VFolders, History and Changelogs, Oh my! (And if you order now: A screenie and rundown of recent speed hacks!)

JuK just got a couple of pretty nifty features in the last week or so. The implementations had a number of related issues to it made sense to solve them in tandem. This first of these is a history playlist which, when turned on, keeps a log of all of the things that you've played and the times that you played them. It's off by default, but you can turn it on via the view menu.

The next big thing is that I finally finished up the code for search playlists. Basically this rolls together an advanced search with some vfolder-like functionality. You create a search, in a dialog not unlike KMail's, that creates a new search playlist. This playlist is automagically updated when your collection changes.

Here's a screenie with some of the new goods:


Here you can see a search playlist that finds everything from the Afro Cuban All Stars and Buena Vista Social Club. Since these are actually the same group of folks the union makes sense, but it's one that's difficult to pick out in something like the tree view (though you could select both groups at once to see a dynamic playlist composed of the two). Notice that the search dialog continues to work; here I'm filtering for the year 1997. Also show here is the history playlist item and the new tree view.

The other thing that I've hacked out in the last week or so were some pretty hefty optimizations for those with large collections. I created a number of dummy files to boost my collection to up around 12,000 items and KCacheGrind and I fixed up some of the algorithms that should make using JuK with large collections -- say over 10000 files -- much nicer. I was frightened to notice that at the beginning of profiling start up time with 12,000 items was near a minute and a half. I had never tested with this many items so I was rather surprised. I'm now quite happy to say that even with 12,000 items start up time is in the range of 5 seconds.

I've also had a number of folks still using the 1.1 release ask what's been going on for the last several months. So, while this is certainly incomplete, here's a rough run down of the major features that have been implemented:

  • Incremental search
  • Search playlists or vfolders
  • Compact and tree view modes (for the list of playlists)
  • DCOP interface
  • Configurable key bindings
  • Configurable passive popups on track change
  • File name based tag guessing
  • MusicBrainz integration for file
    recognition and tag guessing
  • Playlist unions - selecting multiple playlists and seeing the
    contents of the two of them combined
  • A history playlist with a list of played items and the times that you played
  • Search playlists / advanced search / vfolders - there is now an advanced
    search dialog which creates search playlists which are the results of a
    search that can contain multiple terms. The list is updated automatically when
    the values of the items change
  • Roughly 100 reported bugs fixed and dozens of smaller features added

So, what's next? TagLib. TagLib is the id3lib replacement that I've been working on for way too long. I had a kick of hacking on it a few weeks back where things are getting pretty close to working, but I've been neglecting it while I've worked on the features above. It's time for it to mature a bit and I want to cut JuK over to using it in the near future. Soon I'll be back to the JuK bug-bin but it's time for a context switch. Oh, and who knows what will happen at the developers meeting in Nove Hrady next week. :-)


Reading back over this I should have made this clear, but there have been a lot of folks contributing code to JuK since the 1.1 release and deserve their share of the credit. Thanks go out to Zack, Frerich, Stephan, Steven, Antonio, Nadeem and Aaron who have helped out and of course Tim and Daniel who did works of goodness in the 1.x series.

By Scott Wheeler at Tue, 08/19/2003 - 02:21

Heh, thanks. You forgot one though: thanks to Scott Wheeler for creating my favorite audio player that is not only pleasure to use but also fun to work on.

By zack rusin at Tue, 08/19/2003 - 08:14

Hear hear. Thanks Scott, not only for creating the audio player I always wanted, but for giving me a reason to start hacking on KDE. My contributions were trivial, especially compared to the excellent work you'd done both before and since I contributed.

By KDE User at Tue, 08/19/2003 - 09:13

I would like to see support for streaming music in JuK also. Or is it already there, and I'm just out of the loop?

By KDE User at Wed, 08/20/2003 - 22:57

Any thought of flac support, I've got some of those and would like to be able to play them juk. Currenly I have to use xmms...

Otherwise very nice program and look forward to future versions.

By KDE User at Sun, 08/31/2003 - 04:52

I'd agree .. flac support would be nice indeed :)

By KDE User at Fri, 09/05/2003 - 05:10

If this program supported FLAC, I would have no choice but to use it. I still use FB2K on a different computer just because I like it so much and I can't stand XMMS. JuK rivals FB2K. If it had awesome plugins and other cool stuff, it would be better, but I'd be happy enough with FLAC support.

ReplayGain support would be a nice improvement as well.

By KDE User at Mon, 09/08/2003 - 02:14

yes, multiple fileformat support is definitely a good idea, I tried to play some aiff files today, but no no ...

By polyp at Wed, 11/05/2003 - 00:42

I enjoy JuK a lot, and thought it would be great it you could somehow add a feature that would enable to add a cover artwork for a playlist (album). A bit like the Real Jukebox does.

I don't know, maybe on top right or another optional column on the left (so that you can choose not to view the collections list, but the album artwork and maybe some general album info, if that's doable that is.

Or maybe an option to apply your own background image in the main tracks window?

Also it would be cool if you could select your own playlist icons (made from album covers etc.).

Sorry if that seems really demanding. ;-)

Anyway, great stuff.


By KDE User at Wed, 09/03/2003 - 09:44

VERY VERY NICE outclass xmms and all the others
The best music player ever for KDE....greetings to all the dev team!

Would you add an icon for selecting random vs normal order instead of selecting in the menu?

By KDE User at Mon, 09/15/2003 - 05:30