amaroK 1.3 Reviews

It seems to be review time for amaroK. The amaroK team is thrilled to see amaroK way ahead of the pack in a recent Grumpy Editor review on, in which the author describes the best and worst features of four popular Free Software audio players. The review points out some of the weaker features of amaroK and the developers have written about how they are addressing some of the issues mentioned. amaroK has also had an audio review on the GNU/Linux User Show No. 27. The author describes most of amaroK's features and shows once again that the slogan "rediscover your music" fits perfectly. You download the review at their website, or by adding the podcast to amaroK.

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by terracotta (not verified)

Though this feature is nice, it's not really my way of ripping, since with kaudiocreator you just put in the cd, if the cddb demand was succesfull it starts ripping automatically to a file (if you enable this option). The proces is hence more automated and easier to use. Another negativ point for audiocd:/ is that if you have two dvd-drives, and you put in two copy protected cd's you only get to rip one at a time, where with kaudiocdreator you can copy them both.

I don't think it wouldn't be useless to make a pluggin that does the same things that Kaudiocreator does, then you have one app that takes care of all the music. Since they do include some ways to move media files from one place to another on your pc or to an external device it's not that illogic to make the other way around possible as well.

by Davide Ferrari (not verified)

Being a(nother) front-end to cdparanoia, oggenc and so on it's IMO always in the Unix-way. So, integrated ripping in amarok is IMO a needed feature (plus a better support for audio CDs)

by Luk van den Borne (not verified)

I really love amaroK. Hell, I even bought a sweater and donated during the fund drive. I'm really looking forward to 1.4. What I particulary like about amaroK, is crossfading and gapless playback, my/postgresql backend, cover/lyrics/tag fetching, the potential value of dynamic mode (don't really like the current implementation) and its iPod support, of course. Hats off for the amaroK devs!

I also use xine, since arts is unmaintained and comes with overhead (have to have artsdsp running), and gstreamer IS unstable. It could be great, though, given some (actually, a lot of) time.

by Malte (not verified)

I hope Amarok will be the *default* player of KDE4 and we will not get 20 other different players but all functionality will get integrated into Amarok.

I.e. when I insert a CD, I want Amarok to play it. KSCD is ugly and I hate it. The freedb is hell and the editor thereof is usability crap.

by Luk van den Borne (not verified)

I've heard rumours about KDE4 not being distributed in huge packages anymore. This means that you could actually decide yourself what crap will or will not be installed. Or is it too early to say anything useful about it? It might just have been wishful thinking :)

But I do not think that all functionality should be consolidated into one app. Because there are always different ways of doing things, fortunately. It would be a huge loss of variety if that happens (I can tell you that it won't).

For instance, what if someone needs a simple app that just plays music, like juk. In that case, amaroK would be overkill (sqlite, postgres, gstreamer, xine,, lyrics wtf!?). Simple apps do have a merit (contrary to what Linus wants to make us believe :) ), just not for everyone.

by m_abs (not verified)

On certain distros like gentoo, this already exists.
Only want basic KDE desktop and kopete: emerge kdebase-meta kopete

by Junx (not verified)

Debian (and Kubuntu) already provides everything from KDE in separate packages.

by chri (not verified)

i think amarok is overkill for playing a cd , good it can be done , but a really simple gui with kscd is ok and way better for starters...

by Junx (not verified)

I guess I forgot to mention that amaroK couldn't be part of the official KDE packages as the main developer(s) don't want to adhere to the KDE release schedule. I'm sure that distros like Kubuntu could go ahead and make it the default audio player, but I doubt it'd ever be the KDE official player.

by KDE User (not verified)

Isn't this what KDE Extra Gear is for? It's pointless to make amaroK go by the slowwww KDE release schedule. Extra Gear is there so that applications can have their own release cycle.

This doesn't mean KDE can't choose the latest stable amaroK and make it the default.

