Audioplayer's resource hunger


Testing resource hunger of audioplayers
This test contains the basic audio players; DeadBeeF and Audacious. It contains the mediaplayer VLC, the very comprehensive Exaile and the database driven music managers; pMusic and Clementine. Of course, this is not a fair compete since features differs a lot from player to player. In the end, it might be less important how much system resources the player uses. The functionality is in most cases what makes our choice. But still, it's good to know when running a low-powered system, and when choosing the default player.

From my personal view, I am interesting to see how pMusic is working compared to other players. pMusic has got a lot of criticism of its hunger on cpu resources. I want to disprove this reputation.


The test
My test-machine is an AsusEEE netbook 1001px (cpu:2x1.66Ghz atom).
This is a low-powered netbook that makes it easier to measure the differences in cpu-usage. Running on a modern pc, none of these players will make your system hot.

The OS is XenialPup 7.0.4.
VLC and DeadBeeF is installed by default. On this system I was able to run both Clementine and Exaile which is the most comparable to pMusic. Tried to install Amarok with no success. If you run another player of XenialPup 7.0.4, it would be great if you gave me a link to the pet/sfs. I am interested to extend my test with more players.

The task is to play a mp3 file.
I have used the default setting for each player, and started the app at least twice to ensure no first-run operation misleads the test-result.

The compared players are:
Audacious 3.6.2, Clemetine 1.2.3, DeaDBeeF 0.7.2, Exaile 3.2.2, pMusic 5.2.4, VLC 2.2.2


Cpu-usage playing mp3 with gui shown
Exaile		 7.5 %

VLC 8.3 %
DeaDBeeF 8.8 %
Audacious 10.0 %
pMusic 12.1 %
Clementine 18.2 %

Surprisingly. I guessed DeadBeef would be the winner because of its reputation of being lightweight. Exaile is a much more comprehensive option than DeadBeeF and Audicious, and still, it has less appetite for cpu-cycles.


Memory-usage playing mp3 with gui shown
Audacious	 5 Mb

DeaDBeeF 20 Mb
Exaile 23 Mb
VLC 25 Mb
pMusic 29 Mb
Clementine 33 Mb

Audicious is impressive. I had to verify it one more time. Let's mention that this is the Gtk gui - not the Winamp clone. Else, smaller range than expected. The guis differs from the simple (VLC) to the complex (Clementine), and I had expected the memory usage to differ more.


Size required for installation:
pMusic		 1 Mb

Audacious 8 Mb
DeaDBeeF 10 Mb
VLC 53 Mb
Clementine 66 Mb
Exaile 66 Mb

pMusic is built for Puppy, and take advantage of already existing dependencies. That makes it of course the smallest, but it is also the only player that is not compiled, and that is probably another reason for the result.

Clementine is overall the heavy choice. I hoped to compare with Amarok which I assume it is the biggest brother (153 Mb install), but I were not able to get it work in Xenial. Hopefully, someone make a pack some day, and I will update these results.


Posted on 15 Nov 2016, 02:58 by zigbert - Categories: Puppy
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Slacko 700 Beta


Slacko 700 is now in beta testing!

It has been a bit over a month since slacko 700 alpha was first released and in that time we have squashed many bugs and have brought in may improvements.

To get a copy just visit the puppy forum and grab either the Slacko 6.9.6.4 or Slacko64 6.9.6.4 iso image and burn it to a CD/DVD or copy it to a flash drive.

Below is a preview of the default theme.



Have fun testing and report any issues to the link above to the Puppy forum.

Posted on 9 Oct 2016, 12:56 by 01micko - Categories: Development
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AlbumArt in pMusic


Albumart for playing track
pMusic shows albumart in the main window if available. With the default frontend 'Manager' it is located at bottom-left corner. A larger view of the same image is found in the Trackinfo window. Click on it to see it in full size.




The priority is:
  • 1. Look for embedded image in the audio-file.
  • 2. Look for image in the same directory as the audio-file.
    The image file should be named with 'front, albumart, album_art, cover or folder'.
  • 3. Look for image downloaded by pMusic previously.
    If set up to do so, pMusic will download the image file when albumart find one on the internet. More about this below.
  • 4. Grab image from URL defined in the database (DB).
    If pMusic previously found a matching albumart, but user has not set up pMusic to download it, the URL is stored in the DB for later use.
  • 5. Search on the internet for matching albumart.
    If no albumart exists embedded, locally or via URL, pMusic searches the internet for a matching albumart. This search depends on meta-tags for Artist and Album.





