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"In the beginning" - Amarok 2.0 released

Amarok 2.0
The world of digital music management has changed a great deal since the birth of Amarok four and a half years ago. Amarok 1 established a reputation for innovation, but maintaining development with the old framework became more difficult as Amarok grew, often in directions we never imagined. KDE4 brings many new technologies and design patterns, and we decided to use this opportunity to improve upon Amarok's original design. We thought about how to best design a program that would allow us to stay at the cutting edge of digital music management. We also sought to distinguish Amarok in an increasingly saturated market of music players. To achieve this we took the best ideas from the 1.x series, and brainstormed what else we could do to help our users "rediscover music". And then we started developing.

Now, after two years of development, we are proud to announce that Amarok 2 has arrived. This arrival is just the beginning.
This new version brings with it a lot of changes:
  • Completely redesigned user interface
  • Tight integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, and Shoutcast
  • Completely overhauled scripting API and plugin support to allow better integration into Amarok
  • Migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework, and utilization of core technologies such as Solid, Phonon, and Plasma
Amarok 2.0
The user interface has been redesigned to make context information like lyrics and albums from the same artist more accessible and allow you to decide which information you want to see by adding applets to the Context View in the middle. The new Biased Playlists offer a way to let Amarok take care of your playlist in an intelligent way similar to Dynamic Playlists in previous versions. A new service framework allows for a tight integration of online services like Jamendo, Magnatune and Ampache. New services can easily be added via GetHotNewStuff in Amarok or from More applets and scripts are being worked on and users are welcome to contribute more to make Amarok suit their needs. The migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework allows us to make use of technologies like Plasma, Phonon and Solid which make Amarok easier to use and maintain and ready for the future of music on your computer and on the internet.
These are only some of the great new features of Amarok 2. Give it a try!

It is important to note that Amarok 2.0 is a beginning, not an end. Because of the major changes required, not all features from the 1.4 are in Amarok 2. Many of these missing features, like queueing and filtering in the playlist, will return within a few releases. Other features, such as visualizations and support for portable media players, require improvements in the underlying KDE infrastructure. They will return as KDE4's support improves. Some features, such as the player window or support for databases other than MySQL, have been removed because either they posed insurmountable programming problems, or they didn't fit our design decisions about how to distinguish Amarok in a saturated market of music players.

Amarok 2.0 is now available for all major Linux distributions. KDE4 is still under heavy development especially on Windows and Mac OS X, and Amarok 2 is available as a "Beta" version on those platforms. In the coming months, we expect to regularly release a series of bugfix versions in the 2.0 series. Work on features, both old and new, has also continued. So while Amarok 2 has already been a long journey for the Amarok team, for you, the users, it is just beginning!

Amarok's journey has just begun and we are excited to have you join us for this event. Change and improvement would not have been possible without the help of everyone who contributed to this ambitious project in the form of code, promotion, documentation, donations, and a lot more. To all of you we say: Thank You!

Join us in Amarok'ing in a Free World!
Please consider contributing to our fundraiser, reading the Amarok 2 FAQ and of course don't forget to celebrate with us!


I am expiriencing the exact same problems with my amarok 2.
Various Artists functionallity seems to be working for some albums but is broken for most of them.

Still thank you for your work and keep going!

Exactly the same problem, I think it is because of the use of the internal MySQL db and not the external db, I desperately need to connect to my external MySQL db [without dropping the db please :-) ] so that my music collection can be sorted as it was in A1.
Further to this A1 had better file management capabilities for me? I could copy a file into a monitored directory, see it appear in Amarok, right click and "Move + rename" it to the correct directory, am I just missing this in A2?

Add the track to your playlist, right click, and choose display album as various artists

Well that is real intuitive! ! It should be a feature that can be performed from the artist, songlist tree. You shouldn't have to add it to your playlist first!

Does this new version have Musicbrainz tagging like the last version did?

I really hope so. That feature alone made Amarok the killer app for me to move to Linux.

No MusicBrainz, but we have plans for something better. Stay tuned :)

This is like KDE4 in general. Big ideas but it's really still beta, every distro picks it up anyway, key features are missing or broken and I wind up just booting to bloody XP because at least everything works. Same thing happened with Gnome 2 and it's still stagnant a zillion years later.

