Review: Harmonoid – music app

We’ve reviewed a whole raft of open source music players from tiny command-line players to bloated Electron-based heavyweights. But Linux is endowed with a huge selection, and there’s still a few we’ve yet to put under the microscope.

Harmonoid is billed as an elegant music app to play local music and YouTube music. It’s written in the Dart programming language and published now under an open source license a proprietary license. Before we see how it fares, let’s briefly cover the installation process.


The project doesn’t provide any distro-specific packages. And at the time of writing this review, it’s not possible to compile the latest version of the software.

The simplest way to install the software on Linux is with Flatpak.

Flatpak is an open source containerized package format similar to Snap. While Snap relies on a central repository for software, Flatpak can be installed from different sources.

To install Harmonoid, issue the command:

$ flatpak install flathub io.github.harmonoid.harmonoid

Installing the flatpak adds a menu entry on our Ubuntu systems. Alternatively, we can run the software with the command:

$ flatpak run io.github.harmonoid.harmonoid

The developer provides a binary for Windows and Android but we didn’t test either of them.

The developer of Harmonoid won’t release the source code for some of the libraries that Harmonoid uses.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Memory Usage
Page 4 – Summary

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  1. I’ve been using Clementine for years. It has a superb feature set, perfect for listening to internet radio, and works under Linux, macOS and Windows and even control the software from my cell phone.

  2. Based on the article alone, feels like a language learning project creator wants to try and milk. No harm in that, the creator will learn some valuable lessons about reality

  3. Hey! I see you recently published this article… And I see it’s using the non-updated version… Flatpak release is not yet updated… The whole UI is revamped compared to what you have actually shown.
    Atleast you could match the UI… Very bad review & research.
    Plus, project is not even 1.0.0 stable yet.
    The old version that you reviewed already has all its libraries open source.
    Install again & review again. Flatpak version isn’t updated & I didn’t expect people can’t even match version numbers.

  4. I looked at the latest release and it’s utter shite. Prime to crashing,memory hog and poorly implemented

    1. Unfortunately we are so far from 1.0.0, current version is just 0.2.0… and project is at infancy. there have been barely 3 versions out yet (that even randomly “releasing” on my GitHub README)…

  5. It’s a common mistake by developers that giving version numbers confers any real information about the maturity of a project given there is often inconsistency about version numbers between different projects.

    I have seen many open source projects that have releases below version 1.0 that are very stable with all main features implemented and settled APIs, and even things like MAME which has in development for 25 years where the developers have said they can never actually release a version 1.0.

    Yet other software with version releases in double digits that have roadmaps indicating there are many key features yet to be implemented.

  6. Open source projects that plan to include proprietary plugins/addons generally see their project receive significantly less support from the open source community particularly where there is mature open source projects doing the same thing already available.

    There are many projects that tried this approach where it spectacularly backfired. For example, there was a file manager called Polo File Manager. I used it as my main file manager. The developer tried to offer plugins for money saying that they were available if you made a specific monetary donation. The open source community, of course, saw right through that approach. It wasn’t a donation at all.

    What happened to Polo? As an open source project it died a horrible death. Abandoned by the original developer and shunned by the open source community.

  7. Heh Luke

    Thanks for the honest review. Your coverage of the multimedia software has saved me a lot of time

  8. I note that the project has changed license terms in the past few days. It is no longer published under the GPL. Instead its EULA now says

    (g) Source code.
    You may only compile and modify the source code of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT for your own personal purpose or to propose a contribution to the SOFTWARE PRODUCT after removing refrences (sic) to all proprietary modules used within Harmonoid.

    The software does not meet the criteria of an open source project. Avoid!

    1. It’s the classic bait-and-switch technique. Start a project, release it under an open source license, try to build a user base, and then remove the open source license for new releases. Disgusting behavior

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