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qmmp in skin mode playing "Independence Movement Day" by DIA
qmmp in skin mode playing
"Independence Movement Day" by DIA
Developer(s)The Russian(s)
(Ilya Kotov)
Stable release
September 19, 2020; 15 months ago (2020-09-19)
Written inFour space indented C++[1]
Operating systemLinux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Haiku, Windows
TypeMusic Player
LicenseGNU GPL v2

qmmp is a very nice playlist-based media player with support for skins, including those made for old-school programs like xmms and Winamp. It is modular and plugin-based and there are plugins for decoding all the audio formats.

There's numerous plugins available for all sorts of interesting functionality like stream browsing, lyrics, cover management and a lot more. There are output plugins for ALSA, JACK, PulseAudio, Qt Multimedia and a icecast plugin for streaming. Only one output plugin can be used at once, you can't listen to something locally and stream (unless you simply tune into your own stream with another program).

Features And Usability

qmmp is really easy to use if you are used to playlist-based media players. There's a playlist. You can add files to it by either dragging them from a file manager or by using it's built-in Qt file picker to add single files or directories. You can add a top-level directory and have it add all sub-directories and files in an entire tree.

Qmmp 1.4.1 with KGP Neoclassic skin.jpg
Qmmp 1.4.1 with the "KGP Neoclassic" skin.

There's not that much more to it. There's buttons for stop and play, an equalizer and, if you enable them, plugins for visualization with fancy effects and lot more. There are lots and lots of plugins available.

qmmp has two interface plugins: One supports Winamp/xmmp style skins and the other is a rather dull and less interesting Qt interface. It works, it's fine, and you can use all the features in the Qt interface. It's just not as appealing as the skinned interface. That is specially true if you're a boomer and you used something called "Winamp" on Windows 98 in your youth.

All the audio formats are supported. If it's some kind of audio file then qmmp can play it - even if it's some old and rare format like .mod.

qmmp can play video too. Videos are shown in a seperate picture with nothing but the video. There's no controls in that window. Video can be controlled by the main window as if it was a regular audio file. This is useful if you want to add music videos to a playlist with mostly pure audio files.

There is no searchable database or anything like that, qmmp is purely playlist-based player. Look at alternatives like Strawberry or Elisa if you want a player that indexes your music and makes it available in a searchable database.

qmmp is highly configurable. You can configure what plugins to use, what keyboard shortcuts you want, what skin you want, if you want to use a proxy or not, what fonts are used and more. The defaults are very good, you do not need to change anything, but you do have the freedom to make it your own if you so please.

High-DPI Support

qmmp is, by default, extremely tiny on a 4K monitor. It does support a "double size" mode which, as the name implies, doubles it's size. The built-in 2x view is as large as it goes. qmmp does not support any 3x or 4x scaling.

qmmp is a Qt application so it does scale if you use the QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS. You can set it to double it's size and use QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS=2 to double it again.

Audio Quality

We are not audiophile audio scientist so we can't really make an educated statement about the audio quality. It sounds fine. Sunmi's Siren sounds like it does in any other audio player. Perhaps audio scientist can hear a difference between qmmp and other players. It seems to sound as good as high quality FLAC files should sound.

Verdict And Conclusion

Qmmp 1.4.1 playing Weki Meki Butterfly.jpg
qmmp playing "Butterfly" by Weki Meki.

qmmp is overall a very nice playlist-based player. If that's what you want then qmmp may be for you. It has plugins for everything, it plays everything, it's highly configurable and it's generally got all the bases covered except for a music database and that kind of functionality. It's great for what it is: A pure playlist-oriented music player.


You can acquire it using your distributions package manager or a graphical front-end for package managers like Plasma Discover. All the Linux distribution have qmmp in the repositories and so does the Haiki, FreeBSD and NetBSD. The more immediate important installation step is therefore the acquisition of skins. There is, luckily, a very large package you can easily acquire:

mkdir -p $HOME/.qmmp/skins
cd $HOME/.qmmp/skins
wget -q http://qmmp.ylsoftware.com/files/skins/Skins_All_in_One.zip
unzip Skins_All_in_One.zip 
mv Skins_All_in_One/* .
rmdir Skins_All_in_One/
# You may want to keep the .zip for some reason.
# rm Skins_All_in_One.zip

Skins appear in Settings ▸ Appearance once they are installed. Make sure you have set user interface to "Skinned" under Settings ▸ Plugins ▸ User Interfaces, the "Simple" Qt interface does not support skins.


Stand-alone music players:

Program rating framework music collection database
Audacious Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt5 or GTK2 Dialog-cancel.svg
DeaDBeeF Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg GTK Dialog-cancel.svg
Elisa Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg Qt/KDE Dialog-ok.svg
Exaile Sad hyemi2.jpgSad hyemi2.jpg GTK Dialog-ok.svg
GNOME Music Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg GTK/GNOME Dialog-ok.svg
Strawberry Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt Dialog-ok.svg
qmmp Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt Dialog-cancel.svg

discontinued / abandoned / bankrupt & finished: Clementine | Amarok

Music Player Daemon clients:
mpd is a database-oriented music player daemon which can be controlled by numerous front-end programs.

Program rating framework type
Cantata Yeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpgYeonjung-happy.jpg Qt X11
GMPC Hyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpgHyuna-approves.jpg GTK X11
mpc Frustrated stallman cropped.jpg Command-line terminal
ncmpc Kim.Se-jeong.confused.jpgKim.Se-jeong.confused.jpgKim.Se-jeong.confused.jpg ncurses terminal
xfmpc Sad hyemi2.jpgSad hyemi2.jpg GTK/Xfce X11

discontinued / abandoned / bankrupt & finished: Sonata | KMP | Glurp

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