An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

May 28, 2006

The Best Music Player Brings Free Music

amaroK is the best music player you'll ever meet and chances are you haven't met it because amaroK is available only on Linux. Until amaroK is ported to Windows, you can try it on amaroK Live, which is a PCLinuxOS Live CD that includes basic applications, amaroK and free music licensed by Magnatune, a music label that has learned something from the open source software.

So all you have to do is burn the ISO image on a CD (350 MB), restart the computer and boot from the CD. This Live CD works on my laptop so it's likely it will work on any decent computer.

OK, but what's so special about amaroK? It's a music player, right? Yes, but it's a music player that does everything with grace. It shows you recent played tracks, your favourite tracks. For every song, amaroK finds similar tracks, lyrics, tags and information about the artist. It integrates with, it lets you create scripts in Python (to create an alarm that plays music to wake you up) and it has a dynamic mode that feeds similar music to your playlist automatically.

amaroK supports crossfading, CD burning, iPod, iRiver iFP and USB devices with VFAT and podcasting. Oh, and it looks extremely good.

Play and convert any multimedia file
If Google made a media player


  1. I don't think you have talk about the songs...are they legal?

  2. Of course they are legal. Some of them are really nice: ambiental, chillout.

  3. It looks like iTunes..All the way down to the brushed metal....

  4. This is very interesting. I'll give a try, since I use Ubuntu more than Windows and was missing a good music player.

    In Windows, Foobar 2000 is the best for me.

  5. I prefer Foobar 2000 more myself, Its the best music player for Linux i find, but I just find it a little 'clunky' when I use it.

  6. Correction: amaroK is the best music player that doesn't work as advertised.

    It's part of a standard Kubuntu (Linux, KDE+Ubuntu) installation, and therefore comes with an implied recommendation. Yet, when I ran it on my laptop, it refused to recognise anything other than CDs burned with .wav or .cda files. No mp3, no Ogg Vorbis, no nothing. What was especially annoying was the lack of clear distinction between items on the playlist and files that it actually recognised.

    While trying to get at the root of the problem, I installed Audacity and a little thing called Beep Media Player. Both of them worked without a hitch. No problem. Beep is now my player of choice: mp3, Ogg Vorbis, .wav, CDs, it plays them all. AmaroK has been removed from the system. Conclusion: amarok doesn't work as advertised, but is annoying, like something on the sidewalk that you wouldn't want to step on.

  7. Not true. I could listen to mp3 and ogg files with amaroK. If you look at Wikipedia, you'll see it has support for mp3, wma, ReadAudio, ogg, aac, flac and shn.

    Maybe this article will help you. The problem is Ubuntu doesn't support mp3 playback because of licensing issues. (they should pay a fee to the company that owns the MP3 patent). Read more about this. So you see, it's not amaroK's fault.

  8. I'll repeat myself just to make sure you get the message: amarok did not play mp3, ogg vorbis, or flac on my laptop installation of Kubuntu. Beep media does play all of those and more. Two of those filetypes have nothing to do with the mp3 licensing issue. Amarok shouyold have worked with ogg and flac, but didn't. Mp3s themselves are playable by Beep upon installing the correct codecs, which are widely available around the web. However, none of the packages recommended by amarok did the trick. I didn't try shn, and don't recall if I tired wma files. Amarok would only play cds with wav or cda formatting.

    What I said is true. It didn't work on my machine, even after considerable effort, and has been removed. Your mileage may vary.

  9. For amarok to play mp3's you need to install extra packages wich are not shipped with you distribution because of patent issues. Check out you distro's FAQ.

    I really don't like amarok. And be sure it is very unlikely for it to be ported to windows. It depends on kdelibs, wich are pretty much linux only and no one really cares if they run on windows or not. They don't even run cygwin. And if kdelibs are ported, to install amarok you will have to download about 50mb of libs for it wo work. Wich is too much for a sucky app.

  10. To the person who can't play mp3's: Read the answers and stop bitching, this is a patent issue. I just started using amaroK, and I think it's just great! The support makes it a must-have application for all music lovers! keep it up! =)

  11. Okay, just to clear a few things here.

    Amarok does not play your desired music formats by default on your Kubuntu installation because 1) the already mentioned license issues, and 2) the engine used to play the media.

    I highly doubt BMP uses the Xine engine to playback music, but Amarok does. If you don't have the appropriate codecs for Xine to handle these formats, it's quite obvious what the results are.

    With that said, in response to the comment that Amarok looks like iTunes, down to the brushed metal, that's not true. That particular KDE theme is an immitation of Apple's Mac OS X, which you can find everything, because it's a quite aesthetic and soothing theme.

  12. quote
    I don't think you have talk about the songs...are they legal?
    end quote

    Wow if I had a nickel for everytime I've read that stupid comment! Is it legal? Bah, get a life!

  13. Hey! Where's the standard Ubuntu edition?