Illogic-al on amaroK

Gone are the days when KDE users would lament for an XMMS replacement.
With the likes of amaroK (down) and JuK on the
scene, it would seem that KDE Multimedia is gaining new fans. Which
brings us to this user's
opinion piece on amaroK
(coral). It may be illogical... but at least it
has screenshots. It'll be interesting to see what KDE Multimedia 4.0
looks like.

Dot Categories: 


by someguy (not verified)

Timeout on server port 80.

Is there a mirror?

by Eleknader (not verified)

Google cache here


by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

Terribly sorry. I didn't mirror it either. :(

Looks like the amaroK site is down too.

by Anonymous (not verified)

> Looks like the amaroK site is down too.

It's for days already (server movement).

by Navindra Umanee (not verified)

It's up again! I've added a coral link, just in case.

by illogic-al (not verified)

Sorry 'bout that folks. The PC was "Down for Maintenance". I took it apart and stuff then put it back together again. Humpty Dumpty should be able to handle all the traffic you throw at him now :-)

by charles (not verified)

The last time I used amaroK, I found that the analyzer always lagged behind the misic as heard by my ears, and that in my opinion, the pause and play button should be amalgamated into one. Anyone agree? Is the lag issue solved now?


by Ian Monroe (not verified)

The lag issue is the fault of arts, the solution is to not use arts. I use xine. The next version of amaroK will have an equalizer for gstreamer so I'll probably start using that.

The reason for play/pause being seperate is that its generally bad form to change what a button does. However, they do now have a Play/Pause button available to add to your toolbar if you want it.

by Janne (not verified)

I had the same problem. I fixed it by dumping Arts and using Xine instead.

by AC (not verified)


by thesimplefix (not verified)

".... Gone are the days when KDE users would lament for an XMMS replacement....."

WHY? amaroK & Juk have horrible user interfaces & contain way too much functionality for an audio player. XMMS is great (If only they could get it to minimiz/maximize the consol/playlist/equalizer simutanously).

All I want is small/compact user interface. A simple playlist selector/editor, a simple equalizer with a few presets, and the odd visual effect.

WinAmp 2 perfectected this interface/functionality combination & it can also be had using Quintessential with the Minima theme. XMMS may copy the WinAmp interface, but I like it for this very reason. The only other audio player interface that I liked more than WinAmp is Sonique, but sadly it is not available on Linux (to my knowledge) nor is stable on Win2k/WinXP

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

amaroK can be configured mostly to the xmmsphiles liking. The playlist can have the menu bar hidden and there's the XMMS-like 'player' interface. Equalizer is coming. You can use XMMS's visuals. Personally I think having to open a seperate window to select files is horrid UI (the problem I have when using Winamp 5 and when I used xmms), I'm glad amaroK doesn't really have an equivalent ('open media' is meant mainly for URLs).

Or you can be better off and just use amaroK's playlist window as the main window.

by superstoned (not verified)

come on, get real - winamp has a horrible interface. just because you are used to it doesnt mean its good. it sucks - small buttons, hard-to-use playlist etc etc.

Juk's interface is so much easier. let a noob try xmms or juk - guess in what interface they start using playlists, have their songs playing etc first :D

try it yourself. make a playlist in juk. try it in xmms. switch playlist in juk. do it in xmms. compare.

and suppose you have a mp3player. and you want some songs from your disk on the mp3player. well, not difficult: drag'n'drop them from juk. forget that with xmms... adding files? drag'n'drop. playlist creation? drag'n'drop. search a file? just type the name, and it searches real-time. hit enter, and it will only play the matching files, random and/or with repeat, according to your settings.

damn, and about all the settings in juk, I'm sure xmms has at least 10 times the amount of settings (could be even 50 times more...). and in juk you dont have to add songs to your collection (it does that automatically).

amarok is a bit more crowded, and not as easy to use (yet) but still has an edge over xmms.

by Yarick (not verified)

Oh, you're sooo wrong for the interface. XMMS supports d'n'd, and does it properly. Unlike JuK. I had terrible experience with dragging files from konqueror to the juk playlist in the past.
Playlists in winamp are absolutely easy to create and use - with d'n'd, again, and without any problem.

Then, resource usage. Two main memory hogs on my system were Juk and KDevelop, and, while latter memory usage is justified, why on Earth audio player is allowed to grab 46Mb total ?
And, please, don't do something for me automatically - I want to categorize and arrange my songs myself.

And, most important - audio output quality. XMMS simply sounds better.

by superstoned (not verified)

well, the last time I tried xmms, d'n'd didnt work, but maybe it does now. I cant start it, it crashes immediately (debian unstable. just removed it, I dont use it anyway...). but I dont understand why you like the interface. its hard to find out what the buttons do because they are so very small, the menu is *huge* and filled with options I dont know (and dont want to), you have to install lots of plugins to let it play like you want, (altough its good it DOES support plugins, juk should, too...), and it has no full-screen interface. I dont like the several seperate windows - I want just a full-screen app where I can see all my songs, easilly search through them, make playlists and I dont want to be looking for new songs and adding them to my playlist.

