Oh, My Darling! Musica!

Well, Clementine has been around for a little while by now.  It’s based on an earlier version of Amarok and it’s available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.  Since I advocate for Ubuntu I’ll give you the short version of how to install it for Ubuntu.  (Unless stated otherwise my instructions should function for all three platforms.)

For Mac and Windows users, head on over and download Clementine.

Ok, Ubunters, grab your terminal because you’ll enter a couple of commands to make this quick and painless installation.  (This works for at least 10.04 through 16.04.  Older versions use apt-get in place of apt which is used now.)

(As of 14.04 Clementine is included the repositories and you needn’t add David’s repository.  Thus you may skip the first command below.  However, if you want the most current version do  add the repository since the version in the standard repositories can be slightly stale.  The current standard version will not support the mobile remote control application as an example.  I add the respository below.)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:me-davidsansome/clementine
sudo apt update
sudo apt install clementine

Once this repository is added and running, you’ll get your updates through your usual updates channel so this is my preferred method.  (The repository currently throws errors in 13.04 beta but they can be ignored. This has been fixed.)

It has a fairly comprehensive Preferences dialog so feel free to poke around in there, see what’s what, and try some of the features.

I don’t use Internet music sources, but it supports a good host of them for those of you who do (from Spotify to Last.FM and all points hither and yon).

This is also a great way to get simultaneous FLAC and library support on the Mac and on Windows.  (You can get limited FLAC support in iTunes on the Mac but it’s a bit of a pain in the ass.  Here is that article.  And you can get a FLAC plugin for Windows Media Player but why bother?)

One quirk with Clementine (and also previously with Amarok) is that it’s not obvious how to just play from all of your music.

Firstly, you open it and you have no content.  You’ll have to navigate to Tools —> Preferences —> General —> Music Library and click the “Add new folder…” button to add a folder location.  I just add my Music folder (and add shortcuts into my Music folder for any additional locations).  This page in Preferences also houses the word list for album cover art.  Separate each word with a comma.

Ok, so it will scan your collection now that you’ve added a folder location (and you can manually force a scan as well).  Once that finishes you will see a column of artists with sub-directories for albums. But how do you play everything?  If you open the Smart Playlists folder at the top you’ll see one called All tracks.  Not complicated but not necessarily obvious.

I use a black background with yellow lettering, and I have Clementine display the album art behind the semi-transparent playlist.  It’s pretty cool looking.  Both of these settings can be found at Tools —> Preferences —> User Interface —> Appearance.

(If your version of Clementine on Ubuntu doesn’t have an Appearance tab—and I think that is limited to 12.04—you can make adjustments using qtconfig after installing the package qt4-qtconfig.  You can install this by issuing the command sudo apt-get install qt4-config.  You can run it from your terminal by typing qtconfig.)

It’s really well integrated into the latest Ubuntu.  Clementine (and Rhythmbox) are located conveniently in the Volume drop-down.  Very clean and very quick to respond (for both of them).

While Clementine is running it will change the color of it’s icon as the song progresses (this may need to be enabled to take effect).

The folks over at OMG!Ubuntu! have many articles covering Clementine for those interested in such things.

There is a lot more that could be said about Clementine but this ought to be enough to get you started.

Have fun with that.


4 thoughts on “Oh, My Darling! Musica!

  1. How come I almost missed this post? I found that I’ve commented on an article of yours about Apple Lossless being free in 2013.

    Yes! Clementine is a welcome adition (in particular for Linux and Mac). For Mac it is a great alternative for those who just won’t cope with iTunes, and also for Linux you have an advanced player that doesn’t require almost 100 megabytes of KDE Plasma just to play or rip music. Besides, it can integrate with online services, including cloud storage, which is a must have for those wanting to do streaming. Having it acting as a Spotify client, what a joy! I wish they could integrate with Paris-based Qobuz music store as well. Who knows?

    On Windows I still use Foobar2000. In case I get a Mac one day, Clementine surely will be a great choice. This way I can take my FLAC tracks with me. And it seems that some people in the music industry are gradually moving to FLAC (for higher quality), then Clementine will be mandatory.



    1. Edu,

      I’m still using EAC for ripping (under WINE). Still the best error detection I have found.

      I would write to the maintainer for Clementine. If there is an API for Qobuz it may be simple for him to add that functionality. Who knows?

      I’ve used Clementine on Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu all with good experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *