News about Elisa

Elisa is a music player developed by the KDE community that strives to be simple and nice to use. We also recognize that we need a flexible product to account for the different workflows and use-cases of our users.
We focus on a very good integration with the Plasma desktop of the KDE community without compromising the support for other platforms (other Linux desktop environments, Windows and Android).
We are creating a reliable product that is a joy to use and respects our users privacy. As such, we will prefer to support online services where users are in control of their data.

 Improvements of Elisa Interface

We have got a new application icon from Paul Lesur. Thanks for the help.

128-apps-elisa
New Elisa Application Icon

Diego Gangl has been working on improving the design of the interface. Among the changes some where suggested quite some time ago by the KDE VDG.

The main controls of playback are now all on the same horizontal bar. This way, it should be much easier to locate them.

The view selector list has also a new simpler and cleaner look. I especially appreciate the removal of the not quite working color animations of the current item indicator.

Alexander Stippich added a small button that allows to sort the views in ascending or descending order. They are now sorted by default. The data comes from the tracks database in sorted order (done by Kevin Ottens). The case is ignored.

Screenshot_20180516_223706
Current Interface with Many Improvements

Many Improvements on Tracks Properties

A lot of work has recently went into Baloo and KFileMetaData frameworks. While this is not strictly related to the Elisa project, it is a huge improvement.

Elisa got hugely improved support for discovering existing image files with a cover. This work has been done by Kevin Ottens and Alexander Stippich. There are still cases where the cover might not be found if for example the cover file name has spaces. We may also want to be able to select the best one among many.

Elisa got fixes to better support track properties with multiple values. The current state is still not able to fully support authors list for example but we will eventually get there.

Performance Improvements when Checking Existing Music at Start

Elisa stores your discovered music in a small database to allow a quick start. Due to that, it needs to check if known tracks have changed or have been moved or removed. It also has to check if new music has been added.

This had been quite fast when using the Baloo support but was really slow for big music collections indexed by the Elisa specific indexer.

It is now storing the latest modification time of the files (possible by requiring Qt 5.10) and will only parse the properties of a track if needed. I did tests with a collection of around 4000 tracks and the improvement is really noticeable.

Please if you still notice problems, send us your feedback.

Ongoing work

Alexander Stippich is working on file system browsing from inside Elisa.

This work will be especially useful for playing tracks with no or bad properties.

It will also benefits everybody because when doing this work it has resulted in fixes for shared code like falling back to file name when no title property is there.

I am working to allow to browse the music by genre. This has led to many improvements to the automatic tests and the tracks database.

Screenshot_20180516_235410
Work In Progress: Browsing by Genre

One of the interesting side improvements is that now the only view that is visible is loaded in the interface. This should improve startup time and resource consumption.

Next Steps

We have decided to modify a little bit our release schedule to have two months before the feature freeze and only one more month before the release of the next stable release (i.e. the 0.2 version). The next step is the 2nd of June.

We Need your Help

There are quite some small tasks that are open in the Elisa workboard. They are a really good opportunity to join the project. Everybody will be happy to help and guide you. We will identify some junior jobs (I borrowed the idea from a recent blog post from KDE Connect team).

We also need help with every other tasks like: triaging bugs, working on code, improving the design and helping with the promo.

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6 thoughts on “News about Elisa

    1. I am afraid that we are a too small team to be able to do that soon.
      For example, I need to resurrect the Android portage and the UPnP/DLNA support. That in itself is quite some work. Those are my main reasons to have started this project.

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      1. Hey, I landed here from a pingback on nicolasfella’s blog on KDE connect. As I mentioned there, being the person that proposed and tries to coordinate the onboarding goal, it’s amazing to see more KDE projects taking steps and being active towards this goal!

        Let’s share our ideas on the task Nico linked, deciding on a common way to present the junior tasks effectively would be a great point to start.

        Thanks for your work! Elisa will soon be shipped in Chakra’s official repositories, I look forward to trying it out.

        Like

      2. Thanks a lot for your comment.Feel free to send us your feedback.

        As a first step, I will present them in the same way than KDE Connect is doing.
        I will report later on the Elisa experience on the task.

        Like

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