Ubuntu Quantal Media Players


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Ubuntu Quantal Media Players
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Music Players


Rhythmbox is the default music player in Ubuntu (Gnome), relying on the Gstreamer framework.

Play Internet Radio through Rhythmbox

Internet radio can be played through Rhythmbox by installing the rhythmbox-radio-browser plugin:

sudo apt-get install rhythmbox-radio-browser
  • Restart Rhythmbox and select the plugin:
Rhythmbox -> Edit -> Plugins -> Internet radio station browser (ticked) -> Library -> Radio browser

Note: Internet radio streams use many different ports. You must adjust your firewall to allow the ports over which the streams will be sent.


XMMS2 is a compact, fast GTK-based music player that is a fork of XMMS. It resembles WinAmp2 and can use the "Classic" WinAmp2 / XMMS skins. Volume normalization (using ReplayGain) is an option using a plug-in. It supports many other plugins and is ideal for streaming content. Install:

sudo apt-get install xmms2


Audacious is a compact, fast GTK-based music player that is a fork of XMMS. It resembles XMMS2 and WinAmp2 and can use the "Classic" WinAmp2 / XMMS skins. Volume normalization (using ReplayGain) is a built-in option. It supports many plugins and is ideal for streaming content. Install:

sudo apt-get install audacious

You can switch between the "PulseAudio Output Plugin" and the "ALSA Output Plugin" under

Audacious -> Preferences -> Audio -> Current output plugin.
  • There are many places to get .wsz skins ("Classic" Winamp2/XMMS) that are compatible with Audacious, XMMS2, or QMMP:


  • QMMP is a compact, fast Qt-based music player similar to XMMS2, Audacious, and WinAmp2 and can use the "Classic" WinAmp2 / XMMS skins. Volume normalization (using ReplayGain) is a built-in option. It supports many plugins and is ideal for streaming content. Install:
sudo apt-get install qmmp

You can switch between the "PulseAudio Output Plugin" and the "ALSA Output Plugin" under

QMMP -> Settings -> Audio -> Current output plugin.


Amarok is the default music player in Kubuntu. Install:

sudo apt-get install amarok

Amarok themes

Amarok themes can be downloaded from KDE Look and installed.

  • Download the theme (ending in .tar.bz2) to your home directory (or chosen directory).
  • Amarok -> Settings -> Appearance -> Install New Style
  • Select the downloaded file.

Play Shoutcast Internet Radio through Amarok

Shoutcast internet radio can be played through Amarok 2.2 or later by installing the Shoutcast script:

Amarok -> Tools -> Script Manager -> Get more scripts -> Order by:Rating (ticked) -> Shoutcast service -> Install -> Restart Amarok -> Tools -> Script Manager -> Shoutcast service tralala (ticked) -> Ok -> Internet -> Shoutcast service tralala

Note: Internet radio streams use many different ports. You must adjust your firewall to allow the ports over which the streams will be sent.

Banshee Music Player

Banshee is a Gstreamer, Mono and Gtk-based music player for Linux and Mac OS X. It supports multiple mp3 players (including the iPod).There are plugins for podcasts, internet radio, and more.

sudo apt-get install banshee

Exaile Music Manager and Player

Exaile is a GTK-based music player that supports many formats, incorporates a Shoutcast directory, a plugin for iPod, Last.FM support, tabbed playlists, and other features. Install:

sudo apt-get install exaile

Songbird Music Player

Songbird is an open source music player from Mozilla with an appearance meant to resemble iTunes. It is in current development and does not yet have full support for mp3 players (such as the iPod). It incorporates a Shoutcast internet radio interface. The current beta version can be downloaded from the website.


aTunes is a Java-based player designed to be similar to iTunes. Installation instructions are here.

Multimedia Players

Most current video multimedia players play many video formats (as well as audio), including the Flash video .flv format.

