'Now Playing' information via notify-send and mpc
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mpdnotify is a simple bash script that uses notify-send and mpc to create notifications about what song is currently playing in mpd.


  • mpd
  • mpc
  • notify-send (libnotify)
  • standard UNIX tools (find, egrep, head)
  • ImageMagick (convert) [optional]


Just fetch this repo with git: git clone git://github.com/vehk/mpdnotify.git


This script now uses a config file located in $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/mpdnotify.conf. A config template comes with the script; copy it over to $XDG_CONFIG_HOME and edit it to your liking.

The only thing left to do is to set up a program that will run the script whenever a new song is playing. I use the execute_on_song_change option in ncmpcpp in order to do that.

In order to display cover art, you need to tell mpdnotify where your music directory is. The script will then look for image files in the directory that contains the currently playing track.

The default regex expressions for cover art identification will match: (front|cover|art)\.(jpg|jpeg|png)$

Before being passed to notify-send, every cover is resized with ImageMagick according to the geometry given in the corresponding setting.

As mpd honors the MPD_{HOST,PORT} environment variables, you can access remote MPD instances: MPD_HOST= mpdnotify

Note, however, that mpdnotify cannote locate album covers this way unless you have a local copy of them in a folder equal in structure as the music folder on the remote instance.

Usage with mpdcron

As a nice alternative to a client bound hook there is mpdcron.

Install it on your system, configure mpdcron.conf to listen for player changes and add to ~/.mpdcron/hooks/player [[ "$MPD_STATUS_STATE" = play ]] && mpdnotify

Remember to chmod +x ~/.mpdcron/hooks/player.


To prevent mpdnotify from spamming output to the invoking program, any output (STDOUT and STDERR) from both convert and notify-send is sent to $HOME/.mpdnotify.log by default (this can be changed in the configuration section of the script).


mpdnotify in awesome

Because notify-send will look different depending on the window manager (etc.), this screenshot is only an example and shows mpdnotify using awesome wm with the zenburn theme.


You can use, edit and redistribute this script in any way you like. (Just make sure not to hurt any kittens)