Sparkling gems and new releases from the world of Free and Open Source Software

Museeks 0.7

We're not sure how we feel about the proliferation of applications written using Node.js, Electron, and React.js. On the one hand, it's great that cross-platform applications can now include Linux with no extra work required. It's something we wish Adobe would consider, for instance. But tools using these JavaScript libraries always feel so bloated, even if the applications themselves are excellent (which they often are). If the 120MB installation size of the music player Museeks doesn't put you off, especially if you like to work with the same application across different operating systems, it's definitely worth a try. The user interface is minimalist and won't even use your window manager's surround unless you enable it. This is a good thing, and we like the design. It doesn't stop you getting started either, which is as simple as adding a new source to your library and refreshing the internal database. You can have multiple folders, too.

With music added to your library, every available track is listed within the main view. There's no artist or album hierarchy, nor is the list sorted by folder groups. This isn't going to work if you have a large collection of music, but it's simple, uncluttered interface doesn't leave you with any distractions. Audio quality is great, and the player interprets gapless playback properly, which is great for live recordings. This new release has added a small cover thumbnail in the playback bar, which is one concession to eye candy that we approve of, and we like the quick and easy way you can create playlists. Because it's built atop some JavaScript libraries, you can enable the developer mode to see the code, just as you would with a website, which adds a new dimension to most music players.

Based on cross-platform JavaScript libraries, Museeks in a sleek and minimal music player will run equally well on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Project Website

Music Player

Audacious 3.8

If Museeks, above, has piqued your interest in minimal music players, the new release of Audacious is also worth a look. Not quite as fully cross-platform as Museeks (there's a Windows version, too), but without the dependency on bloated JavaScript libraries, its 1.8MB install size will almost fit onto a 3.5-inch floppy disk, if you can remember one of those. This is partly because you can choose between either a Gtk+3 version or a Qt version, not both, and you still need to install a plugin package to generate any sound. This package was a further 6MB on our Arch system, and through these plugins, Audacious is able to talk to PulseAudio, Alsa, SDL and even esoteric outputs like writing audio to disc and Jack.

Audacious is a philosophical descendant of the ancient XMMS, and despite using a modern UI toolkit, it feels very close. The equalizer is a standard addition, for example, and the brilliant OpenGL spectrogram is the only audio visualizer we are tempted to use whilst listening to music. Audacious also plays back everything from MIDI to Nintendo DS chiptunes and can still play audio CDs if you've got an optical drive. It does this with a negligible hit on your system resources and with maximum quality. This latest release works brilliantly on our high-DPI display and lets you do things like enable high bit depths on the output at lower latency or add folders available through GIO-supported protocols (such as FTP). We also really like Robert Cernansky's new plugin for browsing music held on your Raspberry Pi Ampache server. Despite its age, Audacious has kept true to its music player roots, and we find ourselves using it more than we ever have. If you need a quick and easy music player that still has every feature you'll ever need, Audacity is still that player.

Audacious is now more than 10 years old, but that doesn't stop it keeping to its minimal Unix principle of doing one job well.

Project Website

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Shredder 9

    Shredder 9 promises world championship chess on your home computer. We took a look at the new Linux version of the famous Shredder chess tool.

  • PyChess

    Powerful and flexible chess programs have been scarce on Linux. But PyChess sees the free operating system checkmate other platforms.

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Graham looks at Penpot, ProcMon, diskgraph, Shaarli, Music Radar and more!

  • Shallow Blue

    In the absence of an IBM supercomputer at his data center in Germany's Lower Rhine region, Charly has to make do with a Linux desktop, Stockfish, and chs in order to follow in the footsteps of chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

  • Free Software Projects

    In this month’s Projects on the Move, we observe the battle between man and (chess) machine and check out the free Colonization clone. Also in this issue, tools for Linux users who find themselves facing the Windows prompt.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95

Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters