I have tried all music players recommended in answers for similar questions, but I haven't found a player meeting the following requirements:

  • Plays youtube playlists smoothly (caches the audio before playing, I mostly don't care about video)
  • Allows to choose quality
  • Normalizes volume
  • Lightweight

Is there such a music player?

  • Are you looking to record the audio from the youtube video? If so, then there are many websites that you can visit via searching for Youtube Audio downloader in Google. – The Fish Feb 28 '12 at 19:43

10 Answers 10


vlc Install vlc

The stable VLC in *ubuntu 14.04 is version 2.1. To get the latest stable version:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mc3man/trusty-media&&sudo apt-get update&&sudo apt-get install vlc

can do this via a specific addon.

Look up the page for instructions - among others:


  • put the file in the vlc /lua/playlist folder, by default:
  • Linux (all users): /usr/lib/vlc/lua/playlist/
  • Linux (current user): ~/.local/share/vlc/lua/playlist/

How to use:

  • Copy the URL of the youtube video or playlist (must contain "list=PL...")
  • Start VLC, press Ctrl+N, paste the url then click on "Play" (or Alt+P then Enter), the video /playlist should start

enter image description here

(In 'Media', 'Save Playlist to File' and may open it later in VLC.)

Now I see that this answer was already given here, although with a different link.

Also, I find interesting an application that runs in the terminal, Youtube Viewer (youtube-viewer) and uses mplayer or mpv to play the youtube video.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install youtube-viewer

More here.

By default it uses mplayer. To make it use mpv instead, run youtube-viewer --video-player=mpv. So, a desktop file with this content may be useful:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=bash -c 'youtube-viewer --video-player=mpv'
Name[en_US]=Youtube Viewer
Name=Youtube Viewer

When running the program, a terminal window opens, saying:

=>> Search for YouTube videos (:h for help)
> ^J> 

Running :h for help, you get a lot of options, amongst which

[playlist-url]    : display videos from a playlistURL
:playlist=ID      : display videos from a playlistID

This means that just pasting a playlist's URL will show the playlist in the terminal as a list. (Alternatively, instead of the whole URL, :playlist=ID, where ID is the last part of the URL (after list=). Then, to play it in the video player, type the numbers of the playlist items: for a whole playlist of 10 items, 1-10, etc.

If you really don't care about the video and want mainly the audio, you can take a look at this question on how to play only audio of youtube videos.

The idea is to use mps-youtube, similar to Youtube Viewer, but audio only. To see a playlist there, just type pl <url or id>. Then similarly, something like 1-10, and the sound will be played.

Youtube Viewer can be also used with audio only by adding a corresponding argument for mpv player: youtube-viewer --video-player=mplayer -novideo.

To use VLC without video, the arguments are:

cvlc --vout none <URL>
cvlc --no-video <URL> 

NOTE that for some reason not all youtube playlists can be accessed in this way.

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  • The vlc addon requires a fix as of this date, but works after fixing. See comments in the linked page above. – vishvAs vAsuki Dec 16 '19 at 2:27

As YouTube is a video site, you are unlikely to find a music player with support for it. Also, even if you do, you should note that the YouTube API is fairly restrictive in what those apps would be allowed to do anyway, and you will likely only be able to get the low-quality versions of any videos, even those which may have 1080p video and 5.1 audio in the original upload.

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  • @Steven2163712 If you wish to continue this discussion, please visit the chat system of the site instead of using comments. The past several comments and the discussion that goes with it do not necessarily belong in this comments section, and a discussion about the concerns about the API and other components (on an answer posted eons ago in 2012 no less) are better served in a chat discussion than a comments stream. – Thomas Ward Dec 27 '18 at 17:32

I don't know if it'll meet your precise requirements, but have you given Minitube a shot? It's a very nice application that should go a long way towards helping you. Here is a link to the PPA's page: https://launchpad.net/~neversfelde/+archive/minitube

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  • Thanks, but this does neither normalizes volume nor caches the audio. – takeshin May 30 '11 at 7:52
  • it is not showing playlists. you can seatch a term, but how do you access a ready-made youtube playlist? that is what the question is about – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 14:30

Actually the default Movie Player (aka Totem) is capable of doing that:

Screenshot Totem

But I have to admit, that it is not very advanced and does not meet all your needs. But there might be a lot of plugins out there, since it is a quite popular default player.

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  • how to install a youtube plugin if there is one? is that accessing youtube playlists or just single videos? – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 14:33


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tomahawk/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install tomahawk

Phonon-VLC is the recommended audio backend for Ubuntu as there are known issues with others. So please make sure the package phonon-backend-vlc is installed rather than phonon-backend-gstreamer.

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  • how is this playing the youtube playlist? – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 14:27
  • 1
    I don't use it anymore, I've forgoten the features and it's in other version, so I'm not able to help you anymore. I'm sorry for this, maybe someone else could help you. I'm realy sorry… – Sardinha Jan 4 '16 at 14:58
  • I was just curious. I like to have my posts up-to-date, and as I posted under this question I just thought to ask – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 20:52

There is a video and music player called MiniTube. It can play Youtube videos and playlists and is very lightweight. Just search for it in the Software Center.

If this doesn't work, you could also try the XBMC Media Center. XBMC plays almost every music/video file and it supports YouTube videos/playlists.

Note: XBMC is a full Media Center. It is a very big and powerful application. I think that you are searching for a more lightweight player.

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  • 2
    Just a small correction: Minitube cannot play back user supplied playlist. Instead it automatically creates playlists from search terms. – Glutanimate Oct 13 '12 at 1:19
  • it cannot find or play youtube playlists, just separate videos – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 14:35

If your only care about the listening to music, you can do it right on the video's page by using this Firefox add-on. That'll give you all the power of the actual youtube player(with caching etc.) and enjoy the music.

It works for playlists as well :)

Firefox Add-on: Youtube Audio


It disables the video on the player window with a simple add-on toggle. Video can be enabled by toggling again and refreshing. Simple enough.

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One to look out for is Miro if you haven't already tried. The reason why I am not saying install it is the youtube and other features that require flash are presently not working in Ubuntu 11.10 but I expect there to be a future update that fixes it soon.


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If it really is music videos you are only interested in, musictube might be the right application for you. It's from the same developer as minitube.

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  • this just seems like minitube with some commercial options, but nothing to search, show and play youtube playlists. So: 1. why not minitube then? and 2. can minitube or musictube do what is asked in this question or not? – user47206 Jan 4 '16 at 14:24

http://www.youqueue.co.uk Music Queuer is a website which will allow you to play lists of you tube videos non stop, you can create a playlist of youtube videos or soundcloud songs and play them all as if they are in one player. The website indexes music via categories so that it is more music orientated in an album artist fashion.

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