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Troubleshooting and Common Problems

If you work through the procedures here, but don't have success, please come into IRC (irc://, post on the KDE Forum Amarok section, or write to the Amarok list.

Problems installing

Bad packaging

Occasionally, users will encounter bad packaging from the distributions; either from the wrong version of a component being included, or some needful part being left out. For some reason, this often happens with MySQL dependencies. Bug reports in these cases should be made to your distribution, not to

Difficulties building from source

For those who wish to help out by testing the newest Amarok versions, a local build is advised. Use this excellent guide: Compiling Amarok from GIT Locally; a Full Summary. Detailed information about git can be found here: Techbase GIT Tutorial.

If you have built successfully before, and now are encountering errors, try removing CMakeCache.txt and try again. If that still errors out, remove the entire Build folder and build completely fresh.

The URL to pull from git has recently changed. Run
git remote set-url origin git://
if you still using the old URL. Please ping us if you find the old link in our documents so we can update it everywhere.

Problems starting up

Playlist errors

The current playlist can occasionally get corrupt, which will prevent Amarok from starting. This can be fixed by simply removing the current playlist file in the Amarok directory, $HOME/.kde/share/apps/amarok/current.xspf . Note that on some systems, this may be .kde4 rather than .kde.

Database issues

If the database is corrupt and this is preventing Amarok from starting, you can move the database to a backup location (or simply delete it). This will cause Amarok to rebuild the database from scratch. Move the $HOME/.kde/share/apps/amarok/mysqle folder to a backup location (such as $HOME/.kde/share/apps/amarok/mysqle~) and restart Amarok.

Other issues and backing up settings

If the above two items do not help, or you otherwise need to restore Amarok to a clean configuration, you can move to a backup location (or delete) the Amarok directory at $HOME/.kde/share/apps/amarok and the Amarok config files at $HOME/.kde/share/config/amarok* (there may be two or three files matching this pattern). Again, the directory may be .kde4 rather than .kde.

Problems Scanning, Sorting files

Amarok scans your music files on first startup, and will keep your collection up-to-date automatically, if you chose Settings -> Configure Amarok -> Collection -> Watch folders for changes.

If you don't want Amarok scanning for changes, uncheck that, and use Tools -> Update Collection whenever you make changes to your collection.

More about Amarok collection scanning here.

Corrupt tags

Some folks notice that Amarok seems to be missing some files. One of the causes can be corrupt tags, which you can check using the tagging application kid3. More about tagging here.

To find the bad file(s), run amarokcollectionscanner from the console. Details here.

Inability to write tags
If Amarok is not saving changes to tags, you may have permissions problems. Ensure that your user has write permissions to your music. For example,
chown -R youruser Music/
to change ownership to your user, or
chmod -R +w Music/
to add write permissions to the owner.
Incorrect Sorting (Various Artists)

Sometimes people report that tracks are in Various Artists when they should not be, or are sorted into "Unknown Album." What separates Various Artists albums and tracks and albums sorted under their artists is the Album Artist tag. When you click Show under Various Artists in the context (right-click) menu, that tag will be emptied if it is filled. The opposite happens to a file in Various Artists when you choose Do not show under Various Artists, but the Album Artist tag will be auto-filled from the Artist tag.

If there is no Album tag, and no Album Artist tag, Amarok will put the track into Unknown Album in Various Artists. If you want them sorted otherwise, tag them the way you want them sorted. If you don't know some of the information, try out the new MusicBrainz function in the tag editor, or use a tagging application.

Duplicate Tracks

Sometimes Amarok pops up following dialog during (perhaps initial) collection scan:


This most probably means that an identical file ended up twice in your collection at different places. You can use Amarok's File Browser to check the files individually, usual action is to remove one of the duplicate files. If you are sure that the tracks are not (or shouldn't be) duplicates, there may be several reasons why Amarok thinks they are:

  1. The files are bit-by-bit identical
    • You can use for example md5sum command to verify that
    • You can edit metadata of one of the files from within Amarok File browser to differentiate them somehow, perhaps by editing (album) artist, year, composer or a comment
  2. The files have the same Amarok AFT unique id
    • This is often a result of running amarok_afttagger and then creating multiple copies of a tagged file; tag reader such as Kid3 or MP3Diags can be used to verify this, look for Amarok 2 AFTv1 string in tags
    • You can use amarok_afttagger command-line utility to reset unique id of one of the tracks:
      amarok_afttagger --newid --verbose path/to/one/of/the/tracks.mp3
    • Alternatively, you can remove the unique id from one of the tracks, loosing the track-even-if-changed-from-outside functionality:
      amarok_afttagger --delete --verbose path/to/one/of/the/tracks.mp3
  3. (for Amarok before v2.7.0-96-g216c18b) The files have the same MusicBrainz id
    • Released versions up to Amarok 2.7 treated MusizBrainz id embedded in tags (filled in by MusicBrainz-enabled tagger such as Picard) as unique identifiers of tracks. However, MusicBrainz changed the semantics of the id to mean "recording id" since it was originally implemented in Amarok, which means that you may get false duplicates for example for tracks that appear on the original album and the Best of one. See bug #315329 for more info
    • You can use any advanced tag reader to verify this (look for MusicBrainz string in tags) and to remove the MusicBrainz id from one of the tracks
    • As an alternative solution, you can use amarok_afttagger to add Amarok AFT id to one of the tracks because Amarok will then prefer its own id rather than the MusicBrainz one:
      amarok_afttagger --newid --verbose path/to/one/of/the/tracks.mp3

Problems playing files

Amarok skips over tracks, or appears to play them without sound

If the files you are attempting to play are in mp3 format, please see instructions for enabling mp3 support on your distro, here. Note that one piece of software being able to play mp3s on your system does not necessarily mean Amarok has had the required codecs installed.

No sound, or bad sound

For more general sound issues, first check what Phonon backend you are using in Settings -> Configure Amarok -> Playback -> Configure Phonon -> Backend. Consider switching to a different backend; VLC and GStreamer backends should be available from your distribution. Both the Gstreamer or VLC backends are recommended, if your distribution is still shipping other backends do not use them.

Also check whether the backend standalone software can play the files correctly; if not this is an issue with that software and you may find information in their help files. In other words, can Gstreamer or VLC play the same file? Will it play in Dragon, which also uses phonon?

If it seems to be a PulseAudio problem, and you want to provide a log to the PulseAudio developers, the troubleshooting page is here.

Problems with collections on iPod etc.

Amarok show no cover-images or images are lost when transferring to device
Most likely the wrong version of libgpod4 is installed. On Debian and it's derivatives like Kubuntu the default is libgpod4-nogtk, which comes without support for covers. Simply install the variant libgpod4:
sudo apt-get install libgpod4
The package libgpod4-nogtk can then be removed without problem. From Kubuntu Quantal Quetzal on (released as 12.10) this package has been removed and the default is libgpod4.

Crashes and bugs

  • How to run Amarok from the command line:
    amarok --debug --nofork
  • Amarok crashes, but Dr. Konqi doesn't pop up — run in gdb with the following command:
    gdb --args amarok --debug --nofork
    In gdb's console, type run to start Amarok, reproduce the crash, and then in gdb type thread apply all bt to generate the backtrace.
  • Filing bugs: If triggered, Dr. Konqi will provide an option to report a bug and do most of the work for you. If not, you will need to submit the bug manually at For crash bugs, paste the backtrace from gdb as a comment.

This page was last modified on 1 July 2013, at 02:46. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.