Quod Libet Development

Posted May 2011

Being a audio-obsessive can make life a bit difficult. Whilst iTunes is great for a lot of people, being closed-source and without a linux version, it’s already a fail for others. Whilst improving it’s also sorely lacking in several areas including performance and tagging. But this isn’t a post about iTunes…

enter QL…

For some years I’ve been a fan of Quod Libet, a lesser-known open-source music player and manager, based on Python and GStreamer for Linux and Windows (Mac builds are possible, allegedly). It’s fast, has by far the best searching of any audio program I’ve ever seen, lots of plugins, and most importantly just does The Right Thing almost every time, whether it’s support for localisation, editing multiple songs, configurable views, smart playlists, volume correction, and so on.

Quod Libet


It’s not until some time later (early 2010 I think) that I tentatively submitted my first patch to improve the ReplayGain support and configurability, a subject close to my heart and anyone that’s put on a diverse playlist and wondered why despite best efforts some songs are still louder than others.

Since then I’ve become a semi-regular commiter to the project on which I’ve spent a surprising amount of free time (not least because Python is not my first language). The focus has mainly been on new or improved plugins, but some core bugfixes and a little (dodgy) translation too, as well as taming the ever-growing issue triage and feature requests list.

that open-source thang

It has been very satisfying to finally contribute to the open source community, and to a upcoming project used daily by thousands (here are some usage stats for Debian alone, and the GTK and desktop app Python experience is great. But mainly, it’s an amazing piece of software, that even after almost five years of use turns up some surprises. Try it out, you too may fall in love…