The Quod Libet Audio Player

Quod Libet Audio Player
Quod Libet Audio Player.


There are dozens of audio players available for Linux. Many of the larger distributions use Rhythmbox or Banshee but if you need something a little bit lightweight then you can do a lot worse than try Quod Libet.

This stylish list music player makes it easy to load music into a library, create and manage playlists and connect to online radio stations. It also has a number of different views and filters making it easy to find and choose the songs you want to listen to.

How To Install Quod Libet

Quod Libet will be available in the repositories for all the major Linux distributions and most of the smaller ones as well.

If you are using a Ubuntu or Debian based distribution open a terminal window and use the apt-get command as follows:

sudo apt-get install quodlibet

If you are using Ubuntu you will need the sudo command to elevate your privileges. 

If you are using Fedora or CentOS use the yum command as follows:

sudo yum install quodlibet

If you are using openSUSE type the following zypper command:

sudo zypper install quodlibet

Finally, if you are using Arch use the pacman command:

pacman -S quodlibet

The Quod Libet User Interface

The default Quod Libet user interface has a menu at the top with a set of audio controls which allow you to play a tune or skip backward and forwards to the previous or next tune.

Below the audio player controls is a search bar and below the search bar there are two panels.

The panel on the left side of the screen shows a list of artist and the panel on the right shows a list of albums for the artist.

There is a third panel below the top panels which provides a list of songs.

Adding Music To Your Library

Before you can listen to music you need to add music to the library.

To do this click the music menu and choose preferences. 

The preferences screen has five tabs:

  • Song list
  • Browsers
  • Playback
  • Library
  • Tags

All of these will be covered during this article but the one you need for add music to your library is "Library".

The screen is split into two parts. The top half is used to add and remove music to the library and the bottom half lets you omit songs.

To add songs to the library click on the "Add" button and navigate to a folder which contains music on your computer. If you choose the top level folder "Music" then Quod Libet will find all folders within that folder, so you don't have to pick each folder in turn.

If you have music in different places, such as on your phone and on your computer you can pick each folder in turn and they will all be listed.

To refresh your library click the refresh library button. To rebuild the library completely click the reload button.

Check the box "refresh library on start" to keep your library up to date. This is useful as unplugged devices will then not have their music show up in the main interface.

If there are some songs you just don't want to see in the audio player.

The Song List

You can alter the look and feel of the song list within Quod Libet by opening the preferences screen and choosing the "Song List" tab.

The screen is split into three parts:

  • Behaviour
  • Visible Columns
  • Column Preferences

The behavior section simply gives you the choice to automatically jump to the playing song in the playlist.

The visible columns lets you determine which columns are visible for each song. The choices are as follows:

  • Disc
  • Track
  • Grouping
  • Artist
  • Album
  • Title
  • Genre
  • Date
  • Filename
  • Length
  • Rating
  • File Size

There are four options under the column preferences:

  • Title includes version
  • Artist includes all people
  • Album includes disc subtitle
  • Filename includes folder

Browsers Preferences

The second tab on the preferences screen lets you change browser settings.

You can specify a global search filter by entering a term in the field provided.

There are also options for setting how ratings work (this will be covered more later on) but the options are as follows:

  • Confirm multiple ratings - A message will appear when you try and rate multiple songs at the same time.
  • Enable one-click ratings - A single click can be used to rate a song.

Finally, there is an album art section which has three options.

  • Use rounded corners on thumbnails
  • Prefer embedded art
  • Fixed image filename

Choosing Playback Preferences

The playback preferences let you specify a different output pipeline from the default. This page covers the setting of pipelines more fully.

Also within the playback preferences, you can specify the gap size between songs and alter the fallback gain and pre-amp gain. Not sure what these are? Read this guide.


Finally, for the preferences screen, there is the tags tab.

On this screen, you can choose the ratings scale. By default, it is 4 stars but you can choose up to 10. You can also specify the default starting point which is set at 50%. So for a maximum of 4 stars , the default starts at 2 stars.


Quod Libet has a number of different views available which are as follows:

  • Search Library
  • Playlists
  • Paned Browser
  • Album List
  • Album Collection
  • File System
  • Internet Radio
  • Audio Feeds
  • Media Devices

The search library view lets you easily search for songs. Simply enter a search term into the box and a list of artists and songs with that search term will show up in the window below.

The playlists view lets you add and import playlists. If you wish to create a playlist it is better to choose the "open browser - playlists" option from the music menu as this lets you drag and drop songs from the main view into the playlist you are creating.

The paned view is the default view that is used when you first load Quod Libet.

The Album List view shows a list of albums in a panel on the left of the screen and when you click an album the songs appear to the right. The album collection view is very similar but doesn't appear to show images.

The File System view shows folders on your computer which you can use instead of searching the library.

The Internet Radio view shows a list of genres on the left side of the screen. You can then choose from a multitude of radio stations within the right side of the screen.

The Audio Feeds view lets you add custom internet audio feeds.

Finally, media devices show a list of media devices such as your phone or an MP3 player.

Rating Songs

You can rate songs by right-clicking on them and choosing the rating sub menu option. A list of available values will be shown.​


You can filter the library by different criteria as follows:

  • Genre
  • Artist
  • Album

You can also choose to play random genres, artists, and albums.

There are also options to play the most recently played songs, the top 40 rated songs or the most recently added songs.


Quod Libet has a really nice user interface and it is really easy to use. If you are using a lightweight distribution such as Lubuntu or Xubuntu you will be very happy with this choice of audio player.