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Amarok 2.1 "Let There Be Light" released

Amarok 2.1

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:

Playlist Improvements

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!

Context View

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

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

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.

Last.fm

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. ;-)

ReplayGain Support

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.

Collection Headers

Headers in the collection browser now have a much cleaner, more distinctive look.

Media Devices

Album cover support for iPods has been added and many bugs have been fixed.

Compilation support

Thanks to the sleepless nights of many Amarok developers, identifying albums as compilations (aka "Various Artists") now works more reliably :)

Phonon Configuration

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.

and more!


Grab your copy of Amarok 2.1 today and rediscover music!

download

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.

English

Comments

Thanks for the new release! I'm relieved to see that bug 166958 was resolved. I use amarok to interface with my ampache collection at work every day. Before the fix I had to restart amarok every hour or so in order to be able to browse my ampache library. I also like the ability to customize the playlist, keep up the good work!

Looks awesome folks! Thanks a lot!

Looks awesome folks ! Thanks a lot!

Amarok is a nice looking program. Now if it only played MP3s, I could actually use it!

Amarok doesn't play any sounds, Phonon does.
If you can play MP3s via Phonon with other programs but not Amarok, you should definitely file a bug report.

"Now if it only played MP3s, I could actually use it!"

Amarok can only play what you have installed the support for, which may include different stuff depending on if you are using the phonon-xine or phonon-gstreamer, xine being the preferred backend.

Names of packages required and where you have to go to get them depends on your distribution, so you need to look for that. If you use the search function on the Amarok forum:

http://amarok.kde.org/forum/index.php?action=search;advanced

: say for example if you are running Suse and using the xine backend, using the terms:

suse mp3 xine

: should get some useful results.

Later, Seeker

In addition to my trivial "Latest Played" context panel module, I've got a few more desired features. I'm sure they've already been brought up, but I don't know if they're planned yet.

The first is to bring back the concept of queueing. It's very useful to be able to interject a song or two or an album into random playback, for example. Probably the only remaining useful feature from 1.x missing in 2.x aside from my ending spiel.

More fine-tuning in the playlist editor would be nice. I'd like to be able to cram more info in, especially in the "group headers" (I tried putting disc # between the genre and total track #... there was more than enough visible space but apparently padding used it up, as the disc number was clipped on both sides. The padding in general seems excessive relative to the size, check the cutoff of the track name with ample space before the track #.)

I'm sure this is planned, but something akin to the playlist editor for the context modules would be nice... perhaps even an editor for creating simple modules. The context modules all look and read 100x better than in 2.0, and they're slightly more compact, but it'd be nice to be able to take more advantage of space with the specific information a user desires. Configuration of non-graphic elements would be nice too, like choosing whether or not to auto-fetch for lyrics, wiki, etc. I suppose this would more naturally be contained in the scripts section, if indeed the backends are amarok scripts and the context modules are limited to informaiton display, as it seems to be, but the lyrics script currently has no enabled configuration as of yet.

Finally, put me in with the camp who desire an abstracted backend again. Those of us already running local databases would like to take advantage of that overhead. Personally, I'm developing a lot of loose data sets/applications and many center around music and maintaining a collection. It'd be nice to be able to relate this data with amarok's (without resorting to hack syncing w/ sqlite) to cut down on redundancy and give both data sets a huge boost in usefulness. This is far from trivial to implement (though it should be simple enough to plan out) but the long-term benefits of having broader project dependencies as well as adhering to the best of *nix traditions would be well worth it, not to mention the benefits for those of us who would choose to make use of other databases. This debate is probably dead considering the decision was made while 2.x was alpha, but I want to be counted among those very much regretting that reality.

Queuing is already in 2.1.0

As for fine tuning the playlist layouts, try right clicking on one of the elements in the playlist layout editor. This gives you a small menu where you can specify a fixed percentage width for an item. The space is allocated so the first, the items with a fixed percentage gets their width, and then the remaining space is equally shared between elements with no fixed width set ( width = 0 )

In the right click menu you can also set alignment and text attributes for each element

- Nikolaj

I'm a bit confused - queuing came back in 2.0.1 (or 2.0.2), but now it has disappeared from the right click menu?!

I am amazed that there is still no equalizer in Amarok 2.. I think it looks awesome but at the end of the day, I want to listen to music.. not watch a flashy media player. Without an equalizer Amarok is worthless.

Good Job guys!

I've been waiting for the configurable playlist forever!!!! I've finally switched from Amarok 1.4.10 to 2.1!!! Hopefully its stable!!

Keep up the great work!

Love it!

