If you’re looking for a fast loading, lightweight music player that uses the command-line as its interface then “mp3blaster” is an awesome application.
Most command-line based audio players have a tendency to be very simple. Some support playlists but most don’t. And even if they do, it’s usually a basic playlist support. But ‘mp3blaster’ has excellent playlist support and few other features that come in handy.
Of course it’s not as beautiful looking or have a lot of features compared to other “advanced” music managers such as Banshee or Rhythmbox. So please remember that this is not a replacement for Banshee or other similar players by any means though (there I warned you).
The other drawback is, it only supports MP3 and OGG Vorbis for audio playback.
Main features …
*. It’s main window consists of :
1. The top section which displays the shortcut keys and by pressing the “?” will display a lot of other built in shortcuts that are hidden by default.
2. The window below that (to the left-side) is reserved for playlists, file manager (for adding files to playlists) and other audio track related info display.
3. To your right-side it’ll display technical information about the currently playing song (Channels, Mono/Stereo, sample rate, bit rate etc), total duration, shortcut keys for the “mixer” and volume up/down etc.
*. Easily add/remove playlists.
*. Add/Remove individual songs or folders to playlists.
*. Add “groups” to playlists.
*. Change between few built in playlist window display settings (“f”: shortcut key).
*. Shuffle or Repeat.
*. Next, Previous, fast forward, Rewind, Stop, Play controls are also there.
*. Shows simple info about the currently playing song at the bottom (comments, album etc).
*. Down-sample and convert audio into 8-bit (handy for those who have older sound cards).
If interested, you can install “mp3blaster” in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by using the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install mp3blaster
How to fix the troublesome “F1” key ?
Now as mentioned before, mp3blaster is entirely a keyboard based player (no mouse support, except for scrolling) thus everything is done using a keyboard shortcut. By default the “F1” key is used for a major role in it. That is for adding individual files to a playlist.
But the thing is that, since you open this in your Command-line interface (Terminal for short) the Terminal emulator uses the “F1” as a shortcut for displaying its help page. So every time you press “F1” in “mp3blaster” it won’t bring its built in functionality but the help page of the Terminal window.
Now there’s two things that you can do about it. You can either edit it’s configuration file (I actually didn’t try it at all, so not sure if it even works) or we can disable the Terminal’s “F1” which solves our problem.
1. So for that first open your Terminal window and from its menu go to:
Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts
2. Now scroll down until you find the assigned shortcut key for its “Help” display (which is usually at the bottom). Now just click on that “F1” key and when it says “New Accelerator ..” simply press “backspace” key on your Keyboard.
3. If everything went successfully then you should see “Disabled” text where the “F1” key used to be. And that’s it!.
Now you can open “mp3blaster” and press the “F1” key and add the heck out of your audio files into its playlist :D.
As said you can easily get familiar with it by using the shortcut keys (displayed at the top of its window). But if you’re a total beginner …
How to add single/multiple files to the playlist?
1. First open the player by typing (“mp3blaster”) in your Terminal window and press the “F1” key to open the terminal based file manager.
Now navigate to your desired folder (use “backspace”, arrow keys and the Enter key for navigation inside the file manager).
Once inside, select the desired file using your arrow keys and press the “Space’ key and that should at it to your current playlist!. You can also add multiple files by using the up/down keys and the Space keys.
Once inside a folder, if you want all the files, then press “F3”.
How to remove files in playlists?
For that select the file you want in a playlist and simply press the “d”. That should do it.
You can always view the playlist window by pressing “F1” and press “q” for exit the player.
Please refer to its manual and keyboard shortcuts. For that use the below command.