Amarok (software): Wikis


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Amarok2 1.png
Screenshot of Amarok audio player, showing the playlist, dynamic playlist editor, and several applets. (Version 2.1)
Developer(s) The Amarok Development Squad
Initial release 23 June 2003[1]
Stable release 2.3.0  (March 13, 2010; 5 day(s) ago (2010-03-13)) [+/−]
Preview release 2.3 Beta 1  (February 14, 2010; 32 day(s) ago (2010-02-14)) [+/−]
Written in C++ Qt
Operating system Unix-like, Windows (through KDE for Windows)
Available in Multilanguage
Type Audio player
License GNU General Public License Version 2

Amarok (pronounced /ˈæmərɒk/)[2] is a free software music player for Linux and other varieties of Unix, as well as Windows since version 2.0 (through KDE for Windows). It makes use of the KDE Platform, but is released independently of the central KDE release cycle.

A new major version of Amarok, version 2.0, was released on December 12, 2008, which was a complete æsthetic and functional redesign of Amarok 1.4. On June 3, 2009, version 2.1 was released which reintroduced a few of the 1.4 features which had been missing from the initial 2.0 release, and introduced some features such as native Replay Gain support for the first time.[3]



The project was originally started by Mark Kretschmann as a means of improving XMMS due to several usability problems, which interfered with the addition of new files to the playlist due to several user interface elements existing for one task. The original amaroK was created based upon the idea of a two-pane interface seen in Midnight Commander, and the first version of the software released solely by Kretschmann, was based upon the ideal of allowing users to drag-and-drop music into an interface in which the playlist was displayed on the right and information on the left.

After the initial release of AmaroK, several developers joined the project to form the "Three M's" the first of whom was Max Howell, who acted as an interface designer and programmer for the project, alongside Muesli (Christian Muehlhaeuser), who also provided user interface insight and programming till the late 1.4 versions.

Amarok 1.4 established a reputation for innovation after its release, but maintaining development with the old framework became more difficult as Amarok grew. With the release of KDE4 the developers decided to give Amarok a complete overhaul aesthetically as well as functionally leading to the birth of a new media player named Amarok 2.

Originally named amaroK, it was renamed to Amarok in June 2006.

Despite the fact that Amarok uses wolf-based artwork, and that the name "amarok" or "amaroq" literally refers to the Inuktitut word for "wolf", it was originally named after the album Amarok by Mike Oldfield. The 1.2 release originally had a wolf icon, but this was later withdrawn due to similarity with the logo of WaRP Graphics Inc. Amarok's wolf logo has now been modified sufficiently so as not to infringe on WaRP's trademarked logo, and reinstated.

Development goals

Amarok's tagline is "Rediscover Your Music", and its development is based around this ideology. Amarok's core features such as the unique "context browser", integrated Wikipedia lookup and lyrics download help users to find new music, and to learn more about the music they have. Amarok also features integration with, giving users suggestions about what to listen to next and which artists may fit their mood, as well as with Magnatune integration, allowing no-cost full listening of all the music in their catalog, and DRM-free purchasing.



Basic uses and functions

Amarok serves many functions in addition to the basic function of playing music files. For example, Amarok can be used to organize a library of music into folders according to genre, artist, and album, can edit tags attached to most music formats, associate album art, attach lyrics, and automatically "score" music by keeping play count statistics.

Although a more technical list of features is listed below, here are the primary functions or uses for Amarok:

  • Playing media files in various formats including but not limited to (depending on the setup) FLAC, Ogg, MP3, AAC, WAV, Windows Media Audio, Apple Lossless, WavPack, TTA and Musepack. Amarok does not play digital music files embedded with DRM.
  • Tagging digital music files (currently FLAC, Ogg, WMA, AAC, MP3, and RealMedia).
  • Associating cover art with a particular album, and retrieving the cover art from Amazon
  • Creating and editing playlists, including smart and dynamic playlists. The dynamic playlists can use such information as the "score" given to a song by an Amarok script, and the playcount which is stored with the song.
  • Synchronizing, retrieving, playing, or uploading music to the following digital music players: iPod, iriver iFP, Creative NOMAD, Creative ZEN, MTP, Rio Karma and USB devices with VFAT (generic MP3 players) support.
  • Displaying artist information from Wikipedia and retrieving song lyrics.
  • support, including submitting played tracks (including those played on some digital music players) to, retrieving similar artists and playing streams.
  • Podcast

From version 1.4.4, Amarok introduced the integration of Magnatune, a non-DRM digital music store, enabling users to purchase music in Ogg, FLAC, WAV and MP3 formats.

