Linux/FreeBSD DAAP (iTunes) and MPD media server with support for AirPlay devices (multiroom), Apple Remote (and compatibles), Chromecast, Spotify and internet radio.
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scripts [osx] Added INSTALL instructions for macports (#344) Jan 23, 2017
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ChangeLog ChangeLog for forked-daapd 24.2 Nov 9, 2016
INSTALL [osx] Added INSTALL instructions for macports (#344) Jan 23, 2017 [config] Many updates to configuration and feature checks Jan 6, 2017
NEWS Add NEWS file again for automake Dec 25, 2013 [docs] Update README with new pipe features Jan 29, 2017 [docs] Fixup URL Oct 1, 2016 [smartpl] Add smart playlist support for file modification time Aug 13, 2016
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forked-daapd is a Linux/FreeBSD DAAP (iTunes), MPD (Music Player Daemon) and RSP (Roku) media server.

It has support for AirPlay devices/speakers, Apple Remote (and compatibles), MPD clients, Chromecast, network streaming, internet radio, Spotify and LastFM.

It does not support streaming video by AirPlay nor Chromecast.

DAAP stands for Digital Audio Access Protocol, and is the protocol used by iTunes and friends to share/stream media libraries over the network.

forked-daapd is a complete rewrite of mt-daapd (Firefly Media Server).

Contents of this README

Getting started

After installation (see INSTALL) do the following:

  1. Edit the configuration file (usually /etc/forked-daapd.conf) to suit your needs
  2. Start or restart the server (usually /etc/init.d/forked-daapd restart)
  3. Wait for the library scan to complete. You can follow the progress with tail -f /var/log/forked-daapd.log
  4. If you are going to use a remote app, pair it following the procedure described below

Supported clients

forked-daapd supports these kinds of clients:

  • DAAP clients, like iTunes or Rhythmbox
  • Remote clients, like Apple Remote or compatibles for Android/Windows Phone
  • AirPlay devices, like AirPort Express, Shairport and various AirPlay speakers
  • Chromecast devices
  • MPD clients, like mpc (see mpd-clients)
  • MP3 network stream clients, like VLC and almost any other music player
  • RSP clients, like Roku Soundbridge

Like iTunes, you can control forked-daapd with Remote and stream your music to AirPlay devices.

A single forked-daapd instance can handle several clients concurrently, regardless of the protocol.

Here is a list of working and non-working DAAP and Remote clients. The list is probably obsolete when you read it :-)

Client Developer Type Platform Working (vers.)
iTunes Apple DAAP Win, OSX Yes (12.4)
Rhythmbox Gnome DAAP Linux Yes
Diapente diapente DAAP Android Yes
WinAmp DAAPClient WardFamily DAAP WinAmp Yes
Amarok w/DAAP plugin KDE DAAP Linux/Win Yes (2.8.0)
Banshee DAAP Linux/Win/OSX No (2.6.2)
jtunes4 DAAP Java No
Firefly Client (DAAP) Java No
Remote Apple Remote iOS Yes (4.3)
Retune SquallyDoc Remote Android Yes (3.5.23)
TunesRemote+ Melloware Remote Android Yes (2.5.3)
Remote for iTunes Hyperfine Remote Android Yes
Remote for Windows Phone Komodex Remote Windows Phone Yes (
TunesRemote SE Remote Java Yes (r108)

Using Remote

If you plan to use Remote for iPod/iPhone/iPad with forked-daapd, read the following sections. The pairing process described is similar for other controllers/remotes (e.g. Retune), but some do not require pairing.

Pairing with Remote on iPod/iPhone

If you just started forked-daapd for the first time, then wait til the library scan completes before pairing with Remote (see library). Otherwise you risk timeouts. Then do the following.

The Quick Way:

  1. Download and run the helper script from here

Or, if that doesn't work:

  1. Start forked-daapd

  2. Start Remote, go to Settings, Add Library

  3. Look in the log file for a message saying:

    "Discovered remote 'Foobar' (id 71624..."

    This tells you the name of your device (Foobar in this example).

    If you cannot find this message, it means that forked-daapd did not receive a mDNS announcement from your Remote. You have a network issue and mDNS doesn't work properly on your network.

  4. Prepare a text file with a filename ending with .remote; the filename doesn't matter, only the .remote ending does. This file must contain two lines: the first line is the name of your iPod/iPhone/iPad, the second is the 4-digit pairing code displayed by Remote.

    If your iPod/iPhone/iPad is named "Foobar" and Remote gives you the pairing code 5387, the file content must be:

  5. Move this file somewhere in your library

At this point, you should be done with the pairing process and Remote should display the name of your forked-daapd library. You should delete the .remote file once the pairing process is done.

