Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I've been using Rhythmbox for a while to play my music files (which are, of course, in Ogg Vorbis format.)

I hate to say it, but I have become so frustrated with Rhythmbox that I'm now actively looking for a replacement. Here are my main gripes:

Gripe #1: When you toggle between the "small display" and the full size display, the window size chosen is always wrong. What I expect to happen is that whatever window size I configure in the two modes, Rhythmbox will remember my decision. For f***'s sake, would this be so hard to implement? Here's what actually happens: when switching from the small display to full display, the full display gets a hard-coded height of about a third of my display height. Here's a screenshot:

As you can see, the various lists (artist, album, tracks) are completely squashed. THIS SUCKS!!!! (As a bonus bug, you'll notice that in Ubuntu 7.10, gimp is no longer able to capture screen shots that include the window decorations.)

When switching from the full display back to the small display, sometimes the size is restored correctly, and sometimes the width of the full display is preserved (meaning that you get an extremely wide small display):

Nice work, rhythmbox!

Gripe #2: When an album finishes playing and you click "Play" again, it starts playing from the last track, not the first. Yeah, that's just what I wanted to do.

Gripe #3: If you click "Previous" too quickly, playing stops altogether, even if you haven't reached the first track yet.

One of the reasons I have been an enthusiastic user of free software over the past 15 years or so is that it generally places a high value on correctness and utility over bells and whistles. It concerns me greatly that the free software world is moving towards a Windows model where every application is skinnable, animated out the wazoo, has a feature list the size of a telephone book, and is impossible to use for more than 2 minutes without uncovering a serious bug.

1 comment:

Daniel Feveryear said...

I would suggest trying Banshee. I recently discovered it when I was using Ubuntu, and it suited me. I'm not exactly sure if it will suit you, but it is a pretty reliable program, and as far as I know, it can play Ogg Vorbis. Just a thought.