21 Best Music Players That Are Worth Trying On Linux

12. Nuvola Player

Nuvola Player is actually cross-platform cloud music integration for your desktop. This player is designed to have a very native look and feel but is a web app built up of components of a regular browser.

Nuvola supports Mpris v2 which means it has sound menu support in Linux Desktop Environments. Many services work with Nuvola which are:
Bandcamp, Deezer, Google Play Music, Jango, Mixcloud, Rdio, This is my Jam and Spotify and many services are being worked upon for current and future versions like Amazon cloud player, KEXP live stream, Synology Audio Station, Btracks.

Install Nuvola Player on Ubuntu

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nuvola-player-builders/stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install nuvolaplayer

Install Nuvola Player on Fedora

Add the following lines to tiliado-nuvolaplayer.repo file under software sources list at /etc/yum.repos.d/.

  1. Replace <codename> as fc23, fc22 or fc21 and <arch> with x86_64 for 64bit systems.
  2. Replace <component> with stable – Stable releases with new features and bug fixes.

Import PGP key.

# rpm --import http://keyserver.ubuntu.com/pks/lookup?search=0x40554B8FA5FE6F6A&op=get

Update package metadata cache.

# yum makecache fast
# dnf makecache fast

Finally, install the nuvolaplayer.

# yum install nuvolaplayer			[On Fedora systems]
# dnf install nuvolaplayer			[On Fedora 22+ versions]
Nuvola Player
Nuvola Player


13. Nightingale

Nightingale is a free, open-source, and cross-platform audio player written in C++ and released under GPLv2, MPL, and BSD Licenses for Windows, Linux and OS X. It can also be considered as a web browser based on the Songbird media player source code. It has more of a web browser type user interface and has the ability to play multiple audio formats like MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA, and Apple Lossless. Also, this player provides the ability to subscribe to mp3 blogs as playlists, build custom mixes, scan the computer for audio files and add them to the local library. One of the very unique features of it is collapsible GUI similar to iTunes and mini-player mode.

Install Nightingale Player on Ubuntu

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nightingaleteam/nightingale-release
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install nightingale
Nightingale Player
Nightingale Player

14. Decibel Audio Player

Decibel audio player is a free and open-source audio player which is written in GTK+ and meant for GNU/Linux. It is a simple yet very effective kind of music player. It has a very clean interface with all the required sets of features and no extras, but apart from that it is rich in feature-set and offers plenty of features.

Some of them include the full right to the user to disable the feature he doesn’t need which makes it probably one of the most memory-efficient ones, tagging of files or burning CDs. It has three modes which are: full, playlist, and min. Above all, it offers many features that are not directly available but, they are available via plug-ins.

Install Decibel Audio Player

# apt-get install decibel-audio-player	        [On Debian based systems] 
# yum install decibel-audio-player		[On RedHat based systems]
# dnf install decibel-audio-player		[On Fedora 22+ versions]
Decibel Audio Player
Decibel Audio Player

15. MPD

MPD is another music player that is also written in C++, released in February 2015, and available for Unix-like OS and Windows and released under GPL.

Apart from all music players discussed till now, this is a daemon server that runs in the background which needs a client for interaction. This music player once initiated, a daemon runs in the background which uses the database of audio files kept in-memory and any local client can playback audio files after connecting to the server via Sockets.

MPD can recognize a large number of audio file formats including Ogg, Vorbis, FLAC, Opus, WavPack, MP3, MOD, etc. This Daemon behavior of this music player server although takes UI feature from it, but provides it with various other features like Buffer support for playback, Seeking and Crossfading support, remotely controlling the daemon over the network, support for ALSA, OSS, JACK, MVP, PulseAudio, OS X, and Windows.

It also has clients who have a user interface but it is kept to a very simple one.

Install MPD Music Player

# apt-get install mpd	[On Debian based systems] 
# yum install mpd		[On RedHat based systems]
# dnf install mpd		[On Fedora 22+ versions]
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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