Monday, June 18, 2007

Rhythmbox Music Manager

Well, Nic has brought it to my attention of the new capability to install Rhythmbox with PlaysforSure support. Anybody with Ubuntu (not Kubuntu) will already have Rhythmbox installed. It is the default music manager for Ubuntu, and is full of features. The latest version has even more features.

The rest of this post will explain how to install the latest and greatest RB with MTP (PlaysForSure) support and all the other goods.

Here's a quick run-down of the improvements on MTP in Rhythmbox:
  • It works. (awesome enough)
  • There is not much lag when it is scanning the device (maybe 15 seconds at the longest)
  • You can play straight from the device
  • You can send/recieve from device

This guide is for Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty).

1) Let's make sure we have the goods needed

sudo aptitude purge rhythmbox

sudo apt-get install build-essential gnome-common subversion libmtp5 libmtp-dev

sudo apt-get build-dep rhythmbox

2) Now we need to get the latest version of Rhythmbox

svn co rhythmbox
cd rhythmbox

3) And now the install

./ --with-mtp
sudo make
sudo make install

4) Plugin your player, run your new Rhythmbox for the first time, and make sure you go to Edit > Plugins and enable "Portable Players - MTP"

5) Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

You should include the fact that libmtp-dev (and libmtp5) are required for the rhythmbox with mtp support

Jonathan said...

Thank you! I can't believe I forgot that.

Anonymous said...

device doesn't show up when I plugin my Iriver H20

Jonathan said...

Try this.

1) Plug in your player

2) Go to Edit -> Plugins

3) Is the box checked next to "Portable Players - MTP"?

You can only check it once your device is plugged in, I found out.

Nic said...

If you use the latest svn, you can tick the MTP plugin box and then plug and unplug your devices and it will be automatically "mounted" by rhythmbox. It now uses HAL to picj it up.


Anonymous said...

I'm a new user to Ubuntu (Edgy) + Linux. I followed all of your steps without difficulty until the autogen function. The errors included:

Running automake-1.9...

cp: cannot stat `INSTALL': No such file or directory installing `./install-sh' installing `./missing'
backends/ installing `./depcomp'
bindings/python/ installing `./compile'
plugins/artdisplay/artdisplay/ installing `./py-compile' installing `./INSTALL' required file `plugins/coherence/upnp_coherence/' not found

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Tim said...

All was fine until this error: installing `./INSTALL' required file `plugins/coherence/upnp_coherence/' not found

Jonathan said...

Tim and Anonymous -

I wrote this how-to with the intention of installing for Ubuntu Feisty. I am in Feisty and those steps are exactly what I used to get it working. I'll try to see what's wrong, but most likely, it has something to do with libmtp not working or not present in your install.

Tim said...

Thanks Jonathan. I am using Feisty and have libmtp5 and libmtp-dev installed.

Jonathan said...

tim, I believe I found your fix!

Here at the Rhythmbox svn logs, I found somebody mentioning stuff close to what you mentioned:

First, delete the directory Rhythmbox downloaded to from step 2:

"sudo rm -r /path/to/rhythmbox"

Rachel said...

So I followed your how-to exactly. Rythymbox seems to be installed correctly. Though it's not in the main application menu, I ran it with terminal and checked the MTP plugin checkbox after running. I do have libmtp-dev and libmtp5 installed. My problems started when I plugged in my MP3 player. It's a brand new, (opened about three hours ago) Samsung YP-T9 (More specifically, a Samsung YP-T9JABY 4GB). When I plugged it in, Rhythmbox crashes, and terminal comes up with the following. Here you see from where I run Rhythmbox to where it recognizes my Mp3 player to where it suddenly crashes:

rachel@rachel-kelsey-desktop:~$ rhythmbox
No MTP devices.
Autodetected device "Samsung Yepp T9" (VID=04e8,PID=507f) is known.
PTP: Opening session
Connected to MTP device.
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

So what went wrong? I'm pretty desperate. My next move is to change the firmware version to the Asian equivalent which is rumored to change the MP3 player to a USB mass storage instead of MTP. It just might save me all this trouble, but it could cause me a lot more.


Mel said...


GumbyX said...

I followed your steps, but for some reason, the only way I can write to the device (sansa e250R 2GB) when I run rhythmbox as root (using gksudo). If I run it normally, it hangs about 50% through the transfer. As root, it transfers in almost instantly. If you can help me out, I would appreciate it. Can drop my email by if needed. Will be checking back later.

Jonathan said...

GumbyX, I remember that in order to write to that device without being root, you need to set the permissions accordingly. I do not remember exactly where I saw how to do that, but I'm pretty sure it was on

Go there and do a search (you might have to register to use the search capability). It is the largest Linux forum that I know of, and it is generally very useful, even outside of Ubuntu or Debian.

Anonymous said...

I just learned about rythmbox, I have no clue how to install this. I will pay someone to install or help install Do you upload to your server? Iam running linux centos.

Jonathan said...

Blaze, since there isn't a Rhythmbox app in your repository, you should download the source package from here -

Also, you will need the dependencies to successfully get it configured and built. So open up Yum and install whatever packages whatever tools it has to build a file - gcc, g++, make, etc.

But here's the downer - you also will need Gnome 2.10, Gstreamer .8 or .10, and Totem-plparser 1.1.5.

Also if you want the cool features like ipod support, MTP support, DAAP support, etc... you should also install these packages or build them from source as well:

DBus 0.35
HAL 0.2
Avahi 0.5 or Howl
libsoup 2.2
libnotify 0.2.1
libmusicbrainz 2.1.0

It appears like it would be a lot of work. If you do get it to work, tell other CentOS users how to do it as well! Honestly, if it was up to me, I'd just install Ubuntu though - I'm a little biased though. ;)

Anonymous said...

big thx for this also works with a noob like me. gogear and ubuntu 8.04 = a lot of fun