Play music on command line

January 19, 2011 at 12:53 am (Audio / Video, console based, linux apps, Linux codecs) (, , , , , , )

There are many popular audio players for linux; to name a few they would be XMMS, audacious, amarock . But all of these players are GUI-based; and they does not feel like ‘home’ when you are so addicted to using the command line. So i did some searching on possible options, and i found many. I’m only listing two of the best here, mplayer and Music On Console (Player) or MOC. The command line players have the advantage of less crashes, less usage of resources, playability in CUI only OS’s, remote logging to play sound files on a remote machine. The MPD (music player daemon) server can stream audio using any sound output server to a remote machine.

Music on Console (MOC or MOCP) (homepage)

moc player

MOC 2.44 running on my fedora 14 (64 bit)

The MOC has a decent UI for a CLI program. Consists of two panes, one displaying the music files in the current directory and the other showing the current playlist. Play stats and tag info are displayed in the bottom, with the progress bar. Navigation within playlist and song can be done using keyboard. It’s updated support for pulse, OSS and alsa output.


for debian based sytems use, sudo apt-get install moc

for rpm based systems, it is unlikely that moc would be on the repository. Try yum install moc and see. If that’s the case, we need to compile from source which can be downloaded from this link. You would need following packages

for mp3 support: yum install libmad-devel libid3tag-devel

for wma,mp4,aac,ra support: yum install ffmpeg-devel (This caused a compile error due to ffmpeg-devel relocating its .h files .. so please don’t do this if you know how to use linking). To activate support for other codecs, see README.

then decompress the file, go to the folder and type usual

./configure && make && install as root to compile and install. See my article on compiling from source for more information.

After installation to run, type

mocp <filename>

press q and type mocp -x to end program. Otherwise the server will still be running 🙂



Mplayer running on console

This doesn’t need much introduction; which is as my perception is the best multimedia player ever, which can play videos too. Apart from the gmplayer (or mplayer-gui), the mplayer command can be used to play music on command line, with showing in depth info. Mplayer can play any audio file, it’s heavily stable and takes less resources. You can see my previous post on mplayer.

to install,

sudo apt-get install gmplayer (for debian based systems)

yum install mplayer-gui (for rpm based systems)

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