Really liked this article. Linux Audio Players, Tested and Graded. I'm working my way through the Linux equivalents of Windows apps. I've used iTunes under Windows because it would talk easily to my iPod.

I tried Rhythmbox but it was out immediately. I want to keep my songs on a network-attached storage drive. Basically, the SimpleShare is a hard drive with an ethernet port. I don't expect it to be as vulnerable to attacks as Windows XP. I don't have to punch holes in its firewall that might allow people to get control of my Linux box or my wife's Mac. Rhythmbox wants import all my music to one local location. No.

I moved on to Exaile because it didn't require me to bring music locally. It's OK. What I don't like is how hard it is to play one song. If I want to listen to song X by artist Y, I can find it easily. But I expect to be able to double click. Or click to select and then play. Or something. Also, it's not obvious how I connect my iPod.

So I tried installing Banshee. Gorgeous. Good (apparent) support for iPods and podcasts. But it again wants to import all my music to local disk. No.

So I found the PC World article. Looked at exaile again. It has simple, clear instructions on how to upgrade from the 0.2.8 version distributed with Feisty Fawn to the current 0.2.9. I'm not thrilled about adding sources to apt but OK. The logo for Exaile is now a play button instead of an equals sign or whatever it was. Good improvement. Has plugins for SoundJuicer and iPods and other things. Cool.

So I've removed Banshee and Rhythmbox. One of the things I hated about most Linux distributions was that they gave you 10 ways of doing things. None of which quite worked. Part of the value that I see with using Ubuntu is that they're making decisions about what players to include. I might say that their choice was wrong for me when using Rhythmbox instead of Exaile but at least they're making some decisions.

Next week's project will be looking at movie players. Is gxine the best for me? Or is there something better?