In the wide variety of media player choices available to Linux users, Amarok is certainly worth a look. Their tag line is “rediscover your music” – and the program does facilitate that rediscovery well.
After telling it where all of my digital media was, Amarok provided the usual album covers as well as an expected set of features as far as file/playlist management, and such. I was pleased to find a Lyrics tab that displays the lyrics of the currently playing song, as provided by various configurable services, and an Artist tab that connects an ever-growing list of your favorite songs and artists to biographical and “discographical” information through Wikipedia. I found myself listening to songs that I haven’t heard in along time, even though the cd is probably in my car. There’s also good integration with services like lastFM – and, of course, your media-player-of-choice should work with little or no configuration.
When you rip CD’s, the files are saved in the .ogg format, an open source media encoding technology that results in files around 30% smaller than an mp3 of the same track with no loss in quality. Don’t worry though, your mp3s and their tags are read just fine too.
You know that song that you are never quite sure what is being sung? Well, Amarok made me realize that The Prodigy has the pulsating, rythmical remedy. My lip-syncing should look much more believable now.