VLC Multimedia Player

VLC is a cross-platform multimedia player that supports many formats without need for additional codecs. It can not only receive video streams (also see here to convert it to mp4), but can act as a server for video streams, as well. It is one of the only players that can view and backup almost any DVD format, no matter which copy protection is used. See these tips for using VLC to backup/rip encrypted DVDs.

sudo apt-get install vlc vlc-plugin-pulse
  • Troubleshooting tip: On some hardware (such as the Acer Aspire One), the video is blank or VLC freezes when trying to play a file or disc. To solve this problem, select "X11 video output":
VLC -> Tools -> Preferences -> Video -> Output: X11 video output (XCB) -> Save

VLC plugins

There are many VLC plugins. You will likely only need to install a few of them, however, depending on your hardware and input/output configuration:

sudo apt-get install vlc-plugin-ggi vlc-plugin-jack vlc-plugin-pulse vlc-plugin-sdl vlc-plugin-svgalib mozilla-plugin-vlc vlc-plugin-esd

MPlayer Multimedia Player

Mplayer (and now Mplayer2) is a video player with a wide range of formats supported (including RealMedia and Windows-codecs) and a wide variety of outputs.

sudo apt-get install mplayer
sudo apt-get install mplayer2
  • Kmplayer (sudo apt-get install knmplayer) -- for KDE
  • KPlayer (sudo apt-get install kplayer) -- for KDE
  • SMPlayer (sudo apt-get install smplayer) -- Qt-based
  • Mplayer-gui (sudo apt-get install mplayer-gui) -- GTK-based

Dump a video stream to disc

You can dump a video stream to disc using Mplayer:

mplayer -dumpstream streamurl

If you don't know the exact URL of the stream you wish to save, you can discover it from the webpage it is embedded in by using the Firefox add-on UnPlug. Do not save streams that are illegal to download.

Xine-UI Multimedia Player

Xine UI is a multimedia player based, of course, on the xine platform. It can also play streamed video from the Internet and supports most formats, including some uncommon ones.

 sudo apt-get install xine-ui

Kaffeine Video Player

Kaffeine is a video player for Kubuntu/KDE. Install:

sudo apt-get install kaffeine

RealPlayer 11 Multimedia Player

The Linux Realplayer is actually based on the open-source Helix player. Helix itself can be installed as a package easily (read Helix plug-in) and used instead of Realplayer. These instructions are to install the proprietary version of RealPlayer only.

Download Real Player official linux player

Open a terminal and cd to the directory you have downloaded realplayer's .bin file. Then issue the following commands

chmod +x RealPlayer11GOLD.bin
sudo ./RealPlayer11GOLD.bin

When it asks for installation path enter /usr/local/RealPlayer

For all other questions just choose default by pressing enter.

If you have installed mozilla-mplayer package you will need to delete the mplayer firefox plugin for real player videos. Other wise all real player files will open with mplayer. For that please do this

cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
sudo rm mplayerplug-in-rm.*

Please remember to restart firefox and when ever you click on a real player video choose the option open with and use /usr/bin/realplay

Internet TV

Myth TV

See MythTV. Ubuntu TV is essentially Myth TV.

Miro Player

Miro Player (formerly Democracy TV Player) is an open-source Internet TV and video player that allows you to watch Internet TV and videos. Unlike other video players, it contains a structured guide that includes more than 2500 channels, has built-in BitTorrent, and has features that can automatically save videos, such as from YouTube.

sudo apt-get install miro

Sopcast Internet TV

Sopcast is an interface to play live P2P video streams through the VLC media player. Install VLC first. This is a Chinese program and most content is hosted in China and may not be legal in your area. Please consult local regulations.

You can install a SopCast Player PPA using the following commands:

 echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/jason-scheunemann/ppa/ubuntu `lsb_release -cs` main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
 sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys CD30EE56 

If you are using Karmic or later:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jason-scheunemann/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install sopcast-player


Applications->Sound & Video->SopCast Player


Zattoo is a free Internet TV player that allows you to watch terrestrial television from various countries in Europe. See the Zattoo Download page for further instructions on installation. For screenshots and an alternate installation guide, see this UbuntuGeek guide.

  • Install dependencies first:
sudo apt-get install libgtkglext1 adobe-flashplugin
 wget http://zattoo.com/release/download.php
  • Install the downloaded .deb package:
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
  • Run Zattoo:
K -> Application -> Multimedia -> Zattoo Player
Note: you have to register for a free account when the player starts.

