It’s been close to two years since I wrote GNOME Audio Player Shootout, a visual and textual comparison of some the best available audio players for the GNOME desktop.
As is usually the case in the world of free software, a lot has happened since then (and yet, in a strange way, things have stayed exactly the same). I decided to revisit some of those players and see how they’ve progressed. Some of them listed last time haven’t seen any appreciable development, and have been left off.
I realize that I am totally ignoring the daemon-based players (read: Music Player Daemon, XMMS2); this is by design, since those players open up a whole new can of worms. Suffice it to say that if you’ve decided on and XMMS2 or MPD-based player and successfully configured it, you probably don’t need any advice on choosing software.
The following programs will be covered in this review (development versions):
- BMPx (0.40.14)
- Rhythmbox (0.11.6)
- Exaile (2.99.1-svn)
- Banshee (1.4.1)
- Quod Libet (2.0)
- Decibel (1.00)
- Songbird (1.0)
- Listen (0.6~svn1044)
All of the testing was done on a fresh install (and update) of Ubuntu 8.10 in VirtualBox, using a small representative sample of my music collection (some modern, some classical, in Vorbis, MP3, and FLAC).