BMPx (v0.40.14)

When I wrote about BMPx two years ago, I mentioned that its then-development branch, 0.40.x, was starting to look more like a GNOME-standard audio player, eschewing custom widgets in the vein of the old BMP in favor of GTK widgets and better integration. In that respect, the program has largely held true; I tested version 0.40.14, and while it still has some funky custom widgets, it’s very much a GTK app now, visibly and spiritually.

The program technically has a cover art download feature which I could not get to work; it ignores embedded and directory-included album art, I’m supposing. This is a shame (bug? misconfiguration?), since album art is a basic feature nowadays, though coverage varies by player.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that BMPx offers not-insubstantial levels of configuration through its preferences panel. You can choose your audio sink, set up custom hotkeys, etc. One other nifty feature that I appreciated was the list of supported formats—once again, I think this simply reiterates what GStreamer is able to decode, but I think it’s a nice feature nonetheless.

Unfortunately, BMPx’s actual interface appeared somewhat substandard. You can edit tracks with a right-click, but either the metadata editor doesn’t load current tags, or simply couldn’t read them, because editor screen—besides being even more basic than Rhythmbox’s, save for MusicBrainz integration—didn’t seem to work for me for a standard FLAC file. It appears, upon further review, that BMPx only allows MusicBrainz tagging, not manual tagging

Artist information was working, however, for whatever that’s worth: I personally never use the feature, but it accessible with a click.

My album without an artist (Bruckner’s 9th symphony) was not seen at all upon library import, even as an “Unknown Artist.” This, far from merely being disappointing, is downright unacceptable in my book.

One more important function to note: BMPx, in theory, supports video playback, though its supporting functions are limited.

In Summary: BMPx shows a lot of promise, and it’s got some neat screens and features that I don’t see (at least in that form) in other players. I do think that it’s still rough around the edges, and lack some features. Until it polishes itself, it’s going to fall short of its competitors.

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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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