Integrate Cloud Music Players Into Your Desktop With Nuvola Player [Linux]

Justin Pot 03-03-2012

cloud music playerIntegrate your favorite cloud-based music players with the Linux desktop. Whether you’re a fan of Google Music, Grooveshark, Hype Machine, 8tracks 8Tracks: Create, Share and Listen to Mix Tracks Read More or all four, Nuvola Player makes listening to cloud music in Linux so seamless you’ll forget they’re not desktop players. It lets you elegantly control all four of these online music services from your Unity or Gnome desktop. You’ll forget you’re even using a web-based service.


Cloud music programs are great in many ways, but they also suck sometimes. For example, you might close your browser window, forgetting it’s playing your music. Your browser might crash, bringing down your music with the rest of your tabs. Beyond this, browser-based players just aren’t elegant. You typically can’t use keyboard shortcuts to control them, and you need to open your browser to skip a track or to pause your music.

Not with Nuvola, which makes Google Music, Grooveshark, Hype Machine and 8tracks feel like native Linux applications.

Using Nuvola Player

Fire up Nuvola Player and you’ll be presented with four choices:

cloud music player

Pick which online music service you want to use and you’ll be taken to that service. There’s not much to this window – it’s basically a web browser, albeit without the address bar and other things you don’t need in order to play music.


Open your service of choice and you’ll be taken to it. Google Music, for example, just looks like Google Music in its own window:

cloud music

Grooveshark looks like Grooveshark.

cloud music


You get the idea – the web apps are run in their own pseudo-browser. But if you close the window, the music will keep on playing. This mimics the behavior of other Linux music players, such as Rhythmbox or Banshee. Where did the program go? Well, Ubuntu users can see it if they click the volume button:

cloud music player

It’s still running, and you can control it from here by clicking the Previous/Pause/Next buttons. You can bring back the window by simply clicking the song information.

Further System Integration

This isn’t just for Ubuntu users, though. Nuvola Player integrates into the many incarnations of the Linux desktop quite nicely. Here are just a few ways Nuvola builds web-based music players into your system:

  • It uses system notifications to show you information and album art every time a new song plays.
  • It can be controlled from your dock in Unity, as well as Docky, Avant Window Navigator and DockBarX.
  • It can be controlled with the GNOME multimedia keys.
  • A useless “pause” button on the keyboard can pause music.
  • It hides when you close; music keeps playing in background.
  • It has a tray icon for non-Unity interfaces

Check out more Nuvola integration features, because they might change before you read this.


Back in November I showed you how to integrate Google Music into Ubuntu How To Integrate Google Music Into Ubuntu [Linux] Use Google Music in Ubuntu without keeping a browser tab open. Google Music Frame lets you run your favorite web-based music software in the background, showing notifications when a new song plays and allowing you... Read More using a program called Google Music Player. Nuvola evolved from that project, and I think it’s better off for supporting more players. Of course, more would be even better. What about Pandora or LastFM? Here’s hoping Nuvola grows to support every online music service out there.

Can you think of web music players you’d like to see added? Let me know in the comments below, along with your thoughts about Nuvola Player. I’ll be there to hang out.

Related topics: Cloud Computing, Google Music, Grooveshark, Media Player.

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  1. rakete
    March 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    It should work with ownCloud for total exitement...

    • jhpot
      March 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Not a bad idea. I bet it will happen...this project seems to have legs.

  2. Dexter Smith
    March 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I'm still not ready to use cloud bases music players, I still prefer to use desktop ones instead Ex Rhythmbox. I have a account and the only two things I use for that is to Scrooble, and when I either don't have my mp3 player or computer THEN I listen to music with that.

    • jhpot
      March 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm

       To each their own, I guess. I'm really enjoying Google Music (or play, as I guess it's called now.)

  3. ryandigweed
    March 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • jhpot
      March 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      No problem; it's kind of my job. :)

  4. Fenryxo
    March 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

    > What about Pandora or LastFM?

    Pandora has been added very recently

    • jhpot
      March 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm


  5. Jasjeev Singh Anand
    March 4, 2012 at 7:02 am

    What's a windows alternative?

    • rakete
      March 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

       MacOS and various Linux Distibutions are windows alternatives... :P

      • jhpot
        March 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        If we're done being clever, you could check this out for Google Music: It only does Google Music, but it's something.

  6. Trevor Lenten
    March 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Sweet. Just installed in arch

    • jhpot
      March 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm