How To Install Audio Preview For Nautilus

By | 2007/03/06

My post yesterday on how to speed up the nautilus file manager mentioned turning off the audio preview feature. Based on a few comments I realize that I have never mentioned how to turn this feature on in the first place. It is pretty simple really, and I’m surprised that I’ve overlooked it thus far–I always install it first thing. It is actually part of another previous post, 5 steps to a new installation, but not in detail on its own.

To setup audio preview within gnome and nautilus you’ll want to install the following using your favorite package manager or command line:

sudo aptitude install mpg321 vorbis-tools

These simple packages should give you audio preview when you rest your mouse on an audio file. It should work for .mp3, .ogg, etc.

I think its so simple that I never really thought about blogging it. Thanks to the commenters yesterday for bringing it up and enjoy! I love being able to preview an audio file without actually having to open it. Makes my world a wonderful place to live 🙂

11 thoughts on “How To Install Audio Preview For Nautilus

  1. Marius Gedminas


    I was wondering, why Nautilus showed the “previewing” icon when I had the mouse over an mp3 file, but the speakers would stay silent. Turns out mpg321 was not installed.

  2. Damian

    Great Tip!, I love Ubuntu more every day!

  3. Tristan

    This part of nautilus is in desperate need of gstreamer integration.

  4. Anony

    Nice, but how do you preview flac files?

  5. Jason Brower

    you may want to point out that you hve to use esd. At least for me. Otherwise it doesn’t work at all. I have to disable esd for many of my products… like games.
    So if you don’t have esd don’t worry about preview. But if your using your system for nothing but an office desktop and would like the feature. Go with esd all the way.

  6. Dommy

    Excelent bit of info, I have installed mpg123 and vorbis-tools and viola I can now preview ogg and mp3 files , but, wav and flac encoded files remain stubbornly unresponsive: bugger. Any other addons that I should try ?? Mine is a Feisty install and I really would like to try and stay with Gnome rather then have to add KDE just to get the functionality I require. I have a seperate KDE installation in Edgy and that does ogg wav flac not mp3 but I can correct that now 🙂

  7. Toby Adams

    im using ubuntu 7.04, why hasnt this been integrated by default, Linux for human beings??? human beings listen to MP3 not ogg, damn linux nerds!!!

  8. Anon

    I’m using Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10. This doesn’t seem to work for me. I’ve installed both the packages you mentioned. I checked out my preferences, and Nautilus says that is is supposed to play my audio files, but it still doesn’t. Can anyone help me out a little?

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