As most folks, I am a bit skeptical about drastic changes in UI's. I thought that the new UI of my favorite player looked something that the cat dragged in. But now when I have _actually_ tested it, it isn't so bad, in fact it is really good.

The loss of screen estate most people complain about is in my opinion a moot point nowadays. Many people are having 20" inch monitor or larger, with an screen resolution of 1600x1200, on my monitor I have even higher resolution than full HD 1080p resolution working at 1920x1200. My point being is that I don't have amarok 2 in full size window, I can manage my playlists and albums in a windowed amarok covering about a third of my full screen estate.

Since approx 18 months I have been a Gnome refugee, but with the help of amarok 2 am also warming up for KDE 4.1.

So keep up the work, I know by experience that writing software can be a bit hard, lonely and frustrating.... and that good and positive feedback can keep you going late at night hacking at your code.

there is a large misconception that all users have a larger than life monitor, which frustrates new users. its better to be prudent and look at the hardware installed base. one of my laptops has 800x600 and a lot of people test on vm at that screen size and up. netbooks with teeny screens are becoming popular and come with linux.

I usually work with Amarok at quite a small resolution, I just looked, right now it happens to be at about 800x600. That's because when I use Amarok casually (as opposed to putting together a playlist or organizing music or something) I keep it small and put it up to adjust things here and there and then hide it again. I have dual monitors with 2560x1024 resolution, I just like keeping it out of the way.

So I think Amarok works fine at small resolutions, and I haven't even done the obvious thing of collapsing the context view in the middle to gain more space for the playlist. Amarok 2 arguably is easier to use then 1.4, since its playlist table would get all scrunched together at a small resolution.

I don't use KDE at the moment (too many problems from what I read) but can Amarok 2 be installed on my system? I note that it seems to carry Shoutcast streams, which is my prime listening radio. How does it play with Ubuntu Gnome desktop???


I use Amarok with GNOME and it works great - give it a go!

Thanks a lot Amarok team :) I just installed your new player and it's great! My favorite is Amarok 1.4, but when you implement queueing and filtering it will change. Best looking player and most powerful I ever seen :>

The new amarok is not bad. I think it'll turn out to be just as amazing as the old one. I've got only one major complaint. The middle aread (where you can add lyrics, wikipedia, etc.) is terribly slow for me. Like if I change pages it takes about 10-15 seconds. Also I haven't found out how to resize the lyrics window (vertically). Has anyone experienced the extreme lag as well? Maybe a way how to fix this?
Kind Regards,

Sadly, i switched to songbird today (at least for now). I've always supported Amarok2 and the direction it is going to (in forums, blog comments and so on), but i realized that i try to avoid playing music with amarok 2. Why is that so?

It is *slow*. I mean, *really* slow (the UI, that is). Sometimes, it simply does nothing for 5 to 10 (!) seconds (on a powerfull machine with the ridiculous amount of 4 gb ram).

Unfortunately, it does not do what i want: play music. Well, it does other things and a really lot of them, but the most important thing is playing music, and when it comes to this, it is mediocre at best. It lags, it crashes, the playlist is *way* to narrow, i can't get rid of all of this contextual information. Don't get me wrong: there is nothing wrong in contextual information (lyrics, and so on), but the most important thing is the music (the playlist)!

As i stated above, i switched today. However that does not mean, i won't come back

Your powerfull machine is probably equiped in nvidia card which sucks a lot due to many bugs in drivers and that's why Amarok 2 and KDE4 is slow.

Dude, thanks for pointing out the NVIDIA problem! I was wondering why my video was so slow! I cant wait to get home and try it!

this release should have more features, but i know that the future releases will be fantastic!

thanks amarok team for your time, patience and courage to innovate ;)

I'm sure that what is missing will come for sure and will be great!

thanks ;)

I've been looking forward to this day for a lonnngggg time! :D When you get queuing enabled, I'll be in love all over again!

Hi Guys!

I'm a user of Amarok 1.x. I love Amarok 1.x, I think this is the best player of music. But, I need to say some thins about new Amarok.

I use, in Amarok, the Wikipedia and the Search for lyrics of songs, but in Amarok 2 there is a certain difficulty to enable / disable these 2 resources.

