mpc: A convenient interlude

One of the reasons I listed those “questionable” applications a day ago was because I’m running short of pure music-oriented text-based applications.

When I say application, I mean a singular program that tries to present some sort of interface to the user, and guides them in controlling music playback.

mp3blaster is a great example of that; there’s a program that laid everything out in a comfortable style, with semigraphical cues and displays, all in pursuit of presenting a comfortable interface for a human.

In other words, user-friendly.

What’s left of my list is shifting in two directions at once. On the one hand, a lot of one-shot console commands that somehow — either through a daemon or a message bus — control audio output.

And in the other corner, the vast morass of mpd frontends. With that in mind, it makes sense to look at mpc next.


After all, mpc is essentially a one-shot, console-command mpd frontend. How was that for a segue? 😆

I’m stepping straight into the lion’s den this time though, because this is where I have to admit I don’t really like one-shot console commands for audio playback, and at the same time I have awful luck with mpd.

I managed to get it configured this time, with a little nudging from a how-to on the Crunchbang forums.

And with mpd in place, mpc tends to behave as you might expect: Feed a command to it, in the same style as you might start any other application. mpc relays that to the daemon, which responds appropriately.

Aside from that I don’t think there’s too much work involved in figuring out mpc. The man pages and help flags helped me through most difficulties.

I will say though, that mpc seems to obscure itself, by trying to do too much at once.

By that I mean there are, for example, commands to search for songs, find songs, find and add songs, and list all songs. I obviously haven’t used mpc for long, because the subtleties of each of those is a bit lost on me.

I won’t be judgmental though; if mpc is your gig, I can respect it.

14 thoughts on “mpc: A convenient interlude

  1. willl

    I’d never use it on the console to control audio by hand. It’s more of an interface to MPD to be controlled by hardware buttons, keyboard events or IR remotes. I’ve got one button on a remote that turns my screens off, loads my sleep playlist, sets the volume and starts playing, all with the help of mpc.

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  3. Curtis

    Yeah, like willl, I use mpc to control my xf86* buttons. So when I actually want to use mpd not from just those buttons, I use ncmpcpp. But I just found something called vimpc, which I just built (Arch User Repository’s vimpc-it package).

    I just ran it and it seems pretty neat… if you are a vi/vim user.

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  5. Anonymous Penguin

    I use cmus-remote with xbindkeys for indirect interaction with cmus. But, it does require X to be running.

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