Ubuntu 11.04 has changed some of its default applications one being the move from Open Office to Libre Office and the other being a move from Rhythmbox music player to Banshee. I don’t really care which Office application Ubuntu uses, but to play music, the application actually needs to perform properly. Let me list some of the issues I have with using Banshee to play and manage your mp3 collection:
1. Banshee 2.0 crashes often: If you have a large music collection (over 10000 songs) expect Banshee to freeze. I’ve never had this problem with Rhythmbox. I’d rather use a stable Rhythmbox than wait for Banshee to figure this out.
2. Guitar Tabs: This is one of THE most important plugins for me. The Banshee music player doesn’t seem to have a guitar tab add on. Rhythmbox uses the tab-rhythmbox-plugin to query the guitar tab archive and displays them right alongside your music library, in the same window. No brainer for me.
3. iPod Support: Banshee seems to detect my old 3rd generation iPod without a problem, but so does Rhythmbox. Not enough reason for me to switch.
4. Naming your software Banshee: Have you tried using Google to search for “Banshee music player”. Yep, you’re going to get a a lot of results for “siouxsie and the banshees“, which I don’t mind all that much since they were kind of a cool band anyway. With Rhythmbox, your search results will be more precise and therefore, easier to find support. I’ll admit that this was a bit of a stretch.
In the end, all I want is a music player that just plays music. I don’t care what it looks like as long as it indexes my collection fast and efficiently.
Honorable mention goes to Clementine which would give Rhythmbox a run for its money if it also had…you guessed it…a Guitar Tab plugin. It doesn’t from what I’ve seen, but Clementine 0.7 does pretty much everything else. They’re at version 0.7, so they’re obviously very new. If you can prove me wrong and they do have a guitar tab plugin, let me know! Overall, I find using a combination of rhythmbox and mplayer works out just fine. Or you could use VLC if that’s your thing.