Zubin Parihar

I'd just like to say thank you to all the developers. I was in the camp of users that was upset with the direction Amarok 2.x was taking but this release has turned me. Native support for Replay Gain is a feature I have been hoping for. I can finally see the forest.

The Lyrics widgets is not completely visible; it doesn't resize vertically and therefore the text at the bottom as well as the bottom end of the scrollbar are invisible.

It's probably just going beyond your screen space. If you click on the "Lyrics" tab in the context view you will likely see the whole widget.

But actually that's the reason why I'm not quite happy with the new context view. Every other applet is added underneath all the others, so you might have 8+ tabs in the context view and some are not completely visibly. I guess it's not really intuitive. I'd personally have preferred a predefined number of pages that can be viewed via tabs and that can be individually named and filled with resizable plasmoids. More like in 2.0 but with better navigation.

It really baffles me that a simple standard feature like playlist sorting (by column) is *STILL* not implemented, but yet, a useless feature like "Amarok URLs" is added. Priorities are out of whack, if you ask me. Is it just me or is it not expected to have this as a standard in *any* music player? If I can't sort my playlist, it's not a useful player.

Another complaint is not being able to get rid of the Context View. Why does it even take another column in the first place, wasting space? Why can't we have the choice of showing it or not, or even better, showing it like the Context View in 1.4?

Although 2.1 looks much better and works better, I will never use it until these 2 things are addressed. I will stick with 1.4 until that time.

Cheers.

Because the playlist does not have columns!

It can be made to look like it does, but really, it does not. Each row in an item can have a different number of elements, so the concepts of columns really do not apply. While this is what gives the playlist its flexibility, it does make sorting a bit tricky. Which is why I am currently mentoring a GSoC student to make it work in a way that is much more flexible than anything Amarok 1..4.x ever had...

As for "Amarok URL's" being useless, allow me to take some offense since I dreamt up and wrote this feature. While they might not seem immediately useful to you, they are actually the internal basis of many other new features that have been frequently requested such as track bookmarks and, especially, cue sheet support (which was implemented in record time becuase it could build on the url stuff). It is also used a few other places as well already, and it is something we have very big plans for in the future.

In 2.1.0 there is actually a setting in the amarokrc file to completely hide the context view, but due to string freeze it was not exposed to the UI. This is already implemented for 2.1.1 though which should be released very soon.

I've just used the bookmarking feature for the first time and I really love it. It's great though I would agree there are maybe more important issues that should have been fixed first. But whoever is doing the job should decide what to work on.

Is there a possibility though to add bookmarks to the playlist? That would be a nifty feature.

Thanks for the nice comment!

What do you mean by "add bookmarks to the playlist"? Could you describe a usage scenario please?

I can't speak for the OP but I can imagine a pair of bookmarks being a kind of "virtual song". Say, you have one huge MP3 with a whole live show, but you only want to listen to one song from that performance as part of your playlist... have a bookmark with both start and end markers. In collection tree you could see album as parent, then tracks inside album, then bookmarks inside tracks... or something like this. I guess it is similar to a .cue/.mp3 setup.

Sorry for offending you, but my point was that all these new features are being added when the basics are not even completed. I realize there are no columns. That's the issue. I don't understand why the playlist was rewritten so that each song has multiple rows. What other player does this without losing functionality? Although it's very customizable and makes it pretty, how does it make it practical to manage your playlist this way? You say that this is what gives the playlist its flexibility. What flexibility? Other than designing layouts, all I can do with it is is scroll up and down and choose a song or use a filter (which is also worse than 1.4), among the other options in the context menu. I can't even rate a song in the playlist anymore. Sure, I can do it in the Context View, but what if I have it hidden? If ratings within the playlist are coming up the pipes, then fine.

Yeah, there's flexibility in making it *look* a certain way, but no flexibility in managing the actual songs in the playlist. One song should not take more than one row. It doesn't need to be that complicated. It's a playlist, not a cover designer. If you implement an option to choose between this new playlist or revert to a standard playlist with sortable columns, then I won't care what this new "feature" does. I want to be able to sort by any aspect of a song that I choose. And I don't want to have to right-click to access a sorting menu and choose what to sort by. It should be one-click only, which is why columnar playlists are much more efficient and practical.

The sorting feature will be in the next 2.2 release. It is a GSoC project (as mentioned before). So all the problems will be solved ("one line per song" view, using the layout editor, sorting - using the sorting "editor" that will be done, and so on).

I agree sorting isn't implemented yet, but once it is, it will be able to make things amarok 1.4 wasn't. Just wait a little bit.. it will be there.. don't worry...

Here's the GSoC Project link:

Finish the playlist: multilevel playlist sorting with configuration interface

http://socghop.appspot.com/student_project/show/google/gsoc2009/kde/t124...

