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The MusicBrainz-integrated music player application.
The MusicBrainz-integrated music player application.

Riker's posts

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libgda has made their first release in the 5.1 development series. It’s not stable yet, but at least it’s now possible to compile Riker’s code without compiling libgda from git as well.

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A little shout-out to “lomereiter” – thanks for giving me a head start by writing a MusicBrainz library with a native Vala interface (and also writing the Vala bindings to libmusicbrainz that I originally tried using).

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Well, good news: It looks like libgda master from git compiles again, so I have an excuse for doing a little more work on Riker this weekend… I hope they put the new Vala object model extensions into a release soon ☺

(If you want to compile a new version of libgda to use with Riker, make sure you pass the --enable-vala and --enable-vala-extensions options to the libgda configure)

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I’ve decided to go ahead and use GitHub’s issue tracking for Riker. If you’ve got some awesome ideas for what you want in a MusicBrainz enabled player, add them at

I don’t promise to include everybody’s favourite feature—and some things aren’t really feasible—but your ideas will influence the direction that I take Riker in.

I’ll make a promise with you all: I’ll do my very best to finish Riker before BookBrainz is completed ;)

Someone asked me in an email what some of the features that +Riker will have are, so I wrote up a little summary of my current plans, below. If you have any feature suggestions, please share them with me!

Riker's going to be a library-style music player, with a few advanced features powered by MusicBrainz metadata. In particular, it will support displaying additional credits (e.g. composer, lyricist, vocalist) on songs, linking between songs (e.g. see all songs with same composer or same drummer, all cover performances of a song, etc.), and I'm going to put in a smart playlist engine that can do searches based on this extra metadata information.

It will also have no problem distinguishing between multiple artists or albums with the same name, of course.

As I have it planned right now, it will not support playback of music that is not listed in the MusicBrainz database.

The playback engine that I'm planning to use right now will be Gstreamer based, but the playback engine is actually what I'm planning to leave for last. The database engine is really the hard part, and that's what I'm concentrating on right now.

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Well, last week I managed to get another little burst of coding in. Riker now has the ability to import artists into its database over the MusicBrainz webservice... kind of. Still missing some properties. But I'll keep working at it.

Here's a link to the README, which has a little more detail on how to build Riker and what the updated test tools are capable of.

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I've built the documentation for the libmusicbrainz4 vala bindings that I'm using in Riker, feel free to take a look around. I'm linking you to the Artist class, which is probably the most complete right now. Some classes are still missing or stubbed out; I'll get to them when I need them.

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Why am I working on writing a new music player, +Riker? Simple. Because I want my music player to magically know that if I want to listen to songs with Gwen Stefani on vocals, it should include all my No Doubt tracks. Nothing out there right now can do that.
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