- Programming Language: Python
- Engine: GStreamer
- Age: 3 years
- Pros: Nice user interface; extensive plugin system
- Cons: Slowdown on large libraries; sporadic development
When Exaile first hit the scene, the players available for GNOME were a less numerous and certainly less impressive than they are now. Amarok 1.4 was king of the heap in performance and features, and so the stated purpose of Exaile was to offer the same UI, features, and performance as Amarok using GTK widgets.
While Exaile looked fantastic right off the bat, its early versions suffered from some performance issues. Version 0.3 is a major rewrite, which lost a number of features (I reviewed its development version in my last shootout); version 0.3.2 finally restores its tag editor, powered by Mutagen (from the Quod Libet project), to its former glory.
Simply getting up to speed with Exaile took a while: while its library import is average in its speed, it crashed several times and I had to start from scratch. Once it finally populated, it has a nice tree-based view like Amarok 1.4—and more importantly, like xnoise and to a lesser extent aTunes. At some point, Exaile finally fixed its character-handling bug, meaning that special characters aren’t kicked to the end of the list.
Exaile comes with a lot of functionality out of the box, but its plugin library is larger than it used to be, and filled with plugins that are perhaps slightly more relevant than the specialized library of Quod Libet.