Yeah, there's flexibility in making it *look* a certain way, but no flexibility in managing the actual songs in the playlist.

Hi, great realease. but amarok 2.1 is only for Jaunty?

Where is the deb for Intrepid? @_@

Kubuntu developers only backport new releases to the current stable release (which would be Jaunty) unless there are security issues. So I fear you will have to upgrade to Jaunty to use the packages.

Does this version has a transfer to device queue as the version 1.x used to have. I'd rather doing the select work and then batch transfer all the queued tracks instead of being transferring them as I select (another issue is that in this version you could mistakenly click on "Move to Collection" when you were meant to click "Copy to Collection")

Congratulations! Amarok is the best audio player available. I can't switch to 2.1 yet because my Linux distro ships an older version but I'm already happy that there is something worth waiting for. :-)

I don't understand why could someone turn amarok 1.4 into this piece of crap. It's completely buggy and unusable. Dear developer, did you try to use it or you use xmms/iTunes at home and Amarok for you is just a field to practice your programming skills withou any real use?

Disappointment just as the whole KDE4.

Thanks for your constructive feedback. It helps us a lot with making Amarok better for you.

Sometimes when bugs are rare it makes sense to submit bug report as I often do with Maemo project. But there is no point to submit bugs here, they are everywhere. It's a pre-pre-pre-alpha. What can I say, Amarok2 just should have stayed in some development repositories only and now sign of it should be visible to ordinary users. You know what my wife said when she tried to use it? "Was it already broken or I did something wrong?". It's now usable at all! Don't blame me for saying it aloud, it's just true.

Amarok is under the GPL 2 license... One important thing about this license is:

NO WARRANTY

11. BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY
FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN
OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES
PROVIDE THE PROGRAM "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS
TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE
PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING,
REPAIR OR CORRECTION.

So, if you are uncomfortable, unhappy or something similar with the progression of amarok or its development, the entire RISK of using it is yours.

Don't come here and talk to the amarok team as if you are the one paying them to do the job. They work for free...

At least, if you are so unhappy, you could even be polite... And remember free software is about choice.. you can use something else instead of amarok.

I particularly love amarok, the way it is doing now and the projections for the near and long future. I am really glad of using it and do not see so many bugs as you see (if you even had mentioned what bugs.. :)

Keep rocking amarok team, I know many other good things are coming on the next releases!

I hope that was a joke... right? No one here is trying to sue KDE team, mate! Relax...
It was a discussion about user experience... and I personally don't think that KDE team would say to you to use another player if you don't like amarok. They rather say to you "what can we do for you to like it"? Amarok is not built only for "happy" and "polite" people.
Just remember that user feedback is available here because KDE ASKED FOR IT!
So, again, relax, and let the KDE team to deal with "unhappy" people's comments...

No, that wasn't a joke. License issues are never a joke. Sometimes some people do not take them seriously enough but that's another thing.

What I was trying to emphasize here was that when you use free software, you gotta have in mind that if that particular software doesn't work the way you expect it to, it isn't absolutely only the developers' fault because there is no warranty it will work as you expect.

Of course developers try to work on something that is really useful and works, but a comment like "Worst media player ever", "you developers ruined amarok" and others don't bring any idea to reach a good solution of a problem or help making the software "work as you expect". It only underestimate others work and offend.

People could at least be a little polite when talking about others work. I doubt somebody would ever love to listen to someone saying "Hey, what you are doing is shit... is a disappointment " Nobody likes that... A project like KDE or amarok depends on the free will of people, altruistic people that work on their own on the benefit of many others... couldn't we at least be polite?

Well, I agree that I overreacted. It was because in my fresh kubuntu 9.04 Amarok 2 is a default player. It's not Amarok2 developers' guilt that it was chosen to be distributed with Kubuntu/KDE4. But what's the logic of people to remove perfectly working software and replace it with player in its unstable stage? How come that this application passed any test before being chosen what will be called default KDE4 music player?

I might be wrong but I think the amarok version shipped with kubuntu 9.04 is 2.0.2. The 2.1 version is way more stable and consistent, IMHO. So I suggest you to update it. See http://www.kubuntu.org/news/amarok-2.1 to know how to do it.

Yes, so I tried some time ago 2.0.2, but it was not convenient and stable. So I was really waiting for 2.1 to see some progress. I'll give it a try with 2.2.

Anyway, dear Amarok developers, hope to see your 2.2(2.3) and switch to it as to default player as I did with KDE3. Thanks

Just want to Jump in here ...... It seems every time somebody criticizes Amarok 2 the board members come back with some quick response about the GPL or about the development cycle ....

