Dec 032013

While I was looking some video related to Linux I’ve found this video of gotbletu an user that I follow on Youtube, related to a small player to listen music directly from the terminal: pms AKA Poor Man’s Spotify.

I like lightweight clients, and so I’ve gave it a try, these are the results.

pms it’s a command line client, and its main features are:

  • Search and stream music from the website
  • Download music from the website
  • Works with Python 2.7 and 3
  • Works with Windows, Linux and Mac osx 10.9
  • No Python dependencies
  • Requires mplayer


For what I know there isn’t any package available for any distribution, so to use this package you can simply download a zip/tar.gz file and extract it in your home or clone the sources from github with the command:

git clone

In both cases you should have a new pms directory, to run pms just run in a terminal:

cd pms

You’ll be prompted what’s your favourite artist or song:

Enter artist/song to search :

Now just type the name of your favourite artist or song and you should quickly see the result of the search, with an output similar to this one:

Enter artist/song to search : nirvana

Search for 'nirvana'

Item   Size    Artist                Track                  Length   Bitrate 
----   ----    ------                -----                  ------   ------- 
1      11. Mb  Nirvana               Smells Like Teen Spir  05:01    320     
2      3.8 Mb  Nirvana               Rape Me                02:48    192     
3      5.9 Mb  Nirvana               The man who sold the   03:42    224     
4      3.3 Mb  Nirvana               Come as You Are        03:38    128     
5      6.3 Mb  Nirvana               Heart-Shaped Box       04:38    192     
6      9.8 Mb  Nirvana               Lithium                04:17    320     
7      6.9 Mb  Nirvana               Smells Like Teen Spir  05:01    192     
8      5.8 Mb  Nirvana               In Bloom (1991)        04:15    192     
9      9.2 Mb  Nirvana MTV Unplugge  Something in the Way   04:01    320     
10     3.2 Mb  Nirvana               About a Girl (Unplugg  03:35    128     
11     5.0 Mb  Nirvana               Come As You Are (1991  03:39    192     
12     8.8 Mb  Nirvana               The Man Who Sold The   03:52    320     
13     4.0 Mb  Nirvana               Polly                  02:57    192     
14     4.6 Mb  Nirvana               Where Did You Sleep L  05:04    128     
15     2.8 Mb  Nirvana               Nervana - Breed        03:04    128     
16     3.3 Mb  Nirvana               You Know Youre Right   03:41    128     
17     3.1 Mb  Nirvana               Sappy                  03:26    128     
18     3.4 Mb  Nirvana               Dumb                   02:31    192     
19     8.3 Mb  Nirvana               Come as You Are        03:39    320     
20     8.4 Mb  Nirvana MTV Unplugge  Pennyroyal Tea         03:40    320     

[1-20] to play or [d 1-20] to download or [q]uit or enter new search

Now you can simply type a number to listen that specific song, or download it putting the letter d before the number.
Pretty easy no ?

Also the output it’s a bit more colorful than simply text, usually something similar to this:


Mplayer shortcut

It’s not documented but using mplayer as backend you can use its keyboard shortcuts, the most useful are:

< - and -> Seek backward/forward 10 seconds.
up and down Seek forward/backward 1 minute.
p / SPACE Pause (pressing again unpauses).
q / ESC Stop playing and quit.
/ and * Decrease/increase volume.
9 and 0 Decrease/increase volume.


This is a really small program that can be used to listen to some music online while you use the terminal, what I don’t like it’s the fact that you cannot create a playlist or just a sequence of songs, but on the other hand you can easily download all the songs in local and then use another player, also I’m not so sure about the copyright use (or abuse) in that website…

This post has been sponsored by the Atlanta seo company, thanks for supporting this website about open source.
Also, this is the original Video if you are curious about it:

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  7 Responses to “Linux Terminal: Poor Man’s Spotify”

  1. “For what I know there isn’t any package available for any distribution”
    It is in Debian repositories: “sudo aptitude install pms”

  2. Sound is choppy, Any help with this? PMS is current and I am using the latest mplayer – running Ubuntu 14.04 (up to date)

  3. amazing. thank you!

  4. BEST TIP OF THE DAY!!! Thanks so much. Keep up the good work.

  5. GREAT it did work, now playing music through ssh on mi RPi !, I was wondering how could I make a sh script for this, or a way to interact with this program with python or java? I would like to develop a graphic interface, for using it on all platforms throughout a server

    tx in advance

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