Open Source Musings The thoughts, ideas, and opinions of an open source guy

Listening to music on the Linux desktop with Clementine

An old record player

So much music, so many desktop music players, and so little time.

I’m sure that most Linux users can rattle off the names of a few music players. We’ve all tried a few (sometimes more than a few), in the hopes of finding the right one. I know I have. The closest I came to finding that music player was one called Songbird. Until it stopped working and the developers stopped showing the Linux version any love.

While I still haven’t found that music player that’s perfect for me, one that I stumbled across a while ago has made an impression. It’s called Clementine and while it’s simple, it does quite a good job.

Let’s take a look at it.

A few links of interest

4 open source alternatives to Evernote

Someone writing in a paper notebook

(Note: This post was published at and appears here via a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.)

Information. Whether we realize it or not, we collect a lot of it. Interesting snippets. Links. Research for school or work. Recipes. Quotes. And a whole lot more.

Millions of people turn to Evernote to organize all that information. There’s no denying that Evernote is a useful and powerful tool. But it’s also a closed one.

Maybe you want to take control of your information and move away from a closed, proprietary tool. Maybe you’re disgruntled about the recent changes to Evernote’s services. Maybe you just want to take notes the open source way. Whatever your reasons for moving away from Evernote, there are open source alternatives out there.

Let’s take a look at four of those alternatives.

On using Emacs

Some HTML code in a text editor

If you’ve been using Linux for any length of time, you may have heard about the so-called editor holy war between Emacs and vi. There was a time when I found this war laughable. Now, it’s just pitiable. Let’s be honest here: these are only text editors, and like many other pieces of software a text editor is a personal choice. There’s no need to resort to zealotry to justify your choice.

Over the years, I’ve used both Emacs and vi (along with several of their variants). In the end I chose Emacs. It had nothing to do with religion, brainwashing, peer pressure, or anything like that. I have nothing against vi, but Emacs just worked better for me.

While I don’t use Emacs all that much now, I did quite regularly up until a few years ago. Here’s why.

Creating command line aliases

A Linux terminal window

If you’re doing any work at the command line, that work probably involves more than a couple of keystrokes. You can save time and reduce the amount you type at the command line in two ways.

One way is to create a script that encapsulates all of the commands and options that you’ll be using to perform an operation. All you need to do is run the script along with, say, a file name. That’s great for single or multiple commands that require a lot of options.

For other commands, an easier way is to create an alias. An alias replaces the command and its options with something shorter. For example, if you want to list the contents of a directory in detail, you can type ls -l at the command line. Or, you can create the alias ll and use that instead.

Let’s take a quick look at how to do that.