07 September, 2009

The search for a music player..

Since the death of Amarok 1.* series and the rise of the new 2.* series, it has been painfully difficult to use Amarok. Although I accept amarok has restored much of its lost glory, there are still a lot of areas where I miss the old amarok. So, started the search for a new music player. I tried Rhythmbox, SongBird and a host of other music players, but each one lacked something or the other. Here is a list of what I expect from a music player (besides the basic library and playlist management features)

1) A good lyrics plug-in which runs inside the main player window. Rhythmbox has a plugin, but it is non-configurable and spawns a new window. Amarok had a nice lyics plugins. (Wiki-lyric was the best).

2) Global shortcuts. This is a MUST. I should be able to play/pause/next/previous while the focus is on some other application. It is very helpful when working. New amarok global shortcuts, but it doesn't work. Rhythmbox, songbird don't even attempt to do it.

3) A "--enqueue" like option on the command-line. (eg. rhythmbox --enqueue <song>). This way I can add an entry in the right-click context menu which says "Append to playlist"

4) Search filenames. Many songs don't have valid IDv3 tags. (Especially Marathi and Hindi songs). Then, it is very useful to search them with their filenames. Old amarok had this facility and I was addicted to it. None of the players I reviewed later had this functionality, including the new amarok.

5) File browser within the player. Useful to add songs. Rhythmbox lacks it. Songbird, amarok have this.

6) Good randomisation algorithm. I am in love with the amarok randomisation algo. rhythmbox's algo sucks. With 2000+ songs, it still repeats a small subset of 100 songs fairly enough which is irritating.

Optional but nice to have features:
7) Edit IDv3 tags. Implemented by almost all players I reviewed.

8) Fill the screen with some data or the other (Like artist info, lyrics, songs like this, suggestions from Last.fm, etc)

If you know any nice music players which atleast has 4-5 of the first 6 features, please leave a comment. Currently, I am using SongBird. It is a close replacement to Amarok with loads of plug-ins and functionalities.


Vedang said...

MPD with GMPC.. has everything you want.
Installing MPD
Installing GMPC

CDK said...

I still use Amarok 1.4 why not use that ? Its not dead - lots of people still use it. Also, with Amarok 2.2 beta 1 things are looking exceptionally good on the ver 2 side as well.

@Vedang :: I beg to differ. It still is not as good as Amarok 1.4.

Btw, on Jaunty and Karmic, you can use this ppa

No ppa yet for Amarok 2.2 beta1 for Jaunty ... will be up soon.