TV Time (TV Viewer)

TVTime allows the display of television and other digital inputs (made available to the computer by a video capture card). A plugin for the Remuco remote control (remuco-tvtime) is also available. Install:

sudo apt-get install tvtime

ABC iView

Python-iView is a program that works with rtmpdump to record streams offered by ABC iView (Australia). Installation instructions are at the PPA repository.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer provides replays and downloads of BBC programs to UK residents. The BBC, however, has crippled its streams to prevent downloading and legal actions against iPlayer appear to be in progress. (Flvstreamer may be required for rtmp stream recording). To install a Flash 64-bit edition of iPlayer:

sudo apt-get remove flashplugin-installer
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sevenmachines/flash
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flashplugin64-installer
get_iplayer (BBC program recording)
  • get_iplayer allows BBC streams (through their iplayer service) for UK users, as well as Hulu streams for US users, to be recorded to mp4, wav, and mp3 files (depending on content). See here for usage instructions. Install (may not work for all users):
sudo apt-get install get-iplayer
  • See the website for usage or:
man get-iplayer
  • Get a current listing of what's available and save it in the home directory
get-iplayer >~/iplayer-listing.txt
  • Having found some interesting programmes (and noted the numbers found in the left-hand column), download them:
get-iplayer --get 123 537
  • Some users will need to install rtmpdump for successful streaming.

Netflix in Wine app

A (Windows-based) Netflix app (32-bit version) has been modified and bundled to work in the Wine environment. It is available as a package from a private (non-approved) repository here.

  • To run the app will require a 32-bit operating system, which for a 64-bit operating system usually requires installing ia32-libs at the minimum (and possibly ia32-libs-multiarch):
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ia32-libs-multiarch
  • Then install the Netflix-desktop:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop
  • The package installs the Microsoft core fonts (ttf-mscorefonts-installer). During this part of the installation a prompt to accept the Microsoft EULA will appear. Use the "TAB" key to maneuver to the "Ok" button and then press "Enter" to accept. The installation should then continue to completion.
  • The package creates a menu item for the Netflix Destop, or the app can be started from a terminal with the command:
  • The Netflix app starts in full screen mode. You can exit out of the app completely by pressing ALT+F4 or by using the pop-up "X." You can also press F11 to exit out of full screen mode.
  • Additional installation tips are here.

Netflix Android App

A Netflix app for the Android market is available here. It must be installed in an Android environment but is not fully functional in the current Android emulators.

Internet Radio

Internet radio streams through different ports, so check your firewall if you are not able to play the streams.

Last FM

LastFM is a service for sharing music recommendations and individual radio streams. It is included as an option in Amarok, or can be installed separately:

sudo apt-get install lastfm

Shoutcast Internet Radio

Shoutcast is the first and last free mp3 streaming service. Hundreds of radio streams can be played through Amarok, Audacious, or other multimedia player. Simply associate the .pls streams with your favourite player (Audacious or XMMS2 recommended).

StreamTuner Stream Directory Browser

StreamTuner lists streams available on the Internet through a GTK-based interface. It lists Shoutcast and Live365 streams, among others. Install:

sudo apt-get install streamtuner


Streamripper is a standalone command-line utility to record online audio streams (primarily from Shoutcast). Also see these tips. Install:

sudo apt-get install streamripper
  • Fadecut is a front-end script that allows the removal of certain elements of live streams (sudo apt-get install fadecut)
  • KStreamRipper/KRadioRipper is a GUI front-end for KDE (sudo apt-get install kradioripper)


RadioTray is an app that, once started, docks in the System Tray and allows easy selection from a list of online .pls streams (listed by radio station genre). Additional .pls streams and genres can be easily added to the pre-configured list. Install:

sudo apt-get install radiotray

Pithos (Pandora client)

Pithos is a Gnome-based Pandora internet radio client. Install:

sudo apt-get install pithos


Spotify is a music streaming service that bases streams on user tastes and interests. Download the Spotify client .deb package for your system (i386 version for 32-bit systems or amd64 version for 64-bit systems) and either the Qt version or Gnome front-end from this location then click on the two packages to automatically install them. For example, to install the 64-bit version with the Qt front-end:

wget -O spotify-client_current.deb http://repository.spotify.com/pool/non-free/s/spotify/spotify-client_0.9.4.183.g644e24e.428-1_amd64.deb
wget -O spotify-client-qt_current.deb http://repository.spotify.com/pool/non-free/s/spotify/spotify-client-qt_0.9.4.183.g644e24e.428-1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i spotify-client_current.deb
sudo dpkg -i spotify-client-qt_current.deb
sudo rm spotify-client_current.deb
sudo rm spotify-client-qt_current.deb

Alternatively, install the repository and install the packages from the repository.

  • To use the keyserver, port 11371 in your firewall must be unblocked temporarily, then add the repository key manually (using the command-line terminal):
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 94558F59
sudo apt-add-repository "deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free"
sudo apt-get update

or add the repository deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free to your package manager through its settings dialog.

