It has been quite some time since Jaunty has been released. Most of you must have tried it out. Amarok 2 has been getting not-so-good reviews, so I thought I'd rather share a better alternative to Amarok with you all. This is an old article which is still relevant.
One of the reasons why I love Linux are music players. On Windows you get WMP 11 which is a decent thing to play MP3's however there is no support for fetching album art, lyrics and other stuff. The other alternatives aren't so so good either, iTunes is a resource hog (1GB of RAM to play Maddona, you are kidding!).
On the other hand Linux music players have been simply amazing! I have been hooked on to Amarok for quite some time now, however I tried Exaile the other day and now it has become my most favorite player for Ubuntu, perhaps even overtaking Amarok. Read on to know more about Exaile:
Exaile tries to be for Gnome what Amarok is for KDE. The developers started with this aim and hence the final product is an amazing player which matches, if not betters many of Amarok's strength. Exaile is written in Python. The first thing you will notice is the size of download package. You will be surprised to find out that Exaile weighs in at only 1 MB! Installation can be done by either using Synaptic or by grabbing it from the downloads page.
Since Exaile is an native Gnome app, it starts up almost instantaneously as compared to Amarok which requires quite some time to start up, since it needs to load various KDE libraries. It also integrates better with my Ubuntu setup. Exaile tries to mimic Amarok very closely. Long time users of Amarok will find themselves at home with Exaile.
One of the my most favorite feature in Exaile which sets it apart from from other Gnome players like Banshee is the Volume Controler, most Gnome players like Banshee and Totem have the dropdown volume controller which is so Windows 95. Exaile has an proper slider volume button. I know it isn't a big deal for most, but still it is these small things which go on to make a big difference in the user experiance. Exaile also offers tabbed playlists.
Like Firefox, Exaile's features can be extended by installing various plugins. Thankfully installing plugins is an one click process. You can add or remove plugins by going to Edit > Plugins. Exaile loads a list of available plugins and you have to merely check or uncheck the plugins which you want or don't want.
As with all Linux Players Exaile too comes with features like Wikipedia integeration, fetching cover art from Amazon, Lyrics and On Screen Display (like the one at the top of this blog). Surprisingly iPod support is absent in Exaile however it can be added to Exaile by the means of a plugin.
Exaile has an album art collector. The main benefit is that you can get album art for your entire music collection with one click, and oh no credit card required (listening Apple?).
There are still few minor flaws, which I am sure will be taken care of in the later releases. Namely as I said before, lack of iPod support out-of-the-box, better Wkipedia integeration, the current integeration is more like Firefox in a music player and how about Cover FLow or atleast displaying cover art in the layouts as in WMP 11?
I would definitely recommend you to try out Exaile. It makes Banshee look like a monkey.
Although Exaile cannot play videos as of yet, however come version 1, I am sure we are gonna get one player which will topple Amarok out of the number one position!
You can download Exaile here.
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