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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

versions from the future, you know. And hey, about the "not yet crazy" thing - I'm not so sure about that.

markey, markey, markey. You really are slow coders, aren't you? How hard is it to write a few lines of code to use an external *SQL server. Really disappointing this A2 thing you call a player.

I agree completely about the collection browser. It is horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, and horrible. It is bad enough that I am giving up on Amarok 2 for the foreseeable future. It is impossible to do something as simple as viewing the list by album, or adding various artists albums to playlist with the songs in the proper order. Amarok 1's collection browser was perfect -- surely moving to KDE4 has nothing to do with that. It seems to be focused around individual songs, and does not have the concept of proper albums, which is a shame.

Amarok is getting more and more bloated and until it returns to the common sense approach that originally attracted myself and so many others, I'm faced with no other option but to stick with 1.4. Amarok feels like facebook. It was originally squeaky clean and truly was the *nix player with an intuitive interface. Now it's overloaded with new features, is missing half of the original ones, and is buggy to boot. In addition to the mountains of bugs that others have reported, the UI of the new Amarok is simply horrible. It's a shame because I couldn't be a bigger fan of amarok and it pains me to be so harsh, but it's terrible. The playlist is shrunken and as far from the collection browser as possible and there is a giant unsightly browser block in the middle. It's illogical and Windows Media Player is a bigger joy to use. I want to see the music I'm playing and the playlist, not a huge box offering every piece of information on the track amassed by mankind. Can't that be optional? Making the box smaller just makes the thing look ugly.

Less is more. I love the 1.4.x line and everything since then has simply been downhill IMO. If less time were spent trying to make it look pretty and different and more time spent trying to make it intuitive and logical (or just to make it work!) there wouldn't be nearly as many complaints. Why fix something that wasn't broken to begin with? I'm sticking with 1.4.x until it's too deprecated to run on modern drivers and libraries or some serious changes occur. :[

...everything was better! You sound a bit like my grandma.

Hi !
Is the scrobbling of iPod/media devices are/will be back ?

Thanks, keep up the good work !

I'm using amarok 2.1 beta1 and I'm missing a few things. With this version of amarok I am finally able to sync my Creative Zen Vision:M 60 GB player with amarok but the covers from my collection aren't transfered over. The podcast section is completely messed up, it work quite ok in amarok 2.0.0 but now I can put in a feed and the feed gets shown but I can't download any episodes at all. I can stream them but not download them. Is the video function going to be introduced in this version?

Regards

André

The podcast section has just received a huge number of fixes from Bart, so it's gonna work much better in the next beta, and in 2.1 final.

Video: Nope, not yet. (and mind you, we have no intention of turning Amarok into a full video player)

OK, sounds good! I am aware of that amarok isn't aiming at becoming a video player but as far as I understand a video option was supposed to be included at some point. What's the goal of the video function?

Regards

André

Music videos :)

So we are talking ability to watch Youtube and similar through Amarok?

Regards

André

...that's the idea :)

Hello!
Firstly thanks for this great piece of software! Amarok seems to be the best audio player I ever tried on both Windows and Linux!
But there is one thing I can't understand: why don't you use Plasma notifications for track and volume change instead of your own one? A Plasma notification can contain an album cover and even play/pause, stop, previous and next buttons. Besides it'll well fit the desktop environment appearance.
Sorry for my bad English :( .

Well, we are still evaluating the usage of Plasma notifications. We might use them in the future (maybe optionally), but this is not yet decided.

Currently I find our own On Screen Display prettier (especially with translucency) than Plasma's notifications, and also more fitting for a media player! Also please keep in mind that only a fraction of our users are actually using the full KDE desktop, where these notifications are at home. On Windows or OSX they are far less useful ;)

In fact, your own notification mechanism blocks the screen in the Windows build.

That may be so, and should be fixed, but it's simply a bug. Certainly not the way it's intended to be :)

I also prefer your notification system currently.

I'm sorry, how do I install this on Intrepid over the old version?

Either compile from source (which will be a pain)

or

Wait for it to be packaged, which probably wont be until 2.1 stable is released.

or

Find an ubuntu ppa (Personal Package Archive) that has it.

