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Rhythmbox is an audio player that plays and helps organize digital music. It is designed to work well under the GNOME desktop using the GStreamer media framework.


Install rhythmbox from the official repositories.


Playing remote media from Internet sources (blip.tv, Jamendo, SHOUTcast)

Rhythmbox takes advantage of the Grilo framework to browse external sources such as SHOUTcast webradios and more.

You need to install the grilo and grilo-plugins packages. Then, be sure to enable the Grilo Media Browser plugin into Rhythmbox ("Edit" > "Plugins").

How to activate the Cover Art plugin

If you want to use the cover art plugin, but are unable to do so, you need to install gnome-python.

After you do that, restart Rhythmbox.

This requirement also affects the Song Lyrics and Magnitune plugins, as well as serveral others.

What to do when the little red icon shows when you try to play radio stations

First thing to do when the stop sign icon shows is to right-click the name of the station you are trying to listen to and open the Properties dialog box. Rhythmbox should give a bit more explanation about why it was unable to start playing the audio stream.

How to activate the DAAP Music Sharing

1) First, install the libdmapsharing package that is required for DAAP sharing.

2) You'll need the avahi-daemon running. See Avahi for full details on how to install and configure it. Here are some advices:

a) install avahi and nss-mdns

b) You also need to edit /etc/nsswitch.conf to configure hostname resolution. Change the line

hosts: files myhostname dns


hosts: files myhostname mdns_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns

c) start it Set avahi-daemon to start at boot:

systemctl enable avahi-daemon.service

or start it manually

systemctl start avahi-daemon.service


What to do if you see an "Unknown Playback Error" message

Unknown Playback when streaming from an online radio station

If you click on the radio stations and are shown a "Unknown Playback Error" error message. you probably do not have a gstreamer gnomevfs installed.

The package is called gstreamer0.10-base-plugins-gnomevfs and is available in the AUR

After you install it, restart Rhythmbox.

Unknown Playback when streaming or playing from regular files

Alternatively, Rhythmbox will display the same error message when it does not have the correct codec to play that stream. You will need to identify what format the stream is (by looking at the command line error messages that Rhythmbox displays) and then install the correct Gstreamer codec for that particular audio stream.

If you do not know which gstreamer plugin servers what audio formats, ask on IRC or just google it.

"Error, impossible to activate plugin 'Audio CD Recorder'" shows up every time I start Rhythmbox

You have two options:

  1. install brasero
  2. disable the cd recording plugin: Run dconf-editor, navigate to /org/gnome/rhythmbox/plugins/ and remove cd-recorder from active-plugins.

Slow start and "Unable to start mDNS browsing: MDNS service is not running" output

You have two options:

  1. activate the DAAP Music Sharing (see #How to activate the DAAP Music Sharing above)
  2. disable the DAAP plugin: Run dconf-editor, navigate to /org/gnome/rhythmbox/plugins/ and remove DAAP from active-plugins.

Can't activate "context pane" plugin

You have to install python-mako and pywebkitgtk.

Rhythmbox Startup is Slow

This can be easily fixed by disabling some of the plugins. For example, if you do not use a mediaplayer gnome-shell extension you don't need the MRPIS and D-bus plugins enabled.

No cover are shown in the dedicated box

Creating a lastFM account and login in with the rhythmbox plugin can solve the problem.

Cannot enable MTP device support

Install gvfs-mtp.