Frees – Hard Disk Drives Free Space Viewer

Written by BinnyVA on April 6, 2008 – 1:43 am -

I am taking a break from the regular MP3 Players Series for a special announcement. The first stable version of Frees has been released. Frees is a GUI tool that shows the Hard Disk space usage. It is written in Python using the GTK2 framework. This will only work in linux as it depends on the ‘df’ command. Frees just parses the output of df and shows it in a graphical format.

Download

Frees Screenshot

Features

Simple/Easy to use

Frees features a very simple interface. Granted, some of the columns like Device, Type and Mount Point may sound a bit geeky – but hey, you are using Linux. Its supposed to be geeky.

Ability to Remove Drives from the List

There may be some drives that you want to hide in the list. Like, say you have a 10 mb /boot partition – you have no user-level use for that. In Frees you can hide that partition in the list. Go to Preferences > Drives and check off the drive you want to hide.

Shows Total Space

The last item in the list is the ‘Total’ row. It shows the total space of your harddisk. Note that this shows the total of all mounted drives – so it may not be an accurate measure of your total HDD space.

Competition

KDiskFree

There is an alternative to this program – KDiskFree. Its a KDE App…

KDiskFree displays the available file devices (hard drive partitions, floppy and CD drives, etc.) along with information on their capacity, free space, type and mount point. It also allows you to mount and unmount drives and view them in a file manager.

I was not all that satisfied with KDiskFree – that’s why I created Frees. These are the advantages Frees has over KDiskFree…

  • KDiskFree cannot hide drives in the list.
  • KDiskFree includes mounted images, CD ROM/DVD ROM devices as list items. Frees ignores these items.
  • KDiskFree does not show the file system types for all drives – many are shown as ‘?’
  • Frees have the ‘Total HDD Space’ feature – KDiskFree does not have that.

But KDiskFree has one advantage over Frees – you can mount drives from within the application. You cannot do that in Frees.

df Command

The other alternative to Frees is the ‘df’ command. Here is the man entry for df…

df displays the amount of disk space available on the file system containing each file name argument. If no file name is given, the space available on all currently mounted file systems is shown.

df is not ‘user friendly’ in the classical sense of the term – its a terminal application. Unlike KDiskFree, I do not consider df to be a competition to Frees. As a matter of fact, Frees uses df command internally to get the space usage data.

Frees Links

Now, your job is to download this application and try it out. Send me any bugs you find and your suggestions.


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Posted in Applications, Gnome, News | 5 Comments »

Listen – Gtk MP3 Player

Written by BinnyVA on March 22, 2008 – 11:27 pm -

Listen Logo

I expected my MP3 player series will end with the last post – but the comments pointed to some other players. Two players stood out – so I decided that I will review them as well. The first one is Listen. Its a Gtk player written in Python.

Features

  • Supports Shoutcast Webradio
  • Supports Podcast
  • Multiple Display modes
  • Wikipedia Integration
  • Native Lyrics Support

Listen Screenshot

Disadvantages

No Global Shortcuts
At least, none that I could find.
“Interesting” Layout
The layout is kinda different from the standand layout of amaroK, Exaile, Rythmbox etc. I am still getting used to it. But once you get the hang of it, it could turn out to be a better system than the one that the other players use.

Advantages

OSD
Shows up on mouse hover and track change.
Tray Icon
Supports play/pause with middle click.
Music Library
Listen has a music library – but it supports only a single folder as its library folder.

More Information


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Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome | 7 Comments »

Top 10 Linux MP3 Players

Written by BinnyVA on March 14, 2008 – 11:11 am -

Music

There are no shortage of audio players in Linux. It has everything from command line MP3 players(mpg123) to RAM eating GUI players(like Amarok). With easily available codecs, linux supports almost all available formats.

This is the final post on a series about MP3 Players in linux. This series focuses on dedicated audio players – not video players that can handle audio as well(like mplayer). Without further ado, presenting the top 10 Linux MP3 players…

1. Amarok

Amarok Logo

amaroK is currently the player of my choice – it rocks. Everything I ever wanted in a MP3 Player and more. It is the clear winner in this field. In my opinion, there is nothing that beats amarok even if you look at Windows and Mac MP3 players as well.

