Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Banshee 1.6!

As scheduled, we just released Banshee 1.6.0! This release has been a long time coming, and we're really proud of it.

Screenshot of Banshee 1.6 showing grid album browser
A more detailed backstory

We originally intended to release 1.6 last fall, but we got caught short on time, and ended up calling 1.5.1 a stable release so distros would feel comfortable picking it up, but of course the weird versioning has caused quite some confusion.

We continued the 1.5 series with 1.5.2 though 1.5.7 betas, leading up to this release: 1.6.0. The process really started 14 months ago when we branched off 1.4, and master became the workplace for 1.5. It wasn't even until after we branched that Alexander Kojevnikov, now one our most prolific contributors and a maintainer of the project, got involved!

Beautiful numbers

53 programmers contributed to Banshee 1.6 just since 1.5.1, and over Banshee's full history, 142 programmers have contributed. I think these are astounding numbers. And these don't include Banshee Community Extensions, which started two months ago today and already includes 15 extensions and 19 maintainers.

We fixed 265 bugs since 1.5.1 as well (over 500 since 1.4), added dozens of new features and enhancements, and had over 2,000 beta users opt-in to report anonymous usage data that we will use to make Banshee better.

Banshee 1.6

Here are some of the new features in Banshee 1.6. Read the Release Notes for more detail, screenshots, and enhancements not listed here.

  • Play Queue Auto DJ
  • Sync Device From Playlist
  • Grid View
  • Type-ahead Find in Track, Artist, and Album Lists
  • Automatic Scoring
  • New Shuffle Modes
  • Audiobooks Library
  • Library-folder Watcher
  • eMusic Importer/Downloader
  • Internet Archive Extension
  • YouTube Extension
  • Improved Metadata Handling

A community effort

Thanks to everybody who has helped make Banshee such a success! Tremendous thanks go to Bertrand Lortentz and Alexander Kojevnikov, who over the last year in particular have contributed countless hours writing their own patches and reviewing others', triaging bugzilla, being active on IRC and the list, and generally being great maintainers of the project. They have invested in Banshee, and the effect on Banshee's quality and the community's growth is evident.

You can tap into the Banshee community and energy in many ways – read Planet Banshee, follow us on Twitter, lurk in the #banshee chat room, subscribe to banshee-list, monitor bug activity, and keep up with the latest code. We're a friendly, productive bunch, so stop by if you have a question or idea, if you want to contribute or you just want to learn how you can make your own project better.


  1. Congrats!
    Waiting eagerly for the release to get into the 11.2 obs repository.
    Will openSUSE 11.2 be getting official updates to version 1.6 since it came out with 1.5.1 (1.6 Beta2), and this fixes so many bugs?

  2. Sounds great! In 1.6 RC2 i recognized various bugs with intellegent play lists or lists like "Last Added" etc. Banshee crashed on some computers or shows nothing at these lists. Another bug was Banshee crashed after playing 1 song.
    Has these bugs been fixed?

  3. Congratulations
    Will you submit this for the next milestone to openSUSE Factory?

  4. @badshah: I don't think they do version bumps after releasing the distro. You can subscribe to the Banshee repo though - we build packages for openSUSE 11.2.

    @Bart: I'm not sure - there are so many bugs. It would be great if you could test 1.6 yourself, and file any bugs you find!

    @Andreas: Just submitted, thanks for the reminder