NOV
5
2008

Ataksak - Beta 3 of Amarok 2.0 released!

The Amarok team announces the third beta release of Amarok 2.0, codename Ataksak. It includes a database importer for users of Amarok 1.4, who want to keep their statistics and ratings, as well as a lot of bugfixes and improvements. The playlist, statusbar and Last.fm integration got a major overhaul and are a lot more stable and polished now. First scripts are showing up and make Amarok 2 really rock. For more information please read the release announcement. Packages are available for Debian, Kubuntu and Windaes.

Comments

Hmm... assuming the empty space above the time slider always stays as empty as on the screenshot, you could save space by removing the menu bar and putting the menu entries directly above the time slider (and right of the play controls).

Slightly non-standard, but perhaps worth a thought. (Or maybe that idea is totally on crack, and seriously messes up usability. Dunno, whatever.)


By Jakob Petsovits at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

hmm ... and if we put in the empty area the informations about the current track freeing space below for the widget album? as well as we could have a "compact view" of the new amazing amarok with the capabilities to show/hide the "navigation panel" that contains the widgets :O
however I believe that amarok is really a beautiful piece of code, Thank you!


By giovanni at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

That looks a lot better. just one little idea from me. Right-align the volume and time sliders as at the moment they look untidy because they do not end along the same line.

regards

Ian


By Ian at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Play, stop, foward buttons just seem kind a broken, because they are put one over other one!


By Miha at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

I love the play, stop, foward buttons put one over other one... it's artistic!


By giovanni at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

I love the play, stop, foward buttons put one over other one... it's artistic!


By giovanni at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

This isn't entirely unlike some ideas i've been throwing around (though not lately, as it's been too busy for that sort of thing in the last few months ;) ). One thing you have to remember for that space is that when using services, the space is filled from the left with tiny controls (last.fm for example has love, ban and skip there) - so that will have to be taken into account,

It will also need to be taken into account that the UI needs to work on small screens. In this case it means the large screen netbooks with 1024 pixels wide screens, not the old eeePC size of 800 wide - the reason for the small ones not being a real target is that well... there's plans :)

Other than that - i short: i like the idea in principle :) It needs a bit of work, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea, definitely :)


By Dan Leinir Turt... at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Read the answer makes me think "damn I love the open source people!"... yes it need a bit of work for all the right considerations you made, I simply made a "cut & paste" with gimp to give a picture to my idea!


By giovanni at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

What about a spectrum analyzer?

IMHO the only thing that Amarok lacks is a cool vis.


By xbullethammer at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

It's currently not possible because Phonon does not allow access to the PCM audio stream at this point.

As soon as Phonon supports it, we will implement analyzers, visualizations, etc.


By Mark Kretschmann at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

"As soon as Phonon supports it"

Does this mean this Phonon feature is definitely planned? :)


By anon at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Absolutely, yes. It's already in the experimental API.


By Mark Kretschmann at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Cool; thanks for the info :_


By anon at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

I would like to see Ctrl+M possibility to hide menubar. The menu is not so good for usability and for smaller screens. We dont need a "hide menu" action for menu itself, but possibility to use Ctrl+M combination to hide that menu.

Other thing what I would like to see is to get ridd of that "spaces" (middle section), so I would have similar UI as on 1.4.x. Database on left and playlist on right.

There is bretty much space what is not used wisely, but all kind stuff is pushed to the UI so it looks like spaceship control panel. What I really love is the left side tabs, how they look ;)


By Mikko at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

i just installed beta 3 on ms windows ( don't be afread by the 60 MB, it deserve it) it just work ;)
go go download it. did i told you the lyrics applet is neat ( hehe at last i could understand Evanescence song ;) and this osd thing is so damn slick.

thanks guys and ladies for making this app,

ps : lydia, lydia it is windows ;)


By mimoune djouallah at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Windows users are also legal citizens, I guess they also deserve something good despite the crap OS.


By Bobby at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

i cant use it because it does not see that i am using a http proxy


By Sahreo at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Yeah, poor Windows users. ISVs and IHVs have left them in the cold.


By mayhem at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Well, if you think Amarok is a killer app for Windows, you have never used Foobar2000.
Certainly, Amarok does certain things right and has a lot of features, but it lacks certain features which are indispensable for being a killer app.

Amarok even now is not capable of gapless playback.
Then can Amarok convert e.g. Flac files into Nero AAC maintaining all the tags? (Not FAAC, please).
Does it allow *easy* browsing by folders in addition to the database view?

Well, until Amarok can do these all, it is completely pointless to talk about it as a "killer app".


By Imre herceg at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

In case you have not noticed, Amarok and Foobar2000 have completely different design goals and target audiences.


By Mark Kretschmann at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Yes, I have noticed. My criticism was not directed against Amarok, it was against the claim many people make, in my opinion wrongly, that Amarok is a killer app. Just because Amarok happens to be the only decent-looking KDE audio player, many fans think Amarok is the best there is for all OS's.
Do they really think Windows Media Player and iTunes users will abandon them for Amarok? OMG.


