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This is one of the best, feature-rich players for console. Build using ncurses and thus offering a text user interface, CMus has several view modes, organizes your music by artist/album, provides playlists and a library view, a filebrowser, it allows searching, Last.fm/Libre.fm scrobbling via this script, and it uses Vi-like keyboard shortcuts. A complete review can be found here and a guide to using it here.

CMus is a powerful, feature-rich music player for the terminal which uses the Ncurses library:


mp3blaster is one of the most popular music players for the terminal out there. It uses the ncurses toolkit, and has features like grouping of tracks, playlists, shuffle and repeat modes.


MOC stands for Music on Console and it is a twin-panel music player with the file browser to the left and the playlist to the right. MOC is built upon ncurses and allows shuffle, repeat, volume control.

MOC running in Ubuntu 11.10:


Another ncurses-based music player for the terminal, Herrie is a minimalistic player that comes with playlists, support for various audio files, including Ogg and MP3, jump to next/previous song.

This is MPlayer, the famous video/audio player and converter. However MPlayer can also be used as a command-line audio player, and it supports all the formats out there, including Ogg, FLAC, MP3 or WAV.

Self-described as “Sound eXchange, the Swiss Army Knife of audio manipulation”, SoX is actually a powerful command-line audio manipulation tool which can also be used as a music player, using the command play music_file.

Written in Python, PyTone is yet another command-line audio player. Simple and clean, it supports formats like MP3 or Ogg.

Another program written in Python, PyRadio is able to play Internet radio inside the terminal. To use it, download it from here, unzip the archive and then run the ./pyradio script.

With preselected stations, PyRadio is able to play Internet radio inside a terminal:

This little command-line tool is included in the vorbis-tools package and is able to reproduce Ogg Vorbis and FLAC. It’s very basic, yet very fast and useful for quickly listening to songs which are encoded in a free format.

The command-line player ogg123 plays the free formats Vorbis and FLAC:


Just as ogg123, only that mpg123 plays the MP3 format.

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6r00k14n says:

You missed one. Orpheus. It is a basically a text-based interface for mpg123 and ogg123, and based on my experience, it is a better choice than mp3blaster, particularly when dealing with pecular soundcards.

Craciun Dan says:

Thanks, I wasn’t aware of this one. Looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2006?

dr says:

ncmpcpp needs to be included. It’s an ncurses based client for MPD, and it’s my favorite audio player by far . . . I even prefer it over GUI players.

Quake_Sinatra says:

+1 ncmpc – by far the best console client i have used, and extremely light and quick

g99 says:

I think you’d like ncmpcpp a lot. It is highly customizable and has a nice tag editor which I haven’t found in other console-based music players. In my opinion it is not just comparable to CMus, it beats it.

yoander says:

I’ve used CMUS for a long while and it’s rock solid, full featured and well documented music player. Support a lot of formats and sounds servers (Pulse audio, ALSA and maybe others). It’s in heavy development and for vim fans simulate vim key bindings.

Craciun Dan says:

It’s my favorite too. The moment I tried it one year ago or so I felt like it’s the player I’ll like the most for CLI.

drprometheus says:

Ncmpcpp Rules!!!

Craciun Dan says:

Now that’s definitely a lot of votes for ncmpcpp :) I’ll give it a try, maybe make a review.

Dennis Kibbe says:

Emacs users have EMMS (Emacs Multimedia System) for playing music within the Emacs text editor.

wlf says:

cplay by Ulf Betlehem also is a good choice

coco says:

is there any console player which can be used for radio streaming?

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