Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘plugins’

Besides moving to the Unity interface, one of Ubuntu‘s other big moves in 11.04 Natty Narwhal will be the replacement of the default music player, Rhythmbox, with another popular media player, Banshee. This is actually because the Rhythmbox development team has announced that while they might push out one more version, it’s the end of the road for this popular music player (PLEASE NOTE: This situation only lasted a couple of Ubuntu versions, and Rhythmbox is again being developed, and is once again the default music player).

We’ll have a general look around the new default player, as well as cover everything you’ll need to know if migrating from Rhythmbox.

Those upgrading won’t have to worry about Rhythmbox being uninstalled, and any installing a new system can always install Rhythmbox as well, and even uninstall Banshee if so desired. But Banshee is a worthy successor, and is very much like Rhythmbox anyway, just with more bells and whistles. Not just that, if you’re planning on trying it out on your current system, it can import all your Rhythmbox playlists to make the transition less painful.

At first glance, Banshee is almost identical to Rhythmbox, except that it displays album covers in the browser. But besides having all of the features of Rhythmbox and some of its plugins, Banshee is a full media player, able to play video as well as all sorts of audio.

Setting it up is easy, as it will automatically scan your ~/Music folder’s contents (you can of course change it to wherever you store your music via Banshee‘s preferences; whenever you want to force a scan, go to Tools > Rescan Music Library).

Importing Rhythmbox Playlists

You can then import your Rhythmbox playlists via Media > Import Media… (if you also have Rhythmbox installed); the Import Playlist… option you’ll also see is for importing individual playlists you may have saved, which would be the case if you’re migrating settings into a fresh install.

When you import your Rhythmbox playlists, you might find the tracks listed in alphabetical order (by band), instead of the order you previously had.

Just click above the track names (on “Name“) and it will cycle through different methods of arrangement, including the original setup you had saved in Rhythmbox. Actually, you can do it with “Artist” and “Album” as well, with it arranging tracks alphanumerically by artist or album, then the reverse order, followed by the original custom layout.

Importing Your Rhythmbox Covers

Your Rhythmbox covers may be something else you wish to import. For many, it won’t matter at all, as the covers Banshee fetches are quite adequate. But if you find some of your old covers are better, or you went to some effort to find better covers than Rhythmbox offered (or couldn’t find at all), and don’t want to waste those, you will find all your covers in /home/yourusername/.cache/rhythmbox/covers. (Note that the period (.) before “cache” denotes it is a hidden folder, so you will need to enable viewing of hidden files and folders if you haven’t already done so).

Simply locate the desired cover – which is easy, since they are named in alphanumerical order by band, followed by album title – and drag it on the cover you see in the bottom-left while a song is playing. If you don’t see a cover, you’ll just have to go to View > Show Cover Art to enable it (currently the default is to have it off, but I imagine that will soon change).

You’ll probably want to know where your covers will be from now on, so the location is nearby at /home/yourusername/.cache/media-art. Note that your covers will no longer be listed in the logical order you’re used to.

While there currently doesn’t seem to be a way to import Rhythmbox‘s album art easily, you might find many are better than what Rhythmbox found anyway, so you’ll probably only need to replace a few covers, notably those Banshee can’t find either. Also, if your music folders contain cover art with names like cover.jpg, then Banshee will probably use those instead of looking for them.

When Banshee can’t find a cover for you, or you just want a better one than the one that’s offered, simply search online, save the picture, then drag it onto the cover in Banshee‘s bottom-left, and it will save a copy in its art folder.

Where’s the Shuffle Button?

Banshee might at first glance seem devoid of a shuffle button for mixing up the order of tracks played, but it actually has a much better one than what you’re used to in Rhythmbox. In fact, you can look at it more as a shuffle menu, as you can not only enable it, but chose the method of shuffling.

All you need to do is click the little down-arrow at the end of the Next button, and a menu will drop down. From there, pick anything other than Shuffle Off.

You will notice the Next button is now a Shuffle button (actually, it’s a Next button that shuffles), and you can choose to shuffle by song, artist, album, rating and score via the menu.

