Music Applet 0.9.0 Released

Rhythmbox Applet is dead! Long live Music Applet!

That’s right, with the advent of support for Banshee, the name Rhythmbox Applet is no longer suitable for a GNOME panel applet that lets you control your favorite music player. So, despite Benji‘s best efforts to get me to name it “Kulinibox” (“it’s eponymously cool!”), its name has changed to Music Applet

And accordingly with big changes, there’s been a big jump in the version number (0.9.0) and a new web site for the software, one that should hopefully load much faster than the old one did.

Here’s a quick sketch of the roadmap for Music Applet’s future. This is all subject to change, of course:

  • For 0.9.1: Muine support.
  • For 0.9.2: Album art support (and figuring out how to properly handle features that are supported by only some music players, such as album art and song ratings).
  • For 0.9.3 and beyond: Improving the applet GUI.

For those of you using the old Rhythmbox Applet RSS feed, you’ll want to switch over to the new Music Applet RSS feed, which will carry all future announcements for the software.

Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.11 Released

Another bugfix release of Rhythmbox Applet is out. Changes include:

  • Minor fixes for compatibility with Rhythmbox 0.9.3.

Manifest Destiny

On occasion, I’ve received requests to add support for music players besides Rhythmbox to Rhythmbox Applet. It used to be the case that the applet’s code was somewhat tied to Rhythmbox in particular, but ever since it started supporting 0.9.2+ in addition to 0.8.x — which, from the applet’s perspective, are entirely different programs anyway — it’s occured to me that there’s no technical reason why this can’t be done.

So, what other players are out there, and what would it take to add support for them to Rhythmbox Applet? Here’s a somewhat arbitrary sampling of desktop-oriented music players, and my initial impressions of how much work it would be.

Banshee has a D-Bus interface already, which is a good start. The interface doesn’t seem to provide any access to ratings, nor does it fire any signals. The latter is particularly problematic, as without them the applet would need to constantly poll Banshee to find out what its status is. The interface does provide a way to get cover art, though, which is nice, though the applet doesn’t currently support cover art (primarily since Rhythmbox doesn’t support it yet either). So, to make Banshee support viable, its D-Bus interface would need to support manipulating song ratings and to fire signals whenever something changes.

Muine also has a D-Bus interface. The interface doesn’t provide a way to rate songs, but I think that’s because Muine itself doesn’t do ratings. It does send out signals when playback is toggled and when the current song changes, though there’s no signal for when the elapsed time changes (which would eliminate the need for polling entirely). The information provided in the song-changed signal is formatted as one giant string, which is annoying, but not impossible to deal with. There’s also support for cover art. If the D-Bus interface were enhanced with an elapsed-time-changed signal, Muine support in the applet shouldn’t be a problem.

Rhythmbox, Banshee, and Muine all target the GNOME environment, and Rhythmbox Applet does as well. I have received requests for amaroK support even though it’s aimed at KDE. Unfortunately, amaroK doesn’t have any D-Bus support whatsoever, nor support for any other IPC mechanism from what I can see. Naturally, this would have to be added to amaroK, since otherwise there’s no way the applet could talk with it.

Of course, there are lots of other music players out there. If there’s a player you really want to see supported in Rhythmbox Applet, feel free to write a patch to add support for it. Fortunately, the applet’s design should make this pretty straightforward. Write a subclass of RbProxy to handle communications with the player, and then modify RbAnyProxy to use it in addition to the other proxies.

Of course, once Rhythmbox Applet starts supporting other music players, a name change will probably be in order….

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Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.10 Released

Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.10 is out! This is solely a bug-fix release. Changes include:

  • Don’t automatically try to start Rhythmbox if it isn’t already running.
  • Fix display problems to make sure the applet is always consistent with the status Rhythmbox reports.

Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.9 Released

Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.9 is now out, ahead of time for the upcoming Rhythmbox 0.9.2 release. And there’s some pretty long-awaited changes coming your way. Take a look:

  • Added D-Bus support! Rhythmbox Applet now works with Rhythmbox 0.9.2 and later, in addition to Rhythmbox 0.8.8 and earlier.
  • Streamlined the appearance of the applet to reduce clutter.
  • The applet’s background color now changes along with the panel it’s in.
  • Added French (fr) translation, contributed by Ersplus. Thanks!

