Updated: May 26, 2008
Banshee takes one more step towards the 1.0 release, the 0.99.2 (aka Banshee 1.0 Beta 2) being the latest beta release. This version brings three new features to Banshee: Podcast support, automatic CD importing and CD burning.
The podcast support is pretty good, and although it doesn't provide a list of podcasts yet, you can add your own. I don't usually listen to podcasts, so I searched for a list and bumped into http://freetalklive.com/netcast.xml. The 'New Playlist' and 'New Smart Playlist' buttons are not doing anything currently, but this is a beta release.
Automatic CD importing
The Preferences dialogue now features an option (disabled by default) to automatically import CDs when they are inserted, so if this option is checked, a new Audio CD tab will be created containing the tracks on the CD, allowing you to play it instantly.
As for the CD burning, Banshee uses Brasero to provide this functionality, so you will have to install it first in order to burn CDs. Check the screenshots below.
Banshee hanged when I first restarted it after I added podcasts and I had to kill it, but this only happened one time. The Last.fm support is still there, but it looks like there are some problems when fetching the images for played songs: some are displayed, some aren't. Importing from the Amarok collection doesn't seem to work, tested on Amarok 188.8.131.52. I also could not determine Banshee to add tracks to a new playlist, no matter what I tried. Also, when searching for songs in the collection you can't start playing the found song using Enter, so you'll have to actually click on the song with your mouse. But overall, after things will be fixed (I really hope they surely will), we'll have a nice and complete 1.0 release.
Banshee takes another step towards the 1.0 version with this second beta, and although there are still bugs and many things to implement, it looks pretty good at this time.