Some of these features depend on other programs or libraries that must be installed on the computer to operate.

More technical features

  • Three main window panes: playlist browser,collection and player window.
  • Systray (panel notification area) icon support.
  • Song collection, which includes specific folders on the filesystem.
    • Searching Files/Artists/Album/Genre in Collection can be performed using Simple and Advanced options
  • Intelligent Playlists support(Dynamic Playlists)
  • Integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, and Shoutcast[4].
  • Songs can be rated both dynamically (based on how much the song is played) and by hand (giving rating of 1-5 stars to the song).
  • Amarok File Tracking (since 1.4.3): Stores file checksum in the collection. This allows the file be moved around in the filesystem without Amarok losing track of the song statistics.
  • Collection filter (newest songs, highest rated, most played, etc.).
  • Support for Phonon engine. The audio engine also dictates which media types Amarok can play.
  • Support for moodbars.
  • Uses TagLib for tags.
  • Amarok can be controlled via D-Bus.
  • Amarok Scripts, for example, when writing lyrics fetching plugins, can be written in QtScript.

Amarok 2.0

Amarok 2 was released on 10 December 2008 bringing along a plethora of new features, but still less than Amarok 1.4, spawning considerable discussion, and a completely redesigned interface. New features include:

  • Tight integration with online services such as Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, and Shoutcast.
  • Completely overhauled scripting API and plugin support to allow better integration into Amarok.
  • Migration from the KDE 3 to KDE 4 framework, and utilization of core technologies such as Solid, Phonon, and Plasma.

The user interface has been redesigned to make context information like lyrics and albums from the same artist more catchy, accessible and allows the user to decide which information is available by adding applets to the Context View in the middle. The new Biased Playlists offer a way to let Amarok take care of the playlist in an intelligent way similar to Dynamic Playlists in previous versions. New services can easily be added via GetHotNewStuff in Amarok or from The migration to the KDE 4 framework allows Amarok 2 to make use of technologies like Plasma, Phonon, and Solid which make Amarok easier to use and maintain.

Changes Since 1.4

  • Service Framework: This integrates networked music sources directly into Amarok. This includes online music stores, media servers, Web music lockers, and more. Due to this the users will be able to get easy access to music provided by Magnatune, Jamendo,, MP3Tunes Locker and Ampache.
  • Biased Playlists : Biased Playlists extend the old Dynamic Playlists. They allow users to define an automatically populated playlist, based on specific probability driven criteria called "biases".
  • Context View: This view occupies the central place of the Amarok's window, replacing the old Context Browser from the 1.x series. It displays contextual information about the music one plays, like the album cover, track rating, labels, lyrics, artist information, related songs and artists and track mood.
  • Other Features : Additional changes in Amarok 2.0 include new SVG-based scalable theme, advanced scripting, dynamic collections, usability changes, updated media device handling, new podcast manager and support for more software platforms.

