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Emacs MultiMedia System (EMMS)

Yoni Rabkin - IRC: yrk

Format: 39-min talk; Q&A: BigBlueButton conference room
Status: Q&A finished, IRC and pad will be archived on this page


00:00.000 Introduction 01:03.320 The structure of this talk 01:21.320 Introduction to Emms: The practical part 08:04.240 The modeline 11:01.200 Meta-playlist mode 11:29.860 The browser 13:19.920 How Emms works: The technical part 16:23.820 The Emms core 16:36.440 Tracks 17:18.460 Playlist 18:22.080 Sources 19:22.160 Players 20:20.520 Info 21:36.660 The cache 22:51.620 Healthy back and forth: mpv, mpd, and GNU.FM 23:31.560 MPV 24:47.470 MPD 26:07.440 GNU FM and Libre FM 27:12.560 How we work: Emms development 28:52.590 The Rime Of The Ancient Maintainer 29:06.080 The life and times of an Emms patch 31:24.080 Let It Go: The release process 32:23.400 It Is Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves: Future directions 34:44.849 Development policies: Interface language 36:05.980 Development policies: Freedom 38:12.370 Acknowledgements

Duration: 38:38 minutes


Listen to just the audio:
Duration: 32:38 minutes


  • Introduction to Emms: A Practical Introduction
  • How Emms Works: The Technical Part
  • How We Work: Emms Development


Questions and answers

  • Q: To warm up, what is the music playing during the lunch break?
  • Q: For next emacsconf, could we have an EMMS playlist to follow the talks along? 
    • A:
  • Q:I I like to use Music and AudioBooks in very different ways. With music I like shuffling by artist and with AudioBooks want to read sequentially and pick it the same playlist over a couple of days/weeks. Do you have any tips for using these 2 opposing media workflows
    • A:
    • Q: For audiobooks I use mpv with m4b files
  • Q: Is there a way to search your music selection by lyrics-- assuming those lyrics are in the meta-data or available elsewhere. It would be neat to call songs up from the lyrics to the song.
    • A: For the lyrics: not possible to do right now.  The caching system is extremely naïve.  Now, with sqlite3 integration, we need to expand the cache to be a lot more greedy and lot more flexible.  The rewrite is in progress, and any related information (including lyrics) will be integrated.
  • Q: Are aliases available for the songs that you like? Defining those aliases or shortcuts either inside or outside emms? ;;BTW: melpa version of emms is missing; however, I was able to install from elpa. 
    • A: We'll put a pin on this
  • Q:Are there plans for managing meta-data with online resource backends; i.e. discogs or musicbrains? What about something like Beets in Emacs or part of EMMS?
    • A: That's an active discussion on the mailing-list right now.  We don't want to replicate what Beets does really well, and we don't want a clunky interface with Beets.  It's hard to tell where to draw the line.  Short answer: yes, we want to do that, but the long answer is that it's complicated.  The backends that are used are complicated.
  • Q: Have the developers considered using Emacs\' \"Customize\" functionality to persistently store settings when using emms-setup-discover-players? 
    • A: Another active project, especially with -discover-players.  It's tough to figure out what is a good way to not annoy people too much.
  • Q: Is there a way to store a bookmark pointing to a song in a playlist?
    • A:
  • Q: I like what you said about balancing the concern for software freedom with the worry that this might alienate the package user. I was wondering if you have advice for other maintainers on how to communicate this sort of thing diplomatically, when you have to deny implementing a feature for a \"freedom\" reason.
    • A:I found that people appreciate knowing where the project stands. But care needs to be taken to be descriptive and not perscriptive; explain why your project is like that as opposed to making them feel judged. Some people are ornery and will get upset anyway, but that\'s a part of working within the public eye.
  • Q: i wonder if it would be possible to add fluidsynth as a backend for emms to play midis

    • A: I can add a fluidsynth backend to the tasklist no problem. right now, emms-player-fluidsynth works, but only with basic play/stop/pause support. I assume you are looking for more features than that. emms-player-simple.el defines a few, appropriately named, simple interfaces to some midi players such as fluidsynth and timidity Notes:
  • This guy has <chefs-kiss> taste in music, by the way. Take it from me, I'm a big snob

    • i like how it was a bunch of classical and then Tool :)
  • Brilliant 👏
  • Amazeballs 👏
  • oh that's a good idea
  • I just really enjoy seeing the folks that contribute to free software. They are truly people to emulate. That goes double for Yoni.
  • someone on the pad mentioned there not being an EMMS package in MELPA, that is intentional, since EMMS is built into Emacs, and we have the newest version in ELPA


