MellowPlayer is a Qt cloud music app for Linux, Windows and Mac.
Never heard of it? I can’t say I had, either. But a reader of this site, and a fan of MellowPlayer, asked if I could write a few lines about its latest release.
MellowPlayer is a Qt Cloud Music Player
If you’ve been using Linux long enough to recall the Nuvola music player then the conceit here will be familiar: one app gives you access to a bunch of streaming music services with the added bonus of desktop integration.
MellowPlayer supports the following web-based music streaming services in its latest version:
- Google Play Music
A few of these streaming services require a subscription, but most have a free tiers or plan available so that you can listen for nowt but the cost of a sign up.
Of course, you can already listen to all of these services in a regular web-browser, which is where MellowPlayer adds a sweetener: desktop integration. On Linux this includes:
- Native desktop notifications on track change
- MPRIS support (e.g., Ubuntu Sound Menu, Raven Sidebar)
- Hot key/Media Key support
- System tray applet
On Mac and Windows you get all of the above sans MPRIS support.
You can disable notifications and hide the system tray, so if those features sound like they’d be annoyances rather than welcome additions, dive in and turn ’em off!
A player toolbar with currently playing track info, including cover art and progress bar, travels with you to sit atop all services. This toolbar also has buttons to quickly return to the overview screen, navigate back/forward/home, disable notifications and access the settings section.
Some other MellowPlayer features include a choice of player themes, support for additional music services as plugins; favourite tracks on some services; and the ability to rearrange (or remove) music services from the main service selection screen.
You can hope between running services using Ctrl + Tab.
But the coolest MellowPlayer feature is (imo) the ‘listening history’ panel:
This nifty pane keeps a short (configurable) history of your recently played tracks across all services you use. Perfect for those times when you let a playlist tick over in genres or artists you don’t know, and you want to quickly find out what a particular song was called.
MellowPlayer: The Drawbacks
It’s not all sweet music, sadly.
One major drawback with using MellowPlayer is that some cloud music services require a version of QtWebEngine that has been compiled with proprietary plugins enabled and, in Spotify’s instance, the widevine plugin (which you can copy over from Google Chrome).
Without them you cannot use certain services:
If you’re familiar with building Qt5 apps from source this hurdle is easy to clear. But if you run this app on Linux from the AppImage (which the app is distributed on Linux as) then it becomes much harder to get things running as they should.
I couldn’t find a way to enable the relevant parts inside the AppImage.
The latest Linux release of MellowPlayer is available to download as an AppImage direct from the project’s Github page:
You can find Windows and Mac builds, source code, file issues you find, and/or contribute to the player’s development on the app’s Github page: