MOC : A Music Player For Terminal

My Dearest Mad-Readers,

As a minimalist, I like utilizing the most lightweight tools and programs. I want to have a simple lifestyle, and playing music directly from terminal echoes this volition. When it comes to choosing which piece of software is right for me, I will rather believe in performance and efficiency than in a falsely appealing design which will consume all my RAM in the background.

Discover Music On Console

What is MOC

MOC stands for music on console. It is a music player for terminal, as you may already have guessed. It is written in C and based on ncurses. Even though it is not super beautiful right out of the box, it remains a user-friendly program that is relatively customizable. With customizable, I really mean that you can change or create your own themes.

Its Default Theme

MOC Default Theme

As You can see, it is rather ugly. Usable, but ugly nonetheless. It does not look very appealing, I will give you that. Let’s pimp it up a notch!

How To Install It

Arch-based distributions

  • sudo pacman -S moc

Debian-based distributions

  • sudo apt-get install moc

For More Info

Click here and check out MOC official website.

From Source

How To Configure It

This is really easy. I swear ! You simply need to start MOC with a theme which should be in /usr/share/moc/themes.

Let’s do an ls of that directory :

ls -l /usr/share/moc/themes

For that of you who noticed that I wrote lx instead of ls, do not worry! It is one of my aliases.

As you can see, there are several themes which are already available :

  • black theme
  • darkdot theme
  • example theme
  • green theme
  • moca theme
  • nightly theme
  • red theme
  • transparent background
  • yellow_red theme

To try one of them : Type mocp -T /usr/share/moc/themes/$name_of_theme

Red Theme

Nightly Theme

Black Theme

Yellow & Red Theme

Green Theme

Moca Theme

Example Theme

Transparent Background

Darkdot Theme

You may have noticed that some themes are very similar to each other. Like the darkdot theme and the transparent background theme. Except for the default one, all themes are rather nice and clean. Wouldn’t you agree ? Tell me in the comments!

Commands to use MOC

MOC is not as powerful as some music players for terminal, such as musikcube, or ncmpcpp + mpd, but it does a wonderful job in a minimalist way.

You can control your music within MOC with the help of letters. If you press a with your cursor on a file, said file will be added to your playlist. If you press a again with your cursor on a folder, it will add all the files within that folder into your playlist.

If you press enter with your cursor on a file, it will play it. You can then toggle pause and play with your space key. If you need to entirely stop your music, press s.

To access the options between square brackets in the bottom-right corner of MOC, you need to press shift+letter. Shift+s for shuffle; shift+r for repeat.

To play the next or previous file, you respectively press n (like next) or b (like back). You can also switch layouts with l. You can save a playlist with V and delete a file from it with d.

There is also a help command. As usual, there is mocp –help, but you can also ask for help from within moc, with h.

Of course, you may press q to quit. Be careful to turn off your music however, since MOC is set up to work in the background by default.

As for the rest, I will let you find out for yourself, if you are interested. I have given to you all the necessary commands to be more than happy, but if you absolutely need to dig into it some more, do feel free to do so !

Other Music Players For Terminal

Since my intent is not to advertise the programs I use, but really to feed your curiosity, I have made a list of alternatives which may fit your needs better.

  • cmus : another nice one which runs with vim keybindings (wait… why aren’t I using it already?)
  • ncmpcpp + mpd : it stands for ncurses music player C plus plus + music player daemon
  • musikcube

I highly recommend cmus, which is written in C (like MOC) and… well, I recommend all of the above, to be fair. I may write a full review about cmus soon, and the next two if I ever decide to install them. Cmus, like moc, will satisfy both beginner and advanced users, for it is simple to install and to use, and it comes with more features and possibilities of customization that moc does not offer.

I love music players for terminal and I remember taking a lot of time picking my first one. What about you ? Did you go with the default or did you look for one which would best suit your needs ?

Signing Off & News

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Take care of yourselves,



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