  • With these tags in place it searches www.albumart.org, www.seekacover.com and www.slothradio.com (in this priority order).
    Very recently, www.albumart.org went down, so you should update to pMusic 5.2.1 to include these multiple search-sites. All these sites uses www.amazon.com as their image source. In the future it would be great if we additionally could use google's image-search as well.

    If pMusic finds a matching albumart on the web, it will store the URL in the DB, to find it quicker next time. If activated, the image-file can be automatically downloaded to your harddrive when found. Since this will require some space, it is not set to be the default choice. Activate this feature in the Preferences.




    Search albumart
    If you let pMusic download albumart, you will after a while have a nice collection of images. So what do we do with these. They will of course show the playing albumart quicker, but more important; you can search within these and get a visual album search. The albumart search is activated in the search dock.




    When scaling the main window you will see that the albumarts won't scale to fit. Choose 'Update sizing' in the right-click menu. Here you can also choose size of the thumbs.


    Save albumart
    Save albumart means 2 different things.
    1. Save the found albumart to a local file
    2. Embed the albumart into the audio-file

    Both operations are done in the trackinfo window. Be aware that the masstagger allows you to embed one albumart into many files.
    There are corresponding functions for 'Delete albumart' in the Trackinfo window.





    Posted on 4 Oct 2016, 16:14 by zigbert - Categories: Development
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    pMusic 5.2.0


    Version 5.2.0 is released

    Highlights
  • Completely new approach to podcast management. Now 24000 podcast channels available within pMusic. - sorted by category.
  • Tempo detection and extended Smartadd
  • Realtime sound processing
  • Nad has become the standard graphical theme
  • Wider documentation and help
  • Rewritten right-click menus
  • Optional deeper indexing when scanning local collection. See Menu->Music Sources->My Music
  • ... and you can search/play/download youtube inside pMusic. - Thanks to trio for you2pup


  • Posted on 11 Sep 2016, 13:57 by zigbert - Categories: Release
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    Slacko 700 Development


    It's an exciting time to be a Puppy Linux user!

    The puppy build system (woof-CE) has been developing at a rapid pace with all new scripts and programs developed for the initial RAM disk (a.k.a initrd.gz) to refine how puppy searches for files and boots. This initiative has been taken up by gyro on the Puppy Linux Discussion Forum with assistance from jlist (a.k.a. wdlkmpx in woof-CE circles) in building new static binary programs that the initrd.gz needs, including busybox and some other utilities.

    I have released the first slacko64 alpha built with these changes and you can help out with testing if you desire by downloading a copy and joining in the discussion at the forum. A 32 bit version will be following soon.

    Have fun testing!

    Posted on 1 Sep 2016, 11:16 by 01micko - Categories: Development
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    Play youtube in pMusic


    pMusic 5.1.3 supports youtube search, playback and download.

    It is Trio Tjandradjaja (trio) that first gave us the feature in you2pup which is a much more complete tool. In opposite to you2pup, pMusic only plays audio, and does not offer any option to choose quality. The bitrate is 128 kb/s.

    The youtube support in pMusic is shown in the image below.
  • Search youtube is activated in the search dock
  • Doubleclick on item to add to playqueue
  • While playing, it offers a download option




  • Searching
    When searching youtube inside pMusic, there is a difference in how to specify the best search-string. Youtube has a advanced search-engine which gives result for related items. This means you can specify 'as much as possible' to get the closest result. pMusic has a simple search-engine, and requires the search-string to have a correct syntax. It must not be complete (not even the words) and it isn't case sensitive, but the search will fail if the search-string is misspelled. The consensus is: Search youtube, write whatever. - Else, search simple.

    pMusic adds the word 'music' to the youtube search. Initial testing seems to work good, and gives us primarily songs to play.

    More about searching in pMusic here.


    Downloading
    Check target path and click the Download button. Just so simple. In case the filename has the much used from 'Artist - Title', pMusic will add id3-tags to the file. Anyway, the file will be added to the database. Next time you search for it, you have it locally.

    But, why download:
  • Since the youtube stream lacks length detection, the progress slider doesn't work
  • The trackinfo will mostly not work for youtube streams. To get Lyrics, tags, ..., you need to download
  • Snappiness
  • And the obvious about web connection...


  • Legal issues
    If you are wondering about legal issues, the complete truth does not seem to exist, but some knowledge is linked at the disclaimer page

    Posted on 27 Aug 2016, 06:07 by zigbert - Categories: development
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