  • Install either the regular 64-bit version or select the 32-bit (i386) version, either using your package manager or manually (using a command-line terminal):
sudo apt-get install spotify-client
  • Install one of the GUI frontends (Qt for Ubuntu or Gnome for Ubuntu), either using your package manager or manually (using a command-line terminal):
sudo apt-get install spotify-client-qt
sudo apt-get install spotify-client-gnome-support

Media Centers and PVR (Personal Video Recorder)

There are a number of open-source Media Centers for Linux, some of which include personal video recorder functions. For a full list of open-source media centers, see this guide.


MythTV is a media center with PVR (personal video recorder) for retrieving, recording, and playing broadcast and Internet TV and other multimedia content. It has many options and plugins for expansion. To be useful, you will need a compatible TV tuner card. For setup tips, see this guide. (Ubuntu TV is essentially Myth TV that has been integrated into the Unity desktop). Install:

sudo apt-get install mythtv


Mythbuntu is an integrated Ubuntu (Xubuntu) desktop optimised for MythTV usage. In can be used instead of adding MythTV to a (K)Ubuntu desktop.


XBMC is a free, mature, open-source cross-platform media center. It does not have a PVR capability nor as many functions as MythTV, but has a very nice interface.

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/team-xbmc-intrepid/ubuntu intrepid main
  • Install:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xbmc


Boxee is an XBMC-like open source package to allow streaming video over the Internet, including from YouTube and other sites. It is a fork of XBMC, and is still in alpha development and testing stage. It is currently available for 32-bit systems only, and recommended for Hardy. A current version is anticipated soon. (Note: Boxee does not run Netflix on Linux, despite their ads). See these download instructions.


Elisa is a cross-platform media center that uses the Gstreamer multimedia framework. Commercial plugins are available from Fluendo. It supports PVR and Music Jukebox . Install:

sudo apt-get install elisa


See LinuxMCE.

Multimedia Servers

MPD Multimedia Playing Server

MPD is a music server meant for LAN usage. It can be controlled from remote clients. It can also stream internet streams.

TiMidity++ MIDI Sound Server

TiMidity is a MIDI software synthesizer required by several games and other MIDI-dependent applications.

sudo apt-get install timidity

uShare UPnP A/V Media Server

uShare is a UPnP media server compatible with the Xbox360 and PS3.

sudo apt-get install ushare

Also see: How-to: Run uShare at Startup.

Content streaming


Icecast2 is a multimedia streaming server that allows the creation of an "Internet radio station." Install:

sudo apt-get install icecast2
  • EZStream (sudo apt-get install ezstream)
  • DarkIce (sudo apt-get install darkice)
  • Ices2 (sudo apt-get install ices2) is part of the Icecast2 project. It allows Ogg Vorbis streaming only.
  • Oggfwd (sudo apt-get install oggfwd) is a barebones client to send Ogg Vorbis files to an Icecast server.
  • Djplay (sudo apt-get install djplay) is Qt-based, uses the Jack audio system, and supports live Icecast broadcasting.
  • LiquidSoap (sudo apt-get install liquidsoap liguidsoap) is an OCAML and Python-based scripting language and GTK-based GUI for building complex audio-streaming systems (with many plug-ins available) for use with an Icecast (or other streaming) server


CRTMPServer (aka Rtmpd) is a free (GPLv3-licensed) server that can stream Flash and many other media types using rtmp streaming. Install:

sudo apt-get install crtmpserver

Red5 Media Server

The Red5 Media Server is a Java-based media streaming server and recorder that uses rtmp and AMF protocols to stream (and/or receive) flash video and other content. Install:

sudo apt-get install red5-server


Flvstreamer is an open source command-line RTMP client to stream audio or video content from all types of flash or rtmp servers. It is a fork from rtmpdump with encrypted rtmp and swf verification support removed. Install:

sudo apt-get install flvstreamer

rtmpdump (Capture streaming video)

Rtmpdump allows the capture of many types of streaming video. Install:

sudo apt-get install rtmpdump

Streamcapture with VLC

VLC allows the capture of certain types of streaming content. See the VLC instructions. You can also "Convert" streams to selected video file formats.

VLC -> Media -> Stream... -> Network -> Please enter a network URL:
  • If you don't know the exact URL of the stream you wish to save, you can discover it from the webpage it is embedded in by using the Firefox add-on UnPlug. Do not save streams that are illegal to download.

Streamcapture with MPlayer

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