Date Tags Music

Once upon something else than a time, there was a guy listening some music (u2, an old one, the new one is not the u2 i like to hear) and thinking about the thing behind this … People (‘pirates’ comme on dit chez tipiak(tm)) use to have lots, lots of music, usually in a big hdd … so what you want to listen is not as easy as saying ‘i want a quarter pound w/ cheese’ if you have hundreds of songs :) That’s why some people design software jukeboxes capable of handling all that stuff (partly) instead of you. There are so many of these things just poking around (apt-cache says):

  • juk : music organizer and player for KDE
  • juke : A curses-based jukebox program
  • madman : An advanced music manager application
  • moosic : Daemon/client combo to easily queue music files for playing
  • netjuke : Web-Based Audio Streaming Jukebox
  • noatun : Media player (for video and audio)
  • pytone : Music jukebox with advanced features for DJs and a text-mode user interface
  • rhythmbox : music player and organizer for GNOME
  • vux : A rating-based, random ogg and mp3 player
  • zinf : Extensible, cross-platform audio player

And some others that seem to be popular like amaroK. I think the first one was mp3sb written in p3rl (around 1998, jkx ?) and resPyre is its successor (CORBA, Python). Despite the website is dead, there is some software and at least one person using it. Pretty well for more than one year (excepted during blind tests with friends :) Indeed there are some issues, buglets and other goodies and/or features which makes it fun to use. i have one computer (mostly) dedicated to music, running the server and few clients (LIRC, web) making it easy to control by network or TV remote.

The thing starts playing, using statistical calculations to find the music i listen more, and sometimes trying to show me artists i don’t know / listen much. That’s how i like to proceed most of the time, i’m guided by resPyre music flow. When a song is played all along, its score is incremented, when a song is being played to much times, it’s pushed away for a while. So i’m not always listening the same music i love, and the system learn my tastes :) I guess other jukeboxes behave in a similar way (if not, they should ;) The second must-have is crossfading, i can’t imagine a jukebox without this. And guess what there must have some Python in the music-monster !!

Though jukeboxes seem well integrated in the desktop, i’m not using any (Gnome, KDE, …) so this is useless for me. I want only something easy to access and control (xbindkeys for shortcuts and OSD for status display are perfect for example).

Well i’ve tried many jukeboxes and most of them use OGG and MP3 tags to organize the music. In my opinion, that sucks. Essential infos (artist, album, song nb, song title) can easily be guessed if people use a schema (BandName/Album/01 - Song.mp3) to store their music. Song duration is guessable if you have the file (and using a good audio lib), so why store it in the tag ? I believe ‘Genre’ tags suck too. Music is a kind of art, and people can have different opinions and labels to put on music. For instance Metallica (yeah the four horsemen) are a ‘hard-rock’ band for many people. But they play ‘slows’ too. So, what’s the balance ? And if a band can be categorized under two different labels, that sucks too :) Nothing can be black and white together.