New Rhythmbox 3.3 release for Ubuntu 14.04, 15.04 and 15.10

The official GTK 3.18 release of the Gnome stack of software was last september … but most unusually Rhythmbox never featured with a new release.

Well its here – and its now available for 14.04 (trusty), 15.04 (vivid) and 15.10 (wily) users.

trusty - VMware Player (Non-commercial use only)_116

(screenshot taken with rhythmbox 3.3 + my alternative-toolbar plugin)

Thanks to the key Rhythmbox maintainer Jonathan Matthew we have a good release that fixes a whole bunch of crashers and gives us new automatic Android compatibility.

TIP – if you are going to sync to an external card on you phone – rename your “Music” folder on the internal storage, create a “Music” folder at the top-level of your external card. Launch rhythmbox. Using the new android capability, you can automatically find and sync with the Music folder on your external card.

This version contains the following:

Overview of changes in Rhythmbox 3.3

  • New plugin supporting Android devices via gvfs-mtp
  • Encoding settings are now configurable per device type
  • Encoding settings can force lossless files to be transcoded

Bugs fixed:

733830 While extracting music from CDs, information in the “Year” field is lost
748857 Typos in documentation
749015 audioscrobbler: Fix displaying icon for
751265 JSON import errors
751630 Sync Preferences Missing
751961 iradio: remove Radio GFM
752433 [PATCH] data: Add various mod files as supported MIME types
753359 Don’t handle RTL icons manually for GTK+ >= 3.12
753767 error: conflicting types for ‘rhythmdb_metadata_cache_purge’
755881 crash when adding files found during startup scan
756992 hangs after handling mod/xm/it (modplug) file when crossfade is enabled
757225 Freezing with crossfade backend and Pulseaudio with GStreamer 1.6.x
760192 commit 85c185d breaks compilation with -Wl,-as-needed
761030 Album-Art caching issue

Stock Ubuntu 14.04 users should definitely benefit for 24+ months worth of bug-fixes and refinements. Note – upstream has bumped the minimum GTK version above that found in Trusty … but don’t worry I’ve backed out those changes – you guys and girls aren’t missing anything vital!

We are not past Debian package import freeze to 16.04 so I expect Debian will upload v3.3 soon and this will make it into 16.04 proper.  Thus, I’ve not this time produced a build for 16.04 users … but may do so with future rhythmbox releases.

If you are looking to have the latest, I’ve packaged this together and is now available in my Rhythmbox PPA. This PPA contains the existing Ubuntu patchwork – hide on close, support for local and global menu etc. N.B. – I tend to update my PPA as and when I’m investigating what is new in upstream Rhythmbox.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt full-upgrade

Note: sometimes the upgrade doesn’t quite work.  If you get a segmentation fault repeatedly on startup then uninstall and reinstall rhythmbox

sudo apt-get purge rhythmbox rhythmbox-plugins rhythmbox-data librhythmbox-core9
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox

Grilo is supported just enable the plugin found in the Plugins menu – this will give you the new media sources in Rhythmbox – the key being Jamendo – Royalty free music is just a click away. You also get UPnP & DLNA support as well.

Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar now in Ubuntu and Debian

I’m pleased to say that Debian has accepted my very first uploaded package rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar … and for Ubuntu 16.04 users it has also been uploaded!


ubuntu xenial (Snapshot 1) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_113

… Straight from the software centre … or from the debian repos …

Debian -- Details of package rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar in sid - Opera_114

… or can be installed simply via:

sudo apt install rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar

Or 1 click:

Or AptUrl:



Ubuntu packageDebian Package


Installing the Solus budgie-desktop on Ubuntu

There is an interesting new desktop/window-manager called Budgie-desktop that has been released this xmas time.

So if you are interested in a fiddle – some instructions for you are below.  First though – this is what the desktop looks like:

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_103

The panel is configurable – by default it is found at the top of the screen – I’ve flipped this to the bottom.

You can have multiple panels as well and rearrange the widgets available anyway you wish:

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_109.png

On the right is “Raven” – invoked from the tray on the right, here you can fiddle with the panel, theme (via the general settings).

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_107.png

The applets & notifications panel are self explanatory – but it is here you can control what is playing in your favourite media player – for example Rhythmbox:

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_108

By default the panel theme is dark – there is a light setting although the panel stays dark.  Expect themes to appear eventually.

Budgie is built upon standard gnome-shell components such as Mutter rather than forking everything under the sun like some other desktops (Cinnamon I’m talking about you!)

