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Revival XMMS - Old software die hard - getting old xmms 1.2 code into the present!
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XMMS - X Multimedia System (C) 1997-2004

A Cross platform Multimedia Player

Peter Alm, Thomas Nilsson, Olle Hallnas, Håvard Kvålen


1. Disclaimer
2. Installation
   2.1 Basic Installation
   2.2 Border less Installation
   2.3 Skin Installation
3. Documentation
   3.1 Controlling XMMS
       3.1.1 Key bindings
   3.2 Playlist Editor
   3.3 Equalizer
   3.4 Menu
   3.5 Preferences
      3.5.1 Audio I/O Plugins
      3.5.2 Effect Plugins
      3.5.3 General Plugins
      3.5.4 Visualization Plugins
      3.5.5 Options
      3.5.6 Fonts
      3.5.7 Title
   3.6 Plugins
      3.6.1 Input plugins
   Cd Audio Player
   Mikmod player
   MPEG Layer 1/2/3 player
   Tone Generator
   Ogg Vorbis player
   Wave player
      3.6.2 Output plugins
   OSS Driver
   Disk Writer
   eSound Output
   BSD Sun Output
   ALSA Output
      3.6.3 Effect plugins
   Extra Stereo
   Voice removal
      3.6.4 General plugins
   IRman Control
   Joystick Control
   Song Change
      3.6.5 Visualization plugins
   Blur scope
   OpenGL Spectrum analyzer
   Simple Spectrum analyzer
4. Command Line Options
5. Features
   5.1 Supported File formats
   5.2 Supported Features
6. Obtaining XMMS
7. Misc
   7.1 Shoutcast support
   7.2 Tips and tricks
8. Bugs
9. Contact Email

1. Disclaimer

We are not liable for any damage caused by the use of this program.

XMMS is NOT a port of windows95's WinAmp. We just borrowed the GUI! :)

2. Installation

These libraries are needed to compile XMMS.

   gtk/glib 1.2.2 or better.

For libc5 users, you also need to obtain,

   gnu gettext 0.10 (use configure --with-gnu-gettext)

   linuxthreads 0.71

   Thread safe Xlibs (at least aware) (thread aware)

If you want XMMS to play mod/s3m/med and formats supported by mikmod
you need to install libmikmod before running ./configure on XMMS.

For the OpenGL plugin you'll need Mesa 3.0 or better.

To compile the Ogg Vorbis plugin you'll need libvorbis from:

2.1 Basic Installation

cd xmms-1.2.8
make install

This will put the binary in /usr/local/bin and plugins in

2.2 Borderless Installation

As far as I know most WM's accepts GTK decoration hints so it will
not have borders. But some WM's can't handle this so you have to
set in manually.

AfterStep 1.0 ~/.steprc
Style "XMMS_Player" NoTitle, NoHandles
Style "XMMS_Playlist" NoTitle, NoHandles
Style "XMMS_Equalizer" NoTitle, NoHandles

AfterStep 1.4 ~/GNUstep/Library/AfterStep/database
Style "XMMS_Player" NoTitle, NoHandles
Style "XMMS_Playlist" NoTitle, NoHandles
Style "XMMS_Equalizer" NoTitle, NoHandles

Fvwm's ~/.fvwm95rc
Style "XMMS_Player" NoTitle
Style "XMMS_Playlist" NoTitle
Style "XMMS_Equalizer" NoTitle

CTWM's ~/.ctwmrc
NoTitle and NoBorder sections:
NoTitle {

NoBorder {

2.3 Skin Installation

XMMS will create a drawer called ~/.xmms/Skins/ in which you just unarchive the
skins the same way as you do for WinAmp.

However, you don't need to unarchive them since XMMS supports archived skins.
XMMS currently reads the following formats: zip, wsz, tar, tar.gz and tar.bz2

Just copy the archive to one of the skin path's and XMMS will take care of the

In order to support zipped skins you will need to download unzip.

If you do not wish to have unzip in your path, then set the variable UNZIPCMD
to the directory in which you keep the unzip command.

Use ALT+S when using XMMS to bring up the skin selector. XMMS will remember
which skin you had loaded when you start XMMS the next time. (saved in
~/.xmms/config) in the skin selector you have an option to use random skin on
play, this will pick a random skin on song change.

