April 8, 2019

Olivia Audio Player Has Arrived For Linux With A Few Unique Features

Yes, Virginia, another music player has arrived on the Linux scene. Following the heels of newer audio players gracing your software center such as Babe and Elisa, Olivia has formally announced it's arrival. Built using Qt and Python, the Olivia music player attempts to make your music dynamic and in the Cloud.

Some Unique Features

A few of the things that stood out in trying this music player that are that are a bit different are:

  • Online music search
  • Automatic downloading of audio from online streams, including YouTube
  • Extracts audio of YouTube streams, and optionally saves them
  • Dynamic theming, including based on album art
  • Search suggestions
  • Minimal mode
  • Internet radio sorted by country
  • Top music chart by country (but not by genera yet)

Olivia Music Player's Ability To Dynamically Change Appearance Based On Album Art Is A Cool Feature
Olivia Music Player's Ability To Dynamically Change
Appearance Based On Album Art Is A Cool Feature

The fact that Olivia is entirely cloud-based really reminds me of the Tomahawk player, announced all the way back in 2010 at Camp KDE. In retrospect, Tomahawk was really ahead of its time, providing features such as cloud-source streaming and sharing among friends - features that Olivia looks to continue.

From the GitHub page, we can see these types of features coming to light in the roadmap ahead:

Olivia's lead developer shares some future goals
Olivia's lead developer shares some future goals

More features like cloud synchronization of music using an online account, and sharing music among friends appears to be coming soon.

Curiously, play back of local music has not yet been implemented, and does appear to not be a high priority at this time. Although I would expect this functionality to appear fairly soon, as it is hard to have a full-fledged audio player without this innate ability.

Olivia has a classic, three-panel design but with
everything being pulled from the Internet, as
opposed to reading from local files

No Local Playback, No Bueno?

For many people, the lack of local library access may be a deal-breaker. I know for me personally, I have invested a lot of time in organizing and properly tagging a large music collection. The thought of not being able to use Olivia to playback local files would not be something I would be content with from a user perspective.

However since it appears likely that this feature will be added, and in the long run what we may have here is a very nice balance and a very capable online-enabled media player. I suspect that many users will appreciate the ability to download the audio-only portion of YouTube music videos. The dynamic theming is rather pleasing as well (however this function is entirely optional).

Trying It Out

Right now the easiest way to test Olivia is via the Snap Store. This will install a testing branch for users to easily try out. Users of Plasma Discover who have the Snap Store repository enabled can install it easily directly from within Discover. An Appimage version is planned, and of course the application can be built from source as well.

Olivia as seen in Plasma Discover
Olivia as seen in Plasma Discover

The project's homepage can be found on GitHub.

** Edit **  It's now also available in Arch's AUR Repositories, courtesy of a packager on Reddit

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