21 Best Music Players That Are Worth Trying On Linux

Some may describe it as their passion, while some may consider it as their stress reliever, some may consider it as a part of their daily life but in every form listening to music has become an undetachable part of our lives. Music plays different roles in our lives.

Best Linux Music Players
21 Best Linux Music Players

Sometimes it makes us enjoy with enthusiasm, sometimes it makes us feel pleasant and good, sometimes it makes us remember someone or some feel-good moments of our past. Listening to music has sustained generations, but the medium has changed.

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Earlier people relied on radio to listen to music, while the present generation has iPods, smartphones, PC, and other gadgets to listen to music. Coming to PC’s we have dedicated software’s called Music Players to play our choice of song or playlist for us.

While most generation has smartphones, iPods to listen to music, these Software’s are also a common source to listen to music which suits the mood for people who spent hours working on PC’s and Laptop’s and find it convenient to listen using their daily friend.

Thus, even Music Players form an important medium for countless crowd comprising students, professionals, and other citizens.

Music Players and Linux

Growth of Linux as an accepted Operating System in the Market was not so much a few decades back, but the flourishment of this Open Source Industry in the IT Market from the past few years has opened tremendous opportunities for a huge crowd of professionals who wanted to contribute to this industry with their work.

One such opportunity struck in the very late twentieth century with the need for Music Player on Linux. Since then many Music Players have been added to various Linux distributions, some as default and some as externally downloadable. Many companies, professionals have made such Music Players and have added to the repository.

Read Also: The 13 Best Music Players for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

The main aim for any Music Player is to support all the file formats of audio files which are supported by Windows as well as Linux and additionally support online music streaming which is trending nowadays.

21 Best Music Players on Linux Till Date

Below we list some of the best Music Players created on Linux to date. A Music Player can be characterized as best after considering the following features: formats supported, memory consumption, online or offline streaming of music or both, user interface design, feature-set.

Some of the music players highlighted below guarantee all the above factors while some guarantee only some factors which are the main criteria for ranking them.

1. Amarok

Amarok is a cross-platform open-source software written in C++ (Qt) and released under GNU Public License.

Originally started by Mark Kretschmann as an effort to improve xmms, this software was initially named as amaroK after the name of wolf and later changed to Amarok.

It can play media files in various formats but not limited to FLAC, Ogg, Mp3, AAC, Musepack, etc. Apart from playing offline collection, it can stream online music integrating with various online services like Magnatune, Jamendo, MP3tunes, Last.fm, and Shoutcast.

Amarok provides apart from basic services, few advanced features like fetching, transferring music to or from digital music players, moodbar support, and dynamic playlist support, etc.

Install Amarok

Amarok can be easily installed by using apt-get or yum package manager as shown:

# apt-get install amarok	[On Debian based systems] 
# yum install amarok		[On RedHat based systems]
# dnf install amarok		[On Fedora 22+ versions]
Preview: Amarok Player
Preview: Amarok Player

2. Clementine

Released in February 2010, Clementine is also a cross-platform software that aimed to solve criticism of many people against the transition of Amarok from version 1.4 to 2.

It is a port of Amarok version 1.4 to Qt4 and Gstreamer multimedia framework. It is also written in C++ (Qt) framework released under the GNU General Public License.

With features almost same as of Amarok, it provides few extra functionalities like Remote Control using Android device, Wii Remote, MPRIS or command-line interface.

Install Clementine

Clementine can be easily installed by using apt-get or yum package manager as shown:

# apt-get install clementine	        [On Debian based systems] 
# yum install clementine		[On RedHat based systems]
# dnf install clementine		[On Fedora 22+ versions]
Clementine Music Player
Clementine Music Player

3. Tomahawk

Tomahawk is a cross-platform open-source music player released in March 2011. It is also written entirely in C++ (Qt) and released under GNU General Public License.

Tomahawk is a light-weight software and focuses on the aggregation of music from all the sources including local, network, and streaming services. Talking of UI, it has iTunes like interface.

Also, it provides access to various music services like Spotify, Youtube, Jamendo, Grooveshark, etc through various externally downloadable plug-ins. Like the above music players, it also offers a basic feature-set.

