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Amarok 2.1 Beta 1 "Nuliajuk" released

Amarok 2.1 Beta 1

After the bug fixing goodness of Amarok 2.0.2, it is time to crank up the coolness factor by a few orders of magnitude. Deep in our hidden lair we have been hard at work plotting world domination - and occasionally working on the next major version of Amarok - and we are now ready to let the rest of the world have a taste with the release of Amarok 2.1 beta1.

Amarok 2.1 will come with many new features and some old favorites will make a re-appearance. Beta 1 gives you a sneak preview of all these improvements. While not quite ready for general use yet, the stability is quite good and overall the beta should be quite usable in most cases (standard "may eat your cat, spouse, favorite cupcake or pet iguana" warnings do apply however).

Major new features include a new, completely user configurable playlist with an easy to use drag-and-drop editor, cue sheet support, a new take on managing applets in the Context View, bookmarks - allowing you, among other things, to save and share favorite finds in the services, support for showing radio stations with many alternate streams as one track in the playlist, much faster startup when reloading large playlists containing non local tracks, as well as many other improvements, UI tweaks and bug fixes across the board. So download, test drive and cuddle this beta a little, provide feedback and bug reports and help us make Amarok 2.1 the best Amarok release ever.



Join us in Amarok'ing in a Free World!
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The full ChangeLog since 2.0.2 is about a mile long and follows below:

Features

  • The collection scanner is now able to be run in batch mode, allowing for automated scans of both full and incremental types. In addition, all graphical dependencies have been removed, allowing for headless, remote runs of collection scans. A wiki page detailing how to do this will be made available shortly.
  • Covers are shown and written for iPod collections.
  • Phonon multimedia system can be configured directly from Amarok.
  • Cover art can now be disabled in the collection browser.
  • Scrobble tracks from streams that have title and artist metadata
  • Add support for showing a stream with multiple alternative servers as a single item in the playlist and add GUI for manually selecting prefered source.
  • Ampache service: Add support for Ampache 3.4.4 and 3.5.x.
  • Auto timecoding (position bookmarking) now exists for tracks with length greater than 10 minutes. (BR 148740)
  • Add a animated "loading..." screen when dynamically fetching info about an item to show in the service info applet.
  • Deleting tracks from the local collection is now possible. (BR 170999)
  • Add a filter-by-date-added to the collection browser. Use added:"today" or added:
  • Add an advanced but user friendly playlist layout editor allowing users to modify and create their own playlist layouts.
  • The Playlist can now render itself using layouts defined in XML. A number of default layouts are included and can be switched between.
  • Option to automatically scroll the playlist to the active item on track change.
  • New QtScript methods for accessing the playlist: Amarok.Playlist.selectedFilenames() & Amarok.Playlist.selectedIndexes(). Patch by Mathias Panzenböck .
  • New QtScript method for the Track prototype: imagePixmap( size ). Returns a QPixmap of the given size, or the default if the size argument isn't supplied.
  • New QtScript class 'DataDownloader' that returns results as a QByteArray instead of a string. Needed for image downloads.
  • Cue Sheets are now supported as in Amarok 1.4, plus each cue entry (usually a track) will be displayed as a timecode on the Progress Bar with a nice onMouseOver popup.
  • Ipod support now uses/depends on libgpod 0.7.0
  • Bookmarking specific positions within local tracks and downloaded local podcast episodes, with a nice visual indicator on the progress bar.
  • When the last.fm service is active, any track, from any collection or service, can be loved from the browser , and there will always be a love button for the currently playing track, no matter the source.
  • Dbus methods added: VolumeUp, VolumeDown and Mute. (BR 181130)
  • The feed url is displayed in the config dialog of a podcast channel. By left clicking in the url it's copied to the clipboard. (BR 180853)
  • The Playlist Browser can now show playlists from multiple sources, including media devices.
  • The Last.fm service now allows for the playing of all types of user stations (personal, loved tracks, recommendations, and neighborhood).
  • Arbitrary Tags can now be played in the last.fm service. (BR 139802)
  • Replay Gain support for most file formats that Amarok can read tags from. Reading Replay Gain tags from MP4 files requires libMP4v2. Musepack (MPC) files are unsupported due to a limitation of TagLib.
  • Bookmark Manager applet allowing for the creation, browsing, ordering and deletion of Amarok urls of different kinds. (BR 173512)
  • Amarok urls. Amarok can now load and generate "amarok urls" that allows any "view" to be bookmarked and later retrieved. A protocol handler is also installed that will launch amarok into the correct state, or make amarok show the correct view, if already running, when such a url is activated system wide.
  • Customizable playlist layouts. The playlist is now rendered according to an xml layout, allowing the playlist to assume a variety of different looks and supply customizable information.
  • Album cover art can be accessed via the scripting API. Patch thanks to Simon Esneault . (BR 179732)
  • New vertical Context View layout.
  • New applet toolbar in the Context View to arrange, select, and add applets.

