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So as anybody can tell you (that knows me) I am continually moving through music. I normally don't pirate it, but I do hit a few p2p networks before buying a CD I am unsure about. That being said I want to discuss what I consider my multimedia toolkit on linux, or gentoo more precisely. The first and foremost is the media player. Without a media player, you are helpless. For me, there are three that you need to have in order to tototally enjoy music on your system. The first is Rhythmbox. This is what I consider a true multimedia player to be:
One that lists music by genre, artist, album as well as other sub categories, stores and allows creation of playlists and allows the user to rate each song, perhaps to increase frequency at which the rated song is played, or decrease, depending on how it's rated when all the songs in the selected category are considered.
One that isn't all in your face with crazy visualizations, and wastes as few a resource as possible. Dammit, it's supposed to play music, not do your homeowrk for you.
And last, but not least, it has to be easy to use. Anything so tightly integrated into GNOME is going to be.
As I said, I've been known to do some research before buying an album. Playing a song or two before you decide to buy isn't exactly the job of the primary media player. THis application can also double as your DVD player and as such makes a good addition to any media lover's arsenal. Totem is good for opening a quick file and listening to it on the spot after browsing to it with your favourite file manager. Lastly, one of the better uses of totem is shoutcast support. By being able to listen to music and getting exposure to some new things you know where your taste is going to expand to. I know I don't question my taste, I just go where it goes.
As any linux user can tell you, every now and then you get stuck on the command line. Here, ther is no using Rhythmbox and Mplayer, so having a good media player while things are going haywire is essential. This can also be used for sample music and if you build it correctly it also works as player media files that are embedded into a web page.
So, now you can play music to your hearts content, even when things go all haywire. But, since I'm more of a legal type of person, you gotta be able to get this music. Let's face it, sometimes you gotta get things off the net to do some background checking so to speak, and this can reveal one of two things: You gotta have this album, or it's a complete waste of money.
For my downloading needs, I use giFT, which is quite a good system and supports several networks. It is a daemon, and as such, you'll need a decent GUI. I normally use giftoxic as it's simple, uncluttered and perhaps only lacks one feature: supporting multiple searches. I've found that you can in fact have multiple instances, but that gets crowded real fast. As I've said, sometimes you just gotta know, because if you are like me, wasting valuable money you worked your ass off for to buy a trash album and have no way to return it (which can be the case if your order online like I do, many times). Downloading a quick song to buy it is still gonna be a capital offense to the RIAA, but they can fuck off. I'm sure cool people like nettwerks would be more than happy to support me. I know for a fact that several times I've shared files leading to a user buying an album.
So you've researched your album, decided it's worth buying, and have it in your hot lil' hands ready to rip it to your computer. For that, you need some high quality ripping software, and there are few that fit that category. For me, it's sound juicer (I beleive in options, but there simply aren't any that are just right, GRIP is crowded, but sound juicer lets me decide the things I need to decide) because it's simple and easy to use and setup. It also looks great, unlike a few softwares out there that while being worth using, look like ass.
I normally don't listen to my CD's ahead of time, after all, I know I like it and want it on my PC, so we've no need to mess around with that, but there are CD players for linux, not any I use, though.
Before I get any WTF's, you can't order too many CD's off of amazon without a browser, now, can you?
So, now you know how to find, sample, rip, and enjoy music the aynjell way. I know, totally worthless post, but at least I may have exposed some people to how great linux is for multimedia!
I should be ashamed of myself.
mpd - media player daemon - well a music daemon. it also has a last.fm submitting service (mpdscribble), which is the feature i care most about. last.fm is also a great place to discover new great artists, you can even listen to some of their work online via lastfm radio player.
museek - soulseek client. nuff said. soulseek is THE network for music. it has lots of non-mainstream music (since i'm mostly non-mainstream ;D) , and it has non-warez feel to it.
and also some browsers and stuff :D
"Life is a queue. You come in, hang around for a bit, get some service, then depart."
I use xmms for music, and vlc for video. vlc has some great network capabilities for both music and video, namely you can broadcast/receive using the one program. I also use mplayer for embeded media online. For downloads I use bittornado, yes it opens a new window for each download, but I've never needed to have anymore open because I can't possibly consume all of the downloads as fast as it is possible to download them.
When you are climbing, climb, when you are resting, rest. -Arno Ilger