With its new 1.2 release, KDE-based media player amaroK becomes the first player to offer integrated support for Audioscrobbler. In close cooperation with the Audioscrobbler team amaroK developers have deployed exciting new ways to use the popular Internet service. Read on to learn about Audioscrobbler and new features in amaroK 1.2.
Audioscrobbler allows users to share music tastes with friends on the Internet, making use of automatically submitted song statistics. amaroK goes a step further than other media players and allows users to receive music recommendations from the site.
In contrast to competing players amaroK does not require a plugin to use this functionality. With the recently released amaroK 1.2 Audioscrobbler support comes built-in and easy to set up. Sunday's release of amaroK has already created buzz in the KDE community.
Also new in amaroK 1.2:
- Support for MySQL databases. Now you can keep your Collection on a remote
- The playlist has seen vast speed improvements.
- 10-band graphic Equalizer.
- Many usability improvements. We have made amaroK more accessible to new users and more comfortable for power-users.
- Automatic song lyrics display. Shows the lyrics to the song you're currently playing.
- Support for your iPod with the all new media-browser.
- On screen display has been revamped, now with optional translucency.
- Theme your ContextBrowser with custom CSS support.
- Support for the latest LibVisual library for stunning visualizations.
- Great new amaroK icon "Blue Wolf", made by KDE artist Da-Flow.
- Better compatibility with GNOME and other non-KDE environments.
- Powerful scripting interface, allowing for easy extension of amaroK.
Amarok is a great application. Thanks!
(I signed up for Audioscrobbler and still submit my music, but since the personal radio feature never really worked for me, there is not much use in Audioscrobbler for me personally.)
Just to note, this doesn't appear to in anyway let you share songs.
I thought it did at first, misreading some of the sentences in the summary :)
This looks really good. Not sure why to be so proud that it's not a plugin, but each to their own.
Knew I should have asked Charles to include my audioscrobbler plugin with noatun 2.6 :). In all seriousness though, I think audioscrobbler is a prime example of something which should be a plugin, because for many users it will seem like pointless bloat. Anyone know why AmaroK decided to go with it in the player? Could it be because despite their "Powerful scripting interface" they don't have a proper plugin system?
'amaroK goes a step further than other media players and allows users to receive music recommendations from the site.' being one reason.
But yes, if you think everything should be a plugin, by all means use Noatun.
That's certainly doable with a plugin, I'm putting it in mine now. (Well, as soon as I can get the spec from audioscrobbler. Site is pretty slow right now)
To me, bloat means that an unused feature has a negative impact on the performance of the application, gets in the user's way or makes the softwarepackage too large to handle.
AFAIK audioscrobler in amarok causes neither of these issues, so it is not bloat :o)
I like the idea of plugins though..
But problem with plugins is that they usually get bundled together, so if you want to use the equalizerplugin, you get audioscrobbler and the rest for free with it :)
If it's not a plugin, then it must be in the main executable and add to the overall size, so it will impact performance by increasing size in memory, unless it has no size, in which case it does not exist.
I like amarok. A lot. I always use it if I can, and its interface is great! The only problem is its stability, it has always crashed or hung far too often. I wonder whether other people have made the same experiences?
Oh, and in the collection view, I'd like to be able to select TagFilter->FirstLevel->Filename.
Other than that, its the best music player I've ever used. And the people in #amarok are nice and helpful, too!
Blame all problems on artsd ;)
That's what I was missing from MS Windows, apps which connect in the background to the internet (without user interaction).
I disabled audioscrobbler, but ethereal shows that amarok still connects to audioscrobbler.
Amarok has nice features but has usability problems:
For no reason it uses a different menu structure, a different toolbar position,
controls in the status bar.
Many actions are only possible when you open the right panel.
Why is "repeat track" in the Settings menu?
With juk or kaffeine I needed 5 sec to find out how I can add a folder, with amarok I needed 15 min.
> With juk or kaffeine I needed 5 sec to find out how I can add a folder, with amarok I needed 15 min.
Then please use Juk or Kaffeine.
No! Please give Juk, Kaffeine AND amaroK a usability review. Strange menu-layouts suck (usually).
Please spare us the 'usablity review.'
Something good did come out of it, its a bug that File->Open Media doesn't allow the selection of directories.
"I disabled audioscrobbler, but ethereal shows that amarok still connects to audioscrobbler."
Have you unchecked "retrieve similar artist" in the AudioScrobbler config dialog? If this option is enabled, Amarok will still submit the current song (to get similar artist) but does not submit it to your profile, so the submission is anonymous.
