Monday, January 7, 2013

audacious - audio player for me

Q: What is the most usable cross-platform audio player for me?
A: I've found Audacious (

I've been searching for a usable audio player for quite some time.
I intentionally won't say best one, but rather usable one, as my player of choice during the years keeps changing :)

My (current) requirements

Might be quite user specific, but still, here they are:
  • runs on linux (windows would be a plus, however since my recent job change, I don't need windows neither at home nor at work)
  • free, or better open source licensed (rather my decision, than a need)
  • integrates lyrics into the UI
  • can be minimized to system tray (by closing it)
  • playback can be controlled by the keyboard (when in the player UI), as I hate those, that can be controlled by mouse only (I consider mouse beeing much slower input device for the specific actions that keyboard)
  • shouldn't eat all my resources just to play music in the background

Well, as far as I remember during these years of my music listening experience I've been using following (more less chronologically)

winamp (

  • was quite some time ago, in my "windows ages"
  • I still like it's original look and consider it's UI designers unbeated (with respect to idea and it's realization)
  • major blocker was for me however no linux port

xmms (

  • worked well for me on linux
  • supported winamp skins => more less same look
  • not available any more in the most linux distros these days
  • in the time I've been using it I needed windows port as well, there was no such, but winamp did the job there

songbird (

  • I liked the UI integration of all the song related stuff, but finally I've found myself using only lyrics in my daily life
  • this was the first one, when I started to be OK with no winamp-like look (so it was very valueable for me for my future choices)
  • there were quite some problems with linux port, these made me believe there has to be an alternative:
    • first: no official packages in major linux distros 
    • then: officially announced discontinued support for linux  
    • nightingale (it's linux port - had no stable/usable release for quite some time 
    • in the meantime I changed already
  • moreover was quite resource consuming

amarok (

  • worked well for me on linux
  • I even wrote a small plugin for it:
  • had nice lyrics integration 
  • ubuntu notifications worked/looked well
  • however I've come to conclusion that there should be some more lightweight/performant player available (for the simple needs I have)

clementine (

  • worked well for me on both platforms
  • as I've been used to amarok this was to me only a more performant version (as they forked old amarok version)

audacious (
  • works well for me these days
  • fulfills all my requirements I mentioned in the prio section
  • the greatest advantage to clementine I see is the lower CPU usage

Now the question is: What is your audio player of choice?

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