I try not to harp about the software that comes with default installations of Ubuntu, or any other distro. It’s counterproductive and it doesn’t really matter what you get at the start. It should be easy enough to install the software or application you want, provided you have an Internet connection and the requisite time.
Of course, since I’m no longer actively connected to the Internets ( ), it has been my (mis?)fortune to run afoul of some default software that I dislike, and have no recourse to avoid it.
gxine falls into that category. It’s the single media player option for Xubuntu Feisty, and after a week of using it daily, I find I really don’t like it.
It does it’s job, sort of, and so I can’t fault it as dysfunctional, but I find it to be cumbersome and counterintuitive, and I think those are issues of usability — second only to function in terms of importance.
For one, the playlist gives me no more information than the title of the track (I use it almost exclusively for playing ogg files off Jamendo) and the location of the file — which is converted to an annoying string of web-safe URL-style characters fraught with %20 and the like. That’s unattractive, and it gets in the way.
I can’t see the file information — the idv3 info, if you will — unless there’s a way that I haven’t found yet. “Editing” the track info gives me just the file name, if I remember right. Of course, I only use ogg files, so maybe there are proper editing options for other file types.
Also, gxine seems to need extra clicks to do the same thing. I can’t click on a folder and ask it to add the contents to a playlist. I have to click on the first file in the folder, then shift-click on the last to add them. And then I have to hit play to get the tunes going.
Furthermore, if I want to change the music, gxine doesn’t reopen in the same directory. Yes, I know, that’s a minor issue, but still: I keep my music nested in a folder on a secondary drive, inside a folder by genre, then by artist, then by album. That means I have to navigate that structure each time I want to add a file to the playlist. Click click click. Yawn.
The visualizations are kind of cool, if somewhat 1998-ish. Dashboard options are kind of helpful, but not particularly useful. I could go on.
I guess I’m too frozen in my ways, stuck on straightforward media players like Audacious (and Winamp, by extension) or ultra-light, ultra-fast, minimalist console programs like cplay. And again, I don’t use it for anything but ogg files, so perhaps gxine is useful in other capacities.
But really, couldn’t Xubuntu use [insert name of your favorite media player here] instead … ?