Announcing Radio Tray
After using so much fine open-source software, I finally released something back to the community. For a long time I intended to create or participate in a Linux project, but for some reason never got the chance to do so. Anyway, it’s not much, but here it is: Radio Tray, a simple online radio player with a very simple interface.
I’ve used countless music players, some of them very good, like Amarok, Rythmbox, Exaile, etc. One needs to have a very strong reason to make a new one, right ?
Well, I created Radio Tray for the same reason many software developers create applications: there wasn’t anything that filled all my needs. And I had the time (not much, but some), so…why not ?
I like to listen to music at work. Not always, but there are times where music really helps relax, think, etc. As I don’t bring my music collection to work (I don’t like to have such personal stuff on company computers), I rely on online radios. And I like online radios, there many good ones. I tried lots of music players, but unfortunately most of them don’t support proxies, which I have to use at work. As for the rest, most of them are more suited to managing a music collection than to play online radios. I wanted something simple and oriented to online radios. I then decided to make one myself 🙂
Radio Tray is written in Python, a language that I was also curious about. I already had developed a few scripts in python, but nothing too big. This was really an excellent opportunity to learn more about this language. I decided to make the user interface very minimal. There’s no main window, just an icon in the system tray. By clicking on it, you get a list of pre-configured radios to select. Right-clicking gives the option to configure the list of radios.
This is the first release, so it may have lots of bugs 🙂 I’m already aware of a serious limitation. Unfortunately GStreamer libraries don’t interpret playlist files, like the pls, m3u or wsx. These are the files that most streaming radios have available at their websites. For an experienced user it’s trivial to open these files (which are text files) and grab the direct URL to the stream. It’s this direct URL that needs to be configured in Radio Tray, for it to work. I’m hoping to solve this playlist issue in future versions.
For me, Radio Tray is useful and the solution to my problem. You can download Radio Tray 0.1 and try it yourself. Feel free to leave any comments.