The search for the perfect Audio Player on Linux

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Published on March 12th 2013 - Listed in Linux Multimedia


For a while now I have been looking for a good audio player on my openSuse 12 machine. I've always been a Winamp enthusiast because of it being a simple player with a lot of functions in the background. But unfortunately there is no offiical Winamp for Linux release... So the search began.

First I tried it with Amarok, which looks like the default media player in openSuse. Although it looks powerful and manages playlists, songs, inventory, etc. it is simply too big of an application. Furthermore it tries to connect to external services like Amazon which I simply do not need and do not want.

As an alternative I started using Banshee, another audio player in the openSuse repository. It is much lighter than Amarok but still has a large interface and shows "Online Media" like Amazon and Last.fm. Is it so hard to just have a tiny interface playing what you've just added into the playlist like in Winamp? At that point I decided to continue Banshee until I find something better.

The day has come.

PART 1: MANUAL INSTALL (FAIL)

On my colleagues computer (running Ubuntu) I saw an audio player with a very similar design to Winamp. He told me it's the "Audacious" player. My target was set. This player however is not in the official repositories... so no chance to add the player with zypper. I tried to install it manually. I downloaded the latest Alpha release from the project website and launched the compile process.

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc

At that point I got two missing libraries, Audacious was looking for: PANGO and GTK. I could install them with zypper:

zypper in pango-devel gtk3-devel

After the configure part went through, I launched:

make
make install

and in theory that should have been all. But the player refused to start up, although it appeared in the "Search results":

Audacious appears in search result 

A click on the icon was just bouncing the logo next to the mouse cursor - no error message was shown or logged.

PART 2: PACKMAN INSTALL (SUCCESS)

By chance I found a forum entry somewhere referring to the packman repository. This is an additional repository for openSuse which adds a lot of packages. So let's give packman a shot by adding the repositories and looking for audacious:

zypper ar -f -n packman-essentials http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_12.2/Essentials packman-essentials
zypper ar -f -n packman-multimedia http://packman.inode.at/suse/openSUSE_12.2/Multimedia packman-multimedia

zypper se audaci
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...

S | Name               | Summary                                                  | Type     
--+--------------------+----------------------------------------------------------+-----------
  | audacious          | Lightweight Audio Player forked off beep-media-player    | package
[...]

Yay! Audacious is there! Install right away!

zypper in audacious
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

The following NEW packages are going to be installed:
  audacious libaudclient2 libaudcore1 libaudgui1 libaudtag1 libguess1 libmcs1 libmowgli2 mcs

9 new packages to install.
Overall download size: 351.4 KiB. After the operation, additional 831.9 KiB will be used.
Continue? [y/n/?] (y): y

Alright! The player has been installed from the repository. But I've been there so far already. Will the player now start?
Nope.. it won't. Same happened by clicking on the icon in the "Search" but I got the following error trying to launch the player from the cmd line:

audacious &
[1] 2799
ckuenzler@EWZW085:~> FATAL: No output plugin found.

[1]+  Exit 1                  audacious

Hmm... plugin? In the zypper search I've seen some entries with plugins. Let's try that:

zypper in audacious-plugins
Loading repository data...
Reading installed packages...
Resolving package dependencies...

Problem: audacious-plugins-3.2.4-1.16.x86_64 requires libavformat.so.54()(64bit), but this requirement cannot be provided
  uninstallable providers: libavformat54-1.0.5-1.1.x86_64[packman-essentials]
 Solution 1: replacement of libavutil51-0.11.1-3.1.2.x86_64 with libavutil51-1.0.5-1.1.x86_64
 Solution 2: do not install audacious-plugins-3.2.4-1.16.x86_64
 Solution 3: do not install audacious-plugins-3.2.4-1.16.x86_64
 Solution 4: break audacious-plugins-3.2.4-1.16.x86_64 by ignoring some of its dependencies

Choose from above solutions by number or cancel [1/2/3/4/c] (c): 1
Resolving dependencies...
Resolving package dependencies...

The problem simply explained: The required package libavutil51 is newer in the packman repository than in the offiical openSuse repos. I decided for solution 1 (to replace libavutil51 with a newer version). After that the installation went through and updated the package.

Another check, what is actually installed now:

rpm -qa | grep audaci
audacious-plugins-3.2.4-1.16.x86_64
audacious-3.2.4-1.32.x86_64

And now, finally the player started up:

Audacious default skin 

Looks pretty ugly, doesn't it? Luckily there's the "Winamp Classic Interface" choice under View->Interface. Which looks like this:

Audacious Winamp Skin 

Yippeeayey!


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