- Programming Language: C++
- Engine: GStreamer
- Age: 1 year
- Pros: Fast; many features; customizable interface.
- Cons: Ugly interface. Limited playlist handling.
Guayadeque is a relative newcomer to the GTK audio player universe, but its development has been fast and furious. Built with WxWidgets, its stated goal is to be as fast and powerful as possible and return some measure of fine-grained control to a group of software whose recent trend has been toward abstraction.
Unfortunately, while WxWidgets is a nice toolkit, not all of its visual components look so nice; as well, not all of the developer’s design decisions seem particularly sound. The tabs in Guayadeque look terrible, for instance, and the playback controls don’t bother to use the user’s current icon theme (as most other players do) but rather a hard-coded set of the worst-looking buttons imaginable.
Guayadeque’s default layout has a lot going on: on the left is a “now playing” list, footed by a filter pane whose default inclusion is a bit much On the left is a tabbed layout with just about every feature Guayadeque has. In many ways, this reminds me of foobar2000’s recent default UI model, which allows arbitrary placement of tabbed layouts and other panes, and also allows users to save these layouts (see the last screenshot).
Guayadeque’s library view is a somewhat unimaginative pane-based browser that we’ve seen elsewhere in players like Rhythmbox. To Guayadeque’s credit, it does allow you a little more control over what filter panes are present (as opposed to simply, e.g. artist and album).
Another area where Guayadeque is strong is its tag editor, which, despite being broken into a somewhat superfluous number of tabs, offers users a lot of power over metadata, including easy album art embedding and MusicBrainz integration for those who like it. It doesn’t have more advanced tagging features as you might find in standalone tag editors or Quod Libet, but we can hardly blame it for that.
Guayadeque’s idea of a “Browser” tab is a thumbnail display of all albums, without any sort of grouping other than a textual filter. I can’t see much particular use for a display like this, but then again, I suppose Guayadeque’s mission of being customizable is the key concept here. Other tabs are self-explanatory.
As you might expect, this player has an extensive options screen, for which I have not bothered to include every part. I like that Guayadeque allows users to build their libraries out of arbitrary locations (Banshee, for instance, doesn’t allow this), and that you can specify what existing local album art to use, meaning that the player can take advantage of existing files rather than downloading it and storing it in its configuration folder as some other players do.
Ultimately, Guayadeque is the powerful player it intends to be, but it’s a bit like aTunes in that the end result doesn’t look as good as you might expect. Given how young the player is, however, I expect great things from it if the developer keeps up his pace and the player gains the same sort of community as, e.g., Banshee.