Tomahawk: A universal music player
Music is everywhere.
We live in an amazing time where all the music that has ever been composed, recorded and distributed is more or less a click away. As Michael Stevens pointed out, if you were to listen to all the music in the Gracenote database, one after the other, it will take you more than 1200 years. Never before in history have we had access to this vast amount of information, and as a society, we can’t even begin to grasp the benefits of the expansion of culture, knowledge, and diversity that this achievement brings.
The internet is ubiquitous, most people have access to information on their phones and computers all the time — but there is no single platform that brings your music collections into one single place. From user-uploaded services to subscription based ones, from thumb-drives to the cloud, our digital music collection lives in multiple spaces under different accounts all over the net. And while we’re switching from one service to another the music needs to stop… until now.
Tomahawk is what we call a music meta-player: a music player of music players. It brings all of your streams, downloads, cloud music storage, playlists and radio stations to the same place. We currently support Spotify, Beats Music, Google Play, Grooveshark, Youtube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Last.fm, Jamendo and Official.fm, while support for Rdio and Deezer is on its way for the desktop version. You can also link your iTunes music library (or any folder that contains a music file) or even stream from your friends’ local library (if they want to share it, of course).
Tomahawk is an open source project. This means that everyone is free to use it, study, share or modify Tomahawk under the terms of the GNU General Public License Version 3. It’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.
It’s also cross-platform and multi-device, so it will work independently if you’re on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows or Android. iOS will come soon.
Although Tomahawk has been in development since 2010, for the past months I’ve helped to rework the UX and UI so we can bring a much more simple, organized and beautiful experience to our users. Here’s how we’re planning Tomahawk to be for v 1.0:
One single place for all your albums, whether they are stored in your local library, in a streaming service or anywhere else in the web.
Create new playlist or import them from other services and sync them with Spotify and Last.fm.
Automatically start stations from songs, albums, artists, playlists, top charts, queue lists or even your friends’ collection.
Browse what’s hot across iTunes, Billboard, Hype Machine, Last.fm, Rdio, Spotify, This is My Jam and more. Get a sneak peek and listen to upcoming new releases.
Dive deep into the artist you love, or the artists you want to learn more about. See their full discographies, bios, related artists, top tracks and more.
You can view your friends’ activity feed, browse, and play their libraries, playlists and stations — or listen along to whatever they are listening to. We’re working also on an amazing social network that will help us track our favorite artists, friends, and taste-makers in a unique way.
Tomahawk on Android brings most of the desktop experience and benefits to your phone. Wirelessly sync your music from the desktop, follow your friends and music influencers and plug-in all of your music sources — including all of the same streaming services from the desktop version of Tomahawk plus Rdio and Deezer.
With a little help from my friends…
While most of the features you’ve seen above are already implemented in our current stable build, not everything that you’ve seen is there yet. Things at Tomahawk can’t move as fast as we wish. While more than a 100 people have contributed to the development of Tomahawk since its inception, its core team is about 10 members.
We want to bring Tomahawk to every desktop, mobile and tablet in a delightful way that will allow our users to enjoy their favorite artists and discover new music, independently of where the music is stored. If you’re an iOS or Android developer, you’re familiar with Qt, Lucene or you’re a web developer (we need a shiny new home), we could totally use some help to speed things up and bring v.1 sooner.
If you don’t have any of those skills but you still want to contribute, you can help us by sharing this story on Twitter, Facebook, Hacker news or any other place where our voice can be heard and we can connect with the right people. Your feedback is appreciated, so download our latest build and give us your thoughts or help us in spotting new bugs.
Thanks for your time.
And as Shannon said, let the music play.