Here's what I want: I have a folder with MP3 files. I would like to play all the files in the folder, alphabetically. And I need a way to pause, skip to next file, and that's pretty much it.

I don't want to use my music player to organize my music library, I don't need connection to network services, and I don't even need ID3 support.

On Windows, WinAmp 2 did what I wanted. What's my best option on Ubuntu?

  • 2
    moc, man. moc. it's the most efficient music player eva. u can even use it without x window.
    – Gödel
    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:04

12 Answers 12


If you are looking for something lightweight than Rhytmbox, then try audacious

sudo apt-get install audacious

It is also present in Ubuntu Software Center. HTH

  • Audacious has got a lot of options, but the default interface is indeed just what you asked for.
    – RobinJ
    Aug 10, 2011 at 10:18
  • And it has a classic Winamp interface! +1
    – Mike McKay
    Oct 28, 2013 at 12:21

Personally I use moc in such cases. If you don’t mind it being in text mode, I recommend it.


You could use Totem, you can load/save playlists and it's pretty straight forward (and installed by default).

Edit: You might also want to have a look at XMMS, which is pretty similar to WinAmp.

  • 3
    +1 Totem is the default player and is perfectly fine for this; open the sidebar to get the playlist controls. Personally I much prefer it to the clunky heavyweight music manager apps.
    – bobince
    Oct 21, 2010 at 1:32
  • Totem now insists on showing a front page with thumbnails of all movies your have in your home folder, which makes it very heavy at times. Aug 6, 2015 at 4:47

For your situation I'd recommend DeadBeeF. It's light, fast and, silly name aside, it can do exactly what you want. Just point the player to the folder you want to play, arrange the files alphabetically via the 'Title' column and let it play your music.


I have been using exaile music player like it a lot


There is nothing stupid about a light, simple and fast player that will do quickly what you want, namely: playing straightly your music with no concern for looks or supplementary capacities.

The problem is that a lot of simple players are just stupid. They crush, or won't natively open flac, ape or cue files and such, or, if you add them the needed plugins to play them, they crush after that etc.

You want a simple player like winamp?

QMMP is the one for that. (some that pretend to be simpler are so simple that you might end losing a lot of time with simplest tasks)

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It supports Winamp x2 skins ;)

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sudo apt-get install qmmp

But so it happens that the best player around is also the lightest and simplest if you do not need addons/plugins - it is still light and fast with all that, and that's why it is the best; but anyway:

DeaDBeeF (I prefer the static/portable version) - here

enter image description here

No skins for this one ;) but colors are changeable.

Considering Winamp itself: why not try it in Wine? It seems fast and light. Unless you want to try the real best player for Windows, and, through Wine, a serious favorite as the best in Linux: Foobar2000. (See related answer.)

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(But I'm curious: why would one want to play music files alphabetically?? In case your needs of just playing alphabetically one folder of mp3 files have become more complex in time, you might consider editing your question.)

You might use Fooobar2000 to edit track number(among other things) in bulk with the masstagger. Let's say I have some tracks with no number in tags but that are put in the correct order because of the name

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Opening them in FB2k

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In the new window click 'Add'

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In the other small window click ok (leave empty)

With 'Auto track number' enabled there click 'Run'. It's done.

A good player should only look simple!

  • Heh, alphabetically does sound weird, but I name my files <track number> - <song name>.mp3, so it makes sense.
    – itsadok
    Nov 21, 2012 at 5:49
  • you put the track number in the name of the file. you do that manually? i recommend a feature in foobar2000 that i'll insert in the answer
    – user47206
    Nov 21, 2012 at 8:32

Straight out, I'd say use Rhythmbox (It's installed by default). It automatically scans your music folder and adds files when you drop them in there. Nothing fancy, it just works.

  • 4
    The huge interface of Rhythmbox is what prompted this question in the first place. But I see your point.
    – itsadok
    Oct 20, 2010 at 10:22
  • 3
    @itsadok, if you dislike the huge "full" interface, then rhythmbox has minimalistic "small" interface. ;) It's switched on in the menu, View / Small display. Enjoy!
    – ulidtko
    May 18, 2011 at 19:47
  • Never knew that about the small display. I don't use Rhythmbox anymore but cool tip ulidtko! May 18, 2011 at 20:58

I would recommend cmus! It is a console-only player, and quite flexible when it comes to alphabetic ordering. To add all files in a directory, use:

  1. :add ~/my_music (replace ~/my_music with your actual music folder)
  2. :set lib_sort=filename (if you only want to sort by directory/filename)

I'd recommend decibel-audio-player. Simple, lightweight, efficient and made just to play music. Best replace for winamp2 for me. It's available through standard repository and at launchpad.

  • this is actually quite a nifty app. 1+
    – kounryusui
    Oct 20, 2010 at 12:09
  • Very fast app indeed. +1
    – Anwar
    Mar 28, 2014 at 16:07

Try moosic which has no ui at all. ;-)

(Well, it has a ui, but it can run in the background as a daemon.)


mplayer - simply fire up a console and put in: mplayer /path_to_mp3s/*.mp3

You can control it by keyboard, <spacebar> to pause, <page up> to skip to next song etc.

It's console based, so you can set up convenient aliases for it. For example:

alias mp3='mplayer *.mp3' plays all mp3 in current directory.


Why not the elementary OS music player, Noise?

It is vary straight-forward and easy to use. It is not super stable yet though.

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