Juk automatically looks in the appointed directory's for new songs and adds them to your collection playlist (simply the list where all songs are). I use clever playlists that automatically adjust when new songs are added (eg 1 searches for oldies, and adds them) and I have some 'static' ones I made myself. choice rules. all this is not possible in XMMS. I never used playlists in winamp, so I had to choose random in my whole collection. stupid. now I have playlists from several genres, just 1 doubleclick and they start playing.

and Juk will be able to handle gstreamer soon, so the quallity issue will be solved I guess (arts sucks, although I dont care).

and the resources are so huge because you count the shared libraries, I guess.

by Scott Wheeler (not verified)

> and Juk will be able to handle gstreamer soon

To be clear, JuK has supported GStreamer for almost 2 years. The recent update was just from 0.6 to 0.8.

by superstoned (not verified)

sorry ;-)

by Xanadu (not verified)

To be honest, with a name like "superstoned", it's not surprising that you find it confusing...

by Fabrice Mous (not verified)

bit unfair to say such a thing.


by superstoned (not verified)

tnx fab. you're right.

by Xanadu (not verified)

I meant no disrespect, man. None at all. I just found it funny that someone giving themselves the name of superstoned was finding something confusing.

I'm not trying to "down" you in any way. It was just the combination of the two things that was damn funny to my semi-warped mind...


by superstoned (not verified)

allright, thanx :D

great we can keep our spirit up :)

be happy, dont worry and PEACE!

by Xanadu (not verified)

Yes, I know, I posted my "disclaimer". I'm sorry, but, the pun was far to obvious to pass...


by jmfayard (not verified)

> well, the last time I tried xmms, d'n'd didnt work, but maybe it does now.

Just launched xmms a last time to check that :
You´re right, dnd doesn´t work.
It works only one way : from Konqueror to xmms playlist
But it is impossible to select some item from the playlist (as I do often in amarok) and to drop them either in
- k3b : ==> yeah, an audio cd made in 3 second
- krename : ==> fast renaming of the tracks
- konsole, go to the beginning of the line, type "mplayer ", go to the end of the line and type enter. Et voila ! (I use that because mplayer 10s by 10s seeking in the file just rocks when you try to do a transcript of a long audio recording)

So, so far as I´m concerned, drag&drop does´nt work in xmms.

by superstoned (not verified)

I used to use juk to fill my mp3player... whoulnt work with xmms, either, I guess :(

by kundor (not verified)

You don't have to be at the end of the line to hit enter in bash, so you can save yourself a keystroke there. ;-)

by Robert (not verified)

The winamp/xmms interface is the pinnacle of simplicity. Granted, I don't like the crazy skinned widgets either, but you cannot fault it for being 'unfriendly'.

Fundamentally, you have a bunch of tracks. They are presented in a list. And. That's it. You choose the track you want.

There's none of this 'Oh, this track is from this album, but I accessed it through the search feature, so when I press _back_, will it play the previous track on the album, the track that came before it in the search results, or the last song i was playing in juk?' which you must admit all takes some getting used to.

by superstoned (not verified)

I DO fault it for being unfriendly. when you open the menu, its horrible. and it cant play much filetypes, unless you add plugins. plugins rule, but most users dont add them. and how can I search, and let it play only the searched songs? and I want playlists. lots of them, and a easy way to start playing them. and to create them. and please, some auto-search playlist, which simply searches for 'genre: oldies' and adds them. and back just goes to the previous song, I guess... like it should... the last played one, isnt it? just like xmms does, on random. if it doesnt, please file a bug ;-)

btw I use amarok mostly, I like the onscreen display and the nice info about the current song (with times played, other albums from artist, other songs on album, coverpicture and automatic ratings for songs).

by Jelmer Feenstra (not verified)

I just recently switched back to XMMS again after using Amarok for a while. My main problem with Amarok was lack of a good output-engine. Arts and gstreamer are both terrible with regard to cpu usage and/or skipping quickly through MP3 files. I've used it with Xine for a while, until I noticed it wouldn't play some of my OGG's (although XMMS would) and it didn't allow me to seek through MP3's that I played through a custom-made input plugin for Xine that streams from smb:// locations. So, basically - I'm back to XMMS again (after trying for the fourth time to change my habits :).

by Carsten (not verified)

aRts, gstreamer, mas, nmm and xine. All suck? I can't belive that. I am using Amarok 1.1.1 with gstreamer (plugin-version) 0.85 and its works great!

