Cantata – Feature-rich client for Music Player Daemon

Last Updated on September 1, 2020

In operation

If you’ve ever used the Rhythmbox music player, you’ll be familiar with Cantata’s interface. It’s elegantly, and thoughtfully laid out.

At the top are playback controls, album cover, a progress bar, volume control, information button, and a settings button (depicted by three horizontal bars). On the left, there are buttons to manage your library, folders, playlists, music sources, and access to a powerful search function. In the image below, the centre is occupied by a scrolling tree view of the artists and albums. The right-most panel hosts the current playlist. But these can be configured to your preference.


Cantata offers standard playlists, dynamically generated playlists, and rules based playlists. There’s support for playlists stored in the MPD server.

Click the album cover, and you’ll be taken to the compact view, as illustrated below.


Next page: Page 3 – Song Information

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Song Information
Page 4 – Internet Streaming
Page 5 – Other Features
Page 6 – Configuration Options
Page 7 – Summary

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2 years ago

It fails at the first page. What the hell do I put for ‘host’ when I want my own music on my own machine? Never been asked before on any music program.

Quarmby Resistance
Quarmby Resistance
1 year ago

The MPD server can run in two “connection” type modes – either a socket (eg /run/mpd/mpd.socket) [restricts connections to access permissions on socket and directory] or via a TCP/IP port associated with the IP of localhost ( [restricts connections to only local users) or with the IP of the network interface (to allow remote connections).

If using the socket approach and systemd, MPD will stay off until activated by a connection on the socket — this is useful if you need mpd to be available but not always running. In this case you enter the patht to the socket in the Cantata input field rather than a host name and you do not need a password. It is not immediately obvious that a path name rather than a host name can be a valid entry.

Which method for connection is determined by the value of the “bind_to_address” parameter in the MPD configuration file, either the path to the socket or the IP address (or associated host name) of the interface to use.

And now the really bad, devastating, grim news for all afficianados of Cantata.

Cantata is DEAD and will become subject to bitrot unless somebody else is prepeared to steo up tot he plate.

From the Canata page on Github

commit af04723c0ca7854df53562ed8226fd324d6a23cd

March 2nd, 2022

After 10 years, development of Cantata has now ceased, and this repository is read-only. v2.5.0 is the last released version.

1 year ago

It’s been on the cards for years. The sole developer of Cantata openly stated he hasn’t used this software for 4 years, and it’s been in maintenance mode for ages.

That’s the nature of open source software. A lot of software fades away particularly when there is only one person coding the project.

The good open source software can sometimes be forked and development continues. If not, the software will probably carry on working for some time.