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Command line internet radio player.

Ben Dowling -


Table of Contents


PyRadio provides the following features:

  • vi like keys in addition to arrows and special keys
  • Station editor (add/edit) with CJK characters support
  • Configuration editor
  • Multiple playlist support
  • vi like station ragisters
  • Search function
  • Theming support
  • RadioBrowser support
  • Easy installation / updating
  • Runs on Linux. MacOS and Windows

and much more...


  • python 2.7/3.5+
    • requests
    • dnspython
    • psutil
  • MPV, MPlayer or VLC installed and in your path


The best way to install PyRadio is via a distribution package, if one exists (e.g. Arch Linux and derivatives can install any of these packages from the AUR).

In any other case, and since PyRadio is currently not available via pip, you will have to build it from source.

Command line options

$ pyradio -h

usage: pyradio [-h] [-s STATIONS] [-p [PLAY]] [-u USE_PLAYER] [-a] [-ls] [-l]
               [-t THEME] [-scd] [-ocd] [-ep EXTRA_PLAYER_PARAMETERS]
               [-ap ACTIVE_PLAYER_PARAM_ID] [-lp] [--unlock] [-d]

Curses based Internet radio player

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -s STATIONS, --stations STATIONS
                        Use specified station CSV file.
  -p [PLAY], --play [PLAY]
                        Start and play.The value is num station or empty for
  -u USE_PLAYER, --use-player USE_PLAYER
                        Use specified player. A comma-separated list can be
                        used to specify detection order. Supported players:
                        mpv, mplayer, vlc.
  -a, --add             Add station to list.
  -ls, --list-playlists
                        List of available playlists in config dir.
  -l, --list            List of available stations in a playlist.
  -t THEME, --theme THEME
                        Use specified theme.
  -tlp, --toggle-load-last-playlist
                          Toggle autoload last opened playlist.
  -scd, --show-config-dir
                        Print config directory [CONFIG DIR] location and exit.
  -ocd, --open-config-dir
                        Open config directory [CONFIG DIR] with default file
                        Provide extra player parameters as a string. The
                        parameter is saved in the configuration file and is
                        activated for the current session. The string's format
                        is [player_name:parameters]. player_name can be 'mpv',
                        'mplayer' or 'vlc'. Alternative format to pass a
                        profile: [player_name:profile:profile_name]. In this
                        case, the profile_name must be a valid profile defined
                        in the player's config file (not for VLC).
  -ap ACTIVE_PLAYER_PARAM_ID, --active-player-param-id ACTIVE_PLAYER_PARAM_ID
                        Specify the extra player parameter set to be used with
                        the default player. ACTIVE_PLAYER_PARAM_ID is 1-11
                        (refer to the output of the -lp option)
  -lp, --list-player-parameters
                        List extra players parameters.
  -U, --update          Update PyRadio.
  --user                Install only for current user (linux only).
  -R, --uninstall       Uninstall PyRadio.
  --unlock              Remove sessions' lock file.
  -d, --debug           Start pyradio in debug mode.

The following options can also be set in PyRadio's configuration file:

  • -s - parameter default_playlist (default value: stations)
  • -p - parameter default_station (default value: -1)
  • -u - parameter player (default value: mpv, mplayer, vlc)
  • -t - parameter theme (default value: dark)


