Split decision: Goggles Music Manager

I don’t usually notice music managers, mostly because I resent applications that “manage” things for me. That goes for music, photos or whatever you like.

On the other hand, I’m constantly on the lookout for applications that run light and fast, and at the same time, are “under the radar,” as some of my American friends sometimes say.

Anything FLTK-based or FOX-based usually qualifies. I regularly tinker with XFE and its subapplications, or Dillo in it’s current (and amazing) state. I can add Goggles Music Manager to that list now. But those toolkits are rather low-key, and the applications that use them can sometimes slip by unnoticed.

Occasionally a thread pops up in the Arch Forums mentioning Goggles, with about the frequency of Consonance. Much like that program, Goggles imports lists of files and keeps a database, then gives you a way of sifting through them to play the tunes you want.

In that sense, Goggles (and Consonance, since I mentioned it) is nothing new. What Goggles (and Consonance, since I mentioned it) offers is that manner of music playback at a speed that’s hard to ignore. And since it relies on the FOX toolkit and only a few other libraries, anything that can run a graphical desktop can probably add a wee bit more and get a very solid, very clean interface for playback.

Goggles has a miniature interface (called the Mini Player, which makes sense πŸ˜‰ ) you can push around the screen. It has an equalizer with presets that might match your musical taste. It will show album covers both in the list and when playing. It has nice big buttons to punch for music control, a slider for seeking and a time display alongside a volume control. In other words, all the basics.

But it will also sink to a system tray icon. It has a sleep timer. It will stream music from the Internet (but I admit I didn’t try that). It will arrange and display music as you prefer, make playlists, sync directory changes and a whole bunch of other fun stuff. If you have to have a music manager and it has to be light, this is the one I would submit for your consideration.

Personally, I find it intriguing, but not particularly attractive. On the one hand I appreciate its exceedingly lightweightedness (is that a word?) but … I can’t help it: I don’t dig music managers. It must be part of my DNA. Just about everyone else I know has to have that three-pane iTunes look before they can press “play;” for me, I find it a turnoff.

But it’s hard to snub it when it’s so light and so comprehensive. If I’m the only person who finds it attractive, and yet unattractive both at the same time, I’ll be satisfied with that.

P.S.: If you want to get started with Goggles, the Arch package is called “musicmanager,” and once it’s installed you can start the application with gmm. It took me a little while to find the thing, and another little while to get it started. πŸ™„


14 thoughts on “Split decision: Goggles Music Manager

  1. todd

    I typically dislike the iTunes/Amarok-type music managers too. I hate the way they make it difficult to just play an album, and then when you do play an album, heaven forbid you should browse your collection to look for things to add to the queue because then it ruins your currently playing album. I loved the way muine handled playing tracks/albums and the queue, but it’s mono and I had a hard time keeping it updated with my favorite plugins.

    Check out gejengel for a decent, lighter-weight player that smartly handles the library browsing/currently playing/queue issue.

  2. damaged justice

    because I resent applications that β€œmanage” things for me. That goes for music, photos or whatever you like.

    Does that include windows? πŸ™‚

    (Semi-nonrhetorical question, as I just switched to wmii. Love how now I focus not on the windows, but what’s inside them.)

  3. fuxter

    hope you add these to your software list. i got a short mem and your blog is very useful place to relate to when needed.

  4. GregE

    @Todd Amarok does not work the way you suggest. You can double click on an album and it loads a playlist of the album. It does not get any simpler. Plus you can double click on any track or whole album and add it to the current playlist without wiping the other entries or stopping the playback. Amarok is not lightweight, it has things like lyrics display. Lightweight versions are Minirok and Decibel.

    The pane behaviour is annoying. Rhythmbox, Banshee, Songbird and others do work that way and I hate it.

    Amarok, Exaile, Minirok, Decibel and others work through a playlist metaphor that can play whole albums just as easily. My preference.

  5. Esteban

    I am dyslexic. I read this whole page as Google Music Manager until I got to the comment about google.

    That is the reason I came to this page. I thought Google has a music manager?

  6. Thomas

    I’m gonna give this a go. I’ve been looking for an open-source foobar2000 alternative for ages.

  7. crayon_shinchan

    hi, I’ve just switch to linux and googled for ‘linux player review 2009’ then ‘Consonance Gejengel’ so I got here.

    My fav player in windoze is Jaangle (jaangle.com), fast, written in C++, and has my prefs:

    Auto-Artist/Album Art/Pictures
    Auto-Artist/Album Biography/Review
    Auto-continue playlist (intelligently queue up songs)
    Auto-play last track and time on startup
    Fast with my WD 500GB external
    *All of the above is out-of-the-box (no plugin setups!)
    // but jaangle doesn’t have Tag-editing

    Last time I used linux, I used gmusicbrowser but didn’t liked aspects of it, I hope these new players in linux will be great!

    btw, I switched to linux again bec of this virus doesn’t allow Avira AntiVir installation (it closes it while installing!) haha πŸ˜€


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