[00:00:00.000] Introduction

The Sound of Emacs, Emms, The Emacs Multimedia System. Hi, I'm Yoni Rabkin and I'll be talking about Emms; the Emacs Multimedia System. What is Emms? Emms displays and plays media from within Emacs using a variety of external players and from different media sources. Emms can run as a minimalistic player which is controlled with no more than a handful of simple M-x commands, or as a fully-fledged interactive media browser and player. Emms can display album art, play streaming audio, tag music files, search for lyrics, provide MPD connectivity, control the volume, and more. Much more. The Emms project acts like Emacs in microcosm. It slowly but surely grows bigger and gets ever more features. Perhaps Emms will one day even have a text editor.

[00:01:03.320] The structure of this talk

The structure of this talk: We'll start with an introduction to Emms. This is the practical part. Then, a bit about how Emms works. That's the technical part. Finally, how we work. All about Emms development.

[00:01:21.320] Introduction to Emms: The practical part

Introduction to Emms: The practical part: I want this talk to be of immediate use to people, so I'm going to present a quick TL;DR of the Emms manual concerning installation and use. By the end of this part you should be able to install, configure, and use Emms in a variety of ways. Where can I get Emms? Emms is distributed primarily via GNU ELPA. So it's really only a M-x list-packages away at any moment. There's also a website hosted at Among other things on the website, you'll find a copy of the friendly, robust, and up-to-date user manual. Installing Emms has become progressively easier over time and will continue to get easier. In the bad old days, it required downloading a tarball and compiling a C language shim to enable reading metadata from media files. But those days are long gone, and installing Emms is now as easy as invoking M-x list-packages, installing the Emms package, and placing as few as 2 or 3 lines of configuration in your Emacs initialization. So after the package is installed via ELPA, you can add these few lines. emms-all will make available all of the stable features which are shipped with Emms. The emms-player-list variable is a list of players like MPV, MPlayer, VLC, etc. Emms will call and control these external players to play your media. The variable emms-info-functions is a list of ways for Emms to read the metadata in your media files so that Emms can display song title, artist name, year of production, etc. The emms-info-native feature in the setup example is the built-in metadata reader written entirely in Emacs Lisp. But there are also other backends which can call external programs for info such as TinyTag, the TagLib library, exiftool, and so on. You can then old-school restart your Emacs or simply evaluate the above couple of lines to get going. Now that we have Emms installed and configured, we should load some media for player. There are multiple ways to load media into Emms for playing. They can be directories with local files, synchronized from a remote instance of a music player daemon, PLS or M3U playlists, a list of URLs for streaming, or even Emms' own native playlist format which is unsurprisingly a just serialized Emacs Lisp. No matter how you add tracks to Emms, you'll end up with a playlist. A fundamental strength of Emms is that each playlist is a regular Emacs buffer and the track listing therein is nothing more than text lines with property overlays. This means that you can navigate, search, copy, and edit an Emms playlist buffer just as you would any Emacs buffer. If you want to reorganize the tracks in the playlist, then you can simply kill yank the tracks just as you would any buffer with lines of text, and the same can be done between multiple playlist buffers. One of the most straightforward ways to add media is to invoke a command like M-x emms-add-directory-tree. You can point it to the top of a set of directories with playable files for Emms to traverse. Another rather convenient method is to mark files in Dired and to invoke emms-add-dired. I definitely use this one a lot. The Emms playlist mode binds a number of useful keys and commands. It's highly recommended that you either read the friendly manual or hit "C-h m" in a playlist buffer to discover them. Now we have a playlist buffer with a number of tracks, so the next step is going to be playback. Emms can be used as a minimalistic player with nothing more than a handful of commands. Once there is a current Emms playlist, invoking emms-start will begin playing the current track. Now of course in a new playlist that would be the first track. Now emms-next, emms-pause, and emms-stop do exactly what you think they do. To visit the current playlist, you can invoke M-x emms-playlist-mode-go, which is a long command I personally bind to "M-f12". You'll be taken to the current playlist buffer. While you can have multiple playlist buffers, only one is current for the purposes of playback commands. The playlist buffer has keys bound to control the media being played. emms-seek-forward and emms-seek-backwards allow you to scrub along the media being played. Which commands are available is a function of the player backend being employed. The simplest of players may have nothing more than the ability to play, stop, and seek, but others may implement a plethora of commands.

