Application of the Month: amaroK

The latest application of the month is KDE's most feature-packed media player amaroK. The overview takes a look at functionality including Audioscrobbler, cover management and scripting. We also have an interview with amaroK's team of developers covering their development process, usability and accusations of being hopeless IRC junkies. Enjoy application of the month in Dutch, English, French, German and for the first time in Turkish.


amaroK is an amazing app, my friend has a play list with at least 10,000 mp3s (he has a total of over 47,000, I know its disturbing) and there isn't any lag in the user interface.

By Corbin at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Well, the handling of music is great, but there seems to be a general lag in all passive popups when it comes to UTF-8 encoded Japanese (probably other large character sets as well). Unfortunatly, this is mostly only noticable to me in amaroK and juK. It's been kinda bugging me for a while, I guess you can take this as my bug report....

By Levi Durham at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Qt's unicode support is not that impressive when it comes to speed, Qt4 should be better in that respect.

By cartman at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

I think this is a general issue with FreeType -- it tends to be a little slow when loading large character sets. I see the same lag when doing (say) ls on a directory containing filenames with Japanese characters.

I did an informal test of this - some results, if you're interested:


By trythil at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

I guess I should say that the ls behavior I described occurs both in konsole and in a stock xterm, otherwise the freetype - ls association makes no sense :)

By trythil at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

amaroK has worked very well for me as it has progressed from the first version I used-1.0 (a touch buggy at times, liked to hate arts) to the very stable, usable, and thankfully ad-free player it is now. It is impressive that it can play virtually every kind of audio file out there without much ado at all.

By SuSE_User at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

This application is my favorite. It's simple to use and handles a large music collection with ease. Thanks to all the developers who worked many hours to help make other's lives more enjoyable. I am grateful to each of you who work on this project. You have provided me with a music experience which brings me peace in my life.

Thank You.


By Mark K at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

and would be much greater if the polaylist stuff would work.
Best is however - they are working on it in the new release :) So - waiting a little bit and wishing the developers all the best for their efforts :)

By Joerg Mertin at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Another satisfied amaroK user here. I had been using XMMS for a very long time, and hadn't really found anything I liked enough to replace it, until I finally tried amaroK two weeks ago that is.

Some of the features I like the most:
* Album cover images
* Being able to update metadata for all songs in an album
* Lyrics
* Scripting

Great work, thanks!

By Paul Eggleton at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

AmaroK was the final nail in the coffin for Windows XP for me. I'm now totally Linux. Well done guys!

By Andy at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Before picking up amaroK I thought command-line mplayer was as good as linux media got :)

amaroK is *brilliant*. I reccommend anyone who likes to listen to music whilst working to check it out.

By David House at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

I think it beats the hell out of other player, you have to use to see it.
I also thanks you guys very much for amarok...

By Hugo Costelha at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

What about some clean up? I mean, turning the "play" button to "pause" when in the "playing" mode and vice-vera. This space can then be used for a "record" button to record audio streams. When you return from work, you can then play the stream.

By charles at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

a) You can already have a button which is a Play/Pause toggle. You need to alter your toolbar settings. (Right Click > Configure Toolbars)

b) There has been a lot of talk and many requests about stream recording, but we don't see this happening soon - sorry, there are too many issues to deal with.

By Seb Ruiz at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

IT would be nice to have this behaviour available through the kicker applet :-)

By Veton at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

MediaControl works this way now. I assume you mean the system tray icon but this is a kicker applet.

By Anthony Moulen at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Click with the middle mouse button to play/pause from the system tray :)

By Seb Ruiz at Sat, 2005/06/04 - 5:00am

Seems to be a good "Google Summer Code" project, isn't it?
Or is amaroK not architectured to do that?

By Sebien at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

Are we talking about the same version? I have ver 1.2 but cannot see what you say! Thanx.

By charles at Sun, 2005/06/05 - 5:00am

... and another person who loves amarok. its really an amazing player. i use the SVN at the moment, and it's lovely. nice work on the wiki, works very well. same with the sidebar, much better. and some other stuff that has been improved, keep up the good work!

By superstoned at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

/me kneels before the Wise amaroK Bot Overlord :p

By Joergen Ramskov at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

what will happened when kde4 comes out with tenor? will amarok switch to tenor and drop the sqlite backend?

By Pat at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

I hope so. It depends on whether Tenor is something every KDE program can rely on being configured or not.

By Ian Monroe at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

As an aside, I use amaroK on my laptop and switched to MySQL to try to solve an annoying problem (it wound up relating to certain ID3 tags and a setting in amaroK... the solution is on the amaroK wiki). It didn't solve my problem, but it did substantially speed up amaroK searches and playlist creation by a factor of "waiting... okay" to instantaneous action. Very impressive, but it highlights that SQLite, while convenient, is not an ideal solution.

In short: Got a large collection? Switch to MySQL.

By Evan "JabberWok... at Fri, 2005/06/03 - 5:00am

AmaroK is the best player that I've tried until now. It can do about everything I want to do with my music, except for these two things:

* Order chronologically by album. I mean, group music by album, order albums by year, order music inside the album by number (for most bands I can just order by track number, then year, but I couldn't find out how to do it if you have more than one album in the same year. I hear this is somehow better in SVN

* Mass renaming/tagging. This is the one thing for which I open JuK nowadays. I get a lot of albums in different naming/tagging schemes, and it is a matter of five minutes to rename and tag them in a consistent manner in JuK. AmaroK is good for manual tagging, but lags behind in Tag Guessing/File Renaming

But still, my favorite player, and I really wish it was in kdemm (so it could get the deserved visibility).

By Renato Sousa at Sat, 2005/06/04 - 5:00am

I have found that after spending hours fixing ID tags... Amarok just turns around and cuts them short. Is it so odd that a song title has a HUGE name (about 100+ chars plus)?

Probably the most annoying bug of amarok but otherwise the apps treats my 10,000+ collection of mp3/ogg perfect. No lag.

By Juan at Wed, 2005/06/15 - 5:00am

> Is it so odd that a song title has a HUGE name (about 100+ chars plus)?


Besides what ID3 tag version did you use? Maybe Amarok is just displaying the ID3v1 version to you. That version only supports a song title of 30 characters.

By ac at Wed, 2005/06/15 - 5:00am

100 characters is not "weird." id3v1 is horrendously useless and amarok should most certainly not be writing them to a file. It should have an option at least, to ignore id3v1. It's the only thing that really annoys me about amarok.

By Tim at Tue, 2006/09/12 - 5:00am

and what the current version of amarok ?

By vorph at Thu, 2005/06/16 - 5:00am