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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Music on Console : Midnight Commander styled Console based Music Player

Music on Console is a console based music player with interface inspired by the classic Mindnight Commander file manager, it allows you to play number of audio file format and yet is light on memory and is extremely simple to use.

Music on Console is written in C using POSIX system calls and uses a number of different libraries to decode different audio format, its interface is created using ncurses text based interface library.

Some of the supported audio formats include -
  • mp3
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • FLAC
  • WAV
  • Musepack
  • Speex
  • AIFF
There are couple of more audio formats supported by MOC, The major ones I have listed above.

The interface of MOC is divided into two panes, while one pane on the left has all the MP3 files in the directory , the left pane has playlist, which you can create dynamically or load existing m3u playlist, bottom of the screen has information about the file like running time, file length, codec information etc.

To install Music On Console issue the following command in the Terminal Window in Ubuntu, MOC is available in Ubuntu (official) repositories and hence installing MOC shouldn't be a problem.
sudo apt-get install moc

Once, you have installed Music On Console, launch the terminal window, chdir to directory having the mp3 files and issue
This should open up Music on Console,with all the audio files in the present directory, you can chose to play audio file from present directory or chdir to another directory, When you pick a file to play from the current directory, all the files from the present directory are played and there is no need to create separate playlist unlike some other players. MOC also supports gapless playback as it precaches part of file.

Music on Console

Additionally, you can chose different themes in MOC, you can do so by pressing keystroke "T" this should allow you to pick themes for MOC, you can install new themes for MOC as well.

Picking new theme for MOC, MOC with a new theme :)

Music On Console also supports playing from Internet Stream, I tried to play local FM station which broadcasts using AAC streams and I was able to play FM without any hitch, you would need to enter URL by pressing "o" keystroke in MOC and entering the URL to use this mode.

MOC supports creating playlist as well as using existing playlist, it supports m3u format.
There are other neat features in MOC, you can find out more about it through MOC website, additionally, you can learn about different keystrokes to use MOC by pressing "?" this should open the help menu, thus allowing you to find out different keystrokes and associated functions.

Information about different Keystrokes!

However, the mode that I liked the most was Server mode, you can switch to server mode by issuing "q" keystroke, in this mode, MOC runs in the background as a server and allows you to close Terminal, restart X server and the music will continue to play, I see this to be very useful, having ability to deattach logic to play music files from the interface is very very useful. Once you have activated server mode and deattached interface, you can launch interface again and attach interface with logic to play music files by starting MOC again in console "mocp" command.

Overall, I am very pleased with MOC, the server mode is brilliant to say the least, not having to deal with the Window or Terminal Window while playing songs from playlist is extremely useful, additionally, supporting wide variety of audio codecs and having ability to play online streaming audio, all these features makes it an excellent music player which can even replace some GUI based music players on Linux especially for people with computers low on resources.

Link -
Music on Console Website -

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (

For Linux on Desktop Blog ,
(C) 2011 , Ambuj Varshney


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