Clementine 0.4: Amarok 1.4 reborn!

I’ve lamented since last year that KDE’s radical change in direction left me — and a lot of others — going on an app-hunt. I’m really not a fan of the new Amarok, and I’ve been as yet unsuccessful in finding something to replace my beloved Amarok 1.4, even resorting to procedures like this one to install the old version.

Such procedures make a good stopgap for the time being, but sooner or later, that old thing will simply not work anymore. Once a program falls out of development, the clock is ticking on it remaining useful, and at that point, you have to face reality and find something with which to replace it.

Fortunately, I’m not the only Amarok 1.4 lover out there. It’s been forked, and the new version is called Clementine.

Installation

I’m running Peppermint OS for the purposes of this evaluation, but this should work on any Ubuntu or Ubuntu 10.04 derived system. Plus, as you can see on the Clementine downloads page, Fedora, Mac OSX and even Windows are represented.

Source code is also available, for those who like to roll their own.

As a small disclaimer, I’ve only tried the 32-bit Ubuntu 10.04 .deb installer, so your mileage may vary on any of the others.

In that particular case, I downloaded the file, double clicked on it, and let it install. That was it. I didn’t have to do anything special, just point and click.

Configuration

Those familiar with Amarok 1.4 will find that Clementine configures about the same way as the older project. I pointed it at my music directory, let it scan for files, and it automatically organized my music library in the way to which I am accustomed. It didn’t have any trouble recognizing any of my music, which was a relief, because everything else I’ve tried lately seems to stumble over even the basics.

Clementine preferencesUnder the “Tools” menu there is a “Preferences” option, and in there you’ll find lots of options for how the player behaves, where to look for music files, how to manage the on screen display functionality, and how to talk to Last.fm if you have an account there.

Again, if you’re familiar with Amarok 1.4, you’ll find this pretty familiar, if a bit spartan by comparison. They’ve got the “main stuff” covered here, and it’s pretty straightforward.

Thoughts

I noticed immediately that Clementine, while it is clearly descended from Amarok 1.4, is still a “work in progress” as far as features go. That said, I’m not disappointed. When I said before that “they’ve got the main stuff covered”, I meant it. It handles playlist creation, the music library, and playing music quite well. Even the cover manager works… arguably better than the one in Amarok 1.4 ever did, for me anyway.

Tag editing works the same way it did in Amarok 1.4, and you can change how your library is grouped (by artist and album, by genre, by artist alone, et al).

Clementine in action

I noticed that it’s pretty resource friendly; even shuffling a 4,581 item playlist, Clementine only uses around 80-90 MB of system memory, and it didn’t hit my CPU very hard at all while playing.

Clementine is arranged the way I like music players, with most of the focus being on the queue and with a sane method of organizing the library. The only other player that is laid out in this way that I’ve seen is Exaile, and I’ve had a number of issues with Exaile that prevent me from using it full time — problems with it recognizing metadata consistently, stability problems, and excessive resource usage, to name a few.

In short, if you liked how Amarok 1.4 works, Clementine is a great way to recapture that, at least as a start. It’s very stable so far for me — not one crash in over 12 pretty solid hours of use — and user friendly.

While some features from Amarok 1.4 haven’t been implemented yet (theming, the “context” tab, etc.) you have to keep in mind that Clementine is only at version 0.4 and is still under heavy development.

Still, I found myself impressed that there was a “stable” release of it that was this functional and usable. It’s become my primary music player, and being as picky as I am about such things, that says a lot. I find it more stable and far more usable in its “under development” state than any other music player I’ve tried, and I’ve tried most of the main ones.

So despite its rather spartan condition at the moment, Clementine is showing a lot of promise. This is definitely the real deal, and I’m very glad that the Clementine team picked up the torch and ran with it. They’ve filled a much-needed gap in the music player arena in my opinion, and I’m really excited to see them continue development on this.

A few things I’d like to see implemented include some of the more helpful items that were in Amarok 1.4 such as being able to add a “play count” column in the queue display list, and some of the playlist builder functions (“random 50″ and “random 100″ were two that I used a lot in Amarok 1.4).

