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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  PLAYD (1)


playd - Simple to use mplayer wrapper script written in sh


Exit Status
Supported Media File Formats
Supported Playlists
See Also
Thanks To


playd [append] [commands | files | directories | streams]


playd is a simple mplayer wrapper script written in pure /bin/sh. With playd you don’t need mplayer GUI, to listen to music, watch videos, stream video/audio. playd stores its playlist is simple plain text files, containing file names with absolute path. playd automatically creates playlist if necessary. It is easy to integrate playd in various window managers (i.e. fvwm2, fluxbox), scripts etc.

playd is designed K.I.S.S.

  • Goal is to be small, fast and very easy to use.
  • The goal is not to be as foolproof as possible.


Commands can be mixed almost in any order. There’s only one limit: append must be 1st argument, if specified.
again Xo
  Play current song again.
  Append items to default playlist. Must be first argument on command line if used.
audio-delay Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust audio delay in seconds (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) is set, then audio delay will be set exactly to value in seconds.
brightness Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust brightness by value (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, brightness will be set to absolute value. Value can be in range -100 to 100.
cat This will cat playlist (similar to list )
cd Xo [track]
  Play audio CD. (Can’t append to playlist)
  Cat favourite song list

Alias: catfav

cmd Xo ’mplayer command’
  Send command to mplayer slave directly. If command contains spaces, it should be quoted.

.Lk Mplayer slave mode protocol

contrast Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust contrast by value (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, contrast will be set to absolute value. Value can be in range -100 to 100.
dvd Xo [track]
  Play video DVD. (Can’t append to playlist)
clean Clean current playlist (remove files that doesn’t exist)
  Clean favourite playlist (remove files that doesn’t exist)

Alias: cleanfav

edit Edit current playlist (calls $EDITOR or vi)
  Edit favourite playlist (calls $EDITOR or vi)

Alias: editfav

  Add current song to favourites

Alias: fav

file Xo
  file | directory
  Play file or directory. This option is handy if you have file name that match one of playd commands
  Display current file name (with full path) that mplayer is playing.
gamma Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust gamma by value (relative by default). If absolute absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, gamma will be set to absolute value. Value can be in range -100 to 100.
grep Xo
  grep playlist. This is equivalent to

    playd cat | egrep -i pattern

hue Xo value [absolute]
  Adjust hue by value (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, hue will be set to absolute value. Value can be in range -100 to 100.
info Show metadata of current song.
jump Xo
  song_id | random
  Jump to song_id or random (alias rnd ) position in playlist
lgrep Xo
  grep playlist. This is equivalent to

    playd lcat | egrep -i pattern


list Show default playlist.
  List favourite songs

Alias: lsfav

ls Show short list
  This will cat playlist (similar to longlist

Alias: lcat )

  Show default playlist. Each item is displayed with full path.

Alias: llist

loop Xo
  count | random
  Loop current song count times. If no argument, given, then don’t loop.
mute Mute mplayer slave.
next Play next playlist item.
nocheck Xo
  There are some files that are reported as application/octet-stream. These can be various types, even text files. If you can’t load some files, you can try to use this option. It won’t check for file type and extension. This can be very useful for disk images. Note, that you need to set nocheck for every file you want playd to skip filetype checks.
pause Pause mplayer slave.
play Xo
  item1 [item2] ...
  Play items from default playlist.
  Load favourite songs to playlist, randomize, and play.

Alias: playfav

  Play default playlist. Mplayer slave will be automatically started if necessary.
  Play previous playlist item.

Alias: prev

  This will randomise playlist, but won’t start playing it... you’ll need to run playd playlist to load new playlist.

Alias: rnd

restart Xo
  Sometimes playd doesn’t listen to your commands. Actually playd does listen, while mplayer doesn’t. So if you don’t get expected behaviour from playd , please run playd restart and check if everything works. Only send bug report if same problem appears after restart. If novid is set, mplayer will only output sound.
  Remove default playlist.
  Save playd position in playlist (works well only with playlists, that contain unique files). Note that playd will save current state every time you call playd. Also playd will save state when you exit playd with stop command

Alias: save

saturation Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust saturation by value (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, saturation will be set to absolute value. Value can be in range -100 to 100.
seek Xo
  value [absolute | percent]
  Seek current file to value. If absolute (or alias abs ) is specified, seek to absolute value in seconds. If percent is specified, seek to value percent. By default mplayer slave will seek relative in seconds. You many use modifiers (multipliers) to enter value... such as y, M, w, d, h, m, s [years, Months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds] (in order mentioned)

For example: playd seek -1m30s

sort Xo
  Sort or reverse sort playlist (only unique items will remain).
start Xo
  Start mplayer slave and if previous playlist position was saved, start playing from it. If playlist position wasn’t saved, but playlist is available playd will start playing playlist from the start. If novid is set, mplayer will only output sound.
  Check if mplayer is started in slave mode.
subtitles Xo
  Load subtitles. This option doesn’t check for filetype.
stop Stop mplayer slave.
  Cycle through the available audio tracks. (for DVD)

Alias: sw-audio

  Cycle through the available subtitle tracks. (for DVD)

Alias: sw-subs

volume Xo
  value [absolute]
  Adjust volume by value (relative by default). If absolute (or alias abs ) key is specified, volume will be set to absolute value. Value can be 0 - 100

NOTE: on FreeBSD mplayer will reset volume after you seek in file. To avoid this you should set hw.snd.vpc_autoreset=0 in your /etc/sysctl.conf under FreeBSD

Alias: vol

file | directory | stream | playlist
  play file, directory, stream or playlist. Mplayer will be automatically started in slave mode, if necessary.


PLAYD_MPLAYER_USER_OPTIONS controls custom command line options passed to mplayer, when it’s started.

XDG_CONFIG_HOME makes playd keep all necessary files in this directory. By default ~/.config/ will be used


.Ex -std


Play all media files in /my/music directory. playd will be started automatically

    playd /my/music

While playd is playing files you want to append two more files to playlist

    playd --append /my/other/music/1.mp3 /music/3.mp3

You like few songs a lot, and you’d like to know their playlist ID

    playd list

Once you figured you know song IDs, you can play them by simply running

    playd play 1 3 5

So you figured, that you want to listen to some Latvian radio


Enough is enough... Turn off the player

    playd stop


*.3gp, *.ac3, *.acc, *.aif, *.aifc, *.aiff, *.ape, *.avi, *.divx, *.dvx, *.flac, *.flv, *.m2ts, *.m4a, *.m4b, *.m4p, *.m4r, *.mka, *.mkv, *.mov, *.mp1, *.mp2, *.mp3, *.mp4, *.mpa, *.mpf, *.mpg, *.mpga, *.oga, *.ogg, *.ogm, *.ogv, *.ogx, *.ts, *.vob, *.wav, *.wma, *.wmv, *.wv

Basically everything supported by mplayer should be supported by playd. But since I had to figure out file extensions myself, if some extensions are missing, please send a bug report to


As of V1.7.10 playd has basic support for fallowing playlist file formats:

*.asx, *.m3u, *.m3u8, *.pls, *.plst, *.qtl, *.ram, *.wax, *.wpl, *.xspf

NOTE: plst is simple file, with filenames/links (one per line). Sometimes, when you want to create sample playlist for Internet steams, for example, it is very handy to put URLs in plst. Very simple and fast :)


.Lk Playd git source repository


mplayer(1), sh(1)


.An -nosplit
.An Aldis Berjoza Aq Mt


Guys at DutchDaemon, blah, john_doe, eye
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