XMMS looks for skins in these directories:


or you can set the variable SKINSDIR to another location of your choice.

for bash:
export SKINSDIR=/path/to/Skins:/more/paths/to/other/locations/of/Skins

for csh:
setenv SKINSDIR /path/to/Skins:/more/paths/to/other/locations/of/Skins

3. Documentation

This file or

3.1 Controlling XMMS

When you start up XMMS, you will get a console very similar to that of

- On the top is the window title bar. To the right you will see 3 buttons,
   Left button will minimize XMMS.
   Middle button will make XMMS only display the title bar.
   Right button will end the XMMS session.

- The area in the upper left part displays the following:
   - Play state: Paused, Stopped, or Playing
   - Time elapsed in the current song or if you click on it, the reversed.
   - Spectrum analyzer of the sound being played. Right mouse click will
     bring up the Visualization menu. Left mouse button will change the
     analyzer to an oscilloscope and/or none.

- To the right of the Spectrum analyzer is the title of the file being played.
  This also contains the length of the song being played, as well as its
  position in the [unsorted] playlist. Right clicking in this window will bring
  up a new menu with some more options that are self explaining.

- In the left part of the Spectrum analyzer you'll have letters (at least if
  you use the default skin) O A I D V  left mouse clicking on these will open
  up menus or perform actions.
  O : Options menu
  A : Always on top
  I : File info box
  D : Double size mode
  V : Visualization menu

- Underneath the track title are the following static informational data:
   - bit rate in KBps (usually 128 or 112)
   - Sample Rate in KHz (usually 44)
   - Stereo or Mono channel mixing

- Underneath the informational data are a few controls you can play with:
   - The first slider controls the volume
   - The second slider controls the balance between speakers
   - The button marked "EQ" loads up the graphic equalizer
   - The button marked "PL" loads up the playlist editor
   - The LARGE slide bar moves from left to right as the song plays. You can
     drag this to jump to another location in the current file.

- On the bottom of the console are the standard buttons you would see on a CD
  player: Previous track, Play, Pause, Stop, Next track, eject, shuffle
  and repeat.

   - The eject button doesn't REALLY eject, of course. :) It opens up the
     file requester. The File Requester builds a playlist for the current
     XMMS session. You can use it to load files, add files to the list, or
     load all mp3s in a directory.

   - The shuffle button randomizes the sequence of the playlist.

   - The repeat button when enabled makes the playlist loop when it reaches the
     end of the playlist.

3.1.1 Key bindings

Global: (Main, Equalizer and Playlist window)

  z = Previous song
  x = Play
  c = Pause
  v = Stop
  b = Next song
  l = Play file (brings up the Load file(s) dialog)
  j = Jump to file (in the existing playlist)
  r = Toggle Repeat
  s = Toggle Shuffle

  Shift + l = Play directory (brings up the Add Directory dialog)

  Control + l = Play location (url)
  Control + p = Preferences dialog
  Control + v = Visualization plugin dialog
  Control + r = Time remaining
  Control + a = Always on top
  Control + w = Winshade mode
  Control + d = Doublesize mode
  Control + e = Easy move
  Control + j = Jump to time
  Control + z = Start of list
  Control + n = No Playlist Advance
  Control + 3 = File info dialog

  Control + Alt + w = Toggle Equalizer winshade mode
  Shift + Control + w = Toggle Playlist winshade mode

  Alt + w = Toggle mainwindow
  Alt + e = Toggle playlist window
  Alt + g = Toggle equalizer window
  Alt + s = Skin selector

Main window:

  Arrow key up    = Volume up 2%
  Arrow key down  = Volume down 2%
  Arrow key right = Skip 5 seconds forward in song
  Arrow key left  = Skip 5 seconds back in song

Playlist window:

  Arrow key up    = up one step in playlist
  Arrow key down  = Down one step in playlist

  Delete          = Remove selected songs from playlist
  Control+ Delete = Keeps the selected tracks and removes the rest
  Q               = Queue/Dequeue the tracks selected
  Shift + Q       = Clear the queue list
  Alt + Q         = Queue manager
  Page Up         = Move one page up
  Page Down       = Move one page down
  Home            = Go to the first song
  End             = Go to the last song
  Enter           = Play selected song
  Insert          = Add file dialog
  Shift + Insert  = Add directory dialog
  Alt + Insert    = Add url dialog

Equalizer shade mode:

  Arrow key up    = Volume up 2%
  Arrow key down  = Volume down 2%
  Arrow key right = Balance 4% to right
  Arrow key left  = Balance 4% to left

3.2 Playlist editor

To access the Playlist editor, select the button labeled "PL" on the right
side of the XMMS console.

