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14 of the Best Free Console Based Linux Multimedia Apps

14 of the Best Free Console Based Linux Multimedia Apps

The vast majority of Linux users would never be satisfied without access to a graphical user interface. However, even in 2009 there remain many reasons why console based applications can be extremely desirable. Although console applications are very useful for updating, configuring, and repairing a system, their benefits are not only confined to system administration. Console based applications are light on system resources (very useful on low spec machines), can be faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X needs to be restarted, and are great for scripting purposes.

The popularity of console based applications has even led some developers to develop 'console-only' Linux distributions. One example is INX, a distro based on Ubuntu but provides no GNOME, KDE, XFCE, or indeed any graphical 'X' applications.

So what can users do with the command-line? There is a wide range of console based software which performs the same or similar functions to their graphical equivalents, even in the field of multimedia.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 14 high quality console based free Linux multimedia software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wishes to revel in the power of the command-line.

Now, let's explore the 14 multimedia applications at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshot, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Console Multimedia Software
Music on Console Full-screen audio player designed to be powerful and easy to use
CMus Lightweight ncurses audio player
mp3blaster Full-screen console mp3 and Ogg Vorbis player
SoX Swiss army knife of sound processing
RipIT Text based audio cd ripper
cdparanoia Audio extraction tool for sampling CDs
LAME LAME Ain't an MP3 Encoder
transcode Utility to encode raw video/audio streams
mencoder MPlayer's Movie Encoder
hpodder Tool to scan and download podcasts
Ecasound Multitrack-capable audio recorder and effect processor
get_iplayer Search, index, download/stream BBC/ITV/Hulu.com TV and radio
MPlayer Multimedia player
FFmpeg Multimedia player, server and encoder

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Last Updated Saturday, March 29 2014 @ 12:34 PM EST


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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