Thursday, March 27, 2008

Banshee Media Player

Banshee is now the Banshee Media Player. With the release of 1.0 Alpha 2 we've added support for video management and playback! It works, looks, and feels great. Banshee playing a video in its new Now Playing source Our goal with trunk has always been to fix fundamental design issues and create a well-organized, flexible, and powerful code base. And video support has proven to us that we've been successful. We were able to add video management with very little code and playlists, smart playlists, searching, queuing, and bookmarks all just work. We also have a wonderful new source called Now Playing. It sits at the top of your source list and is where video playback happens. And the idea, coming in Alpha 3, is when you're playing audio you'll find visualizations, recommendations, and other contextual information there. Aaron goes into more detail about features, running the latest from svn, and more on his blog.

Friday, March 14, 2008


My friend Michael Callahan (no, really, he is my close friend) and his team have been working hard for years on the Audeo, a device that sits on your neck and understands the electrical signals it can pick up from your nerve/vocal cord activity - even if you're subvocalizing. From the start, it's been a project to improve the quality of life for people with ALS and similar health issues, but they're expanding their vision in all sorts of awesome ways - including demonstrating the first subvocalized telephone call. Michael is a fantastic person doing amazing work, and he's getting recognition, from winning big grants to doing the Tour de Web - on BoingBoing, TechCrunch, and Netscape-creator Marc Andreessen's blog just in the last two days. That's got to be over a million viewers. Says Marc:
I have a feeling that someday, this may be up there with "Come here, Watson, I need you."
I wonder if Marc knows that Michael is doing his work at his alma mater. If you have read Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" (it's free, CC-BYNDNC), or have seen Michael's demonstrations, you can't help but be excited by this.

Banshee 1.0 Alpha 1

Aaron and I are tremendously excited to announce the release of Banshee 1.0 Alpha 1. User Focused We have a ton of new features - a slick artist/album browser, a play queue, powerful search, better radio, an equalizer, and continuous playback from a given playlist or source, even if you browse another playlist or check what's on And things are faster - much faster - thanks to using SQLite to do the heavy lifting. Banshee with its new artist/album browser to the left of the track list Visit the release notes for more pretty pictures and details about this release, including missing features and running it alongside Banshee 0.13.2 or earlier. Developer Friendly Banshee's source tree is better organized than ever. And with tools like MonoDevelop, working on Banshee is fun. Two of MonoDevelop's many features, autocompletion and jump to class/method-declaration, are especially valuable to people new to Banshee development. Screenshot of MonoDevelop editing a Banshee class If you want to tweak Banshee, fix a bug, write an extension, or just explore the code, I encourage you to install MonoDevelop and get started building trunk. We have a vibrant community ready to help you on our mailing list and on IRC in #banshee. For those running openSUSE 10.3: Digg it