                  Main window                                      Playlists window                   Themes window
PgUp/PgDown       Change station selection                         Change station playlist            Change station theme
g                 Jump to first station                            Jump to first playlist             Jump to first theme
<n>G              Jump to n-th / last station                      Jump to n-th / last playlist       Jump to n-th / last theme
H M L             Jump to the top / middle bottom of the list      [Valid]                            -
P                 Jump to playing station                          Jump to playing playlist           -
Enter/Right/l     Play selected station                            Open selected playlist             Apply selected theme
^N / ^P           Play next/previous station                       -                                  -
                    (if already in playback)
r                 Select and play a random station                 Re-read playlists from disk        -
Space/Left/h      Stop/start playing selected station              -                                  -
Space             -                                                -                                  Apply theme and make it default
-/+ or ,/.        Change volume                                    [Valid]                            [Valid]
m                 Mute / unmute player                             [Valid]                            [Valid]
v                 Save volume (not applicable for vlc)             [Valid]                            [Valid]
o s R             Open / Save / Reload playlist                    -                                  -
a A               Add / append a new station                       -                                  -
e                 Edit current station                             -                                  -
E                 Change station's encoding                        -                                  -
DEL,x             Delete selected station                          -                                  -
O                 Open RadioBrowser                                -                                  -
t T               Load theme / Toggle transparency                 [Valid]                            [Valid]
c                 Open Configuration window.                       -                                  -
/ n N             Search, go to next / previous result             [Valid]                            [Valid]
J                 Create a jump tag
<n>^U <n>^D       Move station up / down.                          -                                  -
' \ y             Get into Registers, Extra Commands               y (yank) is not applicable         -
                  and Yank modes, respectively
z                 Toggle "Force http connections"                  -                                  -
Z                 Display the "Extra Player Parameter" window      -                                  -
?                 Show keys help                                   [Valid]                            [Valid]
#                 Redraw window                                    [Valid]                            [Valid]
Esc/q             Quit                                             -                                  -
Esc/q/Left/h      -                                                Cancel / close window              Cancel / close window

The same logic applies to all PyRadio windows.

Note: All windows - except the Search window - support changing the volume and muting / unmuting the player (provided that PyRadio is actually connected to a station).

Note: When inserting numbers (either to jump to a station or to move a station), the number will be displayed at the right bottom corner of the window, suffixed by a "G", i.e. pressing 35 will display [35G].

Note: When tagging a station position for a move action (by pressing "J"), the position will be displayed at the right bottom corner of the window, suffixed by a "J", i.e. pressing "J" on position 35 will display [35J].

HTML help

While in PyRadio main window, one can open the HTML (offline) help using "\h".

This is just a helper function for windows users who cannot use the man pages, but is still available for all platforms.

PyRadio Modes

PyRadio has the following primary modes:

  1. The Main mode, which is the one you get when you open the program, showing you a list of stations (a playlist), that you can play and edit; this is why it is also called the editing mode. All other modes derive from this one, and it's the mode you have to get to in order to terminate the program.

  2. The Playlist mode, which you can open by pressing "o". Then you can open, create, paste a station, etc.

  3. The Registers mode. This is identical to the "Playlist" mode, but instead of displaying playlists, it displays register. You can enter this mode by pressing "''" (two single quotes) and exit from it by pressing "Esc" or "q". You can also press "'" (single quote) to get to the Playlist mode and back.

  4. The Register Main mode, which is identical to the "Main" mode, except it displays the content of a named register.

  5. The Listening mode, which is intended to be used when you want PyRadio to just play your favorite station and not take up too much space. It is ideal for tilling window manager use, as the whole TUI can be reduced all the way down to a single line (displaying the "Status Bar"). In this mode, adjusting, muting and saving the volume are the only action available. To get PyRadio back to normal operation one would just resize its window to a reasonable size (7 lines vertically, or more).

Secondary Modes

A set of secondary modes is also available (a secondary mode works within a primary one):

  1. The Extra Commands mode, which gives you access to extra commands. You can enter this mode by pressing "\" (backslash). Then a backslash is displayed at the bottom right corner of the window.

  2. The Yank (Copy) mode, which is used to copy stations to registers. You can enter this mode by pressing "y". Then a "y" is displayed at the bottom right corner of the window.

  3. The Open Register mode, which is used to open a register or get into the Registers mode. You can enter this mode by pressing "'" (single quote). Then a single quote is displayed at the bottom right corner of the window.

  4. The Paste mode, which is available in the Station editor window only. It is designed to help the user paste a URL (and optionally a station's name). Why you might ask... Well, the Station editor normally treats the "?" and "\" characters as special characters (actually commands). So, if a URL which contains these characters (more frequently the "?" character) is pasted it will be corrupted unless the Paste mode is enabled.

The functions available through the secondary modes are content dependent, so you can see what command is available by pressing "?" while within a secondary mode. Pressing any other key will exit the secondary mode.

Tiling manager modes

These modes are specifically designed to be used with tiling window managers, trying to face a rapid reduction of window height or width (or both).

  1. The Limited Height mode, which is automatically enabled when the window height gets below 8 lines.

    In this mode, only a limited information is visible and if playback is on, the volume is the only thing that can be adjusted (or muted) and saved. This is the Limited display.

