Difference between revisions of "Music Player Daemon/Tips and tricks"

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[[Category:Audio/Video (English)]]
[[Category:Audio/Video (English)]]
[[Category:Daemons and system services (English)]]
[[Category:Daemons and system services]]
Go back to [[Music Player Daemon]].
Go back to [[Music Player Daemon]].

Revision as of 14:11, 23 April 2012

Go back to Music Player Daemon.

Tips and Tricks


MPD doesn't provide a tool to preserve the file structure of your audio files. Check out beets.

Last.fm scrobbling

To scrobble your songs to Last.fm when using MPD, there are several possibilities.


mpdscribble is a daemon, available in the "community" repository (if you prefer, the "git" version is available in the AUR). This is arguably the best alternative, because it's the semi-official MPD scrobbler and uses the new "idle" feature in MPD for more accurate scrobbling. Also, you do not need root access to configure it, because it doesn't need any changes to /etc at all. Visit the official website for more information.

After you have installed mpdscribble, do the following (not as root):

$ mkdir ~/.mpdscribble
  • Create the file ~/.mpdscribble/mpdscribble.conf and add the following:
 host = <your mpd host> # optional, defaults to $MPD_HOST or localhost
 port = <your mpd port> # optional, defaults to $MPD_PORT or 6600
 log = /home/<YOUR_USERNAME>/.mpdscribble/mpdscribble.log
 verbose = 2
 sleep = 1
 musicdir = <your music directory>
 proxy = <your proxy> # optional, e. g. http://your.proxy:8080, defaults to none

 # last.fm section, comment if you do not use last.fm
 url = http://post.audioscrobbler.com/
 username = <your last.fm username>
 password = <your last.fm password> 
 journal = /home/<YOUR_USERNAME>/.mpdscribble/lastfm.journal

 # libre.fm section, comment if you do not use libre.fm
 url = http://turtle.libre.fm/
 username = <your libre.fm username>
 password = <your libre.fm password>
 journal = /home/<YOUR_USERNAME>/.mpdscribble/librefm.journal

Please note that passwords can also be written down as MD5:

echo -n 'PASSWORD' | md5sum | cut -f 1 -d " "
  • Add mpdscribble to the file in which you start mpd as well (e.g. ~/.xinitrc):
pidof mpdscribble >& /dev/null
if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
 mpdscribble &

Sonata & Ario

Sonata has built-in support for scrobbling, although that requires the program to run the whole time. Additionally, Sonata doesn't cache the songs if they cannot be forwarded to Last.fm at the time of playing, meaning they will not be added to the statistics.


The daemon lastfmsubmitd is a daemon which may be installed from the "community" repository as well. To install it, first edit /etc/lastfmsubmitd.conf to reflect your requirements and add both lastfmsubmitd and lastmp to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf.

Last.fm playback

Native Last.fm playback

Since version 0.16 mpd has a very well working method to play back last.fm streams.

$ playlist_plugin {
       name            "lastfm"
       user            "my_username"
       password        "my_password"

Then use e.g. mpc to load streams

$ mpc load "lastfm://artist/Beatles"

Never play on start

This feature has recently been added to mpd git by Martin Kellerman, see commits b57330cf75bcb339e3f268f1019c63e40d305145 and 2fb40fe728ac07574808c40034fc0f3d2254d49d. As of September 2011, this feature has not yet arrived in a mpd version in the official repositories. If support for this feature is still required, have a look at the following proposals.

Installing mpd from the AUR

This is the best method currently available, but is only currently (as of April 2011) enabled in the git version. Install mpd-git from the AUR and add restore_paused "yes" to your mpd.conf file.

If you have issues with connecting your client to mpd-git, see Music Player Daemon#Other issues when attempting to connect to mpd with a client.

Method 1

If you do not want MPD to always play on your system start, but yet you want to preserve the other state information, add the following lines to your /etc/rc.d/mpd file:

Method 1.1

Simpler, working method (disables playing on startup of mpd daemon):



     mpc -q pause #add this line only
     add_daemon mpd

To prevent updates from destroying these modifications, add this file to the NoUpgrade variable in /etc/pacman.conf:

NoUpgrade = etc/rc.d/mpd

Method 2

Another simpler method, would be to add mpd to your rc.conf daemons array and add mpc stop or mpc pause to /etc/rc.local.shutdown and to /etc/rc.local. (Remember you must have mpc installed to use this method).

Adding only the order in /etc/rc.local cannot assure that mpd will play absolutely nothing, since there may be a delay before the stop command is executed. On the other hand, if you only add the order to /etc/rc.local.shutdown, that will assure that mpd won't play at all, as long as you properly shutdown your system. Even though they are redundant, adding it to /etc/rc.local would serve as a safety for those, presumably, rare occasions when you do not shutdown the system properly.

Method 3

The general idea is to ask mpd to pause music when the user logs out, so that mpd will stick to the "pause" state after a reboot. Sending such command can be achieved using mpc, the command line interface to MPD.

GDM users can then add /usr/bin/mpc pause to /etc/gdm/PostSession/Default (be sure to add it before exit 0):

Non-GDM users can use their own login manager's method to launch the line at logout.

Example configuration: Output with 44.1 KHz at e. g. 16 bit depth, multiple programs at once

Why these formats? Because they are standard CDA, because ALSA on its own allows more than one program "to sound" only with dmix — whose resampling algorithm is inferior — and because dmix by default resamples anything lower to 48 KHz (or whatever higher format is playing at the time). Also, some get clicking sounds if at least mpd.conf is not changed this way.

