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Three internet radio clients for the Debian 10 terminal

There are so many music players that support audio streaming, but what if you prefer to listen to your favorite radio stations without leaving the comfort of the command line? There are actually quite a few command line music players that allow you to listen to radio stations directly from the terminal. These are quite simple and practical utilities that save you the trouble of opening a browser.

In this article we will explain three different utilities that allow you to listen to online radio stations directly from your Linux command line. We will explain how to install and use each of these utilities, and how to remove them from your system if necessary.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system.

Method 1: Through Pyradio

Pyradio is a free and open-source command-line based radio player. It allows you to listen to your favorite radio stations right from your Terminal. It is based on Python and uses mplayer for media playback. It is available as a snap package for Linux users that makes it easy to install either via Terminal or via software center.

We will install it using the Terminal application. So, launch the Terminal application in your system by going into the Activities tab in the top left corner of your Debian desktop. Then in the search bar, type terminal. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to launch it.

Switch to superuser account by executing the following command in Terminal:

$ su

When ask for the password, type your password and hit Enter.

Then enter the following command in order to refresh the list of available packages:

$ apt-get update

Update packages

As the Snap comes by default in the latest versions of Linux OS, so we do not need to install it. However, if you are using an older version of the OS, you can use the following command to install it:

$ apt-get install snapd

Now we will have to use the snap to install Pyradio on our system. To do so, run the following command in Terminal:

$ snap install pyradio

Install pyradio

Wait for a while until the installation is completed. Once done with the installation, you will get the output similar to above along with the Pyradio version installed on your system.

In case, you want to remove Pyradio installed via this method, run the following command in the Terminal:

$ snap remove pyradio

Using Pyradio

After the successful installation of Pyradio, it’s time to launch it and start playing your favorite radio stations. Running this radio player is pretty straightforward. Run the following command in Terminal to start the player and it will start playing a random station from the list:

$ pyradio --play

Using pyradio

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts in order to customize the station list and to play any station:

ControlPurpose
Up/j/PgUp/Down/k/pgDownChange station selection
EnterPlay selected station
-/+Change volume
M vMute
rSelect and Play a random station
SpaceStop/start playing selected station
cOpen configuration window
t TLoad theme/ toggle theme transparency
Del, xDelete selected station
Esc/qQuit the player

Method 2: Through the Mplayer

Mplayer is a movie player for Linux that can play various audio and video formats. It is supported on different operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It can play MPEG/VOB, AVI, ASF/WMA/WMV, RM, QT/MOV/MP4, Ogg/OGM, MKV, VIVO, FLI, NuppelVideo, yuv4mpeg, FILM and RoQ files, supported by many native and binary codecs. It also supports Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB).

But here we will use it for playing radio stations from the Terminal application. It is available through the official Debian repositories and can be easily installed through the command line using the apt-get command. To do so, run the following command in your command-line Terminal:

$ apt-get install mplayer

Install MPlayer

During the installation, it will provide with Y/n option to continue the installation. Enter Y and then hit enter. Wait for a while until the installation of software is completed.

In case you want to remove the mplayer installed through this method, you can use the following command in the Terminal:

$ apt-get remove mplayer

In order to play a radio station, simply type mplayer followed by the radio station URL as follows:

$ mplayer [station-URL]

Using Mplayer to play internet radio

Method 3: Through Mpg123

Mpg123 is a free and open-source command-line audio player. It supports MPEG audio formats, including MP3. We can also use it for playing radio stations by providing the URLs.

The mpg123 audio player is available through the official Debian repositories and can simply be installed through the Terminal using the apt-get command. You can do so by running the following command in Terminal:

$ apt-get install mpg123

Install Mpg123

During the installation, the system will provide you with a Y/n option to continue the installation. Enter Y and then hit enter. Then wait for a while until the installation is completed on your system.

In case, you want to remove mpg123 installed through this method, you can use the following command in the Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get remove mpg123

In order to play a radio station, simply type mpg123 followed by the radio station URL as follows:

$ mpg123 [station-URL]

Listen to web radio stations with mpeg123

So these were the three ways using which you can listen to your favorite radio stations right from the Terminal without the need of opening any browser. Enjoy the music!

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