That said, I’m extremely happy with what it can do as it currently stands, and those wants are pretty minor compared to what they’ve already done with it. I’m really kind of amazed that there isn’t much buzz surrounding this great application. So here’s to hoping that this quiet little project gets the attention it deserves!

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43 thoughts on “Clementine 0.4: Amarok 1.4 reborn!

  1. YOUHHOOO!
    I’m so glad !
    Amarok 2.0 is total CRAP ! and exaile is OKAISH.

    I hope clementine will be a nice music player, I will give it a try on the weekend.

    Thanks for the post.

    • Yeah, I’m really excited to see this project develop as time goes on. The fact that they have a stable, working product already is truly wonderful!

  2. Um. Right.

    I guess I will just assume you’re mixing Amarok up with Banshee or Rhythmbox. No other explanation for it.

    • *sigh*

      The purpose of this discussion wasn’t to discuss the problems with newer versions of Amarok. It was to discuss the new music player, Clementine

      I guess I will just assume you’re mixing Amarok up with Banshee or Rhythmbox. No other explanation for it.


      No. I’ve tried Amarok 2.

      I don’t like the layout.

      I don’t like the entire UI.

      I don’t like that the playlist is too small and in the wrong place.

      I don’t like the volume control.

      I don’t like that it requires KDE4 to run.

      I don’t like the enormous waste of space that is the center panel.

      I don’t like the ugly look of the buttons.

      I don’t like that I can’t figure out how to do a lot of the things I do in Amarok 1.4.

      If it were more like Amarok 1, I’d probably be fine with it.

      • Sure, I understand the purpose was to discuss Clementine, but when you said you weren’t a fan of the new Amarok, I was interested in knowing why.

        The reasons you give are at least mostly valid — aesthetic differences, which are personal for everyone — as opposed to calling it an iTunes clone, which would be very hard to justify. (I say mostly because it doesn’t require you running KDE4 to run. And if you take issue with it depending on KDE libraries, then it seems odd that this would not be an issue for you with Amarok 1.4, which also depended on KDE libraries.)

          • I don’t know why you’re opposed to KDE4. But it doesn’t really matter; they’re just libraries. I don’t run GNOME, but I don’t get upset when something depends on GTK+. If it’s a useful application, then it’s a useful application.

        • FWIW — again, not to go into too much detail, since as you said this post is about Clementine — you can adjust Amarok 2′s entire layout, as well as its playlist layout, however you want.

          If you go to the View menu you can unselect the Context View if you don’t want it. You can also unselect Lock Layout and relayout the entire thing — have parts of it top-to-bottom, change the order…you can even drag the components on each other to turn them into tabs, so that your entire view could be the playlist, except for when you want to switch to the Media Sources pane to add music to it.

          If you go to the Playlist menu, you can select one of four pre-defined playlist layouts, or customize it to your own layout, including a single line per track with whatever data shown that you want.

          Also under View, you may want to check out the Slim toolbar — it has a different volume slider.

          This is all based on Amarok 2.3.1; not sure which version(s) you’ve tried.

          • Amarok 2.2 was the last one I tried. One could change a lot of that there too, but after about an hour of futzing around with it I just found myself getting too frustrated with it.

            I shouldn’t have to go to those lengths just to get around the goofy design philosophy that went into Amarok 2 (much like the rest of KDE4 for that matter).

            It’s like they took a look at Amarok 1.4 and said “Ok, let’s see… how can we break everything about this?”.

            Ugh.

            Clementine isn’t even close to finished yet, and it’s already more usable out of the box than Amarok 2.

            Unless they made some rather massive, sweeping usability changes from 2.2 to 2.3.1, which I doubt.

  3. I assume you mean “from 2.2 to 2.3.1″, since you said 2.2 was the last one you tried.

    I don’t remember all the changes between 2.2 and 2.3, but there are plenty. The Amarok team has always been very responsive to user feedback, and that has driven much of our development in the Amarok 2 series just as it did with Amarok 1.

