A music player based on the concept of "everything is a file"
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A music player based on the concept of "everything is a file".

What is this?

It's a music player inspired by MPD and the UNIX philosophy. Unlike MPD, vmp does not handle playlists or libraries or anything other than playing music (actually, it doesn't even do that much; see below for more details). vmp was designed to be easy to integrate into systems using other programs, which led to its file-based interface.

How does it work?

vmp is controlled by, and stores most of its state in, files. This makes for an interface that is very easy to connect to other things, such as status bars and notifications.

vmp has two main parts: the basic interface and the fancy interface. There is also a script designed to work together with them named vmp-autonext, which automatically advances the play queue when a track finishes playing.

Basic interface

The basic interface simply watches and modifies a directory tree to control and report the status of an instance of mpv that it supervises. It provides a very simple file-based interface to playing music.

Fancy interface

The fancy interface is designed to be a bit more user-friendly than the basic interface, and provides a command-based control system using a FIFO. It also does a few extra things, like keeping track of the queued files and the player history, allowing you to jump to next or previous tracks.


Stuff you probably already have:

  • bash
  • sed
  • cmp
  • cat
  • grep with support for the --line-buffered option
  • shuf

Stuff you might need to install:

  • mpv
  • inotifywait
  • sponge (from moreutils)

Debian has packages for everything. Install them like this:

# apt install mpv inotify-tools moreutils