[00:08:04.240] The modeline

The Modeline: Emms will by default display the name of the currently playing track in the mode line with information such as playing time. The mode line format is controlled via the emms-mode-line-format variable and the emms-mode-line-playlist-current function. Metadata and the cache. It would be sufficient for emms to simply list the file names or urls of each piece of media, but unless you name your music and media with obsessive consistency and precision, not that there is anything wrong with that then the resulting list will be a bit of an eyesore. Moreover, there are a lot of other useful metadata in the media files, including cool stuff like album art. So instead of just files, Emms will try to extract metadata from each track and display a nicely-formatted track listing. The format can be controlled by customizing the variable emms-track-description-function. Emms uses so-called info methods to extract the metadata from each file. emms-info-native, which I mentioned before, is the built-in metadata reader written in Emacs Lisp. It provides support for Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Opus, FLAC, and MP3. However, if you have media in other formats, you can also add info methods to the emms-info-functions list, which call external programs such as exiftool, the LibTag library, tiny-tag, etc. to read file metadata. Since reading metadata takes time and that metadata doesn't change very often, Emms builds a cache as it extracts the information from each file. The first time loading of thousands of tracks into the emms cache may take a while, but as is the nature of caching, subsequent loads will be nearly instantaneous. To ease loading huge media collections, emms also can populate the cache asynchronously, so that your emacs isn't locked up in the interim. Let's talk about streams and URLs. Not all playlist entries need to be associated with files. It's possible to add streaming playlists and URLs to any playlist. Emms also comes with a built-in eclectic list of streaming audio stations to get you started. Any playlist entry can be a URL, and that URL will be passed on to the media player backend, which can play it, if any.

[00:11:01.200] Meta-playlist mode

Meta-playlist mode: Emms also has meta-playlist mode to help manage multiple playlists. When you invoke meta-playlist mode, you will see a listing of all of the current Emms playlists, and this mode binds a handful of useful keybindings to help manage those playlists.

[00:11:29.860] The browser

The Browser: Music doesn't always lend itself to being viewed as a series of discrete files. While there may be a good taxonomy of music that can be reflected using directories and filenames, there are other aspects which cannot. This is especially true when you consider that unlike many computer file taxonomies, music files may contain a lot of self-descriptive information in the form of metadata, such as the year a work was published, the composer, the performing artist, etc. Therefore, it makes sense for Emms to enable a different view into a media collection which is based on the cached metadata. The browser interface binds a host of keys to help navigate the tree structure of the metadata information. Since browser display is not predicated upon directory structure, you can invoke functions such as emms-browse-by-album, or emms-browse-by-artist, etc. to view the collection in different ways. Emms can do a lot more, but covering it all would take too much time. I do recommend opening the fine Emms manual and getting to know some additional features such as sorting tracks in playlists, sorting and filtering in the browser, editing track information, deriving a new playlist from an existing playlist, the music player daemon, lyrics display, volume control, bookmarks, GNU FM, and Dbus/Mpris support. I hope this was a useful introduction to Emms.

[00:13:19.920] How Emms works: The technical part

How Emms Works: The technical part: This part is an overview of how Emms works. By the end of this, you should be familiar enough with Emms internals to hack on it. Hint hint. A short history of Emms Emms is 20 years old as of the time of writing. Old enough to drink in many countries. This means it was developed back in 2003 for emacs 21.2 or thereabouts. As developers, we don't go around looking to replace code just because it's old. On the other hand, some parts were inadequate or just didn't age gracefully. And we have been partially or completely rewriting those. I became the maintainer of Emms about a decade ago, but I didn't start the project. Jorgen Schäfer started the project. I reached out to Jorgen and he kindly shared some of his recollections. Jorgen states that Emms was born back when the music format wars raged. MP3 was the standard, but overshadowed with patent issues. In fact, Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS only stopped licensing their patents for MP3 as recently as April of 2017. Jorgen said that, and I quote, "I needed a tool that was player agnostic and that could deal with a large collection of music files. And I did not want any of the GUI music players that existed back then. Primarily, actually, because I did not want to be switching windows to skip to the next song. If I remember correctly, I had just a shell script before that. But I figured I lived in Emacs, so why not write a tool that I can control my music from Emacs without ever having to leave Emacs?" Unquote. We can see that Jorgen's motivations were of the best kind, to stay in Emacs. Emms, an architecture of sensible abstractions. Emms can be divided into a number of parts. The core, tracks, playlists, sources, players, info, cache, and ancillary. Now David J. Wheeler once said that all problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection, except of course for the problem of too many layers of indirection. Emms core has survived this long because it makes sensible and flexible coding abstractions. Keep this in mind as we explore the implementation. This following part of the talk will also be invaluable if you want to hack on Emacs. Another hint.

