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I need to choose a music player to use under linux after having fallen out with Banshee*. What would you recommend based on these requirements:

  1. Ability to import/export ratings
  2. Automatically picks up new files/folders added to library
  3. Has an active plugins ecosystem
  4. Smart playlists

Preferable:

  1. Controllable through Gnome-Do
  2. Ability to function as an MPD server (or stream music in any format) instead of piping music to speakers ?

* Banshee couldn't pick up new files & folders added to my library without rescanning the music library. When I did a rescan, it silently recreated the library minus the rating info I'd painstakingly built up over months.

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3 Answers

I think amarok is on of the best players for linux and my personal favourite.

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I'm afraid it does not fulfil your requirements very well.

Ability to import/export ratings

Partly, there are varius scripts to import from iTunes, haven't tried it however.

Automatically picks up new files/folders added to library

Nope, you'll have to rescan.

Has an active plugins ecosystem

Nope

Smart playlists

Yes

I'm new to Gnome-Do, don't know if it is possible to control amarok.

Besides that I have iTunes running in Wine. I don't use it very much, because I'm very satisfied with amarok, but technically it works.

enter image description here

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down voting because it doesn't fulfill the requirements of the question, which leaves me wondering, what's the point? –  hasenj Aug 5 '09 at 13:16
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The point is the share the knowledge of what you can expect from one of the most popular players for linux in respect to the requirements of the original poster. A negative answer can be useful anyway. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Aug 5 '09 at 13:26
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@Ludwig: which iTunes version are you running under wine? iphone support? –  codeLes Aug 5 '09 at 13:31
    
@codeLes: iTunes 7.1.1 and if I remember correctly I had to copy some original windows DLLs into Wine. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Aug 5 '09 at 13:47
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I've been impressed with Amarok, but I hate its library dependencies. Every time I've tried to install it, I end up getting the majority of the KDE installation. –  bedwyr Aug 5 '09 at 14:38
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One of the new music players that shows a lot of promise is Songbird. I think it can do most of your feature requests.

Ability to import/export ratings

Yes. Songbird's iTunes integration is top notch.

Automatically picks up new files/folders added to library

Yes. Although right now it can only monitor one folder at a time.

Has an active plug-ins ecosystem

Yes. Highly Active. Songbird plug-ins are just like Mozilla plug-ins.

Smart playlists

Yes.

Preferable:
Controllable through Gnome-Do

Although not a feature right now, there are plug-ins coming that will make this possible. At the moment there are Command-line plugins for songbird that allow you do control it via the shell. It wouldn't be hard to make a Gnome-Do plug-in that works much the same way as the banshee Do plug-in.

Ability to function as an MPD server (or stream music in any format) instead of piping music to speakers ?

I do believe there is a plug-in for songbird that does this.

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+1 I just started working with Songbird, and I'm quite impressed –  bedwyr Aug 5 '09 at 14:35
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update to current situation: songbird for linux is dead. getnightingale.com is the successor (fork) –  akira Feb 4 '11 at 14:09
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Amarok version 1.4.10 works very well. (Forget 2.x, they screwed the pooch with that one.)

Ability to import/export ratings

It stores all its library information in a database (either SQLite, MySQL or PostgreSQL) so if you can grok the database structure, you can slice the information any way you want.

Automatically picks up new files/folders added to library

Yes.

Has an active plugins ecosystem

Appears to. Just tried the "Get new scripts" option and the latest updated script was 20th July. (I haven't needed many plugins for it.) Also, looks like plenty of scripts here

Smart playlists

Yes

Controllable through Gnome-Do

Well... not sure what you mean by controllable. I think you can launch just about anything via Do if I'm not mistaken. It is a KDE3 application though, and you can control it via dcop (I have a script that pauses Amarok automatically when the phone rings, for instance.)

Ability to function as an MPD server (or stream
music in any format) instead of piping music to speakers ?

Looks like there are a couple of possibilities - but I doubt you'll get good MPD compatibility unless the client was specifically written for MPD to begin with.

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Does it automatically pick up new songs without a rescan? That never worked for me. Scripts are not really plugins in that they can't manipulate the audio, as fas I know. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Aug 5 '09 at 13:29
    
+1 for trying to set the record staight. –  Ludwig Weinzierl Aug 5 '09 at 13:31
    
@Ludwig Whenever I add new files to the library folder, it says "Updating Collection" and picks up the new files without losing the information it has from existing files. For me it is quick and just works. –  Evan Aug 5 '09 at 16:26
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