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Three top-rated music players for Ubuntu

listen-internet-musicOne in the advantages in the Ubuntu Software Center is that it enables you to see what applications are liked by other Ubuntu users. In the “Sounds & Video” category, there are several different music players available. Three with the top rated programs (in alphabetical order) are Audacious, Clementine, and Qmmp. Each player requires a different procedure for playing your music: Audacious and Qmmp are playlist based media players where as Clementine is really a full blown media manager along with media player.

All three programs obtainable and installed via the Ubuntu Software Center either in the “Sound & Video” category or utilizing the search box. Here is a summary of these three premier music players.


Audacious is a simple media player with support to get a wide range of audio formats including MP3, AAC, OGG, FLAC, WAV and WMA. It works using playlists that you just create manually with the addition of files and directories towards the list. The list will then be saved for later. If you only want to listen to one album then you would just quickly add those files to a new playlist and start listening. The advantage of playlists is that you can create your own lists for various genres, themes or moods. However there is quite a bit of initial work to create, populate and save those lists, but once every one of the hard work is completed, you'll have playlists for each and every disposition.


The biggest disappointment of Audacious is the initial GTK Interface. It looks out-dated and unrefined. When I initially watched it, I thought I must have downloaded a bad program. However the interface might be changed by going to the View menu and selecting “Interface -> Winamp Classic” Interface. The GTK interface is then replaced which has a sleek Winamp type look that you can tweak using standard Winamp skins.


The player even offers an equalizer, a couple of visualization modes and support for plugins.


Clementine takes a very different approach than Audacious and Qmmp. It is often a full media manager which has a smart library (that automatically scans your music folders for brand new songs) and it also works with a variety of online services including, Spotify, and SoundCloud.


After the original install, go to Preferences -> Music Library and put in a new folder, more than likely your Music folder. Clementine will scan this folder and taking advantage of the tag data inside audio files, it is going to build a smart library which allows each album and artist to be found alphabetically plus it's going to generate some smart playlists including: 50 random tracks, Favorite tracks, Never played and so on. There can also be a built-in directory browser which shows you the media as is available them organized with your Music directory.

When playing a song, Clementine will query’s music database to acquire information about the song and it's going to also fetch information about the artist from Wikipedia. It also efforts to create a list of genres for that artist and recommends similar artists.

The search function will see music in your media library but it'll also query various online services to try to find the music. If you have premium accounts with services like Spotify and, this means you'll be able to stream songs from them. Without a premium account, you are able to still do such things as Scrobble music on and so forth.

Clementine also supports playlists, an appliance cover manager, an equalizer and various visualization modes.

Clementine can also be available for Mac and Windows.


Qmmp is comparable to Audacious in many ways except that it uses Qt as opposed to GTK because user interface toolkit. However since UI mimics that regarding Winamp, any actual Qt specific styles are buried deep in the program which enable it to only be seen with the file open dialog or changing the preferences etc.


Qmmp is playlist based like Winamp and Audacious, and that means you need to create playlists in a really similar fashion on the others. In many respects, Audacious and Qmmp function identically since they're both according to Winamp. However Qmmp has more features. It supports more esoteric media formats like chiptune, Musepack and midi additionally it has plugins for Scrobbing on, a lyrics plugin and cover plugin, to name several.


Clementine is clearly essentially the most sophisticated and feature rich media player of the three. Its full media manager and support for a number of online services places it higher than the other two. However Audacious and Qmmp making the effort to be faithful clones of Winamp. If you like Winamp then Audacious and Qmmp may well be a better fit to suit your needs. On Ubuntu it doesn’t really matter if you utilize a GTK or Qt based application, on other distributions you might be forced to select one or the other according to toolkit support. Between Audacious and Qmmp, the second is probably better due to the extra functionality has Audacious’ bland GTK interface can be an eye-sore and soon you switch to Winamp mode.

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