Rhythmbox 0.6.0 – Now with 80% Less Suck!

I do my regular aptitude upgrade this morning and discover that the Rhythmbox developers have eliminated most of my motivations for working on Jambox with their 0.6.0 release.

Rhythmbox is an iTunes-ish music player for GNOME. I had looked into using it after getting fed up with XMMS’s utter lack of usable playlist management (which it inherited from Winamp). However, it had the following major flaws:

  • Playlists could only be created by selecting individual songs.
  • You couldn’t select more than one album or artist in the Library view.
  • Since I don’t use the GNOME desktop environment, its abilities to integrate with the GNOME task bar (or whatever it’s called) didn’t help me any.
  • It was painfully slow for a large (thousands of files) music collection. Takes-over-a-minute-to-load slow.

But lo and behold, the 0.6.0 release addresses most of these issues, whereas even the 0.5.4 release (the previous one) didn’t:

  • You can now create a playlist by using a set of rules (e.g., all songs by Artist A, and all songs on Album B, but not songs that have Foo in their title) instead of selecting the individual songs manually. There’s still some work to be done (most notably, you don’t seem to be able to edit such a playlist after creating it), but the basic functionality is there.
  • Multiple albums and artists can now be selected in the Library view. Why it took so long for this to be added, I don’t know, but I’m happy now.
  • Its performance with large libraries is much improved. Rhythmbox now loads in an acceptable amount of time.

Of course, it still boasts GNOME integration, which makes sense, since its goal is to be the official music player in the GNOME environment. However, I’ve discovered that making a remote control type of program for it would be fairly easy by using Bonobo. That means that I could write a little program to run in Blackbox’s slit to control Rhythmbox and use XOSD on song changes, and keep the main Rhythmbox window hidden when I’m not mucking with playlists.

Since Rhythmbox is now getting much closer to meeting my needs for a music player, there’s not much motivation left for me to continue work on Jambox (like I’ve been doing much with it lately anyway). My time would certainly be better spent writing that remote control program instead, and possibly contributing to Rhythmbox development to take care of some of the various remaining (but much more minor) issues. No sense wasting my time reinventing the wheel.

So, that’s pretty much the end of Jambox development, I suppose. Oh well.

2 Responses

  1. Haha Paul. You sound so happy! As happy as a little kid on Christmas! lol. I am stuck using Winamp and Winamp is painfully slow sometimes…expecially for those .ogg files that you copied from my CDs to the computer…It slows everything down and it skips and it just plain SUCKS!

    Yell at dad and make him get us a new computer..I need a new computer so that I can work on my Spanish..I got a Spanish Tutor CD and it helps but the only way I can use it now is on dad’s laptop and that doesn’t do me any good 1/2 the time!

    Well big bro..I got to go work on schoolwork and get those good grades.

    Love

  2. Well, I’m not around Dad often enough to convince him to quit deliberating and buy a new computer already. Whenever he *does* get one, I’ll go ahead and make a nice dual-boot system out of it.

    Try telling him I won’t be able to buy you guys Office XP (now with 65% more suck than Office 2000!) for Christmas unless there’s a new computer to run it on.

    Oh, Apple now has a version of iTunes for Windows these days. No idea if it’ll run on your computer, though. I’d assume it wouldn’t.

    Off to History class….

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