"When I die just keep playing the records."
  — Jimi Hendrix
Welcome to Aqualung,
a music player for GNU/Linux

Aqualung is an advanced music player originally targeted at the GNU/Linux operating system, today also running on FreeBSD and OpenBSD, with native ports to Mac OS X and even Microsoft Windows. It plays audio CDs, internet radio streams and podcasts as well as soundfiles in just about any audio format and has the feature of inserting no gaps between adjacent tracks.

Here's how the test looks like.

Pick a song that you know really well, something that's in your bones like Siberian Khatru. Grab it from CD using cdparanoia to have it as a WAV file. Now open your favourite wave editor and slice the file up into multiple consecutive sections. Be careful not to insert silence, delete samples or alter any sample data. Save the slices to separate files. Now convert the sample rate of some pieces to random values (the example program shipped with the libsamplerate library will let you do this in very good quality). Pick some pieces and convert them to Ogg Vorbis format. Pick some others and encode them to FLAC. Pick a few and convert them to MONO. Now open up the Playlist editor of the music player in question and add the files in order. Push play, and listen.

Aqualung is a music player designed from the ground up to provide continuous, absolutely transparent, gap-free playback across a variety of input formats and a wide range of sample rates thereby allowing for enjoying quality music: concert recordings and "non-best-of" albums containing gapless transitions between some tracks. (Multiple movements long compositions are often broken into separate but gaplessly flowing tracks when mastered to CD.) Obvious examples are The Song Remains The Same (Led Zeppelin), The Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd), and Yessongs (Yes). Besides the ability to play the music from these records without a defect, Aqualung provides high quality sample rate conversion, a feature that is essential when building large digital music archives containing input sources conforming to various standards. Aqualung passed our test – and it will pass yours, too.

Features at a glance

On the input side:

On the output side:

In between:

Other niceties:

In addition to all this, Aqualung comes with a Music Store that is an XML-based music database, capable of storing various metadata about music on your computer (including, but not limited to, the names of artists, and the titles of records and tracks). You can (and should) organize your music into a tree of Artists/Records/Tracks, thereby making life easier than with the all-in-one Winamp/XMMS playlist. Importing file metadata (ID3v1, ID3v2 tags, Ogg Xiph comments, APE metadata) into the Music Store as well as getting track names from a CDDB/FreeDB database is supported.

Aqualung is released under the GNU General Public License. For more info, see the Misc page.