Install Tomahawk

# apt-get install tomahawk	[On Debian based systems] 
# yum install tomahawk		[On RedHat based systems]
# dnf install tomahawk		[On Fedora 22+ versions]
Tomahawk Music Player
Tomahawk Music Player
Gunjit Khera
Currently a Computer Science student and a geek when it comes to Operating System and its concepts. Have 1+ years of experience in Linux and currently doing a research on its internals along with developing applications for Linux on python and C.

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32 thoughts on “21 Best Music Players That Are Worth Trying On Linux”

  1. Does any of these players have a “Quick sort and trash” functionality or can be modified to have one? The behavior I want ideally after activating “Quick sort and trash” mode with a button or script:

    • Playback of the file in playlist starts at 10-20% position. After realizing what I want to do with that file I press one of the custom sorting keys.
    • The player tags the file according to the configured value in settings for that custom key and jumps to the next file (to10-20% position).

    If the value is “delete” then it deletes the file. Alternatively, the player has a “delete all files with a certain tag” option that can have a confirmation prompt.

    I thought that Cmus could be persuaded to such behavior with Autokey but it does not seem to have any file modification functionality despite being a command-line tool.

    Quod Libet with Autokey might work, but it requires calling up a context menu to create a tag, no hotkey possible, which makes it slow and unreliable.

  2. Thanks for this! I was having a rough time finding a music player that had a nice GUI and could handle 100GB of mainly mp3s (with maybe a dozen FLAC albums). Clementine is working fantastically, although the web site and Facebook community haven’t been updated since v1.3/1996.

  3. I’m surprised mpg123 didn’t make the list. It’s a terminal/console based player but unlike some that use ncurses or are a TUI, mpg123 is a command line mp3 player along the lines of aplay/play. It’s low overhead is why I like it. Simply run it by issuing: mpg123 and it plays it. You can loop the file or use wild card as in *.mp3 for all mp3 files or use a file @ for a playlist.

  4. Thank you for this useful comparison! I find that many players do not run on ARM platforms (e.g. Pi). What players would be suitable for ARM and provide a dsp (e.g. resampler)? I did quite some research myself but to no avail yet…

    Hope you can help.

  5. One of the things that make Quod Libet really stand out is that it does not restrict you to using the official tag keys, something I’ve always been really annoyed with in almost every other player.

    You can make up whatever tags you like with QL, and since it’s interface is built dynamically (programmed by you in a simple markup language which can show info conditionally), it can look like this: http://imgur.com/5FrtwG0

  6. Thanks for introducing to Tomahawk! This music player rocks! Fast start-up, modern and easy UI, many options. My favorite.

    • I love Gnome Music UI, but I don’t like how restrictive it is with options and that took me to this article: doesn’t allow many (or any) customization options, you’re limited to the Music folder, you can’t open files from Nautilus directly and you can’t even set it up as the default app for audio.

      Hopefully I’ll find a replacement among this list, which is by far the most complete I’ve seen in a while, thanks tecmint for the great article :)

  7. I am amazed not one talks about GMUSICBROWSER . It is simply the best music player on linux no questions about it. I am a music enthusiast and have been looking for a better music player and gmusicbrowser is the only one which handles all fine types and gives out best music quality.


    • @Zulfiqar,
      Thanks for sharing about GMUSICBROWSER, to be fact never heard about this music player, will include to the list as per your suggestions…

    • Yeh, GMUSICBROWSER is ace! So customizable! That used to be my go-to browser but over the last year I’ve mainly been using Clementine.

    • Banshee is wonderful unless; You have a large music collection, then it gets unstable and crashes. Does not play well with the Cinnamon desk top.

  8. mplayer has been the default audio/video player for me for years. The console version is a no non-sense, simple and pretty efficient player. Also, though not a pure audio music player, VLC deserves a mention here because of the rich format support. CMUS looks interesting though. Thanks for sharing. Great list by the way.

    • @Andrrew,
      Thanks for notifying about the YAROCK player, we’ve included in the list as per your suggestions, now the list grown to 21 Best Music Players, we will keep adding new music players to this list as per user requests..

  9. But what about server variant?
    MPD / Mopidy is great, it has android remote and it can be run withou gui. There is a problematic youtube support, but in fact its all functional.
    Does anyone know a better server variant? youtube support, remote apk support, without gui.


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