There’s a huge selection of software music players around at the moment, and they all have good and bad bits. However for the most part they all fail in one way or another, which means that you miss out on the best music choice on and offline. What’s missing is a tool which lets you combine just about every music source anywhere in one simple interface. Well, guess what…?
Tomahawk is a new open source music player for Mac, Linux and Windows which crams in an amazingly impressive amount of functionality into its petite frame. The usual things you’d expect are there, like sophisticated music library and search functions, but layered on top of that is a superb social network system which lets you do two things.
Not only can you pull in music from the online networks like Spotify, YouTube and Last.fm and seamlessly collate them all into your library, but it also lets you link up to your friends via social networks like Twitter and Google Chat. This means you can import their playlists into your system and listen to it all as though it was one huge library. You can import playlists from all over the web, and there’s a brilliant Stations feature which you can use to create streaming stations derived from your favourite music tracks.
To use it, just drag a track into the station section and Tomahawk will automatically hunt on the Web and through your sources for similar music to play to you. Voila, all the power of Pandora, but under your total control. As if that wasn’t enough, you can tweak the station settings to give you more or less of the same, and customise the tempo so you can move it more up or downbeat as your mood takes you. Genius!
But there’s more. The beauty of well designed open source products is the fact they can be extended at a whim, and the Tomahawk developers have put together a full API to allow this in some great ways. For example, there’s a clever playlist scraper which lets you import tracks directly into the program while you visit various music sites. The list of compatible sites and services is extensive, and growing, including massive resources like Hype Machine, Mog, Soundcloud, Xfm, Grooveshark, iTunes charts, BBC charts and more. Stunningly cool technology.
There’s a lot more functionality included (like an amazingly granular music search/playback feature which lets you specify your arist choice down to color of shirt or something) but suffice it to say you really need to download and play with this to appreciate it fully. Probably one of the most impressive music players we’ve seen for a long while.