I like iTunes, but unfortunately it is not available for Linux/Ubuntu.

Some features I am looking for:

  • Playlists
  • Ability to change song from taskbar
  • Album covers
  • CD import
  • Notification when the song is changing
  • 1
    No need about iPad, iPhone or iPod support? Feb 9, 2014 at 15:24
  • 1
    @Fractaliste Nope. Don't own one, I prefer using androids.
    – aman207
    Feb 9, 2014 at 16:39
  • 4
    This question is too broad. There are a LOT of players in this field and there is nothing in your question that really narrows it down enough to give a specific recommendation of one package over another. This is just going to be a popularity contest between the biggest players in the field. Can you give us anything in the way of a a specific problem that you haven't solved with the obvious choices? As asked this is much better serviced by alternativeto.net.
    – Caleb
    Feb 18, 2014 at 21:53
  • @Caleb, perhaps this is too broad, but at least it actually received answers. My own question is quite specific but has sadly received no answers at all, even with a bounty. :(
    – Wildcard
    Aug 14, 2016 at 3:33

5 Answers 5


Quod Libet (License: GPL v2) seems to have all features you mentioned:

  • playlists are supported (can be exported as M3U and PLS via plugin)
  • covers are displayed (it looks for a file in the current folder named, e.g., folder.jpg) (there is also a plugin that can download covers)
  • it comes with a notification plugin
  • it comes with a plugin for Sound Menu integration
  • new tracks can be added via file, folder, URL

It’s based on GTK+, and is available in Ubuntu’s packages.

QL is a great piece of software. You can have ten thousands of tracks in your library and you will still have good performance.

Elaborate search options: You can use regular expressions, boolean and (&), or (|), not (!) (+ greater/lower than (>, <) for numerical values), search for custom tags and their values, search for playcount, rating, track length, ….

It also comes with (and nicely integrates via context menu) the tag editor Ex Falso.

I don’t have an Apple iPod, but friends could successfully copy music from my QL to their device.

  • I recommended it also as Linux music player for huge music collection.
    – unor
    Jun 19, 2014 at 20:16
  • 1
    Does it allow for playlist syncing to Android? Specifically, not storing multiple copies of a song because it is in multiple playlists, but instead storing one copy and referencing that copy from multiple playlists? If so you could mention it on my question and collect the bounty. :)
    – Wildcard
    Aug 14, 2016 at 3:35

In default Ubuntu installation, there's Rhythmbox that includes at least almost all features you want.

List of requirements from the question:

  • Playlists: yes.
  • Ability to change song from taskbar: yes, with plugin (I haven't used this)
  • Album covers: yes.
  • CD import: yes.
  • Notification when the song is changing: yes (bubble)

It is obviously not as well designed as iTunes is. Rhythmbox have a long history (more than 10 years); that does not guarantee stability, but when I was using it, it was always stable and got things done.

Screenshot from www.tuxjournal.net

  • 1
    Obviously not as well designed as iTunes!? I use Rhythmbox and iTunes a lot, and greatly prefer Rhythmbox, especially to the new iTunes interface.
    – MadTux
    Feb 18, 2014 at 19:39

My choice would be Guayadeque Music Player

Guayadeque is included in Ubuntu repositories and can be installed through Ubuntu Software centre

Guayadeque Music Player
(source: ubuntu.com)

Requested features:

  • Guayadeque supports dynamic or static play lists.
  • Guayadeque comes with sys-try applet and have ability to change song from taskbar
  • Album covers can be downloaded manually or automatically
  • Guayadeque can import music from various sources including external media
  • OSD Notification when the song is changing

Guayadeque task bar applet

Additional features

  • Play mp3, ogg, flac, wma, mpc, mp4, ape, etc
  • Allow to catalogue your music using labels. Any track, artist or album can have as many labels you want
  • Suggest music using last.fm service
  • Allow to subscribe to podcasts and download all new episodes automatically or manually

List of features can be found here


Although I have never tried it myself, I believe Nightingale might be a good alternative, since it described in LinuxFormat as:

The interface is reminiscent of the heyday if iTunes, back when it was about helping you organise your music and less about selling you stuff.

Since I haven't tried it myself, I don't know about some of the features you ask ( such as changing songs from the task bar ), but I think that may be good for you because of the iTunes-like interface. Here is a screenshot: Screenshot (on OSX)


I would still recommend Rhythmbox -- I myself prefer it a lot to iTunes (at least the new iTunes), but: You can use iTunes on Linux. It is not too hard to install with playonlinux. However, it is not recommended as a default music player, as it is slow to start and a bore to set up to look nice. Still, might be good to mention it, in case you just MUST use iTunes :)

  • 2
    Could you add a reference to the tool and maybe a screenshot? How does it meet with the requirements?
    – Bernhard
    Feb 9, 2014 at 16:50
  • @MadTux Please make sure to include links for optimum answer quality. (I've just added one for you) Feb 18, 2014 at 19:04

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