And Where’s… ???

As you can see with the seemingly hidden shuffle button, all you need to do is look around a bit, and you’ll soon find your way around. If you’re migrating from Rhythmbox, some things might be named different, and found in different menus than you’re used to, but you’ll get there. Banshee will probably surprise you with a few cool features, and you should find you can do everything you did in Rhythmbox. If there’s still something missing in comparison, then it was probably a Rhythmbox extension that gave it to you, and you’ll probably be able to find the same as an add-on for Banshee.

Installing Plugins

To install additional features, you can just search for “banshee” in Synaptic. You’ll be presented with a bunch of extensions, including support for visualisations (banshee-extension-openvp), an alarm with variable volumes (banshee-extension-alarm), a radio stream recorder (banshee-extension-streamrecorder), support for displaying lyrics (banshee-extension-lyrics), and much more. There is even a plugin that changes your desktop wallpaper to the album art of the currently playing track (banshee-extension-coverwallpaper).

The Context Pane

One cool feature of Banshee is the Context Pane, which basically adds a section at the bottom that lets you view other data, like lyrics, YouTube videos, and even the Wikipedia page! You can be forgiven for thinking it is overkill, but it actually comes in handy, though you might not want it visible the whole time.

Obviously it will show you lyrics (if it finds them, though it looks to more sources than Rhythmbox, which is a pleasant surprise), but the Wikipedia option is actually quite neat, as it will automatically look up the band currently playing.

The initial viewing area isn’t that huge, and can’t be customised by dragging any borders (more on that in a second), but most of the time, this will do fine for a quick bit of info.

The YouTube plugin is another that is a great feature, yet also appears limited in its appeal due to the size, however the pane can actually be expanded via a hidden button. In the seemingly blank area above the plugin icons/buttons on the right side of the context pane, if you hover your mouse cursor there, you will see a small button appear with the tooltip “Make the context pane larger or smaller“.

Use that toggle button to enlarge the context pane, and shrink it back again.

When you find a clip you want to play, click it to play it in the context pane, or click the down-arrow to the right of it and choose either to “Play in Banshee…” or “Play in Web Browser…“.

Now, there is one more way to expand your viewing area, which makes playing it in Banshee even more valid an option, and that is by selecting “Now Playing” in the top-left, instead of “Music” or one of your playlists. The context pane will then take up the bulk of Banshee.

And you can then go one better by clicking the Simplify button that will now be present above the context pane. This will hide the menu bar, as well as the left-hand pane. Click the button again to toggle back to the previous made.

(At the time of writing, playing YouTube clips inside Banshee doesn’t seem to work, so unfortunately I can’t illustrate what that would look like, but the size seems adequate, and for now at least the option to play the selected vid in a web browser works).

To hide the context pane, next to that little hidden toggle button you’ll find another that will “Hide context pane“. To show the Context Pane again, simply go to the View menu and click Context Pane.

You might not be impressed, especially if you just want a music player, but you have to admit it will catch on with those used to doing it all (ie: looking up info and YouTube vids while playing music) in the one place, namely their smart phone.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for extensions for the context pane, as there are already a couple out there, and soon there should be a whole heap to choose from.

(Note: to enable or disable any plugins, go to Edit > Preferences, and in the Extensions tab scroll down to Context Pane and either tick or untick the desired add-on).

*****************

As you can see, Banshee is quite a full-featured media player, and will be even more so as more extensions are developed. And if you’re making the move from Rhythmbox, the transition should be a lot easier than you imagined.

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If you’ve recently upgraded to 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”, you will notice that when you double-click an .iso disc image file, it will want to create an image checksum (for data verification) before it burns the disc. For most of us, this is annoying, as it needlessly adds time to the burning process.

What’s worse is that once the image has been burned to disc, it will want to do it all over again, even though it apparently does not even compare the first checksum with the final one.

If you’ve tried the Preferences button before burning the image only to find nothing useful, the answer can be found by opening the main program window (Applications > Sound & Video > Brasero Disc Burner), and going to Edit > Plugins.

