YouTube jukebox without a browser


Applications such as Atraci or Musictube are easily understood and quickly mastered thanks to their graphical interfaces. However, many users are looking for lean programs for the terminal, which can be controlled, for example, via an SSH connection. Mps-youtube [10] is one of them: The command-line tool written in Python could run, for example, on a Raspberry Pi connected to your stereo.

Mps-youtube has not been around long enough for the program to be included in the repositories of major distributions. To install, you typically need to turn to the Python package manager Pip, by enter the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get install python-pip mplayer
$ sudo pip install mps-youtube
$ sudo pip install mps-youtube --upgrade

Here, the last command refreshes the program after an update. If you work with Debian "Jessie" or "Sid" or a beta version of Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn," mps-youtube can be installed via the package manager by calling apt-get install mps-youtube.

Because mps-youtube does not include a graphical interface, the program is not available for clicking in the Start menu; instead, you call it by typing mpsyt in a terminal window. The start screen of mps-youtube automatically acts as a command line. You can start a search for artists, albums, or songs on YouTube with a leading slash as in /onerepublic or with an initial dot as in .onerepublic. Pressing N or P jumps from page to page in the search results. Searches with two slashes or dots, such as //acid jazz, only return playlists with the corresponding keyword.

Mps-youtube presents the results as a numbered list. You can then play the desired results by entering their numbers (Figure  6). Alternatively, you can press i <n> to output information on the video. You can view the comments by pressing c <n> or download the video to your hard disk with d <n>. Related videos are displayed by pressing r <n>, whereas u <n> takes you to more videos by the respective YouTube user.

Figure 6: Mps-youtube shows that a comfortable YouTube player does not necessarily need a graphical interface.

To avoid the continual need to select tracks, you can organize your favorite music in playlists. From the search, you can use add <n> to add a song to the current playlist, or select add <n> <Playlist> to add one to a different playlist. If the list does not currently exist, mps-youtube automatically creates it with the specified name.

In play mode, you can rewind and fast forward the song with the arrow keys, pause it with the spacebar, or press the number buttons to adjust the volume. Pressing Q stops the playback and returns to the latest search results.


Atraci, Minitube, Musictube, and mps-youtube give Linux users a rich selection of YouTube clients from which to choose. Atraci and Musictube offer nearly identical functionality; you only have to choose between a generic (Atraci) and a native interface (Musictube). Mps-youtube is likely to appeal only to die-hard Linux users as a console tool, although its functionality compares well with its competitors.

Minitube is the odd man out in this comparison because it focuses not just on music videos but searches through all of YouTube's offerings. If you like to use YouTube but prefer to do without the website, Minitube is your best bet.

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