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View Full Version : Amarok 2.0.0 Out!



Mazza558
December 10th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Well, after 2 years of development, it's finished!

Information: http://www.kubuntu.org/news/amarok-2.0

http://www.kubuntu.org/system/files/amarok2beta3.png

Install Instructions

1. Follow the Kubuntu Repository Guide to enable Recommended Updates (backports) and add the following to your 'Third-Party Software' tab:

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu intrepid main
2. You can now update an existing Amarok 2 installation to the most recent version using the Adept Updater tool in your system tray.

If you do not have an existing Amarok 2 install, please follow the Adept How to and install the package called:


amarok-kde4

______________________________________

Using it now - it's definitely SOME impressive work. Despite what people say about its cluttered look, it all begins to make sense as you add music to the playlist. :)

chucky chuckaluck
December 10th, 2008, 08:01 PM
i'm assuming an improvement in resource usage, yes?

Giant Speck
December 10th, 2008, 08:02 PM
They took out iPod support?

RiceMonster
December 10th, 2008, 08:02 PM
sweet. Now I just have to wait for it to get in the Arch repos. Should be there pretty soon.

fjf
December 10th, 2008, 08:09 PM
I guess this is for kubunters. Is there a way for ubunters?. Synaptic sees nothing new.

EDIT: "sudo apt-get install amarok-kde4" does the trick.

Lostincyberspace
December 10th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Great and I just installed the beta yesterday, seriously!

zachtib
December 10th, 2008, 08:14 PM
They took out iPod support?

Considering it seems to be a rewrite, that's understandable... Banshee was in a similar situation with it's 1.0 release I think

EDIT: Of course, it's still kind of annoying for iPod owners

Mazza558
December 10th, 2008, 08:30 PM
Treat Amarok 2.0 as "just the beginning" - in the same way as KDE 4.0 was.

Giant Speck
December 10th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Treat Amarok 2.0 as "just the beginning" - in the same way as KDE 4.0 was.

So it will be total crap until at least two Ubuntu releases later?
Okay, then. I'll wait for Amarok 2.2. :)

extruct
December 10th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Cool :D
Thanks!
Just left to wait till in get into Arch repositories :D

dannytatom
December 10th, 2008, 08:59 PM
i'm assuming an improvement in resource usage, yes?

This is what I wanna know. ;x

chucky chuckaluck
December 10th, 2008, 09:01 PM
This is what I wanna know. ;x

i was just being a smart/dumb***.

dannytatom
December 10th, 2008, 09:03 PM
Hah, well I'm being serious. Amarok was pretty sluggish last time I used it about a year ago. And I'd rather have someone who uses it tell me if it's lightweight, rather than reading it is, as that's not always the case. :/

m_l17
December 10th, 2008, 09:13 PM
I guess this is for kubunters. Is there a way for ubunters?. Synaptic sees nothing new.

EDIT: "sudo apt-get install amarok-kde4" does the trick.

Did you add the repository of the OP? It's not coming up for me.

RiceMonster
December 10th, 2008, 09:17 PM
I'm not really expecting it to be more light weight of something. I doubt it will be. It's just that, I've tried a large amount of audio players and I always go back to Amarok. I just wish it wasn't a kde app (no, exaile is not yet a good enough replacement yet, but I'm keeping my eye on it).

lzfy
December 10th, 2008, 09:36 PM
Did any Gnome user tried it with Qgtkstyle? Curious how it looks.

Epilonsama
December 10th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Dang, no iPod support, Now i dont know if I should return to 1.4

SuperSonic4
December 10th, 2008, 09:42 PM
1.4.10 :p

Amarok 1.4 was the reason I switched from Mandriva to Kubuntu since the former wouldn't load KDE3 apps.
I'm not really a fan, it's poor in comparison to Amarok 1.4 and I don't like it at the most basic of levels

geoken
December 10th, 2008, 09:54 PM
Did any Gnome user tried it with Qgtkstyle? Curious how it looks.

I tried one of the earlier betas with QGTKStyle. There was almost no change in the appearance. It would seem as if the majority of the UI widgets it uses are completely custom built and as such are ignored by QGTKStyle.

