Clementine: a Port of Amarok 1.4 to QT 4

Clementine is a port of Amarok 1.4 to QT 4, giving users an application that fits in well with KDE 4 while still resembling the previous version of the library-based music player. As I've commented in the past, acceptance of KDE 4 wasn't helped by the fact that the developers took it upon themselves to redesign some of the most popular apps such as Konqueror and Amarok.

As Clementine is a fork of the 1.4 branch of Amarok that has been ported to QT 4, users can expect a layout and functionality that replicates the KDE 3.x era of the program alongside updates that ensure that it fits in well with the look of the KDE 4.x desktop environment. To jog the memory of former users, this amounts to a two pane design, with the music library on the left hand side of the window and most of the display taken up by the larger playlist window on the right. Each of the two panes has a real-time search box at the top. In addition, the program has some features for the playback of online audio streams such as internet radio stations.

Overall it's a slick, some might say optimal, approach that gives the user everything they need in a layout that makes very efficient use of space. The oft-quoted design maxim that perfection has been reached, not when there is nothing left to add, but instead, when there is nothing that can be removed, is key to the design of the classic Amarok GUI. I prefer it, and frankly, I'm not alone.

Clementine installed without problems under Kubuntu 10.4, using the .deb from the official website. There are also Windows and MacOSX installers available.

Conclusion

I'm sure that the KDE devs feel that they took Amorok 2.0 in the direction that represents the best future for the users and KDE itself. However, they took a risk when they decided to completely redesign one of the most popular and well liked KDE applications in a move that has, so far, resulted in very few end user benefits. In hindsight, they might have been better off if they had created a new media application rather than attempting to succeed Amarok directly. I've no-doubt that Amarok 2.0 will be the better platform for expansion in the future, but for now, you'll find me running Clementine.

The Clementine website.

______________________

UK based freelance writer Michael Reed writes about technology, retro computing, geek culture and gender politics.

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Nice review! While I'm

Jack's picture

Nice review! While I'm personally on the Amarok 2 train, I can certainly understand the users of this application. It's kind of totally awesome, actually, to have people pick up a project and port it like that. I'm sure it will add a lot to the scene, and I'm glad these users/devs can take the original design even further than the original Amarok had gone.

To each his own, of course. That's the beauty of Linux- not one size fits all, but there is a size for you.

I'm glad to Find out about

Anonymous's picture

I'm glad to Find out about this project! As much as Amarok 2 has working right, it has a thousand hits of polish missing that Clementine retains.

Amarok2 UI is already almost perfect, just tweak it!

Fri13's picture

I have configured Amarok 2.2.3 to be like Amarok 1.4.x and there are only very few small changes what can not be applied. Like the play buttons place. But neither is all buttons in original position in clementine.

What I really love in Amarok 2.2.3 is the simplicity to just to give the database and playlist to front of me. Hide everything else.

As example, these are the UI's what I use. Typically the minimal controls are used in netbook while the bigger one in desktop computer.
http://i.imgur.com/XaCFX.png
http://i.imgur.com/J6Alg.png

Amarok 2 users do not have many reasons to use earlier version of the Amarok.

The Amarok2 has gone long way since 2.x series start.

I only miss few features myself, what actually applies to 1.4.x series as well. It is the database change from Albums -> CD's. You see, the Amarok does not follow the standard to handle a CD as CD. But it handles every CD as a different album. I have half of my music collections a albums what has more than one CD. Especially with voicebooks are with multiple CD's, like 26 or 32. So every CD in one album, is needed to rename as different album. Other mediaplayers follows the CD number and allows database to be shown as Artists > Album > CD. But Amarok only allows Artists > Album.

That is very critical thing what Amarok should get fixed, that album is not same thing as the CD. It is the some way rare problem among music culture as well.

Amarok allows user to write to metadata the CD number, but it does not allow to filter and archive music with that metadata.

Best music player ever

markh's picture

I am new to KDE (using kubuntu 10.04 right now after seeing the disaster that gnome3 is going to be).....I hated the Amarok that came with it (it seemed like a half-*** version of iTunes). Anyway I just downloaded Clementine and I LOVE IT!!!

Also with all of this backporting/forking to KDE 3.5 that I see going on I am really close to giving Kubuntu trinity a try.

I have to agree!

Anonymous's picture

Much as I want t' be thankin' them swabbies polishin' the
decks o' t' ship Amarok 2.0, I be putin' my oars behind the
crew workin' the decks o' the good ship Clementine!

Ship Amarok 2.0, shiver me timbers, can't seem to sail on
me ocean. Not er sound does she make, no matter how much
sheet they put on her.

Ship Clementine be makin' waves that be swampin' all t'
boats still floatin' in me ocean.

Best comment o' th' day.

Webmistress's picture

Best comment of the day. Thanks for playing. :)

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Finally, a stable music

@BaloneyGeek's picture

Finally, a stable music player which does not randomly crash.

And the best part is, I finally have AmaroK on Windows! Clementine's Windows support is amazing!

What I like

Doug.Roberts's picture

What I *really* like about Clementine vs. Amarok is that it does not ask me for my damn password each time I start it. Amarok has this thing about using Kwallet to authenticate just in case I might want to connect to one of the web music sources which requires authentication.

I also like that it is streamlined, positively nimble compared to Amarok.

As a side note, I've given up on KDE after being a user for 4 years. It similarly is just too heavyweight for me.

--Doug

don't use kwallet or set password to blank

Bart Burroughs's picture

The password issue is because you created a password. if you leave it blank and accept the warning about an insecure password it will never ask you for a password again. Amarok 2 is better in my opinion but, as should always be the case, linux is all about choice and if Clementine rocks your world I would never presume to tell you your wrong.

Not exactly

Doug.Roberts's picture

The password issue derived from the fact that Amarok, at some point, asked me if I wanted to use Kwallet to manage my passwords. Stupidly, instead of saying "No", I said "Yes".

And then I could not find out how to tell Amarok to please quit using Kwallet to prompt me for a password, apparently to be used on some internet music service to which I had never subscribed and that I never needed or wanted.

I despise overly convoluted, overly complex software. I design software for a living: I would have fired the chief designer of Amarok for that mess, had the application been developed in a "for pay" environment instead of as an open source app.

Clementine doesn't exactly rock my world, but it does perform its task pretty efficiently, and I appreciate that.

--Doug

Disable the password question

Fri13's picture

Have you tried going to settings and disabling the online services plugins? Like Magnatune Store and Jamendo?

Those settings are btw about the distributor, not about Amarok. I never got the password question because as far I know, they are not configured so by default. But on the distributions what are free version from the commercial distributors or so on, they usually enable jamendo, Last.FM and other services what tries to connect in first place to services and Amarok asks the password.

And if you want to remove the Amarok from KWallet, open the Kwallet settings and go from there remove the Amarok from the password list. Then start Amarok and it asks again where it should store the password.

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