Up until Rhythmbox version 2.96 (the current version in Ubuntu 13.04 is 2.98), the bottom section of the left-hand pane where your devices and playlists are was reserved for the current album’s cover art. Since then, that has been removed and a much smaller version of the cover appears left of the song info in the top toolbar. While this is merely a cosmetic issue, and nothing to get too upset over, nonetheless it was pretty cool seeing a nice-sized picture of the cover appear at the bottom of the left pane.
But fret not, as there is a way to get this back, via the Cover art display plugin for Rhythmbox. And while it currently isn’t in the software repos for Raring Ringtail 13.04, I’ll show you how to get around that too, and install it easily.
First, you’ll need to add the plugins PPA to your software sources, which you can do by pasting the following command into the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins
Once that’s done, update your software sources list with:
sudo apt-get update
Now to install the plugin (if there is a current version of the plugin that can be installed):
sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-artdisplay
If you’re informed that the package could not be found, it means there is still no version ready for 13.04, but this is no real problem, as we can just install the 12.10 version. To fix this, you’ll need to edit the Rhythmbox plugins sources list:
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list.d/fossfreedom-rhythmbox-plugins-raring.list
… then copy the line that should be at the top of the file deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins/ubuntu raring main and paste it at the bottom of the file, then replace “raring” with “quantal“. Once you’ve saved and closed the file, the sources list for plugins will specify to look for both 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) and 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) versions, and when you sudo apt-get update again, all the available plugins will be listed in your package manager. You can then install this plugin and others via Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager, or just run the install command again (sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-plugin-artdisplay).
Once it’s installed, all you have to do is enable it. Go to Edit > Plugins and enable the Cover art display plugin. Your cover art should now be in the left pane, with the smaller one still in the toolbar near the song title.
If for some reason you don’t want the smaller cover in the toolbar any more (I say have both, but that’s up to your tastes), you can disable that by going to the View menu and un-checking Album Art.
Note: If you’re reading this in Ubuntu 13.10 or above, and there is no current version after adding the PPA, edit the sources file accordingly, meaning substitute the word relating to your current version with that of the previous one. In other words, in Raring Ringtail 13.04 we had to replace “raring” with “quantal” for Quantal Quetzal 12.10, in Saucy Salamander 13.10 you would replace “saucy” with “raring“, and so forth (and if all fails, just replace that with “quantal“, which definitely has a version of the plugin).