(it sucks that this comment system expects a subject, doesn't it?)

On the topic of packaging:

Usually Kubuntu does indeed provide packages for our beta releases, and in fact they are working on it. The thing is that Amarok 2.1 is notoriously difficult to package, due to some new and rather exotic dependencies. That's why it's taking a good while to get this right, unfortunately.

Good to see that amarok2 is coming along. I did not have the opportunity to test it myself, but from reading the changelog, I keep wondering: Support for USB Mass Storage is not mentioned. Won't we see this for 2.1? What are the plans?

Unfortunately USB Mass Storage support will not make it into 2.1.0. We hope to get a Google Summer of Code project this year that will improve the media device support, including adding full support for USB devices. So we are aware that it is something that is sorely missing and we are trying to get it added as quickly as possible.

Thanks for the information. Good to know that the devs are aware and on it. Keep up the good work! This will keep me waiting.

On another note: Not that I depend on it, but it was nice to have visualizations in amarok1. I think I read somewhere (though I might be mistaken) that re-implementation of visualizations depends on the development of phonon. Is this already on the horizon?

...do indeed depend on a Phonon feature that needs to be implemented, yes. Fortunately there's also a SoC project for this, so this will likely become reality this summer.

Then amarok 2.(late summer) will truly rock!

I'd really like to have GOOM back.

I really miss the ability to drag stuff from an amarok playlist to a dolphin window.

Why can't we do that? It would make putting music on my PSP or a USB stick a lot easier.

That is the #1 reason feature it's missing for me right now compared to 1.4.

Hi,

I really miss the moodbar that was present in Amarok 1. Is there any plan to bring it back?

mee too :/

Hi,
anybody knows if a deb package (Jaunty, Lenny, Sid, any) for version 2.1 beta already exists?

there are the repository :

## Kubuntu Experimental
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-experimental/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-experimental/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

add in your /etc/apt/sources.list

Unfortunately, the build from there segfaults immediately on my Jaunty. Is there any place where I can file a bugreport crashes for this repository. As it's not official, I guess that Ubuntu's Launchpad or KDE's bugzilla are not the right places.

Oh, sorry, it seems that it happened only on the first start. Now it's working correctly, I just had to delete current playlist I had from 2.0.2.

Thank you very much for the info!
They should put that news in the Kubuntu web page.

For Jaunty 9.04

add repo
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-experimental/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-experimental/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

update apps database
sudo apt-get update

install apps
sudo apt-get install ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg libxine1-ffmpeg phonon-backend-xine amarok

if you're using gnome install language pack (replace pl with your country code)
sudo apt-get install language-pack-kde-pl-base
sudo apt-get install language-pack-kde-pl

source
http://forum.ubuntu.pl/showthread.php?t=98670

Thank you guys for your work
I hope that the 2.1 version will be able to select more than a folder when using "add media", to be able to add all the sub folders and files in a single click, without selecting every directory every time

Basically Amarok is progressing nicely .... But: A working import of an Amarok 1.4 database would be nice ... especially star ratings. But also aside from star ratings, it mostly seems broken. At least I couldn't find any successfully imported play count or whatever. In the dialog I see only lines "Importing -" and only occasionally a track title flying by. It would be cool if that migration thing could get a little priority boost ...

See, most of our core developers haven't used Amarok 1.x in years (about 3 years for me), and we don't have old collections from 1.x around either. So we experience a certain lack of motivation, and we also have a lack of material to work with.

This is exactly one situation where we would welcome patches from outside a lot, as we do realize that the issue is important to our users. There is a huge disparity in use cases between users and developers here :)

You said that (last sentence) right. Unfortunately, all you said is correct and I only wish it isn't.

I've been lurking around Amarok 2 development news but still didn't try it. I'm on Debian unstable and KDE4 (4.2) recently got there, substituting KDE3 completely and I still haven't upgraded. I see there's still no Amarok 2 in Debian, but boy do I hope some good soul finds enough motivation to fix this, IMHO (or I should say in my user case) a *very* important thing.

