All Unkept
Posted in: KDE, Music, Rants  —  April 23, 2009 at 01:18 AM

Amarok 2 can corrupt MP3 files

by Luke Plant

I've found that Amarok 2 is really not ready to be used...

In terms of interface, it's not that bad, and I'm much happier than most people with the changes from Amarok 1.4, and I've been giving it a fair try.

I was annoyed that it provides a UI for putting albums into 'Various Artists', or removing then, but then forgets everything you've done next time you open the program when it rescans the collection. But I could live with that for the time being.

The fact that it clips the beginning off some tracks for some unknown reason is also really annoying (it clips 1.2 seconds off the beginning of one of my favourite tracks; Dragon Player, another KDE4 apps, also does it, but no other media players do so).

But it has started doing things that mean I just don't trust it with my MP3s any more:

Certain tracks start appearing with seemingly random album and artist names in the playlist (picked from other tracks in my collect), though they have the correct song title and play the correct song. If I right click and select 'Edit track details', the same wrong details appear (so if I were to press save, the wrong details would be saved back to the file). If, in the collection pane, I go to the album the track ought to be in, it is missing. I don't know how to find it again, except in the file browser. However, if I look at the same file in any other player or ID3 tag editor, the correct info appears. Somehow Amarok is not reading the info from the file itself, but from some other source which is corrupt.

This means that editing any track details in Amarok is now dodgy, since if I go to edit one detail, I can't be sure that other details will be supplied correctly, and when I save I could save Amarok's corrupt data to the file.

Perhaps purging the collection completely might help, but I'm not sure how to do it, and I don't really want to lose all the album covers etc.

I guess I should file a bug, but I've filed so many recently, and this is one I don't know how to reproduce, and it's fairly pointless filing it — as a developer myself, I know that, with the best will in the world, this kind of bug will eventually just get WORKSFORME.

Before, I couldn't trust Amarok to actually play tracks correctly, and now can't trust Amarok to show my collection so that I can find songs and albums, and I certainly can't trust it to manage the MP3 files.

Fairly damning I'm afraid. I'm posting this as a warning to others, Amarok could be corrupting the metadata in your MP3s...

Should I try upgrading to Amarok 2.1? Or do I just give up now and go back to mocp?

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