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Amarok 2.8 ("Return To The Origin")
|Original author(s)||Mark Kretschmann|
|Initial release||June 23, 2003|
|Stable release||2.8 (August 16, 2013[±])|
|Preview release||2.9 (August 16, 2015) [±]|
|Written in||C++ (Qt)|
|Operating system||Unix-like, Windows|
|License||GNU General Public License Version 2|
Amarok // is a cross-platform free and open-source music player. Although Amarok is part of the KDE project, it is released independently of the central KDE Software Compilation release cycle. Amarok is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.
The project was originally started by Mark Kretschmann as a means of improving XMMS due to several usability problems, which interfered with the addition of new files to the playlist due to several user interface elements existing for one task. The original amaroK was created based upon the idea of a two-pane interface seen in Midnight Commander, and the first version of the software released solely by Kretschmann, was based upon the ideal of allowing users to drag-and-drop music into an interface in which the playlist was displayed on the right and information on the left.
After the initial release of AmaroK, several developers joined the project to form the “Three M’s” the first of whom was Max Howell, who acted as an interface designer and programmer for the project, alongside Muesli (Christian Muehlhaeuser), who also provided user interface insight and programming till the late 1.4 versions.
The program was originally named amaroK after a Mike Oldfield album of the same name. Later the artwork changed to reference Amarok, a wolf in Inuit mythology. The app's capitalisation was changed to Amarok in June 2006.
A new major version of Amarok, version 2.0, was released on December 12, 2008. On June 3, 2009, version 2.1 was released which reintroduced a few of the 1.4 features which had been missing from the initial 2.0 release, and introduced some features such as native ReplayGain support for the first time.
Basic uses and functions
Amarok serves many functions in addition to the basic function of playing music files. For example, Amarok can be used to organize a library of music into folders according to genre, artist, and album, can edit tags attached to most music formats, associate album art, attach lyrics, and automatically "score" music by keeping play count statistics.
Although a more technical list of features is listed below, here are the primary functions or uses for Amarok:
- Playing media files in various formats including but not limited to (depending on the setup) FLAC, Ogg, Opus, MP3, AAC, WAV, Windows Media Audio, Apple Lossless, WavPack, TTA and Musepack. Amarok does not play digital music files embedded with DRM.
- Tagging digital music files (currently FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, AAC, MP3, and RealMedia).
- Associating cover art with a particular album, and retrieving the cover art from Amazon.
- Creating and editing playlists, including smart and dynamic playlists. The dynamic playlists can use such information as the "score" given to a song by an Amarok script, and the playcount which is stored in the database.
- Synchronizing, retrieving, playing, or uploading music to the following digital music players: iPod, iriver iFP, Creative NOMAD, Creative ZEN, MTP, Rio Karma and USB devices with VFAT (generic MP3 players) support.
- Displaying artist information from Wikipedia and retrieving song lyrics.
- Last.fm support, including submitting played tracks (including those played on some digital music players) to Last.fm, retrieving similar artists and playing Last.fm streams.
Some of these features depend on other programs or libraries that must be installed on the computer to operate.
- Three main window panes: playlist browser, collection and player window.
- Systray (panel notification area) icon support.
- Song collection, which includes specific folders on the filesystem.
- Searching Files/Artists/Album/Genre in Collection can be performed using Simple and Advanced options
- Intelligent Playlists support (Dynamic Playlists)
- Integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm and Shoutcast.
- Songs can be rated both dynamically (based on how much the song is played) and by hand (giving rating of 1-5 stars to the song).
- Amarok File Tracking (since 1.4.3): Stores file checksum in the collection. This allows the file be moved around in the filesystem without Amarok losing track of the song statistics.
- Collection filter (newest songs, highest rated, most played, etc.).
- Support for Phonon engine. The backend of Phonon dictates which media types Amarok can play and how they play. When using Xine, Amarok supports crossfading, but not seeking in seekpointless FLAC files. When using Gstreamer, Amarok supports seeking and gapless playback, but not crossfading.
- Support for moodbars.
- Uses TagLib for tags.
- Amarok can be controlled via D-Bus.
- Amarok Scripts, for example, when writing lyrics fetching plugins, can be written in QtScript.
Amarok 2 was released on 10 December 2008. New features include:
- Tight integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm and Shoutcast.
- Completely overhauled scripting API and plugin support to allow better integration into Amarok.
- Migration from the KDE 3 to KDE Software Compilation 4, and utilization of core technologies such as Solid, Phonon, and Plasma.
The user interface had been redesigned to make context information like lyrics and albums from the same artist more accessible and allow the user to decide which information is available by adding applets to the Context View in the middle.
