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Elisa Music Player by KDE is Refreshing, But Not There Just Yet

If you’re someone who still listens to locally stored music, in this day and age of several streaming music services, you deserve a good music player app. I use Google Play Music because it also lets me upload my local music files. Yet, I can never really fully switch over because I just don’t like the silly-looking interface. Google Play Music just has the worst interface of all music streaming services. Thus, I still prefer using a nice, beautiful local music player app more often when I can. As such, I’m always on the lookout. Elisa Music Player was just released by the KDE team and is kind of available for every Windows, openSUSE, and Arch Linux user.

Elisa is a new music player from KDE

Elisa Music Player

It is a Qt-based Qt-based application designed by the KDE team that looks great in the Plasma desktop. If you don’t use the Plasma desktop, you have nothing to worry about. It looks and works just as great in any other desktop environment. Granted, it is a KDE app so if you don’t have the KDE Plasma desktop, you’ll need to download various other dependencies first.

“Elisa is a music player developed by the KDE community that strives to be simple and nice to use. We also recognize that we need a flexible product to account for the different workflows and use-cases of our users,” the project page reads.


Elisa Music Player interface

The interface is probably what you will like the most about Elisa. I certainly do. It doesn’t try to mimic iTunes or any other existing music player and does its own thing. The very top of part of Elisa is reserved as a showpiece and it looks amazing. It is supposed to display the currently playing song’s album art on a background made of the same album art but blurred. Right below that is what I would call the control bar. It houses the player controls, the seek bar and the volume slider. This bar is slightly translucent which is again a nice touch.

It automatically looks in your music folder for music files, the icons are all pulled out of your current KDE theme, all in all, the set up is pretty easy. Your currently playing playlist is shown on the right, with the options to load and save playlists. The left column has various viewing options: Now Playing, Albums, Artists, and Tracks.  For some reason, Elisa can’t pull up any album arts right now, not for me at least. Still, the interface has won me over. It’s different, it’s simple, and it’s not boring. That checks about all the right boxes. The user interface of the app reminds me of Lollypop Music Player.

Features of Elisa Music Player

Elisa Music Player features

If you read the title, you already know what’s coming. We’ve already discussed the “refreshing” part in quite a detail. The reason Elisa probably won’t be replacing whichever music player you use right now would be the lack of features. Forget advanced features such as pulling the Album art off the internet, you can’t even sort. It helps that the Albums and Tracks are alphabetically sorted, but if you wanted you couldn’t sort it by date for instance. This realization hits hard once you head over to the Artists view. I don’t know what sorting it uses if it uses any and there’s no way to sort it alphabetically.

Luckily, only a few songs in my collection are numbered. But in case the track names in your collection start with numbers… well, good luck. In that case, the only meaningful view would be the Albums view. There is a search feature at least. Still, one should be able to easily browse through his collection instead of relying on search every time. So it does not have this basic feature but it does have a few others. We’ve already mentioned that you can create, load, and save playlists, and Elisa makes this pretty easy. While Elisa organizes your music files pretty well, you can try Dolphine file manager to manage all files on your computer.

Other than that, you can click on the hamburger menu icon on the top and select Configure Elisa to add multiple music collections to the player. Here’s a list of the working features:

  • Browse music by album, artist or tracks
  • Working search
  • Create and manage playlists
  • View track metadata
  • Baloo indexing support
  • Support for HiDPI displays

How to install

This is only very early for Elisa and that shows in its feature sets and the version number which is 0.1. As such, the application is only available in the KDE Neon repositories. So unless you use KDE Neon you’ll most likely have to compile it all by yourself. KDE Neon users can simply run this command in a terminal to install Elisa:

sudo apt install elisa

Download Elisa for Windows, openSUSE & Arch Linux

Windows: Microsoft Store

Arch Linux: sudo pacman -S elisa


Other users can head over to the KDE community page for Elisa which has further information about the player’s future and instructions on compiling the app.