    Regardless of you considering the design philosophy of Amarok 2 to be goofy, the entire point of Amarok was always to provide contextual information to your music — Rediscover Your Music. Amarok 2′s goal was to take that further, by allowing for a context space that didn’t have to compete with your collection browsing, so you can still e.g. see lyrics to the song that’s playing while you browse your collection for the next track.

    These days Amarok 2 is pretty much feature-complete w.r.t. 1.4 features, and has huge numbers of features never in Amarok 1. It’s always interesting to me how if you look at Amarok 1.1 vs. 1.4 you see *huge* differences, and people tried out each release and gave feedback which made things even better. With Amarok 2 some people seem to think that it’s static, and never changing, and never improving — so they, say, try Amarok 2.1, don’t like how it works or miss some feature that hadn’t been ported yet, and don’t bother trying 2.3, regardless of the fact that in the same series of point releases in the Amarok 1 days they would have seen massive changes. So instead of providing useful feedback and helping Amarok grow and improve, which it still continues to do quite rapidly, they simply turn venemous about it, often complaining about things that have long been fixed or capabilities that have long since been added.

    Fortunately, not everyone is like that, and we still have a great user base that provides feedback that we try to address. For instance, the ability to change layouts and make the playlist hugely customizable was the direct result of feedback from Amarok 2 users that wanted to be able to make it behave similarly to Amarok 1.4, which it can do to a very large extent.


    • So instead of providing useful feedback and helping Amarok grow and improve, which it still continues to do quite rapidly, they simply turn venemous about it, often complaining about things that have long been fixed or capabilities that have long since been added.

      I’ve seen the KDE forums and I’ve seen enough of the attacks on users who try to provide feedback. It was enough to tell me that if a person isn’t gushing with love over it, a person is therefore just “resistant to change” or “doesn’t get it”.

      Most of the things I label as bugs or design flaws are pointed out time and time again as intentional in KDE4 and related applications.

      The philosophy itself I find repugnant. That’s why I left KDE completely after trying KDE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3.

      While I’m sure Amarok 2.3.1 might be different and maybe even flexible enough to emulate Amarok 1.4, I’ve found that every time I’ve tried anything KDE related in the last 2 years I get frustrated, angry, and venomous.

      So no, I haven’t been forthcoming with feedback. I never even know where to begin. There are so many things wrong with the directions KDE4 and Amarok devs have gone, I find myself overwhelmed any time I try to enumerate them.

      And again, this discussion is about Clementine, not Amarok 2.3.1. Amarok 2.3.1 might be awesome, that’s great. For people that don’t mind the layout, and the difficult UI, and all the other stuff I simply can’t stand, that’s fine by me. They can use it.

      But as Jules said in Pulp Fiction, “Sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie, but I wouldn’t know, because I wouldn’t eat the filthy m**********r.”

      Fortunately, not everyone is like that, and we still have a great user base that provides feedback that we try to address.

      Ah. Gotcha. “We”. Meaning that you’re one of the Amarok developers that ruined my favorite music player.

      Well, that explains why you’re trolling my blog post.

  4. Yes. Trolling. Asking for details as to a comment you made in your blog post, and then trying to provide helpful information based on your feedback. Right.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. From your comment, you clearly are determined to put down KDE4 and anything related to it, and attempts to be helpful are unwanted.

    • Considering that I don’t use KDE4, I’m not sure that “attempts to be helpful” are even relevant.

      As an FYI to any other KDE developers or fans that might be reading: If you have something useful to contribute to any discussion on The Linux Critic, your comments are very welcome.

      If all you are going to do is pick fights about why EVERYBODY can’t love every little thing about KDE4 and its apps, your comments are not welcome.

      This has happened again and again, and I’m not going to tolerate it any further. Play nice, or play somewhere else.

      Thanks.

  5. Pingback: Clementine 0.4: Amarok 1.4 reborn! « Srbija Ubuntu Blog
  6. Amarok has much more developers, it has a much brighter future, it has some problems here and there, like a slow interface, but it will become better. Any way, Clementine is also nice.


