Meet Museeks, a new cross-platform desktop music player written in Node.js, Electron and React.js.
The app features a clean, polished interface and, like any good music player should, it can play a range of popular music formats, including the ubiquitous .mp3, plus .m4a/aac, .wav and .ogg.
Pre-compiled binaries are currently available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
Museeks 0.6.0 offers the following core feature set:
- Queue management
- Shuffle & loop toggles
- Playback speed control
- An optional dark theme
- Sleep blocker
A Quiet Work on ‘Need’ vs ‘Have’
Before we look at how Museeks works I’d like to offer a few thoughts to those of you gearing up to ask if we really need another music player.
“Need” is too obtuse and subjective, and can rarely be used to qualify software. We don’t “need” more than one web browser, toolkit or Linux distribution — but we have them and we’re all grateful for it. It also happens that the desktop music player is an app category most of us use and most of us have opinions on.
The developer behind Museeks says he made the project for: “…for multiple reasons, first as a proof of concept because I was needing a minimalistic audio player, and I couldn’t find one on Linux. And It was a good opportunity for me to drop PHP to JS as a full-stack dev.”
He made this app to scratch his own itch. He also made it open-source so others could use, learn and build on it.
As ever with apps we feature on this website, you’re under no obligation to download and use this. If you prefer Clementine, Rhythmbox or Spotify you can keep using them!
Getting Set Up
Running Museeks on a modern Linux distribution is easy: you download a pre-compiled binary, extract, and double-click on the ‘museeks’ runtime inside the extracted folder.
Not so simple is the first run experience. Museeks does not prompt you to add music nor guide you on how to do it. At first blush, with no toolbar menus available in the app, it’s not clear how to go about adding music to the player.
At the very bottom-left of the app sit three icons. These let you switch between the main library view, the playlists section, and the settings pane.
To add music click on the Settings icon and, under the Library section, click on “Add folder(s)” to add a music source (e.g., your ‘music’ folder).
As soon as a location is added the library detection/reading kicks in. This can take a while depending on size of collection, so if you have a lot of music, be prepared for a short wait while it does its thing.
Once done you are ready to roll!
Here’s where things get obvious: to play a song you simply double-click on the track entry in the list, or select it and press the play button on the toolbar.
The Play Queue auto-populates when you play a track, giving you an endlessly evolving playlist of sorts. I’m not entirely sure if it tries to be smart about the tracks it chooses or not.
You can rearrange the play queue by drag and dropping tracks around.
To remove a track from the play queue simply hover over its entry to show an ‘x’ icon. Click this to remove the track from the queue.
If you’re a fan of cover-art browsers or like to navigate your library using a tree structure, you’re in for disappointment. Museeks has one default view: list mode. And this is sorted by artist, alphabetically.
The section headers are purely informational. Clicking on them does nothing, so you can’t sort by genre or duration. You’re stuck (for now) with the default alphabetical list.
Searching is fast and responsive, even on a large library. The results field updates as you type, not at the end.
Click on the progress/seek bar to skip back or forward.
To the left of the seek bar you’ll find the obligatory options for looping (all, or a single track) and enabling/disabling shuffle.
To access the volume control simply click on the volume icon to reveal a volume slider.
Any good music player worth its tunes has playlist support and Museeks is no different.
The app has a separate section dedicated to playlists (the ‘star’ icon). From here you can create playlists, as well as rename or delete existing ones.
To add music to a playlist you’ve created you need to pop back to the music manager view (the ‘stacked lines’ icon) and right-click on the track(s) you want to add, select Add to Playlist, and then click the name of the playlist you want to add it to.
One drawback: you cannot (currently) rearrange playlists. Tracks are arranged in the order they are added, so the first track you add will be track 1, and so on.
Missing Features & Bugs
Each time you refresh your music folder (to get newly added tracks to show up in your library) your playlists are reset. This is an infuriating bug, especially if you’ve taken the time to carefully craft a running order.
There’s also (bizarrely) no ‘minimize’ or ‘maximize’ window controls. I’m not sure why, but if you’re using Unity’s ‘Minimise on Click’ feature (or similar functionality on other desktop environments) you’ll have few issues. If you don’t then be aware there’s no way to move it off the desktop without closing it!
A few Linux-specific integration features are (understandably) also missing, including MPRIS support to integrate with the Ubuntu Sound Menu, native notifications and a Unity Launcher quicklist. These shouldn’t, in theory, be difficult to add as other Electron apps have successfully made use of them.
A switch to
AudioContext web API is on the roadmap. This will enable Museeks to handle some fancy audio effects such as uninterrupted play and cross-fading. This switch should also make it possible for the developers to add an audio equalizer too.
Other features on the 1.0 roadmap include: audio tag editing; covers support; reorderable and additional media columns.
Download Museeks for Linux
Museeks is a free download and is available for 32-bit and 64-bit Linux distributions (as well as Windows and Mac OS X) from the project website. Downloads are provided as a pre-compiled binary — just extract and double-click on the ‘museeks’ file inside to run.