This will bring up the actual playlist window, here you'll find 5 buttons.
All of these buttons can be held down to bring up an extra menu.
From left to right:

file +    : will add a file to current playlist, held down mode you'll have
            2 extra options
dir       : will let you pick a directory (recursive)
url       : will let you add an url for streaming

file -    : will delete the highlighted file, held down mode you'll have 3
            more options
crop      : delete all files except the highlighted in the list
all       : delete all files in the list
misc      : *** NOT FUNCTIONAL ***

sel all   : select all files in current playlist, held down mode you'll have
            2 extra options
sel zero  : select none
inv sel   : invert you selection

misc opts : held down you'll have 2 extra options
fileinfo  : opens the file info dialog.
sort      : release button on this will bring up another menu with sort options

load list : will let you pick a playlist to load, held down you'll have
            2 extra options
save      : will let you save your playlist
new       : will empty the playlist and let you create a new playlist

If you want to select/deselect files in the filrequester/playlist editor use
CTRL for files and SHIFT key for blocks of files. You can also browse the PL
using the cursor keys and enter to select song. Pressing the delete button will
remove the song from the playlist. If your mouse is equipped with a mouse
wheel, you can use this to scroll up and down.

3.3. Equalizer

To access the Equalizer, select the button labeled "EQ" on the right
side of the XMMS console.

That will bring up the Equalizer window. It looks like an equalizer on a stereo
and behaves like one as well. Press the button labeled ON to enable the use of
the equalizer, once you turned it on you use it as a normal equalizer.

EQ presets will be saved in ~/.xmms/config when you close XMMS. You can also
have your own presets for different song using the "Preset" button, XMMS can
also import/export from WinAmp's preset files.

If 'Auto' is enabled, XMMS will try to load equalizer presets like this:

1: Look for a preset file in the directory of the file we are about to play.
2: Look for a directory preset file in the same directory.
3: Look for a preset saved with the "auto-load" feature.
4: Finally, try to load the "default" preset.

The 'preset' button will open up a menu with the following options:

   Preset               : Will open a window with all available presets.
   Auto-load preset     : Will open a window with all available auto-load
   Default              : Will load the default preset.
   Zero                 : Will reset the equalizer to zero.
   From file            : Will load from a .preset file
   From WinAMP EQF file : Will load from a WinAMP equalizer file. If you
                          choose a library file only the first entry will
                          be loaded.
   WinAMP presets       : Imports the presets contained in an WinAMP equalizer
                          library file (often named WINAMP.q1) and add all
                          the entries to the Preset window.
   Preset               : Let you name the current preset and save it.
   Auto-load preset     : Saves the current settings as a preset for the song
                          currently playing.
   Default              : Saves the default value for the equalizer.
   From file            : Saves the current settings in a preset file.
   From WinAMP EQF file : Exports the current settings to a file readable by
   Preset               : Let you delete a preset from the list.
   Auto-load preset     : Let you delete a auto-load preset from the list.

Configure Equalizer     : Change the default names of directory based
                          preset files.

3.4 Menu

There are several menu hot spots on the XMMS window. One place is at the left
hand side of the visual window described in sections 3.1 If you click the right
mouse button in the main window, the menus will also pop up (same as clicking
the button on the top left corner).

3.5 Preferences

Use the menu to open Options / Preferences or press CTRL-P to bring the
preferences dialog up.

The first three tabs are for different types of plugins, the plugins specific
configuration and usage will be explained in the plugins section of this

3.5.1 Audio I/O Plugins

In the 'Audio I/O' tab you control the heart of XMMS, which would be the Input
and Output plugins.

In the 'Input plugins' part you can disable/enable and configure the available
plugins. The list box displays the name of the plugin, it's file name and
'(disabled)' if you have disabled the plugin.

The 'Output Plugin' is where you tell XMMS how it should play the audio back.
Today you can only have one 'Output Plugin' active at a time. So you can't
both listen to the music through the 'OSS Driver' and save the music to disk
with 'Disk Writer'.

3.5.2 Effect Plugins

Effect plugins can alter the sound in different ways.

3.5.3 General Plugins

General plugins are mostly for controling XMMS.

3.5.4 Visualization Plugins

The 'Visualization' tab controls which visual effects you want to see when XMMS
is playing your music. See section 3.6.5 for the plugins shipped with XMMS.

3.5.5 Options

Here you change most of XMMS's behavior and settings.

