Amarok is the default media player supplied with KDE, though it will also work under GNOME. Like most KDE applications, it aims at extreme configurability. Amarok suffered from a loss of popularity recently when it was perceived as having become overly complex. The developers have worked on the interface to try and make it friendlier, and the application has been restored to grace.
The default Amarok window now shows a left panel with sources of music, a central panel with information about the current track or performer, and a right panel where tracks are listed. The central panel can display lyrics or, like Banshee, Wikipedia articles. A search panel at the top of the track list allows you to search for tracks, and a Sort control specifies the sorting criteria.
The Playlist Menu allows you to add media and audio streams. You can set it to open and scan a specific folder via the Settings Menu. Other options are similar to those in Banshee.
The Sources in the left panel can be opened by double-clicking. You can ‘drill down’ through multiple levels, and retrace your steps via the ‘breadcrumbs’ toolbar at the top. Sources include:
- Local Music – A list of the music tracks stored on your own hard disk
- Internet – Links to various online music sources, including Magnatune, Jamendo and a podcast directory in addition to Last.fm and the Amazon MP3 store. There’s also a link to Librivox, a source of audiobooks. To add a podcast or stream, drill down to it and double-click. It will be added to the track list at the right.
- Playlists – Allows you to create and manage playlists, including dynamic ‘smart playlists’ of the kind found in Banshee.
- Browse – A browser for the local file system.
- Podcasts – Any podcasts subscribed to under the Internet tab will appear here. Double-click on the name of a podcast to view episodes, and double-click on an episode to add it to the track list.
Other options in Amarok are similar to those in Banshee. As is customary with KDE programs, there is a fully-featured Settings Menu with various Extensions and Scripts. More can be downloaded from the Web.
Figure 42: Amarok. Audiobooks are at the right and Wikipedia information in the central panel