Saturday, December 16, 2006

Compounding Smartness

Banshee's smart playlists can now be derived from other smart playlists. Since each one allows you to AND or OR a set of conditions, by compounding them you can create the full range of boolean queries. [visit blog post to see image, blogger blocks external referrers] You can create playlists that match against songs' metadata (including rating, when last played, number of plays, etc) and whether a song is (or isn't) in a normal or smart playlist, and then cap the playlist at some number of songs, minutes/hours, or MB, with preference to higher ratings, or whatever you want. I also added a predefined smart playlist for "Unheard Podcasts".

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Lively Banshee

Performance One of the long standing complaints people have about Banshee is the main view of your songs. Some people want the iTunes artist/album/tracks split view, but others just want switching between their Library and other sources (playlists, devices, etc) to take less than five minutes. Previously I whittled that down to more like one minute, but obviously something was still wrong. Banshee has one TreeView and one ListStore. When you switch sources, it clears itself and loads the new songs. The problem is if you had sorted your view, the ListStore would be resorted after each and every new addition. The fix was to turn off sorting until all the songs were loaded. Net result? Switching takes on the order of one second now. Smart Playlists Also in the patch committed tonight were some changes for Smart Playlists, including fixing a crasher, improving performance and reliability, and fixing the very annoying bug that caused songs to be duplicated or not removed. Aaron also committed a nice little fix so you can right click and 'Edit Smart Playlist' instead of getting there through the obscure 'Source Properties' menu item. He's also roping Jakub into redoing my hastily Gimped smart playlist icon. Audio Players USB mass storage audio player support got some much needed attention a week ago. Fixes included actually working with the new, managed DBus, ignoring iPods to avoid confusion, and providing the ability to override HAL's metadata (if any) for the device by putting key=value pairs in the magic .is_audio_player file. See the new new guide for more details. I've actually been using Banshee recently to sync my iPod, enjoying lots of podcast (thanks Mike!) and cover art (thanks snorp!) goodness. Around the Banshee tromping grounds, Łukasz Wiśniewski announced his work on an OpenGL album browser plugin. There have been a ton of other fixes and new features recently. Aaron has a lot of blogging to do. Look for the next release, 0.11.3, in the next few days. It's going to rock!