What's the downside? These settings cause everything (if necessary) to be resampled to this format, such as material from DVD or TV which usually is at 48 KHz. But there is no known way to have ALSA dynamically change the format, and particularly if you listen to far more CDs than anything else the occasional 48 → 44.1 isn't too great a loss.

The following assumes that there are not already other settings which conflict resp. overwrite it. This applies especially to the current user's potential ~/.asoundrc — which MPD as its own user ignores, therefore the following should go to /etc/asound.conf:

defaults.pcm.dmix.rate 44100 # Force 44.1 KHz
defaults.pcm.dmix.format S16_LE # Force 16 bits
audio_output {
        type                    "alsa" # Use the ALSA output plugin.
	name			"HDA Intel" # Can be called anything or nothing tmk, but must be present.
        options                 "dev=dmixer"
        device                  "plug:dmix" # Both lines cause MPD to output to dmix.
	format	        	"44100:16:2" # the actual format
	auto_resample		"no" # This bypasses ALSA's own algorithms, which generally are inferior. See below how to choose a different one.
	use_mmap		"yes" # Minor speed improvement, should work with all modern cards.

samplerate_converter		"0" # MPD's best, most CPU intensive algorithm. See 'man mpd.conf' for others — for anything other than the poorest "internal", libsamplerate must be installed.
Note: MPD gives the mp3 format a special treatment at decoding: It's always put out as 24 bit. (The conversion as forced by the format line only comes after that.)

If one wants to leave the bit depth decision to ALSA resp. MPD, comment out resp. omit the dmix.format line and change the one for mpd with format to "44100:*:2".

Note: Crossfading between files decoded at two different bit depths (say, one mp3 and one 16 bit flac) does not work unless conversion is active.

Control MPD with lirc

There are already some clients designed for communications between lircd and MPD, however, as far as the practical use, they aren't very useful since their functions are limited.

It's recommended to use mpc with irexec. mpc is a command line player which only sends the command to MPD and exits immediately, which is perfect for irexec, the command runner included in lirc. What irexec does is that it runs a specified command once received a remote control button.

First of all, please setup your remotes as referred to the Lirc article.

Edit your favored lirc startup configuration file, default location is ~/.lircrc.

Fill the file with the following pattern:

     prog = irexec
     button = <button_name>
     config = <command_to_run>
     repeat = <0 or 1>

An useful example:

## irexec
     prog = irexec
     button = play_pause
     config = mpc toggle
     repeat = 0

     prog = irexec
     button = stop
     config = mpc stop
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = previous
     config = mpc prev
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = next
     config = mpc next
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = volup
     config = mpc volume +2
     repeat = 1
     prog = irexec
     button = voldown
     config = mpc volume -2
     repeat = 1
     prog = irexec
     button = pbc
     config = mpc random
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = pdvd
     config = mpc update
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = right
     config = mpc seek +00:00:05
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = left
     config = mpc seek -00:00:05
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = up
     config = mpc seek +1%
     repeat = 0
     prog = irexec
     button = down
     config = mpc seek -1%
     repeat = 0

There are more functions for mpc, run man mpc for more info.

Control MPD with phone

remuco via bluetooth
  • install remuco -- a wireless remote control for several Linux media players (aur)
  • transfer remuco client -- jar/jad files from /usr/share/remuco/client/ to your phone and install it
  • run remuco-mpd (as current user)
  • run remuco on your phone, define a new bluetooth remuco connection (pair first if you haven't done this previously) and explore its capabilities

There are several MPD-specific clients available in the app-store/market of Symbian, Android and iOS.

MPD & PulseAudio

Edit /etc/mpd.conf, and uncomment the audio_output section for the type "pulse". The server and sink lines of it should be commented unless you know what you're doing.

Then, add the mpd user (and yours if you haven't done so already) to the necessary pulse groups. The pulse-access group should be sufficient but you may want to add pulse-rt as well. The group "pulse" doesn't appear to be necessary.

# gpasswd -a mpd pulse-access
# gpasswd -a mpd pulse-rt

Lastly, you may or may not need to copy ~/.pulse-cookie from your current (pulse working) user's dir to your mpd user's home directory. It is likely to be /var/lib/mpd if you followed the first part of this wiki. This would probably only allow your current user to listen in on MPD's pulse. You may consider running pulse system-wide if that's insufficient.

Cue Files

To make cue file support actually work, you have to work around a nasty libcue bug. Libcue copied some files directly from libcdio, making it conflict with it. Steps to do to get proper cue support:

  • remove libcdio temporary (pacman -Rdd libcdio)
  • install libcue
  • install mpd with ABS or from AUR.
  • install libcdio again

Version 0.17 will fix this issue, implementing its very own cue parser, which will then also allow parsing cuesheets, that are embedded into the files tags (CUESHEET tag). This will work for most, if not all relevant music files.

HTTP Streaming

Since version 0.15 there is a built-in HTTP streaming daemon/server that comes with MPD. To activate this server simply set it as output device in mpd.conf:

audio_output {    
	type		"httpd"    
	name		"My HTTP Stream"    
	encoder		"vorbis"		# optional, vorbis or lame    
	port		"8000"    
#	quality		"5.0"			# do not define if bitrate is defined    
	bitrate		"128"			# do not define if quality is defined    
	format		"44100:16:1"    

Then to listen to this stream simply open the URL of your mpd server (along with the specified port) in your favorite music player. Note: You may have to specify the file format of the stream using an appropriate file extension in the URL. For example, using Winamp 5.5, You would use rather than

To use mpd to connect to the stream from another computer.

mpc add