By Imre herceg at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

Please define the term "killer app" first. Is Foobar2000 one? Why? Is Windows Media Player one? Why? Is iTunes one? Why? Is Amarok 1.4 one? Why? Is Amarok 2 one? Why?


By anon at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

I would also like to point out that amarok *does* support gapless playback for media formats that support it.

Off the top of my head, that means ogg/flac/m4a and mp3s encoded with lame.

Also, Foobar2000 has a very different set of goals than Amarok. It kind of falls flat on its face when it comes to the whole "rediscovering" your music part of the equation.

Yes, it has its place, but so does Amarok.


By astromme at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

Well, each time I tried, Amarok was only able to produce an *almost-gapless* playback. Almost gapless is, however, sadly not gapless.

I do not understand the "rediscovering" your music part. This is surely just marketing blah-blah. Yes Foobar is flat on its face, but if Amarok is only better because of its looks, it is not a killer app.


By Imre herceg at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

Apart from the reasons given in the above posts...

Foobar2000 is an arrogant closed source app wich disencourages people to help on it. I'm about to leave it just because their development model. It's ridiculous to have an app breaking its API in minor releases and therefore breaking your config every update... well windows users are accustomed to this ;)

Amarok rulz!


By xbullethammer at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

I don't mind the playlist redesign, but I look at that screenshot and I see a bunch of information on a grey window that doesn't look like it is very clearly divided. It isn't immediately clear as an Amarok 1.x screenshot.

I think it is very impressive that Amarok has support for plugins like Last.fm, but do we need to dedicate so much screen space to those buttons on the left?

What I liked about Amarok is that it was dedicated to "rediscovering my music" with a large, feature-rich content view. Maybe I'm reading too much into one screenshot, but I don't see a focus on content.


By T. J. Brumfield at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

I guess it is so big, because the Internet "tab" is selected on the left. It is a pitty that the tab is not visually connected to the pane, because otherwise this would have been immediately evident.
I don't really like all those non-standard UI elements, such as the vertical text on the left, and the play/pause buttons cramped into one another... Still, kudo's for this very nice player!


By Andre at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

This is exactly my though when seeing the screenshots of the upcoming release:

"What a mess!"

Too many information visible, too many controls visible, too little contrast and focus on information. Why can't Amarok simply concentrate on its main task, "playing music from a given collection/playlist" and hide all the others while not required? In that regard I disagree a little with you, T.J., amarok1.4 was cleaner, yes, - but already crowded.


By Sebastian at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

And where is the simple playlist gone? It was quite usable and convenient, much better than what is proposed now.

The argument always was that Amarok2 could be made look like you want but I heard once the same about GIMP 2...


By Andre at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

I don't know where it is gone.
As soon as phonon stabilizes I will switch back to JuK probably (currently too unstable on my special machine). It has a simple playlist, simple collection and a clean UI. A beauty... The drawbacks are lack of features and addons like tagging could be integrated more intuitively. But still: Probably something for you as well?


By Sebastian at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

You are entirely correct - Amarok2 will be able to :) Amarok 2.0 won't quite be able to ;) Note the difference there? ;)


By Dan Leinir Turt... at Thu, 2008/11/06 - 6:00am

Nowadays, computer screens are really large (compare to their height). I think Amarok takes that into account in its new design.


By Hobbes at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

My problem isn't necessarily the amount of information displayed, but rather the focus and how it is displayed. I still intend to download it and check it out.


By T. J. Brumfield at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Actually this beta rocks, and I was somehow surprised the whole amarok + sound stack creates "only" about 110-120 wakeups while playing back.

Will it be possible to reduce this number even more ?

32.2% ( 87.3) amarok : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
16.0% ( 43.3) : uhci_hcd:usb4, i915@pci:0000:00:02.0
13.5% ( 36.7) : Rescheduling interrupts
7.4% ( 20.0) : HDA Intel
6.6% ( 18.0) : iwl3945
6.5% ( 17.7) knetworkmanager : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
3.9% ( 10.7) : extra timer interrupt
2.8% ( 7.7) : function call interrupts
2.5% ( 6.7) firefox : futex_wait (hrtimer_wakeup)
1.5% ( 4.0) : usb_hcd_poll_rh_status (rh_timer_func)
1.1% ( 3.0) plasma : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
0.7% ( 2.0) kmail : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
0.6% ( 1.7) kwin : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
0.5% ( 1.3) konsole : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
0.5% ( 1.3) kmix : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)
0.4% ( 1.0) : ata_piix
0.4% ( 1.0) Xorg : schedule_timeout (process_timeout)


By Yves at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Unfortunately it triggers more or less the same amount of wake ups also when stopped, just sitting there doing nothing. I wonder what for (there is not even an analyzer with idle animation)? ... 80-90 wakups per second in my case, with beta 2...


By Michael at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

So, will it import my v1.4 collection and scores etc. yet ?


By Tom Chiverton at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Yes


By Seb Ruiz at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Having trouble in Kubuntu importing from Amarok 1.4 (MySQL):
Error: Could not open Amarok 1.4 database: Driver not loaded Driver not loaded
Failed: Unable to import statistics


By NabLa at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Same thing for me...


