[Rhythmbox-devel] Rhythmbox Breakdown #4

G'day everyone,

Rhythmbox Breakdown is the semi-regular summary of what's been happening
in the world of Rhythmbox. For those who use cvs and follow the
rhythmbox-devel mailing list, it will provide a summary of what's been
happening and things that haven't been discussed on the list. For those
who don't, it will let you know all the juicy new features (and crack)
that we've been up to.

If anyone has any comments on any of the following (or anything else)
feel free to start a discussion on Rhythmbox-devel about it, or file
some bugs.

Filling your library, part 2 (Copy and Rip)

Last issue, mentioned some of the improvements that had been done
towards making importing your existing tracks into Rhythmbox smoother.
Now it's time to mention the improvements for getting tracks you don't
yet have.

As of yesterday, when using Rhythmbox from cvs, you can now copy tracks
to your library from any other source (except Radio and Podcasts). You
can do this by simply selecting tracks and either dragging them to the
Library source, or using Edit->Copy and Edit->Paste.

The most common usage for this will be ripping audio CDs (but copying
from removable media and DAAP shares works too), so that's made easier
by the addition of a shortcut. When viewing an audio cd, there is a "Rip
CD" button in the toolbar, which copies the entire CD to your library.

Obviously to copy tracks into your library, Rhythmbox need to know how
you organise it. So there are an additional few preferences under the
"Library" Tab: directory layout, file name, and preferred format - very
similar to Sound-Juicer's options. The "preferred format" option is only
used when encoding from cds, tracks that are already encoded and copied

There is still some work to do on this cool new feature, mostly related
to it's user interface:

Progress is currently only reported in the status bar. You can't
currently cancel copying (besides quitting). What should we use? a
dialog? a panel in the UI (like Banshee)? improve the status bar

While fully supported by the code, you can't enter custom options for
directory layout and file name in the preferences.

All of the improvements that Aaron Bockover mentioned that Banshee had
wrt CD ripping in
http://abock.org/2006/03/20/more-from-the-banshee-universe/ would be
good to steal^Wbe inspired by.

The framework that supports the transfer and ripping doesn't just work
for copying to the library, it supports copying to any source. Right
now, it isn't used for anything else - but Christophe Fergeau has
started work on using for iPod write support.


Some people think that Rhythmbox is slow, and we have had several bugs
filed which say "your database is crap! xml sucks! you should use
$DATABASE". Profiling has consistently shown that rhythmdb isn't slow,
and is not responsible for much of Rhythmbox's start-up time. So we have
been working to fix the things that are.

Start-up time has been much improved, and for me Rhythmbox loads and has
a usable interface 5 seconds after I start it (~5000 song library, with
a cold disk cache).

The main places that have been improved are using GTK to fill the track
list, and how we scan to changes to files in the library.

As always reports of performance problem are appreciated, but if you can
provide more detail (such as profiling reports) it can be improved more


One of Rhythmbox's goals has been to be as portable as possible, and not
just limit ourselves to requiring the latest Gnome stack on Linux.
Thanks to some fixes by Brian Cameron, Rhythmbox cvs should now build on

Discussed a while back was the idea of trying to get Rhythmbox to work
on Windows. Christian Schaller recently posted a blog post, asking what
the next GStreamer application ported to Windows will be. If anyone does
try to build Rhythmbox on Window, reports of problem would be much

Plugging it in, part N

Work is continuing on Rhythmbox's Python bindings, and some changes are
being made to make the API more python-like, rather than just raw

A few notes have been put up on Gnome's wiki about plugin writing, see
http://live.gnome.org/RhythmboxPluginWriting. Feel free to add to it,
more information should appear there soon.

We have also had a few enthusiastic people stop by the IRC channel, and
ask plugin writing questions. Plugins that have been started or planned
include at least: cover art, lyric display, LIRC control and an alarm

That's it for this issue,

James "Doc" Livingston <doclivingston gmail com>

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