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 in theory a decent player. In practice it's not, it is buggy and annoying to use.

We tested Strawberry version 0.5.5.

Features and usability[edit | edit source]

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 forever. There is a informative "Updating collection" message with a percentage at the bottom of the player while the music collection is analyzed. Strawberry will very quickly reach 80% and slowly move forward until it's 99% (not actually) done. At 99% it decides that it's actually only 80% done. Then it slowly reaches 99% - at which point it goes back to 80%. This goes on for hours. Strawberry will eventually finish and populate it's "Collection" tab with songs.

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

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

Strawberry's collection view is in theory fine. Songs can be grouped in various ways such as "Album artists/Album", "Genre/Artist/Album" and there is also "Advanced grouping..." where you can manually enter any tag for first, second and third level grouping. In practice the collection view is not fine. Using it works as expected most of the time but some searches will make the whole program hang. Strawberry will freeze the UI and pin one CPU core at 100% and keep on playing music when this happens. It does recover from these hangs if you wait long enough - sometimes it comes back after 1 minute, sometimes 5. These frequent user interface hangs get very annoying real quick.

There are 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.

Video files[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Strawberry plays music and it's barely usable as a music player as long as you stick to dragging and dropping a file or folder from a file manager or use it's files view. The music collection feature is fine in theory but it is not in practice, searching the collection will randomly make Strawberry's UI freeze. These frequent UI hangs and other very annoying usability issues which makes this player too annoying to use.

We do not recommend Strawberry as a general-purpose player.

Links[edit | edit source]


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Anonymous user #1

20 days 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

20 days 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

20 days 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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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