Rhythmbox Needs Work

If you have been following my blog you know that I am converting my music library… I was amazed that the audio cd does not play when inserted (probably just an option, but it would seem that on would be a better default) and that the progress bar is less than stelar when compared to Windows Media Player which shows progress for each track in-line with each track. I also ran in to an issue with mounting ‘Boy’ on my desktop, but it worked on my laptop (another thing to figure out if I can find the time).

(edit) I also noticed that if I try to listen to music on the CD while ripping that the audio skips; it does not do this on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 when using Windows media player. I am curious as to why that is. I also get skips while listening to the OGG files on disk while burning new content, but the skipping is not as bad.

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13 Responses to Rhythmbox Needs Work

  1. molecule-eye says:

    It sure does need work; too bad I heard development for it has stopped.

    It needs the ability to AT LEAST read embedded album art. Ideally it would also allow one to insert embedded album art, much like songbird and itunes. (Oddly banshee lacks this feature as well.)

    It also needs better metadata handling. Not all fields are available to view or edit (e.g. composer, etc.) So just metadata in general!

    It also needs some general appearance tweaks. The fonts are too big and there’s too much wasted white space. Why indent the playlist and libarary items? It doesn’t make it easier to read. And the last.fm plugin glaringly lacks a recommended playlist option. WEIRD.

  2. f.p. says:

    I agree that it needs work (although it currently remains my favorite player) but not in the same ways you list. When I put in an audio CD, I’m usually putting it in to rip tracks from it, not to listen to the whole thing. It would also be a severe annoyance when I put in a CD-ROM game with redbook audio tracks for the music. I’d rather be given a choice first, than to rudely be informed (by unexpected music at whatever volume) that I need to go find an annoying setting and turn it off to avoid further obnoxiousness. One of the things I resent about Windows is that it always assumes that I want to play a CD, install a program, or whatever, as soon as I insert a disc. I think however, that a more obvious option to enable/disable an auto-play function would be good.

    The issues with playing a CD while ripping, I would guess have something to do with CDParanoia, which I believe Rhythmbox uses to do its ripping. CDParanoia is very thorough, and in my experience, much more reliable than WMP’s ripping, as it does a lot of error-checking and rereading of the CD. If WMP does less error checking and more buffering, that’s probably your explanation right there. Either way, trying to listen to the CD at the same time is going to slow down the ripping process. There’s just one laser, so time spent reading for playback is time spent NOT ripping the track. I’d rather have ripping done as quickly and reliable as possible. An alternative to trying to play and rip from the CD at one time might be an option to play all tracks after ripping and conversion, starting as soon as the first track is done.

    I agree with others that the main improvements that need to be made are in the tagging and metadata area and the GUI. Sorting could be better, cover art support could be better, integration of features from last.fm, Jamendo, and Magnatune could be better (that they’re supported at all is great though!) and replay gain support could be better. That’s where I feel it needs the most work done.

    • Charles Profitt says:

      f.p. – I am thinking about how an average user would want to have the product work as a ‘default’ and how an average ‘switcher’ would want it to work. You use wonderful descriptive language like ‘rudely’, ‘annoying’, ‘obnoxiousness’, but I wonder if people switching from Windows or OS X would use ‘it doesn’t work’ as their description when they put a CD in and the OS does not play the CD. I made these comments because they were issues I experienced. I have not experienced the others you raised, but they are likely there – just not features I miss.

      • f.p. says:

        I understand your point of view, but the purpose of Linux–even Ubuntu Linux–is not to be a free clone of Windows (React OS is trying to take care of that role). I know plenty of “average users” who think Ubuntu works like a Mac because I have menus and the notification area at the top of the screen. That doesn’t mean it should. As a “switcher” I initially thought the Linux way of file management “didn’t work” because I didn’t instantly have full write access to the root of my file system. That doesn’t make it a good idea. We need to strike a careful balance between making things easy and familiar for the new user and expecting them to be responsible for learning the product they’ve switched to–one that is and should remain both different and better. In cases where a feature might be helpful to some users, but off-putting for others, we need to make the setting intuitive to use and easy to understand, not just switch it on by default and leave the “advanced” users to figure out how to fix it. Thanks for the reply🙂

  3. Dread Knight says:

    Can’t wait for KDE 4.3.. I’m really looking forward to ditching Gnome, for good. It really feels like it’s going nowhere… meh.

  4. f.p. says:

    Oh, molecule-eye, the last.fm recommendations playlist is supported in the latest release. I guess rumors of ceased development are greatly exaggerated.

    • molecule-eye says:

      f.p. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Currently listening to recommended tracks! Pretty rad🙂

  5. Pingback: Rhythmbox Needs Work « Free Trader Beowulf « Windows 7 Live Info

  6. rhythmbox doesn’t need work, it needs replacement

  7. oldman says:

    use banshee!

  8. nucco says:

    bleh. Rhythmbox rocks it uses global font settings, so you should change your global font config if you have big fonts. It rips CDs fine, I dig the play queue, track transfer rocks (although their dependence on hal for audio format information makes it a bit difficult to override defaults), and its quite intuitive.

    Rhythmbox rocks, and I prefer it to banshee. But you see, this is my choice, I don’t go about loudly proclaiming how a program I don’t like needs work and blah blah. You have a wide variety of programs to choose from.

    • Charles Profitt says:

      I can understand. I like Rhythmbox for most things, but there are some items that need work. That is an honest opinion and I feel free to express it.

    • nortexoid says:

      If nobody gave input on ways a product might be improved, said product would never be improved!

      As for your comment about fonts, it would be ridiculous to have to adjust your entire system-wide font size simply because it appears too big in ONE particular application. And it isn’t just fonts. There’s all sorts of space wasted by other things. Look at the top of rhythmbox. And look at the side pane. And, yes, look at the non-adjustable font size!

      Banshee is ok, but not being able to browse by anything but artist except by custom searches is a bit ridiculous. I know they are implementing this in the next release, but c’mon–hurry up!

      (One very cool thing about banshee is that it can save certain things directly to metadata, like ratings. No need (in certain cases) to worry about backing up your library and being able to import it to another program, if you wish to switch, provided the other program has the ability to read this rating metadata, which might not always be the case.)


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