Development of Amarok 2.0 is well underway now. At long last, all you poor bastards using winamp or iTunes will find out what it’s like to use a -good- media player.
Winamp was good back in the day, when mp3 collections were small and single playlists were king, but it’s long since fallen apart with its clunky collection manager and miscellaneous oddities. iTunes is,… well it’s iTunes, and it’s bad enough to make mac users want winamp clones.
Enter Amarok, something Linux/KDE users like myself have enjoyed for a few years now.
It’s got the only media manager I actually like. You tell it where to find your music, whether it be on a hard drive or a removable device, whatever. It lets you browse and search however you like by tags, or just browse the filesystem. No music gets added to your library if you don’t tell it to, which is something winamp and itunes used to do that bugged the hell out of me. Then it has its context window displaying information about the song, lyrics, wikipedia pages on the band / album / title. It’s fully extensible with scripts, useful for transcoding songs and albums. It works well with most any portable mp3 device imaginable (and can use the aforementioned transcoding scripts to convert as it transfers). And it ties in with last.fm to suggest songs for you to listen to, and even use that information to build playlists for you with its nifty ‘dynamic playlist’ feature, which constantly appends relevant tracks as you listen.
It’s a wonderful music app, and with 2.0 on the way, it’ll soon be available on windows and OSX as well. Huzzah!
phpBB3 is on its way around the corner, and it’s looking pretty polished. It’s got an upgraded infrastructure, a fantastic new administration interface, and a slew of new features. Its new proSilver template is out and about now, and is very modern in design. All CSS-driven, tableless XHTML which makes it more flexible than ever, moreso even than its competitors.
Amongst it’s new clean interface is a fairly simple, unique little difference that sets it apart from virtually every other board: The author’s avatar and information are displayed to the right of the post rather than the left. The design decision was made in order to direct the eye to the post content rather than the author. It’s literally just a matter of modifying a couple values in the CSS to switch it back, but it’s caused a significant stir over at the phpBB forums. This will be the phpBB default, so altered or no it’ll be making its way onto many online forums in the near future. I personally am in favor of it as it makes the forum look more like an actual discussion rather than a post count warzone (not that it won’t still be one), but I’m curious to hear some of your opinions. Comment away!