If Remote doesn't display the name of your forked-daapd library at this point, the pairing process failed. Here are some common reasons:

Your library is a network mount

forked-daapd does not get notified about new files on network mounts, so the .remote file was not detected. You will see no log file messages about the file. Solution: Set two library paths in the config, and add the .remote file to the local path. See Libraries on network mounts.

You did not enter the correct name or pairing code

You will see an error in the log about pairing failure with a HTTP response code that is not 0. Solution: Copy-paste the name to be sure to get specials characters right. You can also try the pairinghelper script located in the scripts-folder of the source.

No response from Remote, possibly a network issue

If you see an error in the log with either:

  • a HTTP response code that is 0
  • "Empty pairing request callback" it means that forked-daapd could not establish a connection to Remote. This might be a network issue. Solution: Sometimes it resolves the issue if you force Remote to quit, restart it and do the pairing proces again. Another trick is to establish some other connection (eg SSH) from the iPod/iPhone/iPad to the host.

Otherwise try using avahi-browse for troubleshooting:

  • in a terminal, run avahi-browse -r -k _touch-remote._tcp
  • start Remote, goto Settings, Add Library
  • after a couple seconds at most, you should get something similar to this:
+ ath0 IPv4 59eff13ea2f98dbbef6c162f9df71b784a3ef9a3      _touch-remote._tcp   local
= ath0 IPv4 59eff13ea2f98dbbef6c162f9df71b784a3ef9a3      _touch-remote._tcp   local
   hostname = [Foobar.local]
   address = []
   port = [49160]
   txt = ["DvTy=iPod touch" "RemN=Remote" "txtvers=1" "RemV=10000" "Pair=FAEA410630AEC05E" "DvNm=Foobar"]

Hit Ctrl-C to terminate avahi-browse.

The name of your iPod/iPhone/iPad is the value of the DvNm field above. In this example, the correct value is Foobar. To check for network issues you can try to connect to address and port with telnet.

Selecting output devices

Remote gets a list of output devices from the server; this list includes any and all devices on the network we know of that advertise AirPlay: AirPort Express, Apple TV, ... It also includes the local audio output, that is, the sound card on the server (even if there is no soundcard).

If no output is selected when playback starts, forked-daapd will try to autoselect a device.

forked-daapd remembers your selection and the individual volume for each output device; selected devices will be automatically re-selected, except if they return online during playback.

AirPlay devices/speakers

forked-daapd will discover the AirPlay devices available on your network. For devices that are password-protected, the device's AirPlay name and password must be given in the configuration file. See the sample configuration file for the syntax.


forked-daapd will discover Chromecast devices available on your network. There is no configuration to be done. This feature relies on streaming the audio in mp3 to your Chromecast device, which means that mp3 encoding must be supported by your ffmpeg/libav. See MP3 network streaming.

It is also required that forked-daapd is built with "--enable-chromecast".

Local audio through ALSA

In the config file, you can select ALSA for local audio. This is the default.

When using ALSA, the server will try to syncronize playback with AirPlay. You can adjust the syncronization in the config file.

Local audio, Bluetooth and more through Pulseaudio

In the config file, you can select Pulseaudio for local audio. In addition to local audio, Pulseaudio also supports an array of other targets, e.g. Bluetooth or DLNA. However, Pulseaudio does require some setup, so here is a separate page with some help on that:

Note that if you select Pulseaudio the "card" setting in the config file has no effect. Instead all soundcards detected by Pulseaudio will be listed as speakers by forked-daapd.

You can adjust the latency of Pulseaudio playback in the config file.

MP3 network streaming (streaming to iOS)

You can listen to audio being played by forked-daapd by opening this network stream address in pretty much any music player:

http://[your hostname/ip address]:3689/stream.mp3

This is currently the only way of listening to your audio on iOS devices, since Apple does not allow AirPlay receiver apps, and because Apple Home Sharing cannot be supported by forked-daapd. So what you can do instead is install a music player app like VLC, connect to the stream and control playback with Remote. You can also use MPoD in "On the go"-mode, where control and playback is integrated in one app (see (#mpd-clients)).

Note that MP3 encoding must be supported by ffmpeg/libav for this to work. If it is not available you will see a message in the log file. In Debian/Ubuntu you get MP3 encoding support by installing the package "libavcodec-extra".

Supported formats

forked-daapd should support pretty much all media formats. It relies on libav (or ffmpeg) to extract metadata and decode the files on the fly when the client doesn't support the format.