Read Next: How to Give Your KDE Plasma Desktop a macOS Makeover

1 thought on “Elisa Music Player by KDE is Refreshing, But Not There Just Yet”

  1. Could be excellent if they went for a player somewhere between foobar and boom, a resonic without the, jjust without – concentrate on playing the music the person has on their computer, not podcasts, streams or playlist for that party or moment that happens once a year, think of the other 360+ days instead where all you need is a music player that plays… music – fired up from a contextual menu but doesn’t add it into a bulging playlist file system – a player that uses your tags, your already organised folder (album/artist) / filing set up and then concentrate purely on ease of use – (if it must have, have the most basic of playist systems – add to & drag and drop into.
    No searching for lyrics, no searching and failing looking for artwork (anyone who cares about music already has added it to their id3 tags – those that don’t there’s a 1001 players catering (and not doing a great job) for them.

    Then once they have all the edges polished off create a great looking, useful, “it just works” no frills player with different looks that are modern and practical. The Audacity of audio players but with style.

    I’ve tried sooooo many audio players and they all do a few things well and too many things kind of ok ish not so..
    I love Musicbee, Aimp, Boom, Oceanaudio, Nemp, MPCH, XMP, VU Player, KISS, the new Winamp even real oldies like Hokrain and that underlines what i’;m saying I use these for different tasks different times and different reasons & different scenarios but none of them are “i just wanna listen ot that album or track(s) for now” – Boom almost but you can’t forward or rewind…especially annoying if it’s a cd you’ve ripped that is a continuous play so it’s a single file or a vinyl you’ve yet to split tracks but want to audition it but not have it added to a playlist or have “something” written into the file cos you forgot to turn 1 of the 100’s of settings off that does “???” (music bee for example. – I love that app yet due to a large collection found it easier to run 3 portable versions and 1 installation to keep genres seperate so i could just hit shuffle and not have tuvan throat singing follow and banging drun and bass track.
    After all that the only app that does what I kind of want is VLC and I dont want to use that as it wont recall my folder structure.

    So heres hoping Elisa (i guess I’ll say it) an iTunes (9.2.2, the last good one) beater but for windows (as well as its origin os linux) – In short a simple/fast/easy to use no frills powerful Audio File PLAYER not Audio file manager (we have too many already and a some excdllent IDTag tools as well so dont bother adding that either) – tagscanner and mp3tag do it better already) …. or I just end up paying for Resonic purely for a dark ui !!! (Ocean Audio could be it, but its feels resource heavy, clunky and pron to locking up and of course no ability to read a folder structure as a pre made playlist. (Do people really throw 100’s of tracks into 1 folder then sort them out in their audio player?)

    If only the devs would see this but they have their plans so… I even spoke to the guy making NEMP but he’s a busy guy so updates aren’t often and it looks out of date and appears to be going down the path of jack of all trades, master of none. 🙁

    Last thing – why is it so difficult to STOP Elisa loading files? It auto loaded 4 or 500 before I realised – omgawd i just looked up, it’s loaded 6k now and I don’ty see a settings that can stop it, I can point it to a folder but it’s ignored that as I had some newly purchased music I wanted to listen to on MY audio player not the sites crappy one, and its completely ignored that… i have no idea where or how it’s located 1 of my collections as my music is spread over 3 harddrives divided by rough genres (1 drive Rock, Indie etc, the other Blues, Soul, Jazz, Reggae, Downtempo esque and the 3rd electronic of all kinds all in artist folders or label collections or genres ie Dub Techno, IDM, Ambient/Field or artists (Luke Vibert + aka’s, Pete Namlook, Squarepusher, Wolfgang Voigt, 2 Lone Sworsdmen, Uwe Schmidt, some guy called Aphex Tony? and a 100 others (man I’ve spent way too much…. then again I dont drink so – money well spent actually)…… so, yep, thats another point made, LET ME SELECT WHAT IT LOADS how on earth can it presume what I want it the playlist? ah well time to locate where ever that grow behemoth of a file is bulging and delete it as I again dont see much of an options menu……

    ah well said my bit – wont change anything.

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