Category: Linux

Audacious, DeadBeef, Clementine

I don’t use RhythmBox or Banshee, as they are too bloated for me. I was a Winamp user.

I tried Audacious, DeadBeef, and Clementine. The following is a brief comparison,

  Audacious DeadBeef Clementine
Shortcut key Affect application only Affect application only Global hotkey
APE tag support Didn’t test Can load APE tag Cannot load APE tag
AAC support Correct file extension needed Can play Can play
Drag-and-drop songs among playlist Copy Move Copy
Copy-paste songs among playlist (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V) Can Cannot Cannot

Clementine global hotkey gives me trouble to navigate the audio file within the application.

DeadBeef works well, the only drawback is managing the playlist.

And, my favourite is Audacious. It works well in various aspects.


Pidgin, best ever all-in-one messenger. Best, because it has a lot of plugins. If you have multiple GMail accounts, such as personal GMail, and your workplace uses Google App, then you can just use Pidgin. Need not open so many applications.

If you need Skype, for messeging only or group chat, install skype4pidgin plugin. It is better to use it instead of running heavy Skype for Linux Alpha or very old version of Skype. Using web version Skype cannot give any notification, but allows you to view the images directly. But still, using Google Talk/Hangout and Skype services together through Pidgin is much more convenient.

I tried with Telegram also. It works. There are various plugins available. If you need notifications from multiple chat services (including Facebook), Pidgin is the best!

Screenshot annotation/labelling

Since I am working as a freelance software developer, often need to comment on the screen. I keep looking for the application that can

  • Draw straight line
  • Basic geometries: ellipse or rectangle
  • Draw arrow
  • Writing text

GIMP, Krita, Pinta etc can draw these. But they are too advance, or too low-level as a raw image editor, which hinders me to work productively.

At the end, I found Shutter from Stack Overflow. I never thought about it, because the main purpose of Shutter is taking screenshot. But it has an image editing feature. And this image editing can do all the things I mentioned above.

PPSSPP and other game emulators

Not PSP, but PPSSPP. It is a PSP emulator. For a medium quality computer, playing with PS2 emulator is not that smooth. But PPSSPP is good enough to play the PSP games. And there is an Android port for PPSSPP, but only if your phone is strong enough to run the game.

Thanks to the open source and PPSSPP developers.

Other emulators which I like are VBA-M (a fork of inactive VisualBoy Advance), PCSX-Reload, PCSX2FCEUX, Snes9x, and DOSBox. But FCEUX, Snes9x, and DOSBox games are extremely antique.

Notetaking applications on Linux

Previously I mentioned about Evernote on WINE in Linux. It works fine. Some minor problems I faced are upgrading Evernote requires re-install, because of the WINE compatibility with the installer, and Chinese characters are not viewable at the note list, and restricted monthly upload limit. That is why, I am looking for alternative solutions.

The followings are the notetaking applications I tried briefly,

  • Basket Note Pad – Very fancy. Uses XML and text files.
  • Tomboy Note, Gnote – Android version, Tomdroid notes. Cannot insert picture.
  • Xournal – Doesn’t look like notetaking application I am looking for.
  • Zim – Wiki format. Still active.
  • NixNote – Using Evernote server.
  • KJots – Does not run properly in my computer.
  • WizNote – Requires sign up. It has web clipper and Android port.
  • KeepNote – Uses XML.

Among these notetaking applications, most interesting one is Zim. It can insert a lot of things including picture, screenshot, equation, code, etc. It also allows using tagging. The wiki format is better than XML, since it is just a very plain text file. This mean, I can synchronise my notes over my other devices using the service such as Dropbox, and open the file as long as I have text editor. Editing XML with text editor is not a good idea. The only thing Zim is lacking of is the web clipper and a full port to Android. But this is really a powerful tool, more than notetaking.

Favourite less popular Linux applications

This is just a sharing about my favourite software applications which are less popular comparing to others.

Linux distribution: Arch Linux vs Ubuntu, Linux Mint.
Reason: Highly customisable.

Desktop environment: Xfce4 vs GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Mate.
Reason: Traditional desktop look, lightweight yet feature-rich.

Programmer text editor: jEdit, Emacs vs Sublime Text, Atom
Reason: jEdit – Cross-platform, unlimited window split
Reason: Emacs – Cool!

Text editor: medit
Reason: Tab view, start by opening last opened files.

Video player: SMPlayer vs VLC
Reason: Subtitles look better. Can open various file formats including RMVB.

Video editor: Shotcut vs Pitivi, Handbrake (video transcoder)
Reason: Easier to split or resize the video.

Audio player: Audacious vs Banshee, Rhythmbox
Reason: I don’t like library concept. I just want to play the musics I like by drag-and-drop from my file manager.

Image browser/organizer: XnViewMP vs F-Spot, Shotwell
Reason: I don’t like library concept as above. I just want to view my images from any folder that I stored by images/photos.

Image viewer: Viewnior
Reason: Can zoom in/out by mouse scroll, can move the photo view by mouse drag.

Chinese input method: Fcitx with RIME with self-written Wubi + Pinyin input method vs Fcitx Pinyin, IBus Pinyin, Sogou Pinyin
Reason: Fcitx works better when IBus was upgrading, so I stick to Fcitx. And RIME is just so customisable that I write my own input method.

Synchronize and backup: FreeFileSync
Reason: Best ever synchronize and backup software. I can’t find any alternative solution.

Application launcher: GNOME Do
Reason: I was using Executor in Windows. And just use any replacement on Linux, and now I get this.

File browser: Nemo vs Nautilus (GNOME file manager), Dolphin, Thunar (Xfce4 default file browser)
Reason: Previously using Nautilus, but when it introduced type as search, then I prefer the older feature, that is why I stick to Nemo.

Calculator: SpeedCrunch
Reason: I prefer expression calculator. And it is cross-platform.