In Amarok 1.x, I accessed the content and had basic details of music saved locally, im my PC, without having to access the Internet. But when it needed the Wikipédioa / Lyrics, access to relevant tab and Amarok carried this data.

In Amarok 2.x, I need to enable and disable the 'applet' to do the same thing. It was impractical to open the screen with the applets and select one, and then click the applet to remove from the screen. If the party of Lyrics and Wikipedia would stay at the "Internet" lateral tab, would be similar to Amarok 1.x, I would say even better.

Another problem is that the songs organization of information. To allow more content (wikipedia, lyrics, the music information, etc.) have created the recource of "pages", so you can load many applets on the screen. Yes, you (developers) found a solution to manage many applets, but I there is a problem. I think the basic information should be shown to be more organized, like Amarok 1.x, and who wanted more applets could use more "pages". I felt a lack of polishing / finishing this, it seems that everything is simply placed on the screen without organization.

Very well done! Now that we have a basic port to kde4, we can look forward to each RSS-update telling us about yet another implemented feature which brings amarok 2.x to its former standard and usability. Thanks for all the hard work you have put into this release, amarok team!

It is rather amusing to see people flip out because of the same issues that plagued kde4-release. Even when the amarok developers had enough hindsight to indicate that main features are still to come and this is basically an alpha which will mature over time, users are ever so dissatisfied.

I for my part am happy that things are moving forward.

And now, please excuse me while I lean back, fire up my and wait a year or two before touching the 2.x series. That is, pretty much the same thing as I did with kde4 - only now contemplating on starting to use the new konqueror/dolphin - well 1.5 years after their first 4.0 release.

Calm down people, let the code base mature. I am sure the final product will kick as much ass as 1.4.x did - although I do understand that waiting 2 more years is a hard one to swallow.

i have install it and is awesome the sound quality
the sound quality improved is amazing this soft evolutionate a lot from the betas this is the best music player...

So I guess Slackware isn't a major distribution?

We don't package Amarok by ourselves, you see. We develop it, and we release the source code.

And then we inform the packagers of all interested distributions of the new release. We have special communication channels for the packagers, and we are usually getting along very well with them.

It's hardly our fault if a certain distribution does not package a new Amarok release. So please ask your distribution folks.

I think it was more a comment on the slight overstatement that. "Amarok 2.0 is now available for all major Linux distributions." I took the " So I guess Slackware isn't a major distribution?" as more of a joke then anything.

It looks easy enough to complie in Slackware:

Just be sure to upgrade to slackware current and get the KDE4.1 dependencies:

bad points:

-couldn't type anywhere song details (song name, artist name or album name...) to "isolate" the song in the playlist
-some useful shortcuts are missing (meta-j to jump to current song, ctrl-h to randomize, meta-x to play song from the start, etc.) sometimes the function too is missing
-key pad doesn't work (meta-- meta-+ to decrease/increase the volume)
-random play doesn't display the randomized playlist

i think i'm moving back to 1.4 for the moment

Thanks for new version, but there are few things I hope will be added in the future

. For example, I would be really happy to have the possibilty to change which columns are showing, especially comment and year columns (also, more than 4-character year tags would be AWESOME!). Good tagging features and comment columns were one of the main reasons why I started using Amarok in the first place. There are almost no players for Linux OS's that support comment columns, so please, add them.

The tree view system is great, but I'd like to be able to customize it too, for example make eac artists to have their own "box" instead each album. And, playlist order should be modifiable.

Otherwise, great work, I thank you. I will be using amarok anyways, this is THE player for Linux.

Could you explain why anyone would need more than 4 characters for the year tag? Are you from the future? Listening to music from 11,000 AD?


The new javascript interface in Amarok 2 is limiting, and a major annoyance for me. I had created a ruby script that connected to another running process, authenticated itself, parsed commands, etc. While perhaps some of this can be done in javascript and Qt, it will take me a long time to port it. I wrote the original script in a week and I fear the port would take months, which basically means it won't get done.

Is there a way to run a ruby (or python or even shell) script from within the new script framework? Are there any plans to support ruby-based scripts again? All those scripts out there that now need to be completely re-written in a whole different language and framework seems like a big waste of time.

No, we will continue to support QtScript (JavaScript) _only_. This was done for good reasons.

