Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Catching Up

Patch Reviews In the last 24 hours or so I reviewed all 62 unreviewed patches for Banshee. The oldest was over 800 days old – very sad. But now that we are caught up, patches will not slip through like that again. It's thrilling to be reviewing patches and within hours get comments and updated versions from the contributors - pumping fresh blood into the project! TagLib# Banshee uses TagLib# for metadata (artist name, track title, disc number, etc) reading and writing, and we recently took over maintaining the project. You can file bugs and patches against it in BGO. The source is still in Mono SVN. Releases and a new website will probably soon be hosted on Banshee Status We are very close to releasing Banshee 1.4.2 with a lot of good bug fixes and polish since 1.4.1. After that will come developer releases, and then Banshee 1.6 with awesome new features. I love working on new features; I've already been playing with some in my temporary (yay GNOME going to git!) git branch:
Creative Commons licensing column BPM automatic detection and manual tapability Fix metadata dialog (not finished)
We have a handful of really polished patches from various contributors that have been reviewed, iterated on, and are ready to commit after 1.4.2 is released, including:
  • Rhythmbox migrator
  • Option to read/write ratings and playcounts to files
  • Torrent support for podcasts (like Miro has)
  • Scoring of tracks based on number of plays/skips (similar to Amarok)
  • Smooth scrolling
In addition to these nearly-finished features, I'm sure there will be many other cool things that make it into 1.6. If you want to help out by translating, testing, triaging bugs, or writing code, please do! Join us on our mailing list/forum or in IRC for advice on getting started.


  1. Mirage is really a killer feature that only Banshee has. On it's own though it is not as useful as it could be. Maybe for 1.6 we could create a kind of overloaded shuffle function that took hints from Mirage, and friends to give us good intelligent playlists. Maybe even a "create mix cd like these songs". There's also room to create lists interjected with songs streamed from if suitable ones are highly recommended by the system.

    Aside that I am happy to see torrent support coming.

    I am also hoping to get some way of turning off the "old marking" of podcasts on a per feed and per podcast level. There are some podcasts I really like and which never grows old, and others I don't mind if Banshee discards when I sync my iPod or hides by default when highlighting the feed. being able to give Banshee a hint somehow would be great added functionality but understandable if omitted or disabled by default not to clutter the interface.

    Additionally, integration of Magnatune (and if possible other such online stores) like Rhythmbox has would be really great and give us a real competitor to iTunes.

    Finally is there any plan to merge the Rockbox integration functionality which was posted on bugzilla and the list recently? It would make for a great enhancement.

  2. Most excited about the metadata fixing stuff. Great feature! The rest is a little meh.

    And please add a performer field. There are people like me who prefer to put the composer into the artist tag, because this maxmimizes compatibility with primitive players.

  3. @davidnielsen: Yes, I would love to see Mirage made an official extension that we ship by default (and possibly integrate in other ways, as you allude to).

    An option to disable automatic-marking-as-old of episodes would be simple to add - if you could work on a patch, that'd be great. We have a really nice preferences system that makes is super easy to add a checkbox to the Preferences dialog.

    Integration with stores would be great, though without a major store (either amazonmp3 or rhapsody or similar) I wouldn't call it a real alternative to iTunes.

    Yes, the Rockbox integration will hopefully make it into 1.6.

    @towolf: Glad you like the metadata thing. Next time feel free to keep your 'meh' to yourself, though. And feel free to submit a patch for Performer support; you can look at past patches to add new fields to have an idea what's involved.

  4. @towolf: The bug you allude to is Feel free to follow the rabbit-trail of linked bugs to see similar ones that were closed in the past.

  5. wow, the metadata fixing is a kick-ass feature! hope it has an option to NOT write them back to files. keep up that incredible work!

  6. This is a bit of off-topic, but I find it really cool that on almost all banshee screenshots I see good music in the library, sometimes it's like looking at my own playlist. :)

    Keep up the good work, I see the future of Banshee is bright.

  7. I'd love to know what will happen with banshee's alternative UI. Like minimode, muinshee, etc. Some bugs like seem to be waiting for a decision to be taken.

    Good job anyway!

  8. @knoopx: It's already a setting: Edit | Preferences, "Write metadata to files".

  9. Hi (this might be slightly off-topic), but will some future Banshee have stop gnome-power-manager from suspending the computer when it's playing or transferring files to devices?