Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Banshee 0.11 Released!

It's been a while since the last Banshee release, but the wait was well worth it. Among the new features in Banshee 0.11 are better tagging support (including writing for all the readable formats), the ability to import a selection or all the music from a digital audio player into Banshee, one-click track rating, an improved preferences dialog, and a new song-change notification bubble (using libnotify, so they should have a somewhat consistent look with the rest of the desktop).

A song-change notification

There's also three new official plugins:
  • Recommendations - This uses the awesome Last.fm service to recommend you different artists based on what you're listening to. The plugin also tells you some interesting stats about the artist you're currently listening to.

  • Podcast - Banshee now handles podcasts in all their glory. The interface is very smoothly integrated into Banshee and is easy to use. As of the beta, I noticed that you couldn't drag-and-drop a podcast onto a digital audio player, but I haven't tested it yet in the final release.

  • Downloading a podcast while playing music

  • Mini-mode - Sick of Banshee taking up a sizable chunk of screen space? This new plugin allows you to flip Banshee into "mini-mode", which provides a compact player interface instead of the usual library view. The mini-mode interface is really well designed, check it out!

The new mini-mode view

As I said before in my Banshee 0.11 preview, this is the Banshee release I think everyone's been waiting for. Banshee is now a fully featured music playback and management application, and has quickly become a shining star in the world of open source software. It's fast development, great polish, and intuitive interface make it a great example of open source done right. Is it perfect? Well, it's still a little sluggish, but I think it's well worth the trade-off for the excellent feature-set.

Update: I've posted a some instructions on how to install Banshee 0.11 in Ubuntu 6.06. Enjoy! :)