DEC
10
2008

Amarok 2.0 Rocks the World

After two years of intense development, Amarok 2 has become a reality! Some of the highlights that are included in the 2.0 release are a completely redesigned user interface, tight integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm and Shoutcast. There is an overhauled scripting API and plugin support to allow better integration into Amarok. Much of the work has gone into migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework using core technologies such as Solid, Phonon, and Plasma. Read more about the new release in the release announcement and start Amaroking!

The user interface has been redesigned to make context information like lyrics and albums from the same artist more accessible and allow the users to decide which information is most important to them by adding applets to the Context View in the middle. The new Biased Playlists offer a way to let Amarok take care of your playlist in an intelligent way similar to Dynamic Playlists in previous versions. A new service framework allows for a tight integration of online services like Jamendo, Magnatune and Ampache. New services can easily be written as a script. More applets and scripts are being worked on and users are welcome to contribute more to make Amarok suit their needs. The migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework allows to make use of technologies like Plasma, Phonon and Solid which make Amarok easier to use and maintain and ready for the future of music on your computer and on the internet.

Comments

Congratulations to all involved, I'm really looking forward to this! My friends will be jealous of me once more (until I tell them it'll run on Mac and Windows as well..)


By Sander at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

after my experience with kde4 I'm waiting until amarok 1.2.2


By Martin Mopps at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

100% agree, now the kde software should have "What's new" & "What is not here anymore" sections.

I'm a KDE fan, but Kde 4.0 and 4.1 were a big disappointing for me. And now Amarok takes the same way.

I can't understand the reason they launch a 2.0 version with less functionalities.

Queueing and filtering in the playlist were two of the most used functionalities in my case. Hopefully they will be back within a few features. It's good to know we must wait probably more than one year to use Amarok the same way we use it now.

"Some features, such as the player window or support for databases other than MySQL, have been removed" bye bye to my PostgreSQL database. I hope it still have support for SQLite.

This is frustrating.


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

The reason you don't understand is because you haven't the talent to work on projects people care about.


By Max Howell at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Why do you say that?
Perhaps you'r right and I don't have the talent, but I really care about open source projects. I'm just saying I don't understand this philosophy.

If I could, be sure I'd help the Amarok project.


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

This is pretty simple. There is no "philosophy" that dictates the removal of features. They didn't start with amarok1.4 release it with "less functionalities". They started with Qt4, KDE4, and nothing, and built amarok 2.

Features take time. Amarok 1 (and KDE3 for that matter) were in the cooker a long time, and during that time every little feature got tacked on and worked in. It's going to take time to get to that level again. It already has taken time. You've made it your entire life without Amarok 2; there's no reason you can't make it through another "year or so". So just eat your sarcasm, because it contributes nothing to the project. It certainly doesn't make feature parity come any faster, nor does it motivate the devs to do work that you won't do and won't pay for.

Here's an open source philosophy: release early, release often. That encourages higher adoption, more developer involvement, and more user involvement. This is a stage in the growth of the project, a signal that it is ready for the next phase. Now that it has basic functionality (collection management, playlist management, music playback), a stable API to write scripts to, and release quality stability, it should be tagged and released into the wild.


By anon at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Thank you for replying me and make the things clear.

I do apologize for my post, the most important thing you said is:

"It certainly doesn't make feature parity come any faster, nor does it motivate the devs to do work that you won't do and won't pay for."


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

hmm... I think the release announcement says it all:

"" It is important to note that Amarok 2.0 is a beginning, not an end. Because of the major changes required, not all features from the 1.4 are in Amarok 2. Many of these missing features, like queueing and filtering in the playlist, will return within a few releases. ""

"" Other features, such as visualizations and support for portable media players, require improvements in the underlying KDE infrastructure. They will return as KDE4's support improves. ""

"" Some features, such as the player window or support for databases other than MySQL, have been removed because either they posed insurmountable programming problems, or they didn't fit our design decisions about how to distinguish Amarok in a saturated market of music players. ""

I think this really clear communication, and like to applaude the Amarok team for it!


By Diederik van de... at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

This is clear at a glance:

"They started with Qt4, KDE4, and nothing, and built amarok 2."

The words: "from scratch" or "from the ground up" or "rewritten" might nice to see for some of us.


By frozen at Wed, 2008/12/17 - 6:00am

What did Postgres give you that the database in 2.0 doesn't give you?


By Foo Bar at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Nothing talking about amarok, but I develop projects using PostgreSQL so I use it also for amarok.

Now if amarok only runs with MySQL, I have to run two DB servers in my machine.

But I think SQLite is supported in 2.0.