You will see 2 plugins related to checksum creation/verification: File ChecksumEnables Brasero to check the integrity of files“, while Image ChecksumEnables Brasero to perform integrity checks on discs after they have been burnt. Also enables the writing of a small file which holds the MD5 sum of all the files on the disc“.

Now, in my situation the Image Checksum doesn’t seem to do anything but waste time. In theory, having it create a checksum file and sticking it on the disc for later verification seems a great idea, but I’m personally wary of that as it could render some bootable discs useless. Luckily, from what I have seen, it does nothing of the sort, and it seems no checksum file is created anywhere, meaning this plugin is really just wasting your time.

But simply uncheck the Image Checksum plugin to disable it, and your burn process will go back to how it was.

Extra Notes:

You can also uncheck the File Checksum plugin, since it is much simpler verifying data discs via the terminal, but this is not vital.

If you actually find this plugin useful, you can choose the SHA1 or SHA256 hashing algorithms instead of the default MD5, simply by clicking Configure.

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Nautilus Image Converter is a plugin or extension for Ubuntu‘s file manager that lets you quickly and easily resize and rotate image files. Once installed, all you have to do is right-click a picture file, or a group of them, and choose either “Resize Images…” or “Rotate Images…“.

In the Resize Images dialogue you can choose from predefined sizes via “Select a size:” (96×96 & 128×128 for thumbnails or avatars, as well as wallpaper dimensions for older 4:3 screen resolutions 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768 & 1280×960), “Scale:” it to a certain percentage, or choose your own “Custom size:“.

You will note that for “Append” the default is to save these altered images as copies with .resized added to the file name. You can choose “Resize in place” instead, but note that this overwrites the original, so use with caution.

With the Rotate Images dialogue, you can choose from 3 predefined angles via “Select an angle:“, being 90° clockwise, 90° counter-clockwise and 180°. If you need a bit more precision than that, just define your own angle with “Custom angle:“.

Like the resizer, the default behaviour is to save the output as a copy, this time with .rotated appended to the file name, though you can choose “Rotate in place” to overwrite the original.

This handy little plugin is installed very easily via Synaptic, but even quicker is to enter the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-image-converter
The image converter options will be available in the context menu after a reboot, or you can log out and back in again if you want the changes to take effect immediately.

°ºÒθÓº°

Click here for more Nautilus Extensions!

Guide to Customising & Enhancing Nautilus

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Read Full Post »

PLEASE NOTE: This article was written for earlier versions of Nautilus File Manager (2.x) found in earlier Ubuntu releases running on Gnome 2.x, so most of the cosmetic customisations (background/colours and custom toolbar buttons) will not work in Unity (the default desktop environment) or Gnome Shell, both of which are based on Gnome 3. However, the guides for plugins/extensions are still valid, as well as most of the tips for getting more out of Nautilus. Tricks that will only work in legacy versions are marked “Gnome 2 Only“.

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Nautilus is the default file manager for Gnome-based Linux distros like Ubuntu, and has many great features while being easy-to-use for newbies.

But you can make it even more useful, and even more attractive, without too much effort or fuss. So what you’ll find here are links to various articles in this blog dedicated to this task, split up into sections for easier browsing.

While cosmetic alterations and enhancements are some tricks you might try for the fun of it, other tips offer far more usability than you may have thought possible in Nautilus, and may even be the answers to features you’ve been longing to see in the list of your file browser’s capabilities.

°ºÒθÓº°

Nautilus Toolbar Enhancements:

Add Toolbar Buttons for New Folder, Cut, Copy, Paste & Trash/Delete (Gnome 2 Only)

Add a File/Folder “Properties” Button to the Nautilus Toolbar (Gnome 2 Only)

°ºÒθÓº°

Essential Nautilus Extensions:

Nautilus Open Terminal: Command-Line in the Current Folder

Nautilus GKSU: Open Files & Folders with Administrative Privileges

°ºÒθÓº°

More Cool Nautilus Plugins:

Nautilus Image Converter: Easily Resize & Rotate Pictures

Nautilus Image Resizer Extension

Open Selected Folders in New Windows with Nautilus-Actions

Nautilus-Actions: Open in New Window

Open Selected Folder in Image Viewer or Movie Player with Nautilus-Actions

Nautilus-Actions: Adding Movie Player/Videos to Context Menu (DONE!)