  2. The Limited Width mode, which is automatically enabled when the window width get bellow certain limits:

    • When the width gets bellow 40 columns, all windows will be closed and the main window will be the only visible one (either displaying stations, playlists or registers).
    • When the width gets bellow 20 columns, the Limited display will be activated.

Pyradio reduced to the "Limited display"

Note: These two modes do not work on Windows, either 7 or 10. The "Console"window will shrink as desired, but will not always notify PyRadio about it, so results will vary.

Config file

PyRadio upon its execution tries to read its configuration file (i.e. ~/.config/pyradio/config). If this file is not found, it will be created. If an error occurs while parsing it, an error message will be displayed and PyRadio will terminate.

The file contains parameters such as the player to use, the playlist to load etc. It is heavily commented (as you can see here), so that manual editing is really easy. The best practice to manually edit this file is executing PyRadio with the -ocd command line option, which will open the configuration directory in your file manager, and then edit it using your preferable text editor.

The file can also be altered while PyRadio is running by pressing "c", which will open the "Configuration window". This window presents all PyRadio options and provide the way to change them and finally save them by pressing "s".

In any case, PyRadio will save the file before exiting (or in case Ctrl-C is pressed) if needed (e.g. if a config parameter has been changed during its execution).

If saving the configuration file fails, PyRadio will create a back up file and terminate. When restarted, PyRadio will try to restore previously used settings from the said back up file.

About Playlist files

PyRadio reads the stations to use from a CSV file, where each line contains two columns, the first being the station name and the second being the stream URL.

Optionally, a third column can be inserted, stating the encoding used by the station (more on this at Specifying stations' encoding).

PyRadio will by default load the user's stations file (e.g. ~/.config/pyradio/stations.csv) to read the stations from. If this file is not found, it will be created and populated with a default set of stations.

Note: Older versions used to use ~/.pyradio as default stations file. If this file is found, it will be copied to use's config directory (e.g. ~/.config/pyradio) and renamed to stations.csv or if this file exists, to pyradio.csv. In this case, this file will be the default one.

Integrating new stations

When the package's "stations.csv" files is updated, the changes it has will not automatically appear in the user's stations file.

What PyRadio will do is inform the user that these changes do exist and give him a chance to integrate these changes to his stations file, by appending the new stations to the file.

When this is done, the first added station will be selected so that the user can inspect the changes and decide to keep or delete the new stations.

PyRadio will only add stations to the user's stations file; no station will be deleted as a result of this procedure.

Specifying a playlist to load (command line)

PyRadio will normally load its default playlist file, as described above, upon its execution. A different file can be loaded when the -s command line option is used.

The -s option will accept:

  • a relative or absolute file name.
  • the name of a playlist file which is already in its configuration directory.
  • the number of a playlist file, as provided by the -ls command line option.


To load a playlist called "blues.csv", one would use the command:

pyradio -s /path/to/blues.csv

If this file was saved inside PyRadio's configuration directory, one could use the following command:

pyradio -s blues

To use the playlist number, one would execute the commands:

$ pyradio -ls
Playlists found in "/home/user/.config/pyradio"
  1. hip-hop
  2. party
  3. stations
  4. huge
  5. blues
  6. rock
  7. pop
$ pyradio -s 5

Note: The default playlist to load can also be set in PyRadio's configuration file, parameter default_playlist (default value is stations).

Autoloading playlists

As already stated, PyRadio will normally load its default playlist (called "stations") upon startup.

This behavior can be then changed in two ways:

  1. Changing the default playlist.

    This is accomplished using the "Def. playlist" configuration option (optionally along with the "Def. station" option).

  2. Always loading the last used playlist at startup.

    This is accomplished using the "Open last playlist" configuration option.

    In this case, the last used playlist will be opened the next time PyRadio will be executed, trying to restore the previously selected station or starting playback.

    This option will take precedence before the "Def. playlist" configuration option (if it is used) and the "-s" ("--stations") command line option.

Note: When the "Open last playlist" configuration option is set, all playlist operations will be performed to the last opened playlist. In order to use the "-a" ("--add") or "-l" ("--list") command line options along with the "-s" ("--stations") command line option, the "-tlp" ("--toggle-load-last-playlist") option can be used to temporarily deactivate autoloading.

