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 advanced features like metadata tag editing, album art and song lyric fetching, audio analyzer, equalizer and "scrobbler" support for a variety of services. Strawberry started as a fork of the long-dead Clementine music player which was based on Qt4. Strawberry uses the more modern Qt5 framework for it's graphical interface. It is a very good music collection manager and player as of version 0.7.2.

Strawberry is available for Windows, all the major Linux distributions and macOS.

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. The collection view was not fine in versions prior to 0.6.0. You may find that Strawberry is a buggy piece of trash if your distribution ships an earlier version.

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

Strawberry has a small UI issue you that you will have to fix if you are using a high resolution monitors. It does not care what icon sizes you have defined for Qt applications in tools like qt5ct or the KDE systemsettings. You can, in recent versions, configure what icon sizes you want for every aspect of the interface in Tools ▸ Settings... ▸ Appearance. And you can, alternatively, set the QT_SCALE_FACTOR variable and start it with something like QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 strawberry to make the interface (icons, menus, everything) bigger. You will have to "fix it" by using either of those options if you are using a high resolution monitor.

Strawberry supports a tray icon for showing/hiding it. You can configure it to close to the system tray in Settings ▸ Behavior (not default). Stawberry had a bug where clicking the tray icon would always open it maximized prior to version 0.6.4.

Video files

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

Verdict and conclusion

Strawberry is a very nice music collection manager and player that lets you quickly search for a song, artist or album once your music collection has been indexed. It can also play files on the file system that are not part of the music collection which makes it a good all-around player for any purpose.

Earlier versions had some issues that are all iron out in the latest release. Make sure you're using 0.6.4 or 0.7.2, you may find that it is a bad experience if you use an old version like 0.5.5.

Installation

The Strawberry homepage at strawberrymusicplayer.org has Linux distribution specific pagages for openSUSE, Fedora, Mageia, Debian and Ubuntu as well as an AppImage and packages for Windows and macOS. Those packages are typically more up-to-date than what distributions carry, downloading and installing packages from the homepage may therefore be preferable to installing it through a distributions package management system.

Links

Alternatives

Stand-alone music players:

Program rating framework music collection database
Audacious Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt5 or GTK2 Dialog-cancel.svg
DeaDBeeF Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg GTK Dialog-cancel.svg
Elisa Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg Qt/KDE Dialog-ok.svg
Exaile Sad hyemi2.jpgSad hyemi2.jpg GTK Dialog-ok.svg
GNOME Music Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg GTK/GNOME Dialog-ok.svg
Strawberry Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt Dialog-ok.svg
qmmp Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt Dialog-cancel.svg

discontinued / abandoned / bankrupt & finished: Clementine | Amarok

Music Player Daemon clients:
mpd is a database-oriented music player daemon which can be controlled by numerous front-end programs.

Program rating framework type
Cantata Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt X11
GMPC Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg GTK X11
mpc Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg Command-line terminal
ncmpc Kim.Se-jeong.confused.jpgKim.Se-jeong.confused.jpgKim.Se-jeong.confused.jpg ncurses terminal
xfmpc Sad hyemi2.jpgSad hyemi2.jpg GTK/Xfce X11

discontinued / abandoned / bankrupt & finished: Sonata | KMP | Glurp


avatar

Anonymous user #1

13 months ago
Score 0++
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

13 months ago
Score 0++
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.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

13 months ago
Score 0++
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.
avatar

Jonaski

13 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.
avatar

Anonymous user #2

5 months ago
Score 0++
This is an audiophile music player. No other player can compete with Strawberry. Even (paid) players like JRiver and Roon have a formidable competitor here. Great that Strawberry plays with Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). A huge improvement over Clementine. Just a super jukebox and not comparable to any other music player in the Linux world! Play Strawberry with a low-latency kernel. You don't know what happens to you! Especially if you also use a good (Usb) DAC. No down-resampling like Clementine and many other players. 24 Bits - 192 Khz. remains the same. Perfect job Sir Jonaski greetings from the Netherlands, Tony.
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