File Based Music Players Going Extinct?

Ok, I have a range of various hardware players that run Rockbox that can play all the music I have in my stored collection. But when I’m in front of my Linux box I prefer using the computer to play the music,my 4 rockbox targets not only because then I can select from all my music (that don’t fit on most of my players) and I have quick and easy access to changing the volume or skipping to the next song etc.

Here’s the thing: I use xmms for this (and I want to mention explictly that I don’t mean xmms2). I know this will make most of you reading this go what? and then suggest a billion other players. I know xmms is pretty much abandoned developer-wise and it doesn’t do gapless playback and has all sort of other drawbacks (including the silly winamp-mimicing GUI). I’ve seen that it’s even been discussed to get dumped from the debian packages (although people similar-minded to me spoke up and prevented this).

xmms screenshotI want a simple player with a GUI that can play songs from a mere directory. I want to point out a root dir and it could play all songs in there recursively. I’ve tried several different players over time, but I always go back to this simple xmms one simply for the reason that all the new and fancy players seem to be so focused on getting the music into a database and then arranging and viewing it all based on their tags and what not. I really really don’t want no database or anything, I just want my player to play everything in the dir I ask it to. And I want it to be available in a debian package preferably.

Any recommendations?

Conference in my living room

a kids drawing easel thing by IKEAToday (uh make that yesterday since we’re now past midnight here…) around lunch I drove my two kids over to my parents in law and got back to my house to host four friends (associated with a company that shall remain nameless in this blog – at least for now) coming over to discuss some work stuff.

It was great fun sitting in my living room chatting for a few hours, having a cup of coffee and instead of using a fancy company white board I brought my kids’ drawing easel (oh we love IKEA). The picture is the actual model we used, called “MÃ…LA”.

And we did indeed manage to get some good decisions done and some proper architectural stuff set. Admittedly, my kids’ drawing pens were a bit thin and not as thick and “powerful” as the ordinary office white board pends tend to be.

Rockbox Downloads Jan 2008

It’s time again for a check and analysis of the download trends of the build.rockbox.org web site, with comparisons with how things were at my previous count from October 2007.

Rockbox!

During this month, 112034 downloads were counted, which is almost a 10% increase since october’s 102127 – and as you’ll see below almost the entire increase was basically due to a boosted interest in the Sansa E200. There’s been no new port offered for download during this time, there are still 26 packages. The downloads were distributed as follows (the position changes are within () and the previous period’s download counts are within []):

  1. (+1) sansae200 27325 [18788]
  2. (-1) ipodvideo 21453 [20721]
  3. (+1) ipodvideo64mb 13904 [12780]
  4. (-1) ipodnano 13419 [13228]
  5. (+7) sansac200 3490 [2841]
  6. (-) gigabeatf 3410 [3522]
  7. (+1) ipodcolor 3316 [3287]
  8. (-3) h300 3306 [3614]
  9. (+2) ipod4gray 3249 [2896]
  10. (-1) ipodmini2g 3087 [3083]
  11. (-4) iaudiox5 2933 [3340]
  12. (-2) h120 2521 [2924]
  13. (+1) ipod3g 1993 [1624]
  14. (-1) ipodmini1g 1713 [1647]
  15. (+1) h10_5gb 1458 [1524]
  16. (-1) h10 1413 [1624]
  17. (-) ipod1g2g 1246 [1384]
  18. (-) player 730 [834]
  19. (-) recorder 558 [692]
  20. (-) iaudiom5 380 [422]
  21. (+1) h100 328 [345]
  22. (-1) recorder8mb 292 [354]
  23. (+1) fmrecorder 189 [222]
  24. (-1) recorderv2 175 [222]
  25. (-) ondiofm 96 [113]
  26. (-) ondiosp 50 [96]

Of course, if we count the two different ipod video builds combined, it alone is 35357 downloads (31.6%)! Apart from the E200 climb, I think the only significant change in the table above is the other SanDisk player in the selection, the Sansa C200 series which climed 7 positions due to its 23% download increase.

The top-5 downloads are all portalplayer based, and here’s a more complete look at how the builds are split up on main architectures (october’s shares within parentheses):

  1. portalplayer 97066 downloads 86.6% (83.6%)
  2. coldfire 9468 downloads 8.45% (10.4%)
  3. samsung 3410 downloads 3.0% (3.4%)
  4. sh1 2533 downloads 1.9% (2.5%)

The harddrive based builds are still more popular, but the flash ones are gaining:

  1. HDD models 67654 downloads 60.4% (65.7%)
  2. flash models 44380 downloads 39.6% (34.5%)

The top-8 downloads are for targets featuring color LCDs, and thy certainly are popular when checking download spread on target LCD types:

  1. Color 92494 downloads (82.6%)
  2. Greyscale 17450 downloads (15.6%)
  3. Monocrome 1360 downloads (1.2%)
  4. Charcell 730 downloads (0.7%)

Like last time, this doesn’t include any custom builds, builds from download.rockbox.org nor release builds from www.rockbox.org. Take all this as indications, not absolute facts.