Amarok – KDE’s killer app?

Say what you want about KDE, but I don’t think the merits of its default music player, Amarok, would be argued by those who have tried it. I’ve got version 2.3.1 on my installation of openSUSE; let’s see what all the fuss about!

Amarok Interface

This is the main window. Some features of note, from left to right:

  • Your music is sorted automatically by artist, then album, then track. At least mine was.
  • Lyrics are fetched for you, where available, as is the artist’s Wikipedia page. Sweet!
  • Cicking on any track in the left pane will add it to a playlist on the right, which you can reorganize to your heart’s content, then save.

Amarok Notification

A small but illustrative example of KDE innovation: This is a pop-up notification that you can position anywhere on your desktop, simply by dragging it there. Clever.

Amarok Services

Streaming services and online music stores are also supported in Amarok.They can be added to a playlist just like any local file. A search for additional plugins came up empty, which was a bit odd — I was hoping to get access to my local 7digital store, at least. Maybe I didn’t set it up right?

Support for Jamendo is fantastic, but the built-in podcast directory only so-so. There’s no listing for Dyscultured, for example. Tsk tsk…

Though I’ve only really used Songbird and Rhythmbox for any length of time I’m of the opinion that Amarok trumps both of them, handily. It’s definitely worth trying out, even if you don’t use KDE.


  1. About podcasts: Tools | Script Manager, and click on that shiny button with the yellow star that says “Get more scripts”. That will enable you to install radio stations and podcasts from all the world. The Shoutcast service got installed in less than a minute. Try it!

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