>Have you unchecked "retrieve similar artist" in the AudioScrobbler config dialog?
Um, I absolutely hate it, if applications connect to the world submitting data, even though the user wasn't asked before. This should always be disabled by default and an info dialog be shown the first time you enable such a "feature".
btw. I'd like to have a --disable-audioscrobbler option, too.
I was also surprised and annoyed when I found out that amarok chats with someone else on the internet, without having asked me first. I added this line to my /etc/hosts to stop this undesirable practice:
127.0.0.3 www.audioscrobbler.com audioscrobbler.com
if that's easier than unchecking one setting :-)
No, it isn't. But I trust it more than amaroK, which already has disappointed me once in this area. :-P
Well how about adding a bug to bugs.kde.org
Adding a bug is not the problem. The question is: Are all kde developers so unreflected about privacy issues!? Is there no policy thingie you have to read and agree to before you get a cvs account?
please also file a bug report for konqueror. i just noticed: every time you surf to a website, some suspicious dns server gets connected! ;-)
omg, firefox has the bug. :-))
muesli: I can wobble with my ass, too. ;p There is a difference between intentionally requesting some external website data and giving away information "user A likes to hear X, Y and Z, please suggest some more" behind user A's back. It's spying - like your browser wouldn't ask you, if you accept a cookie.
i'm totally aware, that there is a difference. but i think you understood the irony, otherwise your ass wouldnt wobble ;-)
please also see my other post. we only submit the artist, only the first time you ever played an artist. it's anonymously, it doesn't get stored anywhere. it's not worse than any banner on a website, which you prolly didnt request either. contrary to the banner, this really helps and gives the user useful feedback: suggestions.
if that's spying, omg better watch your neighbours, they might be able to hear what you are listening to right now. unanonymously in this case.
>unanonymously in this case.
Um, it's not. On the one hand there are static ip's, on the other hand it suffices to know which music people like in some area to make money with it. It's very unfriendly any definitely in a legal grey zone, if not illegal, to (help to) gather data without asking the individuals, if they agree.
As I said: Disable it by default and popup some information, when users enable it the first time.
sorry, but: no-one gathers data, here. you can look at the audioscrobbler sql-tables on their site and tell me where your ip and artist gets stored.
and knowing an ip with an artist related doesn't help anyone, get real. what do you expect? spammers to winpopup your ip with "buy cds", now? ;-)
>sorry, but: no-one gathers data, here.
Maybe, maybe not - I'm pretty sure you know very well that looking at the sql tables just tells me that the information isn't stored there. It wasn't my point to say that they do this. I wanted to show the possibilities.
My point is that you as a developer don't have any right to decide for the user to reveal his data - even in such a minor case. It is the developers responsibility to care for user data as much as to care not to produce vulnerable code. If this is not a central point in your thinking when developing applications, it is a major problem, imho.
carlo: i def. see your point. i'm just wondering if it's worth the hassle, and hiding the option, since 99% of our users want this behaviour by default, and prolly wouldnt know about it otherwise.
i started thinking the last days, about how to solve the situation for both of us: the best solution i could come up with, is to add some info to the first-run wizard, telling the user about audioscrobbler's suggestions, their impact and asking them whether to enable or disable them.
>i'm just wondering if it's worth the hassle.
I agree that's a hassle, but it's fairly important, since you can't fight against dictation technologies like drm, while "betraying" the user yourself.
>since 99% of our users want this behaviour by default
I'm still sorrowing for AudioGalaxy, so count me in. :)
>i started thinking the last days, about how to solve the situation for both of us: the best solution i could come up with, is to add some info to the first-run wizard, telling the user about audioscrobbler's suggestions, their impact and asking them whether to enable or disable them.
Would be wonderful, if you'd find a way to let the user decide, but making it as simple as possible for him.
Lalala, so you suggest that konqueror should ask for extra confirmation with every http request it makes since it's revealing data right? And of course turn off referrer by default since you are leaking data here, too. I suppose dns queries should be confirmed too since the dns server may be logging what addresses are you resolving, damn it. Sure, a checkbox in first-run wizard or something would be fine, since it's pretty much optional here and few people know the risk of someone sniffing in their music preferences... But your central point argument is way overblown IMO.
Nah, there is a difference between a referrer and someones personal music preference. Nevertheless: A browser should reveal only as much information as necessery, too. The dns queries etc. are technically needed so there's nothing to say about it. You say it's overblown, I say: Better to care now, than to be taken by surprise later.
