The Return of gmusicbrowser!

Such an exciting day! I happened to visit omgubuntu.co.uk and a headline caught my eye from December of 2020 which read, “GMusicBrowser is Back From the Dead with New GTK3 Port.”

This was thrilling news, as gmusicbrowser was my favorite large music library manager for Linux back in 2015. Back then I’d published an article after discovering the application and had described it as, “a robust utility with impressive handling for libraries in excess of 100,000 tracks, and best of all – a fully-customizable interface.” Sadly, development of the application halted several years ago and the Ubuntu Software Center retired it in favor of the simpler but powerful Clementine application. If you’re curious, Slant.co published a detailed side-by-side comparison of the two applications here.

Searching the web for more news on the release I found an article from March 1, 2021 on Linux Uprising titled, “gmusicbrowser Music Player Sees First Release In More Than 5 Years.”

While not available from the Software Center, installation is manual but fairly simple for Ubuntu users by downloading the .deb package at http://gmusicbrowser.org/download.html

This however was only half the battle for me, as I had painstakingly crafted a custom application layout for gmusicbrowser to let me browse my library by folder structure and by multiple points of metadata all at once. I dove into my archived documentation and was elated to find that I’d taken detailed notes on how to install the custom layout I loved step by step.

From my notes, I saw that the layout mine was based upon was titled “laiteAraknoid2” – one of several layouts included in a package formerly available from vsido.org. Sadly, the download link from 2015 was long-since broken, but ever-the-archivist, I found that I had downloaded and saved the package to my local file system along with an instruction guide I’d written on how to restore it!

I followed my six-year-old instructions to the letter, and was overjoyed when the next launch of gmusicbrowser instantly restored my custom tweaked version of the layout along with all my folder configuration and user settings! The entire process took fewer than five minutes! All that was left to do was rescan the library for all the content I’d added in subsequent years. Three hours and 45 minutes later I was all synced up and ready to go.

Here is a snapshot of the layout with one of my primary audio folders selected. I have a little tidying up to do with some of the metadata but that’s an advantage of this layout scheme, as I can quickly identify and correct stray tags. This will empower me to explore my library anew! Such a great way to begin the fall season!

The Challenge: Best Strategies for Navigating the Waters of a Large Media Library

In recent weeks I’ve found my listening habits growing stagnant as my artist and label discographies are slowly exhausted.  The challenge for users with large media libraries is the task of finding yet-unexplored territories and developing strategies to facilitate the charting of those new waters.

One of the caveats of my otherwise-stellar media server software is that there is no way to browse by genre.  I realized this evening that queuing a chronology of albums from a given genre would be a wonderful way to explore new sounds within my library so I went to work straight away and by nightfall the project was a success.

A few initial discoveries – classics of soul jazz

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Using the genre text cloud feature in gmusicbrowser I constructed .m3u playlists of several intriguing but unfamiliar genres within my collection.  Each list  contained 10,000 to 17,000 of the tracks best-representative of the genre based upon RYM data and discographic libraries from the genre’s most prominent artists and composers.

I ended up splitting the Jazz list into two subsets – early jazz recordings from 1924-1958 and modern jazz recordings from 1959-1979.  This will help make the listening experience more uniform and will be an easier load on my mobile devices when spooling the lists.

With the task completed, I’m now ready to queue up thousands of hours of quality content from an array of genres I’d only explored superficially when I first acquired the recordings.  I’m looking forward to new discoveries and to the wonderful soundtrack it will provide for my days at the office!

The first batch of playlists are as follows:

  • Hot on the One – A Funk Odyssey
  • Ambient Worlds
  • Anatomy of a Murder: Film Noir Soundtracks
  • Beatless Space – Pure Drone
  • Beautiful Noise – 90s Dream Pop
  • Friday Nights – Intelligent Drum & Bass
  • 30 Years of Music from the Hearts of Space
  • Ninja Tune – The First 150 Albums
  • Psybient Dreams
  • Cinematic Soundscapes – Music for Films
  • The Chill Out Room – Downtempo Classics
  • The Imaginarium – Early Gypsy Jazz
  • The World of Jazz (1924-1958)
  • The World of Jazz (1959-1979)

Time to start listening!

Published in: on August 20, 2015 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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gmusicbrowser – An Ideal Solution for Large Library Management in a Linux Environment

The final task in my transition to a Linux environment was to customize a powerful music library manager and player to work for my needs.

The most intriguing contender was gmusicbrowser – a robust utility with impressive handling for libraries in excess of 100,000 tracks, and best of all – a fully-customizable interface.

This evening I came upon a magnificent library of gmusicbrowser interface layouts from vsido.org with an accompanying step-by-step installation guide. After about 30 minutes of perusing the 40-odd layouts bundled in the collection I came upon one which wowed me. A few minor tweaks later and I found myself with a large library manager and player with an incredibly powerful interface which permits me to fully-indulge my metadata fetishism.

Have a look – this is better than anything I had Windows-side! Highly recommended for Linux users with archival collections!

Screenshot from 2015-08-15 21:39:44

(Click/Tap to enlarge for it’s full glory)

Published in: on August 15, 2015 at 10:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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