One of our goals was getting rid of the dependency nightmare that Amarok 1.x scripts had, especially in light of the Windows and Mac ports, which don't handle dependency resolving well. QtScript on the other hand has _no_ dependencies at all (built into Qt), and works on all platforms. Plus, it allows you to use large parts of the Qt API, which makes it very powerful.

I'm upgraded to 2, and then quickly back.

Why would 2 be considered released when it mentions how there are basic features still missing? Such as the queuing (I think was mentioned) (I'm writing this a few days after the fact)

And, I >Sincerely< hope that the option to use a remote mysql server is still to be added in, otherwise I will never be upgrading. That feature in 1.4.10 is a tremendous asset to me.

is already planned for 2.1 :)

It should be pretty easy to implement, as we can fortunately use the exact same database code. That's one of the advantages of supporting MySQL(e) only.

Its odd that the KDE developer community chooses .3 as the actual release number. Another words, by KDE 4.3, I have almost no doubt that KDE will be as feature rich as it was at 3.5.10. The same thing as Amarok- by 2.3 Im pretty sure it will be better..

I really appreciate you guys trying to cram features into the program, as thats what most users of Amarok and for that matter, KDE, are after. But why at the expense of other features? Why couldnt you have designed essentially Amarok's UI from 1.4, added a few features (perhaps a cool widget system, or maybe a movable interface), and released the intial 2.0. Hell, maybe even design the backend for these incredible ideas you guys have, and add to it in subsequent releases. It does not make sense to include new ideas, while removing others that are tried and true. If I wanted that Id use gnome or gnome programs.

Im not trying to attack anyone directly- as Ive said, you have some incredible ideas. Amarok 1.4 shows what you guys can do. But, I fear just like KDE 4, moves in such a fashion alienate people. I hate to see that, because as KDE/Amarok user, I really feel that if Linux ever has a mainstream future on the desktop, KDE should definitely be the flag.

As much as I love the world of GNU, I fear that sometimes we dont have enough of a direction instead trusting in technolust.

Ill be installing and trying every release of Amarok from here on out. Good Luck!

Tried the new version for a while but jumped back to the old one. There is too many functions lacking (graphics visualisators, poor design, buttons not on the screen which are in the meny and so one...). I may be looking into the new version in the future when it has more functions than the old one and have improved the design. Had also a bug when I tried to remove files from the playlist. Thank you all for the the good work so far!

It is a pity that Amarok from the best Linux music player (v1.x) turns into one of the many music players out there for Linux...
But I understand it is not entirely by your fault... It was inevitable when you follow the KDE development and since the crap named KDE4 all this is going totally messed up and wrong, and finally will end up in oblivion.
What i do not understand is why should one start something almost from scratch in order to make some "nice" looking GUI and buggy not fully functional code, as he still has not fixed all the bugs and functionality in the old working version (this counts both for Amarok and KDE4). Is the reason for this to show the world that one may code or that one is a great developer? And where are the users' opinion and ideas? You always say this or that new feature is better and usability is much better... OK, all this is better, but to whom it is better? To your users or to you the developers?
Because once you used to listen to your users... I still remember a version of Amarok that suddenly changed the GUI and because the users were totally disappointed, this version didn't make it at all. What is now going on.... You find every reason to say how great you cope with the "new" development.... but we all know that there will be at least an year time to fix all bugs and introduce all old features to this new code.... Who do you lie infact ...?

According to me one should do big steps when he is ready for that, and he should do it in small stages.... And you are not ready, neighter KDE is ready...

Sorry if my opinion sounds to you too rude or inappropriate but I am really disappointed by Amarok2 and KDE4 as a whole... which makes me switch to GNOME (no matter how much i do not like it)...

Thank you for releasing AMAROK 2.0. I'm so happy it finally happened. I've been looking forward to this moment for so long. (nice present after getting back from vaccation. =) )

Could I ask you a favor?

I know a few have expressed a lot of interest in Amarok, but aren't geeky enough to go hunting for it. *holds Windows user's hands for living*

It should be very easy for Windows users to install Amarok 2.0 on their machine, hopefully easier than instaling Winamp, or iTunes.

Happy New Year 2009 Mark!!!


Congratulations for this wonderful work.
This new version is wonderful.