'Read info on'
   tells XMMS when to load the information from the files in your playlist.
   'Demand' will load the information when the files are visible in the
   playlist. 'Load' will load the information when you add the file to the
   playlist. Having 'Load' turned on when loading a 6000 song playlist might
   not be a good idea. If both options are turned off XMMS will only load
   the information when the song is currently playing.

'Convert %20 to space'
   This will convert "%20" to " " when the filename is displayed in the
   playlist. (%20 is what browsers use instead of space)

'Convert underscore to space'
   This will display " " instead of "_" in the playlist.

'Dim titlebar when inactive'
   Will tell XMMS to use the dimmed titlebar from the current skin when
   the window is inactive.

'Sort "jump to file" alphabetical'
   Will sort the 'Jump to file' dialog (available by pressing "j") in
   alphabetical order instead of the order it's in the playlist.

'Use realtime priority when available'
   This works only if XMMS is run as root or is setuid as root. It will allow
   XMMS to get all the CPU power it needs, and can greatly improve the playback
   on slower systems. NOTE: The 'Disk Writer' plugin will NOT work with this
   option enabled, also you need to restart XMMS in order for this to make a

'Pause between song for [ ] seconds'
   Will make a defined pause between each song.

'Show windowmanager decorations'
   Enables the windowmanager borders around XMMS.

'Mouse Wheel adjust Volume by (%)'
   If you have a mouse with a wheel, you can change how much of the volume to
   be changed when you move it up or down.

'Allow multiple instances'
  This will allow you to start more than one XMMS. You have to quit XMMS
  before this change takes effect.

'Always show clutterbar'
   Will make the OAIDV part of the main window to be displayed all the time.

'Save window positions'
   Will save the main window's position on the screen instead of letting the
   windowmanager choose location.

'Show numbers in playlist'
   Enables the display of the internal track number in the playlist.

'Equalizer doublesize linked'
   Will display the Equalizer in doublesize if you make XMMS doublesize.

'Smooth title scroll'
   Makes the title scroll go smoother.

'Snap window at [ ] pixels'
   Tells XMMS how close you can position the three windows until they dock /
   snap together with each other.

'Use "\" as a directory delimiter'
   This will come in handy if you are using playlist files from a windows
   player, so XMMS will treat \ as /.

'Use meta data in playlists'
   When enabled, all playlists will be saved with the configured 'Title'
   string for quick loading of information when you load a playlist.

3.5.6 Fonts

Here you can change the fonts XMMS use.

'Use fontsets'
   Will enable the usage of multi-byte charsets.

   Let's you choose what font XMMS should use for the playlist.

'Use X font'
   Makes XMMS use a font for the scrolling title in the main window.

3.5.7 Title

The 'Title format:' box allows you to alter in which order the information
about the current song is displayed.

Example: %p - %t (%a) [%y]
will display something like "Laibach - Alle Gegen Alle (Nato) [1994]"

Available fields are:

%p - Artist          (ex: Laibach)
%a - Album           (ex: Nato)
%g - Genre           (ex: Electronic)
%f - File name       (ex: laibach-allegegenalle)
%F - File path       (ex: /home/thomas/mp3)
%e - File extension  (ex: mp3)

%t - Track name      (ex: Alle Gegen Alle)
%n - Track number    (ex: 6)
%d - Date            (ex: ???)
%y - Year            (ex: 1994)
%c - Comment         (ex: Cover of D.A.F)

These fields makes use of normal printf(3) formatting codes.

  %0.3n     Will pad the track number with 0's until it's 3 chars long.
  %30p      Prefix-pads the artist name to 30 chars length with spaces.
  %-30      Same as previous, but suffix instead.
  %-30.30p  Suffix-pad to 30 chars and "cut" to 30 too.

3.6 Plugins
Plugins is what makes XMMS work, by moving most of the code out of XMMS and
into a plugin architecture it's possible to change almost everything in XMMS.
There are today 5 different types of plugins. Only a few plugins are
distributed with XMMS, you can find a lot more on

3.6.1 Input plugins
The input plugins is what you use to play mp3, mod, wav and even movies with. Cd Audio Player
Before I explain the usage we better have a look on the configuration

Device tab

		The actual device of your CD-ROM unit. On my system
		I use /dev/cdrom which is a symlink to /dev/hdc.
		This is where XMMS will "hijack" the filerequester and present
		the content of the CD. On my system I have it set to
		/mnt/cdrom, but if you're using some sort of automounter or
		simmilar I suggest you change it to something like
		/mnt/audio_cd and make sure the directory exists.

