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 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'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 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).
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.
Stand-alone music players besides VLC:
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Music Player Daemon clients:
mpd is a database-oriented music player daemon which can be controlled by numerous front-end programs.