Just a quick blog post to inform everyone that Amarok 2.0 has been officially released.
The world of digital music management has changed a great deal since the birth of Amarok four and a half years ago. Amarok 1 established a reputation for innovation, but maintaining development with the old framework became more difficult as Amarok grew, often in directions we never imagined. KDE4 brings many new technologies and design patterns, and we decided to use this opportunity to improve upon Amarok’s original design. We thought about how to best design a program that would allow us to stay at the cutting edge of digital music management. We also sought to distinguish Amarok in an increasingly saturated market of music players. To achieve this we took the best ideas from the 1.x series, and brainstormed what else we could do to help our users “rediscover music”. And then we started developing.
Now, after two years of development, we are proud to announce that Amarok 2 has arrived. This arrival is just the beginning.
This new version brings with it a lot of changes:
- Completely redesigned user interface
- Tight integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm and Shoutcast
- Completely overhauled scripting API and plugin support to allow better integration into Amarok
- Migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework, and utilization of core technologies such as Solid, Phonon, and Plasma
The user interface has been redesigned to make context information like lyrics and albums from the same artist more accessible and allow you to decide which information you want to see by adding applets to the Context View in the middle. The new Biased Playlists offer a way to let Amarok take care of your playlist in an intelligent way similar to Dynamic Playlists in previous versions. A new service framework allows for a tight integration of online services like Jamendo, Magnatune and Ampache. New services can easily be added via GetHotNewStuff in Amarok or from kde-apps.org. More applets and scripts are being worked on and users are welcome to contribute more to make Amarok suit their needs. The migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework allows us to make use of technologies like Plasma, Phonon and Solid which make Amarok easier to use and maintain and ready for the future of music on your computer and on the internet.
These are only some of the great new features of Amarok 2. Give it a try!
It is important to note that Amarok 2.0 is a beginning, not an end. Because of the major changes required, not all features from the 1.4 are in Amarok 2. Many of these missing features, like queueing and filtering in the playlist, will return within a few releases. Other features, such as visualizations and support for portable media players, require improvements in the underlying KDE infrastructure. They will return as KDE4’s support improves. Some features, such as the player window or support for databases other than MySQL, have been removed because either they posed insurmountable programming problems, or they didn’t fit our design decisions about how to distinguish Amarok in a saturated market of music players.
Amarok 2.0 is now available for all major Linux distributions. KDE4 is still under heavy development especially on Windows and Mac OS X, and Amarok 2 is available as a “Beta” version on those platforms. In the coming months, we expect to regularly release a series of bugfix versions in the 2.0 series. Work on features, both old and new, has also continued. So while Amarok 2 has already been a long journey for the Amarok team, for you, the users, it is just beginning!
Amarok’s journey has just begun and we are excited to have you join us for this event. Change and improvement would not have been possible without the help of everyone who contributed to this ambitious project in the form of code, promotion, documentation, donations, and a lot more. To all of you all we say: Thank You!
Join us in Amarok’ing in a Free World!