Decibel Audio Player: An Audio Player for Human Beings

October 14th, 2007 edited by Vince

Article submitted by François Ingelrest. We are running out of articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!

What is an Audio Player?

Aren’t you tired of those audio players with billions of useless features that clutter up their graphical interface? I am. Most of the time, the player looks good on paper, but when I’m faced with the interface, I don’t even know where to start in order to play my music. There are a lot of buttons, lists, combo boxes a bit everywhere and their usage is not so intuitive.

Above all, the worst thing about these features is that I really don’t need them. Do you really rate your tracks? I don’t. I know my music collection, I know what I like and what I don’t. Do you really need those fancy smart playlists? I don’t. When I want to listen to my music, I want to listen to an entire album, not just a track from here and another one from there.

A Solution Exists

Decibel Audio Player is a simple and nice audio player for the GNOME desktop. GNOME was precisely designed to be simple and nice, so why bother with a complex player and a cluttered graphical interface? Decibel Audio Player follows as closely as possible the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines, here is how it looks like:

Main Library

Another key aspect of this player is its modular design that allows users to enable only the features they want. The core of the player is very small and simple, and features are implemented in their own module that can be enabled/disabled as needed through the preferences:


So if you don’t want a feature, you simply disable the corresponding module and it gets out of your way. Decibel Audio Player is built on top of GStreamer, and currently supports MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC formats. Its interface is intuitive, and tracks may be dragged, reordered, removed… as needed. Although it is still a young project, current features are correctly implemented and simply work as they should.


Decibel Audio Player is available in Debian unstable/testing and Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon repositories (package decibel-audio-player). A more recent version, with music library support, is also available from the website. If you’re looking for a simple audio player, give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

9 Responses

  1. Dread Knight Says:

    Pretty cool :)
    It’s neat compared to most players I’ve tried, but personally i need features like in rhythmbox or banshee :D (my favorite is the search function and second is the queve, nothing too fancy).

  2. Rob Says:

    Nice. I didn’t know about decibel player, it looks fine to me.

    I personally like to use exaile player because, not only is the interface nice, but it integrates shoutcast internet radio browsing too :)

    For me, this is a must have feature.
    I’m probably more lazy than you as I have no music on my hdd at the moment. I simply fire up exaile and tune in on the internet in seconds while I browse away on firefox. Nice.

    Additionally, it supports iPOD file exchange (as a plugin) for those who cannot leave home with out their music collection!

  3. rfunk Says:

    “Aren’t you tired of those audio players with billions of useless features that clutter up their graphical interface?”

    No, actually I’m tired of GNOME people saying I should be tired of features that I find useful.

  4. shavenwarthog Says:

    Cool! I’m a big Amarok fan, myself. Lots of features I haven’t found elsewhere. It’ll show you your most recently added songs — so you can rip a CD then find it amongst hundreds. It also seamlessly supports music players, including my Creative Zen V.

    Decibel looks cool though — next time I get tired of waiting for Amarok to start up I’ll try it — thanks!

  5. GustafB Says:

    You’ve got to love screenshots with FLA - Millenium playing

  6. Maxo Says:

    Thank you for the heads up. I run Amarok on my main PC because I like all of the bells in whistles. My laptop is a slow 800Mhz PC I use as my radio player in my truck. For it Rhythmbox has been very nice, but I have been looking for something nicer. I will certainly give this a whirl.

  7. Clair Ching Says:

    I have been checking out various media players and so far, I haven’t seen this yet. I like vlc because I find the interface simple enough when I just want to open a directory of my music files. But I prefer Exaile when trying to manager my playlists and all. I should give this a try one of these days. :) Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Haydn Says:

    I have been looking for a file explorer based music player for a long time! I don’t use tags. Thanks to this site at last I found it: Decibel.

    Does anybody know any other file explorer type players?

  9. Linulin Says:

    “Does anybody know any other file explorer type players?”

    moc (