Changes since 1.4
- Service Framework: This integrates networked music sources directly into Amarok. This includes online music stores, media servers, Web music lockers, and more. Due to this the users will be able to get easy access to music provided by Magnatune, Jamendo, Last.fm, MP3Tunes Locker and Ampache.
- Biased Playlists: Biased Playlists extend the old Dynamic Playlists. They allow users to define an automatically populated playlist, based on specific probability-driven criteria called "biases".
- Context View: This view occupies the central place of the Amarok’s window, replacing the old Context Browser from the 1.x series. It displays contextual information about the music one plays, like the album cover, track rating, labels, lyrics, artist information, related songs and artists and track mood.
- Other Features: Additional changes in Amarok 2.0 include new SVG-based scalable theme, advanced scripting, dynamic collections, usability changes, updated media device handling, new podcast manager and support for more software platforms.
Forks and variations
The transition from version 1.4 to version 2 was criticized by many users. As a consequence some new projects have been established, based on Amarok version 1.4.x.
- Amarok Live was a live CD Linux distribution with the sole purpose to demonstrate Amarok.
- Clementine is a fork of Amarok 1.4 to port it to the Qt 4 framework.
- Exaile is a GTK+ clone of Amarok 1.4.
- Gereqi is a clone of Amarok 1.4, written in PySide.
- Pana was a fork of Amarok 1.4. The intention was to keep the original program alive. The author has now discontinued the project.
|Legend:||Old version||Older version, still supported||Current stable version||Latest preview version||Future release|
|Major Version||Codename||Minor Version||Release date||Notes|
|0.5||Wocka||Old version, no longer supported: 0.5.0||2003-06-23||Initial release|
|0.6||?||Old version, no longer supported: 0.6.0||2003-09-20|
|0.7||The Last Zombie||Old version, no longer supported: 0.7.0||2003-11-16||Added support for cross fading and customizable columns.|
|1.0||?||Old version, no longer supported: 1.0.0||2004-06-17||Added searchable 'collection', file browser, cover art from Amazon and statistics.|
|1.1||I am a rock||Old version, no longer supported: 1.1.0||2004-09-27||Added song ratings and support for Xine, MAS and K3b.|
|1.2||?||Old version, no longer supported: 1.2.0||2005-02-14||Support for iPods, Audioscrobbler, MySQL and a themeable browser.|
|1.3||Airborne||Old version, no longer supported: 1.3.0||2005-08-14||New playlist browser, work on interface, dynamic playlists, support for podcasts, relative paths in playlists, playlist queue, Wikipedia integration and cuesheets.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.3.9||2006-03-26||Helix and GStreamer engine, improved interface, work on podcast support.|
|1.4||Fast Forward||Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.0||2006-05-17||Improved support for mobile devices, work on memory usage and interface design, integration of Last.FM into the context browser, gapless playback using Xine, lyrics now fetched with scripts, advanced Wikipedia integration, CD ripping via drag n drop, improved handling of podcasts.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.1||2006-07-02||Improved performance and usability, name changed from amaroK to Amarok, Last.FM streams, rating via scripts.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.2||2006-08-22||DAAP client, MTP media device support, dynamic collection, custom Last.FM stations.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.3||2006-09-05||AFT (Amarok File Tracking).|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.4||2006-10-30||Magnatune integration, 3 different ways of crossfading with Xine and helix engine.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.5||2007-02-04||SHOUTcast streams, labels.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.6||2007-06-21||New icon set, Rockbox support.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.7||2007-08-13||Updated icons and Cool Streams.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.8||2007-12-20||Added/improved support for latest iPods (using libgpod3): 6th-Generation iPod Classic, 3rd-Generation iPod Nano, iPod Touch|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.9||2008-04-09||Only released in Kubuntu. It was missing one important bug-fix, so it was immediately superseded by 184.108.40.206|
|Old version, no longer supported: 220.127.116.11||2008-04-12||Updated translations, and bug-fixes|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.4.10||2008-08-13||Very important security update|
|2.0||In the beginning||Old version, no longer supported: 2.0.0||2008-12-10||Complete redesign of interface, increased graphical features, KDE 4 support, first (unstable) release for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.|
|Magellan||Old version, no longer supported: 18.104.22.168||2009-01-11||Searching and filtering in the playlist, reintroduction of queueing and stopping after track.
