15 Best Free and Open Source Terminal-Based 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.

Command-Line InterfaceTerminal-based applications are light on system resources (very useful on low specified machines), are often faster and more efficient than their graphical counterparts, they do not stop working when X/Wayland is restarted, and are perfect for scripting purposes. When designed well, terminal-based programs offer a surprisingly improvement in productivity. The applications are leaner, faster, easier to maintain, and remove the need to install a whole raft of libraries.

We recommend the following software. All of the programs featured in this article are open source.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source terminal music players

We cover the finest free and open source graphical music players in this roundup.

Let’s explore the 15 terminal-based music players. Click the links in the table below to read each review.

Terminal-Based Music Players
musikcubeSublime audio engine, library, player and server written in C++
tapThe lightest music player with gapless playback
TizoniaPowerful cloud music player based on OpenMAX IL 1.2 written in C and C++
cmusGreat set of features including the essential gapless playback
termusicMusic Player TUI written in Rust
kewMusic player written in C
spectrumSimple and intuitive music player for tech enthusiasts
ncmpcFrugal Music Player Daemon client
ncmpyMusic Player Daemon client
MOCDesigned to be powerful and easy to use
RMuPSimple music player lacking gapless playback
SirenExtremely frugal with system resources
grumpCLI audio player written in Go
GomuAnother Go music player
RustPlayerAudio and radio player written in Rust

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

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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