JP Vossen on 9 Nov 2008 12:10:07 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] music jukebox

 > Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2008 16:57:15 -0500
 > From: Eric <>
 > I'd like to set up a Linux "jukebox" type application to play mp3/ogg
 > files.  It turns out that Amarok is too complex for the casual (family
 >  member) user  :-)
 > Any suggestions and/or recommendations?

+1 for Rhythmbox, which is part of Gnome and in the Ubuntu repos, as 
everyone probably already knows.

I haven't looked at iTunes in a which but IIRC the interface is 
conceptually iTunes-like, and very functional.  We keep all our MP3s on 
a read-only Samba/NFS share on a back-end file server, and it does not 
insist on attempting to copy them locally, or anything else stupid.

Someone else mentioned Rhythmbox can read/play from an iPod (or other 
MP3 device), but it seems to be little known that it can also write to 
at least some of them.  The on-line and included documentation sucks, 
and I think incorrectly states that iPod write support is non-existent 
or forthcoming.  I'd have to check but I don't think it can write 
playlists to the iPod.  We don't care, we just create a "Foo's iPod" 
playlist and write that to whichever device.  And this may be 
out-of-scope for the OP anyway.

I don't like the default visualizers and I haven't found a plugin I 
like, though I've spend almost no time looking.  I hate to admit it, but 
I like the "equalizer" display on the old Windows player.  I like 
watching the different frequencies bounce around and matching that to 
what I'm hearing.  (Anyone know a good plugin?)  But the lyrics display 
is kind of useful.  It has a full-screen "party mode" and it does cover 
art if you care.

My only minor grips are that it keeps its database in a couple of XML 
files, which is ugly and slow.  Though on the plus side they are easily 
hackable and I've had to hack them once or twice for path changes or 
something, I forget.  Also, I've had it crash once or two and fail to 
save playlist changes.  I've asked for an explicit "save" button but got 
shot down by the devs, who'd rather fix the underlying 
failure-to-save-in-a-timely-manner problem.  Fixing the root cause it a 
good idea, but I'd still like a save button, just to be sure.

I've briefly tried Amarok, Banshee, and a couple of others (not MPD that 
I recall), but they have all done something to annoy me and make me go 
back to Rhythmbox.  I also prefer the simplicity (some may say 
blandness) of Gnome over KDE, and I'd say Rhythmbox and Amarok are both 
characteristic of their respective environments.  :-)

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
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