Amarok – Cross Platform Open Source Media Player

Amarok is an almost free, open source, cross-platform media player. It is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and UNIX computers. It will play FLAC, WAV, and MP3 files. The FLAC format is becoming quite popular because it gives you WAV quality in files that are one-third the size of WAV files. It also supports metadata.

The original author of Amarok was Mark Kretschmann. The first release was in 2003. The current release is version 2.4.3. It is licensed through GNU Public License Version 2. Amarok was developed for the KDE free software community, but is released independently of it. The word Amarok comes from the Inuktitut word for wolf, explaining the wolf logo it uses. I was not able to download it until I made a small contribution of $10 to the organization. The amount you donate is up to you though.

The screenshot below shows what the Amarok interface looks like.

After I installed it I uploaded one of my playlists from iTunes to it and it played with no problems. One thing I find a bit awkward is the volume control, a little wheel you have to drag to adjust.

The website where you download Amarok warns you that the latest Windows version is not a stable release. I suppose I should not be surprised that it just crashed on my computer. They are working on a stable release for Windows though.

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Ardour Free Digital Audio Workstation

Ardour is a free digital audio workstation that offers many features not found in my favorite audio program, Audacity (www.sourceforge.net). Its many features include:

  • Unlimited audio tracks and buses
  • Non-destructive, non-linear editing with unlimited undo
  • Many standard audio formats (WAV, AIFF, Raw, SoundForge W64, GNU Octave, and about 8 more)*
  • More than 200 LADSA & LV2 plugins
  • MIDI CC control (not offered by Audacity)
  • Video-synced playback

It is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux machines

Although it is free, the developers strongly suggest that you pay for it when you download it. The amount is up to you though. I plan to download and evaluate when I have time, and I will pay a modest sum when I download it. When I have had time to play with it for a while I will write another blog about it. If you have used Ardour please post your comments about it.

You may download Ardour at: http://ardour.org/

*Support for Ogg/Vorbis is planned for the near future.