Top 10 Linux MP3 Players

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


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



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.


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… | Digg it | reddit | StumbleUpon

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

96 Comments to “Top 10 Linux MP3 Players”

  1. Thanks, This is a beautiful list of mp3 players.


  2. Ashish Mohta says:

    Excellent Post. Stumbled too. I was never able to play music till now. Thanks

  3. Gijs says:

    How about:

    Listen (also very Amarokish but for Gnome)

  4. BinnyVA says:

    @Shankar Ganesh, @Ashish Mohta, @Nikesh Jauhari

    Thanks for the suggestions – I have not heard about those. I will try them out and add it to this list.

  5. TenSigh says:

    Amarok is great when it doesn’t crash. Of course, it always crashes, so for me, Amarok kinda sucks. Great features, awesome interface, horrible stability.

    I also have used Rhythmbox. Its interface is a little clumsy.

    Hate to say it, but I haven’t found an mp3 player on Linux that’s as stable and easy to use as Winamp.

  6. Patrik says:

    cplay is my personal favorite, although it is more of a wrapper to mpg123

  7. Someone says:

    mpd = all of them

  8. Jonas says:

    Thanks for this nice list!

    But no matter how many players I try, I always switch back to Quod Libet. It’s very lightweight and yet has powerful library search, folder browsing capabilities, alarm, lullaby and much more stuff via plugins.

  9. gnome says:

    eww KDE user, get OUT

  10. James says:

    WTF??? Where is VLC???
    Light fast, plays practically anything…

  11. Jake says:

    Don’t forget Kaffiene. It is a simple media player that can be used to create playlists quite easily. You can even put music videos into the playlists if you please.

  12. Wong Bater says:

    amorak doesnt retrieve mp3 from a smb:// share — rythmbox does….

  13. William says:

    @James, the top of this post says that this is a list of audio players only, not audio/video players.

    Also, +1 for mpd!

  14. Sigmund Fraud says:

    I’m surprised Listen isn’t listed, it’s a fantastic Gtk player. Definitely worth trying out if you like amaroK.

  15. rpgfan3233 says:

    mpg321/mpg123 here.

    However, I can’t say anything bad about amarok. ^_^

  16. hendoc says:

    Great list, but you left out my number one. VLC player will do just about everything most of the above listed will do and more. It is easy to be unimpressed by it’s simple and tiny GUI, but it also plays videos in just about any format and will even make videos of your desktop just like the Istanbul application. The only thing it won’t do is surf the web like Songbird. It even plays .flv’s.

  17. t0rment says:

    so.. where’s mpd? I use mpd exclusively on my server and on my laptop with its beautiful client sonata ( mpd plays everything including streams and consumes not half the memory that all these heavy players need.

  18. Adam says:

    Wow amazing how far the linux desktop has come in the last 10 years.

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  20. Germán says:

    “..I even considered switching from amaroK to Audacious…”

    Just don’t do it :)

    If I have enough RAM available and my system it’s not overloaded, I use Amarok, if it’s, I use Audacious, but I want audio + video, of course that I use the SUPER VLC.

  21. N4news says:

    Using at work VCL, and Banshee at home – the best players I think =)
    But thanks for the list, may be will try out some other =)

  22. […] expected my MP3 player series will end with the last post – but the comments pointed to some other players. Two players stood out – so I decided that I will […]

  23. Nix says:

    Great list! Personally, I use Exaile and I must say I’m very satisfied!

  24. devnet says:

    Noticed quod libet is missing from your list. It really is a handy player for lightweight environments.

  25. Jesse says:

    Another interesting audio program is Mixxx, which has some interesting features not included in the mainstream players such as speed control and reverse. The program itself has a very basic UI and supports (.aiff, .mp3, .ogg, & .wav).

  26. Lyns says:

    I just know now that there are so many alternative…I used Exaile.

  27. says:

    10 MP3 mänijat Linuxi all…

    Erinevaid võimalusi Linuxi all MP3sid kuulata…

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  29. larvyde says:

    another vote for mpd here…

  30. […] If you are a casual desktop linux user with zero geek genes, stay away from this player. There are many other simpler players for […]

  31. […] second reason is that now that my series on Linux MP3 Players are over, I am going to take a small break from desktop posts and write on more […]

  32. […] Linux Mp3 Player you’re not on the right page. For a good list of choices, have a look at  Binny’s Top 10 Linux MP3 Players. there you’ll find the right player for you. Back to my player. Why in the world i’m using a […]

  33. nongeekguy says:

    Hey, great list. In the command line mp3 player category it could be include mp3bluster. I’m using it on my laptop and I just love it.

  34. bnalohim says:

    Nice list, I think you should consider trying quod libet.. if you have a big collection and if you need to orginize it, it will be the best option

  35. So many choices, so little time. I’ll give Amarok a go in preference to VLC.

  36. VLC is the greatest. I’ve tried a few of the others but always come back to VLC.

  37. I’ll be honest, I’d never even though of using my Linux machine for playing MP3s until I saw this article. I’m going to give Amarok a try now and see if it’s worth ditching iTunes.

  38. daniel says:

    I am looking for a mp3 player that just lets me open a directory and play the files inside it, with a minimal interface like PAUSE STOP PLAY on the system tray… I’ve tryed SoundBird (the closest to what I want in interface, but its “library” functions pisses me off), Audacious (it has a plugin to add an icon to the system tray, but it’s not enougth for me), and Rhythmbox (no comments…)
    Any suggestions?

  39. RSA online says:

    Audacious has a very clean and no-nonsense interface. Thanks for the list. I’ll check out a few.

  40. Bill says:

    Good choices. Also keep an eye out for Entertainer – front/backend structured media player written in python. Development seems to be coming along nicely.

  41. Lye's says:

    I agree with who claim VLC. It’s the best media player.

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  44. anonymous coward says:

    For the console lovers favoring vi over emacs, I can recommend cmus, available at

    cmus is a console based player with vi bindings.

    Been using it for half a year now and couldn’t be happier.

  45. […] I am not writing too much about this – considering the fact that I have already wrote a post about mpg123/mpg321 in the audio player series. […]

  46. Ken says:

    I’ve tried almost all (with the only exception being Songbird) of the media players listed here, and I can tell you Amarok would be my favorite if the eq was more easily fetched, Exaile would be my second if it would stop crashing in Ubuntu, and the winner? Audacious- it’s slick, strong and does the job with a great eq system and interface.

  47. FrenchFigaro says:

    I’m really disappointed that Audacious only got 5th place as for me it is one of the bests. As a simple player, it really beats XMMS I think. AmaroK, Exaile and Rythmbox are far more advanced since they have options Audacious hasn’t, like library support, podcast support and many other stuffs, but I find them really “RAM eating” to quote your own words. AmaroK and Exaile even freeze my computer, which is quite not what I would call an old beater.

    As for me, I use Audacious, and Rythmbox occasionnaly (when I’m in totally random mood, or podcast mood).

    Great post anyway.

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