What I've found since switching to Linux Mint 13 MATE as my primary installation, is that the multimedia keys (next/previous track for example) don't work because of some namespace changes between GNOME 2 and MATE. That is apparently being worked on, and in the mean time a user here has created a small script you can add to your system to make the multimedia keys work for common music players again: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=102626#p586479
Perhaps that post will be enough detail for you, but I'll detail it some more. To be clear, this is for MATE only. I've switched to the awesome Quod Libet instead of using Banshee or Rhythmbox (it's ten times as awesome, and ten times as lightweight
), so I'll detail it for that but probably Banshee will work similar.
1. Download the attached file and extract the mmkeys-mate2mpris2.py file it contains to somewhere in your home folder.
2. From your Mint Menu open the Startup Applications program. Add a new entry. Give it a descriptive name, for example Multimedia Keys. The command to run is the full path to this mmkeys-mate2mpris2.py file you extracted somewhere in your home folder, followed by a space followed by an ampersand. Let's says you are me, and you just put this file in your Documents folder, then the command would be:
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3. Log out and log in again, or reboot your computer and this script will be running.
4. Finally, configure your music player to use MPRIS D-Bus. The multimedia key events will be passed from this script to your music player through MPRIS D-Bus. I'm not sure how to do that on Banshee, but for Quod Libet you'd go to Music > Plugins and put a mark next to "MPRIS D-Bus support". For Quod Libet that's all there is to it, your multimedia keys will now work.