5 Improvements for Amarok

Written by BinnyVA on September 30, 2007 – 10:37 pm -

Amarok

My favorite music player in Linux is amaroK. But, despite all its advantages, there are some areas where amaroK could have done better.

Show Current Song Title on Mouseover

Currently, there is no way I can know what song is playing without opening the application window. In the XMMS Status docklet, the name of the current song will popup if you hover over the system tray icon for some time. Although amaroK shows the song title on song change, it is not shown on mouseover.

Update: amarok has this feature – but some bug in Fedora Core disables it.

Repeat Loop for Artist

amaroK has three different repeat modes…

  • Repeat entire playlist
  • Repeat current album
  • Repeat current track

amaroK Repeat Modes

I would like another repeat loop – ‘Repeat Current Artist’

Repeat loop for all queued tracks

Yet another repeat loop I would like is ‘Repeat all Queued Tracks’.

Less Processor Intensive

One of my main complaints about amaroK is that it is kinda processor intensive. Even when the application is minimized to the system tray, amaroK is at the top in the list of the ‘top’ command. I am not sure that anything can be done about this – decoding MP3 involves a bit of crunching.

Songs must start from the beginning on application launch

Amarok has a feature called ‘Resume playback on start’ – if it is enabled, amaroK will automatically start playing the last played song on startup. The problem is that the song don’t begin at the beginning – it start from the point at which we quit last time. If you quit amaroK at the middle of a song, the next time you start amaroK, it will automatically start playing from the beginning of that song.

This is a very useful feature – I have it enabled. However, I want the song to start from the beginning.

If you want to enable this feature, it can be found here…

Settings > Configure Amarok > Playback > Resume playback on start

That’s my list for now – do you want to add anything to this list? Leave it in the comment section.


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Posted in Applications, Audio | 6 Comments »

Amarok MP3 Player

Written by BinnyVA on September 23, 2007 – 11:12 pm -

Amarok

amaroK is currently the player of my choice – it rocks. Everything I ever wanted in a MP3 Player and more.

Global Shortcuts

I must be able to control some functions in the player like Play/Pause, Next/Previous song etc. with the keyboard without having to open the software. For example, you are banging away at your keyboard creating the next big thing. Suddenly someone calls you – but you can’t make out what they are trying to say because you are playing music at volumes that makes it audible to a deaf man halfway round the world. Now you have to open up the player, find the pause button(in some winamp skins, they are nearly impossible to find), pause the song and then try to listen to what someone was screaming about.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just press a keyboard combination from any app and your player pauses? Winamp(version 5 onwards) had this feature if you enabled a plugin called Global Hotkeys. amaroK supports this feature natively – amarok->Settings->Configure Global Shortcuts.

Stays in the System Tray

Another must have feature – when I listen to music I don’t want to see the application that plays it. I don’t want to see some any stupid visualizations. I don’t want to see any dancing pixies. In short, all I want from a player is hear the music – not play some animation that’s eating my CPU cycles.

The best way to make sure of this is if the app stays in the system tray(or status bar). And amaroK does that. Some basic operation(play/pause, stop, etc.) are available from the right click menu of amaroK icon in the system tray.

There is also a hidden feature – just bring you mouse over the amaroK icon in the system tray any scroll the mouse wheel down – this reduces the volume!

amarok Volume

But I have one complaint about that – there is no way I can know what song is playing. In the XMMS Status docklet, the name of the currently song will popup if you hover over the icon for some time. That is not possible in AmaroK.

XMMS Status Docklet

Update: Amarok has this feature – but in Fedora, its disabled. Some bug, I guess

Other Cool Features…

  • Media Library
  • Fetches Lyrics/Artist Info from the Web
  • Supports Podcasts
  • Inbuilt Bulk MP3 Tag editor
  • Able to access MP3 players(the hardware players – you know – like iPod)

For More Information


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Posted in Applications, Audio, KDE | 17 Comments »