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Historically, the main difference between Bongo and EMMS 2.0 was that
the former had a more elaborate user interface, while the latter was
more mature and supported more formats (for example, Bongo could not
play radio streams for quite a while). It might be fair to say that
while Bongo was a GUI that could play media, EMMS 2.0 was a media
player that could display a GUI, although this description became less
and less accurate as the feature sets of the two players converged.
While Bongo and EMMS 2.0 do not share any code, both sprung out of the
original EMMS community.
In fact, Bongo started out as an experiment in creating a better
“playlist buffer interface” (PBI) for EMMS, which had traditionally
had an all but invisible UI, with the PBI added pretty much as an
afterthought. The experiment quickly got out of hand as Bongo evolved
into a complete media player in its own right and Daniel Brockman
started to use it full-time. In response to this, Jorgen Schäfer, the
original author of EMMS, — who had always thought that the very
concept of a PBI was unnecessary and lame, — quipped, “Great, he took
the worst hack of EMMS, and made it into a new player.”
For the thread that started EMMS 2.0 and Bongo, see
The original intention was to eventually merge Bongo into EMMS 2.0.
However, this plan was pretty much floating around on ice, and it shot
right off into space when Yoni Rabkin Katzenell stepped up to rewrite
the EMMS PBI for EMMS 2.0. Since then, Bongo and EMMS 2.0 have
continued to evolve in parallel and both are now mature programs.
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