    • Amarok has much more developers, it has a much brighter future, it has some problems here and there, like a slow interface, but it will become better.

      Amarok 1.4 has no developers, and no future, and no chance of getting better. It’s a dead application, which is why Clementine is such a good thing for Amarok 1.4 users.

      • I was talking about Amarok, of course version 2. Sure version 1.4 is dead, Clementine is the only hope for Amarok 1.4 users. Clementine has 3 developers (see code.google.com); Amarok has a few more pair of developers (see amarok on gitorious.org).

        As you said, Exaile has many bugs (and is slow cause of python), Quod Libet is also interesting. Do you know the new players PlaybaK and Minitunes?

        A problem that I see is that it uses the SQlite db, but sure in the future the devs can change it to use MySQL like Amarok 2. ipod and lyrics support is coming in version 0.5.

        Amarok 2 many times uses too much memory after some time, also I don’t know why the changed the interface in a way it is not easy at all to search for music with a single click (or a person that doesn’t know Amarok), the tabs in the Media Source where very useful. The interface is piled, the don’t use the space efficient, with the three rows, and the slow interface that I hate. (when starting and unminimizing).

        regards

        • A problem that I see is that it uses the SQlite db, but sure in the future the devs can change it to use MySQL like Amarok 2.

          Why? sqlite works fine, its an excellent single user sql DB. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

          ipod and lyrics support is coming in version 0.5.

          I am looking fwd to Lyrics support.

  7. And I see my KDE troll has gone off to sulk.

    Just as a heads-up, trying to derail a discussion about the Clementine music player and turning it into all about KDE4 is not “trying to be helpful”, and it is not “relevant”. It’s rude, insulting, and I consider it to be trolling.

    While I don’t typically behave like a topic nazi here with respect to keeping every single comment on-topic, when it comes to KDE4 trolls, I have very little patience, because those comments always end up going the same places, and it’s never constructive, always just fight-picking.

    In this case, I’ll freely admit at least some culpability, because I responded to the initial question about Amarok, despite my better judgement.

    Here’s a hint: not everybody loves KDE4. Not everybody wants to use it. Some of us prefer not to use KDE4, and some of us (gasp!) even prefer the KDE3 versions of those apps!

    Baffling, I know. But it’s true. That’s why I made this post yesterday about Clementine. There are lots of other people out there that used to love Amarok 1, and don’t want Amarok 2.

    For those people, seeing a new, stable, usable fork of Amarok 1.4 is a really great and exciting thing, and I thought that others should know about it. It’s very positive news when for a lot of us, the past few years have been spent trying in vain to find a replacement for that now dead application.

    And in my experience, when KDE4 trolls come around, trying to change the discussion into an argument about why????????, it’s not relevant, not helpful, and is anything but useful to the topic at hand.

    The reason I’m commenting like this is because I want to clarify that. I’m drawing a line on this subject because I’m tired of this.

    To Jeff: those of us who have left the KDE world don’t want your help. You can keep it. Don’t call us. We’ll call you. So scurry off to your KDE4 lovefest and leave the rest of us be to solve the problems you created for us. You’ve done more than enough.

    • Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how he was trolling. I see a developer trying to communicate with a former user to get useful feedback and being treated with hostility for it.

      If you don’t like something, that’s fine. If you can’t explain why you don’t like it, that’s also fine. However, it isn’t his fault you can’t offer a well-reasoned explanation of why you dislike the application, so I think you crossed a line lashing out at him over your inability to express your opinions constructively.

      It looks like the discussion fell apart when constructive advice was offered to solve your various complaints. Lacking better arguments, you lashed out. You should have just left it at “I don’t like it because it’s different, and I have an irrational hatred of the number 4″, it would have been more mature.

      Here, let me give you a better example to use when saying you dislike Amarok 2. This is a problem that has plagued the app for me in all versions since the change. Frequently (several times a day), I have to restart Amarok 2 because the dynamic playlist breaks and stops updating. Haven’t been able to figure out why, but it seems to be related to the collection scanning. It’s frustrated me enough that I’ve considered changing players, though I like Amarok enough (even 2!) to still use it despite this problem.