Formats are attributed a code, so any new format will need to be explicitely added. Currently supported:

  • MPEG4: mp4a, mp4v
  • AAC: alac
  • MP3 (and friends): mpeg
  • FLAC: flac
  • OGG VORBIS: ogg
  • Musepack: mpc
  • WMA: wma (WMA Pro), wmal (WMA Lossless), wmav (WMA video)
  • AIFF: aif
  • WAV: wav
  • Monkey's audio: ape

Playlists and internet radio

forked-daapd supports M3U and PLS playlists. Just drop your playlist somewhere in your library with an .m3u or .pls extension and it will pick it up.

If the playlist contains an http URL it will be added as an internet radio station, and the URL will be probed for Shoutcast (ICY) metadata. If the radio station provides artwork, forked-daapd will download it during playback and send it to any remotes or AirPlay devices requesting it.

Instead of downloading M3U's from your radio stations, you can also make an empty M3U file and in it insert links to the M3U's of your radio stations.

Support for iTunes Music Library XML format is available as a compile-time option. By default, metadata from our parsers is preferred over what's in the iTunes DB; use itunes_overrides = true if you prefer iTunes' metadata.

forked-daapd has support for smart playlists. How to create a smart playlist is documented in


forked-daapd has support for PNG and JPEG artwork which is either:

  • embedded in the media files
  • placed as separate image files in the library
  • made available online by the radio station

For media in your library, forked-daapd will try to locate album and artist artwork (group artwork) by the following procedure:

  • if a file {artwork,cover,Folder}.{png,jpg} is found in one of the directories containing files that are part of the group, it is used as the artwork. The first file found is used, ordering is not guaranteed;
  • failing that, if [directory name].{png,jpg} is found in one of the directories containing files that are part of the group, it is used as the artwork. The first file found is used, ordering is not guaranteed;
  • failing that, individual files are examined and the first file found with an embedded artwork is used. Here again, ordering is not guaranteed.

{artwork,cover,Folder} are the default, you can add other base names in the configuration file. Here you can also enable/disable support for individual file artwork (instead of using the same artwork for all tracks in an entire album).

For playlists in your library, say /foo/bar.m3u, then for any http streams in the list, forked-daapd will look for /foo/bar.{jpg,png}.

You can use symlinks for the artwork files.

forked-daapd caches artwork in a separate cache file. The default path is /var/cache/forked-daapd/cache.db and can be configured in the configuration file. The cache.db file can be deleted without losing the library and pairing informations.


The library is scanned in bulk mode at startup, but the server will be available even while this scan is in progress. You can follow the progress of the scan in the log file. When the scan is complete you will see the log message: "Bulk library scan completed in X sec".

The very first scan will take longer than subsequent startup scans, since every file gets analyzed. At the following startups the server looks for changed files and only analyzis those.

Changes to the library are reflected in real time after the initial scan. The directories are monitored for changes and rescanned on the fly. Note that if you have your library on a network mount then real time updating may not work. Read below about what to do in that case.

If you change any of the directory settings in the library section of the configuration file a rescan is required before the new setting will take effect. Currently, this will not be done automatically, so you need to trigger the rescan as described below.

Symlinks are supported and dereferenced, but it is best to use them for directories only.

Pipes (for e.g. multiroom with Shairport-sync)

Some programs, like for instance Shairport-sync, can be configured to output audio to a named pipe. If this pipe is placed in the library, forked-daapd will automatically detect that it is there, and when there is audio being written to it, playback of the audio will be autostarted (and stopped).

Using this feature, forked-daapd can act as an AirPlay multiroom "router": You can have an AirPlay source (e.g. your iPhone) send audio Shairport-sync, which forwards it to forked-daapd through the pipe, which then plays it on whatever speakers you have selected (through Remote).

The format of the audio being written to the pipe must be PCM16.

You can also start playback of pipes manually. You will find them in remotes listed under "Unknown artist" and "Unknown album". The track title will be the name of the pipe.

Shairport-sync can write metadata to a pipe, and forked-daapd can read this. This requires that the metadata pipe has the same filename as the audio pipe plus a ".metadata" suffix. Say Shairport-sync is configured to write audio to "/foo/bar/pipe", then the metadata pipe should be "/foo/bar/pipe.metadata".

Libraries on network mounts

Most network filesharing protocols do not offer notifications when the library is changed. So that means forked-daapd cannot update its database in real time. Instead you can schedule a cron job to update the database.

The first step in doing this is to add two entries to the 'directories' configuration item in forked-daapd.conf:

  directories = { "/some/local/dir", "/your/network/mount/library" }

Now you can make a cron job that runs this command:

  touch /some/local/dir/trigger.init-rescan

When forked-daapd detects a file with filename ending .init-rescan it will perform a bulk scan similar to the startup scan.

Troubleshooting library issues

If you place a file with the filename ending .full-rescan in your library, you can trigger a full rescan of your library. This will clear all music and playlists from forked-daapd's database and initiate a fresh bulk scan. Pairing and speaker information will be kept. Only use this for troubleshooting, it is not necessary during normal operation.

