Linux: How to have "nowplaying" info on screen with your favorite music player app.
Aug 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


100+ Head-Fier
Sep 16, 2010
If you use Linux as your primary OS for computing and music. You will have noticed that most of your music playing applications do not have the ability to continuously display info about the currently playing track, artist, album name, playing time/total time and cover art on your monitor. "Gmusicbrowser" is an exception and the latest version 1.1.9 has this capability built in along with music player control. If you would like this functionality in another player you might prefer using, read on.
As for the other players, (Amarok, Audacious, Quod Libet, Guayadeque, Rhythmbox, mpd, Banshee, Clementine, Deadbeef, VLC and others) there is a way to get this functionality using "Conky". You can learn about "Conky" at:
"Conky" is available in the repositories of many popular Linux distros like Ubuntu, Mint and, I believe, Fedora. Conky is very powerful and can display just about anything on your desktop. So, how to get your favorite Linux music player to display all the info mentioned above?
Step 1: Install Conky from your distro's repository or from Sourceforge.
Step 2: Download the archive file "Musictools.tar.gz" from here:
You'll find the clickable download link for the "Musictools.tar.gz" file on the line after the eighteenth listed supported music player "Xnoise".
Step 3: Extract the files in "Musictools.tar.gz". The extraction will automatically place all the files in a folder called "Musictools". The folder "Musictools" will contain three files for each music player, using Quod Libet, for an example:
i)    A hidden file, ".conkyquodlibetrc". Runs the python script and template files below. (Note: pressing "Control H" while in the Nautilus file manager, will show all hidden files in a Nautilus folder if you are using a Gnome desktop.)
ii)   the workhorse python script file, "",
iii)  the template file, "conkyQuodlibet.template".
Note: files i and iii are modifiable to suit your particular display needs. If you need to modify these two files, these 2 links will help:
The 3 files above must be copied to your /home folder. They should all be executable by default, if not add the "execute" permission to each file.
Step 4: Read the step by step installation instructions here:
I used the "Python method" of installation and, with a few modifications, Quod Libet and Guayadeque work very well.

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