Top 10 Linux MP3 Players

Written by BinnyVA on March 14, 2008 – 11:11 am -

Music

There are no shortage of audio players in Linux. It has everything from command line MP3 players(mpg123) to RAM eating GUI players(like Amarok). With easily available codecs, linux supports almost all available formats.

This is the final post on a series about MP3 Players in linux. This series focuses on dedicated audio players – not video players that can handle audio as well(like mplayer). Without further ado, presenting the top 10 Linux MP3 players…

1. Amarok

Amarok Logo

amaroK is currently the player of my choice – it rocks. Everything I ever wanted in a MP3 Player and more. It is the clear winner in this field. In my opinion, there is nothing that beats amarok even if you look at Windows and Mac MP3 players as well.

Amarok Linux MP3 Player Screenshot

More Information on Amarok MP3 Player

2. XMMS

XMMS Logo

A Winamp clone. Simple and user friendly, it is very popular on linux. It does not have a large feature set – but I am going to give it second place due to its popularity.

XMMS MP3 Audio Player Screenshot

Official Sites for XMMS Player

3. RhythmBox

RhythmBox Gnome Music Player Logo

Rhythmbox Music Player is a music player and library for tagged files, that support various music formats. It was inspired by Apple’s iTunes. Although it is designed to work well under the GNOME Desktop, I had no issues with it in KDE.

RhythmBox – Gnome Music Player

RhythmBox Media Player Screenshot

Official Sites

4. Exaile

Exaile MP3 Player Logo

Exaile is a music player aiming to be similar to KDE’s Amarok, but for GTK+ and written in Python. It incorporates many of the cool things from Amarok (and other media players)

Exaile – Music Player for Gtk+

Exaile Media Player Screenshot

Official Sites

5. Audacious

Audacious Logo

Audacious is not among the ‘star media-players’ in Linux – so many people never try it out. But those who have tried it out like it. For the sake of the article, I installed it – and I liked it. I even considered switching from amaroK to Audacious.

Audacious Media Player

Official Sites

6. Banshee

Banshee Music Player Logo

Banshee is an MP3 players for Gnome. You can import, organize, play, and share your music using Banshee’s simple, powerful interface.

Banshee – Music Management and Playback for GNOME

Banshee MP3 Player Screenshot

Banshee Official Sites

7. SongBird

SongBird MP3 Software Logo

SongBird is an MP3 player built on the XUL framework. It’s a desktop media player mashed-up with the Web.

SongBird – The Firefox of MP3 Players

Songbird Screenshot

Official Sites

8. Juk

Juk MultiMedia Player Logo

An audio jukebox that supports collections of MP3, Ogg Vorbis and FLAC files. It is a part of the kdemultimedia package.

Juk


9. mpg123/mpg321

mpg123 is a fast, free, minimalist, console MPEG audio player software program for UNIX and Linux operating systems.

mpg123/mpg321 – The Command Line MP3 Players

Official Sites

10. Other MP3 Players and Media Software…

Instead of putting the last MP3 Player here, I am going to list the MP3 software that did not make it to the list…

So, which is your favorite MP3 Player? Leave a comment…

Update: I reviewed two more players…


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Posted in Applications, Audio, Gnome, KDE | 96 Comments »

96 Comments to “Top 10 Linux MP3 Players”

  1. [...] Now there are a few options for playing your MP3 files. If you remember the old days of WinAMP then you will like the design of Audacious. Now if you want a more iTunes like player which catalogs your collection you have many choices. If you are a KDE man Amarok is what your looking for. For GNOME or XFCE users there are a number of choices such as Rythmbox, Banshee, and my favorite Exaile (LinDesk has a good overview of Linux MP3 players). [...]

  2. windsock says:

    no VLC? come on!!

  3. It really annoys me that you have to stuff around and download special codecs and patches to make some Linux players play MP3s. Probably a copyright issue I guess.

  4. Evildead says:

    Would have been nice to see Decibel Audio Player tested, it’s a cool and simple app IMO.

  5. jelli says:

    heho, nice list – since i’m a linux noob, im still looking for the best player for me (im quite demanding)

    just wanted to say

    “Goggles Music Manager” seems to be worth a try
    http://freshmeat.net/projects/gogglesmm

    though it hasn’t to much features now, (or maybe because) its lightweight and the basics really work perfectly 4 me

  6. Daggoth says:

    Thank you for the review. I installed amarok and im already loving it.

  7. Juan Sánchez says:

    Para mi el mejor es audacious, nunca truena, es ligereo, un verdadero clon de winamp y desde luego, fácil de manejar. Tambien el mpg123/321.

    For me, the best is audacious, never crash, is lightweight, it’s a winamp clon, and of course, easy to use. Also the mpg123/321 player

  8. Ilya says:

    Strongly disagree with what said about Amaroks. It looks cool but isn’t too configurable… at least I need too group tracks by folders, not albums – but I simply can’t. I wish to control track order (random, etc.) using a button, not a menu somwhere… I can’t. Also, randomization by albums is nice, but I also wan’t to do the same with folders…

    Look at foobar2000 under Windows, and you what I mean. Btw, “nothing can beat it” :) Nothing offensive, but I do miss such features under Linux players.

