[c_lug] Streaming music players: quick review

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From: Glen Stewart <glen_stewart@...>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 10:02:53 -0400
My family and I listen to music streamed from my web server - an ability that 
comes in handy when we're not at home, but still Internet-connected.  Why 
maintain multiple, limited collections on portable player(s), when it's all 
online?

Many typical music players designed to play music only from the local disk 
aren't able to cope with the streaming URLs.  In addition, some players are 
bulky, slow or unstable.

A player that handles streaming but is slow at starting up, is Amarok.  It's 
definitely a bulky player too.  Amarok hasn't done well with my streaming 
needs until the Maverick release, while KDE4 and Pulseaudio have been in 
play.  In KDE3, it was working good.

Other players that can't cope with (certain?) streaming URLs are:  Rhythmbox, 
Banshee, Audacious, Quod Libet, Exaile, and Guyadeque (which is otherwise a 
great album cover art downloader and local player).

Clementine is a very nice player - I'm not sure it's playing completely nice 
with Pulseaudio yet, but if I get past that, it's a very comprehensive player.

Kmplayer takes more RAM and CPU that the remaining players I'll discuss.  It 
handles streaming ok, but is just a front-end driving mplayer in the 
background.  I don't see the point of paying the cost, but would keep it 
around for challenging music needs.

The three remaining player offerings are Totem, VLC, and Xine.  Playlist use 
with Xine is clunky, but it otherwise is the lightest RAM and CPU user of the 
three.

VLC would be a good choice if I wanted ONE player for everything I do.  It 
handles video and DVDs very well.  I could not get VLC's album art preview to 
work when streaming music.

However, I settled on Totem - player controls are simple, the playlist is in 
the same window (rather than separate, as in VLC and Xine) and is easy to 
manage, and finally, Totem capably shows album art in the same window.  Totem 
also plays videos.  Totem had good startup settings from my very first use, 
and it doesn't have an overwhelming number of settings to tweak (or mess up).

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