Household music sharing

Andrew and I have one good set of speakers. Actually, they’re mine. I saved money for one and got the other with 21st birthday money. But this breaks a lot of the assumptions of household music sharing applications. It’s quite common to want to have a single place where all the music is stored and then siphon it off onto random players. It seems comparatively uncommon to want jukebox functionality: not uncommon enough that it’s never been done (oh boy has it been done), but one does rather seem to get stuck in the land of I had this party once and hacked up this software rather than something with the imprimatur our new desktop overlords.

Anyway, the Music Player Daemon is rather big in this world, and for a while I used its client gmpc because it seemed to be the best of the GTK-clients (and I just hate dependencies, don’t you know?). But it wasn’t actually good enough. To select a song to add to the playlist involved launching a new window, scrolling down a huge list of artists, clicking on the artist I wanted, clicking on the album the song is on (how should I know?) and then clicking the song.

Having used Rhythmbox I’m really quite stuck on a one window model where it’s possible to find a song in various ways without having MPD’s first artist then album then song hierarchy imposed on me. And today I found Pymp’d (I suspect it’s meant to be pronounced pimped, or possibly pimp-d), which is an MPD client in the style of Rhythmbox.

So far so good, with a few hassles:

  • there’s something going on with the packaging that’s funky, because neither the Debian nor Ubuntu Edgy packages behave for me (Ubuntu not repackaging something against Python 2.4 always bodes ill);
  • there’s something equally funky going on with the last tarball, it seems to think it’s been installed at the hard-coded path ‘PREFIX/share/bin’ (‘PREFIX’ as in the fixed string, not any kind of variable) so I installed the SVN version;
  • adding my ‘All’ playlist, which is only 2700-ish songs (about 7.5 days worth of music) to the play queue causes the GUI rendering to freeze for a number of seconds, and 7.5 days is not that much music on the nerd scale; and
  • I don’t like having to add that list to the play queue in any case, one of the nice things about Rhythmbox is that if there’s nothing in the play queue it doesn’t just stop dead, it just plays random music from your collection (or whatever bit of it your current search has picked out) until you add to the queue manually again. I realise that this would require some hacking around MPD’s model, because MPD itself is all about the fixed queue.

But it’s going to actually make my expensive speakers usable again, so thumbs up so far.