Linux music players - especially for classical

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by henry flower, Nov 2, 2009.
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  1. Henry Flower
    Lured by Karmic Koala, I've been spending the last couple of days exploring Ubuntu. Obviously as a Head-fier, one of my main priorities has been looking for a satisfactory music player (foobar has hitherto been everything I could want).

    My search has been somewhat complicated by my need for a player which can handle classical music properly: in particular, that means gapless playback and organisation by composer as well as by artist and album. My thoughts so far:

    Amarok: the best of the bunch so far. The library view is very customisable, so I can arrange by Composer or Artist according to the style of music I'm looking for. My only gripe is that it's a little slow to start (apparently due to it being a KDE application, while Ubuntu is GNOME-based). There was also an issue with it asking for a KDE passport every time it started up, but I managed to sort that one out. Gapless playback seems to work.

    Exaile: sets out to be a GTK version of Amarok, and has potential. Unfortunately the library view doesn't seem to be customisable to include composers, and gapless playback is 'experimental'.

    Banshee: similar to Exaile, but seems to be similarly uncustomisable.

    Songbird: I haven't tried this one yet; from what I've read, there seem to be a lot of concerns about bloat, so I think I'd prefer something leaner.

    MPD-based systems: there are quite a few clients available which interact with the MPD server. In theory this seems perfect - customisable and resource-light - but I spent several hours today trying to get this up and running, to no avail. Beyond my abilities.

    Any suggestions for the perfect player?
     
  2. linuxworks
    I use MPD and usb-audio. I found it 'just works' without fuss.

    perhaps try a usb/spdif dongle and then go with an outboard dac?

    what problems did you have with mpd? that really IS the best architecture out there (for any system, regardless of o/s).
     
  3. gav17
    I am happy with the mpd + gmpc combo
     
  4. Adda
    You might wanna' give Audacious a look.
    A nice and simple Winamp style player that supports a huge amount of file and output formats.
    It also uses it's own playback engine, so no gstreamer or xine.
     
  5. Henry Flower
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by linuxworks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I use MPD and usb-audio. I found it 'just works' without fuss.

    perhaps try a usb/spdif dongle and then go with an outboard dac?

    what problems did you have with mpd? that really IS the best architecture out there (for any system, regardless of o/s).




    I'm using my EMU 0202 - no problems with that (thankfully!). I couldn't work out how to make mpd see my music, which is on a vista data partition. I might give it another crack later.
     
  6. alex223
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gav17 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I am happy with the mpd + gmpc combo



    Have the same player and it works fine. In between, does anyone knows how to "save" the music library, becaus for the moment evrytime I run gmpc it has to scan all the music folder on my external hard drive.
     
  7. mamba315
    Like the OP, I am new to Linux and was lured by Ubuntu 9.10. I've been using Foobar w/ ASIO output on my Windows install, and would like to match the SQ of that.

    Adda mentioned Audacious uses it's own playback engine, and not xine or gstreamer. Does this improve SQ? Is there a recommended/best playback engine?

    Is there an advantage to having an MPD-based setup if I don't plan on streaming music over a network? My music is on the same hard drive as both OS's (albeit in a seperate data partition), and I just want the best SQ possible. After reading some wiki pages on MPD I'm still unclear what advantages it might offer for someone in my situation.

    Thanks!
     
  8. estreeter
    I'm not new to Linux, but I've recently started messing around with Ubuntu on one of my netbooks - really happy with the array of media players (audio and video) and the ease with which we can install codecs now. This was a pain in the butt with earlier releases. Main complaint is that my netbook doesnt have optical out - it has HDMI, of all things - while my Macbook Pro does, but its not the end of the world. Just being able to rip everything to WAV is a luxury, whether its Mac/Windoze or Linuz : its all good.
     
  9. estreeter
    fwiw, this guy has some graphs to show how the DACMagic cleaned up his USB jitter from an ancient laptop he is running Linux on. Not a whole lot about the OS itself tho ...

    Sound (Linux) Computing

    Good to see that CA were able to give him Ubuntu-specific advice. Given the incredible number of Linux distros around, I dont envy them trying to support anything other than the most popular - luckily Ubuntu fits that tag.
     
  10. Adda
    It gives Audacious some unique features like the ability to bypass all signal processing.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mamba315 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Like the OP, I am new to Linux and was lured by Ubuntu 9.10. I've been using Foobar w/ ASIO output on my Windows install, and would like to match the SQ of that.

    Adda mentioned Audacious uses it's own playback engine, and not xine or gstreamer. Does this improve SQ? Is there a recommended/best playback engine?

    Is there an advantage to having an MPD-based setup if I don't plan on streaming music over a network? My music is on the same hard drive as both OS's (albeit in a seperate data partition), and I just want the best SQ possible. After reading some wiki pages on MPD I'm still unclear what advantages it might offer for someone in my situation.

    Thanks!




     
  11. insyte
    Glad to see more people trying out linux. Im currently using rhythmbox and exaile with pulse audio [​IMG]
     
  12. lozanoa11
    When I used linux I used foobar2000 with wine.
     
  13. userlander
    I use mpd with ncmpc++ or sonata. It seems the best of all worlds. I would recommend sonata to beginners, it's very easy to use.

    To get mpd to see your music files, you just have to list the path to the files in the "music_directory" setting in /etc/mpd.conf. You can only use one path, so if you have more than one location, just make symlinks to them in whatever directory you list in mpd.conf.

    Then just create the database with "# mpd --create-db" and your files should be recognized. Once the database is created, you can update it from within the various front ends. [​IMG]
     
  14. fjf
    Audacious here. You may want to install ubuntustudio (HowTo: Install UbutnuStudio Easily - Ubuntu Forums) on top of ubuntu. It takes a while, but you get the whole audacious plugin package installed plus a real time kernel (if you want to play with it).
     
  15. estreeter
    Thanks for that - I will kick off the install on my netbook at work tomorrow morning : this looks like a single apt-get command and forget about it for a couple of hours. Its fantastic when the boss is paying for your bandwidth [​IMG]
     
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