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.
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
Compact Track View – show key track details, or toggle to show full standard rhythmbox view
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.
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
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:
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:
- Compact: fixed track view showing the key album track fields & ratings together with an enlarged album cover
- 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: http://fossfreedom.github.io/coverart-browser/classes.html
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