Along with Banshee, Muine represents the current C# (Mono) offering for audio players in GNOME. Muine is substantially different from Banshee, however, in that Muine attempts to be a very simple, single-column player. A bit like Mesk, but more mature, and with library support tacked on.
Muine can import songs into its SQLite (surprise!) library at first run. There’s no way to view the library as a pane in the main window, but launching the library will give you a simple cell-based view. Muine looks first in the imported folder for album art; failing that, it automatically downloads it from Amazon.
Muine uses gstreamer for its playback engine.
This is another one of those players that fills a niche market—perhaps among C# buffs, or minimal player enthusiasts. I can see the appeal of the stripped-down, single-column look, though I think the library support is clunky at best, and it’s severely lacking in other features that I look for in a music player.
It has only a few plugins and options, allowing for Audioscrobbler support and limited usage tracking. As I said with Mesk, this will only be a good player for you if you have limited demands for an audio player. Don’t expect this to have all the nifty jukebox features that more mature programs have.
Quod Libet is important not just because it’s a good player, but because it’s the umbrella project for the aforementioned Mutagen, a Python module for tagging used by most of the Python-based GNOME players.
The program itself, Quod Libet, is a somewhat unfortunately-named player based on Python, gstreamer, and SQLite (see for yourself in the Abou screen). It’s been around for several years, progressing at a steady, though not lightning-fast, pace.
It supports typical view preferences, and a somewhat customizable library system, much the same as its peers.
One notable thing about Quod Libet is that it has the most plugins out of any of the players I found: the plugin system is essentially just a layer for simple Python scripts to do Function X. As you can see in the screenshot (though there are many more that aren’t visible), there are plugins for album art, tag conversion, format conversion, program integration, and different export options for playlists and album lists.
Quod Libet does have a number of different views: the “Paned” view looks exactly like Rhythmbox, except it’s not a part of the Now Playing window, but rather a selection screen for tracks to queue up.
In terms of media management, Quod Libet shines. It’s got a pretty great album art downloader, offering a cell-based view of one’s library, and then a popup window showing different album versions and corresponding album art to choose from. The source of the art can be customized, as well, to either search online or look inside the album’s directory for a given filename.
Metadata editing is excellent as well, which is no surprise given what we know about Mutagen. Quod Libet’s built-in editor (as opposed to QL’s sister program, the standalone tagger Ex Falso) reminds me the most of Amarok: simultaneous editing of multiple files, track numbering, and the option to tag based on pathname or filename.
The default player window offers a pane for the current playlist and a screen for queued songs. I don’t find this setup particularly intuitive, but it is easily enough changed: the queue can be minimized and the library brought in as a side pane, making for a more familiar setup. My one complaint is that the metadata display for the library pane isn’t consistent: when order by artist, for instance, the album is still the leading, bolded item in the album’s data cell. Perhaps I’m being overly picky.
One of QL’s touted features is that it allows for playlists made from regular expressions. If you don’t know what that is, chances are you won’t care about it. I don’t. But for the hardcore media manager, that might be a major selling point.