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Testing gmusicbrowser

Got a tip about another music player, and tried it out. Thanks to OMG! Ubuntu!

1. Indexing my library.

  • BMPx: 6:09
  • Exaile: 11:58
  • Songbird: Epic fail
  • Foobar2000: 8:10
  • Amarok: 14:50
  • Rhthmbox: 18:40
  • Banshee: Epic fail
  • Quod Libet: 9:00
  • Decibel: 8:17
  • Clementine: 00:56
  • Gmusicplayer: 5:00 (+hours of “checking length/bitrate”)

Not very impressive, especially the last part. Atrocious.

2. Opt-in database/library indexing of every song

Since I’ve been more and more depending on a functional database to keep me going, but still need to play the occasional MP3 without adding it to the database the opt-in thing is pretty important to me. The library function needs to be there, but it also needs to be possible to disable it or at least play files without adding them to it.

  • BMPx: yes
  • Exaile: yes
  • Songbird: no
  • Foobar2000: yes
  • Amarok: yes
  • Rhythmbox: no
  • Banshee: no
  • Quod Libet: In theory…
  • Decibel: yes
  • Clementine: yes
  • gmusicbrowser: yes

3. Ability to index by multiple genres

I use a lot of multiple genres. For instance, swedish punk songs are marked as “punk” and “svenska” (”svenska” is swedish for “swedish”). That way, in good library browsers, I can choose to listen to all punk or just my swedish punk, and even all music in swedish regardless of genre.

  • BMPx: no
  • Exaile: partial
  • Songbird: partial
  • Foobar2000: yes
  • Amarok: partial
  • Rhythmbox: no
  • Banshee: no
  • Quod Libet: yes
  • Decibel: no
  • Clementine: no
  • gmusicbrowser: yes

Gmusicbrowser really impressed me here.


4. System resources.

The first number is processor usage and the second is RAM, both according to the Gnome System Monitor. I’m using a 2.8ghz dual core CPU and tests were run using a fully indexed library (except, of course, in the case of Songbird) and the same song playing (”Balladen om Olsson” by swedish punk band “23 till”).

  • BMPx: 2-4% 34mb
  • Exaile: 3-6% 154m
  • Songbird: 4-11% 137mb
  • Foobar2000: 4-11 26mb
  • Amarok: 2-4% 40mb
  • Rhythmbox: 2% 37mb
  • Banshee: 1-2% 52mb
  • Quod Libet: 0-2% 67mb
  • Decibel: 1-2% 30mb
  • Clementine: 6%, 85mb
  • gmusicbrowser: 8%, 96mb

Gmusicbrowser certainly isn’t on the lighter side here…
5. Album art

  • BMPx: no
  • Exaile: yes
  • Songbird: perhaps; couldn’t make it work
  • Foobar2000: yes (through addon)
  • Amarok: yes
  • Rhythmbox: yes
  • Banshee: no
  • Quod Libet: yes
  • Decibel: no
  • Clementine: yes
  • gmusicbrowser: yes

gmusicbrowser does what it’s supposed to. No more, no less. There’s a plugin for finding lost covers, which is nice.
6. Smart Folders

I’m not much of a “smart folder” person, but I imagine I could be, if they were done right. As in, intuitive and fast. For those who’ve been living under ricks for the past few years: Smart folders, Smart Playlists or Saved Searches or whatever you call them are a way to have a playlist which, for instance, contains all your hard rock – and which automatically adds or removes items when they are added/removed from the library. You can usually specify a number of rules – for instance, songs in swedish that aren’t punk, or hard rock bands not beginning with a “p”.

  • BMPx: no
  • Exaile: yes
  • Songbird: no
  • Foobar2000: partial
  • Amarok: yes
  • Rhythmbox: yes
  • Banshee:yes
  • Quod Libet: no
  • Decibel: no
  • Clementine: No
  • gmusicbrowser: Yes

7. Support for transferring files to an mp3 player

Sure, I can transfer stuff to my various mp3 players by simply dragging and dropping using Nautilus or other explorer-like software – but I’d like the possibility to do it through my audio player software as well. I own a Nokia n900 phone which I use as an mp3 player, and an iPod Touch which I don’t use as an mp3 player because iTunes is a piece of crap.

  • BMPx: no
  • Exaile: partial
  • Songbird: partial
  • Foobar2000: yes
  • Amarok: yes
  • Rhythmbox: yes
  • Banshee: no
  • Quod Libet: yes
  • Decibel: no
  • Clementine: yes and f**ing excellent
  • gmusicbrowser: no

Sadly, I couldn’t find a way to connect to any of my devices… This makes me sad, ’cause this one is a serious contender, folks. This and Clementine are my top two choices right now. Clementine has the support for the iPod and other devices; gmusicbrowser has really, really good (almost foobar2000-good) filtering and support for multiple genres.

3 Comments

  1. Simon Steinbeiß Simon Steinbeiß September 28, 2010

    about the system resources part: please try mplayer as a backend. in my experience that’s *a lot* lighter than gstreamer.

    also: the ram-usage partly depends on the albumcover-cache which you can set in the settings.

    about external devices: you can copy to mp3-players that support normal copy transfer, i wouldn’t expect ipod support any time soon tbh.

  2. Krank Krank September 28, 2010

    Thanks for the tip! Hadn’t even tought of using mplayer as backend. Too bad on the lack of iPod support though; I guess I’ll stick to Clementine for that sort of thing, for now. As a pure audio player, though, gmusicbrowser is probably the very best right now.

  3. andreas andreas November 16, 2010

    I would love to see your take on “listen” – stupid name but a very fine linux music player. I am a bit torn between listen and gmusicplayer (qoudlibet is nice – but to ressource heavy for my old computer).

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