Friday, December 12, 2008

Quick review of Amarok 2, which I tested today on my non-primary machine (since it was just released and I wasn't sure about if it was ready for primetime, for me at least).
Upgrade process: Actually installation was cake, took literally less than 3 minutes on the fast connection here. Just added the repository and instructions here:
I at first didn't realize I needed to install the package "amarok-kde4", it doesn't upgrade your old amarok until you install that package...
Along the lines of the upgrade process though, is important your old collection database. With a bit of digging, under "configure amarok"->"collection"->"import collection" a dialog for importing from amarok 1.4 or itunes is presented. i tried from 1.4 and chose SQLite, the standalone database I had been using. It failed to connect to the database, however. This could be a showstopper for some people, and is for me on my primary machine since I have ratings for 100s of songs in the database and definitely want to keep these. There is probably a workaround or reason for the failure, but I haven't investigated further yet... Upgrade rating: B-, since the old database is lost and importing did not work.

New interface/usability: I don't mind the new layout, it could take a bit of getting used to but so far its fine. The song display pop-up when a new track is played looks rough and unpolished (black and white with ugly trim). The "fetch album cover" option worked perfectly for me for all the tracks I've tried, so then I enabled "automatically download cover art" in the options. All the albums started getting covers right away, and it is very nice to have album covers now....

.... several weeks have passed now, I haven't switched my other computers over yet and haven't used A2 that much on my laptop, so can't really properly finish my review. I'll just post this and move on. When the next version comes out I'll try to give a better review

EDIT: ok, last time i used A2 it crashed when searching the song list. additionally, it wasn't properly recognizing my collection, getting songs mixed up in it's database. so i switched but to the tried and trusty Amaraok 1.4, which i'll still with probably until Ubuntu 9.04 comes out, which will default to Amarok 2. hopefully then it will a bit more polished, as my conclusion at this time is it's kinda like KDE 4.0 was-cool with good potential, but not quite ready for "primetime".