CoverArt Browser v2 & CoverArt Search Providers v1.1 released for all Rhythmbox versions

I’m pleased to announce version 2.0 of the Rhythmbox media player plugin called CoverArt Browser. This release is strictly for new Rhythmbox versions found in Ubuntu 14.04 and later (V3+).

However, not to be left out – I’ve also released a new maintenance release for older Rhythmbox versions – skip down for more.

At the same time I’ve updated my other plugin called CoverArt Search Providers which is a must have for CoverArt Browser.

For the uninitiated, the CoverArt Browser plugin for Rhythmbox allows you to find, play and queue both albums & individual tracks through various views:

  • Tile-View – a grid like view completely customisable – you can have a iTunes like layout, xnoise or any other media player grid layout.
  • Flow-View – swipe through your albums using different types of flows
  • Artist-View – list all album-artists graphically and find their albums
  • Music Library View – deep integration with standard rhythmbox – move to the Track-based layout and back to the other views in the same way via a toolbar menu (“…”)
  • Play Queue View – new to this release, further deeper integration – move to the Play Queue to see what you have manually queued.

Taken together, you no longer need the side-pane – press F9 to hide and enjoy the increased screen-space to view and play your albums.

CoverArt Tile View

First things first… much thanks to the Jean-Rene Bastien for all his help with brilliant graphics and insightful testing. Also, the great Launchpad translation team – 24 languages is impressive and it is all thanks to all the translators.

Some of my personal highlights for this release:

Single click has improved – play – pause – add albums with one click

trusty [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_020 trusty [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_021 trusty [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_022

Compact Track View – show key track details, or toggle to show full standard rhythmbox view

trusty [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_001

Optional Artist & Album Information Panes:

Display information such as the artist biography, their albums, track details, similar artists and the ability to filter for those artists. Just hover over the right-hand side and drag to open or close the pane.

trusty [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_002

Smart Continuous playlists:

Using the power of LastFM and EchoNest, play recommended tracks found in your collection that are similar to the album artist, genre

Subtle Animations:

Difficult to visualise in a blog – but the track view & artist information panes makes best use of the new Gtk Stack widget giving nice subtle scroll and cross-fade animations.

CoverArt Search Providers v1.1

CoverArt Search Providers provides the power behind CoverArt Browser allowing you to find CoverArt from a variety of sources.

It completely replaces Rhythmbox’s default plugin called Art Search.

My plugin allows you to control where coverart is found – whether embedded in tracks themselves or from a variety of internet coverart providers. You are in control – you select who you want to search from and in what order.

The key change for this release is the removal of Discogs and the addition of Spotify.

I have had to remove Discogs as a source because they have changed the way you can access coverart. Basically, I don’t really understand oauth2 authentication so I’ve hidden this provider. If you know how to code oauth2 in python – please shout and help me out to bring back Discogs. At the same time I want to add GraceNote – again another oauth2 provider.

How to install CoverArt Browser and CoverArt Search Providers

This is available through my PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-coverart-browser

The above will automatically install CoverArt Search Providers.

If you dont like PPA’s, you can install this manually:

Instructions here for Rhythmbox v2.96 to Rhythmbox v2.99
Instructions here for Rhythmbox v3.0 and later. Note – you’ll also need mutagenx which you can install via pip or again via my PPA

I also recommend using Rhythmbox v3.0.3 or later available through my PPA especially if you use Date-Years for iTunes based tracks because the default v3.0.2 in Trusty incorrectly displays the Track Year.

so what’s next

I’ve plans to improve the graphics & layout – more dynamic displays of information and most importantly more innovative ways to find and play music.

The next release is code-named “Penfold” (I leave you to guess why…)

There is lots to-do – some stuff will unfortunately fall by the wayside due to lack of time. If you want something particular yourself – jump in. I welcome all contributions. Even if you are a beginner and have never contributed to an open-source project, just say hi – I will help you through. Look through the issues list – fork and fix. It really is that easy to help out.

Full list of new features for CoverArt V2:

  • Compact & Full track view toggle option:
    1. Compact: fixed track view showing the key album track fields & ratings together with an enlarged album cover
    2. Full: Standard track view configurable via the preferences window
  • Smart continuous playlist: Play Similar Artists as recommended by EchoNest
  • Smart continuous playlist: Play Similar Genres as recommended by EchoNest
  • Smart continuous playlist: Play Similar Tracks as recommended by LastFM
  • New optional theme: darker toolbar icons by the graphics artist jrbastien
  • New subtle hover, play & queue icons by the graphics artist jrbastien
  • Introduce more modern look & feel through subtle animations
  • Views button (“…”) now can navigate to Play Queue. Allows navigation of key views without the side-bar (F9) being visible
  • Artist & Album information pane with LastFM & EchoNest data
  • Artist & Album information is fully localised (in your native language) if LastFM returns information in your locale
  • Information pane can be made visible or hidden by dragging the pane-handle
  • Track Artist Filter and Artist & Album Information panes individually displayed per view
  • Support Jump To Playing CTRL+J to scroll to the playing album
  • Follow playing song option automatically selects playing album
  • Custom Genres are now saved in an alternative folder location to survive re-installation of the plugin
  • Search Filter by Composer
  • Introduce type-ahead Search filtering to improve searching usability
  • Single click to append album to list of playing albums
  • Right-click to append album to list of playing albums
  • View and modify the list of album tracks being played
  • Optional support for SmallWindow plugin – allows Rhythmbox to be toggled between its standard application window and its smaller counterpart
  • Translated into 24 languages and locales
  • for developers – doxygen documentation:

CoverArt Browser V1.2

I’ve taken the opportunity to backport the critical & important bug-fixes found by various people during the development of CoverArt Browser v2.

If you are still on an older version such as v1.0 and earlier – this would be a good time to upgrade 🙂

List of bug-fixes since v1.0:

  • replace views label with an ellipsis
  • stop inadvertent refresh of tile display when first display preferences window
  • display hover icon correctly when spacing and padding is increased
  • fix focus crash with some graphics cards
  • fix locale display of preferences window title
  • fix search edit placement when resizing rhythmbox
  • fix for right-click playlist support for Ubuntu 14.04
  • check if lastfm plugin is activated correctly implemented for artist-view
  • fix for “shudder” in artist-view for RB2.99
  • latest translations from Launchpad
  • corrected wrong column header for ArtistView

6 thoughts on “CoverArt Browser v2 & CoverArt Search Providers v1.1 released for all Rhythmbox versions

  1. Hi, I have just installed the plugin and its dependencies on Xenial 16.04. It worked well. In RB the plugins were available; turning on cover art browser automatically disabled art search – no probs. But when I clicked on ‘view’ there was no option to view by album cover. I decided to exit and start RB again. Now it crashes every time I try to open it. Can anyone suggest what I could do?

  2. Pingback: Rhythmbox 3.3 With Lots of Plugins For Ubuntu/Linux Mint - AppMarsh

  3. Pingback: Rhythmbox Cover Art Browser Plugin 2.0 Available For Ubuntu 14.04 | UbuntuHandbook

  4. Thans again for the kind words. Very nice release. I like the smooth animations that you introduced.

    Also worth mentioning is that you you have a RB version for those like me who have troubles with the iTunes file date.

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