a screenshot of the amberol GTK4 music app

Looking for a simple, focused, no-frills music player that fits in flawless with the modern GNOME desktop?

Check out Amberol.

“Amberol aspires to be as small, unintrusive, and simple as possible. It does not manage your music collection; it does not let you manage playlists, smart or otherwise; it does not let you edit the metadata for your songs; it does not show you lyrics for your songs, or the Wikipedia page for your bands,” states Amberol’s Gitlab page.

That’s to say all this audio player does is play music and …Well, that’s pretty much it!

Let’s take a closer look.

Amberol’s Feature Set

Amberol offers up most of the playback features you’d expect: you can seek; fast-forward and rewind; hit next/prev to skip songs in the queue; and opt to play your queue of tracks once through or on a loop, or play a selected track on loop and drive yourself bananas.

You can also set volume within the app (rather than adjust the sound from all your apps).

Amerbol’s UI is pretty cute too. The background colour of the app window will change based on the colour of embedded album artwork. Music players are designed to be listened to rather than gawped but I’m a fan of this novelty: it gives Amberol personality. Some music apps tend to look like spreadsheets!

Screenshot of Amberol music player on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS
Amberol is fine-tuned

The queue/playlist can be shown or hidden (depending on your preference) and the entire window scaled down to a portrait-friendly rendition.

Adding music to Amberol is easy: you’re prompted to pick a music folder on first launch. Alternatively, you can drag and drop individual songs or folders of songs on the UI, or hit s or a to do the same using a file picker. You can clear the playlist and start over by hitting ctrl + l.

You can’t (currently) double-click on a song in the playlist to play it; MPRIS integration on (my) Ubuntu 22.04 doesn’t show album artwork; and the app doesn’t come with a launcher quicklist of control options (but hey, that’s what media keys are for, right?).

a screenshot of Amberol music player running in a smaller window
Amerbol’s UI is mobile-friendly

Hey, I know what you’re thinking: Linux isn’t exactly short of music players. From colossal collection comperes like Clementine to classy command-line clients like mpd, by way of streaming music services like Spotify, or a middle-minded media manager like Rhythmbox — Linux has ’em all.

Amberol slots in nicely. It’s neither derivative or original, but it is modern: it’s built using GTK4 and Rust. Design wise it’s novel to look at with its gradient backgrounds and matches the aesthetic of modern GNOME ecosystem perfectly.

Few modern music players focus on being frill-free and pared down. I guess you could think of this app as the unplugged, acoustic alternative to other clients’ over-produced club bangers.

Want to try it out? You can download Amberol from Flathub.

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