Cmdline audio players

musicIf we start listing down all the cmdline audio players available for Linux, the list would be huge. We selected a few lightweight but powerful such players which should be a delight for any terminal junkie. Try them out!

1. MOC (Music On Console)


  • Midnight Commander like menu driven interface
  • Playlist play and save support
  • Press q to detach from running terminal (no pause) and reattach later
  • Smooth experience at is buffers the stream in a separate thread
  • Gapless playback by pre-fetching next file
  • Internet stream (Icecast, Shoutcast) support
  • Supports MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Musepack, Speex, WAVE, AAC, MIDI, MP4, Opus, WMA, APE, AC3, DTS…
  • Customizable key mapping
  • Mixer (both software and hardware) and simple equalizer
  • Colour themes
  • Search playlist or a directory
  • Configurable title creation from filenames and file tags
  • OSS, ALSA, JACK and SNDIO output

To install on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install moc

2. cmus (C* Music Player)


  • Supports Ogg Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Opus, Musepack, WavPack, WAV, AAC, MP4, audio CD, WMA…
  • Outputs: PulseAudio, ALSA, OSS, JACK, RoarAudio, libao, aRts, Sun, and WaveOut
  • Gapless playback
  • ReplayGain support
  • MP3 and Ogg streaming (SHOUTcast/Icecast)
  • Play queue
  • Optional playback resume on startup
  • Instant startup, even with thousands of tracks
  • Powerful playlist filters / live filtering
  • Easy to use directory browser
  • Customizable colours
  • Dynamic keybindings
  • Vi / less style search mode
  • Vi style command mode with tab completion

To install on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install cmus

3. mplayer (or mplaye2 or mpv)

mplayer has a nice GUI and third-party front-ends like SMPlayer. However, you can play any file from the cmdline using any of these. What’s more, they can even play streaming radio stations if you provide the URI. Run:

To install on Ubuntu, run:

$ sudo apt-get install mplayer
$ sudo apt-get install mplayer2
$ sudo apt-get install mpv

To play a station use the -playlist option:

$ mplayer -playlist

MP3-only players

4. mp3blaster

Plays only mp3s. Has playlist support and cd-style buttons like play, stop, pause, next track, etc.

To install on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install mp3blaster

5. mpg123

Plays only mp3s as the name suggests. It’s a true console application without any player-like structure.

To install on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install mpg123

Do let us know which one is your favourite!


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