[00:16:23.820] The Emms core

The Emms core. The core defines tracks, playlists, a way to start and stop playback, as well as ways to proceed to the next track.

[00:16:36.440] Tracks

Tracks: Emms tracks consist of a list whose CAR is the symbol track, and CADR is an alist starting with the association of `type'. Type can be something like file, streamlist, URL, etc. A track of classical music from Bach's Art of Fugue may look something like this. While a track may contain many associations, the number of associations remains a small constant from the perspective of computational steps required to find any particular association.

[00:17:18.460] Playlist

Playlist: An Emms playlist consists of an Emacs buffer with a buffer-local non-nil variable, emms-playlist-buffer-p. The buffer can contain anything, any amount or type of text, or anything else. Emms tracks are stored in text properties within the buffer, with the unimaginatively named text property emms-track. For Emms, to go to the next track consists of nothing more than looking for the next text property change containing emms-track, wherever that is. That means that there is a healthy decoupling between the visual representation of a playlist and its contents as far as Emms is concerned. This decoupling allows Emms playlist buffers to look like anything as long as that anything consists of one or more emms-track text properties.

[00:18:22.080] Sources

Sources: A source is how you tell Emms: "Go and get those things and turn them into tracks." More specifically, an Emms source is a function called in a playlist buffer in order to add tracks. And even more specifically, a source is really a family of related functions defined by the macro define-emms-source. A straightforward example is the function emms-add-directory, which adds an entire directory of files to the current playlist. It accepts, or interactively queries for, a directory and iterates over each file in that directory, adding them as tracks to the playlist buffer as it goes. Emms comes with sources for files, directories, URLs, playlists of various formats, files from dired mode, and etc.

[00:19:22.160] Players

Players: An Emms player is, at its simplest, a data structure with three functions. One to start playing, one to stop, and one which returns true if the player knows how to play a given track. However, if your player also knows how to pause, resume, seek, etc, then additional functions can be added to the player data structure. This is abstract enough to be able to, for example, define a simple player for images with the help of the define-emms-simple-player macro. The above will define a player called emms-player-display, which would call ImageMagick's display command on each file in our playlist with the image file extension we listed.

[00:20:20.520] Info

Info: As previously described, Emms comes with info methods, which are functions to add descriptive information to tracks. Emms is set up so that the hook emms-track-initialize-functions is called when a track is created, and that ends up calling the info methods listed in the emms-info-functions list. These will modify the track data structure to add metadata. One of the coolest recent features of Emms is emms-info-native, written by Petteri Hintsanen; again, sorry for the pronunciation. emms-info-native is a purely Emacs Lisp implementation which reads Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Opus, FLAC, and MP3 files and parses out the metadata. This is in comparison with other info readers which Emms supports, which all involve calling out to external processes and parsing the values returned. emms-info-native works by unpacking and examining the binary data in the media file headers and parsing the data layout specifications.

[00:21:36.660] The cache

The Cache: The Emms cache is a mapping between a full path name and its associated information. Once information is extracted from a file using an info method, that information is then associated with that file in the cache. One thing to bear in mind is that the caching system was originally written back when slow spinning disks were common. A 32GB SSD drive cost close to $700 in 2006, which is the equivalent of about $1,000 at the time of writing. But despite the speed of modern drives, the caching system is still worth using for larger music collections. The caching system is also a prerequisite for being able to use the Emms browser. The cache implementation is relatively naive. For instance, moving a file will invalidate that cache entry for that file and will require a refresh. However, relatively little work has been done to the cache implementation over the years since it has proven to be good enough for the majority of situations. Which is to say, nobody complained.

[00:22:51.620] Healthy back and forth: mpv, mpd, and GNU.FM

Healthy back and forth. MPV, MPD, GNU.FM Process communication with a simple media player can be as straightforward as starting an asynchronous process and waiting for that process to complete in order to move to the next track. This is how the example above with ImageMagick's display binary worked. However, Emms also handles asynchronous two-way communication with processes. A simple example of this would be sending strings to a running process such as the pause command to VLC.

