music player

Author:Ken Kundert <>
Manual section:1


mp [ options ] args ...


mp plays any music files given on its command line. If either a play list (m3u file) or a directory is given, it will be recursively searched for music files, which will be added to the list of songs to be played.

Currently only .flac, .mp3, .ogg and .wav music files and simple .m3u play lists are supported.

Use Ctrl-Z to pause and ‘fg’ to continue. Use Ctrl-C when running to kill.


-q, --quiet Do not print name of the music file being played.
-r, --repeat Repeat songs.
-s, --shuffle Shuffle songs. If combined with repeat, the songs will be shuffled before each repeat.
-p <filename.m3u>, --playlist <filename.m3u>
 Generate a playlist from the music specified rather than play the music.

If invoked with no arguments or options mp will repeat the session that was previously run in the same directory, skipping any songs that had already been played.

The artist and title of the currently playing song is available from ~/.nowplaying.

If you would like to be able to control the music player from the keyboard without direct access to the program, consider binding keys to the following commands:

Action Suggested Key Command
pause XF86AudioStop killall -STOP mp
continue XF86AudioPlay killall -CONT mp
start   cd ~/media/music && mp &
stop   killall -INT mp

This assumes that you have your music stored in ~/media/music and that you cd to that directory initially and run mp with your choice of music files and settings. Once you have done that you control mp remotely with the above commands.

A simple way to listen to your favorite music is to cd to you music directory and run mp -p favorites.m3u *, then edit that file and delete any songs you not interested in hearing. Then run ‘mp -r -s favorite.m3u’. Or, if that results is a file that is just too big to manage easily, you can do the same in each of the subdirectories, and then run mp -r -s */favorites.m3u to play your music.