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Audacious is a fast audio player that focuses on high audio quality and low resource usage, which comes with a pretty large plugin list and until now, it shipped with two interfaces: a GTK+ interface and a Winamp 2.x like interface (and so, it supports Winamp 2.x skins).

As we pointed out a while back, the Audacious developers aren't very happy  with GTK3 and for the latest Audacious 3.6 alpha 1, released recently, they've switched back to GTK2 by default. 

Also, since the long-term goal is to completely switch to Qt, Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 includes a new Qt5-based user interface which is already usable, but not as feature-rich as the GTK+ interface. The new Qt interface can be installed alongside the already existing GTK+ and Winamp Classic interfaces.

Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 - GTK2 interface
Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 - GTK2 interface

Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 - GTK2 interface
Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 - Qt interface

For those who prefer GTK3, there's a separate Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 GTK3 tarball available for download but, unless the developers have changed their mind, Audacious 3.6 might be the last release to support GTK3.

Besides these UI changes, the latest Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 also ships with quite a new features and improvements:
  • support double-size scaling of Winamp skins;
  • it's now possible to search by genre in the search tool plugin;
  • the playlist manager can be docked in the GTK+ interface;
  • crossfading on seek and manual song change;
  • support for “album artist” in song tags;
  • search results are filtered by number of songs in the search tool plugin;
  • cue files are now automatically added to playlists and to the library;
  • adjustable HTTP buffer size;
  • optional calculation of a more accurate song length estimate for MP3 files
  • optional skipping of leading and trailing silence in MIDI files;
  • restored settings dialog for the SID plugin;
  • Audacious can now be built as a headless music player “daemon” with no GTK+ dependency (some plugins still require GTK+ though);
  • by default, playback now resumes in a paused state upon startup;
  • window positions of visualization plugins and of the search tool are now saved and restored at startup when the Winamp Classic interface is used;
  • there is a new effect plugin to remove leading and trailing silence in any song file;
  • new controls have been added to the song information dialog to allow tagging entire albums without retyping the artist and album name for each song;
  • a new option has been added to probe content of files with no recognized filename extension. With this option enabled, files with no extension can be added to playlists and to the library automatically, and subtunes in those files will also be recognized. The extra probing does slow Audacious down, so enable the option only if needed;
  • support for the SID song lengths database has been restored;
  • the ALSA output plugin now checks for new devices when the settings dialog is opened, so it’s no longer necessary to restart Audacious after plugging in a USB audio device;
  • the JACK and sndio output plugins have been rewritten from scratch in order to fix a number of problems;
  • more.

Audacious 3.6 is still in alpha, so if you plan on giving it a try, keep in mind that you might find incomplete of broken features. For instance, the Qt interface currently displays some text in English only and the Qt interface playlist editor has limited capabilities for now.

Test Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 in Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10

Ubuntu 14.04 or 14.10 (and derivatives) users can try the latest Audacious 3.6 alpha by using the WebUpd8 Unstable PPA. The packages in this PPA are for testing purposes only. It's also important to mention that Audacious from this PPA has been built with both GTK2 and Qt interfaces enabled.

To install Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 for testing, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install audacious

By default, launching Audacious from the menu / Unity Dash, the app will use the GTK2 interface and changing the interface to Qt from the Audacious settings doesn't work. To run Audacious with the Qt interface, you must use the following command:
audacious --qt

If later on you want to revert the changes and downgrade Audacious to the stable version available in the official Ubuntu repositories (or the main WebUpd8 PPA), purge the WebUpd8 Unstable PPA using the following commands:
sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:webupd8team/unstable

If you don't want to add the PPA or you're not using Ubuntu, you can download the latest Audacious 3.6 alpha 1 source from its website.