Play VLC as a daemon


Why??? You might ask. Because I was looking for a music player that was out of the way. I just wanted a player that would play random songs from my playlist. I didn’t want to have with to deal with a UI that I had to put away. I tried mpd, mpc, cmus, ncmpc etc… but I was not a 100% satisfied with it. There was too much configuration and it wasn’t matching my requirements.

I was using VLC to play my playlist, but then I realized that you could run it as a daemon and it would be a perfect fit. “cvlc” is VLC without the GUI

So this is what I ended up with

cvlc -Z --daemon ~/music/myplaylist.m3u

The -Z flag plays random songs from the playlist. If you have a large number of songs in your playlist. you will never get bored listening to the same songs

To pause and start songs type thusly

cvlc vlc://pause or cvlc vlc://start

Keep in mind that when you pause and start it always starts with a new song. I thought that was a bit annoying, but I can live with it.

….. and then killall vlc on bash to get rid of VLC.

I use the I3WM so I created shortcuts for all of them in my I3 config. Hope this helps someone looking for an easy workflow.

Note: If you are wondering about the I3 Config entries. Here it is…

bindsym $mod+Control+v exec --no-startup-id urxvt -name cvlc -e cvlc -Z --daemon ~/music/myplaylist.m3u 
bindsym $mod+Control+p exec cvlc vlc://pause
bindsym $mod+Control+Shift+p exec cvlc vlc://play

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