Play mode:
		Analog playback requires that you have a cable connected
		between the CD-ROM and the soundcard. Also it will not be
		passed through any effect or visualization plugins.

	Digital audio extraction
		This allows XMMS to pass the sounddata through the effect and
		visualization plugins. 

Volume control:
	This section is only active when you're using analog playback.
	No mixer
		You can't control the volume at all.
	CDROM drive
		The volume is controled directly on the CDROM, not all drives
		support this though.
	OSS mixer
		The volume is controled through the OSS mixer

Check drive:
	Makes a rudimentary check if everything is properly configured.

Remove drive:
	If you have more than 1 drives configured this will remove the current

Add drive:
	If you have more than 1 drives on your system you can add another to
	the plugin settings.

CD Info tab

	CDDB is used to get track information for your CD from a CDDB
	compatible database.

	You can set the enviroment variable "XMMS_CDDB_CLIENT_NAME" to change
	how XMMS presents itself to the CDDB server. Default value is
	"XMMS 1.2.8"
	Use CDDB:
		Enable CDDB use.
	Show network window:
		Will open up a window containing useful debug information when
		XMMS tries to do a CDDB lookup. 
	Get server list:
		Press this button to get a list of alternative servers from the
		server you've configured below.
	CDDB server:
		The CDDB server XMMS will use, default is ''
Track names:

	Override generic titles:
		By enabling this, the plugin will ignore the 'Title' settings
		from XMMS (section 3.5.6).
	Name format:
		Works as explained in section 3.5.6 but you only have 4
		available variables.

		%p = Performer/Artist   %t = Track name
		%a = Album              %n = Track number

Using the CD Audio Player plugin

Now to add your CDROM tracks to the playlist. Insert an audio cd into the
CDROM drive and press the Eject button. Go to the directory which you defined
earlier ( /mnt/cdrom ) and you should see a list of tracks. They will be named
Track XX.cda, select the tracks you want to play and press OK. If you had
choosed an Internet database and the CD exists in it, XMMS will now display
the tracks you have chosen with their names according to the 'Name format'

Now, that wasn't hard now was it? Mikmod player
This plugin will play a numerous older "module" formats supported by
the MikMod library (libmikmod). MikMod can be found at and you'll need
3.1.6 or better to be able to build this plugin.

In the first configuration tab you can choose in which quality mikmod
should play the modules. If you have an older soundcard you might want to
change the defaults to match your card. If the modules are played in what
seems to be half speed change 'Resolution' to 8 bit.

In the 'Options' tab you have five options. 'Look for hidden patterns in
modules' can be used to play "patterns" which exist in the modules, but
wouldn't be called when played. (Since most module formats decide on a
pattern basis which the next pattern should be, you can "hide" smaller tunes
within a larger module.)

'Use surround mixing' will as hinted turn on some mixing that gives you an
surround effect. This is however only usable if you're playing the module
in stereo.

'Force volume fade...' will fade out the music when the modules reaches
it's end.

'Use interpolation' can enhance the sound of the samples contained in the
modules, unless you're really out for that old crispy retro feeling. :)

'Default panning separation' "The original Amiga formats had an implicit
channel allocation (because the Amiga's hardware had same), 100% left or 100%
right depending on the track number (left right right left, or right left left
right, I forget). That sounded OK when they were written because most monitors
had only a single speaker, and the flash monitors didn't separate the speakers
more than about a foot, but when you try something like that with your speakers
in opposite corners of the room it drives you to distraction. That control
lessens the annoyance for file formats that don't specify the balance."

- Simon Hosie MPEG Layer 1/2/3 player
The main reason why this player exists today is mp3 files, so what could be
better than a plugin that plays them?.

It's based off the mpg123 engine and handles MPEG Layer 1/2/3 files and
VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 files.

The first configuration tab is just like the MikMod one, and again, if you
have an older soundcard and the music is going half speed, change the
'Resolution' setting.

In the 'Options' section you can tell XMMS how to handle the files you feed it.
You can tell the plugin to dectect files by extension, content and both. The
reason why this option exists is to make XMMS less demanding when you add a lot
of MP3 files with the extension .mp3. If you use both then XMMS will first look
at the extension and then try to detect by content. This is useful if you have
CDs with music that aren't correctly named.