[00:23:31.560] MPV

MPV: MPV is a popular media player forked in a roundabout way from mplayer. One of its most notable features is support for a robust client API. Mike Kazantsev has been working since 2018 to develop the excellent `emms-player-mpv.el'. It can communicate with a long running MPV process via Unix sockets or IP sockets. This allows for MPV to do things like update ICY metadata for streaming audio. So that, for example, when a song changes while you're listening to a streaming audio via Emms, the song title displayed in the mode line and track listing can update as well. This means that deep inside the code there is an Emacs make-network-process call. The fact that Mike has put this together in fewer than 1,000 lines of legible Emacs Lisp is a testament to some serious coding ability.

[00:24:47.470] MPD

MPD: Similar to MPV but potentially on a completely different machine is Emms support for the Music Player Daemon. Music Player Daemon or MPD is a media player with an explicit client-server design and communicates with Emms via a network process. Unfortunately, MPD support has never been all that great. But this isn't the emms developers fault! Because unlike every other media player that Emms interfaces with MPD is designed around its own internal playlist database. This is a surprising design decision on the MPD developers' part since it goes against the client-server mindset. A consequence is that we end up having to try and coordinate and harmonize the MPD playlist with the Emms playlist. I can foresee writing a completely new MPD mode for Emms which is designed to be a true pure MPD client. Unless of course someone volunteers to beat me to it. Hint hint.

[00:26:07.440] GNU FM and Libre FM

GNU FM and Libre FM: Libre FM is a music community which allows you to share your listening habits with other users of the site. A kind of online listening party. In the case of emms-librefm-scrobber.el we use Emacs' url-retrieve function to asynchronously send to a URL and then fire a callback function to process the response. This represents numerous challenges to implement within Emacs. The primary issue being that Emacs itself is pretty weak at doing anything truly and really asynchronously. I can say with confident sarcasm and with tongue firmly planted in cheek that it is almost as if the original designers of Emacs didn't foresee their text editor needing to play music while interacting with a remote network server. How myopic!

[00:27:12.560] How we work: Emms development

How we work: Emms development: This part is an overview of how Emms is developed. By the end of this part you should be able to understand how we hacked this project, and how you can too. Where it's at. How to find our forge. Emms has been hosted at the FSF's forge, Savannah, since around 2003. Emms is distributed via GNU ELPA and integrated into Emacs. Before ELPA it was distributed as a tarball via but that stopped back in 2020. I was initially resistant to ELPA but around the time when the thousandth person asked me why Emms isn't on ELPA, I realized that it had to happen. Emms can also be found in other places such as Melpa or GitHub but we, the developers of Emms, have nothing to do with that and we don't monitor those channels. If you want the source straight from, well, the source, then go to the Savannah Git repository. Look who's talking: Where development discussion happens. If you want to talk to us, discussions all happen on We used to use but didn't feel like the volume of incoming patches justified a separate mailing list.

[00:28:52.590] The Rime Of The Ancient Maintainer

The Rime Of The Ancient Maintainer: There are a number of activities particular to being a maintainer. These are all part of a project's lifecycle. Let's review some of them.

[00:29:06.080] The life and times of an Emms patch

The life and times of an Emms patch: A maintainer needs to be able to accept, critique, and integrate patches from contributors and developers. This means, among other things, that the maintainer needs to keep on top of copyright issues. Before being able to add Emms to GNU/ELPA, we had to make sure that the copyright situation was in order. This long process required reaching out to people and having them assign the copyright for their work to the FSF, or even removing their code entirely if they couldn't be reached. The experience left me with the conviction that the easiest way to fix the copyright situation of your package is to ensure that it never gets broken in the first place. Often a person will write in to the emms-help mailing list, or perhaps raise an issue on IRC. If it's a bug report or feature request, we'll discuss it, and when it's fixed, we'll ask the reporter to test the result and provide feedback. If it's a patch, then we'll typically go one of three ways. A trivial patch, such as fixing a typo or corrections on a single line of code, will simply be applied by one of the developers. A non-trivial, but one-time patch, will have to be cleared from a copyright perspective. This means assigning copyright for the changes to the FSF. Once that's cleared, then the patch will be applied. Finally, if it's a non-trivial patch, which looks like it would be the start of a long-term development work (my favorite), then after copyright is cleared, that person will be offered to be added to the members with Git repo access on Savannah. From there, we usually use a dedicated branch to do all the playing around before merging it with the main Git repo. If you have ever sent a patch, feature request, or bug report into Emms (small or large), we thank you.

