Banshee: and the second alpha rolls along

After just under two weeks of hard work, I hereby present Banshee 1.0 Alpha 2!

The Banshee logo

We’re going to be cranking out the releases leading up to the final 1.0 release every one to two weeks, so get used to this!

A Public Screening

You might be wondering what we can accomplish in two weeks? How about full video management and playback?

Banshee 1.0 Alpha 2: All about the video
Banshee 1.0 Alpha 2: all about the video

While the feature is very new, it’s rather complete and solid. We expect to add more goodies on top of this, and I’m sure much bug fixing and tweaking will follow, but I’m quite excited to have finally landed this. We were able to very easily add the video library management by leveraging the power of our new underlying data model.

We will be adding a slick new video collection view in the future to allow you to browse and view your video collection with thumbnails and previews.

Other notable improvements

A number of other smaller features and bug fixes landed in Alpha 2, including:

  • Play Count, Skip Count, Last Played, and Last Skipped columns are updated
  • Improved column handling in the new list view
  • The Bookmarks extension was ported to the new core
  • i18n works again
  • Improved support for dark GTK themes

For more details on the video support and other changes since Alpha 1, read the release notes. Also don’t forget to read about the previous release which has lots of new juicy feature overviews if this is your first time reading about the Banshee 1.0 alpha releases.


Digg It!

33 Replies to “Banshee: and the second alpha rolls along”

  1. Holly Crap :D Well done, great release.
    Mono cant keep me back from being interested in this project anymore. Rhythmbox has just been playing catchup for much too long, A few questions though.
    (1) Why no packages for Ubuntu yet
    (2) Regarding your work on the new gtk cairo based treeviews and such things, do you plan on, I dont know, joining forces with cimi and macslow and creating proposals for standard cairo interfaces for a future version of the gtk. Optional to the developers of course but there should be that secondary pallet if they want to use it.
    (3) How does this release handle metadata of video files? will it be able to group your videos into categories like tv, movies, and sub categories like comedy documentary etc.
    (4) Do you have plans for embedding stuff like dvd cover art in the actual video files
    (5) Last one, frameworks like tracker and telepathy interest me, have you ever thought of using tracker to build the users music library in banshee? In my opinion it might be better because then tracker developers could add support for upnp and as a side effect it would be very easy for banshee developers to add it. Plus you wouldn’t have multiple frameworks wasting memory scanning your files.

    Yet again, great job. Banshee developers seem to have balls integrating stuff like cairo treeviews and video support.

  2. oh, I’m using ubuntu hardy 64bit so I know in advance its going to be a pain getting this working.

  3. Holy crap man! You truly deserve to be called The Great Bocky.

    Congrats on video support!

  4. Few things. When I try to add a folder of videos or a single video, I get “Object Reference Not Set To An Instance Of An Object” under import errors, is there a trick here? Also, the cover art seems to be funky. Is there a way to have it download all the cover art like it used to instead of on the fly? I also noticed this Banshee doesn’t work with the Music Player Applet, not that that’s a big deal. And lastly, you should consider ignoring “The” at the beginning of an artist name, I don’t understand why all apps don’t do that.

  5. @trettle: First off, thanks! Ubuntu packages should be on their way, but it’s really up to those in the Ubuntu community to contribute the packaging. The Foresight guys always have packages available minutes after an upstream release, for instance. It would be nice to see someone do the same for Ubuntu.

    As for making GTK less bland, reaching towards some grand “GTK 3.0,” it’s something I’ve thought a lot about. While I’m looking forward to GTK becoming more modern, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands for Banshee. The work we are doing with the list view and many other components in Banshee is done in such a way that it can be reused by other projects, and maybe a lot of the concepts could end up being rolled into GTK itself.

    There’s no way we’d ever consider using Tracker. Very briefly, it all boils down to the fact that the “all singing, all dancing” solution that Tracker claims itself to be is a joke when it comes to optimizing efficient data access for specific applications. We have an extraordinary amount of indexes, caches, and tuning to make Banshee fast, and these lines of code are specific to the problems we want to solve in Banshee — not the rest of the desktop.

    While sharing data amongst applications is a great and noble goal, delegating all of your data access to a single application is just a horrible design decision. The fact that the developers of Tracker don’t realize this only underlines why Tracker is such an awful solution for the problems they seem to want to solve. Okay, I’ll just stop there. Oh, you shouldn’t have any problems on 64 bit.

    Thanks again!

    @jpobst: Thanks dude!

    @Jesse: Hey dude, those sound like bugs. The appropriate place to vocalize issues you may be having would be in our Bugzilla. Consider filing these issues so we could actually work to fix them!

  6. I hope you guys evangelize some of this great new listview, etc. code with other Mono/GTK# developers like the F-Spot people so it gets leveraged and improved elsewhere. Maybe your ideas will even make it into GTK…


  7. This is officially awesome. One of the main selling points of Windows Media Player 11 for me was its excellent integration of both audio and *video* – I hope you guys do well with this, looking forward to trying it out in the near future :)

  8. OMG! This is great! Now I can remove totem and VLC. I am going to replace Rhythmbox with Banshee. Rhythmbox is quite slow on fixing bugs and updating new features. We can’t blame them because Mono is just too powerful.

  9. This look truly GREAT!

    Have you been thinking of implementing DVB support?
    I believe gstreamer supports it now but there really aren’t any programs making it possible to set everything up (channels etc) with a GUI in Gnome.
    So since Banshee now supports video now… that would be even more AWESOME!

