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Sunday, May 29, 2011

DeaDBeeF : Lightweight promising Music Player

I am huge supporter and fan of lightweight applications, this should be apparent by frequency of posts I have written about Lightweight applications, this has partly to do with fact that I started using computer close to two decades back, and most of the applications at that time were extremely simple. I still fondly remember using likes of Wordstar, Lotus 1-2-3 and playing games like Digger and Dangerous Dave on my vintage IBM PC XT, 80286 and 80386. Additionally, I do not like too many fancy features in applications, which bogs them down and makes the user experience painful to say the least, having cranky old laptop which is close to 4 and half years old does not help either.

There are many music player on the GNU/Linux platform, and many of these have ability to manage music files,however, many of them overburdened with the developers wish to add all kind of fancy features and eye candy and thus are bloated, slow and resource hungry, the one that comes to my mind immediately is Songbird. DeaDBeeF is welcome change from this, DeaDBeeF is a music player which is extremely lightweight and has ability to manage collection of music files as well. It is somewhat similar to Foobar on the Windows platform!

DeadBeeF is still very much into developmental versions, with the present version ( as I write this post ) being 0.5.1, there is still some time to monumental 1.0 release.

Installing DeaDBeeF on Ubuntu 11.04
It is relatively simple to install DeaDBeeF on Ubuntu system, to install so you would need to add the following PPA respository, which can be easily done by issuing the following command in the terminal window ( Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) , additionally you would need to issue command to install the application.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexey-smirnov/deadbeef
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install deadbeef

Once, the above commands were suscessfully executed, DeaDBeeF should be installed on the sytem and can be executed from ( Applications -> Sound & Video -> Deadbeef )

Default layout of DeaDBeeF music player

DeaDBeeF Features -

DeaDBeeF packs impressive set of features for a light weight music player, it has a very functional Graphic Equalizer which can be enabled from ( View -> Equalizer ). Additionally to having ability to set bands manually, the graphic equalizer can load presets from Foobar2000 format as well, which makes it very useful for someone transiting.

DeaDBeeF with Graphical equalizer!

DeaDBeeF has ability to load playlist of number of different formats, as well as has ability to save playlist. One of the more interesting features of DeaDBeef is the ability to eaisly convert audio file to different format, as well as to apply different DSP effects, one can do so by right clicking any of the file in the library and chosing Convert, which shows up the following dialog box, allowing one to convert file to multitude of formats. however, I am not if I am missing something, but I wasn't able to convert audio format, even after clicking convert nothing happened.

Converting File to Different format

Another interesting feature though less useful in present form is the ability to look up information about song on by right clicking on the song, however, the reason why I say it is less useful right now, because it loads up information in default web-browser externally, I would instead prefer if the information loaded up inside the DeaDBeeF window itself, maybe in a separate pane.

DeaDBeeF allows for adding of many plugins and DSP plugins for additional effects.

Finally, rightclicking on song in the media browser and chosing Properties allow you to view ID3 information as well as set/update ID3 information in the MP3 file.

DeaDbeeF overall is very interesting for many reasons, being lightweight and extremely simple in design of interface is one of them, having ability to easily extend through plugins and functional equalizer with ability to import presets from Foobar are some of the interesting features,though, there are still some things that Developers need to work at, like opening song information inside the window of the media player instead of opening in separate web-browser as is being done presently, additionally there are bugs like for me Convert did not work. Overall, DeaDBeeF could proudly stand among other media players for GNU/Linux and I would love to see DeaDBeeF shipping with some light weight linux distributions like Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux.

Links -
DeadBeeF Homepage

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Linux on Desktop Blog ,
(C) 2011 , Ambuj Varshney


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