Audio Programs For Linux

So you have installed Linux and you want to listen to your extensive audio collection. It is highly likely that you already have an audio player installed but is it the best one?

In this guide, we will list the best Linux audio programs for Linux. The list includes audio players, podcasting tools and radio streamers.


Rhythmbox Music Library
What We Like
  • Default player for many high-profile Linux distributions.

  • Easy-to-use with a comprehensive feature set.

  • Extensible with plugins.

What We Don't Like
  • Visual motif appears stuck in 2007.

  • Does more than a basic music player, which isn't always a plus.

Rhythmbox is the default audio player which comes pre-installed in Ubuntu and it easy to see why.

Not only does Rhythmbox boast an easy to use user interface it is also fully featured.

Music can be imported from your hard drive, synchronized with your external audio players, imported from FTP sites as well as a DAAP server.

Rhythmbox can also act as a DAAP server. This means you can have all of your music in one place and served by Rhythmbox. Other devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and the Raspberry PI can be used to play the music all around the house.

Playlists can be easily created using Rhythmbox and it probably provides the best interface out of all the audio players we have used for doing so. You can even create automatic playlists based on genre, ratings and other criteria.

Rhythmbox can be used to create audio CDs.

If the main interface isn't enough you can download extra plugins. For instance, one plugin allows you to show song lyrics whilst playing the tracks.

If you like to listen to internet radio stations then you can easily choose from a number of different categories and dozens of radio stations.


The Banshee Audio Player
What We Like
  • Full-featured with extra capability.

  • Supports video and audio.

  • Good podcast support.

What We Don't Like
  • Interface looks like classic iTunes.

  • Some features may be limited.

If Rhythmbox is the number one choice then Banshee is a very, very close second.

Banshee is the default audio player for Linux Mint and boasts many of the features of Rhythmbox except for the ability to run as a DAAP server.

Importing music is a straight-forward affair and the user interface is very intuitive. However, if you don't like the default look of Banshee then you can customize it in many different ways.

Banshee doesn't just deal with music, you can also play video files which make it more of an all-around media player.

It is very easy to create playlists using Banshee and you can create smart playlists which allow you to choose tracks based on genre or ratings and you can specify how long the playlist should be.

If you prefer to listen to podcasts then there is an interface for importing podcasts into Banshee and you can also choose audio from a number of online sources.

Quod Libet

Quod Libet Audio Player
What We Like
  • Not as heavy as Banshee or Rhythmbox.

  • Focused on playing music.

What We Don't Like
  • User interface isn't very appealing.

  • Overwheliming number of ways to display music information.

An alternative option to the big hitters listed above is Quod Libet.

Quod Libet is a more lightweight audio player. The user interface looks great and is highly customizable.

Importing tracks is easy and there is an option to omit tracks from the library.

You can attach audio devices such as MP3 players and phones and play the audio tracks within Quod Libet.

Other feeds are available such as online audio and internet radio stations.


What We Like
  • Good audio player.

  • Solid device support.

  • Integration with popular audio-related online services.

  • Optimized for the K Desktop Environment.

What We Don't Like
  • Bit of a memory hog, and occasionally quirky.

  • Requires some KDE dependencies; not helpful on underpowered machines running a lighweight setup such as LXDE or XFCE.

Amarok is an audio player designed for the KDE desktop. 

KDE applications are usually highly customizable and Amarok is no different.

You can move any of the panes ​around so that the artists, tracks, and genres appear wherever you choose.

There are some useful plugins such as the ability to show a Wikipedia page about the artist of the song that is being played.

Amarok provides access to online sources such as Jamendo and

You can display album artwork for each album and there is a plugin which shows the lyrics.

Creating playlists is relatively straight-forward.

You can use Amarok with a number of different audio devices such as MP3 players, iPods, and phones.


Clementine Audio Player
What We Like
  • A cleaner version of Amarok.

  • Good device support.

  • Cross-platform support.

  • Control using a dedicated Android app.

What We Don't Like
  • Last updated April 2016.

  • Super ugly tangerine slice serves as the slider on Android devices.

A great alternative to Amarok and an all-around great audio player is Clementine.

The best thing about Clementine is the user interface which is incredibly clean looking.

Clementine also provides better support for iPods than Amarok.

As with Amarok, you can access different online sources such as Jamendo and Icecast.

If you need the lyrics to the songs then there is a plugin which displays them. 


What We Like
  • Emphasis on streaming audio, which it does well.

  • Good categorization of feeds to support content discovery.

What We Don't Like
  • Not really a full-featured music player.

  • Ugly interface.

If you like listening to online radio stations then you should install StreamTuner because it provides instant access to hundreds, if not thousands of radio stations.

You can also use StreamTuner to download audio tracks from the online radio station.

The interface is clean with a list of online sources, genres, and stations.


Subscribe To Podcasts Using gPodder
What We Like
  • Great podcast aggregator.

  • Support for subscription podcasts.

What We Don't Like
  • Not a full-featured music player.

  • Antiquated interface.

If listening to music isn't your thing and you prefer to listen to audio podcasts then you should install gPodder.

gPodder provides instant access to hundreds of podcasts broken down into a number of different genres.