Developer(s)The GNOME Project
Initial releaseAugust 18, 2001; 22 years ago (2001-08-18)
Stable release
3.4.7 Edit this on Wikidata / 16 April 2023
Preview releasenone [±]
Written inC (GTK)
Operating systemLinux, Unix-like
Available inMultilingual
TypeAudio player

Rhythmbox is a free and open-source audio player software, tag editor and music organizer for digital audio files on Linux and Unix-like systems.

Rhythmbox is designed to work well under GNOME, but can function on other desktop environments. It is very scalable, able to handle libraries with tens of thousands of songs with ease. It provides a full feature set including full support for Unicode, fast but powerful tag editing, and a variety of plug-ins.

Rhythmbox is the default audio player on many Linux distributions including Fedora, Ubuntu since v12.04 LTS, and Linux Mint as of version 18.1.


Rhythmbox offers a significant number of features, including:

Music playback

Playback from a variety of digital music sources is supported. The most common playback is music stored locally as files on the computer (the 'Library'). Rhythmbox supports playing streamed Internet radio and podcasts as well. The ReplayGain standard is also supported. Rhythmbox also supports searching of music in the library.

Playlists may be created to group and order music. Users may also create 'smart playlists,' ones that are automatically updated (like a database query) based on a customized rule of selection criteria rather than an arbitrary list of tracks. Music may be played back in shuffle (random) mode or repeat mode.

Track ratings are supported and used by the shuffle mode algorithm to play higher-rated tracks more often.

Gapless playback

Enabling the crossfading backend option with a duration of 0.0 switches Rhythmbox into gapless playback mode for music formats that support it. Gapless playback is not enabled by default.

Music importing

Audio CD burning

Since the 0.9 release, Rhythmbox can create audio CDs from playlists.

Album cover display

Since the 0.9.5 release, Rhythmbox can display cover art of the currently playing album. The plugin can search the internet to find corresponding artwork, and as of 0.12.6, can read artwork from ID3 tags. If an image file is saved in the same directory as the audio track this is used instead.


Rhythmbox can browse and play sounds from SoundCloud, via built-in SoundCloud plugin.

Song lyrics display

Since the 0.9.5 release, Rhythmbox can provide song lyrics of the currently playing song by pressing [ctrl + L], as long as the lyrics are stored in a lyrics database.

Audio scrobbling

Rhythmbox can submit played songs info to a remote scrobbling service. This information is used by the remote service to provide user specific music recommendations. Rhythmbox currently supports three scrobbling services:

Music can be scrobbled to all services at the same time.

Control remote rhythmbox via GNOME web browser

DAAP music sharing

Rhythmbox supports sharing music and playing shared music on local network via DAAP sharing plugin. The plugin uses libdmapsharing to provide this feature.


Rhythmbox uses the Linux udev subsystem to detect player devices.


Rhythmbox can subscribe to podcasts from the iTunes Store, Miroguide or by manually providing a podcast feed URL. Subsequently, new podcasts are automatically downloaded and available from the Library under the section Podcasts.

Web remote control

Rhythmbox can be controlled remotely with a Web browser, via inbuilt Web remote control plugin.


Rhythmbox has a plug-in API for C, Python, or Vala.

There are nearly 50 third party plug-ins for Rhythmbox. including a 10 Band audio Equalizer, and many official plug-ins including:

  • Cover art search
  • Audio CD Player
  • Last.fm / Libre.fm / Listenbrainz
  • DAAP Music Sharing
  • FM Radio
  • Grilo media browser
  • IM Status
  • Internet Radio Streaming
  • Song Lyrics
  • Magnatune Store
  • Media Player Keys
  • Portable Players (generic, iPod)
  • Android devices (via MTP)
  • Notification
  • Power Manager
  • Python Console (for debugging)
  • LIRC
  • Send tracks
  • Replay Gain
  • MediaServer2 D-Bus interface
  • MPRIS D-Bus interface
  • Browser to integrate Rhythmbox with iTunes
  • CD/DVD burning based on Brasero


Rhythmbox displaying a pop-up notification from the GNOME notification area

Rhythmbox has been extensively integrated with a number of external programs, services and devices including:

  • Built-in support for Multimedia Keys on keyboard
  • Nautilus file manager context-menu integration, "hover mode" playback in Nautilus
  • HexChat, via a HexChat plugin.
  • Pidgin-Rhythmbox automatically updates the Pidgin user profile with details of the currently playing track
  • Gajim and Pidgin include options for automatically updating the user status with details of currently playing track
  • aMSN and emesene can change the user's personal message to current track via the "music" plugin (aMSN) and the "CurrentSong" plugin (emsene), similar to Messenger Plus! Live
  • Music Applet (previously known as the Rhythmbox Applet), a GNOME panel applet that provides Rhythmbox playback controls from within the panel. Music Applet has since been superseded by Panflute
  • Rhythmlet, another gDesklet that retrieves album art locally or from Amazon.com, has configurable display strings, playback controls, editable ratings and a seek bar
  • SideCandyRhythmbox, a gDesklet-based Rhythmbox control and SideCandy display
  • Rhythmbox XSLT allows the music library to be viewed as a web page
  • Drivel inserts the name of the track Rhythmbox is currently playing into a LiveJournal blog entry
  • Rhythmbox Tune Publisher publishes the currently playing Rhythmbox track to XMPP via the User Tune protocol (used by the Jabber World Map)
  • FoxyTunes, a Mozilla Firefox extension that provides Rhythmbox playback controls from within the web browser
  • Plugins for browsing and listening to Creative Commons licensed albums from Jamendo (via grilo plugin) and Magnatune.
  • Rhythmbox Remote helps to remotely control Rhythmbox through an Android powered device.
  • Rhythmbox WebMenu is a fully personalizable plugin that integrates Rhythmbox with several music websites.

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-04-17 17:04 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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