How to Play Music on Your Raspberry Pi

To get started with playing music on your Raspberry Pi, click Music on the Home screen. You can use the panel on your left to browse your various music sources, and you can then find individual songs by working through the directory structure, or by browsing by album, artist, or genre where this is supported.

As in Linux, the two dots represent a folder’s parent folder, which moves you up a level in the directory structure. You can see the two dots at the top of the panel on the left except when you’re already at the root.

When music is playing, click the Play button in the bottom left to open options to pause, rewind, fast forward, skip track, shuffle, or repeat.

[Credit: Sam Nazarko]
Credit: Sam Nazarko

You can continue to browse your music while it is playing, and queue songs or albums to play next by right-clicking them and choosing Queue Item.

If you leave the player for a while, it switches into full screen mode. To return to the Home screen, click the close button in the top right of the screen.

For more advanced features, including the ability to create playlists, you can enable Library mode in the View Options menu on the left. This works a bit like iTunes on the PC and Mac and stores information about your music separately from the music itself. In Raspbmc, you can use the library to make smart playlists, which are automatically generated from information about the music.

Library features, including the smart playlists, only work on music that has been added to the library. To add a song, album, artist, or entire storage device to the library, right-click it and then choose Scan Item to Library.

Note that this doesn’t actually copy the music itself into the library, just some information about it. To turn off Library mode, so you can browse music that isn’t in it yet, use the View Options menu again.

You’ll need to add an entry in the library before you can activate Library mode for the first time. When you’re in library mode, you can only browse and play music that’s been added to the library.

To create static playlists, go into your music device or library, click Playlists in the pane on the left, and then New Playlist. The playlist window opens so you can browse to the songs you want, and right click to add them. When you’re finished, click Save Playlist and follow the instructions to save it. To close the playlist window, right-click when the mouse pointer is not over a file.

Smart playlists can only contain songs that have been added to the music library, but standard playlists can contain songs from any of your connected media devices.

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