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CoverArt Browser, a Rhythmbox plugin to browse and play music using an album art view, has been updated to version 0.7, getting some new features as well as improvements which should make the plugin start a lot faster.

The plugin isn't the simple cover art browser it was the last time we wrote about it. Since then, Fossfreedom and Agustín Carrasco, the plugin developers, have worked very hard to improve it and CoverArt Browser has got many new features, including a tracks & covers pane which displays the tracks for the selected album under the cover art browser, an enhanced search that can be used to search all fields and not just the album name, an option to display album and artist name under the covers, playlist and ratings support and others.

Changes in the latest Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser plugin 0.7 include:
  • find & display embedded covers in MP3, M4A, FLAC & Ogg files;
  • optional coverart search from Discogs Internet service;
  • configurable shadow effect behind cover display;
  • iconised filter & sort buttons that change icon depending upon option chosen;
  • brand new icons designed explicitly to the coverart browser plugin;
  • one click open and close track view for a cover;
  • plugin code refactored - much faster to start and display without any flashing effects;
  • display covers for play-queue/music library & playlists from within the coverart-view;
  • column header sort in track view;
  • revamped plugin preferences;
  • more.
A complete changelog, including for older releases, can be found on GitHub.

The new CoverArt Browser doesn't feel like a plugin any more, but like a completely new interface and you won't need to use the regular Rhythmbox interface once you give CoverArt Browser a try.

To use the Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser plugin, (firstly install it, see below) enable it from the Rhythmbox Plugins dialog (Edit > Plugins). Then, if you don't already have covers for all your albums, the first thing you should do is to right click "CoverArt" in the left Rhythmbox sidebar and select "Download all the covers"; the plugin will now try to find and automatically download covers for all your albums.

Now try the CoverArt Browser Rhythmbox plugin and if something isn't the way you like it, go to Edit > Plugins, look for CoverArt Browser, then click Preferences - here, you can tweak the plugin settings: enable/disable displaying album info under cover (and change its font size), change or disable cover drop shadow, change cover size, change toolbar position and more.

Install CoverArt Browser Rhythmbox plugin in Ubuntu

To install CoverArt Browser Rhythmbox plugin in Ubuntu 12.10 or 12.04, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-coverart-browser

I've tested the plugin and it works in Ubuntu 13.04 too, but there are no PPA packages for this Ubuntu version yet; you can, however, install it in Raring by adding the PPA using the above command and then editing the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fossfreedom-rhythmbox-plugins-raring.list file and replacing "raring" with "quantal".

In the same PPA as CoverArt Browser, you'll find many other Rhythmbox plugins, including an equalizer, an enhanced last.fm plugin more, so check out: Rhythmbox Third-Party Plugins Ubuntu PPA.

Arch Linux users can install Rhythmbox CoverArt Browser plugin via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, see the CoverArt Browser GitHub page for instructions.