By ETN at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Installing libqt4-sql-sqlite fixed this for me (I had to restart Amarok).
However, it then crashes on me after just a few tracks being imported.
Crash report: https://launchpad.net/bugs/294240


By Daniel at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

But my 1.4 database is MySQL, not SQLLite - I will check when I'm back home whether there's a similar package for mysql or not


By NabLa at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

OK, I installed libqt4-sql-mysql and I get the error no more, but all I get after entering the database connection settings is:
Success: Imported 0 tracks

(I've got around 10K tracks)

And this on the console:
amarok: BEGIN: void DatabaseImporterDialog::pageChanged(KPageWidgetItem*, KPageWidgetItem*)
amarok: END__: void DatabaseImporterDialog::pageChanged(KPageWidgetItem*, KPageWidgetItem*) - Took 0.0041s
amarok: BEGIN: void DatabaseImporterDialog::pageChanged(KPageWidgetItem*, KPageWidgetItem*)
amarok: END__: void DatabaseImporterDialog::pageChanged(KPageWidgetItem*, KPageWidgetItem*) - Took 0.0011s

I'll have a look in the bug database later


By NabLa at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

I will try beta3, but with beta 2 I do not have :
* equalizers
* Visual effects
* CD player (only remote site and mp3 works)
* my ipod working

Other than that, the gui is really nice and simple (a lot better in true life than this screenshot :))

Many thanks and continue this great job.


By JC at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am


By Seb Ruiz at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

Many thanks, I was looking for a such list :)


By JC at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

the ability to just double click an audio file on a file manager and have it automatically play in amarok ..in amarok 1.*, the audio file is just added to the playlist forcing me to go back to amarok and manually go to the added track ..this behavior is very annoying and its forcing me to have xmms around just so that i can simply play any song from konqueror by simply double clicking it ..

ist amazing that amarok survived this long without people asking for this feature that exists in almost all audio players ..

there has to be a way to have people click an audio file on their file managers and have amarok automatically play it

why not have an option to have amarok to

1 add the song in the playlist(current behavior)
2 add the song in the playlist and then start playing it
3 clear the playlist and only have the added song and start playing it

i would settle for option 2


By mtz at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

You are getting the feature right, but you are confused about the tool to use. The click and play feature should NOT involve a music collection application like Amarok at all, it's simply the wrong tool for the job.

The click and play functionality should be provided by a simple application, and those have been available for a long time. Blame your distribution if it's not set up correctly.

On KDE 3 system the functionality should be provided by Kaboodle and if I'm not mistaken Dragon Player should serve the same need on KDE 4.


By Morty at Tue, 2008/11/04 - 6:00am

To clarify further, clicking on a file in the filemanager should not change your playlist in any way. Adding to playlists should be done by right clicking and drag and drop.


By Morty at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

i know about availability of "simple" applications ..i use xmms for "simple" audio playback ..since i have amarok running all the time on my tray area..i do not see the point in having two audio players running if i want to play a single file from double clicking it on konqueror ..

as an music collection application, i can understand how someone could be annoyed from double clicking a song in konqueror and amarok just deletes his playlist, load the clicked file to the playlist and play it ..but at the same time, the current behavior of just adding it to the playlist and force a user to go back to the playing to play the newly added song is a bit too cumbersome

from how i see, there are three alternatives amarok can handle files imported from double clicking on the file manager ..

it can
1. add to the playlist and do nothing(basically continuing what it was doing)
2. add to the playlist and jump to the added file and start playing it
3. clear the playlist, add the new song and do nothing
4. clear the playlist, add the new song and start playing it

amarok 1.4.9 gives you an option btw 1 and 2 when you drop a file on the player window but only option 1 when adding a file from clicking it on the file manager ..

i can clearly see how option 3 and 4 will break the collection centric aspect of amarok .. to me, option 1 is just as valid as option 2 and both can be implemented without breaking anything and this is basically what i was asking for ..

can you elaborate how option 2 will break how amarok is intended to be used and how option 1 works best?(since this is the default behavior)


By mtz at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

Your idea of a simple application xmms are not it, as it contains palylist and whatnot, and not what I am reffereing to here.

You get hung up on the applications, that's the wrong approache. You have to consider from the point of user cases. Forget what Amarok or whatever can and can not. It boils down to 2 separate functions.

1. Add it to your playlist/collection. This should be done from right clik, drag and drop or from inside the Player applications. Here you will have one prefference, if you prefer the file to go to the end of the playlist or the top.

Your 1 and 2, but it should not do this from (double)clik. As this will fill up your playlist with random crap. 3 and 4 should never be done from anywhere but explicit inside your music collection application.

2. You want to listen to a soundfile right now. Since it may not even be music or some OMG Ponies song from a littel sister, you don't want it in your playlist. You simply want something to play it.

As an example, a (double)clik should open a small application like Kaboodle, play the song and then quit(or not). It's the musical eqvivalent of opening a random jpg file, you don't want to open Digikam an add it to your foto collection database either.


By Morty at Wed, 2008/11/05 - 6:00am

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