As a user of the three most popular operating systems, I have used many music players. When my main system was Windows, the native player failed me as a music library, so I used a program called Mediamonkey. That program made me understand that you could listen to music in a much more colorful and orderly way. Then I switched to Linux, but the AmaroK I was using was a far cry from the Cantatas that include Kubuntu or the Elisa KDE is working on right now. I like iTunes, but it started from a recent version (iTunes 11 I think).
For some versions, the music player / library that includes Kubuntu by default is Cantata. As I explained in this article, Cantata has many good things, but the image is still too simple. I hope my multimedia library is, how do I put it, "easy to look at." I want to have all the information in view, with good icons, well organized… practically all of this is offered to me by Elisa. It also seems to offer it Lollypop, but the performance leaves (or so it was in the past) a lot to be desired in Plasma.
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Simplicity and attractiveness in the same music app
Why do I like Elisa? What I need in a music player and library is very little: good design, that the covers look good, that it is easy to use and that it is neat. All this Elisa offers me. You have no option to configure, other than choosing / adding the folder where we have the music. Sort the content by artists, albums, songs, genres and allows us to search from a kind of file manager. On the other hand, it also has and can add radio stations. As a curiosity, the icon in the lower panel shows an animation that makes us see where it is in the playback.
Why am I hesitating between Cantata and Elisa right now? Elisa has been in development for some time, but it seems that she still has things to improve, such as:
- Equalizer: if you have read me in other articles of this type, it is something that I like to have. I can improve the audio, especially when I want to listen to music with headphones. But this is not very serious, since most of the players that I like the most lack it.
- Artists thumbnails: Right now, in the artists section, it shows a very ugly icon of a person, the same in all artists, with the name below. I'm convinced this will be changed in the future, but right now it doesn't even show an artist's cover. Cantata does not show anything, but it does from the information section, which takes us to Wikipedia.
- Covers- This is your Achilles heel, at least if we hope to use an app with a good image. As you can see in the screenshot that heads this article, of all Arch Enemy's discography it only shows me the cover of three discs, and that despite the fact that in the folders I have images of the covers. This means that the database Elisa is looking for is not very good or, if it is, the app fails to add the covers.
What is (or will be) Elisa's "card"
As we have already explained, Elisa is a KDE Community application that focuses on cleanliness and simplicity. If what you are looking for is an app to play music, without distractions and with a good design, this may be a good option for you, as long as they polish things like the covers. What best explains this you have in the previous image: we see the cover in large, with the same colors in the background, and several songs on the list with a green icon that is out of tune. On the other hand, if you are looking for an app that offers more options, such as the group information that Cantata does offer, Elisa is not for you.
I am convinced that in the future they will solve all these little problems. What I am not so clear about is that they offer Elisa as the default player in future versions of Kubuntu. I would like. And you?