*wink* *wink* don't get offended ;-)
Here is an anonymous suggestion: go to the real world more, maybe get some unanonymous meaningful relationships with human beings. I find amusing your paranoia, and delusional "i-will-be-uber-anonymous" complex. For one, I like getting suggestions and so I can expand my cultural and musical palate. This is just a piece of software, is just computers, is just music. Don't worry your soul and your mind won't get compromised by them, but it seems that your mind is already controlled by the inherent flaws of computer systems.
And to muesli: Thank you for such a fine piece of software. You guys are dedicated and the average, healthy user will be thankful for the suggestions.
>Don't worry your soul and your mind won't get compromised by them, but it seems that your mind is already controlled by the inherent flaws of computer systems.
Thank you very much, but you're wrong. It's not an inherent flaw of computer systems, it's missing education regarding the social aspect of software development. You're resposible for the applications you write.
Wtf! I am genuinely offended by your point here. I as a developer have absolutely zero responsibility for what you do. I go as far as providing you with full source code and a virtually unlimited use, modify and distribution license and you come accusing and crying here that i am irresponsible for not caring for your privacy enough and/or that i am missing education? Dear sir, please think twice before accusing someone of being uneducated, you could deeply offend the said someone (well, already happened, oops). If you are so paranoid please go and audit the source code of whatever you use. But i'm afraid the http server you will download the source from will log your address so better hang yourself. Anyway, there is something very very wrong with the way you think.
Uh, then be offended. ;p Even if you dismiss it, my plea got your attention at least. Too bad you don't see the difference between needed information and personal user data, but maybe it's the point to agree to disagree.
I think the word "awareness" is a better word than "education" here.
And privacy is a touchy issue to many people.
I do think it's the responsibility of the developer to make his app secure. It would be irresponsible to release a piece of code that did an "rm -rf *" or sends arbitrary documents from the users disk to the developer's email account when an unsuspecting user launches it. That's more than "zero responsibility" for what happens on the user's computer.
Of course, audioscrobbler seems a corner case to me. It's *very* probably harmless. Still, I would prefer if amarok implemented it either defaulting to off or, as discussed above, as option in the first time wizard.
IMHO it should be a design principle that no *unexpected* network transfers be done without asking. DNS lookups and HTTP request *are* expected when browsing a web page. Contacting a service on the internet when listening to music is not, IMHO.
And then there are people with dialup lines who pay for the connection. I guess they won't be too happy discovering that "something" causes costs. And how should the average user find out that it's a turned on option in his music player? Not everyone knows ethereal or how to operate it...
Do you suppose average users know anything about http requests or dns? How is assuming someone knows how web browser works different from assuming someone knows how audioscrobbler suggestions work? You are trying to say that all users should be protected from unexpected network traffic. But that is certainly not achievable. So what you are saying is, basically, that there are certain groups that deserve more protection (iow, those that are majority right now). Anyway, my point wasn't at all about the particular problem. My point is, it is users' (and noone else's) responsibility. Read the license again. Noone is guaranteeing you anything here. You take all the risks. Sure if someone makes a program rm -rf your $HOME, well, he may be an asshole. But it is your fscking responsibility that you downloaded and ran the program. You have to read the license anyway, since else you couldn't know you have a right to even run the program legally, so you also should know that there is no damn guarantee attached. If you are paranoid, just don't run it. Or audit the source as i said above. Or pay someone to do it for you. But whatever my program does to your data is _your_ problem. Of course you can be angry with me and stuff, but the responsibility is still yours. Aight? Your argument generalizes to "it's carmaker's fault there are people driving cars without a clue about them and cause harm". Maybe you didn't really want that?
> Do you suppose average users know anything about http
> requests or dns? How is assuming someone knows how web
> browser works different from assuming someone knows
> how audioscrobbler suggestions work?
No, the average user does *not* know how these things work.
That's exaclty why it's the responsibility of the developer
to choose safe and sane defaults.
An average user expects that his computer connects the internet
when he calls up a web page, but he doesn't expect it to when
he's just listening to music. So the software shouldn't by default
and without warning.
> My point is, it is users' (and noone else's) responsibility.
> Read the license again. Noone is guaranteeing you anything here.
> But it is your fscking responsibility that you downloaded and ran the program.
This is not about legal boilerplate. It is about responsible
software development. This is a moral category. I think it's
up to the developer to release the software in a safe and sane
state when he calls a program stable.
Honestly, I'm somewhat surprised if not shocked to find this
attitude in the KDE community. I have come to know it as
a very responsible one that cares about the user's safety.
> Your argument generalizes to "it's carmaker's fault there are
> people driving cars without a clue about them and cause harm".
