When it comes to music media players, it is no surprise that Linux brings home the crown in quantity, but is it worth the quality? So far I can honestly say that there have been tremendous improvement in terms of style as well as functionality. The ones that I am going to comment on are just two.
Rhythmbox is very easy to use. I remember a couple of times trying to crossover to something different and complicated, such as Amarok, just to end up removing any new candidate that I came across. And I think what has made it almost impossible to leave Rhythmbox is the constant improvements being done to it. It currently has three stores to its left navigation, one which I think will put i tunes in an awkward spot. They are Jamendo, Magnatune, and my favorite Ubuntu One. With Ubuntu One all you have to do is create an account and wallah you have your own place to buy your music, just like i tunes. There is also a radio station and of course lets not forget Last.fm. Rhythmbox has also been the default music player for most Gnome based distributions, but soon that will all change as well. Word on the street is that there is a new contender that will be getting the spot light for new gnome distributions.
I recently had the opportunity to try out Banshee and I can honestly say it has come a long way since we last crossed path. I definitely see it replacing Rhythmbox in the near future, but I was disappointed when I did not see Ubuntu One on the left navigation. I am sure that will eventually change, at least hopeful for the most part. I did though saw that it has the capability of playing videos, something that has not been seen in Rhythmbox at least from what I know. I was excited to see the Amazon MP3 store available in the left navigation side since I have an account and saves time from installing the Amazon MP3 app manually in the system. It is great that they are thinking ahead of all this mayor integrations. The other thing that I liked is the import feature. Media can be imported from Folders, Amazon MP3 Purchaser, and even from Rhythmbox or i tunes music player. If you click on View you can also activate the context pane which will give you a run down of the artist and the song being played. The information is coming in from two providers, Last.fm or Wikepedia. You most likely will need an account with Last.fm. Another one which is not visible by default is Youtube. In order to enable it you will need to go to "Edit > Preferences > Extensions" and under Context Pane, check off Youtube, but I wonder if there will be others added to the system?