Changes

  • New splash screen by Wade Olson .
  • Magnatune.com store: When downloading albums (either by purchasing or free membership downloads) remember the file format and download location for next time.
  • Links in the lyrics applet are now clickable and open with the default external web browser (BR 179396)
  • Collection browser has been pimped.
  • Bring back animations in the browsers if Qt 4.5 or later is detected.
  • The collection scanner is now being provided in a separate package.
  • The TagLib plugins formerly provided by Amarok are now being provided in a separate package. It should be available in most distributions as taglib-extras.
  • Improvements to playlist searching and filtering. No longer reset view to the top when clearing a search term. No longer scroll into the results when the "show only matches" option is set.
  • Improved implementation of volume muting. Mute state doesn't change volume level any more. (BR 172392)
  • Remove score, last played and play count from the current track applet for tracks that does not have any of them (mainly streams).
  • Don't pretend to be able to seek if the source isn't seekable.
  • File Browser UI has been tweaked for better usability.
  • The Bookmark Handler in the File Browser no longer causes a crash-on-exit, so it has been re-enabled. (BR 173634)
  • Performance optimisation when loading large playlists, and hence faster application startup.
  • Many small visual tweaks for greater consistency and better use of screen space.
  • Increased width of volume slider for greater precision.
  • Use the speex, trueaudio and wavpack support in TagLib 1.5, rather than our own plugins.
  • Double click on a podcast channel appends all episodes to the playlist.
  • Delete and download actions will only be shown when relevant to the selected podcast episode.
  • Major refactoring of the podcast model and view to allow custom actions per podcasts source.
  • Compilation fixed for OpenSolaris.
  • Show the cover menu when right clicking on artwork in the Tag Dialog.
  • Don't remove queued tracks from the playlist when repopulating dynamic playlists.
  • Major last.fm UI overhaul.
  • Progress indicator on system tray icon is back.
  • Now using KSystemTrayIcon.
  • QtScript: Importer.loadQtBinding returns a true or false depending on success.

Bugfixes

  • Improvements to compilation detection during the collection scanning phase. Thanks to Michael Quinn for laying the groundwork. (BR 172953)
  • Do not reset lyrics applet to the top when pausing and then unpausing a track. (BR 182519)
  • Automatically update lyrics applet if the user edits relevant track metadata. (BR 185237)
  • Fix tracks with some identical tags being detected as dupes and not getting copied onto MTP device.
  • Fix invisible and unintuitive selection in the playlist after deleting one or more tracks. (BR 187871)
  • Prevent playlist from showing a wrong playing song after adding tracks above it. (BR 181947)
  • Show the current playing song when resuming playback of a track not in the collection. (BR 173912)
  • Fix crash when using ctrl+mousewheel in the File Browser. Patch by Valentin Rouet . (BR 175803)
  • Fix actions choosen from context menu in a filtered playlist getting applied to wrong track(s). (BR 186573) (BR 185054)
  • Try to detect the charset of cue sheets. (BR 184769)
  • Make opening an external webbrowser working on Windows, too.
  • The File Browser now remembers its sort order. (BR 186444)
  • When editing info for multiple tracks, do not write to the files if only editing info that is stored in the db and not in the actual files (such as ratings). (BR 184836)
  • Render the lyrics applet correctly with dark color schemes. (BR 183037)
  • When turning on a dynamic playlist, automatically populate the playlist if it is empty. (BR 183968)
  • Don't crash if using an invalid codec name AmarokLyricsScript conversion functions. (BR 185540)
  • Actually stop playback if we encounter too many errors.
  • The collection scanner no longer sucks quite as much.
  • A full rescan is no longer necessary after disconnecting/reconnecting an external harddrive.
  • Fix issue with files being deleted when Organize Collection is run without selecting a collection root. (BR 184410)
  • Dynamic playlist weight's are now saved correctly. (BR 184304)
  • Fix using "Copy to Collection" to download Magnatune.com preview tracks. (BR 183328)
  • Correct behaviour when queuing in a filtered playlist. (BR 180477)
  • Do not break up grouping in the playlist when editing (all but album) tags.
  • QtScript correctly writes the tags of tracks metadata it changes. (BR 182667)
  • Fix "Stop Playing After Track". (BR 180486)
  • Fix switching tracks in random tracks mode. (BR 176019)
  • Fix grouping of Stream and File meta objects. This affects many cases, Such as when loading a playlist containing tracks from a scripted service.
  • Fixed crash on exit when collection scan has been aborted. (BR 176870)
  • Fixed an infinite loop bug when using title case conversion in Guess Tags. (BR 180164)
  • Don't show the rating widget for tracks which are not in the collection. (BR 180023)
  • The negation operator works in the collection browser filter.
English