Half-Left
December 10th, 2008, 09:56 PM
Hah, well I'm being serious. Amarok was pretty sluggish last time I used it about a year ago. And I'd rather have someone who uses it tell me if it's lightweight, rather than reading it is, as that's not always the case. :/

Amarok2 is more than just a music player, online servers are you local connection, amarok2 does more than just a music player as it integrates better than anything out there.

acelin
December 10th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Too bad Amarok is not as good as the Zune player :(

jenkinbr
December 10th, 2008, 10:24 PM
I don't know.

At the moment, I'm not liking the looks of the interface - they say it's cluttered, but I think that is an understatement. I am personally in favor of keeping Amarok 1.4 around for another few releases.


I am also a gnome guy and I find it bad enough that neither app interfaces and looks like GTK. For me to use a QT app, I want to be able to have a way to make it blend with my GTK theme, or else have an app that is useable enough to make up for the inability to match my GTK theme.

Also, the screen clutter is just too much for me.

This (1.4) :
http://amarok.kde.org/files/amarok14/shot7_thumb.png

looks a lot cleaner than this (2.0) :

http://amarok.kde.org/files/Amarok-2_0_0-Dynamic_thumb.png



Note that the above is merely my opinion, and others may actually like the 2.0 interface. I am also not trying to bash KDE/Amarok2, I am mearly stating my dissapointment.

RingoP
December 10th, 2008, 11:25 PM
So it will be total crap until at least two Ubuntu releases later?
Okay, then. I'll wait for Amarok 2.2. :)

Heh. I wouldn't say TOTAL crap, but I managed about five minutes of playing with it and getting frustrated before I un-installed and went back to 1.4. Of course, some of the problems may be down to me being on Ubuntu and not having a full KDE install of any kind, YMMV and all that...But I found it slow, and was frustrated by the lack of options to organise my library. And by the lack of MP3 player support, but it's not fair to grouch on that when they're upfront about it in the announcement. I'll definitely keep an eye out for future versions, but for now 1.4 remains the best music manager I've found for Ubuntu.

marsmissionaries
December 10th, 2008, 11:51 PM
how about a hardy backport of this? that would be nice.

Half-Left
December 11th, 2008, 12:19 AM
I don't know.

At the moment, I'm not liking the looks of the interface - they say it's cluttered, but I think that is an understatement. I am personally in favor of keeping Amarok 1.4 around for another few releases.


I am also a gnome guy and I find it bad enough that neither app interfaces and looks like GTK. For me to use a QT app, I want to be able to have a way to make it blend with my GTK theme, or else have an app that is useable enough to make up for the inability to match my GTK theme.

Also, the screen clutter is just too much for me.

This (1.4) :
http://amarok.kde.org/files/amarok14/shot7_thumb.png

looks a lot cleaner than this (2.0) :

http://amarok.kde.org/files/Amarok-2_0_0-Dynamic_thumb.png



Note that the above is merely my opinion, and others may actually like the 2.0 interface. I am also not trying to bash KDE/Amarok2, I am mearly stating my dissapointment.


Since when should the amarok2 devs think about how there app looks in GNOME?, the middle panel provides a function, you can do many things with it and you can hide the music list and items in the middle panel.

Blend in you say, well how about making a Oxygen theme for GNOME?, gnome apps look clean because they have simple functionality. Take Rhythmbox, it's good but it's just not on the scale of what Amarok2 is doing.

Funny how you take a predone screenshot and make comparisons without actually using it and taking a screenshot.

plb
December 11th, 2008, 12:27 AM
Now that 2.0 is out I suspect we should be seeing steady updates like 1.x was receiving.

VortaX
December 11th, 2008, 12:42 AM
Well, tried the thing in ubuntu 8.10 64bits (just added the kubuntu repo and installed it) and it dies when it's starting.. My friend tried RC1 on ubuntu 8.10 32bits and it worked..

haran_elessar
December 11th, 2008, 01:04 AM
Did you add the repository of the OP? It's not coming up for me.

you have to add the deb to your software sources...under third-party...then enter the sudo command in the terminal.

toupeiro
December 11th, 2008, 01:20 AM
Havent used it long enough yet to have a final opinion, but so far I like it. The iPod support, or lack thereof, is a big problem, but hopefully it comes soon. Amarok 1.4 had excellent support.

Wolki
December 11th, 2008, 01:38 AM
I played with the rc for a bit. The interface was quite nice, and I wasn't too convinced of the 1.x series. Resource usage was fantastic, lowest of any full-featured media player I tried.

