Music Management on Xubuntu: Waiting to Exaile

I’m not a huge user of song management software since I don’t listen to much music on my ThinkPad. Mostly I just download music and move it to my Nokia N810.

If I want to listen to music, I can just plug the Nokia into my stereo.

Syncing the Nokia with Rhythmbox in Ubuntu was kind of a pain since the Nokia has an internal memory and an external card. It would read as two separate devices, plus it would take a few minutes to index all of the songs. Moving music in Rhythmbox pretty much always resulted in a crash, so I just started using Nautilus to handle the music moves.

Xubuntu comes with Exaile, though, which is a pretty nice, light music manager.

Like Rhythmbox, I haven’t had much luck using it to manage my Nokia, but I think a lot of that is because I’ve gotten in the habit of moving music via folders.

The CD burining functionality isn’t there, either. I asked about it on the Exaile forums, which seem to have disappeared, and on Ubuntu Forums, where I didn’t get an answer.

I wound up downloading Sound Juicer to burn CDs, although I just noticed Xubuntu comes with Brasero natively. The next time I burn a CD, I’ll see which one seems easier and remove the other one.

It would be nice if Exaile could handle the burning on its own, though. Especially since every time I put in an audio CD, Exaile kicks on.

I know that by not using Rhythmbox, I’m missing out on the Ubuntu Music Store, but I simply can’t imagine it’s any easier than just downloading music directly off of Amazon. I should probably check out the music store one day, though, so see if I’m missing anything.

Incidentally, if you want to use Amazon MP3 on a system without easy access to the Amazon MP3/Firefox download tool, there’s a small, command-line application called clamz that’s amazing. Just enter the directory where the music has been downloaded to and then unpack all of the music with clamz *.amz.

I found that utility insanely useful back when I was on Arch and there wasn’t an Arch package for the download tool.

Music management makes me feel old, though. I’ve been reading all about the new iTunes and every time I read something about it, I wonder why you would want a program making that many choices for you. Like why use music management software to move files when you can do it yourself in just about the same amount of time? Why use music management software to download music for you, when you can just as easily do it through the browser?

I admit that a lot of that is because I don’t move music back and forth very frequently, so syncing has always been unnecessary for me.

Still, for those odd times I do find myself needing to play music on my laptop, Exaile has been fine. And despite the Apple-whining up above, I have been considering getting a refurbished Nano, since my Nokia is pretty large for a music player. Exaile/iPod support seems like it’s set, so maybe that will result in my getting more usage from Exaile.

I’m also glad to see others are excited about Exaile.

Music management doesn’t need to be overly complex just because that’s the Apple model.

Oh. And one final thing. Linux Journal did a nice music management round-up a few months ago. I read it at the time and didn’t even notice Exaile was in there. But it is, along with all of the other big Linux music management names.