Comments

Congrats. Also, +1 for Porcupine Tree!

Cool, will this release work on amd64?

...we only support the Z80 CPU at this point (up to 4 Mhz).

PS:
Of course AMD64 is supported, heh ;)

awww, and i was planning on running it on my calculator.

I wouldn't worry. Ca$io crashes all the time anyway. Sq rt of negative numbers... ERROR every time.

Sadly my C=64 is 2Mhz only :( but I suppose there's one big advantage - Amarok 2 will play my mp3's two times longer ;d

Heh, I happened to be doing the screenshots this time, and as I am the resident prog head, it sometimes shows in the finished result. :-)

Thanks for this Wonderfull release.

what about Equalizer ??

Still the old problem: we need support from Phonon for that.

As I understand it, equalizer isn't possible at the moment because it's not supported in Phonon.

I amp my line-level output with a small mixer and use the headphone port on it for my headset-level output, since my PC doesn't have a headphone port on the front. Anyway, I use the mixer's EQ, so I never noticed amarok not having it.

Oh yesssss !

I've been missing this for some time:

"Add support for showing a stream with multiple alternative servers as a single item in the playlist and add GUI for manually selecting prefered source."

Thanks a lot, guys :D

"position bookmarking"

wow that's awesome! i though about such a feature because I have lots of 2-3h mixtapes where this will be handy.

Thanks for this :)

Really good, thank you.
by about a week I'm heavily using amarok 2.1 (SVN) and have never, underline never, had problems ... WOW
now I’m still waiting the crossfade feature to make a party with amarok 2, right now I can use the amazing amarok 2 only for myself …

Really good, thank you.
by about a week I'm heavily using amarok 2.1 (SVN) and have never, underline never, had problems ... WOW
now I’m still waiting the crossfade feature to make a party with amarok 2, right now I can use the amazing amarok 2 only for myself …

Are there Jaunty packages available?

It's always a terrible wait for a ppa or official packages to come out.

I tried to compile it myself, but it told me it needed taglib-extra, and i'm not sure i know what I should do from there. I don't wanna make my system messed up from lots of duplicating libraries and such.

Install libtag-extras-dev

WTF, they had to call taglib libtag to trip me up didn't they?

Indeed they did :) And not just that, you need the -dev one... Fun times.

I have a homegrown deb (i.e. minus the copyright etc.) if anyone wants it. You'll still have to install libtag using apt as I didn't bother with dependencies either, and remove amarok and amarok-common manually too... Or, I could always update the deb if there's enough demand.

Email me @ gemma.harton at gmail

Looks great, I think I'll give it a try right away.

Now the only crucial thing that keeps me from converting my old amarok 1 collection and then deleting it is label support because I managed my dynamic playlist using them. Any chance of seeing that soon?

I'm using v1 for the same reason... We want label support!!! Please!!!

A very very very amazing work!
Congrats people! You all rock! Thank you!

