Songbird 0.6 - The Bird Got Wings

When it first starts, Songbird prompts the user to select default language and extensions it should load by default, downloading them if necessary. Scanning a music collection of almost 4000 OGG Vorbis songs took around 3 minutes on an Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz with 1 GB DDRAM2.

Banshee: beyond the first looks

I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about the release of Banshee 1.0, the Gnome music player “written in C# on the Mono platform using GNOME technologies” (from the website). For some people the mono platform alone would be reason enough to bash Banshee, but I don’t care about that. I do get curious however when people claim that Banshee will replace Rhythmbox as the default Gnome media player on their system. I’ve used Rhythmbox. It’s pretty good. I was curious what Banshee had to offer.

Flock me! It’s a new 2.0 beta browser based on Firefox 3!

Social networking browser, Flock, has reached the 2.0 milestone in beta status, bringing together all the major social networking sites in the one browser. Offering all the enhancements of Firefox 3.0, you’ll only be flocking to use this browser if you’re a big social networking user.

First look: Songbird 0.6 open source media player

The open source Songbird music player took a big step forward on Friday with the official release of version 0.6, which significantly improves performance, augments support for media player devices, and reduces the program's memory footprint. Another noteworthy new feature is support for editing music metadata.

First Look at Firefox 3.0 for Linux

If you were waiting for Firefox 3.0, be glad, as the wait is now over! The final release is available for download, and you probably want to help Mozilla set that world record, so start downloading!

My (not yet) package of the day - circular application menu

(Not yet a package, but still interesting enough to tell and hey: bleeding edge.) Circular Application Menu for Gnome is a Google Code hosted project providing a different access method to your Gnome menu. Actually all it does, is displaying the menu as circles:

Review of the New Banshee 1.0 Audio Player

Banshee 1.0 comes with many features, like a pretty good collection management, audio and video libraries, support for podcasts and many plugins, a notable one being the integration and song submission.

20 Essential KDE Applications - Review

Review of 20 essential KDE applications plus several additions: Amarok, KTorrent, K3b, Akregator and all the others.

10 Windows Games That Can Be Played on Linux

For most hardcore gamers, Linux is taboo since they probably think that they cannot play their favorite Windows-only games with it. They do have a point of staying away from Linux, but if they knew that they can play some of their most wanted games on Linux, will they take the switch?

What makes Amarok the most Popular Audio Player on Linux?

I used this player for about three years and I love it more and more, with each new release. Statistics show around 60% of the Linux users prefer Amarok over any other audio player. 60%! That's huge.

Trying Out Ubuntu's Netbook Remix

Last week at Computex Taipei the Canonical OEM team had unveiled Netbook Remix. Netbook Remix is based upon the stock package selection found in Ubuntu but with specific optimizations for Mobile Internet Devices and Ultra Mobile PCs. These optimizations include user-interface improvements for potentially new Linux users as well as making the desktop easier to work when running off a small screen.

mpd - the Music Player Daemon

There are dozens of nice music players around, that’s for sure. You can choose between featur rich killer applications like Rhythmbox or Amarok, use old-school but up to date standards like XMMS or even a console classic like mp3blaster. Most of the standard players have in common, that the interface and the player itself are the same. That’s normal and therefore everything is fine. But maybe you are in a situation where you prefer playing music on a remote machine, only have a console or just don’t want your music player to stay open while playing. Huh?

Tuxpaint is fun for kids and adults

My granddaughter has been sitting on my lap at the computer since before she could even hold herself up. She was only a few months old when she became interested in the mouse and began learning to place the cursor on the screen. A friend of mine laughed at us and stated that I'd "have her compiling kernels by the time she was three." Well, she's three years old now, and though she's not compiling kernels yet, she is having hours of fun on her own thanks to Tuxpaint.

Ghextris: tetris clone with a hexagonal makeover

The object of the game is much the same as with tetris, only the frame and the falling objects are hexagons. You have to slot the coloured pieces together making rows, which disappear once they are complete, the game ends if the stack of pieces reaches the celling.

Ubuntu Ultimate Edition: Not so ultimate

Ultimate Edition (UE) 1.8 is a remaster of Ubuntu Hardy Heron with custom software repositories and a distinctive theme. Its claim to fame over pure Ubuntu is convenience, due to preloaded updates and software. While the name might suggest that it is a huge upgrade over its progenitor, in reality its developers have not made many improvements besides application install scripts. Due to a distracting theme, a poorly built user interface, and an incredible lack of the convenience it claims to have, Ultimate Edition falls painfully short of ultimate.

StorYBook gets in the way of plotting fiction

Some people imagine that they could write a novel if only they had the right tool. StorYBook aims to be that tool, but falls short. The problem is not that StorYBook is poorly organized, or that its timeline and reports don't come in handy. Rather, the problem is that StorYBook has such a rigid structure that it is likely to fit only a minority of writers' plotting needs. For others, living with the rigidity and searching for ways around it is only likely to distract from planning and make it a chore rather than a creative thrill.

Fish - the friendly interactive shell

Always wanted to learn using a shell more deeply? Maybe “fish“, the “friendly interactive shell” is the right kickoff for you.

A Quick Look At Facebook's Open Source

The other week, when representatives from Facebook mentioned that they'd be open-sourcing significant portions of their platform, I hazarded a guess that they would be providing at most a set of APIs. Now that Facebook's actually released some code under the aegis of the Facebook Open Platform, I had a look-see. To my delight, I saw more than just APIs.

Urban Terror FPS is as realistic as today's headlines

Over the past two years, I've reviewed free software first-person shooters including Tremulous, Alien Arena, and Nexuiz -- all top-notch games. Now we can add Urban Terror to that list. While the first three sport other-worldly, sci-fi-style opponents, Urban Terror goes for realistic opponents -- as realistic as today's headlines. You're fighting terrorists in Algiers and other locations around the globe, and you're using realistic weaponry to do it.

Online music recommendation systems

I don’t know how your work environment is, but where I work all the engineers spend their entire days with their headphones glued to their heads listening to music. Each one of us must own a couple of thousands music files (all legal copies, I can assure you) in our laptops, and since we all share our collections through the office, one could say that we have a pretty decent online selection of music for all genres and tastes. Still, there are times when you yearn for something new… what to do?

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