Qball's Weblog

All hail the great banshee

Tags Grind My Gears 

I from time to time use banshee to put music on my ipod. It is not perfect, it is slow and uses a lot of memory, but worked.
So when going on a ride today, I wanted some fresh music for driving on the long straight road..

So I fired up banshee, this used to take about 1-1.5 minute, so I left. When I got back I could marvel at the new improved banshee.

I was presented with the new browser, where you see a nice list of covers.  I heard about this in the recent sermons about banshee.

So, slightly impressed, I tried it out.   I have something similar like this in gmpc, but because of the huge strain and stress it puts on the system (memory wise, and IO wise) I do not include it by default. So I wondered how well it did in banshee, if it is the default view. It should be fast.

So I scrolled, nothing happened, my harddisk started grinding like crazy. (I upgraded it recently to a faster model, that does however makes more more noise).  After like way to many  seconds the view scrolled to the new point.  Ok  I thought it has to load the images from the hard-disk, I can understand this being slow. But scrolling back, over the part it just did, was still slow.. WTH??   Doesn’t it cache previously found hits?  Checking its memory usage, it was around 300 mb, so I guess it does cache something.

Here is a short video about it scrolling, what you miss here is grinding noise of the hard-disk, it also feels worse then it looks: http://random.sarine.nl/banshee-mav.ogv. (here I already scrolled through the list several times.)
(It also does not various album detection, causing some cover to show up 30 times…)

Switching between the playlists, (recent favorites, unheard, etc) is slow, takes around 2-3 seconds for it to respond.
I do not understand why banshee constantly gets praised to heaven. I know it looks nice and it will probably work fine if you only have a few albums in there. But something praised this much and offered as default media player, should not go down on its knees this fast.
(I am not saying gmpc should be offered as default player, i know it serves a niche market. )

Owh and to make things worse, I could not put music on my ipod. But I do not blame banshee for that, as it also failed in rhythmbox.


To be fair, I did not run this on my netbook, or the 300 mhz G3 macbook I use to test gmpc.  I ran it on my desktop pc. It is not the newest or the fastest thing around, but it is hardly ‘slow’ either.  It has a E8400 with 8gig ram (4x2gig   see here for some memory speed tests on it.) and a new, fast, hard-disk for /home.