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

XMMS is truly unusable and horrible for me. Maybe I'm just getting old. I tried it several times. I have a 19 inch monitor on my desktop running at high resolution. Aside from the AMD64 in my notebook I also like the bright screen as that monitor seems impossible to adjust as bright without washing out. Freaking XMMS opens in a dark theme at a fixed pixel size geared to apparently a 640x480 screen. There is no way to tell where the interface buttons are or what they are without glueing my face to the screen. I did figure out how to make it twice as big but that was horribly pixelated. In the end XMMS was too non standard, too difficult to figure out how to make it do what I wanted and not worth my time when there were KDE players that had standard interfaces and scaling layout management. (Thanks Qt!) Don't talk to me about skins. I don't want a player that looks like a sea shell until sea shells come with clearly marked buttons that scale to be readable at 1200x1024.

For me XMMS is an example that users will quickly lose patience with a horrible interface. Of course patience can be affected by whether you got a computer to work or play. ;-)

by miro (not verified)

Hm back in my windows days, I used winamp5. They (nullsoft) finally agreed that a simple list is just not enough for a "multimedia" player. So they added the "Library". I mean draging from juk to k3b seems like a nice hack but being able to do it right from juk would be even better. Virtual directories which can themselfs have subdirectories and files, simple ripping, directory watching, radio selection, etc. Together with free-form skin support it was my #1 app.

by Mek (not verified)

Just use the "double size option"?

From a user perspective, I don't get it. Arts just works in the background, doesn't put undue load on my system, and it never crashes. I run every app with sound either directly through arts or via artsplay, with the exception of lbreakout2, whose binary is not recognized as such by arts.

So, could someone explain to me the ubiquity of those "I hate arts" statements?

And yes, amarok ist The Best!

Well, for quite some time arts sound always paused for a second
after playing a song for some time. The CPU load was extremely high.
This only got better with KDE 3.3 or so. Somehow the problem
vanished. Before it was not usable because I couldn't find out
if a song file was broken or if it was just arts. I never
found out why this was happening.
Still _very_ annoying: If you have multiple family members logged
on and they use your PC and switch with Ctrl+F7,F8,F9,... then
only the first user that has logged on can play sound.
Completely stupid. That's why I disabled all arts completely
and play sound with MPlayer.

by charles samuels (not verified)

as of KDE 3.3, thanks to aKode, that is no longer the case.

Can you please explain how can I use akode to allow multiple users play sound at the same time ?

by charles samuels (not verified)

tell alan cox to start caring about "the desktop"

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

And not only that, but if you compile code a lot or do other things that both use the disk a lot and use a lot of CPU, then arts has a tendency to stutter and skip. ogg123 doesn't do that, curiously enough.

Well, apart from the CPU burden (which has mostly gone away these days) it also adds a pig painful layer of latency to every sound operation that a user performs. Press play.... wait..... there go the speakers. And don't even think about using arts for sound when playing a video *guffaws*.

>From a user perspective, I don't get it. Arts just works in the background, doesn't put undue load on my system, and it never crashes.

For Arts >=1.3.0 this is not true. Trying to "preview" audio files in Konqueror locked my whole system from time to time, so I disabled the feature. Running the box on high load it's possible to see it stall and getting a wonderful "arts cpu overload" (or something likes this) message. And I'm not the only one fighting these problems.

Another problem with Arts is, that it unnecessarily needs cpu cycles (~5% on a 1.2GHz box), even though the audio application is paused.

>arts has a tendency to stutter and skip
>it unnecessarily needs cpu cycles

Does not aKode lib in 3.3 fix both those issues?

>Does not aKode lib in 3.3 fix both those issues?

That's what I notice, running either Amarok 1.1.1 or Juk (KDE 3.3.1), so I think that's not the case.

You sure aKode are installed, without aRts fall back to the same libs as used with 3.2 and you would see no difference.

Yes. But that reminds me, that Juk (or whatever, did not investitgate) is crashing, playing mpc's. :-/

>slocate akode

Please open bug-reports for the problems you see. Both JuK, akodelib and taglib are very well maintained.

The preview crash-problem was fixed in KDE 3.3.1.

If arts spends unnecessary CPU time it is because you sound-driver is broken a sending (am done playing, send more data) events all the time. Especially ALSA-drivers are often bad.

>The preview crash-problem was fixed in KDE 3.3.1.

Apparently it isn't. Just like #68528 no one seems to have an idea about it...

>Especially ALSA-drivers are often bad.

If Arts had not too much issues in the past and applications, which use Alsa directly wouldn't work without any problem, I'd take that into account.

by deucalion (not verified)

Sorry guys, I don't care about graphical overkill.
I love eye-candy, I use KDE, but for my music I still launch VMware to run foobar2000. [Yes, it works with wine... partially; but only partially.]
For simplicity and being powerful while still usable, foobar2k is the best player for me.

And I have a keen eye on the developments of beep-media-player and lamip :>.

- d

by Davide Ferrari (not verified)

This is the most ROTFL-ing thing I've ever read when talking about multimedia and Linux.