Amarok 2.4.1 “Resolution” Released For Kubuntu 11.04

Yesterday, the Kubuntu team announced that Amarok 2.4.1, code-named Resolution, is now available for installation in Kubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”.

Amarok 2.4.1 is the latest stable version of Amarok and was released during the second week of this month. It mainly contain bug fixes from Amarok 2.4. There are a few new features, though:

  • Support for NFS and SMB/CIFS collections has been added.
  • The text alignment in the lyrics applet can now be changed.
  • Integration of gpodder.net services.
  • The album applet supports string filtering.

Yesterday, Amarok 2.4.1 was made available in the Kubuntu Backports PPA. Right now, packages for Amarok 2.4.1 are available only for Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narhwal”. To install it in Ubuntu 11.04, open the Konsole and add the Kubuntu Backports PPA.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

After adding the PPA, update the software list with the command

$ sudo apt-get update

If you already have Amarok installed, upgrade it with,

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Note: This will upgrade all your packages.

Or, if you do not have Amarok installed or want to upgrade only Amarok, leaving the rest as it is,

$ sudo apt-get install amarok

After the installation, you will find Amarok under Kickoff > Applications > Multimedia > Amarok.

Amarok 2.4.1 can also be installed in Ubuntu 11.04 using the same method as above. However, if you are installing it in Ubuntu, some KDE packages will also be downloaded and installed.

Amarok 2.4 “Slipstream” Released

The last Amarok release covered by us was Amarok 2.3.1 “The Bell”.

Yesterday, Amarok 2.4 “Slipstream” was released. Some notable features in this release are :

  • Compatibility with iPod Touch 3G and possibly newer devices like iPhone 3G, 3GS.
  • The ability to transcode tracks from one format to another.
  • Ability to get Guitar and Bass tab information.
  • A map and calendar view for upcoming concerts and events.
  • Support for UPnP devices, which adds ability to play music from UPnP servers on the local network.

Apart from these there are a number of performance, stability and usability enhancements as well, which is usually the mark of a major version release. Some of these are :

  • Configurable size of on-screen-display font.
  • Collapsing animations of context applets.
  • Progress bar while loading the Wikipedia applet.
  • Added settings for writing statistics and album covers back to file to maintain information across devices.
  • Ability to hide and show Menu bar.

Amarok 2.4.0 "Slipstream"

Check out the official announcement from KDE for more detailed description of the features and the Changelog from the last release.

You can directly download Amarok 2.4 “Slipstream” for your favorite OS from here.

Amarok 2.3.1 “The Bell” Released

Amarok is one of the best music players available for Linux (and a personal favorite of mine, if I may add). Although is is a KDE application, it has a loyal following even from GNOME users.

Well there is a good news. Amarok 2.3.1, codenamed “The Bell” has been released a few hours ago. Here is a brief list of what it has to offer:

  • Automated Playlist Generator which helps you create playlists based on criteria like song length or file size.
  • Two new applets have been added for the Context View. The Upcoming Events applet shows concerts and events that the currently playing artist is participating in and the Similar Artists applet uses the Last.fm database to show similar artist and makes the ones in your collection directly playable.
  • Cover fetching has seen a lot of improvements and we added support for the new system tray protocol.
  • Improved responsiveness when expanding/collapsing items in the collection browser.
  • Lots of bug fixes!!

You can get the official release announcement and the changelog at kde.org.

New Features Coming in Amarok 2.3.1

Amarok is one of the best music players available for Linux. The latest stable release, Amarok 2.3 brought some cool new features and much needed improvments. Due to the extremely short release cycle that Amarok has, development for the next release, i.e. Amarok 2.3.1, has already been started.

The Amarok team has decided to put in some cool new features for the next release, Amarok 2.3.1. Three of the most exciting new features that are coming in Amarok 2.3.1 are CoverBling, Similar Artists & Upcoming Events and Smart Playlist.

CoverBling

CoverBling is a new applet which will allow you to browse your album collection in an animated 3D view. This is like the Cover Flow feature that iTune has. This is one feature that I am very excited about.

Similar Artists & Upcoming Events

The Similar Artists applet displays a list of artist which are similar to the one you are playing. The Upcoming Event applet displays future events like concerts for the artist that is currently playing. Both of these applets fetch their information from Last.fm.

Automated Playlist Generator

This new feature allows smart creation of playlists that matche user defined constraints. It combines the “Smart Playlist” from Amarok 1.4 with the Bias System from amarok 2.0.

These are the major new features being introduced in Amarok 2.3.1. However, there are other new features and improvements. You can check them out here.

[via Amarok Blog]

Amarok 1.4 Gets Ported Over to Qt4, Named “Clementine”

Amarok

Amarok 1.4 was probably one of the best media players for Linux, and arguably one of the best media players around. Amarok 2.0 was a radical departure from its previous versions and was not well received by quite a lot of Amarok users. If you’re one of the folks who feel that Amarok 1.4 should not have been touched upon, well this new ongoing project might interest you.

David Sansome and John McGuire have been working on a project, which aims to port Amarok 1.4 to Qt4 and rewrite it to make full use of Qt4 features. The project has been christened as “clementine-player”.

Features:

  • Ability to search and play your local music library
  • Listen to internet radio from Last.fm and SomaFM
  • Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files.
  • Works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
  • Native desktop notifications using libnotify on Linux   and Growl on Mac OS X

The player is still in very much early stages, and the pending features include

  • Automatic addition of files from disk to music library
  • iPod and MP3 player support
  • Global shortcut keys on Windows and Mac OS X
  • Loading and saving of playlists

Clementine for Linux
Clementine for Linux
Clementine for Mac OS X
Clementine for Mac OS X
Clementine for Windows
Clementine for Windows

The project certainly seems interesting and Techie-Buzz will cover it as it progresses. If you wish it try it out, do check out the download page.

(Image credit).

Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4

Earlier, the KDE team had announced the availability of version 4.4 of the popular desktop environment, KDE. I’m a big KDE fan, and have been a KDE user since KDE 3.5. Despite the criticism faced by KDE4 for its initial release, I’ve always been impressed by KDE. I’d been running the RC2 version of KDE 4.4 since it was made available. And today I’ve upgraded to the release version.

Here are some screenshots of the DE:

KDE 4.4 in its barebones view

KDE 4.4 in its default avatar
KDE 4.4 in its default avatar

The folder view plasmoid in KDE 4.4 – indeed I’m hovering my mouse pointer over the folder, not clicking on it!

Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4
Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4

Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known
Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known

Multiple windows can now be grouped into one, providing a tabbed interface across windows. Individual windows can be further split and remote protocols do work

Multiple windows grouped into a single window
Multiple windows grouped into a single window

KWin’s composition engine is now a lot smoother, faster and my preferred composition engine

CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin
CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin

KDE 4.4 comes with Amarok 2.2.2 as the music player. Amarok can make use of KNotify for displaying Now Playing information, instead of its OSD feature.

Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4
Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4

KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

KRunner functions well as an application launcher
KRunner functions well as an application launcher

Konqueror is a fine browser, based on KHTML – the foundation for WebKit. However Gmail is not fully supported under Konqueror

Konqueror
Konqueror

So, what’re your thoughts about KDE 4.4 ? Or are you still hanging onto KDE 3.5 ? Post a comment and do let us know!