After 5 months of hard work, the Amarok team is proud to present the next major version of Amarok, 2.1.
When Amarok 2.0 was released, we celebrated the first of many steps along what will be a long series of Amarok 2.x releases. The 2.0 release brought with it an entirely new foundation to build on, and a developer team more motivated than ever to make Amarok 2 the best music player possible. While Amarok 2.0 contained many new features and ideas, it was also lacking many features that users of the previous, very successful, versions of Amarok had come to expect. With the release of Amarok 2.1 we are not only starting to close this gap, but we are also introducing a number of new and unique features that will make your music listening experience even better.
The highlights of this release are:
The playlist in Amarok 2.1 has undergone many improvements since the last release. You can now search and filter its content and queue tracks as well as tell Amarok to stop playing after a certain track.
The biggest change however is the new playlist layout editor. It lets you make the playlist look the way you like it. Covers, ratings, genres or just a simple track name? It's up to you! It comes with a few layouts predefined and leaves the rest for your creativity!
The improved Context View comes with a new layout and makes better use of free space. Applet management has been improved and applets follow your KDE color scheme.
Instead of using multiple pages with applets, new Context View displays them in one vertical column which can be reorganized with a handy widget at the bottom.
Bookmarking is finally here! Bookmarking comes in two types, automatic and manual. When you are listening to a long podcast, audiobook (or any other track longer than 10 minutes) Amarok will automatically mark the last listened to position and auto resume playback when you return to the track. You can also manually bookmark a position in any track to save for later.
Amarok URLs allow you to create a link to a certain place in Amarok. For example, you could make an URL to a great song you found on Jamendo and send it to your friend. Her Amarok will open the Jamendo service and the song you found. Stumbled upon an exceptional audio book on LibriVox? Create a link and send it to your family. In this release we are just starting to explore what is possible using these URLs, so expect to see many interesting features based on this in the future.
The Last.fm service received an interface update and now allows you to play any tag, user, or artist radio. We have also added an option to mark songs in your local collection as loved. Now you can show how much love you have, even for local tracks. ;-)
Amarok now supports ReplayGain natively. When it is enabled Amarok equalizes the volume of songs with ReplayGain tags to avoid big unexpected volume changes between songs. It currently requires the GStreamer Phonon backend.
Headers in the collection browser now have a much cleaner, more distinctive look.
Album cover support for iPods has been added and many bugs have been fixed.
Thanks to the sleepless nights of many Amarok developers, identifying albums as compilations (aka "Various Artists") now works more reliably :)
There's no need to leave Amarok in order to change the system-wide sound settings anymore. The Phonon configuration can now be opened from Amarok's preference dialog. This is especially handy when using Amarok in other desktop environments and operating systems.
Grab your copy of Amarok 2.1 today and rediscover music!
You can find videos of some of the above mentioned features in our YouTube account
. If you want to find out what we are working on for Amarok 2.2 and beyond, check our blog posts on our Planet