      For the record, I’m not a developer of KDE, Amarok, or anything else. I use KDE4 and I actually like it, but I don’t care what anyone else uses or likes. My only motivation for this post is I think that, if you like or dislike something, you should either be able to provide clear explanation of why, or you should admit you cannot.


      • Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see how he was trolling.

        He was, as happens frequently, someone who tried (successfully, I might add) to derail a topic to talk about something else after being repeatedly warned that it was off-topic. While that can pretty easily fit the definition of someone needing their comments moderated, he was doing it in an inflammatory, extraneous manner. You also didn’t see some of the other garbage of his I deleted.

        My biggest mistake was in responding to him to begin with, given that his very first comment was off-topic (and I know from experience where those usually end up leading).

        If you don’t like something, that’s fine. If you can’t explain why you don’t like it, that’s also fine. However, it isn’t his fault you can’t offer a well-reasoned explanation of why you dislike the application, so I think you crossed a line lashing out at him over your inability to express your opinions constructively.


        I’m perfectly capable of explaining why I don’t like Amarok 2. If you bothered reading before you posted, you’d notice that I gave him several valid reasons why I don’t use Amarok 2, despite the fact that this article was about something else, specifically a program that Amarok 1.4 users may not be aware of that I’ve found to be a very positive direction in music player development for a change.

        And considering that The Linux Critic is my blog — not his, and not yours –, and it’s my prerogative to determine content here, including content of discussions about posts, and considering that his discussion was off-topic and inflammatory, I was in no way “out of line” in lashing out at him. As I’m sure you know, Jeff has his own blog where he went to whine, and note that I didn’t go over there and change the subject to something that he found inappropriate, or spout idiocy at his opinions. He can have his opinions, he can say what he wants.

        And he can express them somewhere else. They were inappropriate here. As I mentioned, I made a mistake in responding to him to begin with.

        It looks like the discussion fell apart when constructive advice was offered to solve your various complaints.


        The discussion “fell apart” when he tried to change the subject from Clementine 0.4 to Amarok 2 and KDE4. After repeated warnings he continued to do it, so I deleted his further attempts at doing so and I blacklisted his IP. I have made it very clear here in the past that I will not tolerate spammers and trolls, and I felt that I was pretty reasonable in the amount of leeway I gave him. Most of the time I just delete those types of comments outright, because they inevitably lead to (surprise!) more off-topic discussion like we’re having right now.

        Lacking better arguments, you lashed out.


        Ah. So, since I went out of my way to present arguments that were in response to off-topic, inflammatory trolling, and you happen to disagree with my opinion, they’re “lacking better arguments”. Gotcha.

        You should have just left it at “I don’t like it because it’s different, and I have an irrational hatred of the number 4″, it would have been more mature.


        And you were wondering why I don’t like KDE4 trolls commenting on my blog posts? Again, you apparently missed the several valid reasons I gave why I dislike Amarok 2. And you apparently missed the part where I mentioned that I’ve used KDE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3, and have dismissed it as a valid replacement for KDE 3.5.10.

        If I didn’t like things because they are “different”, I’d still be using Windows 2000.

        And on the subject of maturity, derailing a topic to insult people because you disagree with their opinions, that wins a prize too, sport. Keep it up.

        Here, let me give you a better example to use when saying you dislike Amarok 2. This is a problem that has plagued the app for me in all versions since the change. Frequently (several times a day), I have to restart Amarok 2 because the dynamic playlist breaks and stops updating. Haven’t been able to figure out why, but it seems to be related to the collection scanning. It’s frustrated me enough that I’ve considered changing players, though I like Amarok enough (even 2!) to still use it despite this problem.


        And the next time I write an article here about the problems with Amarok 2 and how they could be improved, that will be a valid and relevant thing to discuss. But considering that this particular one is about Clementine, that would be a bit out of place here, as I told Jeff several times before I banned him.