Amarok Linux MP3 Player Screenshot

More Information on Amarok MP3 Player

2. XMMS

XMMS Logo

A Winamp clone. Simple and user friendly, it is very popular on linux. It does not have a large feature set – but I am going to give it second place due to its popularity.

XMMS MP3 Audio Player Screenshot

Official Sites for XMMS Player

3. RhythmBox

RhythmBox Gnome Music Player Logo

Rhythmbox Music Player is a music player and library for tagged files, that support various music formats. It was inspired by Apple’s iTunes. Although it is designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, I had no issues with it in KDE.

RhythmBox – Gnome Music Player

RhythmBox Media Player Screenshot

Official Sites

4. Exaile

Exaile MP3 Player Logo

Exaile is a music player aiming to be similar to KDE’s Amarok, but for GTK+ and written in Python. It incorporates many of the cool things from Amarok (and other media players)

Exaile – Music Player for Gtk+

Exaile Media Player Screenshot

Official Sites

5. Audacious

Audacious Logo

Audacious is not among the ‘star media-players’ in Linux – so many people never try it out. But those who have tried it out like it. For the sake of the article, I installed it – and I liked it. I even considered switching from amaroK to Audacious.

Audacious Media Player

Official Sites

6. Banshee

Banshee Music Player Logo

Banshee is an MP3 players for Gnome. You can import, organize, play, and share your music using Banshee’s simple, powerful interface.

Banshee – Music Management and Playback for GNOME

Banshee MP3 Player Screenshot

Banshee Official Sites

7. SongBird

SongBird MP3 Software Logo

SongBird is an MP3 player built on the XUL framework. It’s a desktop media player mashed-up with the Web.

SongBird – The Firefox of MP3 Players

Songbird Screenshot

Official Sites

8. Juk

Juk MultiMedia Player Logo

An audio jukebox that supports collections of MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files. It is a part of the kdemultimedia package.

Juk


9. mpg123/mpg321

mpg123 is a fast, free, minimalist, console MPEG audio player software program for UNIX and Linux operating systems.

mpg123/mpg321 – The Command Line MP3 Players

Official Sites

10. Other MP3 Players and Media Software…

Instead of putting the last MP3 Player here, I am going to list the MP3 software that did not make it to the list…

So, which is your favorite MP3 Player? Leave a comment…

Update: I reviewed two more players…


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Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome, KDE | 96 Comments »

RhythmBox – Gnome Music Player

Written by BinnyVA on December 2, 2007 – 10:52 pm -

RhythmBox Logo

Rhythmbox Music Player is a music player and library for tagged files, that support various music formats. It was inspired by Apple’s iTunes. Although it is designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, I had no issues with it in KDE. RhythmBox uses the GStreamer media framework. It is currently under active development.

Advantages

Clean Look
While other players aim to make their software flashy and full of features, RhythmBox went for simplicity. The inferface is very direct and easy to use.
Browse Mode
This is an easy way to browse through a large music collection.
Global Shortcut Available
I don’t know how – but Global Shortcuts are available. There is no option for it – but one of my global shortcuts – Ctrl+Alt+Home for Play/Pause works.

Disadvantages

Music Library
All your music must be within one folder if you want to use RhythmBox’s Music Library. You can set only one folder as the ‘Library Location’. This option is available at ‘Edit > Preferences > ‘Music’ Tab > Library Location
Font Bug
When I start RhythmBox, the font of all application becomes one size smaller. I think this is a bug that is limited to KDE – but still very irritating. The only way to fix this is restart the X Server
Play Queue
At the top left corner, in the Library column, there is a Option called ‘Play Queue’ – don’t mistake it for Playlist. This is a Queue of all the songs that must be played. If you try to play any song in that list, that song will jump to the top.
Minimize to System Tray
To hide the player don’t close it – that will quit the application. If you minimize it, it goes to the taskbar – I want to minimize it to the system tray. To do that, just click on the RhythmBox icon in the system tray. It take a little getting used to – but a workable method.

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Posted in Applications, Audio | 11 Comments »