Saturday, October 11, 2008

Best Music Player For Ubuntu - Exaile?

One of the reasons why I love Linux are music players. On Windows you get WMP 11 which is a decent thing to play MP3's however there is no support for fetching album art, lyrics and other stuff. The other alternatives aren't so so good either, iTunes is a resource hog (1GB of RAM to play Maddona, you are kidding!).

On the other hand Linux music players have been simply amazing! I have been hooked on to Amarok for quite some time now, however I tried Exaile the other day and now it has become my most favorite player for Ubuntu, perhaps even overtaking Amarok. Read on to know more about Exaile:


Exaile tries to be for Gnome what Amarok is for KDE. The developers started with this aim and hence the final product is an amazing player which matches, if not betters many of Amarok's strength. Exaile is written in Python. The first thing you will notice is the size of download package. You will be surprised to find out that Exaile weighs in at only 1 MB! Installation can be done by either using Synaptic or by grabbing it from the downloads page.

Since Exaile is an native Gnome app, it starts up almost instantaneously as compared to Amarok which requires quite some time to start up, since it needs to load various KDE libraries. It also integrates better with my Ubuntu setup. Exaile tries to mimic Amarok very closely. Long time users of Amarok will find themselves at home with Exaile.
One of the my most favorite feature in Exaile which sets it apart from from other Gnome players like Banshee is the Volume Controler, most Gnome players like Banshee and Totem have the dropdown volume controller which is so Windows 95. Exaile has an proper slider volume button. I know it isn't a big deal for most, but still it is these small things which go on to make a big difference in the user experiance. Exaile also offers tabbed playlists.

Like Firefox, Exaile's features can be extended by installing various
plugins. Thankfully installing plugins is an one click process. You can add or remove plugins by going to Edit > Plugins. Exaile loads a list of available plugins and you have to merely check or uncheck the plugins which you want or don't want.
As with all Linux Players Exaile too comes with features like Wikipedia integeration, fetching cover art from Amazon, Lyrics and On Screen Display (like the one at the top of this blog). Surprisingly iPod support is absent in Exaile however it can be added to Exaile by the means of a plugin.


Exaile has an album art collector. The main benefit is that you can get album art for your entire music collection with one click, and oh no credit card required (listening Apple?).

There are still few minor flaws, which I am sure will be taken
care of in the later releases. Namely as I said before, lack of iPod support out-of-the-box, better Wkipedia integeration, the current integeration is more like Firefox in a music player and how about Cover FLow or atleast displaying cover art in the layouts as in WMP 11?


I would definitely recommend you to try out Exaile. It makes Banshee look like a monkey.


Although Exaile cannot play videos as of yet, however come version 1, I am sure we are gonna get one player which will topple Amarok out of the number one position!
You can download Exaile here.
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24 comments:

  1. Why did you have to put 'Ubuntu' in there? Why the distro discrimination? Exaile is for Linux, not just Ubuntu. If anything it might be considered 'for Gnome' due to it being GTK, but you can still use it in kde, xfce, etc... so even that is a weak point.

    If your reviewing an application, re view the application... no need to bring distros into it.

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  2. @weizbox
    I use Ubuntu so I do tend to use Ubuntu a lot. Also putting KDE wouldn't be possible since Exaile would be slower on KDE since it would have to load Gnome libraries.

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  3. I too am a Gnome user and have replaced Amarok with Exaile. Each new version fixes little bugs, it is now my preferred player due to it's better Gnome integration. I care not for iPod integration as I use Creative Zens and use gnomad2 to update them. I have tried Banshee and Songbird but did not like the layout or the "workflow" when creating playlists.

    Exaile is the best.

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  4. A correction... Windows does have a few decent mp3 players (not counting wmp of course, even the sound quality is crappy on that) Winamp is an example of a player that has good support for current features and isn't a resource hog.

