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Multi-source Music Player ‘Tomahawk’ Updates With New Look, New Features

Tomahawk media player - which bills itself as ‘everything you need in a media player – and a lot you don’t – has pushed out a new release.

Tomahawk is a multi-source media player that is able to play back music from your local library, avarietyof online services such as YouTube and Last.fm, as well as thelibrariesof your friends (providing they’re using Tomahawk and connected via a social account.)

Version 0.3

Tomahawk 0.3 has a lot that’s new.

The interface of Tomahawk is now cleaner,resulting in something that is marginally more user-friendly than previous iterations – but still a bit on the ‘busy’ side.

tomahawk media player 0.3

A new ‘global search bar’ has been added to the sidebar. Searches made through this useacross all available sources, a change from the last version which displayed different search methods for different panes/source views.

global search in Tomahawk

You can now view various music charts within the app, including top albums or tracks on iTunes, Last.fm and Spotify: -

A new collapsible ‘footnotes’ feature offers contextual information related to the playing track/artist: -

Further artist/album/track information is a click away: -

Resolver Gallery

Adding more sources of media, called ‘resolvers’ in Tomahawk, is now incredibly easy thanks to the built-in’Resolver Gallery’.

Amongst the resolvers available are YouTube, Last.fm, Grooveshark (subscribersonly), Jamendo, Soundcloud and 4Shared.

In addition to ease of installation (one click ftw) each resolver shows a communityrating – so you can see just how well, or not, a resolver works before installing it.

Lazy Playlists

My favourite new feature in Tomahawk 0.3 are ‘lazy playlists’.

Drag a single track to the ‘new playlist’ entry and you will be able to add the complete album, the artists entire catalogue (either local or multi-source), or their top 10 songs. Bliss.

lazy playlists in Tomahawk

Other features

Other features present within Tomahawk, but not exclusive to this release, include: -

  • last.fm scrobble support
  • ‘offline’ only playback
  • Playlist creation
  • Station creation

Issues

The big ‘draw‘ with Tomahawk is its ‘multi-source’ playback. It’s also Tomahawk’s biggest ‘drawback’ asmulti-sourceplayback can often be verytemperamental, with results from resolvers showing but refusing to play.

The application does, and will, crash. It also ‘loses’ its Global Menu from time to time, usually after the window and been closed and then re-opened. This makes ‘quitting’ it a bit of a hassle as the ‘Quit’ option present in the launcher quicklist simply closes the window.

It’s worth mentioning that Tomahawk’s Ubuntu Sound Menu entry works… but album art doesn’t show up.

Tomahawk Sound Menu

How to install Tomahawk in Ubuntu

To install Tomahawk 0.3 in Ubuntu 11.10 you will need to add the following PPA to your Software Sources.

ppa:tomahawk/ppa

After adding, run and update and then install ‘tomahawk’ from the Ubuntu Software Centre.