Are you bored of Windows Media Player? Is iTunes too bloated for you? VLC not bloated enough? Fear not! There are other options available when it comes to software for managing your music, and today we’ve got a program called Clementine which is available for free across the board on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
You can download Clementine from the developer’s website, and it weighs in at around 15MB on Windows, so it will be downloaded and ready to install in a matter of seconds on most high speed broadband connections. Installation took under 10 seconds on our test machine; considerably less than the installation time of a larger media player such as iTunes. Despite it’s smaller size, the program still used over 150MB of RAM on our test machine, so footprint is definitely an issue which the developer needs to look at.
The interface of Clementine is fairly straight forward, although if you’ve used iTunes for a long time you’ll have a bit of a learning curve when you adjust to this one. There is a navigation bar on the left which allows you to quickly access key features such as your library and files. From here, you can also access information about the current artist right in the window without pausing the track which is currently playing.
All of the information about artists is gathered from internet sources such as Wikipedia and Last.FM, and you can even see a map of artists which are similar to the one that you’re currently listening to. Clicking on a related artist will allow you to either play songs locally if you already have them in your library, or play their Last.FM stream.
IF you have imported your music into the Clementine library, artists will appear in alphabetical order on the sidebar at the left hand side of the window. Unfortunately, there are no view options beyond having all of the artists and their albums listed, although you can view artwork in the separate ‘cover manager’ window. Similarly, visualisations also open in another window rather than the one currently in focus, and there is no full screen option for the visualisations either.
Put simply, Clementine delivers what it promises: simplicity. There’s nothing fancy here, it just takes your music files and plays them. It isn’t linked to an online store and there are no polished effects, but it can handle virtually any music format that you can throw at it, lossy or lossless. It did fail to play one of my albums which has a higher bit-rate than most other lossless files, instead producing a strange muffled drone, but any track with a standard bit rate from a CD should play fine.
If you want to check out Clementine for yourself, you can download it here. Let us know what you think of it in the comments!