        I use KDE4 and I actually like it, but I don’t care what anyone else uses or likes.


        No, like other KDE4 fanboys I’ve encountered, you obviously can’t stand it when someone doesn’t get all starry-eyed at the desktop environment you love so much, and just have to shoot your mouth off any time someone expresses an opinion to the contrary, whether it’s appropriate for you to do so or not.

        My only motivation for this post is I think that, if you like or dislike something, you should either be able to provide clear explanation of why, or you should admit you cannot.


        And I did, above, in response to Jeff. Even though it was against my better judgement, and in violation of my own policy against feeding the trolls here as it was off-topic and inflammatory.

        What I probably should have done was delete his posts and ban him right off the bat. Had I known he was just an Amarok developer coming here to pick a fight, that’s what I would have done.

        The biggest problem is, I tend to give people far too much leeway here sometimes, and look what it gets me.

  8. Nice! Didn’t know about Clementine.

    BTW, I share your views on KDE 4 and Amarok. I hate the what they did to my beloved KDE :-(


    • Nice! Didn’t know about Clementine.


      I didn’t either until fairly recently. I figured at least a few people might benefit if I spread the word a bit!

  9. Hey guys, when you don’t like KDE 4, just keep using KDE 3.5. Or even better, help make KDE4 a better place. It’s not, that you don’t have the choice in OSS world…

    I share your views on Amarok 1.4 and 2, but I must admit, I haven’t tried it lately. Will have a look on Clementine….

  10. Pingback: Links 10/7/2010: OpenFeint Comes to Linux; Standard Business Reporting | Techrights
  11. Actually i like the new KDE 4.4.5, it works great on my system. The new Amarok 2.3.1 layout i like better as well. It needs to be a little more stable but that is coming. It needs some stability in it’s handling of databases and podcasts imo.

    Having said that, i’m glad there are options for those who do not like the changes. This shows us the strength of free software and the positive ways forking can have on the whole community.

    Those who might have been chased away from free software to proprietary solutions are now still in our community and free from proprietary tyranny. It’s win/win as far as i’m concerned.


    • Having said that, i’m glad there are options for those who do not like the changes. This shows us the strength of free software and the positive ways forking can have on the whole community.

      Yes! That’s truly one of the biggest strengths of open source, hands down, period.

      If a project dies, or is taken over by someone who runs it in a direction that no longer works for the users (even a minority of users), anyone with some know how and some ambition can take that source code and run with it and fork it into a new project that takes things where it needs to go!

      How many proprietary apps have died and gone into obscurity because nobody could do that (because they didn’t have the source code or the rights to fork it)? And how many times have proprietary apps undergone a radical UI change that suddenly made them unusable or have otherwise lost or changed functionality to the point where you have a big user base refusing to upgrade but stuck on a now dead version?

      It’s yet another good reason for the End User to embrace open source. While KDE4 and Amarok might no longer be for me, at least there’s the freedom for those of us who liked previous versions to use something that rose from their ashes!

  12. I have tried the latest release of clementine I thing its a good thing that someone decided to make a Qt4 port of amarok 1.4 for those who prefer it to amarok 2.x branch although I have to say that I was not too impressed by clementine. Amarok 2.x series is not perfect but its getting there and I feel more comfortable using it compared to clementine. Same thing with kde 4.x I switched from gnome during the 4.3 series and I have not looked back since (close to a year now) I am now on kde 4.5 RC and I am loving it everyday. The good thing about FOSS is choice everyone can float his boat his own way. :)

    • And I can definitely understand that. Clementine is a pretty heavy “work in process”; I am very impressed at what they’ve accomplished thus far (with a much smaller dev team than Amarok), so I’m pretty stoked to see where the Clementine project goes in the future. While it’s lacking a lot of the usable featureset that make Amarok 1.4 such a killer app, I’m sure that’s on the way.

      I’m just glad that the project is alive and well and already reaching a usable state.