Managing playlists (within PyRadio)

Once PyRadio has been loaded, one can perform a series of actions on the current playlist and set of playlists saved in its configuration directory.

Currently, the following actions are available:

Pressing "a" or "A" will enable you to add a new station (either below the currently selected station or at the end of the list), while "e" will edit the currently selected station. All of these actions will open the "Station editor".

If you just want to change the encoding of the selected station, just press "E". If the station is currently playing, playback will be restarted so that the encoding's change takes effect (hopefully correctly displaying the station/song title).

Then, when this is done, you can either save the modified playlist, by pressing "s", or reload the playlist from disk, by pressing "R". A modified playlist will automatically be saved when PyRadio exits (or Ctrl-C is pressed).

One thing you may also want to do is remove a station from a playlist, e.g. when found that it not longer works. You can do that by pressing "DEL" or "x". The deleted station is copied to the unnamed register (refer to section Copying and pasting - Registers for more information).

Finally, opening another playlist is also possible. Just press "o" and you will be presented with a list of saved playlists to choose from. These playlists must be saved beforehand in PyRadio's configuration directory.

While executing any of the previous actions, you may get confirmation messages (when opening a playlist while the current one is modified but not saved, for example) or error messages (when an action fails). Just follow the on screen information, keeping in mind that a capital letter as an answer will save this answer in PyRadio's configuration file for future reference.

Managing "foreign" playlists

A playlist that does not reside within the program's configuration directory is considered a "foreign" playlist. This playlist can only be opened by the "-s" command line option.

When this happens, PyRadio will offer you the choice to copy the playlist in its configuration directory, thus making it available for manipulation within the program.

If a playlist of the same name already exists in the configuration directory, the "foreign" playlist will be time-stamped. For example, if a "foreign" playlist is named "stations.csv", it will be named "2019-01-11_13-35-47_stations.csv" (provided that the action was taken on January 11, 2019 at 13:35:47).

Playlist history

PyRadio will keep a history of all the playlists opened (within a given session), so that navigating between them is made easy.

In order to go back to the previous playlist, the user just has to press "\\" (double backslash). To get to the first playlist "\]" (backslash - closing square bracket) can be used.

Going forward in history is not supported.

Search function

On any window presenting a list of items (stations, playlists, themes) a search function is available by pressing "/".

The Search Window supports normal and extend editing and in session history.

One can always get help by pressing the "?" key.

After a search term has been successfully found (search is case insensitive), next occurrence can be obtained using the "n" key and previous occurrence can be obtained using the "N" key.

Line editor

PyRadio "Search function" and "Station editor" use a Line editor to permit typing and editing stations' data.

The Line editor works both on Python 2 and Python 3, but does not provide the same functionality for both versions:

  • In Python 2, only ASCII characters can be inserted.
  • In Python 3, no such restriction exists. Furthermore, using CJK characters is also supported.

One can always display help by pressing "?", but that pauses a drawback; one cannot actually have a "?" withing the string.

To do that, one would have to use the backslash key "\" and then press "?".

To sum it all up:

  1. Press "?" to get help.
  2. Press "\?" to get a "?".
  3. Press "\\" to get a "\".

When in Station editor, the Line editor recognizes an extra mode: Paste mode.

This mode is enabled by pressing "\p" and gets automatically disabled when the focus moves off the line editors.

This mode is designed to directly accept the "?" and "\" characters (which are normally used as commands indicators). This makes it possible to easily paste a station's name and URL, especially when the "?" and "\" characters exist in them; it is very common to have them in URLs.

CJK characters support

The Line editor supports the insertion of CJK Unified Ideographs, as described on CJK Unified Ideographs (Unicode block) also known as URO, abbreviation of Unified Repertoire and Ordering. These characters, although encoded as a single code-point (character), actually take up a 2-character space, when rendered on the terminal.

A depiction of the editor's behavior can be seen at this image:

CJK Characters on Pyradio

Moving stations around

Rearranging the order of the stations in the playlist is another feature PyRadio offers.

All you have to do is specify the source station (the station to be moved) and the position it will be moved to (target).