[00:31:24.080] Let It Go: The release process

Let It Go, The Release Process: The maintainer is responsible for the release process. I found that a consistent schedule works well, which is not to say that we have to release on schedule, but that aiming for a consistent release schedule provides structure and a goal. The main Git branch in the repository is stable and more often than not of release quality. Releases are done about every three months. And with such a stable main branch, the process of releasing often involves little more than writing a NEWS entry. As a consequence, new and wonderful features which aren't quite ready for prime time when a release comes around, will remain safely in their branch on the Git repo until after the ELPA release.

[00:32:23.400] It Is Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves: Future directions

It Is Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves; Future Directions: One aspect of Emms that needs to improve is ease of setup. Now that might surprise you, since at the time of writing, it's already pretty easy. But my ideal is that the user would need to do nothing at all after installation. And with that, as a goal in mind, there is more work to be done. We are working on a player discovery feature. The idea is simple. The code looks for binaries of popular media players on the user's machine, and for each one found, it asks the user if they want the associated Emms player backend to be configured. In effect, this code is already working, but currently an undocumented, unofficial feature. You can try it for yourself with emms-setup-discover-players. So what's the holdup? emms-setup-discover-players currently configures the emms-player-list variable, but doesn't write it to disk. And that means that the configuration isn't preserved between Emacs sessions. The question then becomes, what is the best way to preserve this setting? I personally don't like anything to edit my .emacs except me, and I wouldn't do that to anyone else. Now we already write state to the .emacs.d/emms/ directory, but that would require care not to clobber a user's existing setup. Having the user set up their system in one place, such as a .emacs or a .emmsrc, while saving state to a different place is asking for confusion. This is a good example which I bring up of where a maintainer needs to solicit opinions from developers, both the Emacs developers, asking them where packages should save state, and the Emms developers, and also users. Then, the maintainer needs to carefully choose a path forward. It is typical of the kind of issue you have to have in mind when you're maintaining a package.

[00:34:44.849] Development policies: Interface language

Development Policies: Interface Language. A maintainer of an interactive program such as Emms needs to think about user interaction. Emms doesn't use key bindings which are familiar to people who are used to GUI media players, and that can, and has, caused friction. Some new users are confused when they press the spacebar on an entry in the Emms browser, only to find that nothing starts playing. Indeed, all that does is to expand the browser tree at that point. Then they might press RET on the same entry, and be further frustrated at the continuing silence. Since what return does is just to add that entry at point to the current playlist. The discussion then arises about how Emms should handle that situation. On one hand, we want to make it as easy as possible for new users to learn Emms, and adopt a do-what-I-mean interface approach. On the other hand, this is an Emacs project. It isn't a stand-alone GUI media player, and should integrate into Emacs, and serve Emacs users first and foremost.

[00:36:05.980] Development policies: Freedom

Development policies: Freedom. Another maintainer job is to think of Emms' posture in regards to software freedom. Here are a few examples. Back with MP3 was still a patent encumbered format, we pushed hard for Vorbis everywhere along with the PlayOgg campaign. A then popular music streaming service, which will remain unnamed, changed their stance towards third-party applications, and required individual API keys which could not be shared. We stood firm, said "no", and removed support for that service. A recent suggestion to add support for YouTube was also nixed, because the particular backend was found to download and run proprietary javascript on the user's machine. Saying no to potentially useful or wanted features because it involves non-free software is often an unpopular decision and can alienate people. A maintainer needs to think carefully about each of these decisions, as they are rarely straightforward and one-sided. And as you see above, they also change over time and need to be re-evaluated. One of the most useful things a maintainer can do is to coordinate the development effort and help new people join the project. In light of that, if you want to work on a project which has a bit of everything, you could do worse than hacking on Emms. There is inter-process communication, displaying graphics, parsing binary files, caching, asynchronous processes, user interface design. We also are a project that insists on keeping a well-written and up-to-date manual. If you can write English or hack Emacs Lisp at all, chances are that there is something you can do for Emms. Just saying.

[00:38:12.370] Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements: I'd like to express my deep gratitude for all of the people who have hacked on Emms during my time as a maintainer and before it. It is often the case that I'm just the person holding the rudder and steering the ship, with all of these developers rowing furiously to provide the power which actually moves the ship forward. Thank you to all.

Captioner: yoni

Questions or comments? Please e-mail

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