I really liked being able to do things easily that are ridiculously difficult in most gnome players, such as listening to music.

It had some problems though:
- An annoying bug with the compositor required a metacity restart after atarting amarok2
- No support for album artist makes compliations, mix cds, remix collections and similar things very difficult to handle
- Keyboard shortcuts need to be improved (or at least better documented - I couldn't figure out how to do some things)
- The middle bar, which I thought would be useless, is actually very nice. I usually don't care too much about artist information or lyrics, but the shortcuts for browsing your music are great. I feel it could be much more useful though, so there's stuff to look forward to.
- music-applet doesn't support it yet
- a couple of other things I forgot

For now it's unfortunately back to rhythmbox I guess, but I'll keep a very close eye on it for the next releases.

wersdaluv
December 11th, 2008, 01:52 AM
Shiki-brave on qgtkstyle
http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/thumb/7011/screenshot01_qcW3P1.png (http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/bild/7011/screenshot01_qcW3P1.png)

SuperSonic4
December 11th, 2008, 01:53 AM
Of course, some of the problems may be down to me being on Ubuntu and not having a full KDE install of any kind, YMMV and all that...But I found it slow, and was frustrated by the lack of options to organise my library. And by the lack of MP3 player support, but it's not fair to grouch on that when they're upfront about it in the announcement. I'll definitely keep an eye out for future versions, but for now 1.4 remains the best music manager I've found for Ubuntu.

I find it the same on Kubuntu and Mandriva both using a full blown KDE4 system. As well as the ones you've mentioned I found it just wouldn't play some songs, it'd stay at 0 until I pressed next

barbedsaber
December 11th, 2008, 02:19 AM
i'm assuming an improvement in resource usage, yes?

I believe the database thing is a massive improvement in resource usage.

doorknob60
December 11th, 2008, 02:36 AM
Hope Amarok 2 was better than it was....a month ago. I still don't like the GUI (they had it right a few betas ago, not anymore), and overall from when I last used it, it just wasn't as good as Amarok 1.4....but neither was KDE 4.0 (hated it to death), but look where we are right now (KDE 4.1 owns). Oh well, I'll stick with Exaile for now, working great with my Openbox setup, although if I ever migrate back to KDE4 I'll probablyu make it my default. And when it hits Arch repos I'll give it a shot again.

brundlelinux
December 11th, 2008, 05:57 AM
I'm using Ubuntu Intrepid 32-bit. I got Amarok2 up and running, but it's VERY VERY buggy.

Also, it somewhat mangled my existing music collection. After the conversion, there seems to be no "various artists' option anymore, and a good 80% of my album covers are gone. Probably not a big deal for most people, but I've dealing with 75 gigs of music.

Be careful what you're getting into before you make the upgrade.

EDIT: There's a lot missing from 2 that was in 1.4 that I've discovered is missing. There are barely any plugin scripts (not surprising though), but there's no musicbrainz support? That's craptastic. Also, even though they've added a good idea with podcast subscriptions right from Amarok, it's still not supporting video podcast feeds. Just tossing out some info so people will know before they take the time to install it.

s1300045
December 11th, 2008, 06:48 AM
I just have a quick question, Does it have device support? Because that's the one function that I really cannot live without, and from what I have been experincing, it's very heartbreaking.

brundlelinux
December 11th, 2008, 07:41 AM
I just have a quick question, Does it have device support? Because that's the one function that I really cannot live without, and from what I have been experincing, it's very heartbreaking.

I didn't check it thoroughly because I don't use any devices with Amarok, however, there is a tab labeled 'devices' in 2. Hopefully you'll get better info from someone else. I already reverted back to 1.4, so I can't check it.

s1300045
December 11th, 2008, 08:06 AM
That's the problem! I read about it on the developer's blog way back in the summer, but I don't see that tab in any release screenshot and the installation I am using now. It does show the stuff on the player under the collection tab, but that's it. There is a little applet called "Media Device" that you can add, and it does nothing other than mounting/unmounting the device. I think I am going to bed with tears tonight. :-S

Half-Left
December 11th, 2008, 01:26 PM
I wish people would give new releases some thought first before coming to some misguided conclusion.

It took ALOT of work to get it this far, Amarok1.x didn't have so many features either when it started, nether did Banshee or rhythmbox. Why people think the next version will have same +10x more features in it's first new release using the new tech from KDE4 is beyond me.

chucky chuckaluck
December 11th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I believe the database thing is a massive improvement in resource usage.

i'm under the impression it didn't take as long to scan the library as older versions had, as well. is there a streamripper plugin yet?

