too similar to be a coincident

Posted by Hendrik Sollich on July 20, 2010

Oh foobar2000! Today pledge I thee my uttermost affection. You might be the most brilliantly designed example of an audio player and yet – there is but a fatal flaw about you. You only come on windows.

For quite a while I’ve been seeking out alternatives and finally settled with Amarok. Amarok has lost quite a few features due to its being rewritten but its catching up again. Still, there is hardly anything in the linuxworld that is like foobar2000 – unless you count foobar2000 itself, running on wine.

At least so I thought, till I stumbled upon a project with the name of deadbeef. It is still very young, hardly year. And it is still very simple. Let me sum up some of its features:

  • playback of all important audio formats and streams
  • editing of all kinds of meta-tag formats
  • very foobarlike look
  • very foobarlike playlist search
  • very foobarlike sorting
  • gapless playback
  • last.fm scrobbling
  • very foobarlike playlist tabs
  • tag editor (also very much like in foobar)

and I could go on.

Even better is the fact that this player seams to be an absolute light weight. It takes less then a second to start and uses hardly more then 9mb of memory.

So is this the ffl – the foobar2000 for linux – that millions of music lovers have been waiting for? In my opinion this player has the potential to achieve awesomeness. But it has still a long way in front of it. For one there are still a lot of features missing that foobar2000 is famous for and I don’t even know whether or not the people behind deadbeef plan on implementing them. These include :

  • a sophisticated mass-tagger (including scripts)
  • a database + search
  • replaygain scanning
  • converting
  • and last and probably hardest – a modular interface allowing for maximum configurability

Ok, I admit those are quite a few high expectations I raise.

What do you think about? Does deadbeef look like a candidate for the next big thing? Do you think there are going to be more foobarish features? Or do other players already fill the gap?