Strawberry

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Strawberry is a database-oriented music player made for enjoying large music collections. It supports all the common audio file formats. It has many more advanced features like metadata tag editing, album art and song lyric fetching, audio analyzer and equalizer and "scrobbler" support for a variety of services. Strawberry started as a fork of the long-dead Clementine player which was based on Qt4. Strawberry uses the more modern Qt5 framework for it's graphical interface. It is a decent player as of version 0.6.3.

We tested Strawberry version 0.6.3 for this review. See this pages history for a review of version 0.5.5 which was too buggy and annoying to use.

Features and usability

Strawberry-0.6.3.jpg
Strawberry version 0.6.3.

Strawberry is a "collection"-oriented database-driven player. You have to configure one or more music folders when you start it for the first time. Strawberry will then analyze the collection and add it to a searchable database. This takes a very long time if your collection is large. Strawberry will eventually finish and populate it's "Collection" tab with songs. That tab can then be used to search through your music collection.

Strawberry can also be used as a regular "non-database" music player. It has a "Files" tab on the left side which can be used to browse the filesystem. It is also possible to drag and drop files from filemanagers like Thunar and Dolphin into the playlist.

Strawberry-0.5.5.png
Strawberry 0.5.5 playing songs added from the file system browser while it's "Updating collection".

Strawberry's collection view can be used to quickly search through your songs and group them in various ways such as "Album artists/Album", "Genre/Artist/Album". There is also "Advanced grouping..." where you can manually enter any tag for first, second and third level grouping. This works well as of version 0.6.3.

The collection view was not fine in version 0.5.5. It frequently made the program freeze when searching which made this entire feature unusable. Make sure you se a 0.6.x version if you want to use the collection search features.

Strawberry-0.5.5-collection.png
Strawberry can group the collection list in various ways.

Strawberry does have some UI usability issues on high resolution monitors. Most Qt and KDE applications allow toolbar re-sizing by clicking on them. Strawberry appears to have hard-coded fixed icon sizes and they are tiny. The toolbar with buttons for loading and saving playlists are too small to be used unless you're on a 27" 720p monitor. The play/stop buttons on the bottom of the playlist are also microscopic.

Strawberry supports a tray icon for showing/hiding it. This feature has the bug, restoring a hidden Strawberry by clicking the tray icon will always open a maximized window. This can be rather annoying. Developer Jonas Kvinge has fixed this in the git version. You will have to live with it if you use the version included in your distribution (until a new version is released).

Video files

Strawberry will happily play video files present in the playlist. A separate window for the video pops up when video files are played. It has absolutely no controls. It can be re-sized.

Verdict and conclusion

Strawberry is a nice music player if you are using an old 1080p monitor and don't mind the player appearing maximized when you hide and unhide it with the tray icon (is fixed in git). The small UI buttons which can not be resized (even though it's made with Qt which supports this - unlike GTK where such problems are normal) makes it high to use on modern 4K displays. Strawberry is great for managing and enjoying a larger music collection as of the latest release if you do not mind those problems. Do make sure you are using the latest version, 0.5.5 was horrible. All in all it's a great general-purpose music player - as long as you are using a low resolution monitor or don't mind very tiny UI buttons.

Links


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Anonymous user #1

4 months ago
Score 0 You
My big gripe with Strawberry (and Clementine) is that you can download cover art, but you can't embed it into the MP3. So then when you use some other media player you often don't get the benefit of your work updating the cover art.
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Anonymous user #1

4 months ago
Score 0 You
Suggestion for review: Sayonara. It seems to allow you to not only find but also embed the cover art in the Mp3. And it sort of looks like Musicmonkey, one of the best windows players.
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Anonymous user #1

4 months ago
Score 0 You
I have now read your reviews on other music players and I agree with them -- most of the "leaders" are unacceptable for a variety of reasons. Not a good situation.
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Jonaski

3 months ago
Score 0++

This isn't accurate at all. A review like this isn't helpful for anyone. It's just revealing that you had a problem (probably with your system) that you didn't bother to figure out. It is not normal for the scan to take "forever", and it's normal for the GUI to hang when you search. Something is obviously broken, either something with your system, setup or some specific songs that's causing this. Strawberry uses threads which means it runs things like the scanner in the background so it does not affect the performance of the GUI. Hundreds of users are using Strawberry, no-one else have reported the problems you have with hang. It's also included many of the largest Linux distros including fedora, arch and opensuse. Also, if you did a bit of research, you'd find out that it has been reviewed by well known sites within the FOSS community, like opensource.com and itsfoss.com, most of those reviewers are experienced Unix/Linux users. Chris Hermansen has experience with Unix systems since the 80's. They didn't have any hang issues. I also do testing in Virtualbox with 8 different Linux distros, macOS and Windows, none of those have any hang/freeze issue whatsoever. I've also looked through some of the other reviews for other players, and you describe some of the same behavior there.

You are correct about the bug when restoring from the system tray, that's a minor bug, it took me 1/2 minute to fix it when I became aware of it. I had actually just commented out a line in the code, probably for debugging purposes, and forgotten about it. It's fixed now.

We actually spend our spare time working on free & open source projects, we earn nothing from it, it's not fair that you don't even bother to file a bug report or contact us before writing a review like this.
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Video players: SMPlayer | mpv | VLC | GNOME Videos

discontinued: Xine | GMPlayer | MPlayer

Stand-alone Audio players:

Filesystem-oriented: Audacious
Database-oriented: Elisa | Strawberry | Exaile | GNOME Music
Bankrupt and finished: Clementine | Amarok

Music Player Daemon audio player clients:

GUI: Cantata | GMPC | Xfmpc (Xfce)
ncurses: ncmpc - Command-line: mpc
Dead and berried: Sonata | KMP | Glurp