It's the best of both worlds.

by panzi (not verified)

My review:
Superb idea, great DB-functionality, very handy lyrics and artis info finding but still somewhat instable (crashes from time to time) and lousy audiocd support (only per audiocd://Wav kio-slave!!).

by ac (not verified)

According to this link:

KDE is using DBUS in the next 3.x series ?

by KDE User (not verified)

That article makes no sense at all... it's hardly coherent and doesn't explain anything at all. I honestly question how you could deduce that the next KDE 3.x is switching to DBUS from that poorly written article.

by AC (not verified)

That artice is not about KDE. It is a report by a Debian developer about the transition status of some packages. For the little bit that KDE 3 uses dbus, in debian it is in the process of being recompiled against DBUS .60. So the article could not be called poorly written as it is very specific, with a very narrow target market, and it also has nothing to say about KDE and possible DBUS usage.

by Morty (not verified)

KDE has used DBUS for some time(from about 3.4) in a very limited fashion, and it has been optional not a requirement. Or more precisely KDE can make use of HAL, by using the DBUS/HAL bindings.

It's used for things like media detection and handling, CDROMS and USB storages etc. For systems whitout HAL/DBUS KDE supply scripts giving more or less the same functionality and user experience.

This desktopsession<->system usage is quite different from the usage of DCOP, which is desktopsession<->desktopsession. Had not DBUS been regarded as a possible replacement for DCOP in KDE4, I suppose someone would have done a DCOP/HAL binding removing the need for both DCOP and DBUS.

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

There is no "next 3.x series". KDE trunk is already 4.0.

I've heard so many great things about gstreamer, so I'd prefer to use it too.

I'm feeling pretty lame to have to use Xine. Xine never crashed to me, and it plays my music quite nicely (including radio streams and podcasts) though with amaroK.

Gstreamer also never crashed for me, though. I can not confirm at all the various statements from above badmouthing gstreamer's stability. But the problem is, gstreamer also never was able to issue even the faintest farting tone from my stereo speakers.

I'm dying to use gstreamer by now. Can't someone in the know post an "amaroK+gstreamer HOWTO"?

Please, please, please... I also want to be part of the audio listening elite using gstreamer!

Have you tried configuring the OSS sink instead of the ALSA sink? Unfortunately ALSA is a bit buggy so you might want to try OSS with GStreamer. You might also try compiling the latest CVS version. GStreamer will still skip but at least it will play a little. I would however advise you to stick to Xine for a better experience. There is one bug with gstreamer that needs to be fixed so that it properly supports the same hardware/sound drivers as Xine but otherwise it is great! I can't wait to see this in KDE4. =)

by Ian Monroe (not verified)

Dude, use what works not what has more buzzword value.

Gstreamer is a powerful framework that is just now reaching 1.0. Xine does what it does quite well - play media files. And thats all amaroK currently needs in a multimedia framework (which is to say, it doesn't need a "framework" at all).

So for a while now Xine has had a high priority then Gstreamer (meaning if you have xine and gstreamer both installed, it defaults to xine). That very well might change in the future though.

by ac (not verified)

> I've heard so many great things about gstreamer.

I don't!

by chri (not verified)

i did,too (very good design) thats what most important

by Brona (not verified)

amaroK is great. It really is top of the line amongst players on Linux. But I would really like to see some improvemants on playlist handling. iTunes is so wonderful on this that it feels like a downgrade going to amaroK. Same thing with CD ripping & burning. On everything else amaroK 'pwns da haows' :) Wikipedia, lyrics and cd cover search built in. You have to install several extra programs to get this functionallity in iTunes.

Ohh yeah and vizualisation iTunes is also better at. The amaroK team should just find a bunch of artist, pump the full with acid, stuff them in a room with osme really cool music and see what comes out of it :)

I the amaroK team is successful in removing all the Unix code and thus making it possible to port to windows. amaroK would really be the open source grand champion agains the evil iTunes empire *insert Star Wars Empire music*.

by AC (not verified)

JuK is a decent manager. It has been mostly eclipsed by amaroK but still deserves a mention as something more lightweight for KDE.

by superstoned (not verified)

i agree. while i don't use juk anymore, it IS a great audioplayer. clean, simple, fast, and great looking.