It all started simply enough, your author has been playing with
the recently released Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" release on several test
The plan is to migrate a number of machines that run older
distributions, mainly Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn", over to Gutsy Gibbon.
This will allow access to the latest and greatest application releases.
The migration process is not new, a list of essential applications
has been kept for a number of years over numerous distributions and
For a long time, one of the essential applications was
the X Multimedia System. XMMS is a basic music player with
a Graphical User Interface that has always been a good tool for
manually playing tracks from an online
The majority of the collection consists of
FLAC files, with
a few .wav, .mp3 and .ogg files thrown in for variety.
Unfortunately, the Gutsy Gibbon release just deprecated
xmms-flac, the flac file plugin for XMMS.
XMMS is largely regarded as nearing the end of its useful life,
distributions seem to be deprecating it in succession.
Despite this, XMMS development
has not stopped
project was created to be a replacement for XMMS, but development seems to be
moving slowly. The current XMMS2 development version (0.2) dates back to
May 20, 2007.
A bit of digging through the
showed that other people were also missing the xmms-flac package.
One of the more popular replacements was
Audacious, not to be confused with the
audio editor. Your author decided to be lazy and try something new
instead of of spending time building a deprecated package.
Audacious version 1.3.2 was installed from the
Ubuntu repositories with no trouble. This lags the
current release, which is at version 1.4.0.
Those who are familiar with XMMS will notice that Audacious
has an almost identical look and feel. In fact, the project
starts off by stating that:
"Audacious is a fork of beep-media-player 0.9.7.1.",
The basic Audacious package (on Ubuntu) includes
decoder plugins for the following media types:
Apple (AAC), CD FLAC, MP4, MPEG (MPC), Ogg Vorbis, WAV and WMA.
Some basic visualization effects and a graphic equalizer are
Installing the Ubuntu audacious-plugins-extra package adds a number of
interesting visualization and effects plugins.
Unfortunately, one nice XMMS feature that seems to be missing in
Audacious is the Play Directory file selector that shows
up when right-clicking the mouse on the Sample Rate/Stereo part
of the display.
To achieve the same functionality, one
has to select Play File
then select all of the files using the shift-right mouse combination.
This also has the unexpected effect of causing an
Add To Bookmarks/Show Hidden Files popup to show up.
Besides that one missing feature, Audacious seems to do everything
one would expect from XMMS.
As noted in the Ubuntu Forums, Audacious does seem to be a
bit of a memory hog compared to XMMS.
The top utility showed the Audacious Memory footprint to be around
21MB resident/ 200 MB virtual versus 8MB resident/ 45 MB virtual
for XMMS. Code bloat is nothing unique to Audacious, fortunately
the average amount of system RAM is also growing.
Audacious should easily take the place of XMMS on Gutsy Gibbon and
forthcoming Ubuntu releases, it now has a place on your author's list of
to post comments)