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

There is no SQLite for 2.0 ;-(


By Bogdan at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Well, I guess that no user should ever need anything to know anything about databases. My wife doesn't know what MySQL is, or Postgres. And I see no reason to offer such an option unless there is a good technical reason to offer two (or more) databases. For examples. perhaps for Joe User DB1 is good (and DB2 sucks) while for Mike Onemillionsongs DB2 is better and DB1 would suck.

But AFAIK that technical reason doesn't exists.

All in all: The less code to maintain the better.

(IMHO)


By Foo Bar at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

well, DB2 does in fact suck


By Bar Foo at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

This is exactly the reason we decided to not maintain more then one database.


By Ian Monroe at Mon, 2008/12/15 - 6:00am

If I'm not entirely mistaken it uses the embeded version of MySQL as default, running without a server. Making it work just like SQLite, but with the MySQL syntax.


By Morty at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

No you are not mistaken, they use an embeded version of MySQL which in debian sid/experimentai is not working at all. This is a good thing too, I discover how much i love juk.


By Bogdan at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

That's interesting. Why isn't it working on Debian? Mysql embedded is nothing but a shared library. Do you have any details?


By Andre at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

In MySqlEmbeddedCollection::MySqlEmbeddedCollection, mysql_library_init return an error.

here is the code:
..
if( mysql_library_init(num_elements, server_options, server_groups) != 0 )
{
error() << "MySQL library initialization failed.";
reportError( "init" );
return;
}
..


By Bogdan at Fri, 2008/12/12 - 6:00am

> run two DB servers
Umm, no, it's MySQL embeded, not a separate server.
And, no again, you don't have a choice.


By Tom Chiverton at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

This is good to hear and clarify. Because on my debian derived distro(what could that be), IIRC, MySQL proper was installed. Probably because of the above mentioned flaw with debian based systems. I thought Amarok guys were out of their minds when I heard they were using MySQL. I thought, why not SQLite? A look here was interesting: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/libmysqld-example.html


By frozen at Wed, 2008/12/17 - 6:00am

By the way, I didn't mean to criticise the Amarok project, as I said before I'm a KDE fan and Amarok is running in my machine near 16 hours per day.

I'm sorry if some of the developers felt were not apropiate, that was not my intention. I'm just saying I don't like new versions with less features than the previous ones.

Anyway, I still have KDE 3.5.8 and Amarok 1.4.10 and I love to work with them.


By Adrian at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

I'm not an Amarok developer any longer, please don't associate me with the project or its people.

I'm just a rude person, that's all.


By Max Howell at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

You made my day (one week later)
LOL :)


By Vide at Wed, 2008/12/17 - 6:00am

"I can't understand the reason they launch a 2.0 version with less functionalities."

it's not so black and white, 1:1; there are new features, improved features as well as some things not there. so the idea of "less functionality" is incomplete at best.

that said, i don't know if you remember (or used) amarok 1.0 or releases prior to that. put that next to 1.2 and then step back and consider that to get there they had to release 1.0.

if you wish, continue to use 1.2 while the rest of us move on.

but you ought to be happy that some people have the foresight to revisit their accomplishments so that you don't end up with a world of ever diminishing returns as new releases are made that are ever more incremental in improvement, but instead make hard decisions so that they can build even better software.

if you ever do end up using and loving amarok2, you may want to consider revisiting this comment of yours, pondering the shortsightendness of it and altering the way you approach these things in life.

in any case, i'm using the shiny new amarok and actually *gasp* enjoying it rather much. =)


By Aaron Seigo at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

Well, looks like it's your lucky day! Check it out: http://amarok.kde.org/en/node/48


By X at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Who, them are some good news! :)


By Dado at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

No need to wait. Amarok 1.2.2 has been released during the first half of 2005, according to Wikipedia.

Have fun :)


By Mark Kretschmann at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

lmao


By illogic-al at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

This is only my problem, that Amarok 2.0 playing some mp3 and then stop. Nothing say.. stop.. click next track and again start playing some mp3 and again stop.
But other things seems work :)


By User from Mandriva at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Hm, if you use Mandriva, it could be that your Phonon backend is set to Gstreamer. You should switch to Xine.


By Myriam Schweingruber at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Amarok 2 doesn't play on my System at all! I am running KDE 4.2 beta 1 and using Xine as my Phonon backend but no sound from Amarok 2. I can see that the music is playing, I have OSD and everything seems to be normal, no error message but still no sound. The funny thing about it is that Kaffeine 2 uses the same Backend and is working fine, all other multimedia apps are working fine. Don't have a clue what's the problem.


By Bobby at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

This is a typical usage question and belongs in our forum or mailing list. This here is _not_ the right place for user support.


