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This ".is_audio_player" file is an implementation for mass storage devices (pendrive, portable HDD, etc ..) to mimic as a portable audio player in Linux music management softwares (Rythmbox, Banshee, Amorok, etc...).

This is also a workaround for some portable audio player that are not recognizable by the Linux music management softwares as a portable audio player (mount as a mass storage device when plug-in through USB).

Once the mass storage device is recognized as a portable audio player, you can use music management softwares (Rythmbox, Banshee, etc ...) to manage the music in the "portable audio player".

This file have to be created in the root path of the mass storage devices. Note that this is a hidden file (files with a "dot" in front of their filenames), so remember to enable "show hidden files" option in nautilus or use "-a" option in your "ls" command to find it.

Below are all the options available for this file:

  • name
    Device name (use "" to quote a name that have spaces in between) that will appear in the music management softwares.
    • Without this option, the device name that appears in the music management softwares will follow the mount name specified in the system.
  • audio_folders
    The list (comma separated values) of folders where music files are stored on the device. Music management softwares will copy tracks to the first folder in that list.
    • Without this option, the music management software will transfer the music files to the root path.
  • folder_depth
    The maximum foler depth supported by the device. Do not set it if the device has no limitation.

    If the player stores all the music with the tree / <audio_folders> /<Artist> / <Album>, use the parameter folder_depth = 2.

    For a compilation of Beatles containing two discs with the tree
    / <audio_folders> /Beatles/Compilation/Disc1, with folder_depth=2, sound files located in "Disc1" will not be seen.

    This parameter is also used when importing new songs:
    folder_depth =0 : puts the files in the root folder specified in the first audio_folders as
    <audio_folders> /<filename> ;
    folder_depth =1 : place the files in a subfolder. He will be placed in the first reported in audio_folders as
    <audio_folders> /<artiste> - <album> / <filename> ;
    folder_depth =2 and above : puts the files in two sub-folder. These will be placed in the first reported in audio_folders as
    <audio_folders> /<artiste> / <album> / <filename>.
    • Without this option, the folder depth is considered as 0 (folder_depth=0).
  • output_formats 
    The list of file types (MIME types, comma separated values) supported by the device. The first type listed will be used for the automatic "on-the-fly" conversion/transcoding when transferring into the "portable audio player".
    • Without this option, the music management software will use the file types set in it's preferences.
  • input_formats The list of file types (MIME types, comma separated values) supported by the device that can be save into the "portable audio player" using the microphone or from a radio show. 
    • Without this option, it is considered that the "portable audio player" cannot record audio.
  • playlist_format 
    The list of playlist formats (MIME types, comma separated values) supported by the device.
  • playlist_path 
    The folder containing playlists files on the device. 
    • Without this option, the music management software will copy the playlists to the same folder where it copies the music files.
  • cover_art_file_type 
    The type of image supported by the device, such as jpeg, png, tiff, ico or bmp.
  • cover_art_file_name 
    The filename expected by the device for the cover art image.
  • cover_art_size The size of the cover art image, in pixels. The image is a square, so it's only one number.

To find out the MIME types of your Ubuntu Linux, goto "/usr/share/mime".


name="My Portable Audio Player"
audio_folders=Music/, Sounds/


  1. I set my ,is_audio_player like this:
    name="Sansa Clip"

    And Banshee says that device dont support playlist's. Any idea why?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. The player type detected by Banshee is not in the HAL list(/usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-usb-music-players.fdi) or it does not have the playlist format listed in under your player entry.

  3. I am using a Cowon J3 and can confirm that banshee won't support the playlists.

    When I don't use an .is_audio_player file, banshee defaults to folder depth 0 and makes my player messy, but it will transfer playlists.

    I like to use the .is_audio_player file to create the folder depth and request the proper album art size for my screen, but banshee says that playlists are not supported. I can't find any information on it.

    I have listed literally every different alias for the mlu playlist and nothing will show up.

  4. I feel this may be a bug with Banshee, so I have filed a bug report.

    It may get more attention if you add your problem with the Sansa Clip.

  5. Playlists are supported by many devices *only* in MTP mode, and not when mounted as a USB filesystem (mass-storage). Banshee claims to support MTP but i've never got it to work with my sony USB walkman.

    1. Recently i have been trying to get my Galaxy Nexus to connect to my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS using MTP mode and i found out that the mtpfs that comes with the OS is very buggy and unreliable. I think that explain why Banshee doesn't seems to work well in MTP mode. I have seen it worked 1 time before but then subsequently it did not. I have wrote a post of how to get it work at

      I have not tried to connect Banshee using go-mtpfs yet. Will try it when i have some free time.

  6. "playlist_format" should actually be "playlist_formats".


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