I can't seem to find an inbuilt way to have Rhythmbox fetch album art for tracks -- stock plugins also don't help. Is there any external package that could do that, or am I maybe missing something?


AlbumArtSearch is a third party plug in for Rhythmbox that will search for and download the cover art for the currently playing track. Unfortunately, it doesn't run in the background automatically, though the fact that you can refine searches makes sure you get the covers that you are actually looking for.

First install the two dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python-webkit python-mako

Next download the plugin. You can get it at the link above or run:

wget http://albumartsearch.googlecode.com/files/albumartsearch_0.2.tar.gz

Finally you need to extract it in the folder ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins This can be done with Nautilus or by running these commands:

mkdir -p  ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins
tar -xvf albumartsearch_0.2.tar.gz -C ~/.gnome2/rhythmbox/plugins

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You need to install the rhythmbox-plugins package then enable the 'Cover Art' plugin in Edit>Plugins:

edit plugins

Now, when you rip your CDs, the album art will be added automatically.

  • rhythmbox-plugins was installed automatically :) now how can I get album art for music I didn't rip off CDs? – badp Oct 17 '10 at 6:40

Out of the box, rhythmbox has the ability to extract coverart from art embedded within tracks themselves (for example mp3 files), or from MusicBrainz & LastFM websites.

For the coverart to appear you need to play a track and then the Coverart Plugin takes over and fetches the artwork.

There are a few issues with this:

  • you have to play each track individually to download coverart
  • you have no control over where the coverart is downloaded.

From Rhythmbox v2.97 and above you can manually change coverart by dragging and dropping covers onto the coverart area. I've explained this approach in this Q&A:

The rhythmbox coverart browser makes downloading covers very simple.

First - you can select multiple albums or all albums and the plugin will download all the covers for you automatically i.e. you dont need to play individual tracks (but you can also continue doing this as well if you so wish):


You can manually update all Rhythmbox versions since RB2.96 using the inbuilt Google powered cover finder:

  • Imgur

Further more, you have the ability to tailor where you want coverart to be downloaded from - and there are more providers possible than the default rhythmbox coverplugin:


All covers downloaded by the coverart browser plugin are visible also through the coverart icon shown in the toolbar.

See the installation instructions described in the links below.

Linked Question:

  • Didn't know about the drag n drop feature. Thanks. – xyres Jun 1 '16 at 12:48

It would be useful to know what version of Ubuntu you are using. I use Ubuntu 10.04. In my Rhythmbox the cover art wasn't shown, too. But in the Plugins dialog there is a cover plugin. Initially it was checked. I unchecked it and checked it again. And then the area of the album art was shown and the album art of playing songs is also downloaded now.

Additionally there are other plugings, which you could try:


  • I'm on 10.10, but I was hoping for a general answer :) Anyway -- I do have the cover art plugin and it is enabled, but it isn't doing the fetching on its own and I can't see a way to trigger it. – badp Oct 16 '10 at 13:46
  • Did you try to actually play a well-known song? I have the impression that it only checks for songs that are played currently. – xilix Oct 16 '10 at 13:49
  • define popular? I could get album art for none of the songs I tried :( – badp Oct 16 '10 at 14:16
  • In my experience it doesn't recognize a lot of albums in my collection, but from time to time it does (maybe because most of it isn't exactly hit parade music...). – JanC Oct 16 '10 at 17:35

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