We're not talking about clueless drivers, we're talking about the
equivalent of cars that do something unexpected every time you
drive at more than 100 km/h because that's a feature hidden
somewhere in the car's configuration.
It may be a feature, it may be even documented,
but no carmaker would implement it without warning the driver
about it if it was potentially dangerous.
You are missing the point, as usually. Right this is not about legal boilerplate. This is about you demanding things from free software developers which is a big no-go. I merely defend my freedom to implement whatever *I* like and however *I* like in software *I* write. I heed not what a random jerk downloading the software says i am doing wrong. Your basic problem here is that you come with *demands*. So stop that if you ever want someone to listen to you. Of course you are free to make suggestions or state wishes. Or report bugs. But I don't care about whatever you have to say as soon as you demand anything from me. You have no damn right to. Not the slightest. You may also notice that i stated that the checkbox-in-startup-wizard is a good idea in my opinion. You may also notice how i didn't go and tell muesli that he must implement it and as soon as he refuses i call him uneducated or whatever. And indeed, this is very shocking nowadays, that developers are not acting as slaves of their users. I suppose we should be all ashamed. Dear Godly User who brings me my daily bread blah blah. It's not as i didn't care about users. I listen to reasonable users every day. I heed what they say because i think it's important. It's more like rude users are demotivating experience for an opensource developer. And when i defend myself you are shocked which i find somewhat ironical. You are just spoiling it for everyone else...
With all due respect:
- What makes you think I'm "only" a user. What makes you think I'm talking about you in particular? I've made my own (albeit modest) contributions to Open Source software and KDE in particular. I've just stated what I think are good development principles with respect to network transfers. I do feel a moral (not legal) responsibility for the users of the apps I touched. Don't I have the right to discuss what I believe should be a general policy in KDE (I even thought it already was, at least implicitly.).
Would you have told Waldo Bastian or David Faure the same thing if they had expressed their opinion on the subject of responsibility of the developer? No, I don't want to compare myself to them, nor to you(!), on grounds of merit, I wouldn't stand a second. But I object to being called a "random jerk" which you seem to imply.
You talk about demotivation. Right now I feel pretty demotivated by you to do anything more for KDE.
> You are missing the point, as usually.
- Here you're getting personal. I've only posted twice on this subject up to now. Do you really think you can judge me from those two postings? Or are you talking about me in general? IIRC I've never had any discussion with you in particular so it would probably take a very blatant case of nonsense from my side to stay in your memory like that. Please point me to it if that's the case.
- I have called *no one* uneducated. That's been someone else, and this may be a case of a language problem. I don't think the person wanted to be offensive.
- I have never said the amarok developers, or you, *must* do anything. I just stated my opinion on good development principles, and why I think they are good. You never even bothered to respond to any of the arguments, you just stated the user was responsible, and no one else.
- Have you really just called me rude? Please point me to where I've been rude to you. Because I talked about "attitude"?
>- I have called *no one* uneducated. That's been someone else, and this may be a case of a language problem. I don't think the person wanted to be offensive.
To give it the truth, I chose the word with caution. Not to flame, but to have a discussion about privacy considerations in software development, an often underrated point. I'm sure quite a few KDE developers read the dot and I hoped someone would be vexed enough to write such a reply as mornfall did. Thank you mornfall. :)
Well, you are in the role of user in this thread. Every developer is an user, too. I am an user to some apps while i'm a developer to others. Anyhow, if say David came (as much as he never would) and "ordered" me to do something in say libapt-front "his" way (a project he has pretty nothing to do with), i would pretty much send him to hell (that, and lose much of the respect i have for him). I am pretty damn confident he would never do it, as i said.
As for you, well, you very much side with Carlo and thus i somewhat confused the two of you. Anyhow, you assert that it is my responsibility what user does with the program, more or less, and there i conclude you want me to do so that however clueless user doesn't get burnt, which is something i never will, unless i get paid for such work (in which case, i would think about it, yes). It is however me myself who decides how much i help the user with avoiding pitfalls. You may have your say in that of course. Keep in mind that the better and more of a contribution you did the more you can say. I maintain that users of a given application should just ask politely, or maybe can afford a bit less politely if they have patches. From my experience, the more aggressively something is demanded, the less important it is. That, and it is very unrewarding to work on anything that was previously demanded by anyone, since you are not going to be thanked upon implementing that whatever. Easy as that. Asking nicely will get you much farther than arguing.
