Amarok and the user experience

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
For this comparison, only the following specific features were taken into account. These are suposedly ment to enhance the user experience and help manage a music library:

  • Editing play list afterhand
    Allowing to manually sort the tracks within a playlist after having imported them with a drag and drop or a batch insertion.
  • Ripping audio from CD’s
    This is the first legit step for building one’s music library on a personal computer. The application must allow to choose the file format, the sample type, rate and frequency; and to edit the file tags. The most advanced programs automatically sort out the folders to keep the library consolidated.
  • Editing song tags
    Should the previous step have gone wrong, the application should allow to edit file tags on the go and to physically upgrade the files.
  • Physically saving song tags
    Preferably, tag changes should be updated on the very file, not simply the audio library database.
  • Physically sorting the file library
    This comes handy when one wants to copy folders on another media.
  • Real-time monitoring of folders
    The application monitors folders, notices when files or folders have been renamed or moved around and updates its database accordingly.
  • Purchasing music online
    The application takes care of the transaction and downloads the tracks to the proper folder.
Real VLC Songbird iTunes Winamp Windows Media Player Musikcube Amarok Amarok
editing playlist
nay nay yay nay yay yay yay yay yay
ripping audio from CD s nay nay nay yay yay yay yay nay nay
editing song tags nay nay nay nay nay nay yay yay yay
physically saving song tags nay nay nay nay nay nay yay yay yay
physically sorting the
nay nay nay nay nay nay nay nay yay
real-time monitoring of
nay nay nay nay nay nay nay yay yay
purchasing music online nay nay nay yay nay nay nay nay nay

Considering this chart, it becomes obvious that Amarok is the most powerful and the most flexible audio library manager. It does not allow to rip CD’s, although there are several free applications to do that on Linux. Amarok gets album covers from Amazon, album data from Musicbrainz and artist biographies from Wikipedia.