  9. BinnyVA says:

    > group tracks by folders
    Add column called Directory and sort using it.

    > control track order (random, etc.) using a button
    Possible – there is a button in the status bar.

    I’m talking about Amarok 1.4 – not sure if these features are enabled in Amarok 2.

  10. morchon says:

    I have to agree with Ilya, i tried every player in linux, cue support is missing in the vast majority, only audacious supports but i hate winamp, i still use foobar under wine, sadly it doesn’t support drag and drop.

    The most annoying thing is sorting by albums, i want folders, songbird is close to my needs but doesn’t synchronize with my mp3.

    Thinking in returning to windows only to use foobar2000, errr, i was only kidding ;-)

  11. Omar says:

    thanks a lot … dont really like rythmbox .. lets try out ur amarok.

  12. CowMan says:

    The fuzzy-search feature of ‘Yammi’, and the speed at which it can handle 30,000+ song libraries (both initial scan, and in use) makes it irreplaceable on my system. Even as it still uses KDE3.5 & hasn’t been supported for years.

  13. I like the amarok. It works great!

  14. Flibberty Gibbert says:

    Hi,

    I enjoyed this site getting something new. The SuSE standards like the Amarok, Banshee, Juk all do badly SegFaults on my machine, the XMMS crashes for “Doublesize” and Audacious goes down when playing an 128 MP3 and trying to change the volume. Also the audio output plugins from audacious are heck.

    RhythmBox and Exaile do the job for my modern times.

    I currently run a SuSE 11.2 with some Packman updates (Gstreamer and so on) on an older K6 machine which has been trusted to be OK for many years.

    A Player I like very much and is not yet meantioned here ist the good old Alsaplayer. It is lean & mean and does the job and has went better with every version.

    If we come to the mpg123 player, we should also note the mp3blaster Player, which is about monolithic and really extremely rugged & stable. If no other plays, mp3blaster will still do. About the same, and a thing for the “vi” Fan is the cmus Player.

    keep it goin’

  15. 0wc4 says:

    Old amarok rocked, new is eh… more of gnu/unix idea – he doesnt support that many opts as former has, cause there are different apps for that (autotagging for example).

    I missed equalizer at first, but right now i don’t miss it – it wasnt such a big deal (xcept boosting basses at parties)

  16. JWP says:

    I really like gmusicbrowser (in Ubuntu software center) for managing my library…tons of features though have to play around with it and can organize it however I like .. my favorite since the old Musicmatch (wish I could get Wine to run it!)

  17. wirlarra says:

    Amarok # 1 ? No equilizer, cluttered interface, hopeless with podcasts and this is #1 ?

    Sorri I’m still looking for a stable, basic mp3 player for suse 11.2 KDE that actually works.

  18. Michael says:

    I tried xmms and stopped immediately because they are bugging me with this ever annoying daemon-thing. How crazy a man must be to invent a daemon for a simple mp3-player – well that’s linux….

  19. dbbolton says:

    I can’t believe quodlibet didn’t make the cut– not even the cut cut.

  20. Mower Jack says:

    I like and use XMMS at work because it looks so much like Winamp..

  21. Review Guy says:

    @Michael: Very true, it’s annoying and totally unnecessary, really a shame since it makes a good first impression.

  22. foobnix says:

    Why don’t you try foobnix player?

  23. kusan says:

    mpg123 is the best. It is fast, its sound quality is best.

    $find -name “*.mp3″ -exec mpg123 -C {} \;

    does the job for me. press ‘s’ / ‘space’ to pause, ‘f’ for next song, press ‘h’ for full list of control keys.

    mpg123 is the best and best and best.

    LINUX ROX!!
    USE LINUX, BE FREE!!

  24. @dbbolton: Damn right! QuodLibet is the one! It lets me organize my music the way I want, that is, the way it’s organized in my music folders, and it plays it! That’s all I ask of a music player and it does it superbly!

  25. Adrian says:

    Exaile forks great!

  26. maxiesdemon says:

    Just installed Audacious after trying (and failing) to get both Amarok and Rythmbox to recognise my (huge) collection of music in windows. Audacious plays it all….. nough said!

  27. petertc says:

    Rhythm Box doesn’t seem to handle podcast subscriptions?

    SongBird has worked best all around for podcasts and playing music on my computer but can’t deal with Sansa Clip.

    I would love one piece of software that does all three tasks.

  28. petertc says:

    I have to take it all back. SongBird for Linux has been dropped.

    Rhythm Box now doing podcasts just fine. Don’t know what changed….

  29. Pascal says:

    QuodLibet is my favourite as well, since I hate any overloaded stuff with features I don’t need…and it does the job it should do.

  30. Great post. I am installing Amarok right now. I usually use Rhythmbox but, since I upgraded my system to F14, my mouse locks up when I open Rhythmbox. :( Thank for the great post.

  31. rolabear says:

    Wheres Deadbeaf and Moc?