(Immediately superseded 2.0.1 after a security bug was found in the initial release).
|Only Time Will Tell||Old version, no longer supported: 2.0.2||2009-03-05||Bug and stability fixes.|
|2.1||Let There be Light||Old version, no longer supported: 2.1.0||2009-06-03||Native ReplayGain support, a refactoring of context view, a playlist layout editor, and Amarok URLs and bookmarks.|
|Oceania||Old version, no longer supported: 2.1.1||2009-06-17||Mostly bug and stability fixes.|
|2.2||Sunjammer||Old version, no longer supported: 2.2.0||2009-10-01||Layout editing, photo and video plasmoids, breadcrumb navigation in the collection browser, and much improved sorting and editing in the playlist.|
|Weightless||Old version, no longer supported: 2.2.1||2009-11-16||Faster collection scanner, podcast grouping, autofetching podcasts, SMB (samba) support in playlist.|
|Maya Gold||Old version, no longer supported: 2.2.2||2010-01-11||Moodbar support, custom labels for music, podcast refinements, and many bugfixes.|
|2.3||Clear Light||Old version, no longer supported: 2.3.0||2010-03-15||Better podcast support and saved playlists, many small improvements.|
|The Bell||Old version, no longer supported: 2.3.1||2010-05-31||Automated Playlist Generator, two new applets for the Context View, cover fetching improvements, and many bugfixes and small improvements.|
|Moonshine||Old version, no longer supported: 2.3.2||2010-09-21||Dynamic Collection fixes as an attempt to work better with hard drives and USB mass storage devices, compatible with KDE’s 4.5 release, other bugfixes.|
|2.4||Slipstream||Old version, no longer supported: 2.4.0||2011-01-15||Conversion of tracks from one file format to another when copying from the file browser to the local collection, other bugfixes.|
|Resolution||Old version, no longer supported: 2.4.1||2011-05-08||Lyrics and iPod handling both improved along with remote collections, you can now better preview your changes in the Organize Collection feature, other bugfixes.|
|Nightshade||Old version, no longer supported: 2.4.2||2011-07-07||Enable drag and drop on collections to copy/move within Local Music and directly from the playlist, other bugfixes.|
|Berlin||Old version, no longer supported: 2.4.3||2011-08-01||Compiles with the LLVM frontend Clang, Enable drag and drop on collections to copy/move within Local Music and directly from the playlist, other bugfixes.|
|2.5||Earth Moving||Old version, no longer supported: 2.5||2011-12-20||Re-written USB Mass Storage support, integrated Amazon MP3 store, other bugfixes. Windows version of Amarok officially stable.|
|2.6||In Dulci Jubilo||Old version, no longer supported: 2.6||2012-08-13||A complete overhaul of the iPod and iPhone support, transcoding for iPod-like and USB Mass Storage devices.|
|2.7||A Minor Tune||Old version, no longer supported: 2.7||2013-01-18||Preliminary version of the Nepomuk Collection plug-in. Statistics Synchronization between collections and with Last.fm. The File Browser's behavior and appearance was greatly improved. Audio CD playback was resurrected.|
|Harbinger||Old version, no longer supported: 2.7.1||2013-05-15||Fix inability to reverse "Use Music Location" decision and inability to clear database once all collection directories have been unset. Fix inability to create database when home directory contains non-ASCII characters.|
|2.8||Return To The Origin||Current stable version: 2.8||2013-08-16||A fancy audio analyzer visualization applet. Smooth fade-out when pausing music. Many UI improvements and visual tweaks including better support for alternate color themes. Significantly enhanced MusicBrainz tagger. Power management awareness with a pair of new configuration options. Performance optimizations and responsiveness tuning all over Amarok.|
- "SourceForge.net". SourceForge.net. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.9 Beta Release". amarok.kde.org. KDE. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- "Amarok: Call for Jingle, July 06 2007".
- Prior versions of Amarok required a third-party plugin for ReplayGain functionality.
- Shoutcast support is no longer officially included in version 2.2 and above due to licensing issues.
- "Scripting HowTo 2.0". Development. kde.org. Archived from the original on 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- David Sansome (2010-02-22). "Clementine 0.1". KDE Mailing Lists. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
It is largely a port of Amarok 1.4, with some features rewritten to take advantage of Qt4.
- "Amarok Weekly Newsletter - Issue 10". Ljubomir.simin.googlepages.com. 2007-09-18. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Magellan - Amarok 22.214.171.124 released (including security fix)". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "2.02 release notes". kde.org. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.1 "Let There Be Light" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.1.1 "Oceania" released | Amarok". kde.org. 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.2 "Sunjammer" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.2.1 "Weightless" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.2.2 "Maya Gold" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.3.0 "Clear Light" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.3.1 "The Bell" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.3.2 "Moonshine" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.4 "Slipstream" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.4.1 "Resolution" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.4.2 Beta 1 "Nightshade" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.4.3 "Berlin" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.5 "Earth Moving" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.6 "In Dulci Jubilo" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.7 "A Minor Tune" released! | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.7.1 "Harbinger" Released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
- "Amarok 2.8 "Return To The Origin" released | Amarok". kde.org. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
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