Review: DeadBeef Audio Player

"DeadBeef is an audio player for GNU/Linux systems with X11 written in C and C++."
This is a candidate to replace Aqualung as the standard Lubuntu audio player in the 10.10 release coming this October.

I have nothing against Aqualung - it's very capable but the minimalist interface isn't to everyone's taste and it does look - well, out of place alongside the other LXDE/Openbox applications. DeadBeef, its' comedy name aside, has looks and features...

It's lighter and faster than RhythmBox and simpler than VLC. I don't have an iPod or iPhone to sync and DeadBeef leaves all that baggage out. The memory footprint is about a quarter of RhythmBox and Banshee. There's no link to music stores online, but it does radio and podcast support for ogg vorbis, mp3 and aac streams.

DeadBeef look prettier than Aqualung on LXDE. The user interface is neat and straightforward, everything where you expect to find it with proper names and the odd surprise like an 18-band graphic equaliser. You can set your network proxy in the preferences for streaming.

There's drag-and-drop creation of playlists. It imported the music library from the external drive in about a minute, complete with ID3 tags and album art.

  • Native GTK2 GUI with small memory footprint.
  • Multi-format player;
    - audio in mp3, ogg vorbis, flac, ape, wv, wav, m4a, mpc, cd audio
  • tracker modules like mod, s3m, it, xm
  • a selection of chiptune formats
  • cuesheet support; subtunes, song-length databases
  • gtk2 interface with efficient custom widgets
  • no GNOME or KDE dependencies
  • gap-less playback
  • extensive plugin support; mine came bundled with a stack of plug-ins for Pulse, OSS, hotkeys,
  • ID3 tag editor
To get it, put the ppa into your source list: lucid main

then either pull it in via Synaptic or in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install deadbeef

DeadBeef project home is at:


  1. foobar2000 alternative on Linux

  2. Can deadbeef be used as mpd client?

  3. Anon: I believe it can, although I haven't tried this myself. I hear it works fine on via mpd. You may need to wade through some searches to find instructions. RC


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