Thursday, October 23, 2008

Audacious Media Player Waste of Time

With XMMS going by the wayside as in no more development I decided to see what was available as a replacement in my Gutsy system.
A quick Google search presents me with a media player going by the name Audacious. That name couldn't be a better fit. And I need to point out that you should not confuse this program with Audacity which is a very good audio editor in it's own right.

I open up the Synaptic Package Manager and do a search for Audacious. Mark the main package and try to mark the plug-ins but it's not going to happen. When I marked the main package for installation it popped up an error that said it can't be installed because the plug-ins aren't going to be installed. HUH!!!

I'm trying to mark the plug-ins but the main package error prevents me from adding them on.
So I try marking the plug-ins first. Same problem. I get an error message that the main program isn't going to be installed so the plug-ins can't be installed.
This is NUTS!!!

Alright then. I'll go to their website and see what's going on. I click on the link for their site from a Google search and am presented with a page that says "It Works!"
That's nice. Maybe that page works but the software package sure doesn't. I'm getting this bad feeling. Packages are messed up and the website is down.

Okay! I'll go and grab the .deb packages. Download them and when I try to install them I get the same errors as I did in Synaptic.

Okay! Sigh! I'll grab the source code and compile it from there. So I grab the base and plug-in source code and get to work.
Dependency errors! Drat! Or should I say error because it said I was missing one file.
Go and grab the source for that file, compile and install it.
Back to the main package. Another dependency error. After about 5 of these I finally get the main package installed.

Next I install the 3 plug-in packages and thankfully they go much easier.
Now I open up Audacious and it looks suspiciously similar to XMMS even though the developers have said in many articles that they are trying to design a media player that is not a continuation of XMMS and will stand on it's own merit.

I open the file browser and tell Audacious to open an Mp3 file.
ERROR! Either the file permissions are not set properly or you don't have the proper codec installed.
I check to see what plug-ins I have installed. There is a whole list of them but no where do I see one for playing Mp3's. I check on a few forums and apparently that plug-in should be either in the base or dev plug-in package.

So I reinstall the plug-in packages. Still no luck. I go online to see if I can find any other info. Plenty of people posting about problems opening Mp3 files but no real solutions other then to make sure the plug-in packages were installed.

That's when I made my decision. Sudo apt-get remove audacious and all the plug-ins.
I knew this package was a bad omen when I had problems installing through Synaptic and found a dead website.

I'll stick with VLC. It has some quirks but the additional features like audio ripping and video conversion more then make up for those few minor annoyances.
And I have to really wonder what direction Audacious will really take.
Broken .deb packages and websites that are down do not paint a rosey picture for it's future.
I know it left a very bad taste in my mouth and it will take the Audacious developers a lot of work and plenty of add on features for me to even take a look at it again.

In retrospect I did get a good refresher course on compiling and installing from a source package and I honed my skills on finding missing dependency packages.
But the time wasted on a software product of shoddy construction was time I could have used on better things.



LMX said...

It has worked pretty well for me (and what a relief it was to have found a winamp clone for Linux). However, as recently as yesterday I've been having some problems with it. It just flatout refuses to play mp3's, no error or crash given.

And yes, it's a real pain in the butt that the website is down. Nobody seems to know anything useful about it.

TaZMAn said...

That was the biggest pain. Trying to find any info I could on the problems I encountered. After a good 2 hours of searching I realized that many people have heard about it and have tried it but no one seemed to know how to fix a problem.

Added to the whole mess was the web site being down and no one knows why or what is happening.

Not a way to release software. You need a site or at least a forum where users can come and discuss their problems, fixes and enhancements.

I'm still using VLC and I'm very happy with it.


Tom M. said...

I'm running debian lenny (testing) and I was able to install audacious 1.5.1-4, audacious-plugins 1.5.1-2, and audacious-plugins-extra 1.5.1-2 right from aptitude. Ubuntu Gutsy is a little long in the tooth. Perhaps Hardy or whatever the "I" iteration would work?

shanks said...

i've also been trying to figure out latest updates on audacious. what's the deal with the website being down? nenolod sure is quiet about this...

TaZMAn said...

I don't know shanks.
It's almost like they folded up the project and packed their bags.

No one seems to have any info about what happened.

Hopefully it will be revived and become a quality player that it had the potential to be.

Anonymous said...

I love audacious, right up to the point that it won't play files from a Samba share. My mp3 collection is so big now that I keep it on one computer and share it over the network. I spent two hours trying to figure out what the hell I was doing wrong. The problem was audacious. I guess I'm stuck with rhythmbox for now.

Anonymous said...

Indeed it used to work very well, i luvved it!: installed as a charm, the only player that plays ape, only one that could handle a +280Gb collection and all of a sudden flatly refuses to load songs, hangs when scrolling, messes up playlists... Pity-there's no match for it in linux when it worked.

Anonymous said...


I used to love Audacious too. Right now, I downloaded and compiled the latest stable (3.0.3) and plugins from source but the dreaded (and never-ever solved) "decoder not found" for mp3 files is there to no avail.

Too sad.


kib- said...

A workaround for not being able browse samba shares is to manually mount the samba share to local directory in your filesystem. You should be able to browse then. Same thing as mounting a network drive in windows. I know it seems a little irritating but it works. Cheers. :P