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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).

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§2709 · December 19, 2008 · Tags: , , , , , , , ·

4 Comments to “GNOME Audio Player Shootout Revisited”

  1. Fips says:

    Fantastic reviews. Can’t say I have much experience of any of these players, largely sticking to Amarok and foobar2000, but I’m tempted to take some for a test drive after reading this.

    Incidentally, the layout is really nicely done, the multi-page breakup works particularly well (though there’s a slippery &m[d]ash; on the 9th page).

  2. Andrew says:

    I know I’m late on commenting (came from google search), but I’d like to add that while with other players adding/saving your favorite internet radio stations is a pain, in Exaile you can just open the downloaded *.pls file and save the streams into a playlist. Does any other player work well (multiple streams per station, pls file importing) with internet radio?

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