Cantata – Feature-rich client for Music Player Daemon


Cantata is simply an amazing music player. It sports bags of features, an excellent and intuitive interface, it’s really easy to use, but at the same time very powerful. It’s lightening fast in operation. And unlike some of the music players I’ve recently covered, there’s gapless playback which I consider makes or breaks a music player.

By caching the music library, the software creates a proper hierarchy of artists and albums, and handles compilation albums competently.

Many music players take a long time to compile their music database. This isn’t the case with Cantata. Another tick!

Given what’s on offer, the software is fairly frugal with system resources. ps_mem reports it uses about 160MB of RAM.

Download Cantata today. You definitely won’t regret it.

Please be aware that the developer no longer uses Cantata as he’s moved away from MPD to Logitech Media Server (LMS). He’s concentrating development on a material skin for LMS, and so Cantata is in maintenance mode only.  In light of this, I’ll be exploring alternative MPD clients in forthcoming articles.

Support: README
Developer: Craig Drummond and contributors
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

Cantata is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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
10 months 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.

10 months 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.