TheUnabeefer
December 11th, 2008, 07:03 PM
I wish people would give new releases some thought first before coming to some misguided conclusion.

It took ALOT of work to get it this far, Amarok1.x didn't have so many features either when it started, nether did Banshee or rhythmbox. Why people think the next version will have same +10x more features in it's first new release using the new tech from KDE4 is beyond me.

I agree. I think it's coming along quite nicely, and am looking foward to where it will go from here...

...but I also can't use it for more than a day without having to revert to 1.x. I just don't find it truly usable yet. It "works" but there aren't many options of what you can do, and I will be waiting for more working things in the working application before it will work for my needs.

But all-in-all, it's shaping up quite nicely.

Artificial Intelligence
December 11th, 2008, 07:30 PM
Love it!!!

http://www.imageviper.com/displayimage/131226/0/Amarok2-pre.png (http://www.imageviper.com/displayimage/131225/0/Amarok2.png)

kernelhaxor
December 11th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Love it!!!

http://www.imageviper.com/displayimage/131226/0/Amarok2-pre.png (http://www.imageviper.com/displayimage/131225/0/Amarok2.png)

If I may ask, what style/theme and window decorator u using? Looks clean and nice ..

Artificial Intelligence
December 11th, 2008, 08:06 PM
If I may ask, what style/theme and window decorator u using? Looks clean and nice ..

http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Bukowski?content=93098

gwoodruff
December 12th, 2008, 03:24 AM
I upgraded my Ubuntu Intrepid 64 bit by changing the repository and apt-get amarok-kde4. Amarok 2.0 launches with an error that HDA NVidia ALC660VD Analog device does not work falling back to default. The old version played fine. I look at my sound settings and all work for playback except alsa analog. ALSA advanced works fine. Can I configure Amarok 2.0 to use a different playback mode? I have poked around and found nothing yet. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Gary

Metallion
December 12th, 2008, 02:28 PM
I wish people would give new releases some thought first before coming to some misguided conclusion.

It took ALOT of work to get it this far, Amarok1.x didn't have so many features either when it started, nether did Banshee or rhythmbox. Why people think the next version will have same +10x more features in it's first new release using the new tech from KDE4 is beyond me.

Well, the thing is that there is a 2 in front of the version number. Of course an app isn't full featured when it first comes out but this isn't first coming out. We've already been using Amarok for years and when they release a new version, I would expect that they ADD to it rather than take away from it. I think these reactions are everything but misguided.

I know how it is a rewrite and all but that only increases the pain for me... If they want to write a new application, why does it absolutely need to replace the one we know and love. Couldn't they just exist alongside each other and both receive updates? Couldn't they have added all the kde4 things on top of what we already have and let the user decide what to use? :( I'll also be going to bed in tears tonight.

Half-Left
December 12th, 2008, 03:03 PM
Well, the thing is that there is a 2 in front of the version number. Of course an app isn't full featured when it first comes out but this isn't first coming out. We've already been using Amarok for years and when they release a new version, I would expect that they ADD to it rather than take away from it. I think these reactions are everything but misguided.

I know how it is a rewrite and all but that only increases the pain for me... If they want to write a new application, why does it absolutely need to replace the one we know and love. Couldn't they just exist alongside each other and both receive updates? Couldn't they have added all the kde4 things on top of what we already have and let the user decide what to use? :( I'll also be going to bed in tears tonight.

Because it's not for the future, you can love it still and use 1.x but it's just not future proof and many have complained about aspects of it that are just not good enough for the up and coming things people so with their music.

Devs already said 1.x performance was slow with big music databases, it's just not good enough, yes other music players play your music but thats about it. If you want to do more it's very limiting. You must be dreaming if you think KDE3 as well could survive the next 5 years, and you'll be getting all the comments why KDE has not gone with the future like Microsoft and Apple.

Metallion
December 12th, 2008, 03:14 PM
Because it's not for the future, you can love it still and use 1.x but it's just not future proof and many have complained about aspects of it that are just not good enough for the up and coming things people so with their music.

