Getting the service running¶
At one time, mpd was installed broken on Ubuntu. As of 20.04, it’s set up pretty well by default. I don’t know when this was fixed.
On Ubuntu 20.04, by default mpd is set up to run as a system service, so
that’s good. And the default
/etc/mpd.conf file tells it to drop root privileges
and run as the
As a system service, it’s much easier to use ALSA for output than Pulseaudio, and the default configuration does that.
To use ALSA, the
mpd user has to belong to the
and it does.
One thing I’ll change in
/etc/mpd.conf is to listen either on all
interfaces, or at least some besides localhost, so I can control it from
The default configuration uses the default ALSA hardware device. If
that’s not what you want, you can see
aplay -L to get a list of all the possible values
To play anything, you must first get it into the current playlist. Even if you just want to play one thing.
Commands for the playlist - unless otherwise specified, these operate on the current playlist:
List the playlist
Empty the playlist (stops playing if anything was playing)
Delete all playlist entries except the one currently playing
- del <number>
Delete one item from the playlist; 0 means the currently playing item, otherwise items are numbered starting at 1. (To see playlist with numbers, try
mpc playlist | cat -n. There’s probably a better way.)
- add <file>
Add an item from the database to the current playlist, at the end. <file> should be a path to the item, as shown by “mpc ls”.
- insert <file>
add, only it puts the item immediately after the currently playing item, so it’ll play next. If random mode is enabled, it’ll still be played next.
- mv|move <from> <to>
Move item at position <from> to be at position <to>.
Shuffle the items in the playlist
Commands for persistent playlists:
List all saved playlists
- playlist <playlist>
List items in playlist <playlist>
- save <name>
Save current playlist with name <name>.
- load <name>
Add contents of saved playlist named <name> to the current playlist. (You can use
clearfirst to empty the current playlist.)
- rm <name>
Delete database playlist named <name> from database.
Show what’s playing right now
- playlist [-f <format>]
List songs in current playlist. See “man mpc” for format string syntax.
- play [<position>]
Start playing the item at <position> in the playlist. Deafult is number 1.
Stop playing the current entry from the current playlist and start playing the next one.
Playing a playlist from the music database with mpc¶
Suppose you have a playlist in the database already - e.g. a file “/var/lib/mpd/playlists/WCPE.m3u” that you’ve created earlier.
Now you want to play that playlist.
$ mpc clear $ mpc lsplaylists WUNC WCPE Favorites $ mpc load WCPE loading: WCPE $ mpc play volume: 96% repeat: on random: off single: off consume: off loading: WCPE http://audio-ogg.ibiblio.org:8000/wcpe.ogg [playing] #1/1 0:00/0:00 (0%) volume: 96% repeat: on random: off single: off consume: off