Command line and web interface

forked-daapd is meant to be used with the clients mentioned above, so it does not have a command line interface nor does it have a web interface. You can, however, to some extent control forked-daapd with MPD clients or from the command line by issuing DAAP/DACP commands with a program like curl. Here is an example of how to do that.

Say you have a playlist with a radio station, and you want to make a script that starts playback of that station:

  1. Run 'sqlite3 [your forked-daapd db]'. Use 'select id,title from files' to get the id of the radio station, and use 'select id,title from playlists' to get the id of the playlist.
  2. Convert the two ids to hex.
  3. Put the following lines in the script with the relevant ids inserted (also observe that you must use a session-id < 100, and that you must login and logout):
curl "http://localhost:3689/login?pairing-guid=0x1&request-session-id=50"
curl "http://localhost:3689/ctrl-int/1/playspec?database-spec='dmap.persistentid:0x1'&container-spec='dmap.persistentid:0x[PLAYLIST-ID]'&container-item-spec='dmap.containeritemid:0x[FILE ID]'&session-id=50"
curl "http://localhost:3689/logout?session-id=50"


forked-daapd has support for playback of the tracks in your Spotify library. It must have been compiled with the --enable-spotify option (see INSTALL). You must also have libspotify installed, otherwise Spotify integration will not be available. Unfortunately the library is no longer available from Spotify, and at the time of writing they have not provided an alternative. You can, however, still get libspotify here:

You must also have a Spotify premium account. If you normally log into Spotify with your Facebook account you must first go to Spotify's web site where you can get the Spotify username and password that matches your account. With forked-daapd you cannot login into Spotify with your Facebook username/password.

The procedure for logging in to Spotify is a two-step procedure due to the current state of libspotify:

  1. Put a file in your forked-daapd library containing two lines, the first being your Spotify user name, and the second your password. The filename must have the ending ".spotify"
  2. Delete the file again - forked-daapd will have read it.
  3. forked-daapd will log in and add all music in your Spotify playlists to its database. Wait until completed (follow progress in the log file).
  4. In a browser, go to http://forked-daapd.local:3689/oauth and click the link to authorize forked-daapd with Spotify.

Spotify will automatically notify forked-daapd about playlist updates, so you should not need to restart forked-daapd to syncronize with Spotify. However, Spotify only notifies about playlist updates, not new saved tracks/albums, so you need to repeat step 4 above to load those.

Forked-daapd will not store your password, but will still be able to log you in automatically afterwards, because libspotify saves a login token. You can configure the location of your Spotify user data in the configuration file.

To permanently logout and remove credentials, delete the contents of /var/cache/forked-daapd/libspotify (while forked-daapd is stopped).

Limitations: You will not be able to do any playlist management through forked-daapd - use a Spotify client for that. You also can only listen to your music by letting forked-daapd do the playback - so that means you can't stream from forked-daapd to iTunes.


If forked-daapd was built with LastFM scrobbling enabled (see the INSTALL file) you can have it scrobble the music you listen to. To set up scrobbling you must create a text file with the file name ending ".lastfm". The file must have two lines: The first is your LastFM user name, and the second is your password. Move the file to your forked-daapd library. Forked-daapd will then log in and get a permanent session key.

You should delete the .lastfm file immediately after completing the first login. For safety, forked-daapd will not store your LastFM username/password, only the session key. The session key does not expire.

To stop scrobbling from forked-daapd, add an empty ".lastfm" file to your library.

MPD clients

If forked-daapd was built with support for the Music Player Deamon protocol (see the INSTALL file) you can - to some extent - use clients for MPD to control forked-daapd. By default forked-daapd listens on port 6600 for MPD clients. You can change this in the configuration file.

Currently only a subset of the commands offered by MPD (see MPD protocol documentation) are supported by forked-daapd.

Due to some differences between forked-daapd and MPD not all commands will act the same way they would running MPD:

  • consume, crossfade, mixrampdb, mixrampdelay and replaygain will have no effect
  • single, repeat: unlike MPD forked-daapd does not support setting single and repeat separately on/off, instead repeat off, repeat all and repeat single are supported. Thus setting single on will result in repeat single, repeat on results in repeat all.

Following table shows what is working for a selection of MPD clients:

Client Type Status
mpc CLI Working commands: mpc, add, crop, current, del (ranges are not yet supported), play, next, prev (behaves like cdprev), pause, toggle, cdprev, seek, clear, outputs, enable, disable, playlist, ls, load, volume, repeat, random, single, search, find, list, update (initiates an init-rescan, the path argument is not supported)
ympd Web Everything except "add stream" should work


The source for this version of forked-daapd can be found here:

The original (now unmaintained) source can be found here: