Rhythmbox is GNOME’s default music player. Inspired by Apple’s iTunes, it is simple to use and meets most users' needs. Rhythmbox includes such features as playlist support, iPod integration, podcast playback, and support for streaming audio. In addition, users are able to browse the online (and digital rights management-free) music stores Magnatune and Jamendo.

Key Features

Play Modes

Adding Songs to the Play Queue

To add songs to the Play Queue, select either entire artists/albums or individual songs, then either right click and select Add to Play Queue or drag and drop onto the Play Queue list under the Library heading in the Side Pane.

Shuffle and Repeat

While on your Music library, if you make a selection of Artists/Albums or Songs and click Repeat or Random it will only repeat and/or shuffle the selection.


Static Playlists

Static Playlists are playlists containing songs manually added from the Library by the user.

Creating a New Static Playlist

  1. Press CTRL+N or select Music > Playlist > New Playlist

  2. Type the name for the new playlist and press Enter
  3. Drag and drop songs from the Library onto the playlist's name in the left pane. You may also add songs to the playlist by selecting which songs in the Library you wish to include, then right click on the selections, select Add to Playlist, and select the playlist to add the songs to.

To delete songs from a playlist, select the songs in the playlist, then right click and select delete.

Automatic Playlists

Automatic Playlists are playlists that automatically include or exclude songs from the Library based on a user-defined set of criteria.

Creating a New Automatic Playlist

  1. From the Music menu, select Playlist > New Automatic Playlist

  2. Enter your desired playlist criteria using the drop down menus and text boxes, then select the New button
  3. Click on the newly created playlist under Playlists in the Side Pane and give the playlist a name

To edit the playlist, either:

  • Right click on the playlist name and select Edit; or
  • Select the playlist, then under the Music menu, select Playlist > Edit

Party Mode

Party mode sets Rhythmbox to cover the desktop/panels (full screen) and queues any selected tracks in the play queue automatically.

  1. From the View menu, select Party Mode

Importing Audio CDs

To import an audio CD's tracks onto your computer and into Rhythmbox's Library, insert the CD into your computer. The CD's icon will then appear under Devices in the Side Pane. To then import the CD's tracks, either:

  • Select the Extract button on the menu bar; or
  • Right click on the CD's name, and select Extract to Library

The CD's track names and other basic information should be automatically entered if there is an Internet connection present. If the track information is not automatically entered, manually enter the information by selecting the desired track or tracks, then right click and select Properties. Enter the desired information, then select Close.

Change Importing Details

To change the settings for importing audio CDs, such as what format to import to (ogg, mp3, flac, etc.), select from the Edit menu Preferences, then select the Music tab and change the desired details, then select Close.

Change Importing Settings

The out-of-the-box configuration of rhythmbox may be slow in extracting audio CDs. You can speed up the process by applying the following settings as integer-values withing gconf-editor:

  • /apps/rhythmbox/paranoia-mode=0
  • /apps/rhythmbox/read-speed=16

Creating Audio CDs

  1. Create or select a desired playlist of songs to be placed on the audio CD. (For more on Playlists).

  2. Right click on the created or desired playlist and select Create Audio CD.
  3. Change the settings or leave them set to the default.
  4. Insert a blank CD into the computer.
  5. Click Create to burn the CD. Syncing

It is possible to link Rhythmbox to your account. Rhythmbox can collect information about your played songs and upload the information to your account.

Setting up Syncing

  1. Select Edit > Plugins

  2. Select the box for the plugin, then click Configure
  3. Insert your username and password
  4. Click Close on the Configure and Plugin windows, then use Rhythmbox as normal. The played song information will be uploaded automatically to your account.

You may also join the Rhythmbox group:


Adding Feeds

  1. Select Music > New Podcast Feed

  2. Enter the URL of the desired podcast, then click Add

Rhythmbox will then automatically download the most recent episode of the podcast.

Podcast Preferences

  1. Select Edit > Preferences

  2. Click the Podcasts tab

You can now change the download location and how often Rhythmbox will check for new podcasts.

If you select Manually for "Check for new episodes," you will have to click Update All Feeds on the Podcasts library in the Side Pane to check for any new podcast episodes.

Multiple Library Directories

Having multiple library directories is useful if you have separate partitions or shared folders which contain your music.

Adding Multiple Libraries

  1. Select Alt-F2 or Applications > Accessories > Terminal

  2. Type "gconf-editor" (or "dconf-editor" for Rhythmbox versions > 2.90)

  3. Navigate to "/apps/rhythmbox" (or "org/gnome/rhythmbox/rhythmdb/locations")
  4. On the right hand side right click on "library_locations" and select "Edit Key"
  5. Click Add and type in the desired directory location (such as "file:///home/user/Music/Shared")



It's easy to download and install plugins that add new features to Rhythmbox. Besides the plugins that come with Rhythmbox, there's a list of third-party plugins here.


Minimizing at start up

  • If you want to hide the Rhythmbox window, press CTRL+W. To bring the window back, click Rhythmbox's Notification Area icon.
  • From Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04) on, when launched Rhythmbox appears as an icon minimized in the notification area. If you want it to appear maximized, then open the Configuration Editor by pressing Alt+F2 (or open a terminal window by typing ALT+CTRL+T) and type:


Within the Configuration Editor, navigate to apps > rhythmbox > plugins > status-icon, then check the "window-visible" box and close the Editor. Rhythmbox should now always appear maximized when you launch it.



Other Music Players

  • Amarok - KDE's default music player

  • Banshee - Music manager and player (default in Ubuntu 11.04)

  • Exaile - GTK+-based clone of Amarok

  • Audacious - A media player that looks like xmms/winamp

  • Clementine - A music player inspired by Amarok 1.4.

Further Reading

CategorySoftwareDefault CategorySoftware CategoryAudio

Rhythmbox (last edited 2013-02-14 19:10:49 by 5)