Canonical Discusses Banshee Decision


Jason Warner, Ubuntu Desktop Manager for Canonical, discusses the ‘whys’ of the Banshee decision.

The intention for Banshee to become the default music player in the next release of Ubuntu was discussed at the last Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida (UDS_N), and it’s now official - Banshee will replace Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal release.

Since the discussion at UDS-N, there have been many questions surrounding the Banshee decision. The Ask Ubuntu site offers many answers, but we asked Jason Warner, Ubuntu Desktop Manager for Canonical, to provide more details about the move.

Not long after beginning his role as the Ubuntu Desktop Manager, Warner started receiving user requests to include Banshee as the default music player. He says that Banshee has been the most-requested application for inclusion into Ubuntu.

“Banshee gives users a more consistent user interface," Warner says. "Banshee meets our users needs and gives them the most efficient experience.”

Some users and developers have speculated that the Ubuntu and GNOME relationship has been strained since the decision to make Unity the default desktop in Natty. Does using Banshee as the default music player help strengthen Ubuntu's relationship with GNOME? "While that is an interesting take on the decision, it is a plus for the decision after the fact," Warner says. "While the Banshee association with GNOME is a bonus, giving the user the best experience possible was the real deciding factor in selecting Banshee,” he adds.

Warner says that from the developers point of view, the criteria is very similar to that of the end user. "Banshee offers more in the area of extension libraries and has a vibrant community that allows for a better, more heavily maintained application, with a much richer ecosystem," he says. “Banshee continues to improve because users, many in the Ubuntu community, continue to test the application and give the developers feedback,” he says.

Warner encourages users who want to help test Banshee to download and install the application and report feedback. “I hope the user experience is a positive one, and if it’s not, we want to hear about it,” he says.

( Amber Graner)

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