Devs already said 1.x performance was slow with big music databases, it's just not good enough, yes other music players play your music but thats about it. If you want to do more it's very limiting. You must be dreaming if you think KDE3 as well could survive the next 5 years, and you'll be getting all the comments why KDE has not gone with the future like Microsoft and Apple.

I admit that I don't know so much about the underlying layers but could you explain what exactly it is that's making KDE3 so unable to cope with the future that they have to do a full rewrite? Gnome seems to be doing just fine with your standard incremental updates and nobody is accusing them of not going with the future. Don't be afraid to give me a bit more technical details :D

zexarious
December 12th, 2008, 07:17 PM
Hi!

I have same problem as above, amarok from neon plays music but amarok2 from kubuntu repository doesn't!!

It must be some phonon thing!!!

TEARS!!!

Half-Left
December 12th, 2008, 07:38 PM
I admit that I don't know so much about the underlying layers but could you explain what exactly it is that's making KDE3 so unable to cope with the future that they have to do a full rewrite? Gnome seems to be doing just fine with your standard incremental updates and nobody is accusing them of not going with the future. Don't be afraid to give me a bit more technical details :D

It's hardly set for the future, in fact thats just how they work just go along with the flow and hope that they dont get left behind(they have wow, nautilus has tabs, hardly future thinking).

Look at pulse audio, doesn't really solve that much, thats why they call it yet another sound system. Phonon hooks into whats already there, whether it be xine or gstreamer, OS X sound system or Windows sound system.

Martje_001
December 12th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Shiki-brave on qgtkstyle
http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/thumb/7011/screenshot01_qcW3P1.png (http://www.ubuntu-pics.de/bild/7011/screenshot01_qcW3P1.png)
Hehe, a Maroon 5 album with a Taking Back Sunday cover? Amarok 2.0 is still buggie I guess ;)

VastOne
December 14th, 2008, 01:13 AM
Most definitely wait, 2.0 is such a setback from 1.4 I had it gone and 1.4 reloaded in 12 minutes...

A very sad day for Amarok users who were looking forward to this release for 2 years...

VastOne


So it will be total crap until at least two Ubuntu releases later?
Okay, then. I'll wait for Amarok 2.2. :)

hanzomon4
December 14th, 2008, 01:31 AM
Every time something new gets released everyone cries about how it's a step back.

michaelzap
December 14th, 2008, 01:48 AM
Every time something new gets released everyone cries about how it's a step back.

Especially when it really is a giant step backwards...

I love Amarok 1.4. It's by far the best music player and library organizer that I've ever used. Everything that I like about 1.4 is destroyed or missing in version 2, so it's more than a little bit disappointing.

Half-Left
December 14th, 2008, 02:14 AM
Every time something new gets released everyone cries about how it's a step back.

Indeed like KDE4.x people will come back after they've had a good cry or rant.

pormogo
December 14th, 2008, 08:07 AM
Realistically it's not all that bad. I think it's a decent step towards reworking amarok 1.4 for the future. I'm running it under Ubunutu 8.10 (32 bit) and it feels a lot swifter then my 1.4 install did.

It's definately stripped down. Despite that fact that it's currently ugly and plain I actually like the new interface. The idea of the central widget pane is sexy. It's just not really ready for public consumption in any way. I'll never fully understand why so many FOSS developers release something like that this clearly nowhere near done. I mean this is a good BETA release but without that tag people expect it to function at least as well as the application that preceeded it.

Looks like it ate my album covers as well.

Artificial Intelligence
December 14th, 2008, 11:17 AM
Maybe that's why I like amarok 2 and KDE4. I used to using Gnome and havn't big feelings about KDE2.x.x and KDE3.x.x but in KDE4 it seems there's a goal in layout, options etc. etc., much cleaner and smoother which I find lacking in previous version of KDE. Even if it isn't fully implemented yet you have the feeling what they are aiming at, and I like that.


But I understand why some people have a bit trouble getting used to KDE4 when they are used to KDE3. People just have to realize KDE4 is like building up a new DE from the ground and it will take a little time, as it took KDE3 a little time to evolved as it is.
The same goes to Amarok 2.

blairm
December 15th, 2008, 04:54 AM
Probably in a minority, but I'm struggling to see what the problem is with the redesign of Amarok.

Installed it the other night and have to say I'm pleasantly surprised given all the negative comments I've seen in various forums.

About the only issue I struck was that it would only scan 94% of my collection for some reason.

