Amarok Weekly Newsletter - Issue 4

Let there be Rok (31.12.06)

Issue 4:

Album covers in Collection Browser

A great new patch has been applied lately, as Mark notified on the mailing list:

Show album covers in collection browser. Experimental patch by Trever Fischer
I think this is pretty cool. Maybe we should limit size of the images though?

Here is a screenshot describing the feature in its current form:

Note that images are shown only for expanded albums which limits space usage, while still providing nice feedback.


"Update" vs "rescan"

In the heat of Christmas spirit, Amarok developers added a long-awaited improvement for collection scanner - possibility to manually trigger incremental scan. This is called "updating". Here is a screenshot:

Jeff Mitchell explained things a bit:

Update does an incremental scan, scanning only directories with new/removed files (or changed filenames). Rescan does a full rescan of your entire collection.

Andrew Turner noticed:

It is also worth noting that the Incremental Update is what happens for most users almost every minute when they have "Watch for changes" enabled [...].

That said, it's still very useful to have such action available.


Visual improvements

As development goes on, parts of interface gets refined. Rating stars which got pretty colours in the last AWN issue, now look more stylish:

The dialog for labeling tracks also got some love lately:

Recent additions

Patches implementing search inside lyrics (by Carles Pina i Estany), yauapp engine (by Sascha Sommer), and volume slider in OSD (by Alexander Bechikov) has been accepted lately. Not all of them might be enabled in final 1.4.5 version, but all they are fully functional and are being tested in current SVN.


Coverity check

Coverity is a software engineering company that provides automated source code analysis tools to improve the software development process. They lately provided free source code checks for various OSS projects.
Erik Hovland informed developers about results of the Coverity check of Amarok:

Just wanted to send a note to the list that my initial audit of amarok
source code is finished and amarok does pretty good when chunked through
the coverity prevent tool.

There exist some false positives and some things in sqlite that I will
continue to take up with the sqlite devs.

The changes that the audit inspired should be minimal and should only
make amarok more stable and correct. Let me know if that statement turns
out to be untrue.

I intend to occasionally pass amarok through coverity prevent as time
allows. But it may be intermittent.

[...]

Cool tips: Syncing global tags with Last.fm

Since Amarok now supports labeling music, some people wondered if it would be possible to somehow reuse existing Last.fm tags in Amarok. There is a solution: synctags script. From the home page:

This Amarok-script fetches GlobalTags from last.fm on trackchange or for the selected songs in the playlist. The Tags are added as labels to the amarok-database.