kew – command-line music player

I previously published a review of cue v1.0.2, a command-line music player with gapless playback. The software has recently been renamed kew. The developer has been beavering away with important feature additions. In light of developments, I’ve reevaluated the software and will take you through what’s new.

This article should be read together with my review of cue v1.0.2.


I previously tested kew using the Manjaro distribution. But we’ve decided to revert back to Ubuntu for most reviews, so I’ve evaluated kew with Ubuntu 23.10, the current release for this distro.

First, install the dependencies. On Ubuntu they are installed with apt, a package manager for Debian-based distros.

$ sudo apt install ffmpeg libfftw3-dev libopus-dev libopusfile-dev libvorbis-dev git gcc make libchafa-dev libfreeimage-dev libavformat-dev libglib2.0-dev

Clone the project’s GitHub repository with the command:

$ git clone

Change into the newly created directory:

$ cd kew

Compile the source code using make:

$ make

And install the software with the command:

$ sudo make install

Installing kew

As a once-only operation, you need to tell kew where your music directory is stored. For example, if your music is stored in the directory /home/luke/Music, use the command:

$ kew path "/home/luke/Music"

This command creates a configuration file kewrc in ~/.config/. This is a plain-text file, so you can change the Music path by editing the first line of that file, or just re-run the kew path command with an alternative path. You may also wish to edit this file. For example, I’m not a fan of visualizers, so I usually disable that functionality by editing kewrc (although for testing purposes I left it enabled).

One thing worth remembering when using make is that the -j flag instructs the software to compile in parallel. Therefore the process uses more than only 1 CPU core. This speeds up compilation.

For example, running make took 16.198 seconds to compile the source code on our test machine. With make -j 6 this reduced to 10.083 seconds, and with make -j 12 to 9.624 seconds. Granted, there aren’t any really significant saving for kew, but using the -j flag can make a huge difference when compiling larger programs. Just something to remember.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation and Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction and Installation
Page 2 – In Operation and Summary

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