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Music is a way of life for a lot of people, and their music collections often reflect that to a massive degree. We all enjoy our music, and should be able to keep tabs with what music we have. This requires a good program that can easily organize our music so that perfect song is only a short distance away.
Or maybe you’d like to be able to manage your music in other ways, such as creating playlists? Whatever your needs may be, it’d be ideal to take care of it all using just one program.
Rhythmbox is one of the most popular music players available for Linux. Currently, its alternatives include Banshee, Clementine, and more. Rhythmbox is the default music player for a number of popular distributions, and is commonly found alongside the Gnome desktop environment. In fact, if you installed Ubuntu 12.04, you can find it integrated in the Sound menu. It’s also fairly feature-rich without making the experience too complicated.
When you first launch Rhythmbox (and even every new launch after that), it’ll automatically look through your Music folder to see what songs it can add. If you can play a song on any other player which uses system codecs – also called GStreamer plugins – Rhythmbox will add it to your library. From here on out, you can search by genre, artist, or album to find the song(s) you want to play.
You can also import other folders for Rhythmbox to look through, and support for playlists exists as well. There are even three smart playlists, which include your top rated songs, recently added songs, and recently played songs.
Playing your music library isn’t the only thing Rhythmbox can do, however. It also offers support for podcasts, so all you have to do is add the podcast feed and it’ll automatically check for new podcasts and download them when available. You can even add Internet radio stations to play through Rhythmbox.
Rhythmbox also has support for plugins, which can easily add functionality or establish connections to third party services. You can see Last.fm as well as Libre.fm as available services. Through the plugin infrastructure, you can also go to the Ubuntu One music store (in Ubuntu only) and the Magnatune store.
When you go into the settings, you’ll find a couple of nifty features to configure. You can choose what view configuration should be displayed for the song browser, which columns of information should be shown about songs in the area below the browser, whether there should be a crossfade between songs and for how long, where Rhythmbox should look for new music files, and how often it should check for new podcasts and where it should download them to.
To install Rhythmbox in case you don’t have it, you should easily be able to find it in your respective package manager under the “rhythmbox” package name. Ubuntu users can use the command line and run
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox to install it, while Fedora users can use
sudo yum install rhythmbox.
Overall, Rhythmbox is a very useful program that gets the job done reliably. Ubuntu had Rhythmbox as its default music player since its early days, but switched to Banshee for a few releases before returning back to Rhythmbox. Give it a try as it should work well for you.
What’s your favorite music player for Linux? Why do you like it the most? Let us know in the comments!