Music Player Deamon is a service (deamon) running on a Linux box.
It is the server part of a typical client/server architecture.
It waits for any client to connect to it, browse the library and chose a song to play.
Play back is on the machine running MPD. But output to JACK and likewise applications probably allows you to route the music to any device of your choice.

You can run it on a headless box and control it over the network by one of the many clients available. The client can run on the same computer as MPD too.


I installed it on Ubuntu.
You need to do some configuring.

The most important line to change is music_directory.

music_directory  "/home/vincent/Music"

Next problem was to play over the USB DAC. Ubuntu allows you to choose a default sound device but a lot of applications ignore this. MPD is no exception to this rule.
Don't ask me why but adding plughw:1 did the job

audio_output {
        type                    "alsa"
        name                    "B10"
        device                  "plughw:1"     # optional
#       format                  "44100:16:2" # optional

MPD is client/server but by default it binds to local host.
If you want to access it over the network you have to change this to “any”

#bind_to_address                 "localhost"
bind_to_address                 "any"

Editing of mpd.conf has to be done via the terminal, Ubuntu security is even more irritating than Vista UAC.

Sudo gedit /etc/mpd.conf

MPD must be restarted for your edits to become effective

Sudo invoke-rc.d mpd force-restart

The first time you have to create the database

sudo mpd --create-db


If anyone is using mpd on Linux with a 24-bit USB DAC (such as the Wavelength Proton), mpd recently incorporated S24_3LE support into the latest version in git. This means mpd can send audio straight to the DAC instead of processing in alsa first. This means no 32-bit conversion in mpd before being converted to S24_3LE in alsa. mpd converts straight to S24_3LE and outputs to the DAC if you specify hw:0,0. I'm noticing a definite improvement on my Audioengine 2A's. Once this change makes it's way to an mpd release instead of only being in the git repository, I bet audiophile mpd users take immediate notice of the change.


If you can make sense out of this you are a true Linux guy.


In the example above, the sample rate is fixed.


               mpd   pulseaudio
                |        |
           |       alsa       |
           | plughw interface |
           |   hw interface   |


According to Ronald van Engelen you can configure MPD to talk straight to ALSA and avoid resampling. This of course requires your hardware to be capable of playing the bit depth and sample rate of the audio send to it.
If not you have to resample your files first.


Schematic for direct 'hardware' ALSA approach.


           |       alsa      |
           |   hw interface  |

More information about this configuration can be founf here: How to turn Music Player Daemon (mpd) into an audiophile music player.


There are many clients available.
Just tried a couple of them


Maybe I’am missing something but this one only works with playlist.
You can't browse the library


One who supports the Composer!
You can choose the tags and filter or do a search


You can display other tags:

preferences> tag browsing> add>"composer browsing" then add the tag name to the list


Another one who never heard of a thing called composer.


Almost the default MPD player
It’s library is almost like folder browsing.

Music Player Minion

A Firefox plugin allowing you to control MPD with your (Firefox) browser over the network.
Browsing is limited to folder, artist and album.



Music Player Daemon Wiki

How to turn Music Player Daemon (mpd) into an audiophile music player - Ronald van Engelen