MPS, A New Tool To Stream Music!


MPS is a new tool I have discovered a couple of weeks ago, that one can use to stream (and download) Music from online sources (apparently coming from similar to what you can do with Grooveshark already. The difference is that MPS is a command line tool, and therefore you don’t need to load a heavy browser in memory to actually start playing music with your Pandora. And just for that, it’s a great solution. Plus, it’s extremely simple to use, even if you hate the command line. But it can also do a whole lot more.

You’ll find MPS into the “Network” XFCE menu after installing it (and make sure you are connected to the Net!). I am assuming you have installed the codec pack on your Pandora (so that you have mplayer and the associated codecs) but if you have not, check this article, step 8.

Once you start MPS up, it will open a command line menu waiting for your input. There you just need to input the name of an artist or song (or both) in that syntax:



.artist song title


.song title

MPS will then display a list of results, trying to guess what you are trying to look for and match it with their database. Note that does not contain all songs ever written so there may well be some artists not registered inside there at all (I tried a couple of Japanese ones and that did not return many results – so this is probably more for western music).

Each result has a number attached to it. If you want to play one of them, just enter their number:

3 #will play result number 3

or you can even play all results:

all #here you go for a hour of music!

See ? It’s extremely simple. Allow for some time to buffer, and the song should start playing. You can use the [space] key to pause the song, [0] and [9] keys to adjust the software volume, and the Dpad to skip forward or backward in the song. Press [q] to stop the playback.

MPS even allows you to download one of the results of your search. It’s, again, extremely straightforward:

d 3 #to download the third result

On your Pandora, it will download it in the appdata/mps/mps folder.

If what you are looking for is not displayed in the list of results, you can navigate to see further results:

n #brings you to next page of results
p #to previous page...

MPS even allows you to create playlists, so that you do not need to search for songs one by one every single time. It has a default playlist that is empty to start with, and you can add songs to that playlist this way:

add 3 #adds the song number 3 to your playlist

You can add multiple songs at once:

add 1,5,6 #to add individual tracks
add 2-5 #to add ranges of tracks

You can view the contents of your current playlist with the vp command:

vp #views current playlist

You can remove or swap songs from the playlist directly:

rm 1 #will remove the first song in the playlist
rm all #will wipe your playlist clean
sw 1,3 #swaps tracks 1 and 3 in the playlist

If you want to create a new playlist, it’s easy:

add 4 nameofplaylist #will create a new playlist with that name

To open a saved playlist and make it the current playlist, just type…

open nameofplaylist

Or if you are just interested to play it back without editing it…

play nameofplaylist

As you can see, MPS is VERY capable to handle many use cases, and there’s even more if you look at the doc on github. Please note that, if you plan to use it to download copyrighted tracks, you probably need to be aware of your country’s laws and regulations before doing so. Many countries prohibit and punish the downloads of copyrighted tracks, while there are exceptions around (or places where it is tolerated). For streaming only, there are already other alternatives out there like Grooveshark (which can be used very well on Pandora as well!) which does not seem to cause major issues so far (they are in the US and still operating).

Anyway, please be mindful.

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