  32. David says:

    IMO Foobar2000 is the best on Windows and Gmusicbrowser on Linux

  33. Jip says:

    Thanks for the hints! Totem did it for me as long as I required no library management. To have it, I switched to Rythmbox, as it comes default with Linux Debian.

    Now I would like one to feed my iPod: any suggestion? (besides gtkPod)

  34. Try out Sayonara Player. I programmed it on my on to create a mighty alternative… ;)

    http://code.google.com/p/sayonara-player/

  35. Daniel says:

    I just installed Audacious, it looks very similar to WinAmp. Like it :D (both Winamp and Audacious)

  36. AlbedoAtoned says:

    For me, foobar2000 is the best on windows. I couldn’t use itunes or windows media player because my library was far to large and neither would just play my music because anything they played they tried to add to their library and would eventually choke. And around the time my old laptop died, foobar eventually started having some stuttering when I would sort artists or other higher up tags, but that was easily fixed by telling it not to queue songs without a double click, which stopped the lag of it trying to queue several hundred songs at once. Also Itunes thought I didn’t know the names of the artists and decided to change some things. One band would have all of it’s tags under artist changed to someone else simply because one of the songs was named the same as the band it was changed into. A couple thousand tags were changed and when I would correct it it would change it back, it was a disaster so I uninstalled itunes immediately.

    Now when I started using ubuntu, I tried the default banshee, but it couldn’t handle my library and I encountered a similar problem to itunes with it attempting to keep track of the songs I listened to which would eventually mean trouble. So then I tried Clementine and it was okay, but it seemed to want to eat all memory, which was strange because I had heard it was lightweight when it came to resources, could be my system was weak, but I doubt anybody would consider 2 GB of ram usage to be lightweight. Foobar was what I would consider lightweight and I had a very large library then and a very strict id3 tagging philosophy with many custom tags even. I eventually decided to use a player that would play my music when I wanted to, without the hassle of it managing a large library. My library was scattered across five folders, each around 10 GB in size, and none of them were in any kind of order, other than music in music 2 I got before music in music 3 and so on. Foobar managed my library with tags, but the tags were pretty much irrelevant now. So I organized my music. It took long enough, but it was worth it. It’s so much easier to manage it yourself once it’s all organized. It just takes a couple minutes to add folder structure and keep the music organized. And much less time worrying about if a program will sabotage your hardwork. And because it’s already organized, I don’t need a program to keep a library. I like Audacious. It CAN play all 11705 of my songs if I were to get it to. It doesn’t have a tree view or anything. I just select a folder I want to play. I can select an individual album to play or I can right click/menu an artist’s folder to play the whole thing and right click and play. Or drag and drop queue. And sound quality is superb.

  37. AlbedoAtoned says:

    Also I wanted to mention that Audacious has a gtk interface. It’s simple, looks like foobar’s starting interface, but cleaner. So if you don’t like winamp, or winamp like interfaces, you can use the gtk interface.

  38. Hallo!

    Es gibt eine neue Sayonara Version 0.3b
    Würde mich sehr über Tester freuen :)

    http://code.google.com/p/sayonara-player/

    Im Moment ist es noch eine Beta Version, aber die finale Version kommt bald raus.

    Viele Grüße,

    Lucio

  39. Hallo!

    There’s a new Sayonara version 0.3b
    I would be very happy if I could find some testers :)

    http://code.google.com/p/sayonara-player/

    Atm, it’s a beta version but the final version will be released very soon. Sorry about the German post. You can delete it..

    Thanks in advance!!

    Cheers,

    Lucio

  40. Makaka says:

    Have you tried sawanna player ?
    It’s simple but has everything you need.
    Check it out http://1oo1.org/sawanna-player
    It’s writtern in Java, but it’s not as bad as you might think. It works fast enough and stable

  41. michel says:

    You must try aTunes : to be discovered.
    http://www.atunes.org/
    Very nice (especially the full scrren mode )
    Manage large collections.

    I agree with you: Audacious is lighweight, very fast, and gets mosts of the really necessary features.

  42. Fredric says:

    No one mentions Clementine yet? It’s pretty solid.

  43. Phil Goetz says:

    Thanks, but this is useless to me, as I am not admin on my linux machine. I can’t install packages, and I can’t use makefiles because they inevitably try to install the software into system directories that I can’t write to. The only one I was able to install was the java-only version of mpg123, and that plays every file with so many clicks and pops that I can’t listen to it.

    Is there any linux MP3 player I can compile that provides config options to install and run EVERYTHING in a local directory?

  44. MrMysteryGuest says:

    one to add to the list is Sox (sound eXchange here: http://sox.sourceforge.net/ )

    you can play, record, convert between many different audio types,introduce effects and even lay tracks backwards not to mention play icecast streams if libshoutcast is installed – all from the konsole/terminal/tty

  45. bob b. says:

    Great list. I just became a full time Linux user and I really missed winamp. Your review of the xmms player was just what the doctor ordered. I now feel completely at home with my Linux box. Thanks !

  46. BinnyVA says:

    Happy to be of help :-)

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