i like amaroK. i think cedega is overrated.
[more=there’s a lot more posted behind this link, but it’s kinda geeky, so be forewarned…there’s pretty screenshots tho.]
the good: amaroK
amaroK is a multimedia player (altho, thus far i’ve only used it for music). it works much the same way my ampache-powered page does. you create a playlist and it plays it, and it pulls stuff from your catalog and sorts them by artist (broken down alphabetically) or by genre. in this way, it’s like ampache when you’re making a playlist and looking for artists to add to it. my favorite part, other than the sleek interface and intuitive controls is that it doesn’t lag when i’m doing other stuff the way xmms was and it’s a much bigger program (which says to me better programming).
it also will link to last.fm and log your recently played tracks. it keeps track of how many times you’ve listed to any particular artist/track and remembers favorites. when combined with a last.fm account it will produce suggestions based on what’s playing now and indicate (by the artist name being either normal or italicized) whether you have any of that artist in your catalog. if you do, it will recommend songs of related or similar artists.
it will also display in a really big baloon thing what the current song is when it plays a new track. i had amaroK running on the server when we were playing Guild Wars on sunday and the trackname baloon thing was neat because it made it really easy to see, especially since neither of us were looking at that computer constantly.
the bad: cedega
cedega is a windows emulator based on the Wine project. where Wine focuses on applications like MS Word, etc, cedega focuses on games, and emulates DirectX, the industry standard in graphics rendering for games. there is no native support for DirectX in linux, because Microsoft designed and owns DirectX and they hate people. (this is a big reason why there is not as much out there in terms of gaming on Macs as well. TransGaming, the company that develops cedega, is working on a similar project for macs.)
the benefit of cedega is making many, if not most, if not all current games playable under linux, and therefore minimize the monopoly MS holds on operating systems by making it easier to switch over. the downside of cedega is, unlike most linux software which is released under the Gnu Public Liscense and open source, it’s closed-source, all the code is owned proprietarily and you have to subscribe to the service to be able to get all the updates. the source code is available for free if you can figure out how to compile it (which isn’t nearly as difficult as finding a source from which to obtain it and gaining access to said source code, which was my problem).
ok, that’s what cedega is. i installed a number of games under cedega in linux. Guild Wars, Civ III, Alpha Centauri and the expansion for it, Alien Crossfire, Dungeon Keeper 2, Anarchy Online, and Heroes of Might and Magic. and i attempted to run them. GW runs, but is choppy. none of the other games i tried (everything but AO) will run at all. DK2 asks for the cd when it doesn’t just disappear and Heroes3 will ask for the CD sometimes, sometimes say files are missing and reinstall, and sometimes just disappear. That’s another thing with cedega, i’ve read…a lot of games aren’t runnable without obtaining a cracked .exe, and that’s assuming there is simply a cracked .exe and not a cracked exe and registry hack. so even games you own legitimately you have to go dumpster diving for cracks for, which seems silly.
i found a forum post on the transgaming forums for how to make guild wars run better and tried to go through it, but the ultimate answer i came back with was the same as what i had suspected — if i had a better graphics card, it would run fine, but because my graphics card is the cheapest nvidia 128 mb with basic shaders i could find, it sucks. so i still run games under windows and will continue to do so. on the other hand, i’m also trying to obtain linux native copies of alpha centauri to see how that runs, which i assume, if it’s at all will be much better (than NOT AT ALL).
that’s what this busy little geek has been working on lately. i think i’ve made my decision re: cedega, that it’s really not all that, and not worth the effort for the hardware i’ve got. GW runs much better in windows now that i don’t have server stuff running at the same time, so if i need an extra 5 minutes to switch over and reboot, so be it. i’m considering upgrading XP to…something. 2k3 or Vista maybe, altho if i’m concerned about choppiness and hardware being not up to par, from what i understand, vista is not my ideal. 2k3 might not be either for that matter, i might be better leaving well enough alone. but now that linux is my primary OS and i can always fix broken stuff by popping in a live cd, i have more freedom to try new and potentially scary things. it’s also a good thing that i don’t have the server running on this box anymore. let me tell you i am very excited about that.