More Bumps on the Music Player Quest

So a few days ago, I wrote about my failure to find a good music player. Since then, I’ve made some discoveries.


  • Version 1.4 can’t sort an iPod’s library by genre. Oh, and any version less than 2.x isn’t supported upstream anymore.
  • Version 2 has mysteriously lost: the ability to see an iPod’s playlists, the ability to store a playlist in an m3u file and automatically keep it up to date, the ability to sync the Amarok statistics to an iPod, and more. Reminds me of the Gnome print dialog fiasco. “We’ve removed features. It’s better! Really! Oh, and we won’t support the old version either.”
  • The entire Amarok 2 interface is very slow and sluggish.

So just as I was about to post about how nicely Amarok’s playlist saving works with Firefly, here I’m instead posting how I can’t use Amarok because it can’t even do what Rhythmbox does with an iPod anymore.


  • Can’t play most of my iPod tracks due to a long-standing case sensitivity bug.
  • The only player other than gtkpod that groks iPod advanced playlists.
  • No way to tell it where to put tracks copied from iPod to PC.
  • Strangely thinks that every track is a different album with some albums.


  • Now does actually see the iPod and seems to play it well.
  • When you try to copy tracks from the iPod to the PC, it appears to work and gives visual cues that it’ll work, but silently does nothing.
  • Strangely thinks that every track is a different album with some albums.
  • Strangely doesn’t let you sort when you’re looking at a playlist.
  • Doesn’t let you set a rating.



I’ve renamed some of the directories on my iPod so they work with Banshee and Rhythmbox. I’m going to try Banshee for awhile and see how I like it.

7 thoughts on “More Bumps on the Music Player Quest

  1. In some shockingly amusing way this whole story reminds me of my life-long search for a decent combination of phone, Linux desktop application, and server to synchronize my contact and calendar data. Just replace iPod by phone and the test reports of various combinations sound amazingly close to what you have tested for your purpose.

    My intermediate finding is that unless I want to waste my life on this, I need to buy Apple/Apple/Apple or Symbian/Microsoft/Microsoft or nowadays perhaps Google/Google/Google. I fear the same will ultimately apply to you.

  2. I really think you should give QuodLibet a try. I don’t own an iPod, so I don’t know if it works with it or not, but it has some kind of portable device support, and works perfect when you need to manage big collections of music.

  3. I use the Gmusicbrowser. (See Can be ‘themed’ or skinned to look like iTunes or Quodlibet or something else entirely. Very fast to catalogue a very large music library. Sounds excellent. Good plugins. Can be ‘exited’ leaving behind just a very discrete icon in the “system tray” notification area. I like it very, very much: I would never touch either Banshee or Rhythmbox ever again, that’s for sure!

    Of course, if you’re after something that will work with your iPod, I don’t think it’s what you’re looking for… but if all you’re after is an excellent music manager/player, I know of none better.

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