    Keep up the amazing work with Banshee!

  10. Those using Ubuntu should look at the Ubuntuforums thread called “New Banshee Alpha”. Specifically this page: has two debs for Banshee 1.0 Alpha 2. One by psychicdragon, dependencies a bit off, one by me, with correct dependencies. Since I’m rather interested in Banshee as well, you can expect that I’ll be generating debs (for Hardy x86) for the next few releases as well, as long as the Ubuntu repository doesn’t get it, and doesn’t get it.

    @Aaron Bockover: Great work with Banshee, and thanks for bringing such a wonderful media application to the Linux community. It successfully took over Amarok’s position of being my default music player. =) Also I’d like to ask your personal opinion about Mono being a potential patent minefield, as I’ve heard much talk about it lately.

  11. Very Nice! I thought Banshee video support was something much further in the future. What a great show of the strength on the new code and its ability to work flexibly in the future. :-)

  12. This is awesome! I tried the Banshee 1.0 Alpha and it was great. With video playback, Banshee is going to become the greatest media management app o n Linux. Most media players I’ve tried are simply just music players, but Banshee can be the true media player!

  13. Please provide a package for Ubuntu! If you can provide for OpenSuse, then do the same for Ubuntu as well (which is so much more popular).

  14. just saw this on digg. awesome. my question is. what is used for the video playing? Gstreamer?

  15. Just wondering what GTK Theme you used for the screenshot…I’m not a big fan of dark themes (normally using MurrinaGilouche), but this one looks really nice…

  16. Add lyrics/wiki/content plugins like Amarok and I’m there.

    Also, it would be nice if, like itunes, you can jump to an artist by typing the first few letters of the band’s name (as opposed to the search bar which uses more ram).

  17. Since the first day I saw Banshee, I knew it had an awesome future. It’s one of the greatest pieces of software, and as an artist I may say artistry ever produced!

    Video support you say? That is one feature I needed in Banshee for years. I like to think of Banshee as an all-media platform, not just the best music player out there, Windows (iTunes, but the Windows make you think you don’t get the whole house), Mac (well iTunes) or Linux.

    However, there are a few questions I have to ask. Is there going to be Video Podcast support, Visualisation support and any other fancy-pancy Glitz stuff. Like a album or video browser, but not coverflow. It’s Maccy and it’s getting too popular, maybe even a bit kitschy. A new, creative album/atrist/w/e browser that really kicks ass when OpenGLed will surely be cool.

    Oh, and what about library documentation? I have a few Mono projects on now, which might need a lot of the features Banshee has. The best of all — gTwitter. I’d love to introduce Banshee-gTwitter integration when posting to Twitter. :)

    Great stuff!

  18. Ah this is great, well done! I haven’t really used Banshee all that much but this new video support and great appearance really has me hooked. If I get it to install I will surely do a review on it and you can expect to see it on my site!

  19. Does banshee have DVD movie support? Miro doesn’t have DVD support, which is why I don’t use it a anymore. If theres dvd support for banshee there is like no need for a simple video player. Just make sure these features don’t make this app heavy and slow down like miro.

    Banshee is the default app for Maryan Linux and was planned to be before this was even released ( ). GOOD JOB GUYS!!! :D

  20. And I forgot, can you make it possible to have the library list size (As in how many songs you can fit in your screen) Its too much scrolling with the default size if you have a BIG library of music, that is what I really need in banshee.


  21. Hey Aaron! Banshee sure has come a long way! I remember coming over to your house back in high school and you showing me the early code of what eventually became Sonance. Keep up the great work man! Call me this weekend if you get a chance. We have a lot of catching up to do.

    Oh yeah, you might want to check your XHTML compliance. You got a few minor errors.

  22. Jeez, that’s freaking awesome. I’ve been wondering about video playback. Once this is a stable, full release, it could replace both Rythmbox AND Totem.
    Also, is there any chance that you’ll include a custom gtk theme for Banshee? There have been talks on Gnome Look about this brilliant custom theme that Banshee could adopt, and make it far more beautiful than most media players out there.
    The discussion is at:

    An adopted GTK in development can be found at:

    I would love to see a slick theme like this adopted for Banshee

  23. Hey we heard ya over at ubuntu about having to make debs….so….without further notice from me; all you ubuntu fans that need your Banshee please see below.

    PPA for Banshee Team

    This PPA contains upstream debs of Banshee. It will be updated on a regular basis, to either resolve packaging issues or to package new upstream releases of Banshee. As of now there will be builds of debs for two distributions of Ubuntu, namely Gutsy and Hardy (currently Beta).

    For Gutsy, there are some packages needed by Banshee 1.0 that are not included in the Ubuntu repositories (main/universe/multiverse). They are included here under Gutsy.

  24. This is very awesome. I guess this could also make a simpler Podcast-handling possible since they could have their own category and not appear under music at all. Or multiple libraries. Hot! Thank you very very much for all your work.

    As an aside: Please consider using Conduit for syncing to iPods etc. since syncing in the new Banshee still seems to be in early stages of development. Conduit would make Banshee more universal and easier updateable.

  25. Banshee 1.x will be the coolest open source application, ever. The first actual MEDIA player (instead of just being music OR video player, or a playing component [totem]) so far. Usable and has modern features. Thanks!

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