First, you’ll want to add your music tracks to the library. The easiest way is to navigate from the library view to the browser view with a 5 key press. Find and select the directory where your tracks are stored, and press the a key. Go back to the library view with a 1 key press and you’ll see your music library being added. The software keeps its database at ~/.config/cmus/lib.pl.
cmus has good support for different audio formats. There’s support for Ogg Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, Opus, Musepack, WavPack, WAV, AAC, MP4, audio CD. And any format supported by ffmpeg is supported. These include WMA, APE, MKA, TTA, and SHN. There’s also support for BASS.
In my book, any music player must have gapless playback. Gapless playback is the uninterrupted playback of consecutive audio tracks, such that relative time distances in the original audio source are preserved over track boundaries on playback. It’s essential if you listen to classical, electronic music, concept albums, and progressive rock. There’s a few Linux music players that don’t offer gapless playback. cmus offers good support gapless playback.
There’s also support for ReplayGain. This normalizes loudness for individual tracks or albums, avoiding the issue of manually adjust volume levels between tracks when playing audio files from albums that have been mastered at different loudness levels.
cmus also has MP3 and Ogg streaming.
cmus uses vi-like keybindings. Simple commands require a single key press, while complex directives like adding music from a directory requires more typing.