Russel Winder's Website

The Rhythm(box) of the Banshee

No-one who uses Ubuntu can fail to be aware of the Rhythmbox/Banshee situation: Rhythmbox was the default media player, but as of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, Rhythmbox will be replaced by Banshee. If you run the two side- by-side, the similarity is remarkable -- they are fundamentally the same user interface. Well except that Banshee displays lots of images of album covers taking up lots of space, whereas Rhythmbox just displays a list of titles. Moreover Rhythmbox tells you the number of tracks (parenthesized after the artist or album name) which is very useful, but Banshee doesn't do this. The main difference between them is that Banshee is written in C# and Rhythmbox isn't. So Canonical is continuing the strategy of ensuring its distribution is dependent on Mono and hence dependent on not being sued for patent infringement by the owner of all those dastardly software patents that encumber the entire C# milieu. Why bother with this unnecessary risk?

I have been using Rhythmbox for many years now, it's minimal, it displays the information needed, and it works. I see absolutely no reason to change, so I won't be. Well actually I may just stick with Debian Testing and treat the 11.04 Ubuntu update as my goodbye to Ubuntu.

Banshees (at least in Irish folklore) are female spirits that wail to warn of impending death; whose death is Banshee announcing. Hopefully not Ubuntu.

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