About the mood and the moodbar and new birds.

About the moodbar(visual progress bar), Songbird 0.3 and Amarok.

I was recently testing out songbird 0.3 and I realized how much I had been spoiled by Amarok. (with its fancy wee bit features.) Here’s what I missed the most, cross fading (not possible for a long time in songbird), Last-Fm integration, scrobbling, all those scrpits and the most *MoodBar*.

I dont know why moodbars are not famous or were not developed for other players, but I find moodbars very useful and indispensable. If you are wondering about them, Moodbars are an intra-track navigation system which provides a visual depiction of song *mood*. Its a replacement for traditional progress bar for a track.

Here’s a typical moodbar , A typical moodbar

Here’s a typical progresssBar, Normal

To sum up, it gives, a nice pictorial representation on what’s happening in the song.

bright shades mean loud bits, red parts denote bass-dominated parts of the song, while green and blue indicate more stuff in the soprano and higher regions.

One can clearly identify exciting regions in the song. Hence, you can easily detect, where’s something happening in the song. The silent zones are clearly visible. The big bass regions are clearly visible. In the song below, I can easily browse to white region, which is the high point for this trance track.

And this really helps a lot in long tracks such as live recorded shows. Its a boon for trance listeners.

Playlist with moodbars

Here’s a playlist of moodbars. I can easily judge which songs have more vocals and which ones have more instruments

So why are you waiting, get moodbars from here. If someone is interested how are they really created, here’s the original technical paper on moodbars. For everything else go to MoodBar, Amarok Wiki.

Regarding Songbird, I think it has turned up very nicely with strong web integration and rich plugin system. Some interesting features were “customizable n-way music browser (to compete to traditional 3-way genre,artist,album browser)”, strong web integration, strong plugin support, decent ipod support. It was really remarkable to see how it can pick up music links from web pages, and lets you download behind the scenes. It can certainly become the next best thing. But it still needs some time to sort out performance (consistent 20% CPU usage and a lot of RAM in my case) issues and develop some core music player features like crossfading etc. Even in its current state, its definitely better than crappy Exaile, Banshee – genre of players. No comments on Rhythmbox 😉 .

Anyways, for time being, Amarok stays on my mood. 😉 Nice try songbird.

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