Amarok 2.2.1 "Weightless" released

Only 6 weeks after the launch of Amarok 2.2.0, the Amarok team is proud to present the next release in the 2.2 series: Amarok 2.2.1. While the developers have focused on fixing bugs and polishing existing features, a few new features make their appearance as well.

A large amount of work went into the Podcast section, where you can now manually mark podcasts as New. Also, it is now possible to group podcasts. When a network connection is detected, podcasts will now automatically update themselves, and they show emblems to indicate their status.

The playlist received attention as well. The inline editor in the playlist can now be used for resizing elements as well as for editing metadata. Track bookmarks can now can be deleted directly without having to go through the bookmark manager. Also, there is a new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-J) for jumping to the playlist search box, in addition to many more shortcut possibilities.

Under the hood, the collection scanner has been improved. It will no longer process subdirectories of changed folders when those subdirectories themselves are unchanged, which leads to a very significant speed increase for those with relatively flat collections. It will also filter out directories that have been passed in multiple times, instead of scanning them twice. In addition, the process for parsing the output of the collection scanner has been highly optimized: speed increases in the range of 30 to 300% have been reported!

Amarok 2.2.1 also introduces the Script Updater. This updater checks for updates to first-party scripts (those the developers include with Amarok itself), allowing us to quickly release updates in case of changes to the sites they connect to. It uses cryptographic signing to ensure that only updates released by the Amarok team are ever used.

As usual, a significant amount of bugs have been fixed and stability has been improved, as you can see in the changelog below.


Please remember that our yearly fund-raiser is currently in progress and these donations help us keep up the steam of the project. Your contributions are much appreciated.






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Join us and rediscover music!

Features

  • Podcasts will only be automatically updated when there is a network connection (using Solid).
  • The SMB (Samba) protocol is now supported in the playlist. Patch by Steven van der Vegt <s.vandervegt@student.utwente.nl>. (BR 178691)
  • Podcasts have better indication of status with emblem icons. (BR 209433)
  • The information from the podcast feed can be written to the downloaded files. Both manually and automatically.
  • Track bookmarks can be removed directly by using the delete icon shown in the popup when the mouse is over it.
  • Add a menu allowing the creation of any known type of bookmark to the Bookmark Manager.
  • CTRL+SHIFT+F toggles full screen mode. Patch by Rick W. Chen <stuffcorpse@archlinux.us>.
  • Podcast episodes can now be marked as new/old manually.
  • Podcasts can now be grouped in the playlist and show useful info in the tag editor.
  • Playlist files can be droped on the "Saved Playlist" category to import them into Amarok. (BR 193476)
  • Playlist files from the default playlist location are now loaded by default. (BR 209596)
  • Added view menu to menu bar for ease of use.
  • Saved playlists and folders can now be deleted with the keyboard.
  • Added "Copy on Write" when trying to edit a read only (one of the default) playlist layouts. The changed layout is now simply saved under a new name.
  • Added context view bookmarks, allowing saving and restoring of applet setups.
  • Enhanced --debug feature: When a function takes very long to run (> 5s), we print a special message (DELAY) that can be searched easily.
  • Middle-clicking an item in the Collection Browser appends it to the playlist. Patch by Felix Geyer <debfx-kde@fobos.de>. (BR 197423)
  • Added feature for removing duplicates from the playlist. Patch by John Atkinson <john@fauxnetic.co.uk>. (BR 200445)
  • Allow changing of playlist layout item sizes using the inline editor.
  • Initial KNotify support.
  • Show total playlist file size in a tooltip when hovering over the total play list time. (BR 91640)
  • Implemented "Jump To". Press Ctrl+J to focus the playlist search. (BR 92400)
  • Made Love/Skip/Ban/Enqueue/Dequeue available in Shortcuts configuration dialog. (BR 136232, BR 187542)
  • Added a function to automatically update the built-in scripts if newer versions are available.

