Rhythmbox in Mint 5?

Well, first of all… since we’re moving to a 6 month release cycle, shall we start calling Mint 5.0 “Mint 5”? What do you think?

Rhythmbox made huge progress and the reasons Amarok was chosen by Linux Mint as the default music player could now also apply to it.

It’s simpler to use than Amarok and it integrates better with Gnome. It’s also much smaller and only uses 12.2MB as compared to 144MB for Amarok. Switching to Rhythmbox could free up a lot of space on the CD and let us include more software within the default selection.

The main reason why Amarok was preferred to other players was because it was feature-rich but Rhythmbox seems to catch up and provides the following features:

  • Collection with automatic detection
  • Ipod support
  • Magnatune, Last.fm and Jamendo integration
  • CD Player
  • Notifications
  • Visualizations
  • Album artwork and lyrics downloaded from the Internet
  • Podcasts
  • Play count and rating system
  • Dynamic playlists
  • Internet radio

It’s not as smart as Amarok and doesn’t come with its intelligent “context” but it provides all the important features you would expect from a rich music player and with a much simpler interface.

By the time we’re finalizing Mint 5, Amarok 2.0 should be out and it might be an entire new story. So we can’t say for sure which player will be there by default in the next release of Linux Mint, but as true as Amarok didn’t have any real alternatives by the past, this is not the case anymore and we’ll keep a close eye on its competitors.


  1. Hi Clem,

    I liked the way that you gave “names” to each of your releases e.g. Cassandra, Daryna, etc. So, just adding a “number” seems to loose your “personal” touch IMHO.

    Again, IMHO, I would go for what ever you can pack into a Live CD for your next release. As you say things will change, but everything keeps getting better and better.

    Looking @ the newest KDE, which should go “gold” after the start of the year, there is a LOT to pick and choose from in the near future.

    Once Mint is installed users might be able to pick and chose from different repositories you could add to your next release.

  2. I’d prefer version numbers rather than names. I mean: Debian has its Toy Story names, ubuntu has his animals, so we should have either numbers or something different than names oder animals. On the other hand: IT#s not a big deal with names. One can later remove the name from the mintMenu if one wants. But hey: Maybe someone has a better idea on how to name the versions: Like using famous wizard names or ssomething like that. I propose there should be a vote in the forum wheter to chose women names, numbers or something else?

    About Amarok: I’d like to have more functionality (more mintSoftware) on the CD, and so you _could_ remove Amarok, inf favor of rythmbox, of course. I mean, one can get Amarok later from the repositories. There shouldn’t be a problem. On the other hand: Amarok is in my eyes _the_ music player. There’s imho no better one. Why not releasing a DVD rather than a cd? The KDE CE is already on a DVD.

  3. I’m not in love with Amarok, in fact I changed for a more integrated gnome music player, specifically Banshee. I was used to Rhytmbox from Ubuntu and it worked for me, but I think that Banshee is as good as Rythmbox or even better,and the interface is a little bit nicer.

    I think that it’s a good idea to change from the personal touch to the Number version. If Linux Mint want to became more popular, personal names for versions look unprofesional. I know it’s just a matter of names but people are very touchy regarding those kind of things. You can use personal approach for the alphas and betas version ala intel, but when became the release version it should move to a numbered version. Also it’s easy for users to track the version by the numbers than by the names.

  4. Hi,
    I’ve been using Exaile as my music player/manager, for quite some time.
    I think it is really good, take a look at it.

  5. Hi there!

    I’ll skip the part about names (as I don’t really have any opinion there) and go straight for the player issue. This is one of my biggest confusions in linux. I have never really been satisfied with amarok so I keep looking for other players all the time. I’ve tested: Rhythymbox, Exaile, Banshee, BMPX, Songbird, aTunes, Jajuk, LSongs and a handful more, and everytime I go back to amarok because it is the best available for linux. Yet it’s not satisfactory. For me the biggest plus of amarok is the equalizer, xine support (plays without noises through 5.1 systems – Exaile and Banshee screw up entirely there) and that it doesn’t mess up tags (like BMPX or LSongs for example). Still the quality of sound with amarok on linux is pretty poor compared to itunes on windows. I also tried to install windows players on linux but wine doesn’t fully support alsa so there’s no 5.1 surround.

    Hm, sorry for my essay here, but anyway the point is: if other players are available from the repos or software portal amarok can be replaced by rhythymbox or exaile (exaile at least has equalizer). And the gained space on the iso can be used for other useful stuff 🙂

  6. I’m fine with numbers

    Does this mean Mint 5 is scheduled for release in May?

    When will you know which of the current Mint permutations (i.e. debian, ubuntu, fedora, etc.) will be the base for 5?

  7. About replacing Amarok, it would be ok for me. I think too that it’s time enough to compare with other competitors.
    But I absolutely agree with JJMacey about the name. You gave a very specific identity to Mint with the different names since Ada, Barbara etc.
    I don’t want to imagine a changing here dear Clem, not before “Erika” (very private joke:-)!!!

  8. I agree to remove amarok.
    I personaly love exaile, but Banshee and Rhythmbox are also good. But then again i dont care so much which one is included becouse you can still download it. I would rather have some xy player or even none and more of mint software.

    Regarding the name I personaly think that numbers are much easy to follow

  9. Hi,

    I should have been more explicit about the naming of the releases. We’re keeping the codenames of course. Nothing is changed in that regard. What could change is simply how we number the releases. In other words “Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna” could have been “Linux Mint 4 Daryna”.. since there won’t be any 4.1, we can drop the minor revision number.

    As for the base for Linux Mint, it is still Ubuntu of course. The Debian and Fedora ISO are simple experiments and we’re not planning to change our base.

