Getting Started With RhythmBox
RhythmBox is one of the two most popular Linux based music playing programs, the other being Amarok. RhythmBox was originally designed to work on GNOME based systems and Amarok on KDE-based systems. But both will usually work quite happily on a modern PC with a recent distro.
RhythmBox may come by default with your distro as it does with Ubuntu. If not, it can be installed via the Applications / Add & Remove Programs menu item. Because of legal restrictions it may not come with MP3 codecs installed, however if you want RhythmBox or any other program to be able to play and rip MP3 files you will need to install these separately. These may appear in the Add Programs under the name GStreamer extra plugins. In any event a search for ‘MP3’ should locate them.
RhythmBox opens by default into a fairly familiar window. With a menu and tool bar at the top. A list of music files to the right and two panel's at the left. The topmost panel lists music sources these include your own music library as well as podcasts, internet radio stations and a link to Last.FM. At the bottom is a Play Queue, where tracks can be dragged from the track list to queue them, for playing in order.
The track list itself shows a list of artists at the top left and a list of albums at the top right. Plus a search panel which can be used to find any artist, album or title. Clicking on any entry in either of these lists will filter other tracks out and just show those which match. The track list itself shows columns of information about each track including the artist, album, title and length. The user can choose which columns to show via the general tag under Edit Preferences.
Also under Edit Preferences the user can choose a recording format for music ripped from CD's and select where to save podcasts. Also specify a music folder to be checked for new music files and new tracks in this folder. It will then be automatically added to RhythmBox’s play list.
Let’s look at RhythmBox’s many functions separately:
RhythmBox in action