Show Only Your Favorite Music Players In The Ubuntu Sound Menu

One of the nice features offered by the Ubuntu Unity interface is the integration present between the sound menu and Rhythmbox, the default music player. With this sound menu integration, uses can go back to the previous track, advance to the next track, play and pause, or access the full music player. It’s a pretty handy feature.

Of course, the drawback comes when the large number of music players you’ve installed (just to try out their features), all make themselves available to the sound menu. You’ll end up with something like this.

Sound Menu With Many Players

As you can see, it’s a bit cluttered. Not only does Rhythmbox have the previous/play/next buttons, but so does (in this case), Nuvola Player, which is the program currently in use.

Fortunately, there is something you can do to get rid of the clutter. You can remove players from showing up in the sound menu in a couple different ways. You can do it completely from the Terminal, or from the Dconf Editor (part of the dconf-tools package), which is the method we’ll show.

First, open up the Terminal, which we’ll use to install the dconf-tools package.

Open Terminal

Now type sudo apt-get install dconf-tools to download and install the package.

Install Dconf Tools

At this point you can open the Dconf Editor.

Open Dconf Editor

You’ll now see the main Dconf Editor (called Configuration Editor) window.

Configuration Window

Now click the little arrow beside the com tab, followed by canonical and indicator and finally sound in order to see the sound menu settings.


You should now see all the sound menu options.

Interested Players and Blacklist

There are two fields that interest us. Highlighted in the image above is the field called interested-media-players as well as blacklisted-media-players located two spots above, at the top of the window. The interested-media-players field shows all the players that have registered to appear in the sound menu (and were shown in the first screenshot), while the blacklisted-media-players (empty by default and in the image above), shows all the players banned from the sound menu. To change which programs appear, we only need to edit the blacklist. We’ve done so in the image below.

New Blacklist

As you can see, each entry is surrounded with single quotes, and entries are separated by a comma, with no spaces anywhere. When finished editing the blacklist, simply close the Dconf Editor. Your sound menu should now reflect the changes.

Only One Player in Sound Menu

As you can see, we’ve edited the blacklist so that only a single player (Nuvola Player, in this case), will appear. You can of course change this to suit your own tastes. As a final note, it’s worth checking in the preferences areas of the individual programs appeared, as they may already include an option to hide themselves, making the rest of this article unnecessary, if your program includes the option. For those that don’t, however, this is a simple way to remove the clutter from the Ubuntu Sound Menu.

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