Submit News Alternative Tip Form

LPlayer is a new, minimal audio player for Linux

lplayer app iconSometimes I want listen to a couple of podcast episodes or audio tracks back-to-back, without adding them to my media library.

PLlayer could be the minimalist audio player for Linux that I’ve been searching for.

Now, I’m not going to spend 500 words waffling about how this app is better than Rhythmbox, Clementine or any other Linux music player.

It’s not designed to compete.

Instead, what makes LPlayer interesting is its simplicity

LPlayer — a minimalist audio player for Linux

lplayer

LPlayer features a stripped back, easy-to-use GUI that puts only essential features on show, namely player controls, and track list.

Yet beneath the minimal design sit a couple of really interesting features (which we’ll get to in a second), not to mention support for pretty much any audio format you might sling at it.

The app is the creation of Spanish Linux blog Atareao.

It eschews smart recommendations and organisational features in favour of simplicity. This makes it the perfect fit as a quick go-to app for listening to audio an audio file without needing to haul your entire music library into action.

Using LPlayer

LPlayer can play most common audio formats including mp3, ogg, flac and m4a.

You can add tracks in two ways:

  • click the ‘+’ icon and select file(s) through a file browser
  • drag and drop files from your file manager on to the app

For automatic playback when opening files you can, of course, set the app as your default audio player via the Settings > System > Defaults panel.

Click the ‘i’ icon beside a track to see meta-data details (though despite appearances you cannot edit or amend track meta-data).

The ‘headphones’ icon denotes whether or not a track has been played yet.

One handy thing to note: this app saves playback position for each track individually, making ideal for those of you who like to take a break while listening to lengthy podcasts or audiobooks.

Other features:

  • Track queue
  • 18 band Equalizer
  • Option to ‘Remove silence’ (see bugs section)
  • Adjust Playback speed
  • Notifications
  • ‘Continuous play’ option
  • Saves playback position per track

Here’s an example of how I find this app useful:

I often download short audio clips and sound files to use in videos, as notification alerts, and so on. I don’t want to add these audio clips to Rhythmbox, nor do I want to wait for Rhythmbox to heave its entire interface into life (and then subject me to a wait while it scans for new music).

I need something more instantaneous than organisational.

And LPlayer is the perfect for this.

You may notice that I’m (trying very hard to keep) to call this an audio player rather than a music player. That is because, unlike a music player, LPlayer is well suited to audiobooks, radio shows and podcasts in a way that a traditional music player isn’t.

It’s also something of lightweight music player that uses fewer system resources than a full-featured music app like Rhythmbox or Clementine.

It’s been about 8 years since we last took a close look at lightweight music players for Linux, yet LPlayer is ideally suited to join the likes of DeaDBeeF, Pogo and MPD.

Summary

If you’re looking for something simpler than Rhythmnbox, but more user-friendly than Totem or VLC, then LPlayer is an audio player well worth checking out.

It’s like an iPod in that it’s focused on a specific task: playing music , not managing it. Yet it still manages to provide some advanced features that will interest podcast listeners.

Bugs

As a new application lplayer has more than a couple of early bugs.

For example,  I’m not entirely sure what the ‘remove silence’ option does. I enabled it but it didn’t “remove silence” from podcasts, or from the start/end of music tracks.

‘Next’ and ‘Prev’ media control is …random. Pressing ‘next’ doesn’t skip to the next track in the list

Finally, the main playlist cannot be re-ordered using drag and drop and removing a track has a confirmation dialog, which feels needless (if I’m clicking the ‘remove’ icon, it’s generally because I intend to remove an item.

How to Install LPlayer on Ubuntu & Linux Mint

To install LPlayer on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or Linux Mint you will first need to add the following PPA to your software sources.

Easy enough; pop open a new Terminal window and run this command, entering your user password when prompted:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:atareao/lplayer

Next run:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install lplayer

Let the app download and install fully. Then just head to your desktop’s app menu and launch the app.

Looking for something more advanced? Check out our list of the ‘Best Music Players for Ubuntu‘, which includes Lollypop, Clementine, and a nifty CLI music player.