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MySQL in Amarok 2 - The Reality

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Software

Jeff Mitchell: There has been a lot of chatter lately regarding Amarok's switch to MySQL as its only SQL backend. A decent amount is FUD -- either by people simply pushing back against change, or by people that simply don't understand the decision. Some of it (particularly Adriaan's blog post) has been insightful and interesting, but miss the mark in terms of why this change was made. This post attempts to explain why this decision was made, what it really means for you the end-user, and why you should have a cup of tea and relax.

I want to point out first that I said that MySQL is going to be Amarok's only SQL backend. A2's collection system is very powerful. Just take a look at how varied music sources from Shoutcast, Jamendo, Magnatune, Ampache, MP3Tunes, as well as local sources like iPods and your local file system, are treated as equals in A2. A collection is a collection, and is limited only by what capabilities it advertises it can support (and of course, it can supply its own custom capabilities). It's not currently enabled, I don't think, but there's a Nepomuk-based collection option too. So take heart -- this change only affects Amarok's internal SQL collection, and not other sources (although those sources can store information in the SQL database if they wish to cache information).

Since I mentioned Nepomuk, it's time to discuss another common question/demand/complaint: KDE has this nice Strigi-Nepomuk thing going on...why aren't we using it for scanning music and storing information?

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Why Nepomuk could not fully replace (My)SQL in Amarok

This is another post about collection backends in Amarok. The others posts explained the switch to MySQL embedded and tried to address some of the concerns. Jefferai also wrote a few things about Nepomuk in Amarok (and why it will not fully replace the sql based collections) which I want to comment on and add to.

There are user asking: “There is Nepomuk in KDE for storing meta data why the switch to MySQL embedded you could just use Nepomuk and drop sql collection all together.” With reasons like: “Nepomuk can do this and that better and one storage in KDE for everything is best.” They are not complete wrong, there are good reasons to use Nepomuk (data sharing between applications, system wide searching, using strigi(and taglib) for collection scanning at a central place for all applications once, interconnect the data with other data (like let Kmail store where I got that song from), and others)

But Jefferai is right when he says that Nepomuk can not replace the sql collection for everyone and every use case. At least not for the short and longer midterm (Wink).

Why?

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