Some ideas for Amarok 2.0 based on foobar2k experience

Michael Pujos pujos.michael at
Tue Nov 14 21:10:53 UTC 2006


I'd like to share some thoughts about what I would like to see in amarok 

As a Both a Linux and Windows user I'm using amarok and the foobar2k [0] 
player on Windows.
foobar2k is a highly configurable player through plugins. It's a bit 
like a framework for audio players that you can extend to
build your own interface, something like the emacs of audio players. 
There's some great ideas that could be used for amarok 2.0 without 
being a clone. The idea is that you can build very basic or advanced UIs 
according to your needs. Have a look at this page for advanced UIs built 
by users:

Theses amazing configs look nothing like the default (boring) UI. As an 
exercise I tried to replicate amarok's interface and here's the result:

Took about 1h30 as I'm still discovering plugins, but an experienced 
user would have done it in 15min. Notice that the Smart Playlist 
displayed are fully functional.
Most of the work building the UI is identifying the useful plugins and 
putting them into panels through a meta plugin called foo_ui_columns. 
Also using TAGZ (see below) to customize the display

To sum up a few interesting features of foobar2k:

- almost everything is done through dynamic plugins: UI, search bar, 
track info, lyrics, album covers,etc...See [1] for an impressive list of 
As such the community for plugins is very strong and striving with new 
ideas and updates.

- there's a scripting engine called TAGZ used almost anywhere when you 
need track info. For example if I want do display tracks that are of 
Genre Techno before 1995 which I never played, I can express that:
Or if I want to display my collection by label/release   (using the 
label ID3V2 tag and the release in the ID3comment field), it's also 
possible. Things much more advanced are possible

- foobar2k manage a database like amarok, and UI plugins can access it 
to present data differently. The database is not at all tied to the 
display. I supposed it's also the case in amarok.
However there's not multiple back-ends like in amarok. Memory wise it 
seems very efficient and light. You can really present the data as you want.

So you can see these features are invaluable for building arbitrary UI. 
I really think amarok 2.0 should'nt impose a static UI, but provide a 
sensible default UI based on default plugins.
That would totally rock if experienced user could experiment with other 
UI to satisfy their need, and propose it to others for download.
Note that fb2k is known to run with wine, and it can be used to test UI 
design without writing a line of code (well, until you get into TAGZ 
that is)

Sure, componentize and abstract most of everything is a lot of work but 
I think it's worth it in the end!

Btw, thanks for 1.4.4, it's an amazing release !


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