[Rhythmbox-devel] Rhythmbox Breakdown #3

G'day everyone,

After some pestering, here is the return of Rhythmbox Breakdown.
Hopefully it'll will be a bit more regular from now on. This is a bumper
editing, because it covers all the news since

Rhythmbox Breakdown is the weekly (ha! last posted four months ago)
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 follow (or anything else) feel
free to start a discussion on Rhythmbox-devel about it, or file some

Looking through your library: of browsers and searching

There have been a number of changes related to the browsers and how you
search your library since 0.9.3, a few of which are still settling down.

First, the old search box has been replaced with a new "search bar", and
the "show browser" disclosure has been moved to the toolbar. The search
bar now lets you pick whether your search applies to everything ("All")
or is limited to Artists/Albums/Titles.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/63631559 N00/114091471/)

Two long-standing requests that make RB nicer to use have finally been
implemented: the search box filters the browsers, and clicking on an
item in a browsers doesn't reset the others.

All playlists (normal and automatic) now have full support for browsers
and the search bar. You can even use drag-and-drop re-ordering in normal
playlists while the list is filtered.

DAAP improvements

A reasonable amount of work has been put into DAAP (music sharing)
support, fixing bugs and generally improving it. Password-protected
shares are now indicated by a lock emblem being added to the icon in the
side bar, and you can also password-protect your Rhythmbox share.

Editing Your Tags

The final piece of the GStreamer 0.10 port, ID3 tag editing, has landed
in cvs. While I'm many people will appreciate this, it still isn't
enabled by default due to a few issues.

Currently FLAC tag editing is still 0.8-only (due to the element not
being ported to 0.10), and tag-editing isn't supported for other formats
(due to no gstreamer element to do it). Hopefully this will change some
time in the future, and then Rhythmbox can edit tags of other formats.

Another useful feature that has been added is tag-completion. When
editing the tags of a track, you can enter the first few characters of
an Artist, Album or Genre and Rhythmbox will offer suggestions from your

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63631559 N00/114093045/

Filling Your Library

Whether you're just starting out with Rhythmbox, or adding your
newly-acquired tracks, importing is important. You would probably think
that there can't be many exiting things to add to importing, but we're
found a few:

Rhythmbox in cvs now sports an "out of process" metadata loader. What
this means, is that if the loading backend (i.e. GStreamer) crashes or
hangs, it won't take Rhythmbox down with it. RB will simply note that
the file couldn't be loaded and proceed to load the next file.

In earlier versions, an error while importing would bring up an annoying
dialog box. Having it up made Rhythmbox hard to use, but closing it
would mean you didn't find out about errors that occurred later.

This has now been replaces by a new "Import Errors" source that shows up
under the library when a problem has been encountered. You are able to
view this at your leisure, or ignore it completely and just listen to
your music. In addition you can tell Rhythmbox to move these files to
the trash, which is useful if you don't want files you can't play.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63631559 N00/114094462/

Related to the "Import Errors" source is the "Missing Files" source. If
a file has been moved, deleted, or otherwise can't be found, Rhythmbox
makes it invisible so it doesn't clutter up your library. These are now
shown under "Missing Files" so you know about it, and can remove them
from the database if you did delete them. Right now, files that you move
to the trash will show up here to, but later there may be a "Trashed
Files" source that will let you move them back to your library.

Let's have a Party!

Rhythmbox 0.9.3 had a fairly pointless "Fullscreen mode", which has now
been replaced by a much more useful "Party Mode". As well as being
fullscreen, double-clicking on track will enqueue them (rather than
instantly playing them), and some destructive actions (move to trash,
removing) are disabled.

There are probably a lot more useful things that could be added to Party
Mode; if you have any suggestions, let us know.

Plugging it in

Based heavily of Gedit's and Epiphany's, Rhythmbox now features a plugin
framework which will allow people to extend RB.

There isn't much to see right at the second, as the only plugin is
AudioScrobbler song submission (which we have supported since 0.9.2),
but we should get some more exciting things turning up soon.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63631559 N00/114094829/

Read All About It

Anyone who has looked at the documentation and help for the 0.9.x
releases will probably have noticed that it hadn't been updated, and
didn't mention any of the new features. Large portions of the
documentation have been updated and improved, and it now more accurately
reflects how Rhythmbox works. It still needs some improvement, but
Rhythmbox's help is actually helpful now.

There are a heap of other thing that are in the works, but this post is
long enough already, so I'll cover them next time.


James "Doc" Livingston <doclivingston gmail com>

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