ViTunes is a Full Featured Command Line iTunes Player

Jul 5, 2011 - 6 Comments

ViTunes command line iTunes player

If you just want a basic command line mp3 player, you could use afplay, but if that’s not enough for you, install ViTunes. The little VIM plugin gives you full access to iTunes directly from the command line text editor VIM, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a boring old music player, it actually has some nice features, including:

  • Keyboard-only based controls
  • Control iTunes from another computer via SSH
  • Let multiple users access and control iTunes from SSH
  • Controlling iTunes without ever leaving VIM
  • Navigate your music, manage playlists, copy tracks, control volume, all from Vim
  • Accessible through a linux client too

Installing ViTunes is easy, but first you’ll need to make sure you have Ruby 1.8.6 or higher installed, Mac OS X 10.6 or later, and Vim 7.2 or greater, then it’s just a matter of launching the Terminal and installing the plugin (it goes into ~/.vim/plugin/ if you’re wondering):


gem install vitunes

Now if your $PATH is properly configured you can just type ‘vitunes-install’ but that didn’t work for me, so you can try this command instead:

sudo gem install vitunes-install

Once it’s installed you can launch it directly by typing ‘vitunes’ or by hitting ,i within Vim.

This app is obviously geared towards people who have prior command line experience, and many of the keystrokes will be familiar to those who do.

Basic ViTunes player commands include the following:

  • Spacebar to play and pause
  • Hitting Enter starts playing the highlighted song
  • + to increase volume
  • - to lower volume
  • Shift , and . to go back or forward
  • ,s to search iTunes library
  • ,p selects playlist
  • ,a selects artist

There are many more commands to manipulate the player so be sure to check out the devs web page for those.

Command line iTunes player

This is a nice little find!

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Posted by: William Pearson in Command Line, iTunes, Tips & Tricks

6 Comments

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  1. deluxe says:

    this is the command from the walkthrough on that site and it worked for me:

    sudo gem install && vitunes-install

    check your path with echo $PATH

  2. help says:

    need help plzzz
    I am done install it
    and when I hit vitunes in Terminal I get Welcome to Vitunes
    Press ? for help
    so I hit space and I get
    “Scripting Bridge could not launch application id com.apple.itunes”
    the screen:
    http://uploadpic.org/v.php?img=u3DUz3KmWr

    • Helper says:

      Your screenshot doesn’t work, but from the error I would guess it’s a permissions issue. Scripting Bridge is how vitunes communicates with iTunes as a scriptable application. What version of iTunes are you using? It’s possible it would be different with betas too.

  3. help says:

    ah yes it is beta
    itunes 10.5

    but I was login in root when I install it via terminal

  4. help says:

    any guide to install vitunes and how to run in youtube ?

  5. help says:

    ah yes it is beta
    itunes 10.5

    but I was login in root when I install it via terminal

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