Back in 2000, xmms was the hot MP3 player for Linux that everybody loved. Most likely due to it’s near perfect match in design and functionality to Winamp. Well time makes you bolder and MP3 players get older. And with no major updates (not even a port to GTK2), xmms just sits around. Recently some distributions have stopped including it in favor of more modern players. So I tried Rythmbox (the Music management and playback software for GNOME.). After 2 week I can say modern does NOT mean better.
A look at XMMS, a very simple interface.
All the standard playback buttons including play, pause, previous, next. As well as volume, balance and position sliders. Note that I’m at track 330 (Velvet Revolver) in my playlist.
A look at Rythmbox, a very simple interface as well. Maybe too simple.
Hmm, so I can hit play, go previous or go next. But wait how do I stop? Of course silly me, I can hit Play again to Stop. Or wait is that hit Play to Pause?? Hmmm? I guess play just isn’t what it used to be. Perhaps I have no Pause or Stop because I have no room. That must be it. Why? Because on my toolbar I have my most common functions which includes “Create an Audio CD…”. Yup, that sure sounds like something I do every single day.
Okay, so the toolbar buttons aren’t intelligent. At least we have a button for volume. I don’t know who prefers a button, but press it and lo and behold it reveals a slider. The whole volume changer is absolutely quirky. Why oh why hide the slider? Another space issue?
While I could go on, there’s one more absolutely annoying feature. Why is it everytime I close the player listening to Oasis, I start again with .38 Special? The position in the playlist is lost. Lost! Like the tv show.
Before 2 weeks ago, I had never really used any other MP3 player other than XMMS. I was using FC6 and Rythmbox 0.9.7 and to be fair there are many features I do like. However the small issues can be incredibly annoying. I plan to try some other players as well.