Guayadeque (0.2.6-svn1186)

  • 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.

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§5650 · August 29, 2010 · Tags: , , , , ·

7 Comments to “GNOME Audio Player Shootout v3.0”

  1. Fips says:

    Feel free to delete this rather unconnected comment, but the one plugin which very much keeps me by foobar2000 is the CUE Playlist Filter. Took me ages to discover, but it keeps a tab on all those folders containing files referenced by .cue files and prevents them being loaded into playlists twice.

  2. anonymous says:

    As a peer music-lover I would suggest you actually give yourself more time to use Guayadeque (now on version 0.8 and about to produce mp3 player support). I can easily agree on icons and that but in my view Guayadeque is in fact the best music player/organizer for Linux. I really think this is not an overstatement. For the last few years I’ve been looking for and trying all the others and have never been satisfied (and very often deeply dissatisfied) with any of them. Once you find YOUR layout (and believe me it is there for you to find) and have your files properly tagged; once you’ve created your dynamic playlists and filters you’ll be hooked into how fast/responsive/flexible/powerful this software is. I won’ t give all the long list of features you have not mentioned (other than support for composer tag) and I’m really assuming that you just don’t gave yourself enough time to discover this program. I’ve never actually used myself either itunes or foobar200 but in the ubuntu thread where most of the support is happening there are plenty of former foobar users which are thrilled to finally have found a worthy substitution.
    Best regards

    • Ben says:

      I believe you that Guayadeque is powerful, and I’m happy that it’s continuing to receive developer love (do you mean v0.2.8?). I will disagree with your implication that my files are somehow improperly tagged, though. I should not have to cater my tagging scheme to a particular program; rather, the program should be intelligent enough to handle my tagging scheme, provided it’s not too esoteric.

      I’ll definitely be checking up on the program periodically—I think it’s one of the most promising players out there.

      • anonymous says:

        I didn’t mean that you don’t have your files properly tagged (how could I know!). I apologize if I seemed to suggest that. I was just stating the obvious: to use effectively this programs (or any other similar) the music files have to be properly tagged.

        But I was also pointing to a really good feature here (not so obvious): Guayadeque supports labels. Labels can be apply at three different levels: artist, album and track and you can apply as many labels as you want (a label can be any thing you want). The implications for sorting/organizing your library, creating filters/playlists etc. are obvious.

        So Guayadeque has a tabbed view (which I find excellent): library, browser, file manager, playlists, lyrics, last.fm, jamendo, magnatud, podcast, radios, but these are services it provides; if you don’t use them don’t need to have them there.

        Just out of curiosity: what player/manager do you actually use?

        My main point remain though, I had the feeling that you

      • Ben says:

        I think perhaps I misread your original tagging comment as speaking to my common complaint about the composer tag being a second class citizen, which, now that I reread it, it appears you weren’t.

        As to my current software layout, I use foobar2000 on Windows and (currently) Clementine on Linux.

      • me says:

        I have also tried many players until I found Guayadeque. Of course it’s not perfect, but in my opinion it’s the best linux player.
        And I agree that when you fist open it, it looks awful, but with a bit of simple customization it improves a lot.

        But for me the best thing is how responsive it’s developer is. I’ve seen some bug fixed and feature request implemented in a matter of hours.

        There is also a new official site http://guayadeque.org/ with forums and soon there will be a wiki and a manual.

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