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expanded venting about FOSS music players

Posted on 2009.05.12 at 14:31
You probably don't want to waste time on this post...Just documenting my petty ire about a tiny feature lacking in software used only by us bearded linux geeks...Not relevant to your life, unless you are a) a FOSS geek, and 2) an audiophile or avid music fan.
Okay, so I complained about Ubuntu no longer including XMMS (FOSS clone of Winamp, for the uninitiated), which I did go ahead and DL and install from source, anyway.
Also, I apt-got Amarok, as suggested by someone here on LJ, and have been using that, as well, since it does allow for the feature I wanted from XMMS. It has some nice features, like connecting to my Last.FM acct, etc., but what I don't like about Amarok (petty really) is that it is a KDE app, and, thus, has to run a bunch of KDE libs to function, and, IMHO, thus bogs down my otherwise light, fast system.
The feature of which I speak, btw, is simply being able to add an entire directory to the playlist, rather than individual songs...or choosing songs by artist, genre, album, etc.
Audacious. Beep, and other XMMS spin-offs have removed this simple feature, for no known or valid reason, and pretty well any other player I've tried also lacks it.
I don't get it...
Amarok has the feature, but still complicates it. Rather than simply hit File>Play Directory> and choose a dir, you have to hit play, go into that dir and choose "Add all" to add all files within that dir. It works, but not as simply as XMMS' simply "Play directory" or "Add directory".
Now, Rhythmbox is the default music player in ubuntu, and it does have many nice features, even the Last.FM access, etc., but lacks this simple, useful feature.
Why does this feature matter to me?
Rhythmbox, and other music players, seem to rely on tags in music files to "organize" your tunes, and RBox, like others, does a nice job of allowing one to simply choose all songs by a particular artist, or from a particular album, or of a particular genre, etc., by using these tags.
It could do this even if all your ogg and mp3 were simply dumped into one large directory, with no further organization.
In fact, your music could be all over your machine, and it could find it and organize it within it's interface in this fashion. Nifty.
But who does that? I mean, leaving their music all in one place or all over and, above all, who has time to waste amending tags so their music can be organized by the player, rather than simply keeping the music organized on the file system?
I mean, any serious music fan or audiofile keeps all their CDs meticulously alphabetized on their shelves, right? I would assume they would have a similar system in their digital collections.
(at least these aren't like wmp and itunes, which will DL tunes for you, and then hide them from you...I remember having my iBook and having heck to pay to figure out where iTunes was putting the songs I bought).
My issue is that
1) not all my music files are "properly" tagged, and I don't want to waste manipulating the tags on the 50gb+ of music on my drive.
2) I already have my music organized, thank you.
I have one large ~/Music directory, within which are various other directories.
For instance:
~/Music/latina (music in spanish)
Which is further split into various others, such as
~/Music/latina/vallenatos (a colombian folk genre)
~/Music/latina/altlatina (alt/rock in spanish)
And, of course, these dirs are further divided by artist, album, etc.:
etc., etc...
I have
~/Music/rock (for rock in English)
split into genres
etc., and each further divided by artist, then album, etc.
I have ~/Music/folk
with a subdir for bluegrass tunes (~/Music/folk/bluegrass),
all further subdivided by artist, album, etc.
Say for instance I want to hear all of my Spanish music.
I would tell XMMS simply to play ~/Music/latina
And it adds every song in that dir, and each subdir, recursively.
Or I want to hear all music by Bob Dylan, I simply play the ~/Music/folk/bob_dylan directory, and it plays the subdirs for his albums.
I want to hear all my Brazilian Forró, ~/Music/brasileira/forro
Gegorian chants? Play ~/Music/classical/chant
And it doesn't depend on tags, and I know where to find all my music.
So, why don't most modern players allow for this simple feature: "Play directory"?
Do they honestly believe that this tagging feature is a valid and better means of organizing music?
Frankly, it just seems complicated to me. I don't think my music files need any more meta-data than simply a title, like
grateful_dead-07221991-jackstraw.ogg or mana-suenos_liquidos-hechicera.ogg
Good enough.
I know what genre they are already, and by the title I know the artist/album/song.
I already have it organized, and don't need my music player to index my drive and organize my music for me, thanks.
I also don't need to see album covers, whacky visualizations, or any other nauseating eyecandy.
I just want to hear my music while I'm working...

Oh yeah, and I'm wasting time, procrastinating on work...
So that's enough whining, now.


Fiddle Dragon
fiddle_dragon at 2009-05-12 18:46 (UTC) (Link)
ok - now you're going to make me go home and double check, because last I looked, I had RythymBox watching a directory for my music.
tonytraductor at 2009-05-12 19:52 (UTC) (Link)
It will watch a dir to index the music.
What it won't due is allow me to choose a directory of music to play.
There is no "play directory" function, like xmms has.
You have to make playlists to choose music to play, rather than just choose a dir.
As such, if any file in the dir I want is not properly tagged, it doesn't get played.
It has "Play->file" to choose an individual file, or "Play->stream" to play a stream, or "Play-> playist" to play a playlist, but no "Play->directory" to just play a whole dir (especually recursively).
tonytraductor at 2009-05-12 19:53 (UTC) (Link)
BTW, you look awfully cute in that icon.
stiobhan at 2009-05-13 00:40 (UTC) (Link)
The feature of which I speak, btw, is simply being able to add an entire directory to the playlist, rather than individual songs

I've done this before:

$ ls ~/music/subdirectory/*mp3 >tunelist.m3u
$ mplayer -playlist tunelist.m3u
tonytraductor at 2009-05-13 01:49 (UTC) (Link)
I do it like this, sometimes:

cd /dir/full/of/tunes
find . -type f | mplayer -playlist - -shuffle -loop 0

Most of my music in .ogg, but I do also have .mp3.
tonytraductor at 2009-05-13 01:50 (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, the problem with that is, I have to kill mplayer by hand to make it stop.

This used to work:
echo quit > /home/tony/.mplayer/ctrl.fifo

but for some reason, I can't get it to work now.
I think I did something wrong when making the ctrl.fifo on this system.
stiobhan at 2009-05-13 02:05 (UTC) (Link)
find . -type f | mplayer -playlist - -shuffle -loop 0

Nice. That's much fuller of unixy elegance than my method.
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