Tool recommendation: Exaile - Blog - Open Source - - php, photography and private stuff

Tool recommendation: Exaile

After I already recommended a software tool in my blog yesterday, I'd like to continue recommending good tools. This time it is Exaile, a greate music player and collection management tool.

In former times I used Amarok for that purpose. A nice tool, too, but I had several issues with it: First off, I use Gnome and pretty much dislike the way KDE handles things. I don't find the Amarok UI much intuitive and it never looked really Gnome like to me, no matter which tricks I used. Next, it had some really annoying behaviors, which I (thankfully) don't remember anymore. Finally, after an upgrade, it killed my iPod database so I needed to re-collect all the songs I had on it by hand.

However, this was the point where I looked again for alternatives and decided that Banshee looks like a good one. Being written in C# and using Gtk controlls it looked much more Gnome like than Amarok. Beside that, it also offered a large ammount of the features I used in Amarok. Still, I missed some (like the good song recommendation stuff and cover download from Amazon). However, Banshee worked for me... until last week, when I determined that I had another player on my HD: Exaile. I had tried that once, when it was in a very early stage of development, and missed to uninstall it afterwards. So I had the most recent version already installed (0.2.12beta) and gave it another try.

I have to say: I love it! :) While Bashee looks only gnomish and still has some drawbacks in usability, Exaile really looks like Gnome and already offers me almost every feature I need. It even can make use of libnotify to integrate its OSD (which can also be deactivate) fully into your Gnome desktop. Its collection management is damn fast, although it is written in Python and also using SQLite the back end. Nothing against SQLite, but Amarok and Banshee were both much slower with my collection of 15.000+ songs. Exaile offers "dynamic playlists" out of the box. You just need to activate a check box and it looks up recommended music from your collection on and adds it to your playlist. It also has a rating system and provides playlist like "most played songs" and stuff. An "info" button allows you to gather additional info about a song from Wikipedia and other sources. Exaile supports internet radio streams and has a plugin that integrates shoutcast. It also has support for podcast and can be used to provide iPods and other MP3 players with music. Covers are either available in the directory where a song resides or are automatically searched from Amazon, while you still have the chance to change or remove a cover. Last but not least, Exaile is written in Python and has a wonderfully comfortable plugin system. I think this will be my chance to finally deal a bit more with Python... ;)

Exaile also still has some bugs (hey, its beta!), but all in all I'm really satisfied with it so far. So I recommend: Give it a try! :)

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