The Linux jukebox media software, Banshee, has reached stable 1.0 status. Banshee often takes a backseat to Amarok in the Linux music player world, but if you’re using GNOME the latest version of Banshee blows Rhythmbox (the default music player in many distros) out of the water.
The biggest news in Banshee 1.0 is the massive speed improvements. Banshee isn’t technically a native Linux app since it uses .NET and runs as a managed app via Mono (F-Spot, the default photo organizer in GNOME, also uses .NET). In the past the overhead has made Banshee a bit slower than other options — especially with large music libraries.
But 1.0 is much snappier and performed as well as Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 8.04 with some 25,000 MP3s. In addition to the speed gains, Banshee 1.0 packs in a number of new features. Among the improvements are:
Banshee unabashedly borrows much of its feature set from Apple’s iTunes, but cuts out the Apple Store bloat, so if you’re looking for the features of iTunes without the DRM nastiness, Banshee makes an appealing choice.
Depending on which Linux distro you use, it might take some time for the Banshee 1.0 release to hit your repositories, but the Banshee download site has packages for most major Linux distros, including the latest versions of Ubuntu and Fedora.