June 08, 2008

Review of the New Banshee 1.0 Audio Player

Banshee 1.0 is now out, so here is the review. I tested this brand new release on a Debian Lenny system with all the updates to date.

Compiling Banshee

Banshee 1.0 comes with many features, like a pretty good collection management, audio and video libraries, support for podcasts and many plugins, a notable one being the Last.fm integration and song submission.

Usual Banshee interface

Except for song submission, the audioscrobbler plugin also allows basic integration with Last.fm, displaying recently loved artists, recently played songs and top artists.

The podcasts support is fine. I could add some podcasts and listen without any problems.

What I liked is the ability to sort the songs in your playlist by any factor, like location, bitrate, rating, play count and even skip count.

It comes with plenty default plugins, like the already mentioned Last.fm support, iPod support, audio cd importing, podcasts, bookmarks and several more. You can enable or disable the plugins on demand.

Banshee default plugins

You can also write audio CDs with Banshee, given that Brasero is installed.

After setting up the collection location and starting to import music, Banshee automatically created an SQLite database and started downloading the cover art for albums. It doesn't seem to look in the album's directory though.

When you mouse-over the album cover of the currently playing song, it pops up at a decent size.

Wish You Were Here

A nice thing, Banshee opened a new tab for reporting errors when I deleted several files in the collection on purpose, while the music files were imported.

Audio CD importing preferences

In KDE, Banshee stops responding when quitting it from the system tray. Another big disadvantage is that there is no popup hint when you mouse over an album/song whose name is too long to fit the widget it's located in. You'll have to select the song, right click on it and go to Edit Track Information in order to see it. Random crashes occured every once in a while, like for example when I clicked the Favorites tab in the video library.

I was a little disappointed with this release. It's still labelled as a 1.0.0 release, not as a beta like 0.99.2. Some more work needs to be done in order to correct random crashes, but overall, Banshee still is a competent player.

Edit: This release was also accompanied by a completely new design of the official website, which now looks far better and more organised now.

The new Banshee website

Updated: June 11, 2008 (Created: June 08, 2008)


loeb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TK said...

Nice review, I've been satisfied with Amarok until now.. This made me want to try out Banshee :)

Dan Craciun said...

Thanks :-)

I'm an Amarok fan myself and really like it.

Igor said...

It really works pretty well in Gnome, maybe it crash because almost nobody test it on KDE. Fill bugs :)

Anonymous said...

C# and Mono? No thank you. If I wanted .dll files on my computer I would've used Windows. Heve you checked the CPU and the RAM usage while Banshee is playing? It's scary!