mocp --version

          This is : Music On Console
          Version : 2.6-alpha3
            Built : Nov 27 2016 10:55:04
    Compiled with : OSS ALSA JACK DEBUG Network streams resample
       Running on : Linux 4.9.0-13-amd64 x86_64
           Author : Damian Pietras
         Homepage :
        Copyright : (C) 2003-2016 Damian Pietras and others
          License : GNU General Public License, version 2 or later

mocp needs some adaption to get used to 🙂

used to use vlc player

but have to say: the shuffle function of mocp is way better 🙂

also thanks to ffmpeg the amount of supported fileformats is endless


what does moc stand for? “Music On Console”

the usage as said needs the user to adapt a little, there is no one-liner that does it all, also mocplayer comes with two components:

  • the server process that can be run in the background
  • the gui client that connects to the server and commands it

instead: the user does it in “stages”, line by line tell the server

  • what the user wants to play (directory)
  • what playback mode the user wants (shuffle, repeat all)
  • autostart the playback

setup mocp:

hostnamectl; # tested on 
  Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
            Kernel: Linux 4.19.0-10-686-pae
      Architecture: x86

# install mocp
apt update
apt install moc moc-ffmpeg-plugin libasound2-dev

here is the mocp autostart playback script:

vim /scripts/
echo "=== mocp autostart script v1 ==="
echo "quit mocplayer gui with: Shift+Q"
echo "to stop mocp background server: mocp -x"

echo "===== # start background server"
mocp -S

echo "===== # modify play settings (shuffle on, nosynced playlist)"
mocp -t shuffle,n

echo "===== # clear the playlist"
mocp -c

echo "===== # add first argument to script as music dir"
echo "(depending on the amount of music this could take a while)"
echo "adding dir:" $1 " to playlist"
mocp -a $1

echo "===== # autostart playback"
mocp --play

echo "===== # show gui in xterm (Quit with Shift+Q)"
echo "and change dir to: "$1
xterm -e "mocp -m $1"

# stop everything
# mocp -x

possible enhancements:

also: if the user’s Music directory never changes, it might probably be better to remove the -c (clear playlist, playlist seems to be automatically saved on exit?


the user can add the script like this: /scripts/ “/path/to/music”

to autostart

possible problems and pitfals:

it is possible, that the user comes across this error:

mocp: alsa.c:319: alsa_read_mixer_raw: Assertion `RANGE(0, vol, 100)' failed.

which simply means: turn down the volume below a value of 100 X-D

# without libasound2-dev error could be:
FATAL_ERROR: No valid sound driver!
# solution:
apt install libasound2-dev


within the mocp gui a massive amount of hotkeys/shortcuts exist:

q              Detach MOC from the server
ENTER          Start playing at this file or go to this directory
DOWN           Move down in the menu
UP             Move up in the menu
PAGE_DOWN      Move one page down
PAGE_UP        Move one page up
HOME           Move to the first item in the menu
END            Move to the last item in the menu
Q              Quit
s              Stop
n              Play next file
b              Play previous file
p SPACE        Pause
f              Toggle ReadTags option
S              Toggle Shuffle
R              Toggle Repeat
X              Toggle AutoNext
TAB            Switch between playlist and file list
l              Switch between layouts
^p             Switch on/off play time percentage
a              Add a file/directory to the playlist
C              Clear the playlist
A              Add a directory recursively to the playlist
Y              Remove playlist entries for non-existent files
< Decrease volume by 1% >              Increase volume by 1%
,              Decrease volume by 5%
.              Increase volume by 5%
RIGHT          Seek forward by n-s
LEFT           Seek backward by n-s
h ?            Show the help screen
M              Hide error/informative message
^r ^l          Refresh the screen
r              Reread directory content
H              Toggle ShowHiddenFiles option
m              Go to the music directory (requires config option)
d              Delete an item from the playlist
g /            Search the menu
V              Save the playlist

^t             Toggle ShowTime option
^f             Toggle ShowFormat option
o              Play from the URL
G              Go to the currently playing file's directory
i              Go to a directory
U              Go to '..'
^x ESCAPE      Exit from an entry
]              Silent seek forward by 5s
[              Silent seek backward by 5s
M-1            Set volume to 10%
M-2            Set volume to 20%
M-3            Set volume to 30%
M-4            Set volume to 40%
M-5            Set volume to 50%
M-6            Set volume to 60%
M-7            Set volume to 70%
M-8            Set volume to 80%
M-9            Set volume to 90%
'              Mark the start of a block
"              Mark the end of a block
!              Go to a fast dir 1
@              Go to a fast dir 2
#              Go to a fast dir 3
$              Go to a fast dir 4
%              Go to a fast dir 5
^              Go to a fast dir 6
&              Go to a fast dir 7
*              Go to a fast dir 8
(              Go to a fast dir 9
)              Go to a fast dir 10
UP             Go to the previous entry in the history (entry)
DOWN           Go to the next entry in the history (entry)
^u             Delete to start of line (entry)
^k             Delete to end of line (entry)
x              Toggles the mixer channel
w              Toggles the software-mixer
E              Toggles the equalizer
e              Reload EQ-presets

K              Select previous equalizer-preset
k              Select next equalizer-preset
J              Toggle mono-mixing
u              Move playlist item up
j              Move playlist item down
^u             Add a URL to the playlist using entry
T              Switch to the theme selection menu
F1             Execute ExecCommand1
F2             Execute ExecCommand2
F3             Execute ExecCommand3
F4             Execute ExecCommand4
F5             Execute ExecCommand5
F6             Execute ExecCommand6
F7             Execute ExecCommand7
F8             Execute ExecCommand8
F9             Execute ExecCommand9
F10            Execute ExecCommand10
L              Display lyrics of the current song (if available)
P              Toggle displaying full paths in the playlist
z              Add (or remove) a file to (from) queue
Z              Clear the queue


there is an extensive config file in place:

# download config file template
# move it into place
mv -iv ~/.moc/config
# check it out
vim ~/.moc/config