There are three way to do that:

  1. Press Ctrl-U or Ctrl-D to move the current station up or down.
  2. Type a station number and press Ctrl-U or Ctrl-D to move the current station there.
  3. Go to the position you want to move a station to, and press "J". This will tag this position (making it the target of the move). Then go to the station you want to move and press Ctrl-U or Ctrl-D to move it there.

Specifying stations' encoding

Normally, stations provide information about their status (including the title of the song playing, which PyRadio displays) in Unicode (utf-8 encoded). Therefore, PyRadio will use utf-8 to decode such data, by default.

In an ideal world that would be the case for all stations and everything would be ok and as far as PyRadio is concerned, songs' titles would be correctly displayed. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

A lot of stations encode and transmit data in a different encoding (typically the encoding used at the region the come from). The result in PyRadio would be that a song title would be incorrectly displayed, not displayed at all, or trying to displaying it might even break PyRadio's layout.

Note: vlc will not work in this case; it presumably tries to decode the said data beforehand, probably using utf-8 by default, and when it fails, it provides a "(null)" string, instead of the actual data. So, you'd better not use vlc if such stations are in your playlists.

PyRadio addresses this issue by allowing the user to declare the encoding to use either in a station by station mode or globally.

Station by station encoding declaration

As previously stated, a PyRadio's playlist can optionally contain a third column (in addition to the station name and station URL columns), which declares the station's encoding.

So, when a non-utf-8 encoded station is inserted in a playlist, its encoding can also be declared along with its other data. The drawback of this feature is that an encoding must be declared for all stations (so that the CSV file structure remains valid). To put it simple, since one station comprises the third column, all stations must do so as well.

This may seem intimidating (and difficult to achieve), but it's actually really simple; just add a "," character at the end of the line of each station that uses the default encoding. In this way, all stations comprise the third column (either by declaring an actual encoding or leaving it empty).


Suppose we have a playlist with one utf-8 encoded station:


Now we want to add "Station2" which is iso-8859-7 (Greek) encoded.

Since we know all stations must comprise the third (encoding) column, we add it to the existing station:


Finally, we insert the new station to the playlist:


Note: Using the -a command line option will save you all this trouble, as it will automatically take care of creating a valid CSV file. Alternatively, you can change the selected station's encoding by pressing "E" while in PyRadio.

Global encoding declaration

PyRadio's configuration file contains the parameter default_encoding, which by default is set to utf-8.

Setting this parameter to a different encoding, will permit PyRadio to successfully decode such stations.

This would be useful in the case where most of your stations do not use utf-8. Instead of editing the playlist and add the encoding to each and every affected station, you just set it globally.

Player detection / selection

PyRadio is basically built around the existence of a valid media player it can use. Thus, it will auto detect the existence of its supported players upon its execution.

Currently, it supports MPV, MPlayer and VLC, and it will look for them in that order. If none of them is found, the program will terminate with an error.

Users can alter this default behavior by using the -u command line option. This option will permit the user either to specify the player to use, or change the detection order.


pyradio -u vlc

will instruct PyRadio to use VLC; if it is not found, the program will terminate with an error.

pyradio -u vlc,mplayer,mpv

will instruct PyRadio to look for VLC, then MPlayer and finaly for MPV and use whichever it finds first; if none is found, the program will terminate with an error.

The default player to use can also be set in PyRadio's configuration file, parameter player (default value is mpv, mplayer, vlc), using the "Configuration Window", through which extra player parameters can be set.

Extra Player Parameters

All three supported players can accept a significant number of "command line parameters", which are well documented and accessible through man pages (on linux and macOs) or the documentation (on Windows).

PyRadio uses some of these parameters in order to execute and communicate with the players. In particular, the following parameters are in use by default:

Player Parameters
mpv --no-video, --quiet, --input-ipc-server, --input-unix-socket, --playlist, --profile
mplayer -vo, -quiet, -playlist, -profile
vlc -Irc, -vv
Windows only: --rc-host, --file-logging, --logmode, --log-verbose, --logfile

Note: The user should not use or change the above player parameters. Failing to do so, may render the player unusable.

PyRadio provides a way for the user to add extra parameters to the player, either by a command line parameter, or the "Configuration Window" (under "Player:").

This way, 10 sets of parameters can be inserted and made available for selection.

Using the command line

When the command line parameter (-ep or --extra_player_parameters) is used, the parameters specified must be of a specific format, and will be added to the list of parameters and made default for the player for the current session.

