cvlc: Surprise of the week

No, audio week is not over. I have a small surprise for you.


That’s cvlc, a text-based companion to vlc that comes equipped with a lovely ncurses interface.

You probably didn’t know that was there, did you? Well, if you have been around since the end of 2009, you might have seen it on (ahem) some other blog.

If you’re a vlc fan or user, cvlc might be something you already know and love. For anyone else, you can pluck this little gem from the ether with a terse cvlc -I ncurses in your favorite command-line interface.

Press h for a help screen; the list there will show you how to use both the playlist and media browser.

Honestly this is just as effective and useful as almost any audio player we’ve talked about so far.

The downside of the thing, if I must be plain, is that I know of no way to separate cvlc from vlc. In other words, install one, and you have to get the other.

Maybe that’s not a problem for you; in all seriousness it’s not a problem for me on this system.

On the other hand, if you’re working on a pure text-only system, you don’t want the unnecessary baggage. Qt, graphics libraries, blah, blah, blah.

If you’re better versed in cvlc/vlc than I, and you know of a way to cleave the two, please speak up. I for one am dying to know. … 😐

8 thoughts on “cvlc: Surprise of the week

  1. blernsballowl

    If it’s an audio-only VLC you’re aiming at, it seems sdl is the main culprit for pulling in X over here. A quick –disable-qt4 and –disable-sdl did the trick.

    The config options in the vlc-light PKGBUILD over in the AUR is a nice starting point for a gutted-down setup – haven’t built it in a while though so not sure if it still works or not. Using mpv (forked from mplayer2 which was in turn forked from mplayer) these days – the statically linked build (mpv-player-git) in the AUR is fast, pulls in little else, and working great. Also opengl-hq w/ icc profiles for the power-siphoning media server = beautiful playback. Not for the faint of heart (or the 700mHz ballpark) unfortunately.

    And it’s a shame to see framebuffer’s gone the way of the past over in their world – Seems like they need to go back and read your old blog!
    (To be fair, purging legacy cruft is one of the goals of the fork. I’d still use it over mplayer for audio-only though, none of the dependencies over here even touch X. Have accidentally purged X many a times but the mpv build holds strong)

  2. Curtis

    Use this configure line for no gui (I got this from the Arch User Repository ‘vlc-nogui’ package):
    ./configure –disable-qt4 –disable-skins2 –disable-glx

  3. gorja239

    cvlc is the commandline-interpreter for vlc… (so you can make vlc listen to your scripted commands…)
    nvlc is the native ncurses-client (so you can run vlc on framebuffer… (:)

    if u call “cvlc -I ncurses” it will trigger and call nvlc and quit… so simply use nvlc 😉

    P.S.: nice to have you back inside the fb-scene ! (:

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