Forks and Variations

Clementine under KDE SC 4.4

Release History

Colour Meaning
Red Release no longer supported
Green Release still supported
Blue Future release
Major Version Codename Minor Version Release date Notes
0.5 Wocka 0.5.0 2003-06-23 Initial release
0.6  ?? 0.6.0 2003-09-20  ??
0.7  ?? 0.7.0 2003-11-16 Added support for cross fading and customizable columns.
1.0  ?? 1.0.0 2004-06-17 Added searchable 'collection', file browser, cover art from Amazon and statistics.
1.1 I am a rock 1.1.0 2004-09-27 Added song ratings and support for Xine, MAS and K3b.
1.2  ?? 1.2.0 2005-02-14 Support for iPods, Audioscrobbler, MySQL and a themeable browser.
1.3 Airborne 1.3.0 2005-08-14 New playlist browser, work on interface, dynamic playlists, support for podcasts, relative paths in playlists, playlist queue, Wikipedia integration and cuesheets.
1.3.9 2006-03-26 Helix and GStreamer engine, nicer interface, work on podcast support.
1.4 Fast Forward 1.4.0 2006-05-17 Improved support for mobile devices, work on memory usage and interface design, integration of Last.FM into the context browser, gapless playback using Xine, lyrics now fetched with scripts, advanced Wikipedia integration, CD ripping via drag n drop, improved handling of podcasts.
1.4.1 2006-07-02 Improved performance and usability, name changed from amaroK to Amarok, Last.FM streams, rating via scripts.
1.4.2 2006-08-22 DAAP client, MTP media device support, dynamic collection, custom Last.FM stations.
1.4.3 2006-09-05 AFT (Amarok File Tracking).
1.4.4 2006-10-30 Magnatune integration, 3 different ways of crossfading with Xine and helix engine.
1.4.5 2007-02-04 SHOUTcast streams, labels.
1.4.6 2007-06-21 Added a new icon set and Rockbox support.
1.4.7 2007-08-13 Updated icons and Cool Streams.
1.4.8 2007-12-20 Added/improved support for latest iPods (using libgpod3): 6th-Generation iPod Classic, 3rd-Generation iPod Nano, iPod Touch
1.4.9 2008-04-09 Only released in Kubuntu. It was missing one important bug-fix, so it was immediately superseded by 2008-04-12 Updated translations, and bug-fixes
1.4.10 2008-08-13 Very important security update
2.0 In the beginning 2.0.0 2008-12-10 Complete redesign of interface, increased graphical features, KDE 4 support, first (not stable yet) release for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X[5]
Magellan 2009-01-11 Searching and filtering in the playlist, reintroduction of queueing and stopping after track.

(Immediately superseded 2.0.1 after a security bug was found in the initial release)[6]

Only Time Will Tell 2.0.2 2009-03-05 Bug and stability fixes[7]
2.1 Let There be Light 2.1.0 2009-06-03 Native Replay Gain support, a refactoring of context view, a playlist layout editor, and Amarok URLs and bookmarks[8]
Oceania 2.1.1 2009-06-17 Mostly bug and stability fixes[9]
2.2 Sunjammer 2.2.0 2009-10-01 Layout editing, photo and video plasmoids, breadcrumb navigation in the collection browser, and much improved sorting and editing in the playlist[10]
Weightless 2.2.1 2009-11-16 Faster collection scanner, podcast grouping, autofetching podcasts, SMB(samba) support in playlist[11]
Maya Gold 2.2.2 2010-01-11 Moodbar support, custom labels for music, podcast refinements, and many bugfixes[12]

See also


External links

Simple English


A screenshot of Amarok version 1.4.5
Developer:The Amarok Team
Initial release:June 23, 2003
Latest release:2.2 / October 1, 2009
Use: Media player

License:GNU General Public License

Amarok is a music player for the KDE desktop environment. Unlike most KDE programs, it has its own schedule for releasing versions, so a new version of Amarok might not be released when a new version of KDE comes out. Amarok's first stable version was released in 2003. They are now on version 2.2.


Amarok cannot play videos. However, it can play most sound and music files in a large range of formats, like MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA. Amarok also includes an internet radio tuner, and supports submitting a listener's music preferences to It can sync music to most MP3 players, like the iPod or ZEN.


Amarok was updated to version 2 along with the major upgrade of KDE3 to KDE4. The newer KDE4 version of Amarok is still missing some features when compared with the previous KDE3 version, but it does have some new features not included with the earlier one.

Many users of KDE3 Amarok believed it was the best software music player of any platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), and it had a great and loyal following. This loyalty has faded somewhat since the KDE4 release, though Amarok developers are still working hard to make certain the newer Amarok meets and exceeds all users' expectations.


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