Nautilus Pastebin: Send Text Clips to the Web

°ºÒθÓº°

Cosmetic Alterations to Nautilus:

Change Background/Colour/Gradient & Assign File/Folder Emblems (Gnome 2 Only)

°ºÒθÓº°

Tweaking Nautilus Settings:

Show Hidden Files by Default in Nautilus

Show Text-Entry Address Bar or “Breadcrumbs” (Buttons)

Enable Split-Pane File Browsing (Gnome 2 Only)

Nautilus Thumbnails: Zoom In or Out with Your Mouse

°ºÒθÓº°

Applying New Settings:

Apply New Settings Immediately Without Rebooting

°ºÒθÓº°

File Management Tricks:

Change File Icon & Permissions + Default Program for a File Extension

Add Program to List of Applications in “Open With” When Right-Clicking Files in Nautilus

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

°ºÒθÓº°

Read Full Post »

Nautilus – the default file manager for Gnome, and therefore Ubuntu – is feature-rich and easy-to-use, but you can make it even more powerful, and with very little effort.

With Windows or Mac OS X, if there are features missing in the built-in file browser, the only option is to install another, usually at some expense (software developers in those worlds haven’t quite embraced the concept of open-source). In Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, other file managers – like Thunar (Xfce), Dolphin (KDE) and Konqueror (KDE) – can easily be installed (for free), even if they were made for a desktop environment other than Gnome.

But another way to get some of the features you might find lacking in Nautilus is to install some plugins or “extensions“, most of which are in the official repos and easily installed via Synaptic Package Manager.

Here I’ll feature the most popular and useful ones, but there are others out there, from adding more integration with messaging to technical tasks most of us don’t need (or understand). While I’ll be keeping this post up to date as new extensions are created, a Google search for “nautilus plugin extension” will reveal those I have left out (or missed). And don’t forget that you can also open Synaptic, paste the word “nautilus” into the Quick search bar, and all extensions available in the repositories will be displayed.

Essential Extensions:

Nautilus Open Terminal: Command-Line in the Current Folder

Nautilus GKSU: Open Files & Folders with Administrative Privileges

More Cool Plugins:

Nautilus Image Converter: Easily Resize & Rotate Pictures

Nautilus Pastebin: Send Text Clips to the Web

°ºÒθÓº°

Other Nautilus Enhancements:

Add Buttons for New Folder, Cut, Copy, Paste & Trash/Delete to the Nautilus Toolbar

Add a File/Folder “Properties” Button to the Nautilus Toolbar

°ºÒθÓº°

Guide to Customising & Enhancing Nautilus

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Read Full Post »

A new little extension for Ubuntu‘s file manager is nautilus-pastebin, which is a script written in Python that allows users to upload text-only files to an online pastebin service by simply right-clicking them. Each scrap of text has its own unique URL, which is placed in the clipboard ready for pasting into your web browser (or email if wanting to share the text with the recipient).

Once installed, all you have to do is right-click a text file, choose Pastebin from the context menu, and your text clip is uploaded. A notification should pop up under your system tray informing you where it has been saved to (as mentioned, the address will now be in memory ready for pasting).

To view it, simply paste the URL into your browser’s address bar.

If this seems like something you can do with, install the forementioned package via Synaptic, or enter the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-pastebin

Users can also customise the extension’s behaviour by using nautilus-pastebin-configurator, an easy-to-use configuration tool that is also installed (just paste the command into a terminal or Alt+F2).

With it you can make the URL automatically open in your web browser, turn the notification on or off, force a confirmation message to appear before uploading the text, and change the pastebin service to another in the list.

ξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξξ

Click here for more Nautilus Extensions!

☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻☻

Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

Buy Ubuntu Genius a Beer to say Thanks!

Read Full Post »