Other than that, it feels faster than the previous version and I like the way the middle panel gives access to wiki info etc.

Think sometimes people are simply resistant to change, particularly when it's related to an app they've come to love over the years.

The developers have said this is just a start and many features from the previous version will return within a few releases.

Think they've made a very good first step and should be congratulated.

Blair

MikeTheC
December 15th, 2008, 05:19 AM
Definite improvement over 1.x...

Time will tell how much more it'll be worth it.

toupeiro
December 15th, 2008, 07:35 AM
I've had more time to play with it now, and Short of the iPod support, I am a fan of it. There are a few things I miss, but a whole lot of new things I like, and am willing to do without until the things I miss are worked in.

brundlelinux
December 15th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Realistically it's not all that bad. I think it's a decent step towards reworking amarok 1.4 for the future. I'm running it under Ubunutu 8.10 (32 bit) and it feels a lot swifter then my 1.4 install did.

It's definately stripped down. Despite that fact that it's currently ugly and plain I actually like the new interface. The idea of the central widget pane is sexy. It's just not really ready for public consumption in any way. I'll never fully understand why so many FOSS developers release something like that this clearly nowhere near done. I mean this is a good BETA release but without that tag people expect it to function at least as well as the application that preceeded it.

Looks like it ate my album covers as well.

Okay... I cannot agree more with this post. After making my original post the other evening (after a mere 15-ish minutes), I took the time to re-install Amarok2 and give it a thorough bashing. Tonight, I played with it a full 5 hours.

As I stated in my first post, I'm dealing with a (by comparison to most, I think) HUGE amount of music in my library. I'm right around 75 gigs of music files.

Before I say anything else, I do want to go on record and say that I fully understand that the development/support cycle for Linux apps in general is a bit different that the traditional Windows or Mac method. I think it's important that we all (myself included) remember that Linux apps are mostly coded by people who are not getting paid for their efforts and who have taken the time and invested the effort to do it out of a sense of community and support for the open source movement. And, as previously said, that should be applauded, and loudly. But, the caveat to that is that if you have something that's version 1, and you officially release a version 2 of that same product, the expectation is that it will do all the things version 1 did, and then some. Or at least provide new and improved features that replace the missing functions. Like I said, I understand that it's important to get the framework and basic structure out so that the masses can have at it and start building on it, but to not call this a beta or a release candidate is kinda jinky.

All that said, here was my experience with it after several hours... the good and the bad. And for the record, I'm running Ubuntu Intrepid 32 bit, so my issues may not be your issues. Also, I had Amarok 1.4 installed and did not remove it prior.

The install went quick and painless. I added the third-party source and then installed via the terminal. Worked perfectly. My first issue was that Amarok2 did NOT install an icon to my menu tree, although running the app did provide an icon in my system area when running. Easy fix though, I just edited the menu tree to point it to an Amarok PNG on my system.

The next issue was the HUGE load time for scanning my files. Like I said, I have a huge library. However, after it did populate my library the first time, once I quit and restarted, it was lightning fast. Much faster than 1.4 ever was. Apparently that was a one time deal, and I had no other gripes about that in the 5 hours that followed. I assume that this was Amarok2 building the SQL database.

I did run into issues with the album art, though. When using Amarok 1.4, I used a plugin script to embed every track with it's appropriate album art. As has been noted all over the web, Amarok2 does not yet support reading embedded album art. At first, almost my entire library was blank as far as album art. But then something odd happened (to me anyhow) and before the progress bar in the cover art manager reached 70%, it stuttered and restarted. It did this two or three more times before it finally made it to 100%. At that point, I found all my album art exactly as it had been in 1.4. I am, at this point, attributing this to the fact that I had 1.4 installed when I popped up to 2, because a LOT of my album covers are not available through Amazon and I had to manually set them.

My next gripe was that the conversion to Amarok2 totally disregarded any music tracks I had previously set up to be grouped under various artists. With a collection like mine, it's a royal pain to go through and re-set tracks as listing under various. Thankfully, the search window to search keywords in your id3 tags responds MUCH quicker in Amarok2, and it wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be at first. Again, I attribute this to the SQL database.

