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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Today I got tired of Rhythmbox and decided to do some investigation of the music players for ubuntu. Two of them popped out after reading some inital reviews: Songbird and Guayadeque. Both music players have some really cool features and they both use audio scrobbling through last.fm. Here’s a quick rundown:

Songbird

Songbird has a very nice iTunes like appearance but in a dark theme. So if you’re a fan of darker colors this player is for you. There are some very cool features in song bird such as the 7digital store, which gives you very easy access to buy music. It is also fairly customizable options menu with a very clean interface and supports tabs in the library display area. However, it’s not officially supported but you can still download the source code here. On some distributions it takes some additional setup and configuration. The code downloaded comes with some internal libraries (in the “libs” folder) which Songbird uses to decode various audio files types instead of using codec’s already installed on your system. I followed this link to fix these problems.

Note, the page above says to use the command
sh -c "export SB_GST_NO_SYSTEM=1 ; exec /usr/bin/songbird"

but the one that ended up working for me was:
sh -c "export SB_GST_SYSTEM=1 ; exec /usr/bin/songbird"

Guayadeque

This player is very cool and has just about the same amount of customizability as Songbird, but also lets you completely customize the layout of the GUI. You can drag and drop the library, song queue, player controls, lyrics, etc.  Then once you’ve created a layout you like you can save it and create others. This is really cool IMO, but what really makes this player standout from any other I’ve used so far is the Smart Playlist. Once you choose a song, or search for an artists in your library, it will automatically use last.fm’s Audioscrobbler based music recommendation system to add and then play 3 (the default number) songs to your “current” song queue.  Once you’ve listed to all of these and reach the end, it will grab three more songs, all using what you have in your library and your listening preferences.  You can always remove songs, queue up new songs, delete songs it picks, or rearrange the order!  This is a feature you grow to love and will miss when trying to use other music players. Get Guayadeque here!

Other good overviews on the two players here:
Songbird
Guayadeque