By Mark Kretschmann at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

I wrote that because the author of this thread mentioned that Amarok played some mp3 and some not so I don't see what I wrote as out of context.
Anyway it was only a temporary thing. My system obviously needed a restart because Amarok worked fine after I started the computer this morning.

Nice job and thanks very much for this wonderful programme.


By Bobby at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

Try switching to the xine Phonon backend.

Mandriva currently ships with the GStreamer backend by default, which has a few known bugs.


By Mark Kretschmann at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Yes.. now working :)


By User from Mandriva at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

I have this problem too witk juk and debian sid/experimental (phonon-xine).


By Bogdan at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Yup, you better switch to Xine. That's the first thing I do on Mandriva. And if possible use the Xine packages from PLF (Penguin Liberation Front). This makes it play everything just fine here on Mandriva 2009.


By Jure Repinc at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

The news has made it on to "The Register"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/10/amarok2_released/


By Gerry at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Congratulations to all involved.

What really caught me is the song which is being played in the screenshot - Dance Pe Chance. Was this taken on someone else's computer, or your like Hindi songs (your name isn't Indian)? Personally I hate this song - it has awful meaningless lyrics, no sense of form or structure, no "beauty". Nevertheless, I am happy to see that Bollywood has spread so far and wide.


By Rohan Dhruva at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

The queueing functionality and the playlist search field were the greatest features of amarok and they're not included in amarok 2?! I don't care about all the UI revolution.


By David at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Everyone has his/her favourite set of features. Personally, I couldn't care less about playlist search or queuing.

One of my personal favourites is Amarok 2's seamless Internet service integration, which it handles extremely well.

So you see, you cannot be all things to everyone. But as we said many times before, the features you mentioned are planned for future releases.


By Mark Kretschmann at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

Great to hear playlist search is planned. I like having a big (huge!) playlist on random and narrowing / broadening my search parameters when I hear something I like, when I get tired of my current selection or when my mood changes. My way of rediscovering my music ;) I guess this is quite cruel of me for my computer when having thousands of items in my playlist :)

But of course Amarok is (much) more than usable without playlist search, it is by far my preferred player.
The (internet)services integration is awesome.

Thanks to the Amarokers!


By Peter at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

there's a collection search; they playlist seems to be much more "transient" with the collections taking a much more central position in amarok2.

queueing suport would be nice, but that's really not a huge feature so if it's desired i'm sure it'll appear without too much time.

the application over all looks and feels a lot better and the number of new or improved features is impressive.

i just don't get "the glass is 10% empty" types.


By Aaron Seigo at Thu, 2008/12/11 - 6:00am

I expected more people to make a stink about portable media player support honestly. Then again, Amarok 1 still exists for you to use until Amarok 2 gets the features you want.


By T. J. Brumfield at Fri, 2008/12/12 - 6:00am

I really do hope Amarok 1.4 will stay easily available for openSUSE, because Amarok 2 is worthless to me. I have a mass storage device mediaplayer which I can't fill using Amarok 2 (mass storage device isn't supported). While in Amarok 1.4 it gets recognized and you can setup a path how to fill that device (in my case /media/disk/MUSIC/Artist/Album/##-Title.ext). Also, I can't create the same playlists I can with Amarok 1 and I use those playlists (using my ratings) to fill that same portable media player.

Looks like some missing features which will (hopefully) be in a .1 release. Without them, Amarok 2 is useless to me.

Amarok 1.4 is very flexible and the playlist/queue is, in my opinion, much more useful than in Amarok 2.

*hopes for the best*


By parena at Mon, 2008/12/15 - 6:00am

Great!


By gerd at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Thanks for a great release, Amarok continues to rok :)

Just two remarks:

1. There is too much grey and too little contrast in the main window. things are not distinguishable easily - and i did the (non-techy) girlfriend test too, to be sure about that :)

2. The "main view" (db | context | playlist) is just too crowded. I doesnt fit at all here and much content is cut out, even on fullscreen, on my 1400x1050 display with 9px fontsize in KDE. A solution could be to put the context view into its own tab on the left and make it cover the whole window. This would also allow to do more fancy stuff. I just imagine a layer of plasmoids over a graphical effect reacting to the music for example, that would be awesome :)

Well, thanks again for a great release and laying the groundwork for further innovation. Although i have my few remarks and criticism here and there, i am fully confident in all the people working on Amarok - you rok! :)


By Jan at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

Forgot something about the context stuff:

My concern about it is 1. screenspace, and 2.: i see a lot more potential in the context view, like the effects reacting to the music in the background of the context widgets for example.

With the context view in its own tab you could also combine the context view + graphical effect plugins + maybe even a fullscreen party mode directly into the window. Sounds very clean imho.

And now i stop :)


By Jan at Wed, 2008/12/10 - 6:00am

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