Some bugs present in Banshee 2.0 and still not fixed in 2.2

Asked by Bob Bib on 2011-10-23

(Ubuntu 11.10)

Some banshee bugs were present in version 2.0 and still not fixed in 2.2

1) Drag-and-drop from file manager into Banshee doesn't work, so I need to import the music into library manually to be able to drag-and-drop the music from library into play queue.
2) Sometimes, when a number of songs is added from library to play queue and playback is started, only the first song is played and playback is stopped.
3) Sometimes, when a number of songs is added from library to play queue and playback is started, some songs in play queue are played and then it unreasonably jumps to library and starts playing some songs there (though it seems to play the songs selected to put them into play queue).
4) Library has some strange automatic sorting behaviour, it doesn't simply sorts the artists alphabetically beginning with the first letter:
* sometimes it tries to sort some artists using their supposed last names, so the first word in the artist's name is somewhat ignored;
* sometimes it ignores "the" article word and sorts the artist name beginning with the second word;
* sometimes artists with non-Latin characters in name get places between Latin-named artists in the list (probably phonetically-based);
* it makes difference of characters case, so if the songs have the same artist name, but with some word in different case, it will put it to library as 2 different artists.
5) If the song is deleted from disk, this has no effect on library, it will simply not play that song, so I need to manually find and remove non-existing items from the library.

Have bugs been filed about these problems?

(If not and you decide to file them -- separately, as they are separate problems -- then in addition to searching first for them to see if they have been filed or, if you've searched before, then to see if they've been filed recently, please also make sure to read https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs first. If you do find or report bugs, please link them to this question using "Link existing bug" on this question page.)

It seems that problem #4 may be due to the way your songs are tagged, rather than any problem with Banshee itself. However, if you have checked that and made sure that inconsistent tagging is not the case, or if you can specifically articulate a better way for Banshee to use tagging information, then you should feel free to go ahead and report that as a bug (if a bug has not already been reported for it). If the behaviors you are describing only "sometimes" happen, that sounds bad--after all, predictability is important. If possible, you may want to investigate further and determine precisely when they do and do not occur. Your final bullet point about case doesn't seem to me to be incorrect behavior, though. The vast majority of artists have a specific correct way that their name is spelled, including capitalization, and every other way is wrong, so this specific point would be an issue of incorrect tagging rather than a bug in Banshee.

In my opinion, problem #5 is not a bug, or at least is not a bug as you have stated it. If a file is deleted, that doesn't necessarily mean that the user wants to be seamlessly deprived of the information about it. It may have been deleted inadvertently, or with the intention of putting it back. However, arguably the absence of a feature to automatically mark and offer the deletion of playlist items corresponding to deleted files is a bug, and you could file a bug as a feature request for that. (Or if you think they should automatically and silently be removed, file a bug asking for that--I think that would be undesirable and would consider such behavior to itself be a bug, but others might disagree with me.) If such a feature were implemented, then it would be important for some way to be devised to ensure that tracks whose files are absent from the filesystem because the specific filesystems on which they reside are not currently mounted, do not get removed. For example, a user might store some music on an external drive and other music on another (say, internal) drive. The playlist entries for songs on the external drive should not be deleted from the playlist just because the drive is detached.

Bob Bib (bobbib) said : #2

degeneracypressure, I have neither reported these issues as bugs, nor searched for them, I'll do it a little later.

Speaking about character case in artist names, I agree with you, it's better to have the music tagged correctly.

Reaction on the missing items in the library should be neither silently absent as in Banshee, nor so disk-aggressive as in Rhythmbox which automatically rescans all the library on startup.
I think, the optimal solution is to make a "Rescan library" function with a button; after library rescanning, the missing items should be moved to "Missing items" section, where unneeded songs can be manually removed; on the next rescan, songs from "Missing items" that have become available, should be moved back to the library, the others should remain in "Missing items".

Bug 882720 would be more useful if it contained more detail about the Ubuntu release and rhythmbox version that you are using, in case this behavior differs between different versions, and because without such information it will be more difficult to show (as more users subscribe to the bug and indicate they are affected) that it affects all versions (if that is the case).

The best way to provide this information, which also includes some other potentially useful information about your Rhythmbox installation, is to open a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) on a machine on which you are experiencing this problem with Rhythmbox, and run this command (by pasting it into the Terminal and pressing enter):

apport-collect 882720

That will prepare the information and, after prompting you to submit it, will attempt to attach it automatically to the bug report.

Bob Bib (bobbib) said : #4

degeneracypressure, bug #882720 is not really a bug, but just a feature with a little noisy behaviour when executed automatically, so it just needs to have an option to be disabled and executed manually; as you see, that's a feature request :)

I'd suggest that it really *is* a bug--excessive filesystem access is certainly unambiguously a bug in numerous other contexts. (The only reason I haven't indicated I am affected, confirming the bug, is that I don't have a rhythmbox music library to test with; I use audacious.)

In any case, since you did manually add release/version info, as long as it turns out that the bad behavior occurs on all systems with rhythmbox 2.90.1~20110908-0ubuntu1 or rhythmbox 0.13.3-0ubuntu6, apport-collection should not be necessary.

Bob Bib (bobbib) said : #6

degeneracypressure,
1) yes, from the point of excessive filesystem access it looks like an unwise design bug :)
2) I tried to use Rhythmbox when it was shipped with Ubuntu by default.
When they began to ship Banshee, I switched to it and realized it's not better.
Now I temporarily use the "poor-functional" LXMusic.
Thus, thanks for suggesting Audacious, I'll give it a try.

On my system (and through a couple of Ubuntu release upgrades), audacious takes up an absurd amount of RAM. At the moment, 642 MiB! (I have 4 gigs, so it's not too big a problem.) This might be in part due to my very large music library. When I imported it (and each time I have re-imported my music library, which has never really been necessary), audacious is unresponsive for a long time. Once it is imported, it works, and is highly responsive. audacious also bizarrely uses the J key for finding ("jumping" to) a track by title or artist. That's all I can think of to warn others about, who are considering using audacious. It's not perfect, but every time I've tried another player, I've come back to it. If foobar2000 supported GNU/Linux natively and were free open-source software, I'd probably use it instead. If it supported GNU/Linux natively but were non-FOSS freeware (as it is), it would still probably use audacious. From a technical perspective, I suspect that foobar2000 is better...but only slightly. And there are no other proprietary players that I'd be tempted to use, over audacious2.

My huge music library creates problems with a lot of players. For most users unhappy with Rhythmbox and Banshee and wanting a fully functional but not bloated audio player, however, I suspect that Exaile might be a good solution.

Bob Bib (bobbib) said : #8

degeneracypressure,
0) all software is buggy to some extent;
1) yes, foobar2000 is a great music player, but only for Windows;
2) why do you recommend Exaile?

It's relatively lightweight while being fully functional. When I tried importing my music library into it, it became unresponsive and didn't stop being unresponsive just by waiting...hours. But with smaller amounts of music, it worked well and didn't take up too many resources. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Bob Bib (bobbib) said : #10

Problem solved by switching to Audacious media player:
http://audacious-media-player.org/