So I’ve been looking for an mp3 player for Linux because I really hate XMMS. I wanted something that had nice database management in it, like iTunes. So I tried Rhythmbox. Rhythmbox is really nice – it looks very nice and has the same basic interface as iTunes, and if Sound Juicer is installed will even rip cds for you (but you can’t set the encoding quality yet). But with a playlist of several thousand songs, rhythmbox is painfully slow. We’re talking about minutes spent with the CPU redlined when you start it up. Typing something into the incremental search box would bog the system way down (and this is a 2GHz Athlon with 512M of RAM!). I did a bit of searching around and found some alternatives like Juk, Muine and Jamboree. Juk was out because it’s KDE/Qt (which has nothing to do with philosphy – I just don’t like KDE). Muine is written in GTK#/Mono, which I don’t have installed either (again, nothing to do with philosophy and everything to do with the fact that Mono is still unstable and, thus, not installed on my machine), so it was out too. Jamboree looked interesting, but I was put off by the fact that the goal of Jamboree was to determine, empirically, the speed of the GTK+ treeview widget. Given that it looked like a fork of Rhythmbox, I wasn’t expecting much from the database either. Then I stumbled upon, IMO, the Holy Grail of mp3 players: wxMusik.

wxMusik does everything I want and nothing I don’t want – it has no visualisations, nor does it have cd ripping capabilities. What it does have is a nice player (with a 16 band EQ and a crossfader), amazingly powerful tag editing features, and a blazingly fast database. The database is stored as an SQLite database. This gets you a couple of things – speed and really customisable searches. With a little SQL you can get really dynamic playlists that are ordered by whatever criteria you want. wxMusik is available for both Linux and Windows – check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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