Changes

  • Do not automatically fetch the entire Jamendo database every time the Jamendo service is started.
  • Database now does consistency checks on a semi-regular basis, with full checks upon full rescans.
  • Removal of most SQL during scan result parsing means enormous speedups during collection scanning. (BR 210201)
  • Usability improvements for the Videoclip applet.
  • Restore the proper custom bias when switching between saved biases (BR 209350).
  • Don't crash when receiving bogus data from Last.Fm when asking for recommended songs (BR 208173).
  • UMS device plugin now checks MIME types of tracks both by content and filename. Thanks to Aran Cox <aroncox@gmail.com> for the patch.
  • Some optimization of SQL queries during scan to speed things up. (BR 210201)
  • Use an emblem for indicating a podcast episode is on disk. (BR 209433)
  • Scanning speedups by getting rid of unnecessary code paths and optimizing some queries. Patch by Egbert König <e.kunig@home.nl>. (BR 209822)
  • New main toolbar and renaming of ToolbarNG to Slim Toolbar.
  • Huge performance improvements for the Cover Manager. Thanks to Michael Reiher <redm@gmx.de> for the patch. (BR 210454)
  • Improved usability and look of main control buttons.
  • Multiple usability improvements for the Dynamic Playlist UI.
  • Moved the Podcast category to the top level of the Content panel.
  • Renamed "Browsers" panel to better suited "Media Sources".
  • Improvements to the row heights in the playlist, making especially the size of the rating stars more consistent.
  • Usability improvements in the Context View's applet tab bar.
  • Collection scanner won't scan a directory more than once if passed in multiple times. Should significantly speed up certain incremental scanning cases.
  • When doing a recursive incremental scan, the scanner will no longer scan subdirectories of changed directories if those subdirectories' mtimes have not changed, for extremely large speedups in some cases. For very flat collection trees, the difference is basically between a small incremental scan and a near full rescan.
  • Ask the user for confirmation before refetching lyrics and overwriting cached ones.
  • It is now possible to stop editing lyrics without saving changes in the lyrics applet.

Bugfixes

  • Fix issue where data structures were loaded with wrong values. (BR 212676)
  • Videoclip applet didn't work correctly on some systems. Thanks for the patch go to Jacopo De Simoi.
  • Proportions of layout stay correct after window resizing. (BR 200527)
  • The GUI layout is now crash persistant. (BR 211509)
  • Ensure that ReplayGain float values are stored in the database with a period, not a comma. (BR 212676)
  • Fixed crashes with Icecast Directory script. (BR 206579)
  • Enabled C++ exceptions handling in Amarok. This fixes various crashes with liblastfm. (BR 212115)
  • Reversed the priority of repeat and random modes. Repeat now always takes precedence. (BR 178056)
  • Fixed crash if closing amarok while the JamendoXmlParser is running. (BR 208468) (BR 211015)
  • Systray information now updates correctly for streams. (BR 211748)
  • Made playlist layouts translatable. (BR 189751)
  • Fixed issue with collection scanner seeing duplicate tracks if they contained the default MusicBrainz UUID. Patch by Egbert König <e.kunig@home.nl>. (BR 209822)
  • Fixed issues with certain types of tracks not correctly getting grouped together in the playlist when grouping by something other than album.
  • Splash screen no longer hides KWallet on startup. (BR 210179)
  • On Screen Display was not shown when cover image changed. (BR 195188)
  • On Screen Display was not shown on automatic track change. (BR 209376)
  • Automatic playlist scrolling was broken in some cases. (BR 193459)
  • The On Screen Display now uses a sane font size with all display resolutions. (BR 195186)
  • Fix rare regression where inaccessible subfolders (due to permissions) in the collection could not be picked up by an incremental scan when permissions were fixed and their mtime updated, requiring a full rescan.
  • When using a MySQL server with "Watch Folders For Changes" disabled, very long periods of idle Amarok could allow the server to close the local connection. This is now detected and should be worked around.
  • Correctly set the lyrics applet's title when displaying HTML formatted lyrics
  • Track selection is now correctly preserved when using Dynamic Playlists. Patch by John Atkinson <john@fauxnetic.co.uk>. (BR 208349)
  • Cover Manager no longer stops when one cover cannot be fetched. Patch by Tycho Andersen <kdebugs@tycho.ws>. (BR 205032)
  • Magnatune.com store: Fixed problematic use of external unzip command for unpacking downloaded album zip files. (BR 138499)
  • Magnatune.com store: Download high quality covers when purchasing or downloading albums. (BR 176177)
  • Correctly modify the Lyrics Applet's title when its state changes.








Comments

Crossfading

Amarok 2 is on its way be the best Audioplayer available, but i'm still(!) missing crossfading.

So, whats about?

