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Installing MPD & MPC in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

more flowers by Abbie F (C) via Flickr

(The above photo is "more flowers", by Abbie F (C) via Flickr).

EDIT: After running the setup described herein for several days, I've uninstalled PulseAudio and use ALSA instead. While PulseAudio may be a theoretically better system, its implementation in 9.10 is perfectly awful. Not only was MPD/MPC constantly crashing, but sometimes I'd lose sound system-wide. Also once Pulse is gone, you can roll back to Adobe Flash 9 (with sound!), which is infinitely better on my machine than 9.10's implementation of Flash 10.

The installation wasn't as straight-forward as I'd hoped, so maybe these notes will help others. This is specifically for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (I'm running the 32 bit / i386 desktop edition), running the default pulse audio.

Install from official sources:

sudo apt-get install mpd mpc

Symlink your music folders to MPD's default watch folder:

sudo ln -s /path/to/music /var/lib/mpd/music

Update your MPD database. The new version of MPD has changed some things about the "mpd --update-db" command, so you should use:

mpc update

At this point I could play music, I just couldn't change the volume. I got the following error:

error: ACK [52@0] {setvol} problems setting volume

The problem was that MPD was trying to use ALSA instead of pulse audio. Edit the MPD configuration file to enable pulse audio. Find the Audio Output section of the file and add or un-comment the following lines:

audio_output {
type "pulse"
name "My MPD PulseAudio Output"

I did follow the instructions at regarding the PulseAudio Preferences (paprefs), but I don't know if it's necessary.

Finally, add the user "mpd" to the PulseAudio groups in order to give it permission to use PulseAudio:

sudo usermod -aG pulse,pulse-access mpd

Restart MPD:

sudo /etc/init.d/mpd restart

That's what worked for me.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Thanks mate, that saved my night, I was trying to do “mpd –update-db” with strange errors, so that point was useful.
    On my clear-new koala I didn’t install paprefs and that works great.

  2. Glad it was helpful.

  3. Here’s the setup that works on Lucid Lynx
    Just one little detail different, and that was changing some of the alsa settings as well.

  4. Awesome, thanks!

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