CeBIT Open Source Project Lounge - Amarok

Amarok -- Audio Player

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Amarok is among the 15 projects that will present their work at CeBIT, offering an open source audio player.

Amarok's howing wolve

In a nutshell: How would you describe your project in one or two sentences?

Amarok is an audio player with many features that allow users to discover music anew!

When did the project begin?

The first version was released July 2003.

How many active members does the project have?

Hard to say. The community around the project is very large, there are over 170 people mostly in the English speaking IRC channel, but more than 30 in Germany. Not all members are active participants. The numbers vary, as with most free software projects. A good guess would be about 15 active developers, with the additional promotion team, artists and many volunteer helpers from the community.

How did the project come into being?

Through the initiatives of its founder, Mark Kretschmann. In his own words, from an interview on http://lunapark6.com/amarok-145-overview-interview-w-mark-kretschmann.html: "Back then [pre-2003] I was a user of XMMS. I was pretty happy with it, but it annoyed me that you had to press so many little buttons to do the most basic tasks. Like, loading a few files into the playlist required clicking 5 buttons. When I was using the file manager Midnight Commander, the idea came to me of combining the two interfaces: A media player with a simple two-pane interface. On the left side are your files, on the right side there’s the playlist. And you would simply drag your files from the left to the right. That’s it. And then and I programmed a simple implementation of this interface, and it became the first version of Amarok. Although there were a lot of changes over the years, the basic concept stayed the same to this day."

Why should a CeBIT visitor come to your booth?

To see the newest developments of the project live in action and how to newly discover music!

Who do you make your software for?

For anyone who listens to music at their computer, enjoys podcasts or owns a mobile device.

Where do you see your biggest current challenge?

We just recently overcame by far our biggest obstacles with the release of Amarok 2.0. This version required an almost complete overhaul of the code in that there were massive changes to libraries we used. The version also incorporated huge feature changes, which has resulted in a large stretch of non-releases. We are currently working on changes based on user feedback to move beyond beta status for porting to Windows and Mac. This jump to new platforms is probably our biggest challenge.

If you could hire a full-time project developer now, what problem should he or she be ready to solve?

Thanks to support from Magnatune.com we have at least half a full-time developer. There are many features being worked on and still more ideas ready to implement. To decide on just one alone is difficult. Among them could be support for an external MySQL database, porting of the dynamic collection from Amarok 1.4 (where only parts are available), an enhanced sample collection and many others. Anyone interested needs only to join up, we don't bite.

Under which license is the software currently offered?

GNU GPL.

Do you have a website for the project?

http://amarok.kde.org.

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