Keep up the good work ^^

Good stuff

Thanks a lot, its an excellent piece of software. In particular I like the new play list editor which I found a price of cake to configure.
I still need to get used to the new look, which should not be a problem. online poker

Playback from CD and SMB share

No tags displayed in playlist when I playback files from smb-share. It's just "flow smb://*****.mp3" with timings 0:00. There are also 0:00 timings with tracks from audio-CD. No scrobbling in Last-fm in both cases. Why?

Great release. But a question

Great release. But a question besides the release: Volkswagen sells a new car in the future, intrestingly called VW Amarok !! Did you know this? Maybe there will be some discussion about the rights for the name Amarok in the future!

Yes/No

Yes, we've known about this for a long time. No, it does not cause problems, as trademarks for names are domain specific (a car and a music player are very different things).

Addendum: I deleted all the

Addendum: I deleted all the stuff in the cache, deleted/rescanned the collection. Amarok now will often find embedded art if I MANUALLY "fetch" the covers; for other files without embedded art, it only finds about 50% of them online. The old versions would at least give you a list to sort through. I suspect that it's looking for an EXACT match on the album-name field, and if that doesn't happen, it gives up (e.g., "Disc 1" would nix the find).

Better, but I shouldn't have to manually fetch embedded tags.

Cover Art

I've been having issues with cover art since 2.0; 1.4 worked pretty well. Before, when most of my files did not have embedded graphics in the tags, Amarok was pretty good about fetching it from Amazon. This hardly ever works any more (can't ever find them; I don't know whether this is Amarok's problem of it's on Amazon.com's end). I have been in the process of adding embedded cover art into the ID3 tags, and the files I buy from Amazon come with it. Amarok 2.x doesn't show it at all. When can we expect this to work? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all of the devs' work, and it's basically a good piece of code. The cover art issue is the only problem I have with it now...and if the Linux app on my cell phone can do it, I'm wondering why Amarok, which is much more sophisticated, can't?

Visualizations

What's the current status of visualizations? There are some older comments that mention it still has to be ported to phonon, but I am not able to find any recent information.

State of the Vis

They are in fact ported to Phonon (done by Martin Sandsmark, ex GSoC student, now Phonon maintainer). Also, Martin has written a visualization interface for Amarok. So basically, it's done :)

However, all this stuff will only surface in the next Phonon release, which might be with KDE 4.4. (Qt also contains Phonon, which makes the situation a bit confusing).

Strange bug after upgrading...

I upgraded from 2.2.0 to 2.2.1 just an hour ago, and ran into a rather strange bug. The issue is that -all- music in the collection showed as being 0:00 in length. The songs play, but they still show 0:00. I tried downgrading, but because the database was updated in 2.2.1, I was unable to run it, which kind of sucks. After removing the database and starting "fresh" with 2.2.1, the bug disappears.

Fix:

Menu -> Settings -> Configure Amarok -> Collection -> Fully Rescan Collection

Thanks

It's a little late for that now, but thanks... I'll keep it in the mind for future. While I'm at it, I'll start backing the database up before an upgrade...

A lot of 2.2.0 bugs are still here.

I'm sorry, but with Amarok 2.2.1:

OSD works only with Audio CDs

OSD works only for the first song with internet radios.

Lyrics are updated correctly only while playing Audio CDs.

Amarok 2.2.x does not play automatically Audio CDs (--cdplay option not recognized).

Sometimes, Amarok does not detect a CD Audio.

Crashes while switching tracks (manually) on Audio CDs (CDROMREADTOCHDR: Invalid file descriptor).

Crashes while playing Audio CDs (this bug is not present in the 2.2.0 version).

Newsflash

Here's an interesting inside view into the world of software development: The development process is iterative, or in other words, incremental.

In layman's terms: Each new version will fix something here, or there, and introduce other changes. However, what it cannot do, is fixing everything at the same time.


Summa Summarum: Please have some patience.

Yes it can. With QA.

Yes it can. With QA. Something FLOSS can't have because it is way too expensive and time consuming. FLOSS relies on bug reporting to improve quality, so please, fill bug reports and help improve FLOSS quality.

Re: Yes it can. With QA.

Obviously, every time I discover a bug on whatever program, I always send a bug report.
My only intention was to inform you that some bugs marked as "FIXED", are still present on Amarok 2.2.1.

Thanks for work on podcasts!

