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sometimes, i really hate computers. in particular, when wanting to hear music on my macbook, which runs osx. so far, i haven’t found any good music player.
the first thing i tried is itunes. it seems to be nice, but it’s support for an externally managed music library (i want to synchronize the library between several computers, whence i cannot let itunes organize the library) is sucking. there is a way to scan an existing directory with music, but it is incredibly slow. maybe one second per file? at least, this is not acceptable.
on linux, i’m using amarok, which has a lot of bugs, but runs pretty neat otherwise. (so far the best thing i found.) version 2.0 is supposed to be available on osx, too, but i’ve waiting for that one since more than a year, and it’s still not there. there’s a version which you can compile yourself, but it will compile for more than 24 hours, as it requires all the kde libraries. i don’t want to do that.
another choice is exaile, an amarok clone for gtk (gnome), which i have to try under linux. at least, under osx, i’ve not been able to run it, i have several python versions installed due to fink and darwinports, but it needs some more libraries and i don’t want to spend hours or days or weeks to find out which ones and how to install them.
well, and then, there’s xmms, a winamp 2.x clone, more or less dead for a long time. but i got it installed (via fink or darwinport, forgot which one), but my version features non-readable mp3 id3 tags and certain other quirks. but at least, it runs and plays music.
it really, really annoys me that it seems not to be able to install a decent player without spending lots of time. why on earth no one is able to provide a precompiled package for amarok? or make exaile run on osx? or any other more or less decent music player? why just itunes and xmms?!
i have even considered throwing osx away and installing something like ubuntu on my macbook, but that also sucks, as ubuntu might have problems with the wireless network, and then i have to find out how to set up an encrypted hard disk, which is possible but requires some more work than just five minutes.
when does the new age of computing begins, where one does not has so much trouble anymore?
i’m completely pissed of. seriously.

posted in: computer daily life music


Hoshi wrote on may 24, 2008 at 21:49:

Did you try Songbird?

felix wrote on may 24, 2008 at 23:45:

hmm, i once tried that i think on my linux machine. for some reason, i deleted it shortly after, but i forgot the reason. maybe it didn’t come near to amarok :) but i think i’ll try it again, now that i have nothing better. thanks for the hint!

felix wrote on may 25, 2008 at 00:25:

okey, using songbird right now. main disadvantages:

based on firefox, i.e. it eats a lot of memory and also cpu time;
the interface seems to be even slower than amarok’s, even though this computer is faster than the one i have at home;
it cannot play gapless. i thought this would be standard for every half-modern music player?!
restart needed for installing/disabling extensions.

well, besides that, i’ll need to get a bit used to the interface. in particular, i need to find out how to control it using my keyboard. some things are really strange…
but i think for now i’ll still be using it… but it’s still far from perfect…

felix wrote on may 25, 2008 at 00:52:

at least, i got running… :)

felix wrote on may 25, 2008 at 04:59:

okey, i have something to add: songbird forgets the current selection in the library almost every time i do something in songbird. this is really, really annoying…

i’m really tempted to write my own music player, which does exactly what i want: play music (gapless, of course, what else?!), offers a library and playlist (or even more than one) which interact more in a way like amarok, can be controlled with keyboard only, and that’s it. (maybe some more small features, though.)

felix wrote on may 25, 2008 at 05:53:

okey, another update :)
still being pissed off, i was searching around the web, tried xmms2 again just to see that they don’t manage to have osx binaries lying around (i.e. broken link). then, while googeling around, i found a rant by another person, and in the comments to that rant, someone suggested cog, a leightweight open source music player for osx. if you take a look at the features list, it is basically what i want. (except, maybe, a decent music library, but hell, better a missing library than lots of other bad things…)
so far, the program seems pretty nice. i’m missing a few features, like sorting the music correctly (first by artist, then by year, then by album, then by track number), but at least one can move the columns around and the standard sorting seems to be ok.
well, except one small thing, namely that after restarting it, it seem to have forgotten the tags (reloading them does not takes ages, but still a few minutes) and also the position where i was listening music before. that’s annoying. but at least, it still has all filenames around…
but then, ask me for more rants in a short time, i’m sure i’ll have something to rant about… ;-)

Hoshi wrote on may 25, 2008 at 08:43:

I’m currently using itunes on windows :). so that’s pretty much is it. Well, I got pissed off by Winamp which used to be a good player back in the days… Rant On!

andreas wrote on may 25, 2008 at 08:58:

What about mplayer and a decent directory structure instead of a library?

felix wrote on may 25, 2008 at 18:46:

andreas, i preferr to have short file names (like trackXX.ogg) and a rather flat directory structure; i mean, the files contain all the needed information (and much more than one could express by file- and directory names) in their tags, so why not use that? :)
i don’t expect a lot from a music player but a few very basic features, but apparently modern music players are either too basic (like cog, xmms) or try to be too hightech (songbird), and miserably fail, or already fail in the stage of being able to easily install them (amarok, xmms2, tonsofothers)…
i thought (hoped) that we left the stone age of computers some time ago :)