The format of the parameter is the following: [player_name:parameters]


  • player_name: the name of the player
  • parameters: the actual player parameters


pyradio -ep "vlc:--force-dolby-surround 2"

Note: When a parameter is passed to "mpv" or "mplayer", PyRadio" will use the default player profile (called "pyradio").

For "mpv" and "mplayer" a profile can be specified ("vlc" does not support profiles). In this case the format of the parameters part of the command line is: profile:profile_name.


  • profile: the word "profile"
  • profile_name: the name of a profile. The profile must be already defined in the player's configuration file.


pyradio -ep "mpv:profile:second_sound_card"

Using the Configuration Window

When the user uses the configuration window (shown in the following image), he is presented with an interface which will permit him to select the player to use with PyRadio and edit its extra parameters.

PyRadio Player Selectio Window

Each of the supported players can have up to 11 sets of extra parameters (the first one is the default).

The user can add ("a") a new parameter, edit ("e") an existing set and delete ("x" or "DEL") one.

Changing parameters set

When all desired parameter sets are already defined, using the -ap (--active-player-param-id) command line parameter can activate the set that corresponds to the number specified. The number to use for any given set can be retrieved using the -lp (--list-player-parameters) command line parameter.

While PyRadio is running, the user can change the parameters set used by the player using the "Player Extra Parameters" window, by pressing "Z".

If playback is on, changing the player's parameters will make the player restart the playback so that the new parameters get used.

Note: Any changes made this way will not be saved but will be in effect until PyRadio terminates.

Player connection protocol

Most radio stations use plain old http protocol to broadcast, but some of them use https.

Experience has shown that playing a https radio station depends on the combination of the station's configuration and the player used.

If such a station fails to play, one might as well try to use http protocol to connect to it.

PyRadio provides a way to instruct the player used to do so; the "Force http connections" configuration parameter. If it is False (the default), the player will use whatever protocol the station proposes (either http or https). When changed to True, all connections will use the http protocol.

When the selected player is initialized (at program startup), it reads this configuration parameter and acts accordingly.

If the parameter has to be changed mid-session (without restarting the program), one would press "z" to display the "Connection Type" window, where the parameter's value can be set as desired.

Note: Changes made using the "Connection Type" window are not stored; next time the program is executed, it will use whatever value the configuration parameter holds. Furthermore, changing the configuration stored value, will not affect the "working" value of the parameter.

Player default volume level

MPV and MPlayer, when started, use their saved (or default) volume level to play any multimedia content. Fortunately, this is not the case with VLC.

This introduces a problem to PyRadio: every time a user plays a station (i.e restarts playback), even though he may have already set the volume to a desired level, the playback starts at the player's default level.

The way to come around it, is to save the desired volume level in a way that it will be used by the player whenever it is restarted.

This is done by typing "v" right after setting a desired volume level.


MPV uses profiles to customize its behavior.

PyRadio defines a profile called "[pyradio]" in MPV's configuration file (e.g. ~/.config/mpv/mpv.conf). This profile will be used every time playback is started.





MPlayer uses profiles to customize its behavior as well.

PyRadio defines a profile called "[pyradio]" in MPV's configuration file (e.g. ~/.mplayer/config). This profile will be used every time playback is started.




Note: Starting with PyRadio v. 0.8.9, mplayer's default profile will use its internal mixer to adjust its volume; this is accompliced using the "softvol=1" and "softvol-max=300" lines above. The user may choose to remove these lines from the config (to activate system-wide volume adjustment) or add them to the config (in case the profile was created by an older PyRadio version).

Displaying Station Info

When a connection to a radio station has been established, the station starts sending audio data for the user to listen to.

Well, that's obvious, right?

Yes, but this is just half of the story.

The station actually also sends identification data, audio format data, notifications, etc. Part of this non-audio data transmitted by a station is the title of the song currently playing; this is why we can have this data displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Now, not all stations send the whole set of data; most send their name, website, genre and bit rate, for example, but some may omit the website or the genre.

PyRadio can receive, decode and display this data, and even help the user to identify an unknown station. This is the way to do it:

After a connection to a station has been established (after playback has started), just press "i" to display the station's info.

