Banshee, an alternative for iTunes?

Today someone who is aware I am using OSX asked me if I ever looked at Banshee. Banshee is a multi media player developed on mono. Curious as I am I took a look. I have used Linux for over 10 years and I was able to run monodevelop under osx earlier.

I downloaded the dmg package and fired up the application. It started bouncing the dock icon for a minute or so and then, without any warning, it just stopped. I browsed to the site again and had a closer look. There was a statement:

To install Banshee on Mac OS X, you must have either 10.4 (Tiger) or 10.5 (Leopard) on the Intel platform (we do not plan on supporting PowerPC). You also need the Mono Framework installed.

I do have Tiger, I do have the mono framework but I still run it on a ppc mini. A little angry I decided to throw the application in the waste bin and, like I always do, empty it. I then discovered there was some kind of lib in use by banshee. It seems it did not release the mono libs.

I still puzzles me. When you look at sources explaining what mono is you can get the following information at wikipedia:

The Mono runtime contains a just-in-time compilation (JIT) engine for a number of processors: x86, SPARC, PowerPC, ARM, S390 (in 32-bit and 64-bit mode), and x86_64, IA64 and SPARC for 64-bit modes.

Although the ppc version is a little behind on the mainstream mono it does run, even gtk enabled applications.

When you look at the mono-project site there is an interesting statement:

Will Novell port Mono to my architecture/operating system?

In the past Novell has done ports of Mono to new architectures and operating systems. We have done this for internal Novell needs (x86-64, Itanium and with Neale’s help to s390, s390x) or for customer needs (PowerPC).

Novell is certainly open to adding support for new architectures, but there are a number of variables: is the port going to benefit a large segment of users, hardware requirements and adequate funding.

I do wonder if all of the people that bought a mini with a ppc arch are now out of the large segment of users. That’s like stating a computer costing you nearly 800 euro is now already worth …. uhm, some dimes?

We’ve seen this with all kinds of other software teams, both closed and open source targetted. One of the biggest examples is Google.

So, who is willing to buy me a new intel based osx computer?



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