Its very fast, with applications logically launched from menus and accessible via the main panel – somewhat Gnome2/Mate-like but looks gorgeous.  You can search for applications like XFCE Whisper.

How to install from source

I’ve compiled this on Ubuntu 16.04 – in theory this should also work on 15.10 but I haven’t tried – let me know if it does not.

Compiling the stable recommended source – v10.2.2

sudo apt-get -y install libglib2.0-dev libgtk-3-dev libpeas-dev libpulse-dev libgnome-desktop-dev libmutter-dev libgnome-menu-3-dev libwnck-dev libupower-glib-dev libtool valac uuid-dev libgnome-desktop-3-dev gsettings-desktop-schemas-dev intltool libwnck-3-dev libpolkit-agent-1-dev libpolkit-gobject-1-dev

cd Downloads


tar -Jxvf budgie-desktop-10.2.2.tar.xz

cd budgie-desktop-10.2.2


search and replace “110” with “105” – save and close gedit



./configure --prefix=/usr


sudo make install

sudo apt-get install mutter gnome-settings-daemon gnome-control-center gnome-shell-common gnome-themes-standard-data gnome-session

Compiling the upstream development source – note this can be unstable:

sudo apt-get -y install build-essential git
git clone
cd budgie*

sudo apt-get -y install libglib2.0-dev libgtk-3-dev libpeas-dev libpulse-dev libgnome-desktop-dev libmutter-dev libgnome-menu-3-dev libwnck-dev libupower-glib-dev libtool valac uuid-dev libgnome-desktop-3-dev gsettings-desktop-schemas-dev intltool libwnck-3-dev libpolkit-agent-1-dev libpolkit-gobject-1-dev

./ --prefix=/usr


sudo make install

sudo apt-get install mutter gnome-settings-daemon gnome-control-center gnome-shell-common gnome-themes-standard-data gnome-session

How to launch budgie-desktop

Basically, logout, select budgie-desktop from the login screen and have fun

ubuntu xenial (before library install) [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_104

I would recommend you also install gnome-tweak-tool and use the dark-theme option.

If you want to install the Solus artwork then try the following:

git clone
cd artwork
automake --add-missing

./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

Note – I’ve made some progress creating a Debian package for this – it compiles, installs but Budgie does not display at all.  If you wish to help develop this so that we can have a PPA for everyone please shout.

(11 Jan 16) remove pesky commas from source install

My opensource contributions Q4 2015

This quarter has been a fairly busy time updating, enhancing and collaborating with various projects.  If you like what I’ve been up-to, remember you can say thanks by buying me a beer via Flattr or Paypal

Project development

alternative-toolbar: New move-column capability added. A whole host of translation updates and other bug-fixes have taken place.  A brand-new non-bespoke installer has been merged into the project. I’m also seeking to add this to the Debian repository – more news on this hopefully soon.

indicator-sysmonitor: various fixes for the temperature sensor. The memory sensor now works with the newer kernels available in support Ubuntu versions.  General python cleanups.

rhythmbox-fullscreen: fixes for gnome-shell display issues and simplify the project dependencies

coverart-search-providers: python cleanups. Bug fix to stop crash, together with latest translation updates.

radio-browser: fix repeat download issue – solves some of the long startup issues.  Fix crash issues with the board-handler to allow feedback to the host to occur correctly/post new stations/updates etc.

remember-the-rhythm: substantially updated this with new startup options – auto play, auto pause etc.  Fix to make the plugin work with alternative-toolbar

Coverart-browser: lots of translation updates and minor version bump.

bliss: helping to test this new development to analyse music.  Should now be in a stable state for others to use.

Note: As yet, not completed – but have made progress drafting a new rhythmbox plugin using the bliss library.  Hopefully more news about this in the next quarter.

PPA Updates.

