Clementine – A Simple Cross Platform Alternative Music Player

alternative music playerI started out with Winamp, but I grew up with iTunes. I watched iTunes walk its simple and uncluttered baby steps and followed its growth until it became the giant it is today. But some people who just need a music player for their computer think that this giant is now too big to fill that position.

There are many alternative music players out there, but filling the gap left by iTunes is not a task that can be taken by just another alternative music player. Only a few actually have what it takes and if there’s an audition, I think Clementine would be one of the last apps standing at the final round.

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The story goes that this app is the result of Amarok’s fans who tried to bring version 1.4 back to life. But instead of making it Linux only like the original Amarok, they made it multi platform with the help of Nokia’s Qt. The latest version of Clementine is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

The first time you open Clementine, you will be presented with a blank window. Click on the empty library list to start adding songs to your library. You can also take another route by going through “Preferences – Music Library“.

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Add some tunes by clicking on the “Add new folder” button. Clementine allows you to add folders from external sources and update the library when the app starts. This is very useful if you are a notebook user with limited hard disk space because you can store most of your collection in your external storage(s) and play them only when your notebook is connected to it/them.

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Browse and choose the folders that you want to add to your Clementine song library. To make your life easier, you could pick your existing iTunes library folder as one of the sources.

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The rest is just about playing your songs collection. The playback control at the bottom of the window is another ordinary control, except for the existing “Love” button to tag the songs that you love.

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There’s something special about the “Stop” button, though. Clementine give its users the ability to stop after the currently playing song hits its last beat.

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Turn The Radio On & Other Features

Another feature that most users will love is the ability to connect and play internet radio. The big names are already on the list by default and you can add your own by right clicking on the “Your Radio streams” link and choose “Add another stream”

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At the top of the list is Add the details of your account in the “Preferences-

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Another pre-determined music source is SomaFM and Magnatune. The latter is a paid service but also accessible for free with some restrictions.

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You will notice that your iTunes library collection’s cover art is not available from within Clementine. But fear not because you can easily add that album art using a tool called “Cover Manager“.

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All you have to do is just click “Fetch Missing Covers“, located at the top right of the Cover Manager window.

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Clementine will start the task of finding and applying cover art to your songs. It uses as the source. Even though I can’t say this feature works perfectly, it does deliver most cover art.

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I’ve just used Clementine for a while and already I like it a lot. Even though it’s not the most beautiful music player out there for computers, it does what it promises to do: play music. Plus it’s relatively small (around 20 MB – Mac version). That’s tiny compared to the size of iTunes.

So have you tried this music player? I’m sure there are Clementine experts out there. Please share your tips, thoughts and opinions using the comments below.

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