Tomahawk, the World Is Your Music Collection

I don't listen to music very often, but when I do, my tastes tend to be across the board. That's one of the reasons I really like Pandora, because the music selection is incredible (in fact, I can't recommend the Pithos client for Pandora enough—I've written about it in past issues). Unfortunately, with Pandora, you don't get to pick specific songs. That's usually okay for me, but sometimes I want to hear a particular song by a particular artist. Even worse, sometimes I want to hear a particular version of a song. I've purchased 3–4 different versions of a song, only to discover none of them were what I wanted.

Enter Tomahawk. It behaves much like a traditional music application, and it will play music from your hard drive or network shares. Its real strength, however, is its ability to connect to on-line resources to find songs. When it finds those songs, it treats them just like a local file. You can create playlists with a mix of local and remote media, and search across an entire array of on-line services. Tomahawk will connect to Spotify, last.fm, Jamendo, Beets, Subsonic and tons of other sources. Of particular note, I love that there is a YouTube plugin that will search YouTube for songs! (The YouTube plugin isn't included by default, but it's free to install.)

Due to its ability to blur the lines between local and streaming media, while functioning as a traditional desktop music app, Tomahawk earns this month's Editors' Choice award. If you have fickle music tastes, or just want to listen to your various music collections in a central place, I urge you to give Tomahawk a try: http://www.tomahawk-player.org.

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.