious, which is a nice XMMS clone based on GTK2.

    • by Bambi Dee (611786)
      No. I just "flattened" my music collection from "vinyl rips", "cd rips", "purchases", etc. to a simple artist/album hierarchy -- now Audacious is working okay for me. I do love the simplicity and the near-instantaneous startup. But I find I'm not listening to music I've "forgotten about" any more as it's not as visible as with a constantly displayed library. So I suspect I'll be keeping Clementine around, too.
      • But I find I'm not listening to music I've "forgotten about" any more as it's not as visible as with a constantly displayed library.

        I found the same thing... while I like to actively choose my music, I tend to get stuck with certain listening patterns.

  • Earth Moving (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:38AM (#38445196) Homepage Journal

    That was a terrible album.

  • but was buggy as hell and crashed all the time. 2.x is much more stable but it counter-intuitive to use and downright cryptic when it comes to simple functions. Random? How do I set random play? dig, dig, dig, help, OH? Ok. Random.

  • And that's not XMMS 2 nor Audacious just to be clear.

    I can't stand anything more complex.

    Am I old fashioned?

  • It plays music. It stays out of the way.

  • The big deal breaker with Amarok 2 for me is local metadata handling. I have tagged all of my files with (correct) artwork and (correct) lyrics. With a couple of extensions, Amarok 1.4 would use the local metadata and only use an online source for that information if the file didn't have it in the tags. The last few times I tried Amarok 2, it still insisted on searching online for things I specifically put in the tag.

    The sin isn't unique to Amarok. I've only found Songbird/Nightgale (with some extension

  • by pyrr (1170465) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @10:41AM (#38449076)

    I might give it a try, I liked 1.4...the 2.* versions have sucked powerfully. A music player that can't play CDs? Seriously?

    I really hate to criticize things people are making for the common good, but Amarok is pretty bad. It's super-bloated, but with basic functionality lacking or broken. It seems that as versions advance, more and more is broken. The interface becomes more and more cluttered and less and less usable, and the display elements that they ostensibly changed the whole thing over so they'd work in KDE 4 have been perpetually screwed-up too. The most used part of a media player, the controls, almost seem like an afterthought.

    Sometimes, the time comes in a product's development cycle where maybe the folks working on it should just realize it took a very wrong turn and scrap it.

    • by Yosho (135835)

      If you liked Amarok 1.4, you might give Clementine [clementine-player.org] a try, which is a fork of Amarok 1.4. There hasn't been a lot of development on it recently, but it works pretty well anyway. The interface is certainly much better than Amarok 2.x's.

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