What I feel sorry about he most is that these disparities (not just between users and devs, but users as well) are so huge that I haven't seen anybody even mention this exact thing before. I mean for me this one thing is a complete deal-breaker in terms of updating to Amarok 2. I'm going to have to postpone updating as much as possible since Amarok 1.4 still serves me right and updating to Amarok 2 would actually feel like *moving* away from Amarok (and installing a completely separate application like Rhythmbox) because it would feel I'm loosing stuff, not gaining.

Again, in my particular user case this is a grave bug (even bigger than the 1.4 playlist missing initially from 2.0; now I see how unimportant that really is ;)) and I'm really sorry it currently seems nothing will be done about it.

I'm in the same situation, and have said it more than once. There's a bug (#174269) opened that unfortunately doesn't receive much attention. I'd be more than happy helping debugging and testing a fix, my library could be a good use case as it's kinda biggish with loads of tracks, ratings, playcounts, album covers... basically 5 years worth of it; I'm no big c++ dev so I can't really help with code.

The download link for the source package ATM isn't working for me!
Here it is: http://amarok.kde.org/wiki/unstable/amarok/2.0.90/src/amarok-2.0.90.tar.bz2

As a classical music listener I have really appreciated the cue sheets support. I installed amarok beta 1 on opensuse 11.1 and evrything seems to run very smoothly. I think, nonetheless, that Cue sheet support could be enhanced, i.e. allowing amarok to recognize each track in a cue sheet as an independent track in the collection. I noticed, moreover, that amarok seems to have some problems in managing both cue sheets and lastfm (tracks in cue sheets are simply not srcobbled in lastfm as if they weren't correctly identified by amarok).

Two major (at least for me) desiderata: an equalizer and a cd support...

CD support is in the works for 2.2 ( or perhaps even sooner, not for 2.1.0 though ). And this time its CD support done right!

Does this release support FLAC music files "nicely?" With "nicely" I mean FLAC files are seekable and there is no 2-3-second cut at the end of the playing FLAC file.

I'm not joking here: Amarok itself cannot play any media, not even WAV. Nor can it play MP3 or FLAC.

Hint:
We delegate. You're barking up the wrong tree.

Hint 2:
Adding a "seek-table" to your FLACs should solve many problems. Just google for it.

"Wrong tree" or not, it was a valid question. The primary job of any music player to to reproduce music. If Amarok cuts off three seconds of a piece of music and other players don't, Amarok is an inferior application.

If you can't or won't resolve the problem at your end, say so and stop wasting peoples time.

Your cute answers are as worthless as your cute interface.

I had the same issue. I have five media clients in different areas of my home that access content stored on a media server. All of my music is encoded in FLAC.

Not only would the "improved" Amarok not play my music properly, it would no longer play files located on the remote server unless the share was mounted first.

It's easy enough to mount shares automatically at startup (although I think many users might not find it intuitive) which I typically do anyway so that was no big deal.

The inability of an open source music player to properly play an open source format (for whatever reason) and the inability or unwillingness of the developers to address the issue was a deal breaker.

After upgrading all of my clients to Jaunty I removed Amarok and installed Exaile. It works perfectly with all formats, supports Shoutcast, playlists and radio streams, and will play music from a server without mounting the shares first if that is what you want. I also find the more understated interface in Exaile easier to use in my application (multi-room audio clients). I simply want to listen to music. The rest is fluff. I use Amarok once in a while on my office PC to peruse Magnatunes, but that is pretty much it.

It seems that Amaroks new Fischer-Price GUI came at the expense of core functionality. Too bad, the old version was great.

Will there be a feature to make the playlist have columns again so I can sort on i.e. Title, Artist, or Album? This has been the one thing that has been keeping from upgrading to 2.x.

Yes and no.

In 2.1.0 you can use the Playlist Layout Manager (http://amarok.kde.org/blog/archives/876-Playlist-Layout-Editor.html) to make the playlist look much like the 1.4.x playlist. Sorting is not yet implemented though. The good news is that we just had a Goggle Sumer of Code project accepted that will remedy this. Since the amarok 2.1.0 playlist really does not have "columns" as such (it can fake it though), sorting is going to be a bit different, but also much more powerful. You can read about the plans for Multilevel sorting and other playlist goodies here: http://socghop.appspot.com/student_project/show/google/gsoc2009/kde/t124...

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