February 14, 2011
Time to Part with My Illusions
I removed the Amarok button on the bottom of Vault today. It was long past time but I didn’t really want to say good-bye to what used to be the greatest media player on any platform ever. The unmitigated evil that is the new version of Amarok only goes to reinforce Joel Spolsky’s rule number 1 from Things You Should Never Do. Unfortunately this is an all-to-common problem in the world of free software; where the needs of users are functionally secondary to the desires of developers (not ALWAYS, but often enough.)
By way of comparison take a look at the software I am using to replace Amarok. Clementine is nothing more than a port of Amarok to Qt 4 (what Amarok should have done.) Yes, it looses some functionality from its predecessor but it is not nearly the total nightmare that is Amarok 2.x… and it is gorgeous!
Undoubtedly, Clementine will continue to make improvements to their player and someday soon I suspect it will start to exceed the functionality of its progenitor; all the while Amarok will continue to make “usability” improvements to an interface that was formally famed for its usability. I know that it is simply nostalgia but it seems a sad fate for software that was once unquestionably, to anyone who had been lucky enough to use it, the king the music player world.