12.04 Music Player Faceoff – Banshee vs Rhythmbox


Banshee – It was the default on Ubuntu for a bit. (Eventually they went back to Rhythmbox).  Reasons to try it include it are it manages videos too, including syncing movies to other devices.
Rhythmbox – It’s the default on Ubuntu.  It’s a solid well-built music player.  It’s very clean for packing in so many features.
My Recommendation: Stick with Rhythmbox unless you want the video management.  This post is just a Banshee overview.

The Online Media seems like it just opens the websites in it’s internal browser and provides some integration to connect to it.   It does make it easy to discover a podcast, but Radio presets are not auto-filled.   For actual music management it seems quite similar to Rhythmbox except that it shows album art by default.   There are many plugins available for both to extend what they can do.

I’ve run into a number of bugs while using Banshee, I can’t exit the program on my desktop.  I guess it’s designed to integrate with Ubuntu’s indicator applet and minimize to it by default?   It also did crash in my testing.  I think it is related to the fact it needs a full browser for the Online Content.

Banshee’s underlying technology has been somewhat controversial in the open source world.  It’s uses Mono which is an implementation of Microsoft’s .NET/C#.   I considered it a bad idea because we have so many great programming languages that are community driven.  Why do want to accept Microsoft as a though leader?   One of the other big reasons was that it wasn’t as efficient memory wise.  Banshee back in the day was certainly guilty of this.   But this recent release shows that they can make a mono based memory efficient music player program

8 thoughts on “12.04 Music Player Faceoff – Banshee vs Rhythmbox”

  1. I was a huge Banshee fan for awhile and I have tried so many players but I must say that Clementine is my choice of players. Hope we will see more Media Player Battle articles soon

  2. Clementine is the best by far. I have found it works well with terabyte music library. I found both banshee was really slow to start and frequently crashes

    1. I agree. So many players out there that are amazing but I would actually like to see Amarok decrease way in size and not force one to download the added library pgks. Then Clementine would really have a run worth watching

  3. I know this is a bit over a year since the original post, but I have a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04.3, which has Rhythmbox as a standard component.

    Rhythmbox is one of the WORST and MOST USELESS applications I have ever used.

    All I wanted to do was rip a CD and edit some filenames; however:

    1# The rip compression/bitrate cannot be edited at all.

    In Banshee, there are multiple options.

    2# The standard/normal filename format ‘track-number.track-title’ (e.g. 01.Banshee Rocks, Rhythmbox Sucks) is not an available option, even though EVERYONE else uses this format.

    In Banshee, there are multiple options, including the standard format.

    3# Folder/file (meta)data cannot be changed/updated.

    In Banshee, this can be done.

    4# Rhythmbox cannot play video files.

    Banshee can.

    5# Rhythmbox’s documentation/help is completely out of date and apparently unmaintained, like an awful lot of GNOME applications.

    Banshee’s documentation is up to date and maintained.

    6# Rhythmbox was apparently inspired by iTunes, yet it doesn’t even come close to iTunes 6 (which is from at least 10 years ago).

    Banshee (IMHO) is the ONLY ‘Linux’ application that comes anywhere close to iTunes, or WMP, for that matter, in fact it’s actually better, because it includes all of the free codecs too.

    7# If anything, other than a few extra plug-ins, Rhythmbox seems to have stopped being developed years ago.

    Banshee is under constant development.

    # Rhythmbox 0 – Banshee 7

    No contest.

    My recommendation, drop Rhythmbox from Ubuntu altogether, and replace it with Banshee.

  4. 8)Rhythmmbox lacks builtin support for ipods and many other mp3 players

    Banshee does right out of the box, and even lets you mange them in a way that only itunes could do before. (An absolute must for most people looking for a linux equivalant)

    9)Rhythmbox, still!, can’t list things by composer. (makes it utterly useless for me)

    10)Rhythmbox looks ugly and cheap. For such a longlived standard for ubuntu, this is intollerable.

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