Kicking Back with Clementine 1.0

The Amarok-inspired music player adds Spotify, Grooveshark, and SKY.fm support and squashes a bunch of bugs.

My daughter and I recently got new iPhones, which means she now has her first smart phone and I'm not currently using my Android phone. She also scored a new iPod Touch over the holidays, and we both scored some iTunes gift cards. As long as we're just using Apple products and services, we're golden. The trouble starts when we want to enjoy our music on — or update our devices from — our Linux laptops.

I anxiously await a solution that will allow my kid to manage her iTunes account from her Linux Mint machine. That's not to say that there aren't good open source music players available, because there are. Saving music files from my kid's older iPod onto my MacBook Pro has been frustrating enough, so I shouldn't expect an open source solution to handle this little task any easier. Sometimes I really miss the comforting crackle of an LP, which played the same on any record player with a decent needle. Alas, there's still a lot to be said for taking a phone call from the device that also plays my Etta James and fits in a pocket.

I decided it's time to revisit some open source music players, and because Clementine 1.0 rolled out in late December, I'll start with it.

Clementine 1.0

I tried Clementine on my MacBook Pro and my Ubuntu 11.10 machines and didn't notice any difference with functionality or features. Unfortunately, that also meant that I couldn't remove or add any files from our older iPod Touch or iPod Nano from either machine.

Device problems aside, Clementine is a pretty sweet music player. The first version was released back in early 2010, and version 1.0 came out on December 27, 2011.

Importing my music was easy enough — just browse for your music folder on your computer or external harddrive and select it. I liked the fade out feature between songs, too. The interface is slick and relatively intuitive. Clicking on Song Information lets you search for song lyrics across various sites.

Creating playlists is easy; just select songs or albums and they will populate your new list in the window on the right. Or if you want to be lolled to sleep to the sound of rain, check under the Extras tab.

Overall, I'm impressed with the interface design and user-friendliness of the young Clementine. If iTunes and your MP3 player aren't factors, Clementine is a music player worth checking out. Clementine offers lots of bells and whistles, but in an open source environment that feels as professional as Apple, but without feeling so darn corporate.

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