MPlayer as a music player

The oddest thing in my transition from an Openbox setup to an Awesome desktop on my Thinkpad has been the music player.

I tried installing cplay from a contrib port, but ran into a little difficulty. cplay would run but couldn’t find the client players — things like sox, or mpg123 or whatever — that otherwise do the dirty work. cplay doesn’t really play the songs, it just stands as an organizer and control mechanism.

And I knew the players were working because I could cue music from the command line with them. I even tried the cplayrc file which is included with the source package, but that proved fruitless too, and nothing was coming out of the speakers.

I considered just keeping the command-line players and running things that way, but I remembered that I already had one installed — mplayer. And since it seems to be able to handle any file format I throw at it (ogg and mp3 being the most frequent), I decided to stick with that alone.

It makes sense in one way — so long as I’m going to cue music from the command line, I might as well use one that has volume control, seeking ability, a playback counter and the ability to cue files from a directory.

The other command-line players — things like mpg321, ogg321 et al. — seemed to all fall down on one of those categories.

In the mean time I’ll search for another command-line music player that suits me. For what it’s worth I did take an obligatory look at mpd and ncmpc, but the two wouldn’t communicate with each other, and I didn’t care to serve as marriage counselor to a pair that should otherwise play together nicely. ;)

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14 Responses to “MPlayer as a music player”

  1. 1 ChanibaL 2009/03/01 at 9:28 PM

    Hey, how about mocp? It works fine for me. I’m using it for some time now after mpd started to use cpu like crazy.

    Mocp has a midnight commander-ish interface and apart for some problems (like problems with m3u pointing to internet streams) it’s quite nice to use.

  2. 2 IceBrain 2009/03/01 at 10:21 PM

    I use mpd + mpc, but there are plenty of clients. MPD can parse your music library and then you can just type “mpc search foo” to find music based on artists, albums or genres. Of course, it depends on the size of your library. My laptop only has 20GB, but I have a mounted ftp folder from another computer, and I assigned it as mpd’s music folder.
    Eventually I would like to move it all to a real NAS, but thats a little over my budget :|

  3. 3 Vanity Vertigo 2009/03/02 at 3:04 AM

    I agree with ChanibaL, for the longest time I used mocp and it was great. The interface is a lot like cplay but it’s better in many ways. Also I like it because it is colourful. >_>

    Besides that it’s been a while since I’ve used it since I’ve adopted mpd + ncmpc / sontata as my main player. It was easy for me to hook up Sonata to mpd but mpc and ncmpc never wanted to play nice. I found the easiest way was to export MPD_HOST= and MPD_PORT=6600 in my zshrc (or bash, whatever you want). I never had problems with it after that.

  4. 4 binarycodes 2009/03/02 at 3:52 AM

    gotta show for my fav music player here :D
    mpd + ncmpcpp / sonata

  5. 5 binarycodes 2009/03/02 at 3:52 AM

    gotta show some love for my fav music player here :D
    mpd + ncmpcpp / sonata

  6. 6 Ron 2009/03/02 at 5:21 AM

    Another vote for moc, its simply awesome

  7. 7 damaged justice 2009/03/02 at 8:05 AM

    Another vote for mocp here. But mplayer is still the best video player :)

  8. 8 Tom Adams 2009/03/02 at 9:13 AM

    I hacked partial mplayer support into cplay:

    Doesn’t support seeking, or finding out how long the song is though. Also, you may have to edit it to add some file extensions to its regexp on line 1679.

    I’d very much like to give cplay decent mplayer support, it’s on my list.

  9. 9 stephen 2009/03/02 at 3:54 PM

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t thrown out cmus. i absolutely love it (after having spend like 2 days figuring out the user interface), but can honestly say that i prefer it (it’s ncurses) to any other graphical music player i’ve used (iTunes (not hard), rhytmbox, audacious, beep, xmms, …)

    yeah, if you like rtorrent, you’ll like cmus.

    anyhow, worth having a look at. (albeit, i’d never heard of mocp, and am going to have a look at it now)

  10. 10 anarkokatten 2009/03/03 at 4:20 AM

    I was also suprised nobody mentioned cmus – the best musicplayer I know of. And I had to look into the manual as well, but the only commands I use are X for play, C for pause, 3 for playlist view and “:add ” to add.

  11. 11 orpheus 2009/03/03 at 12:12 PM

    did you tried orpheus?

    its plain simple, no search, no mouse, no bling bling :P

    but, it plays your music :)

    more info on

  12. 12 Andrew 2009/03/04 at 1:58 AM

    mpd + sonata = win

  13. 13 Daniel Michalik 2009/12/07 at 6:33 PM

    I’d like to throw in the mplayer patch I wrote for cplay long time ago. See website. I’d like to hear if anyone out there is still using cplay – I’d be interested in doing development for cplay. It works fine for me though, so there isn’t really anything big to change right now. I’d like to hear further opinions.

  1. 1 Audio players for the console « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/12/30 at 7:20 PM

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