Discovery of the Week: Clementine Music Player

Today I want to talk about a great little music player called Clementine. But first, a bit about magpies.

The Australian Magpie is a medium-sized black and white bird found all over Australia and parts of New Guinea. Although wild, it is not unusual for them to be fed by suburban and rural households, and they are a common mascot for sporting teams.

They are also quite territorial, and during their breeding season get quite aggressive and will swoop at pedestrians and particularly cyclists. As a boy, I remember one day climbing up through the middle of the wood pile, popping out the top only to get a flash of black and white feathers and wind up back at the bottom again wondering what just happened.

On the other hand, the European Magpie isn’t known for swooping people. Their penchant is a famous affinity for shiny objects, often stealing them to decorate their nests.

Indeed, people who flitter from one “the next big thing” to the next are often likened to a magpie, being easily distracting by shiny things. Then there are those people who realise what they’ve already got is pretty darn good and work hard to improve upon that foundation instead.

And with that, I’d like to introduce you to Clementine, a playlist-oriented music player with strong support for large library collections.

Clementine Music Player

Clementine works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, so it will work on just about any desktop or laptop you have. I find Clementine thinks about playing music the same way I do. On the left panel you have your music library, or your file system, or your streaming radio stations, all of which you can drag over to the playlist on the right and organise however you want.

You can even set up several playlists in the tabbed interface to have your different listening needs lined up and ready to go.

While playing your music the left panel can also be used to display information about the current artist, or info and lyrics for the current song, along with album art, and many other features which I’m sure the developers will add in the future.

But really, the killer feature for me is its handling of compilation albums. I have a lot of soundtracks and other ‘various artists’ type albums. In most other players when you list by artist you get every single artist for every single song in your library, and you’re wondering what music this artist has, and see that there is only one or two songs for them as part of a larger album. For me this just clutters things up when your perusing your music (besides, that’s what the search feature is for).

With Clementine, compilation albums are put under “Various Artists” and you can scan through them all together. If the library manager has broken the album up under the individual artists then no problem, just right-click on the songs and select, “Show in various artists” and presto, your done.

It has many other features too, like tag editing, visualisations, copying music to your phone or MP3 player, kittens and much more, so give it a go!