qplay: More music, in the code of C

I can afford to bring out another music player today, even if it does have a little less visual appeal. This is qplay, which does a nice job of carving down the music playback task.


I’m eager to try out qplay on something rather lightweight, because it’s written in C but wisely (to me at least) avoids becoming a music manager.

Granted, one of the best and lightest music players I know of, cmus, does a lot of management on top of its playback duties, and does not suffer in the least for it. But let’s just say it’s a feature I avoid. 😐

qplay relegates actual playback to mpg123 or ogg123, but apparently can accept “modules” for other formats. The interface is very vim-like, with arrow keys as well as the HJKL set for playlist navigation and seek functions. There are also paging and five-count skip keys, if you’re working with a very big list of music.

There are hotkeys for randomizing, shuffling and repeat functions, as well as a status bar to show if they are enabled, and time displays for individual files. Add files to your playlist by starting qplay with the -r and jump out of it with the “q” key. Simple enough.

Some features don’t appear to be quite … done, which seems to be a recurring theme these days. Help pages are missing, most notably, and the command line “add” function didn’t … add when I asked. O_o

But by most accounts, qplay is taking up a very slender space in memory. qplay itself floats in around 500Kb while running, which is considerably less than, for example, mocp’s claim of 6.5Mb on the same machine. Of course, qplay implies you’ll need another 3.4Mb for ogg123, but that still sets the entire suite around 4Mb, and I’m betting you can afford it.

So let’s review:

  • Written in C, so very lightweight.
  • Uses the time-honored mpg123 and ogg123 tools.
  • Follows vim-like controls, with a healthy addition of other one-key commands.
  • Doesn’t try to manage my music.

And so far its only real shortcoming is a few unfinished features. Not bad for a music player that has been on the shelf since 2005. Oh, did I not mention it was a decade beyond its best-before date? My apologies. … 😈

3 thoughts on “qplay: More music, in the code of C

  1. iguleder

    Sounds very similar to the non-interactive xplayargs (https://github.com/dimkr/xplayargs).

    By the way – there’s a smaller, standalone alternative to ogg123 without external dependencies, ogg122. It doesn’t do much – its just a wrapper for stb_vorbis.

    Disclaimer: I’m the author of xplayargs and ogg122.

  2. Pingback: Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark | Techrights

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