How bout just admitting that there are MAJOR problems with Amarok and that in an attempt to make a cross platform application you guys screwed the linux community out of the best audio player out there..... AMAROK 1.4. ---- you guys dropped the ball

This is getting ridiculous . Amarok 2 looks cools as can be .... and it seems most of the developers are up on the latest and greatest in UI design ... but the functionality that made AMAROK the killer KDE app is simply gone .... it doesn't work right .... I was so angry I completely got rid of it and started using Atunes .... and Jajuk .... but quickly discovered that they were still nowhere near as good as Amarok 1.4 --- I found a fix to get 1.4 working in 9.04 and am going to stick with it ..... but as soon as a different player comes a long thats as good .... I'm out ..... ( I'm keeping my eye on Atunes)

It seems you all got a little bit ahead of yourselves and maybe a little too big for you britches .. and thought you might take on Itunes of winamp in the mac/pc world .... but bottom line ... Amarok is a GREAT linux app ... support the the folks that helped get you on the map first then worry about the mac/pc world ......

tim

I'm thankful to the one who wrote this passage. I always read and write this style of articles. youtube Also, as a daily writer, I present my respects to the all writers. Lately, I have watched a video resembling that in facebook. I research in all areas.

In my opinion, people should research first and write then.

Regards.

I just can't get my head around this new amarok.

The old version was so nice. I use it to DJ Weddings, the playlists in the 1.* much more user friendly.

I use the MySQL to sorty my 10,000 + songs and the MySQL search is so fast.

While I love improvements, this version seems like a backward step to me.

Maybe you can continue to add some new fun stuff to the old one?

Fork anyone?

I really can't understand the rush to release amarok 2.*. It remains unstable, very "heavy" for my pc and not so usable. It needs millions of miles just to reach the features of 1.4. I used amarok for more than 5 years, but now i switched to exaile. KDE did exactly the same mistake and lost many users. I hope both will improve before 2010!!!

How about .cue support ?

It's in there.

I could not play any .cue, only m3u

its true,

cue sheet support is "in there" but not working :( , only cue sheets that are not in the collection can be played which is quite useless

check
http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=112477 and
http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=187587

Nothing to do with subject, but did you see the new volkswagen pickup?
They named it Amarok =D

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/04/volkswagen-continues-inscrutable-nami...

I'm brazilian, so english may be funny

[ ]'s

Anybody else experiencing this problem?
When doing sorting work in the library using the ID3-tag windows of Amarok and the file management feature, sooner or later the point is reached where Amarok2 deletes the ID3 tag info of all songs currently in the playlist.
It has to be noted that this doesn't happen while editing the ID3 tags, but later on, when using the file management feature in order to copy the edited files to the correct point in the collection.

I've now had this several times both with beta versions of Amarok and with the final 2.1 version, and it is really really really annoying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I kind of confirm this, 'tho for me it just messed up things w/ tags.

I have several "missing" songs from some albums, but the actual file is there, what's missing is the ID3 tag of the song, somehow it got deleted. And for some other "missing" songs, the ID3 tags changed, now I have several songs w/ different artist (and albums)...

Right now I'm hunting down those "missing" songs in my library and correcting the ID3 tag... I have 2K+ songs, so this will take a while...

It's sad, but somehow because of annoying things like this Amarok - being my most used app in 1.4 times - is slowly getting out of use for me. As nowadays I have to use different programmes anyway for tasks like ID3 tag editing, UPNP stuff and so on, Amarok is getting superfluous.
I also have problems with Amarok not correctly scanning the MP3 directory, problems with the file manager feature and so on. 2.1 in some regards looks more "beta" than 2.0. 2.0 was beta because of missing ffeatures, 2.1 has the features back again, but buggy.
I'd like to have one program for all my media management, but as Amarok does not currently fullfill my needs, least of all the "data integrity", I have to use other apps :(.

I kind of confirm this, 'tho for me it just messed up things w/ tags.

I have several "missing" songs from some albums, but the actual file is there, what's missing is the ID3 tag of the song, somehow it got deleted. And for some other "missing" songs, the ID3 tags changed, now I have several songs w/ different artist (and albums)...

Right now I'm hunting down those "missing" songs in my library and correcting the ID3 tag... I have 2K+ songs, so this will take a while...

Since I don't want to bother with deleted tags but did not want to change back to another version, I simply removed write rights from the music files ( in terminal chmod -R a-w /path/to/your/collection ). Radical solution, in order to change sth, you have to permit yourself writing to these files and folders again :)
Hope this is solved soon.
Great software, apart from this. Thanks for your efforts, devs :)

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