LINUX MUSIC PLAYERS: RECOMMENDATIONS

A music player should serve to enhance the pleasure of how you perceive, collect, and connect with your music collection. When I used to use Macintosh computers, I exclusively used iTunes as it came directly installed with my iBook. I appreciated the ease of use, while not caring at all about the design of the interface. It was easy to use and neatly organized. That made me happy. Several years later (and several broken Macintosh computers later), I sensed a lack in the iTunes environment; a sterility and heartlessness. Looking for alternatives, I came across Songbird, which I still use on one Windows computer. The add-on features of Songbird were appealing to me. Giddy was the day when I found I could listen to music, write blog posts and watch Youtube videos all at the same time from within Songbird. However, that thrill faded as I began to yearn for a music player that was simply a music player and nothing more. I wanted simplicity. I wanted an application that would help pull my attention to the music, provide a beautiful and clean environment for listening and be neatly organized.

Jumping forward to 2007, I began running Ubuntu Linux and was impressed with the wide variety of music players available, all open-source and all varied in design and functionality. The Ubuntu Linux music players that I have used include the following:

1. Amarok
2. Audacious
3. Banshee
4. BMPX
5. Banshee
6. Exaile
7. Juk
8. Kaffeine
9. Rhythmbox

Of the above-listed nine players, and writing this now in 2008, only two have thoroughly impressed me and gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that has a tendency to get lost in listening to a music “file.” The first one, which I appreciate is “Audacious.” Audacious, with its simple light interface provides all I need to allow the music to come forth from the player, to lose the player. It doesn’t bog me down and it creates a nice atmosphere from which to simply listen. The second, apparently made by the same folks (correct me if I’m wrong) is BMPX. With BMPX, it seems that strict attention was paid to both the form and function of the player; the player comes alive. The typeface that the designers chose is sleek and clear, while the design is easy to manage and appealing. Everything seems to fit just right. Also, it makes adding your LastFM account a breeze and allows an easily accessible internet radio browsing function. Through applications like Audacious and BMPX, one is able to regain the sense of magic that comes with listening to music. Granted, listening to music files is definitely not the same experience as listening to a nice piece of vinyl or a cassette tape, but these programs provide a nice alternative for those of us who have amassed a large collection of music files and seek out a worth player, a player that will satisfy us.

Of course, my tastes and your tastes differ. I hope you find the best music player for your listening pleasure. Thank you for reading.

Audacious
BMPX

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3 thoughts on “LINUX MUSIC PLAYERS: RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Justin

    I’ve actually never tried either one of those. Will have to check them out. I’ve used AmaroK and it was nice but bloated. That tends to be a problem with music players these days; super stripped-down or overly-ambitious…

  2. jgrefe Post author

    Thank you, Justin. “Bloated” is a good word for Amarok. I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t feeling right for me. Please keep in touch and let me know if you find any other good players.

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