I've used rhythmbox, amarok 1.4.x, amarok 2.x, exaile, songbird, and iTunes..
..but I've missed Windows Media Player since the day I ditched Windows a couple years ago.
Variable tempo playback, multi file type playback, and album cover media library browsing mode..

I was very lucky to see the new beta! I'm using amarok for 3 year now and the 2.x-Version is a good beginning for a new vision. the new beta is a new hope for all people where don't like the 2.x-Version.

Please, could you bring back the CD audio playing feature ? Actually in KDE 4.x there's no way to play a CD audio on SATA drives. KsCD is broken, and we have to use Gnome apps to do the stuff.

The 1.4 CD play feature was really useful.

There already exists an implementation for that, but it won't make it into 2.1. Maybe into 2.1.x.

Too sad to see playing CDs is still not in amarok2 - I'll be ready to give it a try the day it is implemented in a release, not any earlier.
In my eyes this is an absolute showstopper and a major failure by the developers (which IMHO otherwise do a terrific job!) - until today CDs are the one type of media which deliver by far the most audio data.
And it should be supported - CD playing is a must have for any media player I think.

The thing about CD playing in Amarok 2 is that once it was time to port this code frin 1.4.x, it turned out that no one was really motivated to do it as none of the developers used cd's at all. That, and the fact that the whole thing was one big hack, both code and usability wise.

Personally, the first thing I do when I get a new cd is fire up K3B or another app, rip the cd to FLAC, stove the cd somewhere safe and forget about it. From what we can tell, most users do something similar and the ones who actually use cd's seems to be a minority, hence this feature got moved down the list of priorities somewhat.

In any case, I think what we have in store for 2.2 will make you very happy as it is really a much more integrated approach to handling CD's than Amarok 1.4.x ever had.

That seems like a bit of overkill. I usually just microwave them.

The UI is beginning to look sharper. Not too bad.

Also -- gotta fix the uncentered text on those sidebar buttons.

Awesome! Can't wait for the stable 2.1 release. Congrats!

I really like about amarok, that it seems to be a very active project. However, there still are a lot of bugs in the 2.x release (I'm constantly reporting them and I've even provided a patch to add a QtScript API that I like to use - see selectedFilenames/selectedIndexes). I hope those bugs will be fixed soon (or at least the ones that bug me the most).
Also I hope PulseAudio will be usable soon (because these days you cannot easily uninstall this peace of c**p any more), but I have not much hope in that. :(

So keep up the work! Maybe 2.2 will be as stable and feature complete as 1.4.

You should still be able to configure ALSA and just disable Pulseaudio. Removing it is difficult, since some things are starting to use it as a dependency, but I haven't found any apps yet that I couldn't make my own dmix style device to use instead of pulseaudio.

Pulseaudio is a nice unifying framework, but until it allows for DTS/AC3 passthrough to take precedence over its software mixing, It is junk to me. I do like it on my laptop though, makes everything simple; but my main PC is used for video playback, and I prefer my receiver's decoding.

All I had to do to bypass PA is disable pulseaudio starting on boot, in Multimedia in System Settings, I moved the audio output device I use (hw0,1. in my case SPDIF Digital, pick analog if you don't use spdif)

Then plain alsa rules should take effect. If you don't have software mixing after that (meaning multiple audio sources at once, like system sounds and music playing, or system sounds while watching a video) you'd need to make a custom default sound device the old ALSA way (asoundrc/asound.conf)

So in short, uninstalling PA is getting difficult, but just having everything ignore it is still about the same as just using ALSA.

Two questions:
Does it finally has the same playlist functionality as Amarok 1? With the same sorting abilities and the same amount of information in one row?

And is it possible now to move those play, stop etc. button entanglement to another place e.g. under the playlist, middle or right? That's where those buttons are needed, where they are most comfortable to reach, IMHO. My mouse it most right down when I use amarok playlist (scrollbar) - so why should I be forced to wander all the way across the whole application window to the upper left?

First, really thanks for your guys great work!

Yes, i totally agree with JaKi's opinion.
For me, i do need thoes two enhancements.
And i think lots of people need that too.

Pls consider it as soon, guys. please!!!!!!!!!!!!

