I know what you’re thinking: “Did he fire six shots, or only five?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself.
It seems that Ubuntu 11.04 will switch from Rhythmbox to Banshee as default music player¹. Checking on gobby.ubuntu.com I wasn’t able to find any reference to reasons for this chaneg, but just a simple “default music player -> banshee would be the preferred option for this cycle” and a list of issues that could be blocker.
So, let me put the following directly on Planet Ubuntu, hoping to add more elements
#1 Could please someone explain me the reason for this (and no, “Banshee is better” is not a reason, it’s a cheer)?
#2 Did you considered – at least – the following issues in Banshee ?
- port to GTK+3 — Rhythmbox team is going to start the port to GTK+ 3. Banshee is a Mono/GTK# application. When GTK#3 will be available? When Banshee port to GTK#2 GTK#3 will occur? Isn’t better wait this transition?
- time slider — Banshee time slider is… well, sorry, but the only world I can say is “ridiculous”, by design. Come on, ask users. We want the widest time sliders you can provide in order to seek exacly. Take a look at Totem, Rhythmbox itself, VLC, Windows Media Player. Even iTunes has a fixed time slider 3 times wider.
- keyboard shortcuts – another “ridiculous” feature: single key shortcuts (i.e. press N to go next song, P for previous, Space to play). May I say this is one of the worst infringement of common UI design? This prevents you to use list widgets in a proper way, for istance. If you want a single key press to perform media action, buy a media keyboard 😛
So, sorry to disappoint you, sorry if this post will start a Rhythmbox vs Banshee Holy War, but my true feeling is currently Rhyhmbox is more consistent with the whole GNOME/Ubuntu desktop as _default_ music player application. I’m not saying is better tout court, just is better as default application.
Coherence matters. This should be your karma 🙂
PS next Holy War: Evolution vs Thunderbird… stay tuned!
 as well as default application to access Ubuntu One Music Store, of course.