March 13th, 2005, 07:03 AM
AmaroK is a step up for Linux audio players
While it is a tad heavy on the resources perhaps, AmaroK is the coolest media player that I have ever seen for those with an iPod wanting to branch out to Linux. Built with a sync feature and a ton of other iTunes like features, this media player will blow your mind!
With the release of amaroK 1.2 last month, I finally found the Linux music player I've been wanting. When I moved to Linux full-time about two years ago, the only software that I missed from Windows was a quality audio player. Linux audio players lacked features like cover downloads, smart playlists, or easy burning to CD. Even worse, with a large collection of more than 10,000 tracks, the Linux players generally locked up when I tried to load them all, or at least slowed to an unbearable crawl. AmaroK has all of the basic features of modern Windows audio players, and some features that I haven't seen in any other player.
The name "amaroK" was taken from an album by composer Mike Oldfield. Developer Mark Kretschmann said, "I've been a long-time fan of Mr. Oldfield's work and thought the name sounded nice, so I chose it for the application." Of course, it doesn't hurt that the name already has a "K" in it. The word means "wolf" in Inuit, which explains the various amaroK logos.
The keystone of any audio player is the database it keeps of your collection. AmaroK allows you to create file trees using artist, album, year, or genre in any order. So to find, say, all the albums that were released in a particular year, sort by year first and then by album, and a file tree opens that lists all the years in the first level, and all the albums in the second. There's also a simple search filter to find something particular. I have four different versions of The Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee," and I can quickly find them all by typing that song title in the search box. The ability to structure the file tree in a number of different ways and to search it easily is amaroK's single most important usability feature.
AmaroK's interface is split into two different panes. The right pane always holds the current playlist along with the standard player controls. This is also the easiest place to batch edit ID3v1 tags, which contain information like artist and album and are embedded within the music file. If an album by Ken Stringfellow has been mis-tagged as being by Kevin Stringfellow, simply select all the tracks from the album, right-click, choose to edit the meta-information, and then enter in the correct name. The information for all the tracks is immediately updated.
The AmaroK Site
AmaroK Download | Screenshots