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Audio Players - A guide to the best pure sound players for Linux

There are a million of small audio players available for Linux, yet none of them seem to be perfect. The advanced, yet user friendly KDE player Amarok is a good choice for most users. There are plenty of other excellent alternatives, like the classic XMMS. It is simple, old-fashion and still the most used audio player.


  1. Amarok
  2. Juk
  3. Alsaplayer
  4. xmms
  5. beep-media-player
  6. liteamp
  7. audio players are becoming obsolete


The quality of some of the all-in-one audio/video players and the high number of music-videos available on p2p are slowly going to put the pure audio players in the history books. But you may find they still serve a purpose, they do their job incredibly well.

These players are for pure audio only.

1. Amarok

Amarok is a very nice media-player for KDE. It can also be used with Gnome and gstreamer.

Amarok has some very advanced playlist and music collection management tools.

Read the Amarok 1.1 Review for more details.

2. Juk

Juk is unique in the way it lets you organize your files in multiple playlists in a simple and user friendly yet powerfull way.

  • Idiot-proof girl/child-friendly gui
  • Supports most audio formats (ogg/mp3)
  • Does not support .mod and .s3m
  • Can be minimized with the system tray
  • For KDE - Part of kdemultimedia 3.2. Packages for previous versions of KDE are available seperately.

http://www.slackorama.net/oss/juk/

3. Alsaplayer

The great thing about alsaplayer is how easy you can run multiple instances of it, all with their buildt-in volume (does not affect the main volume or pcm) mean you can use two alsaplayers to do basic dj-like mixing.

Alsaplayer is also unique to having something called pitch control: You can play songs - or + 400% the original speed.

  • Supports all audio formats (ogg/mp3/mod/s3m/wmv)
  • Comes with a few lame scopes and not really eye candy but still sort of cool effects
  • Playlist (supports drag and drop from konqueror/rox)
  • Does not have skin (or any bloated gui) support

    http://alsaplayer.sourceforge.net/

4. xmms

This is the most commonly used audio player for linux. It's great. It's simple, yet has all the features you expect. Tons of good plugins are available, from great eye-candy to features like alarm clock for xmms.

View more screenshots
  • Supports all audio formats using plugins (ogg/mp3/mod/s3m/wmv)
  • Lots of nice skins available
  • Homepage: http://www.xmms.org/

5. beep-media-player

beep-media-player is a Gnome/GTK2 audio player with all the usual features. It supports all the common audio formats (including .mod/.s3m), skins and additional plugins.

XMMS users will feel right at home, the programs are virtually identical except for two issues:

View more screenshots

6. liteamp

liteamp is what the name claims: It is a very light and simple ogg and mp3 player with a playlist. liteamp does not have any fancy features, but with a source of only 233 kB (compressed, anyway) you can't expect the whole world.

http://liteamp.kldp.net/

7. audio players are becoming obsolete

Pure audio players like xmms and alsaplayer will become a thing of the past. Sure, they do their job, but with xine you can add anything, being audio or video, to your playlist. You even get a fancy eye-friendly goom window when playing audiofiles.

Juk is by far the best audio player, because the way of organizing files is super user friendly and practical.

MultimediaPlayers that do not belong on this page:

  • kmplayer
  • mplayer
  • xine
  • noatun
  • totem

Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Øyvind Sæther. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ["GNU Free Documentation License" http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html].


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