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  5. @iampriteshdesai
    So, why not just put 'for Gnome' instead? Why exclude all the other distros for something that isnt distro-specific?

    Just because YOU use Ubuntu, doesnt mean this article HAS TO be about Ubuntu when dealing with a GTK application.

    'Also putting KDE wouldn't be possible since Exaile would be slower on KDE since it would have to load Gnome libraries.'
    That is 100% false. Please actually know how the system works before making such a comment. Run the test yourself, you'll see no difference in speed.

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  6. @weizbox
    On my PC with 1.25 GB RAM Amarok takes 7 sec where as Exaile takes 3 sec. Since Exaile is an Gnome app it doesn't have to load KDE libraries in order to run. Amarok would start earlier on Kubuntu than Exaile. Hence the name Ubuntu instead of Kubuntu.
    You are right about the Gnome thing, OK I'd use Gnome next time.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. agree about exaile. simple to use. doesn't agravate like the whiz-bang players.

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  9. wow cool i just donwloaded it its very good nice
    Thanks and regards
    Umakant

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  10. Windows Media Player does indeed retrieve album art. Typical (sad) Linux Zealot FUD.

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  11. Dear Anonymous
    With Exaile, you can download album art for entire music collection with one click of the mouse. It also retrieves album art automatically when music starts playing. With WMP it has to be retrieved manually. I have about 1000 songs. Best of luck trying to do that here.

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  12. Uh, foobar is the best media player there is, and it is Windows only.

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  13. Being an avid music fan, ive tried my hands on a lot of different music players, both on windows and on linux. Winamp is by far my favorite, but exaile is my music player of choice on linux. Not to say that its better than amarok, just that im on gnome and amarok actually does take a lot of time to load, also, to build its library (I have abt 60-70 gb of music at any time). Nice work by developers. Lyrics fetchng doesnt work on my system though, it simply just crashes, otherwise its great.

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  14. I agree with what the writer has document. After trying Exaile on Gnome / Ubuntu, I have similar feelings. The interface is simple, and the developer has worked on the saying "LESS IS MORE". I loved the feature of giving me the tablature of my songs, which are found. It is a gift for a music enthusiast like me.

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  15. Well, exaile still has a long way to go. I use it only because i'm on gnome. But with Amarok 2 coming soon i will probably switch to KDE solely for the music player.

    And indeed foobar is the best music player ever.

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  16. Just downloaded the lastest Exaile for Ubuntu, it's very nice in gnome and performs well. Except for a few things I prefer this to Rhythmbox or Banshee. A dedicates podcast tab and video support would be nice. If Amarok 2 is coming soon I do hope Exaile keeps up.

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  17. Uh, foobar is the best media player there is, and it is Windows only

    lol is all I can say. Foobar isn't the best at all, it's good but it's not the best.

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  18. Thanks for this article, I've been having some issues with Amarok 2 on Jaunty - no sound!

    Dropped it for Exaile, it's a great replacement.

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  19. Amarok2 and Jaunty?? You can forget listening to music there with that one ;-)

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  20. Great find! I have been struggling to find a good media player for Linux and I think I have it now!

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  21. Foobar can work on Linux too through Wine, it's good if you have which I don't have.

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  22. Thanx for the suggestion. Done installing Exaile but haven't tried it yet.

    Personally, if Winamp is available for Ubuntu (without having to use Wine), i'd go for it out of familiarity :). Yeah, i was a Windows user :D

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  23. Sorry to tell this but,I am not satisfied with Exaile. I used Amarok instead. Amarok is a Cross Platform player supporting all formats like DivX, MPEG, MP3, OGG, AAC, AVI, MP3, MP4, WMV and many more. It features music tagging, intelligent playlist creation & organising. It utilizes KDE components when used in Gnome Environment. On the other hand, Exaile would be slow in KDE. click here:"http://ubuntumanual.org/posts/360/best-of-the-lot-my-top-5-media-players-for-ubuntu"

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