21 Best Music Players That Are Worth Trying On Linux

16. Audacious

Primarily designed for POSIX-compatible platforms like Linux with added support to Windows, Audacious is an open-source audio player and default music player for Lubuntu and Ubuntu Studio. It is entirely written in C++ with the latest version being 3.4 released in June 2013.

Audacious is one of the players with a wide variety of features, most of which are available through external plugins namely: Decoder, Transport, Output, Effect plugin, etc. Apart from this, it has support for a wide variety of codecs namely few of which are: Mp3, FLAC, Wavpac, TTA, Shorten, MIDI, etc.

It has full support for Winamp 2 skins and with all skins usually rendered in png format, it allows users to render the skins adjusting the RGB color balance by themselves. Even after being a standalone player, it accepts connections from client software like Conky.

Install Audacious Music Player

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

17. Rhythmbox

Written in C and released for Unix like systems like BSD, GNU/Linux, and Solaris, Rhythmbox is an audio player that plays and helps organize digital music. It is a default music player for Ubuntu Linux system. Works well under the GNOME desktop environment with the GStreamer media framework.

With a good looking user interface, Rhythmbox provides various features like gapless playback, Last.fm support through which it can stream online music, Audio CD burning, Music importing. It can integrate into a countless number of platforms very efficiently. Versions of Rhythmbox above 0.10.0 support DAAP sharing. Additionally, it uses udev subsystem of Linux to detect the device chosen for playing music.

Install Rhythmbox Music Player

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

18. DeaDBeeF

Written in C, DeaDBeeF is a lightweight but powerful music player released under GPLv2 for Linux and Android. Most of the external plugins supported by DeaDBeeF are written in C++ and interface uses GTK2.

One of the major advantages it holds above many audio players is low memory consumption. It can play a large number of formats including but not limited to mp3, Ogg, Wav, m4a, etc.

Other notable features include Online and Offline streaming of music, 18-band equalizer support, gapless playback, Cuesheet support, Last.fm support etc.

Install DeadBeeF Music Player

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

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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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  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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