Ubuntu 12.04 LTS shipped with Rhythmbox as the default music player, continuing the road of the previous LTS and, in the same time, shifting from the popular Banshee to Rhythmbox, change that has triggered a vocal group of "unsatisfied" users.
Along with its "old" crashes and stability problems, Rhythmbox, although acting as a lightweight app, received complaints about its identical user interface across various Ubuntu releases, in the sense of lacking new visual additions, enhancements, polish in newer versions.
Rhythmbox 2.9.7 has landed in Ubuntu 12.10, introducing a (relative) major change in its UI:
- the toolbar is now more compact and completely rearranged with big text-"backed" control icons that occupy more than a third of the total toolbar's size, bringing a feel of completeness and properly used space, removing the "deserted" toolbar area look&feel
- the album's cover art is now, by default, displayed next to the control buttons, furthermore, it features a handy easily readable preview with a black-ish fancy border when the users hover the mouse over it
- the progressbar has been relocated on the toolbar with shorter space, "helped" by a buttoned elapsed time area (clicking on it changes the way of displaying the tracks' time)
- massive functionality landed in Podcasts, meaning Rhythmbox offers, by default, the option to search for podcasts in the iTunes Store and Miroguide (no configuration needed) with "full" view/separate page where podcasts can be accessed and recognized by author/thumbnail/episodes/title