The window that appears includes the "Playlist Name" (the station name we have in the playlist) and the "Reported Name" (the name the station transmitted to us) among other fields; an example can bee seen here:

PyRadio Station Info Window

If these two names are not identical, the user can press "r" to rename the station in the playlist using the "Reported Name". This way an unknown station (when only the URL is known) can be correctly identified (after being inserted in a playlist with a dummy station name).

Copying and pasting - Registers

PyRadio takes the concept of registers from vim, and adapts their function to its own needs. So this is how it all works.

There are 36 named registers (name is a-z, 0-9) and one unnamed register.

  • Named registers are actually files that contain stations and can be opened and edited as regular playlist files. There are some differences in handling them: they are accessible either individually or using a special window, they are automatically saved, and writing errors are ignored. The later means that registers should not be regarded as normal playlist files that can be safely saved and used forever; this is true as long as there's no problem with writing to them; if a writing error occurs they may get overwritten or emptied. To permanently save a register, on would rename it to a normal playlist file.

  • The unnamed register holds just one station (the one that has been copied or added to a register or deleted from a playlist), and it is the one used when pasting to a register or a playlist. One can see its contents by pressing "\u".

To copy a station to a register one would press "y" and:

  • one of "a-z", "0-9" to add it to the corresponding named register. The unnamed register is also populated.

  • ENTER to add it to the unnamed register.

To open a named register, one would press "'" (single quote) and:

  • one of "a-z", "0-9" to open the corresponding register.

  • "'" (single quote) to open the "Registers window", so that a register can be selected.

To rename a named register, one would press "\r" either in the "Registers window" or while editing the register.

To clear a named register, one would press "\c" either in the "Registers window" or while editing the register.

To clear all registers, one would press "\C" either in the "Registers window" or while editing a playlist or a register.

To paste the unnamed register to a playlist or register, one would press:

  • "p" while editing a playlist or register.

  • "\p" while editing a playlist or register. This would open the "Paste selection" window.

  • "\p" in the "Playlist Selection or the "Registers" window.

PyRadio Themes

PyRadio comes with 6 preconfigured (hard coded) themes:

  1. dark (8 color theme). This is the appearance PyRadio has always had. Enabled by default.
  2. light (8 color theme). A theme for light terminal background settings.
  3. dark_16_colors (16 color theme). "dark" theme alternative.
  4. light_16_colors (16 color theme). "light" them alternative.
  5. white_on_black or wob (256 color b&w theme). A theme for dark terminal background settings.
  6. black_on_white or bow (256 color b&w theme). A theme for light terminal background settings.

Furthermore, three 256-color system themes (these are actual files saved in the themes installation directory) are also available:

  1. brown_by_sng
  2. pink_by_sng
  3. purple_by_sng

The visual result of an applied theme greatly depends on the terminal settings (e.g. foreground and background color settings, palette used, number of colors supported, real or pseudo-transparency support, etc.)

Pressing "t" will bring up the Theme selection window, which can be used to activate a theme and set the default one.

Note: Themes that use more colors than those supported by the terminal in use, will not be present in the Theme selection window. Furthermore, if a such at theme is set as default (or requested using the "-t" command line option), PyRadio will fall-back to the "dark" theme (or the "light" theme, if the terminal supports 8 colors and default theme is set to "light_16_colors"), and will display a relevant message at program startup.

The Theme selection window will remain open after activating a theme, so that the user can inspect the visual result and easily change it, if desired. Then, when he is satisfied with the activated theme, the window will have to be manually closed (by pressing "q" or any other relevant key - pressing "?" will bring up its help).

The use of custom themes and theme editing is not implemented yet; these are features for future releases.

Using transparency

PyRadio themes are able to be used with a transparent background.

Pressing "T" will toggle the transparency setting and save this state in PyRadio's configuration file (transparency is off by default).

Setting transparency on, will actually force PyRadio to not use its own background color, effectively making it to display whatever is on the terminal (color/picture/transparency). The visual result depends on terminal settings and whether a compositor is running.

When the Theme selection window is visible, a "[T]" string displayed at its bottom right corner will indicate that transparency is on.

Mouse support

Being a console application, PyRadio was never intended to work with a mouse.

Furthermore, when using the mouse on a console application, the result is highly dependent on the terminal used and the way it implements mouse support.

