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Audacious is a really nice skinnable modular music player which supports all the audio formats and features like volume normalization, cross-fade and more. It is a basic one playlist-oriented player; it is not database-driven unless you enable a search-plugin. It's made with high audio quality in mind and it supports all the audio formats.

Features and usability[edit | edit source]


Audacious is a "classic" music player like XMMS and good old WinAmp. You can add files, folders and folder trees to a playlist and load and save playlist. It's a playlist-oriented player and a good one at that.

There is no music database or music indexing unless you enable a plugin for it called "Search Tool". This tool can index a music collection do searches on it. The filtering capabilities are limited. Audacious is not made with this kind of use in mind; another audio player solution like Music Player Daemon+Cantata is better if a searchable music-database is what you're after.

Audacious will play all audio formats and network streams you encounter just fine thanks to a versatile collection of "Input Plugins".

Audacious has a "Winamp Classic Interface" mode and a GTK interface on most distributions. It is also possible to build a Qt5 interface.

Winamp mode[edit | edit source]

The Winamp interface can use classic Winamp skins and XMMS skins (XMMS skins were basically Winamp skins).


The Winamp mode is comfortable if you are used to this style of interface. It may not appeal to you if you are more familiar with phone-style "material interfaces".

GTK mode[edit | edit source]


The GTK interface is totally fine. It is strait forward and easy to use.

All the plugins[edit | edit source]

Audacious is a modular program and is, as such, made with a collection of plugins. There are special input plugins for a variety of audio formats like sid, s3m, mod and many more formats. The ffmpeg input plugin the important one since that one will play everything.

The "General" plugins include alarm, album art fetcher, desktop notification, LIRC remote control, playlist manager, a search tool

"Higher" Audio Quality[edit | edit source]

Audacious is made with high audio quality in mind. It supports audio output to PulseAudio, ALSA, OSS3, QtMultimedia, SDL, Jack and a file-writer. There are numerous audio effect plugins to "enhance" your experience.

In practice it sounds like any other audio player. Perhaps people with Golden Ears can notice the "better audio quality" from Audacious. Perhaps it really does sound the same as any other player playing the same files. The mystery remains unsolved.

There are many audio effects available. Crossfade is probably the most useful effect. There is a Crystalizer and Dynamic Range Compressor and Silence Removal and many more if you are particularly interested.

Secret audtool[edit | edit source]

Audacious comes with a command-line utility called audtool which will tell you all it's features if you run audtool help in a terminal. You can use this to start and stop playback, get information about the current song, manage playlists (add/remove/clear songs), set volume, change the equalizer and pretty much everything.

Verdict and conclusion[edit | edit source]

Audacious is a really nice player if you want a player with a playlist window you can drag files into from a file-manager (or add files or filter to with the + button). Audacious is probably the best stand-alone music player of this kind.'

It simply isn't viable if you on the other hand want a music player which keeps an index of a large music collection so you can search it by artists, genre, year, group. The built-in "Search Tool" plugin will let you make an index and search for a keyword (just keywords, not keyword filtered by anything). It can be used but it really doesn't compete with the combination of Music Player Daemon+Cantata or music player programs like Clementine which were made with database indexing and searching in mind.

Video players: SMPlayer | mpv | VLC | GNOME Videos

discontinued: Xine | GMPlayer | MPlayer

stand-alone audio players: Audacious | Elisa | GNOME Music

Music Player Daemon clients: GUI: Cantata | GMPC - ncurses: ncmpc - Command-line: mpc
Dead/Unmaintained: Sonata | KMP | Glurp