amaroK – The Linux iTunes?

A couple of months back I tried to use Linux and my first task that failed with a resounding thud was trying to play my music files. All the default installed players like xmms were a disaster. That’s not to say they’re bad; I’m know that they were amazing in their time, but things have moved on, and my demands were quite straightforward: To play OGG, AAC and MP3 files, but with a graphic equalizer to compensate for my bass box sound system.

On my last attempt I gave up, but not before someone had commented that I should try amaroK. I finally had time to give it a go, and tried a new flavor of Linux too – Ubuntu. I’d recommend trying that if you want a simple Linux, but that’s another story. amaroK. I’m impressed. It installed using the built in package manager, and well, does exactly what I want. Even better than that, it scanned my drive and found all my files, has organized them into albums and provides a really simple but powerful user interface to manage them.

Some neat features are the Lyrics tab, which sucks down the lyrics for the song playing, nice if you like to sing along (cover your ears!) or can’t quite catch the words and want to know what on earth the song is singing about. You also have the media device browser which looks like you can use an iPod with it too. Visualizations, graphic equalizers and the ability to minimize to an icon rounds the program off.

All in all it is amazingly useable, and unlike many Linux programs, amazingly stable. If you need a Linux audio player, look no further.

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