D-Bus Support Is Here

The latest Rhythmbox Applet code in the Arch repository now has D-Bus support. More to the point, Rhythmbox Applet now works with Rhythmbox CVS!

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Rhythmbox Applet and Rhythmbox CVS

If you’ve been considering upgrading your copy of Rhythmbox to the 0.9.x branch (whether version 0.9.0 or CVS), please be aware that Rhythmbox Applet only works with Rhythmbox 0.8.6 through 0.8.8.

Recent development releases of Rhythmbox have changed the Bonobo interface that prevents Rhythmbox Applet from working properly. Even if you recompile the applet against the new IDL file, the applet may only be partially functional.

However, rest assured that work is being done to correct this, namely by adding support for the new D-Bus interface offered by new versions of Rhythmbox. Once this is completed, Rhythmbox Applet should work seamlessly with both Rhythmbox 0.8.8 and Rhythmbox CVS.

If you’re brave and don’t mind fiddling with the source code, you can check out the latest Rhythmbox Applet code from the Arch repository to check on current progress, though as of this writing the D-Bus support there is only half-functional.

Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.8 Released

And just in time for the website overhaul, Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.8 is out! Changes include:

  • Fixed build failures when compiling against newer versions of GTK+.
  • Made the song information tooltip look prettier.
  • Reorganized the code that talks to Rhythmbox. See the ChangeLog for details.
  • Updated German (de) translation, contributed by Hendrik Brandt. Thanks!
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Rhythmbox Applet Website Overhaul

I just finished a (long overdue) overhaul of the Rhythmbox Applet website. No, it doesn’t look very different, but the backend changed from a bunch of HTML pages generated by applying XSLT to an XML data file to a set of PHP pages that reads in that XML data.

Why the change? Mainly for this bit of niftiness: the main page now syndicates the latest Rhythmbox Applet-related entries from my blog. No more manually cross-posting news to both places! Hooray!

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Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.7 Released

A new version of Rhythmbox Applet has been released. Changes include:

  • Fixed build problems with GNOME 2.10. Consequently, require GTK+ 2.6 or higher.
  • Fixed format string bug that caused a crash if a title, album, or artist containted a % character.
  • Avoid having the applet resize itself when the current playing time exceeds 10 minutes.
  • Fixed invalid arguments to eel_create_colorized_pixmap().
  • All of the above were contributed by Jonathan Matthew. Thanks!
  • Dynamically link against libeel instead of copying source code from it.
  • Added a brief FAQ to the source tarball.
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Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.6 Released

A new version of Rhythmbox Applet has been released. Changes include:

  • Fixed bug that could cause the current song to be rated 0 starts when opening the applet’s right-click menu.
  • Added Japanese (ja) translation, contributed by Hideki Yamane. Thanks!
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Radio Static

Remember when the preset buttons on car radios physically worked like radio buttons — one would be pushed in, and when you pressed a different one the previous one would pop back out? It’s been a long time since I was in a car with a radio like that.

The rest of this post has absolutely nothing to do with that paragraph. Except for talking about radio buttons.

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Rhythmbox Applet Released

An update to version 0.1.5 of Rhythmbox Applet has been released. Changes include:

  • Added Spanish (es) translation, contributed by Rafael Bermúdez. Thanks!
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Rhythmbox Applet 0.1.5 Released

A new version of Rhythmbox Applet has been released. Changes include:

  • Added support for viewing and setting the current song’s rating. Ratings can be manipulated from the popup menu or (optionally) from a rating control in the applet itself.
  • Added a Preferences dialog, to allow for removing the rating control from the applet.
  • Fixed internationalization (i18n) of popup menu to prevent every translation from appearing at once.
  • Various minor tweaks to make strings more HIG-compliant and make the applet look a little nicer.
  • Additional minor bug fixes; see the ChangeLog for details.

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Goofy APIs

In the next release of Rhythmbox Applet, there’s going to be support for rating songs. Two odd wrinkles I’ve encountered, both related to APIs not doing what you’d expect them to do.

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