Rhythmbox is sometimes over-looked when the virtues of Ubuntu music players are discussed. Perhaps people assume that because it is the default that it only provides “the basics”.
One feature coming to the next release of Rhythmbox (ver. 12.6) will be the ‘Context Menu’ – a simple side-pane relaying information about the currently playing track/artist using Last.FM data.
Many other music-players already feature something similar so it’s not over-due for Rhythmbox to gain this extension.
What it Shows
The pane is simple – it shows the top 5 tracks by the ‘now playing’ artist. Beneath sit three tabs: Artist, Albums and Lyrics.
Better than other attempts
In many ways the Rhythmbox context pane gets right what other context panes don’t – it’s not merely a set of links to the relevant webpage, but the data integrated into the pane.
For example, the ‘about’ blurb under the ‘Artist’ tab in the context pane can toggle between an abridged text or the full piece: –
Likewise in the ”Albums” tab – you can toggle-view tracklists.
The pane also offers up support for Lyrics. It uses the same sources as the ‘lyrics plugin’, so make sure you have that enabled as well.