I'm running Maverick at the moment and the default music player is Rhythmbox. It interfaces with the panel through the sound menu, so you can see it playing like this:

Screenshot of Rhythmbox playing in the Sound Menu

I know that, in Natty, Banshee is due to be the default music player, so I was trying it out the other day to get to grips with it. How can I change which music player interfaces with the panel like this (from Rhythmbox to Banshee and then back again)? Because, at the moment, when I run Banshee, I just get this:

Screenshot of the Sound Menu with Rhythmbox but not Banshee

...and no Banshee integration.


5 Answers 5


It doesn't matter which music player is default. When you install banshee or rhythmbox it should add itself to the sound menu. However you need to logout and then login again to see the changes in the sound menu.

However just to make sure, click Edit -> Preferences -> Extensions and see if the sound menu extension is enabled. (See the screenshot below for more details)

enter image description here

  • Great, thanks, it was the sound menu integration extension that I was unchecked. Works great now.
    – Slipstream
    Apr 26, 2011 at 19:49

System Preference -> Preferred Applications -> Media Player. You can choose your preferred application there.

  • Still works nicely in 13.10, although it is opened differently. From the Dash, open Details, select Default Applications, and change Audio to your preferred app.
    – eksortso
    Dec 8, 2013 at 7:10
  • 2
    ubuntu guys are great at moving stuff in places you never expect.
    – Igor
    Jun 9, 2015 at 10:04

Really has nothing to do with 'Default', you can have several players in the sound menu,they'd be listed top down in order of install/activating, in other words the order listed in com.canonical.indicators.sound - interested-media-players which can be adjusted as desired.

Atm there are at least 3 specifically enabled - banshee, rhythmbox, clementine, additionally vlc-1.2+ has MPRIS2 support & works to some extent.

From my perspective the 'quality' of sound menu support is best in banshee closely followed by clementine & rhythmbox. Banshee & clementine seem to lack album art in the menu. (I not sure if guayadeque has or will have support

Vlc works ok, has album art but as it wasn't specifically coded for the sound menu it can't be minimised to it, only opened & controlled from it.

There is some interest possibly for audacious but nothing yet.

Unless you or someone else is up to the task of adding MPRIS2 & then enabling as intended for the sound menu then yes, you are "dependent on the developers of the music players.." not only for MPRIS2 but also proper integration into the menu.

screen example - enter image description here

  • Doug, how do you add VLC to the Unity Panel like that please?
    – user47512
    Feb 22, 2012 at 9:03
  • Matt - if you have vlc-2.0 as a minimum & it's not showing in the sound menu then try this - Open vlc > Tools > Preferences. Change something on the main Interface screen like "Allow only one instance" & or pick a new option from the 'Privacy" drop down like "as soon as track starts playing. Save, close & reopen vlc. Otherwise you could also try adding to the 'interested players' in dconf-editor > com.canonical.indicator.sound
    – doug
    Feb 24, 2012 at 0:31

Have a look through dconf-editor at apps.indicators.sound. There are a couple of options there that might be relevant. I've switched my menu from Banshee to Rhythmbox. I did so by blacklisting banshee and adding rhythmbox to the list of interested media players.

I hope that that will help you.


I uninstalled Banshee and then installed Rhythmbox. Rhythmbox showed in Dash and in the sound indicator without any additional intervention from me that I recall. If you wish to keep multiple players around I suggest you open System Settings and select System Info. There you can adjust Default Applications. That's where I changed Firefox to Chrome after installing it and Chrome shows up in Dash as the default browser even though within Chrome I never designated it as my default browser.

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