In the streaming tab you can choose a 'Buffer size' in kilobytes which XMMS
will keep while streaming. This ranges from 4 -> 4096kb (which should be
sufficient for most people. The 'Pre-buffer' value is how much of the buffer
XMMS should fill before starting to play the stream. (0%-90%)

I'll let Chad Armstrong describe the two following options.

"As streaming becomes more popular, there is rising demand for better
information about the current track being played. This 'Now Playing'
information (also known as 'Title Streaming') allows for more information to be
passed back to the listener. In the past, there was a method started by the
Shoutcast group, which embedded this information in the stream itself. The mp3
standard was never designed to allow for text information to be interleaved
with audio data, and it is this design which can cause errors in playback. The
Icecast Team has taken this data completely out of the mp3 data, and has
provided it in a side channel (via UDP)."

- Chad Armstrong (icemonk)

You're better off having both these options enabled. :)

In the 'Title' tab you can change the way XMMS presents the mp3 files to the

ID3 is data stored in the mp3 file and can include Artist, Album etc. If you
uncheck 'Use ID3 tags' XMMS will display the filename instead of the ID3

ID3V2 allows for a lot of extra data to be stored in the mp3 file, and don't
suffer from the limitations of ID3V1, XMMS supports the same data that are
available in ID3V1 but not the extra data. If a mp3 file contains both ID3V1
and ID3V2 tags, you might see something different that the 'file info' editor
displays. If this happens, you might want to turn on 'Disable ID3V2 tags'.

'Override generic titles' is used if you do not want to use the generic titles
defined in the preferences. See section 3.5.6.

The 'ID3 format:' box allows you to alter in which order the information about
the current song is displayed.

Example: %p - %t (%a) [%y]
will display something like "Laibach - Alle Gegen Alle (Nato) [1994]"

available fields are:

%p - Artist          (ex: Laibach)
%a - Album           (ex: Nato)
%f - File name       (ex: laibach-allegegenalle)
%F - File path       (ex: /home/thomas/mp3)
%e - File extension  (ex: mp3)

%t - Track name      (ex: Alle Gegen Alle)
%n - Track number    (ex: 6)
%y - Year            (ex: 1994)
%g - Genre           (ex: Electronic)
%c - Comment         (ex: Cover of D.A.F) Tone Generator
Will generate a sinus tone or a mix of several sinus tones. To use it add a
URL: tone://frequency1;frequency2;frequency3;...

Example: tone://2000

will play a 2000Hz tone.

Example: tone://2000;2005

will play a 2000Hz tone and a 2005Hz tone at the same time. Notice the 5Hz
beats between the two tones.

The use of this baffles me, but at least I can use it to annoy my neighbors
dog. Ogg Vorbis Player

Plays OGG Vorbis encoded files, see
for more information. Wave player
This plugin plays as suggested, wave files. It supports 16bit and 8bit PCM wave

3.6.2 Output plugins
This type of plugins is what is used to send the audio data to your soundcard
or alternative devices. OSS Driver
This plugin is probably what most of you will use if your system is equipped
with the OpenSoundSystem ( drivers or compatible.
Compatible drivers are ALSA with their OSS emulation, and Linux kernel sound

In the 'Devices' tab you can change the soundcard which XMMS is going to use.
If your driver have more than one dsp, you can change the one XMMS uses by
enabling 'Use alternate device' and changing the '/dev/dsp' to suit your needs.

If you have changed your Audio Device to another soundcard (if you for some
reason have two cards) don't forget to change the 'Mixer device' setting to the
soundcard you want to use.

In the 'Buffering' tab you can change how much data the OSS plugin will buffer.
The 'Buffer size' ranges from 200 - 10000ms. If you want the plugin to wait for
the buffer to be filled before it starts playing the music change the 'Pre-
buffer' value, this ranges from 0% - 90% of the 'Buffer size' value.

In the 'Mixer' tab you can change which volume setting XMMS should change when
you alter the volume from XMMS. Enable 'Volume controls Master not PCM' if you
want XMMS to change the volume of all sounds instead of only PCM/wave sound. Disk Writer
The 'Disk Writer' plugin will only output the music into a .wav file in
the 'Path' you set in it's configuration window. eSound Output
The 'ESD' plugin will use the 'Enlightened Sound Daemon' to playback the audio.
It's useful if you want to be able to have sound effects in your programs and
still be able to listen to music with XMMS.

In the 'Server' tab of the configuration, you can tell the plugin where to send
the audio data. Enable 'Use remote host' and enter the name/ip of the server
and port to send to. This is probably only useful in a LAN environment, since
the audio data is sent uncompressed to the remote ESD.

