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ubuntu for non-geeks (2nd ed)

ubuntu for non-geeks (2nd ed)

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Published by: marconetwo on Mar 30, 2011
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Now that Rhythmbox has, for the most part, matured into a usable and multi-
featured application, you may not want to bother with any other players. Still,
there are other interesting players out there.
One of the newest is Exaile (Figure 15-7). Exaile is essentially a clone of
the Linux application amaroK, which I covered in the previous edition ofthis
book. While amaroK was (and is) a great player, it is a KDE application, so
when it’s running in Ubuntu’s GNOME environment, it can be a bit quirky at
times. As a KDE app, it also fails to adopt the look-and-feel customizations
that you may have made to your Ubuntu environment.

Figure 15-7: Exaile!

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Exaile, on the other hand, is a GNOME app through and through. It
looks like the rest of your system, reflects any customizations you may have
made to the rest of your system, and runs as smoothly and quickly as any
GNOME native application.

Installing and Running Exaile

The easiest way to install a good working copy of Exaile is via Automatix.
Just go to the Applications menu, and select System Tools

Automatix to get
started. Once the main Automatix window appears, click Media Players and
Editors
in the left pane. Then in the right pane, check the box next to Exaile
and click the Start button and you’ll be on your way.
Once everything has been downloaded and installed, you can quit
Automatix and run Exaile from the Applications menu by selecting Sound
& Video

Exaile!

Streaming Media with Exaile

Like Rhythmbox, Exaile can also act as an Internet radio tuner. In fact, in
many ways it does a better, or at least more convenient, job of it because it
automatically gathers a list of the feeds available from SHOUTcast, making
ita bit more iTunes-like. To access these station lists, just click the Radio tab
at the left side of the Exaile window, and then navigate to the genre and sub-
genre of your liking.

If you would like to play a stream not listed in the SHOUTcast offerings,
you can do so by going to the File menu, selecting Open URL, typing or past-
ing the URL for the stream in the Enter the address window that then appears,
and then clicking the OK button in that window. A new Stream tab will
appear in the right half of the Exaile window, showing your stream. To save
the stream for future play, right-click the stream on the Stream tab, and select
Add to Saved Stations

New Station. In the small Enter the name of the
station
window that appears, enter the name of the station, and then click
OK (Figure 15-8). After that, you can find your newly saved station in the
Saved Station folder in the Radio tab on the left pane.

Other Cool Features in Exaile

Exaile has a lot of other cool features worth noting. One that you can’t help
but notice is that it provides an onscreen display of the track or stream that is
playing, showing not only the title and artist of the track, but the album cover
art as well (Figure 15-9). This is especially handy when using Exaile in hidden
mode, which you can accomplish by using the Exaile panel applet as a toggle.

Figure 15-8: Naming a stream you’ve
added to the Exaile Radio list

Figure 15-9: Exaile’s onscreen display

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If you don’t like where this onscreen display appears (or how it looks),
you can change it by going to the Tools menu and selecting Preferences.
When the Preferences window appears, click OSD in the left pane, and a list
of options available to you will appear in the right half of the window. To
change the location of the display, just drag it to the spot you like while the
Preferences window is open. When you’re done making your changes, click
Apply to make things take effect immediately, and then click OK to close
the Preferences window and seal the deal.
As I’ve already mentioned, Exaile also downloads and displays the album
covers for the tracks you are playing, much in the same way Rhythmbox does.
Like Rhythmbox, it can also download and display the lyrics for the track you
are currently playing. To see the lyrics, just go to the View menu and select
Information

Lyrics (you can, if you prefer, just right-click the track you are
playing and select Information in the pop-up menu). A set of Information
tabs will appear, with the lyrics being found, logically enough, in the Lyrics
tab. By clicking the Artist tab, you can also display the results of a Wikipedia
search for information on the artist currently playing (Figure 15-10), including
the URL for the Wikipedia page being displayed. Of course, this is not fool-
proof. When I tried it for the British band Sing-Sing, for example, I got a
Wikipedia page on Sing Sing prison in New York. Interesting enough, I
suppose. . . .

Figure 15-10: Artist information from Wikipedia in Exaile

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