Having said that, and since the question of using the mouse with PyRadio has been risen, basic mouse support has been implemented; starting, stopping and muting the player, scrolling within the playlist and adjusting the player's volume is now possible using the mouse.

All one has to do is enable mouse support in the "Config Window" (mouse support is disabled by default) and restart PyRadio for the change to take effect.

Then, the mouse can be used as follows:

Action Result
Click Change selection
Double click Start / stop the player
Middle click Toggle player muting
(does not work with all terminals)
Wheel Scroll up / down
Shift-Wheel Adjust volume
(does not work with all terminals)

Online radio directory services

PyRadio supports the following Online radio directory services:

To access supported services, just press "O" (capital "o") at the program's main window.

Session Locking

PyRadio uses session locking, which actually means that only the first instance executed within a given session will be able to write to the configuration file.

Subsequent instances will be "locked". This means that the user can still play stations, load and edit playlists, load and test themes, but any changes will not be recorded in the configuration file.

Session unlocking

If for any reason PyRadio always starts in "locked mode", one can unlock the session, using the "--unlock" command line parameter.

Update notification

PyRadio will periodically (once every 10 days) check whether a new version has been released.

If so, a notification message will be displayed, informing the user about it and asking to proceed with updating the program (provided this is not a distribution package).

Updating a pre 0.8.9 installation

First thing you do is get the installation script. Open a terminal and type:


or using curl:

curl -L -o

Note: If you have neither wget or curl installed, or you are on Windows, just right click on this link and use your browser "Save link as" menu entry to save the file in your home folder.

Finally, execute the command:

python --force

Cleaning up

PyRadio will uninstall all previously installed versions when updated (using the -U command line parameter), so no extra steps are needed any more to house keep your system.

Debug mode

Adding the "-d" option to the command line will instruct PyRadio to enter Debug mode, which means that it will print debug messages to a file. This file will always reside in the user's home directory and will be named pyradio.log.

In case of a bug or a glitch, please include this file to the issue you will open at github.

Reporting bugs

When a bug is found, please do report it by opening an issue at github, as already stated above.

In you report you should, at the very least, state your pyradio version, python version and method of installation (built from source, AUR, snap, whatever).

It would be really useful to include ~/pyradio.log in your report.

To create it, enter the following commands in a terminal:

$ rm ~/pyradio.log
$ pyradio -d

Then try to reproduce the bug and exit pyradio.

Finally, include the file produced in your report.

Packaging PyRadio

If you are a packager and would like to produce a package for your distribution please do follow this mini guide.

First of all, make sure you declare the pacakges's requirements to the relevant section of your manifest (or whatever) file. These are:

  1. requests
  2. dnspython
  3. psutil

After that, you will have to modify some files, because PyRadio is able to update and uninstall itself, when installed from source. This is something you do not want to be happening when your package is used; PyRadio should be updated and uninstalled using the distro package manager.

In order to accomplice that, you just have to change the distro configuration parameter in the config file. PyRadio will read this parameter and will disable updating and uninstalling, when set to anything other than "None". So, here's how you do that:

Once you are in the sources top level directory (typically "pyradio"), you execute the command:

sed -i 's/distro = None/distro = YOUR DISTRO NAME/' pyradio/config

Then you go on to produce the package as you would normally do.

For example, an Arch Linux packager would use this command:

sed -i 's/distro = None/distro = Arch Linux/' pyradio/config

The distro name you insert here will appear in PyRadio's "Configuration Window". In addition to that it will appear in the log file, so that I know where the package came from while debugging.

Having said that, if you are not packaging for a specific distribution, please do use something meaningful (for example, using "xxx" will do the job, but provides no useful information).


  • Any user request I find interesting :)
  • Use Radio Browser service (#80 #93 #112)
  • Notify the user that the package's stations.csv has changed -v 0.8.9
  • Update / uninstall using command line parameters (-U / -R) - v. 0.8.9
  • Basic mouse support (#119) - v.
  • Players extra parameters (#118) - v.
  • New player selection configuration window (#118) - v.


PyRadio uses code from the following projects:

  1. CJKwrap by Florent Gallaire - A library for wrapping and filling UTF-8 CJK text.

  2. ranger - A console file manager with VI key bindings.

  3. Vifm - A file manager with curses interface, which provides a Vi[m]-like environment.