The 'Buffering' tab works just like the 'OSS Driver' one. BSD Sun Output
The 'Sun' output plugin will use the native audio(4) interface provided
by OpenBSD and NetBSD for playback and mixing.

The $AUDIODEVICE and $MIXERDEVICE environment variables will override the
current configuration settings. Defaults are /dev/audio and /dev/mixer.

In the 'Devices' tab you can change the audio, audioctl and mixer devices
XMMS is going to use. The audioctl device is used for ioctl(2) calls
independent of audio data I/O.

In the 'Buffering' tab you can change how much data the Sun plugin will
buffer. The 'Buffer size' ranges from 200 - 10000ms. If you want the plugin
to wait for the buffer to be filled before it starts playing the music,
change the 'Pre-buffer' value, this ranges from 0% - 90% of the 'Buffer size'

In the 'Mixer' tab you can select the volume device to be affected when you
alter the volume from XMMS. `XMMS uses mixer exclusively' causes XMMS to
keep the mixer device open instead of re-opening it for each operation.

There may also be some more options depending on what your audio mixer
device supports (eg. loudness, spatial, surround, preamp).

In the 'Status' tab you can see audio device information and real-time
playback status. ALSA Output

3.6.3 Effect plugins
Effect plugins can alter the sound of the music you are listening to. Echo
Adds an echo effect to the audio.

In the configuration you can change 'Delay' 'Feedback' 'Volume' and enable
'Surround Echo' Extra Stereo
Enhances the stereo effect on the audio.

In the configuration screen you can choose intensity. Voice removal
A simple voice removal plugin, no configuration.

3.6.4 General plugins
Mostly used for controlling XMMS and passing data to other programs. IRman Control
With this plugin you can use a remote control compatible with IRman to
control XMMS. To set the functions on the remote control, open the
configuration screen and choose on which device the IRman is on. Press the
function you want to assign and then press the button on the remote which
you want it to use for the current function.

		The serial device your IRman is plugged into.
		(COM1 = /dev/ttyS0, COM2 = /dev/ttyS1)

	IR code length


	Play - Repeat
		These will effectively press the appropriate corresponding
		button in XMMS and cause that action to immediately take

		Allows you to specify a number between 100 & 199. To properly
		enter one of these numbers, you first press the corresponding
		button on your remote control for the +100 action. Then within
		2 seconds, you must press the next number and so on.


		To enter 115 you press the +100 button, then within 2 seconds
		press the 1 button, then within 2 seconds press the 5 button.	

		This tells the XMMS IRman plugin that you are about to enter
		in a number for the playlist you'd like to load. You have 2
		seconds after pressing the corresponding playlist button on
		your remote control to enter in the appropriate number.

		These are used to either jump to a certain track number in a
		loaded playlist, or to load a specific playlist. To jump to a
		track, simply press the corresponding number and it will begin
		playing the specified track number. To enter numbers larger
		than 9, you have 2 seconds between each number press to enter
		the next number. 


		To jump to track 54, you must press the 4 button within 2
		seconds after pressing the 5 button.

		Here you may specify up to 100 different playlists you have
		already saved on your harddrive. Simply type in the absolute
		path to the playlist (m3u) file for as many entries as you
		need. The number associated with the path you specify is the
		number that you will use to load that playlist.


		To load playlist number 0, you first press the corresponding
		"playlist" button on your remote control, then within 2
		seconds you must press the 0 button. Joystick Control
This plugin allows you to control XMMS from a joystick. The configuration is
rather straight forward and since I don't have a joystick, I'll leave it up you
to figure it out. Song Change
This plugin will run a defined program each time you change song in XMMS.

In the configuration you can define what will happen when the song changes or
when the Playlist reaches the end.

Available information you might want to pass to the program are:

   %F - frequency (in hertz)
   %c - number of channels
   %f - filename (full path)
   %l - length (in milliseconds)
   %n - name
   %r - rate
   %s - name
   %t - playlist position

example: echo "%n" >>~/xmms_log

will fill your ~/xmms_log file with all the songs you have listened to.

3.6.5 Visualization plugins
Eye candy plugins. Blur scope
A simple blurring oscilloscope, in the configuration you can change the color
with the standard GTK color dialog. OpenGL Spectrum analyzer
Displays a rotating spectrum analyzer disc. In the configuration you can enable
3DFX fullscreen mode. If you have a DRI enabled version of XFree it will
display it windowed but captures the mouse. (at least on my system). To leave
fullscreen mode press the Escape key on your keyboard.