"same amount of information in one row" - Yes. While not a default, you can use the playlist layout editor to cram as much information into a single row in the playlist as you feel like.

"same sorting abilities" - No, not quite yet. We are hoping to get a Google Summer of Code project accepted that will add some very cool sorting capabilities to the playlist that will take it far beyond anything 1.4.x could ever do, but that is not going to be in 2.1.0 unfortunately.

Is it possible to embed the context information in a sidebar tab like in amarok 1.x? The context view in the center is pretty much a waste of space.

I'd like to see this, too, but I guess this would need a major rewrite of the UI-code, so it's not very likely that somebody implements it^^

Oh yes ! The context view is definitely useles for people who do not use last.fm. The best thing would probably to be able to dock each part of the GUI where you want it to be (like eclipse does). that way we could also have the play/stop buttons under the list.

thanks for this great product anyway !

Hi,
great to see this much progress here. Also, +1 for Porcupine Tree. :-)
Now a curious question: How much progress has been made to get the stability on Windows on par with the Linux version? I don't see much about that in the change log :-(. Is there any rough estimation on how much is left to be done?
Unfortunately, I'm currently forced to use Windows because I have to do .NET develoment, and I haven't found a music player for Windows to come close to Amarok. Maybe I even find the time to help fixing bugs this summer.

The Windows version should be pretty much on par with the Linux version.. it's the same source code after all. Last I heard it works pretty well :)

With one limitation: It does not yet support Media Devices (iPods and such).

The Windows version is becoming better slowly, but it's not on par with the Linux one because of some blockers...
Probably it's Phonon fault but the "stop button doesn't work" issue is really annoying from a user's point of view:
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=186999
...and the users will for sure blame Amarok for that issue at first glance.
So the overall user experience still cannot be compared at the moment.

P.S.: not to count that:
- if remember correctly 2.0.2 hasn't reached the repositories at the moment;
- the available 2.0.1 has this bug by default:
https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=183036
so it crashes every time you try to start it if you don't hack the configuration file...

Is there an OpenSUSE BuildService repository that carries the beta?

I tried out an old Amarok build for OS X when I first got my MacBook, since I was in love with 1.4 while I was on Ubuntu, but it kinda *sucked*.

How far has the port come along since then?

I'd also like to see a new Mac release.

The version on the download page is pre-2.0

It's great to have progress in the playlist thing, a feature screamed about a long time. kudos for that.
I still have issues with amarok, though, which plague my system.

First of all, memory usage. It's HUGE. And slows startup a lot. I know amarok is still shaping, but it's not a good idea to have like 500+MB ram eaten by it constantly.

Second thing: Databases. You should really try to have at least a configuration where the database is uploaded to a dedicated mysqld server. It would be great for the stability.

Third: Collection browser. Nothing more to add except three words: 'it sucks bigtime.' Why on earth is it tree-based? For us who like tables more than trees there is no option to have the old browser from 1.4 back. I do not want to have all my collection visible all the time in tree mode. On top of that, selecting individual tracks in tree mode involves unneeded expansion of the leaves which is not productive.

I guess I should stop ranting now and say something positive. It's good to see you reacting on people's wishes. It's also hard to innovate when you've already set the bar too high with a previous release. The sad thing is we don't hear of Amarok that often, not as we are used to -- please be more vocal, either on the Planet, or whereever else. Thus people won't sit back and wonder what is happening.

I don't know where you're pulling your numbers from, but Amarok surely isn't using 500 MB RAM.

What I'm currently looking at here is 130 MB RES for Amarok SVN trunk, which isn't precise either, because you still have to subtract shared memory from this number (all KDE apps share a lot). So in reality it's even less than that.

About databases: MySQL Embedded is just as stable as the server version. Which makes sense, because it's actually the same code, duh :)

PS:
Using an external MySQL server will be possible in future versions, it's on our TODO.

By future versions, do you mean to say that it will not be possible in 2.1 as has been promised? I'm still using 1.4.10, and will continue to do so until this feature is back, as I have it running against my standalone MySQL server already and don't want to lose the database for an upgrade to a version I'm not yet crazy about anyway. Frankly, if someone were to convert Amarok 1.4 to use Qt4 and KDELibs 4 and not change the UI at all I'd probably use that, but I digress.

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