The Banshee Audio Player

Listen to music on Windows, Mac, or Linux

Banshee comes as the default audio player for some distributions of Linux, but it's also available for other operating systems. Similar to Rhythmbox and Quod Libet, the Banshee media player also allows you to watch videos, listen to internet radio, subscribe to podcasts, and more.

Information in this article applies to Banshee for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

How to Import Music Into Banshee

Before you can really use Banshee, you need to import music:

  1. Select Media > Import Media.

    Import Media command in Banshee
  2. Choose where you want to import music from in the drop-down menu. You can import individual files or entire folders. For example, choose Local Folders to browse your hard drive for folders containing music.

    Import locations in Banshee
  3. Select Choose Folders.

    Choose Folders button in Banshee
  4. Locate and select the folder you want to import, then select Import.

You only need to go to the top level. For example, if you have multiple folders containing music by different artists in a folder called Music, then selecting the Music folder will import all of the sub-folders as well.

Import button in Banshee

The Banshee User Interface

The default Banshee interface displays a list of libraries in the far left pane. To the right of your libraries, there's a list of artists. When you select an artist, their albums appear in the top-right pane. The bottom-right pane lists songs for the selected artist and album. To start playing an album, select the album icon, then select the Play button in the top-left corner.

Play button in Banshee

How to Customize the Banshee Interface

You can customize the look and feel of Banshee to your liking using the View menu. For example, if you would prefer the list of tracks to appear on the right and the albums and artists to appear on the left, choose View > Browser on left. To add extra panels to the interface that allow you to sort songs by genre and year, go to View > Browser Content.

Select Context pane to view information from Wikipedia about a selected artist. You can also display a graphical equalizer to adjust playback settings while playing audio.

View menu in Banshee

Watch Videos Using Banshee

Banshee is more than just a music player. You can also listen to audiobooks and watch videos. To import videos, right-click Videos in the left pane and choose Import Media. You'll see the same options you had for importing music.

To rate a song or video, right-click the file you want to rate and choose a star rating from the context menu.

Videos options in Banshee

Listen to Internet Radio With Banshee

To listen to internet radio via Banshee, right-click Radio in the libraries pane and choose Add Station. Unlike other audio players, you need to add the details for the radio station manually.

Select Last.fm at the bottom of the libraries pane to listen to radio stations created by other members. You need to sign up for an account to use this feature. 

Add a radio station in Banshee

Subscribe to Podcasts Using Banshee

Select the plus (+) beside the search bar to subscribe to podcasts. When you provide the podcast URL and select Subscribe, all of the episodes will appear in your Podcast library.

Subscribe button in podcasts section of Banshee

Search for Media on the Web With Banshee

Select Internet Archive at the bottom of the libraries pane to search the web for audiobooks, books, concerts, lectures, and movies. The Internet Archive has downloads for media that are no longer under copyright. The content is 100% legal, but don't expect to find any recent releases.​

Select Internet Archive at the bottom of the left pane to search the web for audiobooks, books, concerts, lectures, and movies.

Banshee Smart Playlists

To create a smart playlist that chooses music based on your preferences, right-click Music in the library pane and choose New Smart Playlist. You'll be prompted to give the playlist a name and choose the criteria for picking songs. For instance, you can select Genre and choose to include or exclude certain keywords like "Metal" or "Pop" from the playlist.

You can limit the playlist to a certain number of tracks, or you can limit it to a certain amount of time. You can also choose the size of the playlist so that it will fit on a CD. You can choose to play tracks randomly from the selected criteria, or you can prioritize songs by rating, most played, least played, etc.

If you would prefer to create a standard playlist, right-click Music and choose New Playlist.

Create a smart playlist in Banshee