  13. The new Amarok still has serious problems with tags, I don’t even imagine how stupid it is not to fix this issue (it’s a known bug since the begining of a development)… All players shows the correct information but Amarok 2.x.x. UI is horrible, but that’s not a problem… I’m still using 1.4.10, thank you for Clementine, I haven’t heard about it so I’ll give it a try ;)


    • I’m still using 1.4.10, thank you for Clementine, I haven’t heard about it so I’ll give it a try ;)

      Absolutely, I just hope that the project gets enough support — even in the way of end users — to keep it going. I couldn’t keep it to myself, and you shouldn’t either. Spread the word! :)

  14. Thanks for the reminder on Clementine, I’d hadn’t checked it out in a while and the 0.4 release is definitely a keeper, as you say it has issues but I can live with them better than I can live with Amarok’s.

    I actually like KDE4 :) but I’m certainly not going to push it on someone who’s not interested. I’m glad Clementine is ported to KDE4 so it integrates nicely with my Kubuntu environment and the windows binary is very nice indeed.

    I’ve tried engaging with the developers at the Amarok forums, they are not interested in any critiques or comments on the UI. Politeness gets you ignored or patronised, frustration gets you deleted. Unless you’re part of the echo chamber don’t bother.

    I actually don’t mind they have their vision and are somewhat single minded about it – that’s their prerogative as the developers, its this pretence that they are open to feedback that is quite irritating and the tendency to evangelise.

    Meh – Amarok is dead (for me anyway). Long live Clementine. And RhythmBox. And Banshee. And Bangarang … you get the idea :)


    • I actually like KDE4 :) but I’m certainly not going to push it on someone who’s not interested.


      There’s nothing wrong with liking KDE4. It’s not for me, that’s all. :)

      I’ve tried engaging with the developers at the Amarok forums, they are not interested in any critiques or comments on the UI. Politeness gets you ignored or patronised, frustration gets you deleted. Unless you’re part of the echo chamber don’t bother.


      *nods*

      I found that most of the issues I had with KDE4 and Amarok, when I looked around where one would submit such feedback, were things that were there by design, and would never be “fixed”, because they weren’t broken. Things like this convinced me it was best to just move on entirely. Despite what any of them said, they weren’t really interested in feedback that didn’t reinforce what they were doing.

      They even come here and try to offer “help”.

      If they truly wanted to help, they’d have done what the little team working on Clementine has done. Port Amarok 1.4 to Qt4 to take advantage of some of Qt4′s features, and make it worthy of the name, rather than… whatever it is they’ve done with it.

      That would have helped. Trolling blog posts about replacement applications doesn’t help at all. It just makes me mad. :)

      I actually don’t mind they have their vision and are somewhat single minded about it – that’s their prerogative as the developers, its this pretence that they are open to feedback that is quite irritating and the tendency to evangelise.


      Yeah, that’s exactly what spins me up so much. Here’s how these almost always go.

      1) Wait, you don’t LIKE *whatever*???? Inconceivable! Why?
      2) Well what don’t you like about it?
      3) Oh. Well, I think you don’t like it because you don’t understand it.
      4) Oh. In that case then, you don’t like it because you’re resistant to change.
      5) Well, I’m going to assume you’re stupid then, since you don’t like it. Here’s how to use it.
      6) Why are you getting mad at me? I’M ONLY TRYING TO HELP.
      :)

      Every. Single. Time.

      Meh – Amarok is dead (for me anyway). Long live Clementine. And RhythmBox. And Banshee. And Bangarang … you get the idea :)


      Yeah. Amarok died with 1.4 for me. I’ve moved on, particularly now that it looks like a replacement (in Clementine) is in the works. It might take a while for it to catch up, but I’m pretty hopeful that those of us still using Amarok 1.4 can move on from it soon enough.

      Thanks for the comment. :)

      • Think you summed it up nicely Trent, I and others tried again on the boards and Jeffs blog – still the same old shit.

