Audio Programs For Linux

Linux offers many strong solutions for your audio-entertainment needs

Linux supports many different programs to play music, manage playlists, and organize your tunes. We've curated some of the best for you.

Rhythmbox

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 in Ubuntu and it easy to see why. Not only does Rhythmbox boast an easy-to-use user interface, it is also fully featured.

Import music from your hard drive, synchronize it with your external audio players, and import from FTP sites as well as a DAAP server.

Rhythmbox also acts as a DAAP server. Keep all of your music in one place and serve it to many different devices with Rhythmbox. Create playlists or audio discs with Rhythmbox, too.

This player supports a large ecosystem of plugins as well as native streaming-radio support.

Banshee

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 No. 1 choice then Banshee is a close second. Banshee is the default audio player for Linux Mint and boasts many of the features of Rhythmbox except for DAAP server functionality.

Importing music is a straightforward affair and the user interface is 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; play video files, too, which make it more of an all-around media player.

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 several 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.

  • Overwhelming 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 customizable.

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

Attach audio devices such as MP3 players and phones and play the audio tracks within Quod Libet.

Amarok

Amarok
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 was designed for the KDE desktop. KDE applications are usually customizable and Amarok is no different. Move any of the panes ​around so that the artists, tracks, and genres appear wherever you choose.

It includes some useful plugins, such as displaying a Wikipedia page about the artist of the current track.

Amarok provides access to online sources such as Jamendo and Last.fm.

Display album artwork for each album or activate the plugin to show the current-track's lyrics. Creating playlists is relatively straight-forward.

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

Clementine

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.

  • Ugly tangerine slice serves as the slider on Android devices.

Clementine makes for a solid alternative to Amarok and an all-around great audio player. The best thing about Clementine is the user interface, which is 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, install a plugin that displays them. 

StreamTuner

StreamTuner
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 of radio stations.

Use StreamTuner to download audio tracks from the online radio station, too.

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

gPodder

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 consider gPodder.

It provides access to hundreds of podcasts organized into many different genres.