The "z x c v b" keys are bound to the same as it is in the main window of XMMS.
Use the arrow keys to change the X and Z axis, and Q + W to change the Y axis.

Pressing Enter will change back to the default settings. Simple Spectrum analyzer
Displays the oh-so-standard green-yellow-red spectrum bars. No configuration.

4. Command Line Options

xmms --help will produce:

Usage: xmms [options] [files] ...


  -h, --help                    Display this text and exit.
  -n, --session                 Select XMMS session (Default: 0)
  -r, --rew                     Skip backwards in playlist
  -p, --play                    Start playing current playlist
  -u, --pause                   Pause current song
  -s, --stop                    Stop current song
  -t, --play-pause              Pause if playing, play otherwise
  -f, --fwd                     Skip forward in playlist
  -e, --enqueue                 Don't clear the playlist
  -Q, --queue                   Add file(s) to playlist and queue

  -S, --toggle-shuffle[=SWITCH] Toggle the 'shuffle' flag.
  -R, --toggle-repeat[=SWITCH]  Toggle the 'repeat' flag.
  -A, --toggle-advance[=SWITCH] Toggle the 'no playlist advance' flag.

                                SWITCH may be either 'on' or 'off'

  -m, --show-main-window        Show the main window.
  -i, --sm-client-id            Previous session ID
  -v, --version                 Print version number and exit.
  -q, --quit                    Close remote session.

Report bugs to

You can specify files on the command line, e.g:
xmms file1.mp3 file2.mp3 file3.mp3
xmms *.mp3
xmms playlist.m3u (note: playlists must be named .m3u)

If you do this while XMMS is running the current playlist
will be cleared and the files/playlist specified on the command
line will be used instead.

To keep the current playlist intact use the -e option. For more
information type 'man xmms'.

5. Features

5.1 Supported File formats

OGG Vorbis
MP2 and MP3 streams
WAV/AU samples

module formats:
mod, xm, s3m, med, it
669, amf, dsm, far
gdm, imf, m15, mtm
stm, stx, ult, uni

cd audio, shout/icecast

5.2 Supported Features

Seeking in files
Shuffle play
Repeat play
Playlist editor
Spectrum Analyzer
One Line mode al'a WinShade in WinAmp
Timer Elapsed/Timer Remaining
Plug-in system Output/Input/Effect/General/Visualization
Double Size option
WinAmp 2.0 skin support (can use wsz files)
GTK Requesters (with theme support)
Streaming/Shoutcast(1.0/1.1)/Icecast support
Auto remove borders if the WM has support for it
Gnome/AfterStep/WindowMaker dock app
Fast jump in playlist
Scroll wheel support
Save to wav option
Saves http streams to HD
HTTP authentication
Plays MPEG layer 1/2/3 also wav and formats supported by mikmod
Compiles and works on other UNIX's
Proxy authentication support

6. Obtaining XMMS
How do I get it?

XMMS is mainly distributed on

FTP Mirrors:

Want some skins made by linux users?

7. Misc

7.1. Shoutcast support

To make Netscape use XMMS on you just have to load up
Netscape and choose view/preferences/Navigator/applications add a new handler
set mimetype: audio/x-scpls
set application: xmms %s
hit the OK button and off you go!

And for

Set mimetype: audio/x-mpegurl
Set suffix: m3u
Set application: xmms %s

7.2. Tips and Tricks

If you have a windows partition with WinAmp installed, a good idea would be to
set the SKINSDIR variable to that dir.

XMMS features some command line options like next/previous songs, those
things can be binded to a key. I use AfterStep and the useless window keys
for this. Here is an example from my .steprc:

Key     Meta_R  A       N       Exec "xmms" xmms -r
Key     Menu    A       N       Exec "xmms" xmms -f

If you want all your mp3's in one playlist an easy way is:
locate .mp3 > /path/to/playlistname

(considering you have a fairly recent updatedb, don't blame us if locate don't
find the file you downloaded 3 minutes ago)

8. Bugs
There are no known bugs as of this moment, but if you do find one, please visit and let us know.

9. Contact Email's

Peter Alm      (developer)     peter at
Håvard Kvålen  (developer)     havardk at
Thomas Nilsson (docs, support) thomas at
Olle Hällnäs   (docs, support) olle at
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