        I did see an interesting admission on Jeff’s blog which I replied to, since I’m lazy I’ll just replicate it here :)

        Amarok 2 is much closer to the original vision of Amarok than Amarok 1. Amarok 1 became a very nice music player, but point of the slogan “Rediscover Your Music” was to have context at the forefront

        Well maybe there’s part of the problem people have. Amarok 1 was primarily about playing music, Amarok 2 is not. If users *and* developers acknowledged that rather than trying to convert each other and went their separate ways there would be a lot less angst.

        Amarok 1 users/devs can just focus on Clementine and other players to play their music, Amarok 2 people can focus on their “Context”, what ever that is.

        It would help a lot if Amarok 2 evangelists quit trying to tell others they are wrong and ignorant for not acknowledging Amarok 2 is “better”. Its not – its as you say a completely different beast and to Amarok 1 and never shall the twain meet.

        And Amarok 1/Clementine users would be a lot happier if they stopped trying to make Amarok 2 like Amarok 1 – its not going to happen.

        Since you where making such a big paradigm shift with Amarok 1 -> 2 perhaps it would have been a good idea to have a name change as well. To late now though.

        An acknowledgement I thought that Amarok 2 is not primarily about playing music and a key source of a lot of the frustration and disconnect between the old Amarok 1 users and the developers.

        • I think that’s a fair assessment, actually. The big problem with KDE4 in general is that people like me keep looking at it with an eye for comparing it to the KDE 3 series which preceded it.

          And that’s a big mistake.

          It also applies to many of the KDE apps of which I had grown fond after years of use.

          Saying that I find deficiencies in the design of Amarok 2.*, for example, by comparison to Amarok 1.4, is like saying that I find the design of a Ford Taurus unsatisfactory when compared to my Mini Cooper.

          It’s nonsensical at best; apples and oranges really.

          The big confusion is I think largely caused by the names being the same (and only the version numbers showing any level of distinction).

          I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been wrong to criticize KDE4 and Amarok 2.* in this way; comparing them to KDE3 and Amarok 1.4 isn’t really comparing apples to apples, is it?

          Then again, they brought this upon themselves by insisting on keeping the names, and sowing this confusion. They can’t really blame anyone else when they get venomous responses and thrown out on their arses any time they try a bait-and-switch…

          It probably would have been less painful for everyone involved — including the dev team — if they’d just declared KDE dead after 3.5.10, along with all of its included apps, and just started from scratch with an entirely new desktop environment naming convention going forward.

        • You’ve completely misconstrued Jefferai’s response to you. Why the hatefullness?

          Really, everyone here agrees on two things: we love music, and we love free and open software. So why not use the player you like, and contribute to that if you can. F/OSS works when people work on the projects they love.

          F/OSS is just dragged down by hating on people and projects. Please stop doing that. I love Amarok, but point people to Clementine (or other players) if they want help finding alternatives. No project can meet all needs, or keep everyone happy. Enjoy diversity!

          Valorie


          • I love Amarok, but point people to Clementine (or other players) if they want help finding alternatives. No project can meet all needs, or keep everyone happy. Enjoy diversity!


            That was precisely the entire point of this article. To point people to Clementine, and to provide some reasons “why”. I think I did a reasonable job of that, unless you read a different article than I did. :)

            My responses to Jeff were responses to off-topic, inflammatory comments intended to start an argument. I’ve already admitted that I should not have responded to him. It was my fault, I’ll freely admit that. Move on.

  15. Hello,

    I’m impressed… I was a fan of Amarok 1.4, used amarok 2.x just cuz I didnt like other players. However, I’ve just compiled Clementine for my netbook, running it now for about 15 minutes… Much kudos to the Clementine team.

    And on the topic… Opensource is about freedom, choose what the hell you will, but dont make your choice my choice.

    TsueDesu
    system : Currently Samsung NC10 Atom 1.6, opensuse 11.3, KDE 4.4.4 (yes, I like my KDE… but thats my choice.)

  16. Clementine is awesome. I use it on my Windows account, totally stable, quick access to podcasts and the layout I like!
    In Linux, I still have my old Amarok running. Maybe I’ll change it one of these days.

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