Like a sad dumb dog who still hopefully visits the grave of his dear, departed master, every once in a while I try Amarok 2 again. Unfortunately, there has been no improvement in usability since the last dozen times I checked.
But have you seen Exaile lately? This is what the bleeding edge version looks like:
It's pretty nice. It's about as close as you can get to a stable, fully-functional Amarok 1.4-ish player nowadays.
Aside from looking good, Exaile is good at handling ID3 tags (a few Japanese tags that Amarok 2 displays as ????????, Exaile displays properly) and it's pretty fast to rescan my collection nowadays, which is nice. It does fairly sane grouping of multi-artist albums under "Various artists". It supports moodbar and song lyrics and cover art fetching and such, if that's the kind of thing you enjoy. It even splits the library display by the first letter of the artist names, just like Amarok 1.4 did, which is awesome.
I did have some problems installing the dependencies (python bindings for webkit?) for some of the plugins, but oh well. I figured it out.
Today I went so far as to install
gnome-control-center just so Exaile wouldn't look like crap. I use KDE4, and I haven't touched Gnome or any Gnome libs in a few years, so this is saying something.
Mark Kretschmann, an Amarok dev, recently wrote an article about the paradox of choice, in which he said (probably correctly) that being presented with too many options and too many choices end up paralyzing people and making them miserable.
Sorry, but the irony was overwhelming...
I really do believe there's a good program buried somewhere in that mess of controls, desperately wanting to be free.