  10. Clem,

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    So, what’s the code name for 5.0 going to be?

    Phoenix, Arizona
    “The Valley of the Sun”

  11. since I was at it I gave other players a look:

    – XMMS and Audacious are focusing on just being players, not music managers, so they’re not suitable.

    – Listen, BMPX and Exaile had problems dealing with iPods.

    – Banshee looked great and probably had the best interface but didn’t automatically synched the collection with the music folder (this is a showstopper for me).

    – Songbird might be stable in the future. It isn’t yet. Also it’s a very special kind of tool with a very special interface. If we’re moving away from Amarok it’s mostly to provide a simpler and more trivial interface.. so I’m not sure at all about Songbird. But again, this might change in the future, who knows.

  12. I once have a similar dilema just with different reason. I wanted to use as much gnome software as possible (not to use KDE ) I replaced Ktorrent with Deluge, K3B with Brasero and I also wanted to change audio player Amarok.

    I agree that Banshee looks great. But I cannot explain why, just interface seems strange and its not simmilar to amarok. Anyway its still my second favourite gnome audio player.

    And the first is Exaile like i said before. I just installed it and I knew how to use it from the start. It scan my library with no problem, it has all the functions i need and i just love the TABs that enable me to have multiple playlists open at once. I didnt find this in any other player.
    From what i know exaile is very young project but its growing quite fast (like Deluge) so we can expect much more from this player

    I dont use ipod so i cannot tell if it works or not but i know that they have ipod plugin.

  13. Hi Clem, I find that amarok takes forever to start, so I would go for something smaller. Maybe I should try XMMS and Audacious since you say they are only players. I keep my music collection neat in subdirectories and set the player to pick numbers randomly from my collection.

  14. I like the idea of the name “Mint 5”

    Seems more simple. You can keep the codenames, but make the name start with Mint (#) so that people can just use that for short hand.

    I’m accustomed to using something like Foobar in Windows, and when I use Amarok in Linux Mint, I feel it is really sluggish.

    Anyway, I like the fact that the developers are constantly watching competing programs so that they can give Linux Mint users the best experience out of the box.

    I really think Linux Mint is fantastic and what Ubuntu should be.

    Keep up the great work!

  15. KDE apps are a blight imo.

    I much prefer the closest thing we can get to an iTunes clone and that is Rhythmbox.

  16. I would MUCH prefer calling it “Linux Mint 5” then “Mint 5”, Mint 5 seems…just creepy. Not to mention there was already an Operating System called Mint.

  17. Exaile:
    * Collection with automatic detection (tick)
    * Ipod support (has a plugin but haven’t tested it)
    * Magnatune, Last.fm and Jamendo integration (last.fm tick not sure about the others)
    * CD Player (tick may need to add python-cddb dependency tho)
    * Notifications (tick and customizable)
    * Visualizations (tick tho not great)
    * Album artwork and lyrics downloaded from the Internet (tick works very well)
    * Podcasts (tick shoutcast radio plugin)
    * Play count and rating system (rating system tick, play count no)
    * Dynamic playlists (tick)
    * Internet radio (tick shoutcast radio plugin)

    version 0.2.11 can be downloaded here http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=8029&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15#p50208 and while you are there vote for your prefered audio player for linux mint 5.

  18. The more I use rhythmbox the more I like it. If it continues to improve over the coming months then I see no reason why it shouldn’t become the default music player.

    I think whatever we end up using as the music player it cant be amarok. I never realized it took up so much of the live CD! We just cant justify giving that much space to one single app.

  19. Great! Goodbye AmaroK! 🙂
    But clem, what about Quod Libet?

    Please no Banshee, no Microsoft technology in Mint! ([URL]http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=6142&p=39522#p39522[/URL])

  20. Media Player…
    Rhythmbox is a fantastic media player. Both Amarok and Rhythmbox will be vastly improved by the time Mint 5 is released, so you never know. My vote is in for Rhythmbox.

    Mint XP Professional 2003 Gutsy Student Edition

  21. Yes Rob Loach, Rythmbox is a good player, perfect for the newbies. As I said in a post at http://www.linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=8029&start=15#p49988 :

    “I think Rhythmbox is already perfect for the newbies. And QuodLibet with all it’s tagging goodness, it’s “album view” media library is the best gnome app for heavy use.”

    It included many plugins.

    So again clem, what about QuodLibet? Have you tried it?
    Nobody spoke here about it, nobody knows? It’s surprising…

  22. Started out in Linux using Rythumbox. Yes, it was easy for newbie and it has come a long way since that time (recently gave it another try). However, it’s a little too blocky; not that polished.

    Amarok is slow and bloated. Although I had fun playing around changing themes, etc.

    Banshee is not very feature rich and is a pain to work with.

    Exaile is better, and is a top choice for me personally.

    QuodLibet is also a very good choice however, feature rich and familiar / easy to use. And using it right after Rythumbox to listen to the same song has me believing it has better sound quality.

  23. i think clem is right.

    i would delete amarok. With the frees pace i would:

    place Rhythmbox + audacious in the CD

    while you are at it, delete Totem/totem Xine and Go for VLC (best available, best DVD menu support IMO and simplest interface)

    also it wouldn’t hurt to bring back a few games (mainly solitary, sudoku, etc.)

  24. Sorry, I did’t see your answer.
    PD: I LOVE Mint. But i miss in GNU/Linux a simple and silly thing that we could do in Windows and made live easy: just a contextual menu for COPY, MOVE and LAUNCHER files with right button of the mouse. Is it possible, or is it copyrighted?
    Great idea that we can do that for de-installing software that way.

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