Having my library in place and ready to go, I actually started playing audio. By and large, the functionality of Amarok2 is still superior to anything else I've tinkered with like Songbird, Rhythmbox, etc etc. I'll go on record as saying that the tri-pane interface is a win. The fact that you can customize which widgets go in the middle and flip "pages" is awesome. Wikipedia references, lyrics, etc etc, without having to go to the sidebar is awesome. Also, I found that when you have the collection tab open, you can drag entire groups of audio tracks to the center pane and options will appear for various things, although this responded very sluggishly for me.

I can honestly say that I will continue to use Amarok2 as my main player and not revert back to 1.4 this time. The things that I miss that aren't implemented yet will come soon enough. Things like scripts. Nobody has really had time to write them yet, so, it's expected that they are minimal at this point. I also miss the track analysis and automatic tagging that Musicbrainz provided. I actually used that feature quite often. And, of course, skins and/or color changing options. I plain hate the Itunes-esque "chrome" look.

All-in-all.... this release has opened up a LOT of potential doors for this player. I'm pretty discriminating about what player I use, and I'm sticking with it. That says something. No, it's not perfect, and it's got a long way to go, but my money says that within 3 months, this will encompass everything that 1.4 had to offer and so much more. It's only got a long way to go because it has so much potential. And since they've ported it to Windows, I really do see this becoming THE jukebox for windows and Linux users alike. Mac.... well, you know how fanboys are... they love their Itunes.

And, before I forget... the integration of an audio podcatcher natively into Amarok was the BEST thing the team could have done. If they made Amarok into a full media center and added native video functionality, it would be an unstoppable powerhouse.

Trail
December 15th, 2008, 10:44 AM
I have similar mixed feelings for Amarok2 as brundlelinux.

In general I like the tri-panel layout thingy. It is NOT as cluttered as shown in some of the screenshots circulating (which show the dunamic/biased playlists actually, which is epic win as they work pretty nice (and which also make me glad I bothered to tag correctly my collection a few months before)), and the widgets in the middle are quite useful and cool (and I imagine more plasmoids will be written soon). In fact, amarok2 looks cooler than 1.4 for me due to oxygen. And online-service support is even better.

There are however things that I don't like/miss. First and more important, is that it does not have the excelsheet (:D) in the right panel. While ugly and space-consuming, it was very good for organising music. I like the new playlist format, especially with the album-covers embedded, but when importing stuff in my local collection (which by the way can be accessed from the left panel now) it was much easier to overview and mass-edit stuff like year, genre, etc. It's not hard to do now either, but the old way gave an overview so I liked it better. And this probably will remain like this, from what I hear from the developers.

The rest of the stuff are pretty minor and just slightly annoying, but will be fixed I would guess. Well I don't like the play/pause/etc buttons on top, but what I miss is a shuffle/random more easily accessible. I don't use it often, but I liked it like amarok1. OSD is not yet configurable as 1.4, some global keyboard shortcuts strangely dont work for me (though not sure it's amarok's fault). Huh, actually I don't seem to have many complaints :D

I guess most people are irritated by the progressing from 1.4 to 2.0 because they have no real reason to drop 1.4 since it's deadly awesome. Which is perfectly acceptable, of course. However, amarok2 is very comparable to 1.4, and overall provides the same experience with some stuff plus and a few stuff minus. (Not loading kde3 libraries on my kde4 desktop is also a plus). I think people that dismiss it after looking at it for 10 minutes should reconsider after a few revisions, it's definately worthy.

And by the way, that comparison is between amarok1.4 and amarok2. Either of them are still miles above all other forms of competition :)

VastOne
January 17th, 2009, 10:47 AM
I've had more time to play with it now, and Short of the iPod support, I am a fan of it. There are a few things I miss, but a whole lot of new things I like, and am willing to do without until the things I miss are worked in.

Same here for me...

Forced to use it again because 1.4 began to flake out on me, I am now getting more and more used to it...

The update at the beginning of this year made it a lot more stable as well...

Looking forward to more of the same...

brundlelinux
January 17th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I'm actually quite impressed with it as well. Everybody whines about the tri-panel interface, but I wonder how many people realize that that left panel closes. lol

I must admit though, I'm sticking with 1.4 until Amarok2 has some sort of plan and structure for "various artists." It may seem like a petty thing, but for people like me who have over 50 compilations and/or movie soundtracks in their library, it's a make-or-break kind of functionality.

Please, somebody post when that gets implemented. Or, in case I'm a complete tool and missed some sort of sub-menu switch in Amarok2 that turns that on, let me know. ;-)