Hopefully in the near future there will be a way to transfer podcasts to a media device. That is basic functionality for me, since I only use Amarok for managing podcasts.

+1 for podcast transfers

I periodically switch from 1.4 to 2.2 to check for maturity. I must say it's really almost there and the developers are doing a hell of a job. But downloading podcasts and transferring them to a portable device is still the only roadblock for me...

Thank You, Amarok Developers

Sure, version 2.2.1 looks and acts slightly different than 2.2.0, and it is significantly different than version 1.4.
And there's some functionality problems and such, but I am willing to accept that.

I would like to thank the developers of Amarok for putting in the time and the effort to revamp my favorite audio application.
I am not a programmer, and could not possibly create such an application as Amarok.

I'd like it if the interface was somewhat different... but that is a minor issue from my frame of reference.

Thank you, and keep up the great work that you have been doing with Amarok2.

Podcast artwork

I'd really like to see podcasts artwork (cover) shown in the applet track information while listening to it.
Than you for your work! Amazing!

This is already in git

This is already in git master, so expect to see this in 2.2.2 soon.

What about organize files?

The "organize files" is missing. Was it removed definitely? I hope it doesn't.

collection screwed up

Just installed amarok 2.2.1 from karmic 64bit ppa backports.
The music collection is all screwed up and every Album appears to belong to the wrong Artist.
Do I have to complain to the ppa maintainers?

well, after a reload it's

well, after a reload it's back all right.

Amarok still lacking feature for integration in home setups

In former times I had one room, one computer, and on the computer I had all my music and Amarok. Everything was fine.

Nowadays, times have changed, and I think not only for me: The music is stored on a network drive streaming its contents to the computer, the living room hifi setup, the PS3 and a network player. I think this centralized storage of media files is not only for me, but for most home setups the future.

Amarok, however, is seriously lacking features in order to integrate in a home environment like that; Amarok is still the lone player for those who have one computer and listen to all their music from this computer.

I'd like to have Amarok as the management program for the above setup; it should handle playlists, song ratings etc. transparent and integrated with the UPNP server. Amarok should be able to control the different network players. I want to be able to manage my playlists centrally. And so on.

I know it is unfair to demand features from a program if you don't pay for it and if you are not able to code. However, I wonder whether Amarok (and most other current computer music players) are not heading into a dead end road as they are designed for an usage scenario which might be fitting for a programmer running his computer all day, but not for a modern streaming home setup for the average user.

"Amarok, however, is

"Amarok, however, is seriously lacking features in order to integrate in a home environment like that; Amarok is still the lone player for those who have one computer and listen to all their music from this computer."

I have three machines, music stored on one and I listen from the other two. The shared directory is automounted over ssh and I use external MySQL on the server (which is why I had to wait for 2.2.0 to upgrade from 1.4).

Solution: UPNP or Ampache

Title says it all. UPNP support could help you, it's in the pipeline, but I can't give you an ETA yet.

However, in the meantime you could use Ampache, which is great for distributing audio from one server to a variety of devices. Also Amarok support it perfectly. I use it myself constantly.

Ampache

I worked for a bit for me, but it was far from stable plus searching the remote database was working partially (only song titles worked if I remember correctly).

Then I both updated Ampache to 3.5.1 and Amarok to 2.2.0 and since then its horribly broken. On each startup of Amarok I get:
"Error Invalid Handshake - Login Failed version too old"

Updating Ampache did not work and neither did updating Amarok. I'm assuming since the changelog does not mention it, 2.2.1 does not fix this as well...

On a side note, the error is quite descriptive but it fails to mention which side of the connection is considered "too old"...

Update

It seems to be a glitch in the ACL code in Ampache which makes it unrelated to API versions and such...

http://ampache.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=14749#p14749

Ampache bug

Yep, we had the same issue with an older version of Ampache. With that version you had to keep the username _empty_, and just give it the password, to make it work.

With the latest version it's all fixed though.

UPNP

...is in the pipeline? I'm glad to hear that. I think this is a "must" for a media managememt software nowadays.

Yes. But this particular

Yes. But this particular pipeline is quite long, so when it will land in Amarok is not certain yet :-)

- Nikolaj

Kudos

Thank you for the update. It is great to see that there are people who are working hard to make this work easier for the users. Good luck with the fund raisers.

translation

Well I'm a newb on Linux, started using it about the same time when Amarok 2.0 was introduced so I never used 1.4.