Nevertheless, the random jerk or rudeness comments weren't directed at anyone in particular, really. In fact, i wasn't really personal anywhere, and i'm sorry if you took that personally. I tend to speak in general, even that "missing the point as usual" wasn't directed at you specifically. Anyway, i was pretty much offended (thank Carlo for that one) and consequently somewhat angry (which i hate to be, since it affects my productivity badly) and thus not very discriminating in my replies. Anyway, you get what you ask for. I am not known to be "easy" with strangers or for being politically correct. Yada. Sorry 'bout that. I should go do my work now instead of commenting in this silly thread. I suck.
> I should go do my work now instead of commenting in this silly thread.
That's exactly what I promised myself to answer to your next reply
after posting my previous comment. :)
Let's do something productive.
>Sure if someone makes a program rm -rf your $HOME, well, he may be an asshole. But it is your fscking responsibility that you downloaded and ran the program.
If the doomed user can make it clear in court, that it was done by intention (o.k., won't be easy), the one who wrote it would likely be plead guilty. Even giving something away for free doesn't mean, that you can't be held responsible for your doing. But it's more about moral obligations than law we speak about.
What puzzles me is, that you say, you are not able to distinct between private data and data that's needed for a networking task, while everyone else can.
If i recall correctly (i probably don't), the only case where warranty disclaimer like the one in GPL is void is when serious injury or death is inflicted due to the program. Anyway that is pretty irrelevant.
You say that "everyone else can" may i ask this "everyone else" what exactly is private data and what exactly is "needed for a networking task"? This is very unclear to me, since in some places, uploading illegal content is "needed for a networking task" and illegal content would probably also qualify as "private data" huh. You are somewhat confused (or confusing?) with your "clear" and "commonly known" ideas. In other words, "everyone else knows that..." is a common practice, where you try to persuade someone that your personal opinion is held by general public and try to substitute your missing authority with that notion of many people thinking whatever you think.
>If i recall correctly (i probably don't), the only case where warranty disclaimer like the one in GPL is void is when serious injury or death is inflicted due to the program. Anyway that is pretty irrelevant.
I wonder how a german court would decide, if you can prove something like `rm -rf /` was added by intention, maybe with the comment "Don't compile as root, asshat.". General responsibility exclusion rules are somewhat limited here.
>is a common practice, ...
Well, you're the only one in this thread, who says, that you can't distinct between sending user data behind the users back to a third party website, even though the user never agreed and a common protocol usage, when a user explicitly requests website.
[different menu structure]
It's a different app with a different focus, so I think it's pretty much OK to have a different menu structure...
[different toolbar position]
See above. On a side note, every CD player has the controls below the display, not above the display.
[controls in the status bar]
Use Konqueror? Check the green LED at the left of the status bar, and the checkbox at the right - big surprise! amaroK is not the only app with controls in the status bar!
[Many actions are only possible when you open the right panel.]
Same is true for 99% of all applications. Eg, if you remove the sidebar in Konqueror, you'll also loose quite a few actions...
> It's a different app with a different focus [...]
That's true for every single application in KDE. I don't see why different rules should apply to amaroK.
> every CD player has the controls below the display [...]
And that's how we ended up with user interfaces that look like this:
...which pretty much everyone with an ounce of usability experience knows, well, plain suck.
> Use Konqueror?
Those aren't exactly great in Konqueror. And there they're not central interface features such as they are in amaroK.
Essentially you've argued three times here that "other people do stupid things, so they can just be ignored in amaroK too". I'd rather see a constructive argument on why those choices are or are not useful on their own. Like mom always said -- two wrongs don't make a right. ;-)
You're mom probably also told you something like "Don't judge things that you got for free".
The programmers like there app.
The users love amarok.
Aareon Seigo loves amarok. (http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2005/02/amarok.html)
So if you don't find it usable, *don't* use it.
I *do* find it usable, but I too think that it could be even better than it is now. Your blantant refusal to accept some critisism "because it's free" isn't really in the spirit of how things are done in KDE. Why not keep an open mind on how this program could be even better. Not all suggestions can or should be followed, but simply dismissing them with "Don't judge things that you get for free" is far to easy for my taste.
> Aareon Seigo loves amarok. (http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2005/02/amarok.html)
Yeah, but he has a point about the blinking highlight in the playlist...
> Your blantant refusal to accept some critisism "because it's free" isn't really in the spirit of how things are done in KDE.
critisism isn't in the spirit of KDE. Offering suggestions how to improve things is.
Saying menu-structure, toolbar, etc are all unusable just because they are different, is just critizing other people work.
Saying "repeat track" should be in the "Settings" menu because [reason], is helpful and always welcomed.