amaroK Music Player rocKs

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I rebuilt my work machine to Fedora Core 4, and couldn’t be bothered recompiling BeepMediaPlayer with MP3 and iTouch, WMA etc.

So I googled around a bit and found amaroK getting good ravings. The first few versions I tried were really unstable (running under XFCE), but recent versions have improved greatly. It’s still a bit flakey when the network is busy (downloading a large file) and playing music over the network, like from a share. It goes into squeaky fastforward mode, and then locks up if you have not changed tracks by the time it (quickly) gets to the end of the current track.

There are some Killer features for me though.

  • Album Art lookups on Amazon
  • On Screen Display (OSD)
  • Grouping of tracks with rankings and stuff.
  • RSS Podcasting support (I don’t have a iPod though, so have not tested the external device support)
  • Wikipedia lookups for artists is also a nice touch.

The things I am currently living with are:

  • no WMA support, or AAC I think (although this is possibly more a limitation of gStreamer than amaroK. I should check that)
  • The Network contention issue mentioned above
  • Can’t change volume from command line (I use xbindkeys for mapping my Multimedia keys to amaroK commands like next, previous etc)

All in all. I can live with this stuff for now, and the killer features really are keeping me amaroK’d up for the time being.

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3 thoughts on “amaroK Music Player rocKs

    netwolfuk said:
    November 25, 2005 at 14:37

    Just did a
    yum install gstreamer*
    Seems to be playing m4a now. Haven’t tried AAC yet.

    muesli said:
    November 25, 2005 at 14:56

    use xine, it’s way more stable. latest version (svn) also offers m4a/aac tagging support. playback of those two formats works since years. you can change the volume via dcop as well, btw.

    cheers,
    muesli

    netwolfuk said:
    November 28, 2005 at 15:30

    Thanks for the tip Muesli. I tried it for a few hours today, but the UI just drove me nuts. Here are a few grumbles:

    • you can not resize the Playlist window
    • You can not add multiple items to the playlist at a time
    • If you close the main window, it does not appear in the window list in XFCE.
    • It appears to save the playlist in a non-m3u format
    • You cannot hold down the mouse when scrolling inside the playlist window. You have to click repeatedly. Can you say RSI??

    Having said that, the sound quality is noticely better!! However, I’m back to amaroK now. Sorry.

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