Thursday, March 11, 2010

Banshee 1.5.5

We released Banshee 1.5.5 – aka 1.6 RC 1 – yesterday, with a lot of bug fixes, polish, and a couple new features.

Gapless Playback / Playbin2

Banshee now uses the playbin2 GStreamer element. With this comes support for gapless playback, which is the default now for users with GStreamer >

Grid View

We are debuting a new grid mode for our custom list widget, visible in the modified Album browser. It will be used for Videos, Audiobooks, and more in future releases.

Album browser, now as a grid

YouTube Extension

This extension shows YouTube videos in the Context Pane related to what you're playing, and lets you watch them within Banshee. You can enable it in the Extensions tab of the Preferences dialog.

Contextual YouTube videos

Banshee Community Extensions Update

We also released Banshee Community Extensions 1.5.5, including five new extensions: CoverWallpaper, LiveRadio, Magnatune, Telepathy, and Ubuntu One Music Store (not ready for users yet).

The Mirage shuffle/fill by-similar mode has been greatly improved. It's smarter, now looking for tracks similar to the last several you've played, and dissimilar from ones you've skipped.

Enhancements and Fixes
  • Improve search responsiveness on large libraries
  • Add icons for Nexus One and Audiobooks
  • Play Queue item count, size, duration now ignores old tracks
  • Muinshee fixes: disable Auto-DJ, allow reordering, hide previous song
  • Fix a very common, SQL-related crash in 1.5.4
  • Fix saving equalizer settings in culture-invariant way
  • Jumping to a source's prefs via its context menu works again
  • Usage data not submitted more than every 48 hours
  • Fix repeatedly resyncing some files to a device b/c transcoded
  • Clear the redo stack on shuffle mode change
  • Accept feeds with empty title
  • Uri encode file location queries, making them work properly
  • Fixes to the OS X build


We are now string frozen in preparation for our 1.6 release on March 31st - so translators, full steam ahead! We might do a RC 2 in a couple weeks for additional testing and fixes. File bugs for any issues you find, and help us make Banshee 1.6 the best release ever!


  1. Good stuff, been wanting gapless playback for ages! Banshee is coming together well now.

    Sorry, haven't had a time to test yet, but, can you queue up Youtube videos in the play queue with stuff from the library?

  2. @lb, currently its not possible to queue up YouTube videos. It was on the list of things I wanted to get in but 'twas a bit trickier to implement than I anticipated. I'll look into this again, though.

  3. Awesome - the library speed increase is much appreciated. :D
    A couple of things: Some youtube videos seem to open in their own window for reason - if this window is closed, Banshee quits!

    Also I can't seem to get gapless playback to work... Are there any requirements (letting the track play through without seeking, etc)?

    One last thing: is there a way to revert to the old album view? I love the new one, but the text for album names is way too big.
    ^--- like that...

  4. Toby: the video window/quit thing is bug #548635. Gapless should Just Work - check you have the preference for it, if you don't your GStreamer probably isn't recent enough. And for the old album view - I'm sure we'll either have a toggle option and/or an improved view that fits most album titles by 1.6.

  5. Good to know.

    I don't see a preference for gapless... I'm using latest dev version of gstreamer. Is there a package in particular I should have?

  6. Toby: It looks like it requires "gstreamer-plugins-base-0.10 >" to be exact. You can try building from tarball or git master - after ./ or ./configure it should say whether gapless is supported.

  7. The configure script seems to think I don't have gstreamer at all - something to do with where pkg-config is looking. I suppose this might explain it? :P
    Either way it doesn't look like I'm savvy enough to fix this. Thanks anyway for all the help; I'll just wait for 1.6.

  8. Where is the one-click url for openSUSE ;-) ?

  9. Anonymous: click any of the links in the post, then click Download or 'get it'.

  10. Can you please give us an update on Banshee releases for Windows? A long time ago I read on Aaron Bockover’s blog that work was being done on it, but since then I’ve seen no releases? Windows releases aside, thank you for the hard work.

  11. Anything I can do to help get 1.5.5 available on OS X?

  12. Great stuff! The Youtube plugin is really cool! Will be there a plugin for the upcoming Ubuntu One Music store?

  13. Alexander: there are instructions for building Banshee for Windows, but there are still bugs to iron out, icons to put in place, and a script to make a bundle/installer to write. There does seem to be an uptick in developers interested in it recently; that bodes well.

    Andrew: Aaron is at a conference, but when he finds some free time I think he'll do the OS X build.

    Bart: Yes, it's actually in the Banshee Community Extensions 1.5.5 release, though it's disabled by default since it's not ready for end users yet. You can build it yourself though (./ or ./configure --enable-ubuntuonemusicstore). I believe it has feature parity with the Rhythmbox one already - or is at least very close.

  14. great news! if only the audio player problems could be fixed i'd switch back to banshee. Unfortunateley all the audio players i tested arent't recognized by banshee. rhytmbox syncs all of them.

  15. Screenshots look great, nice work!

    May I suggest, however, that you check for GStreamer >= 0.10.26 instead? is an old pre-release version, most users will be unfamiliar with the four-number version numbering which is only used for git/pre-release versions.

  16. "is there a way to revert to the old album view? I love the new one, but the text for album names is way too big."

    I think it would be better if Grid view just displayed the album cover and no album/artist name text and when you hover over a particular album a tool tip would appear with the album/artist info. On the screenshot for Grid view only for 2 out of 9 albums does the text actually fit. For the other 7 it ends in a series of dots... running out of room. However the whole album / artist info could fit inside a tooltip and this would also free up more screen real estate, so that more album covers could fit on the screen at once.

    Thank you for your work on Banshee - it is much appreciated.

    PS. Is there any way to add cover art to videos or generate thumbnails for videos, similar to nautilus?

    PPS. Notice you've got Abbey Road in your collection - a man after my own heart!

  17. How about browser filtering for Videos & Audiobooks - same as there is for Music and Podcasts?

    Also Aaron said about f-spot integration - really looking forwards to this feature - any rough idea when this may happen or is it still a long way off?

    Thank you - Banshee is terrific already and just keeps getting better!

  18. I really like Banshee, and I think it could be integrated by Ubuntu from the beginning, but I must say that: I don't like some surprise that come with the new version.
    Eg, I prefer the old album browser, not this grid (that even doesn't work very well). Is there any way to return to the old setting? And if it isn't, why isn't it?

  19. Nemo: If you're running from git master, then you can set environmental variable "BANSHEE_DISABLE_GRID" to disable the grid view in the album browser.