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So, it seems with 12.04, they're switching back to Rhythmbox, after switching from Rhythmbox a year ago. I don't get why. They say that it's because of a blocking bug in GTK3# (if I understand that correctly), but that's just one bug, and in the same breath they say RB is not well maintained. It seems Ubuntu guys were dissatisfied with Banshee in some way, but apparently the Banshee guys were never notified of any problems.

Also, it can't be to save disc space by dropping mono, because at the same day it was announced that the install disc will be enlarged by 50MB.

Also, isn't it a bit shortsighted to push Banshee for default inclusion, and then drop it again a year later? How is that a sustainable use of dev resources, or consistent? Apparently there was quite some heavy effort by banshee devs - David Nielsen used the term "bending over backwards for Ubuntu" iirc.

In summary: Can anyone shed more light on this?

Related question: Why is Banshee becoming the default?

Sources:

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/banshee-tomboy-and-mono-dropped-from-ubuntu-12-04-cd/

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/rhythmbox-to-return-as-ubuntu-12-04-default-music-app/

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/ubuntu-12-04-disc-size-to-be-750mb/

http://summit.ubuntu.com/uds-p/meeting/19442/desktop-p-default-apps/

http://banshee-media-player.2283330.n4.nabble.com/banshee-being-dropped-from-ubuntu-because-of-GTK3-support-td3985298.html

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I've already seen your linked OMG! Ubuntu articles. I thought they (and the comments posted on them) did a decent job explaining the switch. Why are you asking this, then? –  Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 4 '11 at 22:59
1  
I think I reproduced the biggest arguments in those articles in my question, and why I don't understand them as valid reasons. That's why I'd like to understand the decision better, and suspect I'm missing some relevant background info here. –  Christoph Nov 4 '11 at 23:02

4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Answer about why Rhythmbox was chosen from the Ubuntu Desktop Mailing list

  1. Based upon broader community feedback, it seems the preference is RB. Now, we have to be careful with that, obviously, but we simply use that as a data point.
  2. Size of both projects on CD. Alone, not a deciding point, but another data point.
  3. Stability in core function. Banshee has many features, though the general impression is that it has stability issues with frequent crashes and hangs needing force quits. RB is known to be quite stable.
  4. User Experience (including usability, overall feel, responsiveness). Banshee has the edge here, though can be less responsive (UI hangs). RB has some UI challenges that were detailed in Charline's usability report.
  5. Speed in start up and operation. This seems mostly a draw. Tweaks can be made to Banshee to improve cold startup time, though it does have moments were it hangs mid operation, but they seem more related to overall stability.
  6. ARM - Big unknown for Banshee.
  7. GTK3 - RB is already GTK3. Banshee is almost there, but carries more risk as it would be new binding stack
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GTK3 support. "The main reason for this is that Banshee still uses GTK2 and the GTK3 branch is currently blocked by some missing GTK# 3 features. And this blocks porting the Ubuntu One Music Store plugin to GTK 3 and it prevents it from working properly on ARM."

Source: WebUpd8

And you'll probably have better luck on looking for different players on Ubuntu Forums, but since I'm answering anyways, I like Clementine a lot.

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There are other reasons too. I think Banshee is going to be great, but for now, I think sticking with Rhythmbox a while longer is a good choice. –  Jo-Erlend Schinstad Mar 22 '12 at 18:41
    
I agree. I don't particularly like Rhythmbox, but I really disliked Banshee. It took forever to start up in 11.10 and it felt really really buggy. A music player is probably the most used application for new users aside from a web browser, so having one that buggy wasn't a great sign. –  zookalicious Mar 22 '12 at 18:42

It seems that you also answered the question, at least from the ubuntu developers point of view. That gtk3# bug is enough to make the developers unable to port banshee to gtk3 so it seems it is not that small. I think removing mono from the installation CD is an extra and i'm not very sure about it. Before banshee was included mono was already shipped to include tomboy and gbrainy and i'm not very sure tnat the ubuntu team is thinking of removing them from the CD

Summarizing, i think the biggest issue is the lack of support of gtk3 in banshee, but there's still time to solve that problem

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yeah, but why not concentrate dev resources on fixing one bug (and as far as I can see, it's just one bug that's blocking), instead of initiating an app switch, and incurring all the integration work again? –  Christoph Nov 4 '11 at 23:07
    
@zurdo Tomboy will be removed from 12.04, as mentioned in the first source link the poster provided. With Mono's removal, anything else that depended on it will have to be taken out, as well. –  Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 4 '11 at 23:39
    
And according to the banshee mailing list a fix for the GTK3 bug has been found and is being tested. If this is the case it's being removed for nothing. –  trampster Dec 1 '11 at 10:43

I think it is important to stress the usability problems that plague Banshee. This is IMHO the main reason behind the community preference for RB. This thread at the Ubuntu Fora details several of the issues users were confronted with after the inclusion of Banshee in release 11.04:

  • High memory usage
  • Doesn't play ogg files properly
  • Randomly skips first 5 seconds of tracks
  • Randomly stops playing without issuing error messages
  • Lists audio files in disconnected drives
  • Lists audio files in duplicate, triplicate, ...

This return to RB is a coming back to senses, IMHO.

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protected by Community Jun 4 '12 at 7:15

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