Monday, 20 September 2010

Yet Another Music Player for Linux: Foobnix

When it comes to music players, Linux evolved heavily during the last three or four years, and new players are announced on a regular basis. I remember that in 2006, when I was starting up with Linux, there were only a few applications to choose from, like Amarok, Rhythmbox, Listen or XMMS, and a few more less popular and not so full-featured. But times have changed and now the Linux platform benefits from players of all kinds: there are replacements for XMMS for both GNOME and KDE (Audacious and Qmmp), collection-oriented players like Amarok, Banshee, Exaile or Rhythmbox. There are less-known players like Quod Libet, Guayadeque or Jajuk, or the client-server oriented ones like MPD. And the ones I just listed are only the ones which came to my mind at the moment. Some would say having so many players for a single task is a bad thing, but I say it's not. Having enough options to choose from is a great advantage. If you don't like one style, try the next player, if you don't like its approach either, try the next one, and so on.

Considering that over time I reviewed probably over 80% of the players available out there, it's time to get in touch with a new one, namely, Foobnix.

Foobnix is a pretty basic player written in GTK which takes a somewhat different approach organizing the music collection. That is, it organizes the music found in the selected directories in a tree structure. Take a look at the screenshot below:

The screenshot shows the usual Foobnix interface, having the playlist on the right side and the music organized in a tree-like structure to the left. Another thing to notice is the simple and clean organization of the widgets, especially how the menu bar and the control buttons are organized on a single level, at the top of the player window.

Here are some of the features which come with Foobnix:
- tree-like music list
- online music search panel
- lyrics fetching
- album cover fetching
- info panel
- song submission
- tray integration, clicking the tray icon shows the user control buttons, including previous and next track
- global hotkeys support
- online radios support

Lyrics and info panels

Foobnix looks pretty good. I think the widget spacing needs a little more attention though, because having the lyrics or info panel enabled will put the top of them over the title of the currently playing song, but other than that, it's a very clean and pretty intuitive interface. Also, the option to change the disc cover size in the Preferences window doesn't seem to work.

Regarding features, it currently can't compare with players which offer all the bells and whistles, but it looks promising if development continues.

The only big problem I encountered with Foobnix was regarding several application freezes when performing certain actions, like using the online music search function. Right-clicking the tray icon will show the control buttons, but to make it go away you have to press the OK button, which is not quite a feature. Let's hope these coding problems will be soon solved.

All in all, it's not necessarily a 'must-try' application, and it has a fair share of bugs, but it can fit enough users who will like how the music is organized, or the clean, plain interface.


VasiaUVI said...

I usually use AlsaPlayer and also Moc.

nilarimogard said...

Fara link catre unde ai gasit diversele aplicatii, nimeni nu va pune link catre tine...

Craciun Dan said...

nilarimogard: "Considering that over time I reviewed probably over 80% of the players available out there, it's time to get in touch with a new one, namely, Foobnix."

donniedarko79 said...

good point,I enjoy trying out music players too.getting a ''resource not found'' error so foobnix doesnt play online songs after 1 track.any solutions?

Anonymous said...

Basically most of the music players in Linux are not good enough. I personally use 'Exaile'. But to be honest, this is not something 'great'.
And when they come up with something 'new', they should actually try to do something new. The features mentioned in this new player is already present in most of the existing Linux music players. So why bother to bring a new player with an ugly looking interface?

lachlan said...

finally, something that looks like foobar2000!

amazing grace music said...

There's some player not compatible on Linux, much better to use new to prevent error.

wallace said...

At last, a music player that accepts your existing music folder hierarchy, and doesn't attempt to change it.
No more hundreds of "unknown artist" or "unknown album" errors, or duplicating every damn track into some other folder.
Well done guys, thank you for a nice piece of software.

dazbo said...

I agree with lachlan and wallace: a music player that looks like foobar and it uses the directory structure.

All it needs now is facets layout lists.

very cool.

Anonymous said...

Well, I love foobar2000 under windows and wanted to use a similar one under Linux - and huh - foobar2000 runs perfectly very under wine! Who wants more?