I did even like the 2.0 a lot :/

Having some translation issues with 2.2.1 on Gentoo, meaning parts of Amarok are still english (should be ger). Anyone else experiencing this?

Cover art.

When can we wait for support of embedded cover art?
I have cover art both in the file cover.jpg in the same dir and embedded into files, but still need to set it manualy.

+1 I have also all my covert

+1
I have also all my covert arts loaded into the MP3 Tag and none of them are shown by Amarok :(

Dynamic playlists not on par with 1.4 ?

Looks like amarok2 slowly gets off the ground, but for me as amarok user it's lacking certain features that drew me to this player in the first place (I mean in times of 1.4.x). Dynamic playlists were enormously useful. Now they are either broken or I don't know how to use them, or they are not fully implemented.

Here is my usecase from 1.4.x times: I have an mp3 player in my car with USB connector which I use to plug-in my USB key with mp3's. Now to fill that USB key I used amarok and it did a wonderful DJ-work on prearranging collection of several hundreds songs by given criteria: only songs from selected artists, and only ones that are rated above 2.5. I could select multiple artists (my current list is probably several hundreds, so adding fuzzy/proportional biases for all of them is out of question).

From above I would have quite a few songs rated, then select bands my wife likes and make a "dynamic collection" (was that the name of the feature in 1.4 times?) for her and one for myself. Then I would draw dynamic playlists from one and another separately generating 2x100 songs, now I would transfer that to USB key and have a "perfect" collection which would please both me and my wife having a 50/50 chance of our favorite songs comming up on "shuffle".

I switched to amarok2 quite some time ago and I was waiting for my favorite feature to come back, but no luck so far. I would even go as far as write some code to compensate lacking functionality, but I haven't coded in C++ for ages not to mention that certain constructs in amarok C++ code look alien to me (Qt artefacts?). However I'm more-or-less comfortable with Python.

Is there a way to get around the current limitation or should I start coding? If latter - where do I find some info/examples that would help me start out (I looked in amarok's git checkout and examples found there were kind of... not helpful...). I realize that there might be amarok Python scripts that could help me get started I just need to know where to look.

Thank you for your work!

But what happened to the shoutcast's?

shoucast

I just uploaded a shoutcast script http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/SHOUTcast+service?content=116823, please try it out :)

Re: What happened to the shoutcasts

The support for shoutcast browsing was removed a few versions ago because of problem with said browser.
It has to be redone I think before they will introduce it again.
You should still be able to add URL:s to the playlist ?

Context view - Information applet - Cover art only

Context view Information applet is nice, but would it be possible for the applet to only display the cover art? without all the other information, maybe the possibility to select the information the information applet would show?

Playlist editor

I like the new playlist editor, very easy to configure yourself. If you like, please add the possibility for separate setting of the display information for the track that is being played.

Buttons

How do you change the little buttons beside the back play/pause stop next buttons. I only have a green flag, would be much nicer with a button for repeat and shuffle. I Think the dice from 1.4, that was a nice random track symbol.

I personally think the

I personally think the play/pause, etc. buttons now look somehow "dirty" if they are not set so slim toolbar. They look a bit like they're jpg pics on low quality settings.

Back in town

Vielen Dank für dieses großartige Release. Ich war ein großer Fan der 1.4 Serie. Habe mich dann mit KDE 4 und Amarok 2.0 Richtung Gnome "verpisst" und bin nun endlich wieder zu Hause. :-)

Keep on Amaroking!

Stefan

I think you forgot to mention

I think you forgot to mention that Organize Collection seems to be disabled in 2.2.1. Hopefully this feature find its way back soon!

vote to get organize files

vote to get organize files back quick https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=215902

WHAT!?

omg.... *facepalm*

I tried for about 15 minutes

I tried for about 15 minutes to find the feature to organize files and then I came hear to read your message and feel a bit stupid :-)
I think that is a pretty important feature and if it has been turned off must be stated in the release notes!

Works fine, but looks ugly

Hello everybody.
I'm sorry to say that, but the new look is a mess.
I loved those nice buttons, why do they look like this now? What for?
There's a strange and non-usable space between everything and control buttons now. It looks ugly.
And what happened to the volume control? It was large and nice, and now it's small and too reactive.
I think I should look for some nice skin, 'cause the way Amarok looks now makes me think that something goes wrong and it's a result of an error.