26 Best Free and Open Source Music Players

There’s a huge raft of free and open source music software available on the Linux platform which is both mature and sophisticated. Linux has many music tools which offer enhanced functionality and integration with internet music services. With most desktop environments having several audio players, together with cross-platform applications, integrated media players, there is a plethora of music players to choose from.

Like many types of software, the selection of a favorite music player is, to some extent, dependent on personal preferences. Nevertheless, we are confident that the applications featured in this article represent the most appealing music players.

All music libraries are different, and the right open source music player can make a world of difference – especially if you’ve a large collection.

If you’re still using a general purpose media player, you’re missing out on a wealth of features that can make organizing, expanding and enjoying your music a walk in the park.

Here’s our recommendations. We’ve confined this article to music players sporting a graphical user interface. We cover console based music players in this article.

Ratings chart for best free and open source graphical music players

In our view, Tauon Music Box is the finest open source graphical music player available for Linux. It’s probably the most underrated program in the whole gamut of open source software.

All of the programs featured in this article are open source.

Let’s explore the 26 music players. For each program we’ve written a detailed review or compiled a dedicated page. Either way, you’ll get a full description with an in-depth analysis of each program’s features, screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Music Players
Tauon Music BoxPython-based music player that's an absolute gem
CantataFeature-rich client for Music Player Daemon
StrawberryMusic player and collection organizer originally forked from Clementine
RhythmboxIntegrated music management application, originally inspired by iTunes
AudaciousXMMS-like skinnable player
Sayonara PlayerSmall, clear and fast music player written in C++
AmarokKDE audio player offering a wealth of features, yet intuitive to use
ExaileMusic player aiming to be similar to KDE's Amarok, but for GTK+
DeaDBeeFBasic and simple player with a small footprint.
ClementineModern music player and library organiser. Inspired by Amarok
LollypopModern music player for GNOME
YarockQt music player with browsing based on cover art
MusiqueSmall but sophisticated graphical music player
Quod LibetGTK+-based music management program
gmusicbrowserMusic jukebox for large collections
GogglesMMPolished music collection manager and player
AqualungAdvanced, gapless Gtk2-based audio player
qoobA foobar-like music player
GNOME MusicSimple music player
PraghaDistinguished and resplendent open source music player
Deepin MusicVisually attractive and simple music player
MusicalypseMusic player and server built with Web technologies
MelodyMusic player designed for elementary OS
ElisaSimple music player developed by the KDE community
QMPlay2Video and audio player which can play most formats and codecs
TomahawkQt-based music player

A few of the music players are not in active development including the wonderful Cantata.

There are many other good music players that didn’t quite meet our stringent requirements. Examples of music players that narrowly missed out (in no particular order) are JuK, Museeks, Nulloy, Banshee, and Qmmp.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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2 years ago

I’m surprised you missed ‘Silverjuke’.

2 years ago

You did not mention VLC.

On the other hand, you mentioned Amarok but Amarok is no longer available nor supported for KDE5. Amarok has not been ported to Qt5 nor to Plasma5.

Beston Group
Beston Group
9 months ago

There are also fun things to try. I love it.