  • Rhythmbox-plugins: The following plugins/packages have had updates (some with multiple updates over the last quarter) – now-playing is a new plugin
  • Package Version Uploaded by ▾
    rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar 0.16.0-1 (2015-12-28)
    rhythmbox-plugin-drc 0.2.4-1 (2015-12-22)
    rhythmbox-plugin-fullscreen 0.7.1-1 (2015-11-15)
    rhythmbox-plugin-radio-browser 0.5.1-1~rb3 (2015-10-29)
    rhythmbox-plugin-remembertherhythm 0.2.1-1~rb3 (2015-10-26)
    rhythmbox-plugin-looper 0.4-1~rb3 (2015-10-25)
    rhythmbox-plugin-coverart-browser 2.1.1-1~rb3 (2015-10-25)
    rhythmbox-plugin-coverart-search 1.2.2-1~rb3 (2015-10-25)
    rhythmbox-plugin-complete 0.3.11-1 (2015-10-19)
    rhythmbox-plugin-now-playing 0.1-1 (2015-10-19)
    rhythmbox-plugin-parametriceq 0.2.2-1 (2015-09-14)
    mutagen 1.31.0-1 (2015-09-14)
  • Rhythmbox: For Trusty and Wily users the package version has been bumped to 3.2.1 + All GIT updates between March and Nov this year.  Notes – version is is 3.2.a1 – this was going to be bumped to 3.3 in September but upstream did not do a formal rhythmbox release this half-year.
  • System Monitor (indicator-sysmonitor): this has been updated to reflect development changes

As always – I’m always looking to work with you – whether you can translate, test or provide code enhancements.  Just drop by one of my projects, fork, raise issues etc.

little things matter…

Little things matter.  Take for example this bug-report from 2003 (!!) – a request to add the ability to move the column order in Rhythmbox.

Lots of discussion, requests, tantrums later … but no-one has taken the proverbial bull-by-the-horns and implemented anything.

Hey-ho – if only I knew C well enough…

Well I do know python – so I’ve added to my “lets improve the GUI” plugin alternative-toolbar just such an ability – you can now drag by the column header in any order you want.

before & after…layers

Artist has been moved to the more logical position after the title & the genre has been moved from the end to a more prominent position.

Enjoy – happy holidays all!

P.S. – if this has inspired you to fix this properly via a C patch to Rhythmbox – then that would be great :)


To install – install via my PPA or via GIT, instructions here.


Rhythmbox Alternative Toolbar updated

Its coming up to six months since I last posted any news about my Rhythmbox plugin called Alternative Toolbar … but there has been lots of little changes since then.

So a quick recap.

Alternative Toolbar reworks the main Rhythmbox interface. For Gnome-Shell you get native header-bars. For everyone else you get a stylish compact toolbar.

ubuntu vivid [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_093Compare this with the default rhythmbox interface…

Rhythmbox_094I was working closely with the Ozon design team to make lots of changes. Ozon unfortunately looks like they have called it a day. Anyway – if there are any distro’s there that wish to bring a re-imagined Rhythmbox look-and-feel I would be happy to work with you. Before you ask – I had a few short words from the Rhythmbox maintainer himself – he didn’t want this upstream :(

So what has changed.

The sidepane has been reworked as well as the plugins dialog window.

  • New Rhythmbox_088

Old –  Rhythmbox_089

Plugins Dialog – ubuntu vivid [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_090The plugin has been updated with a repeat one option so you can play your favourite track over and over again.

Ubuntu vivid - VMware Player (Non-commercial use only)_078You can even seek through tracks – backwards as well as forwards via Alt Right and Alt Left cursor keys.

Hover over the little coverart display and a larger version appears – move your mouse away to dismiss.

ubuntu vivid [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_092

Have a look at the plugin preferences – lots of options to play with as well.

ubuntu vivid [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_091

Thanks to the good-folk of the Launchpad Translation team the plugin is available in 25 languages and locales.

For non-Ubuntu users there are two further easy install methods – for Arch users there is a AUR and for Gentoo users there is an ebuild method. Have a look at the README for further details.

If you’ve installed this manually via github please update to grab all the latest new stuff and bug-fixes.

For users of my rhythmbox PPA just update as normal – or use the rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar package

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-alternative-toolbar

Wily 15.10 PPAs ready for testing

Quick update for all Wily Ubuntu (15.10) testers.

The following PPAs that I maintain have had updates to cover the forthcoming 15.10 release later this month.  Please have a look and report any issues.

System Monitor Application Indicator:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/indicator_sysmonitor

More information about this release is here.  If you find any issues please report them on the project tracker.

Rhythmbox Plugins:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins

Information about all the plugins can be found here.  If you find any issues drop a comment and I’ll try to help.

Rhythmbox (latest sources upstream pending the expected new release soon):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox

If you find any issues please file a bug-report on bugzilla.

Separately, my rhythmbox plugin alternative-toolbar has been updated to v0.13.3.  In this release is the latest translations.  Dont forget – please help out by translating this plugin as well as coverart-browser and coverart-search-providers.