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Banshee sucketh the big one, or how to correctly file a bug and stop worrying

There are bugs in Banshee, as I write this, 815 known or suspected bugs to be specific. Likely there are many more… and you, the user, is thus at risk of hitting one. Here is what to remember when experiencing a Banshee problem.

If you do not test it, it is very likely that nobody will not know about the bugs you may or may not encounter. It is thus important that you inform the project that a problem exists. The most effective way and the one with the highest rate of success is to file a bug.

For Ubuntu users a daily build ppa is provided so you can get access to bugfixes and new features quickly. Using it keeps the project on its toes and keeps an already high standard high. Banshee has an extensive test of unit tests, some very talented developers and the community tends to be responsive and helpful with regards to problems.

The sooner you test, the sooner the Banshee community will be aware of the multitude with which it sucketh the big one*. 277 genuine bugs fixed the past 6 months. Yours could be one (or, likely, many) for 2.0+.

So please do go break Banshee.

I will personally be happy to assist you if you have problems on the condition that you enable the daily PPA (since that makes my job easier) and provide a Debug log showing the issue (in comments via something like pastebin, or preferably via bug report as attachments). You are even welcome to mail me personally if you need assistance narrowing down your problem. The IRC savy can join #banshee on irc.gimp.net, if you have a problem, just ask, but please include a pastebin link to your Debug log.

It is often also useful when experiencing problems to disable gapless playback and the Library Watcher, both of which are known to potentially have or play part in problems. A restart should be performed after disabling these features.

If the problem is a performance problem I have written an early draft of documentation on how to narrow this down, along with examples of good performance bugs to aid in successfully getting the problem resolved. For performance problems it is often useful to separate include a Database Debug Log.

If you experience problems with your external media device not showing up or not functioning as expected. In addition to the Debug log it is helpful if the output requested in steps 3-5 from this page (step 3 optional best effort for non-Apple devices). Please note that the very newest Apple devices are likely to at least experience issues, please check with the libgpod website to confirm if your device is supported. If it is, and Banshee does not handle it correctly please report this.

For external media devices that connect as regular USB masstorage devices (typical for Android phones), please check if your device appears in the media-player-info database. If your device does not appear, Jonathan Ernst is a very nice guy who will help you if you add a comment to his blog post. For those of you are using a custom .is_audio_player file on the device please remove it for the purpose of testing.

It is also recommended that you look at the recently opened and closed bugs for Banshee on the Weekly Bug Summary and well as perform a search using the bugzilla search facility narrowed to the Banshee component to check if your problem is known. If your problem is known and you wish to recieve updates merely add your email to the field labelled CC.

Finally if Banshee appears to hang (typically only a grey window would be displayed), the bug filing page includes a way to obtain the required information.

Now what?

File your bug

… but please report only one problem per report, rather than one report with multiple problems listed.

What next?

Now you sit back, any updates will be sent to your email. Hopefully your issue will be simple to fix and in your hands shortly.

David Nielsen – Banshee Community Member  - gnomeuser at gmail dot com

* Even seasoned developers understand the pain of unexpected breakage, however Banshee is produced entirely by unpaid volunteers, out of love for the project. It is given to you for free and bug reports are gladly accepted. Please be polite, we really are nice guys.