Brett Tolbert
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Brett Tolbert's Blog

Bash one-liner: Play a random .mp3 or .m4a file

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Brett Tolbert
·Feb 26, 2022·

1 min read

Here's the one-liner:

find /data/Music -type f \( -iname "*.mp3" -o -iname "*.m4a" \) -print | shuf -n 1 | xargs --delimiter '\n' vlc --play-and-exit

But rather than type all that every time we want to listen to music, let's put it in a script file, or rather three script files, and add a repeat feature:

PrintAudioFiles

#!/bin/bash
find "$1" -type f \( -iname "*.mp3" -o -iname "*.m4a" \) -print

Shuffle1

#!/bin/bash
source PrintAudioFiles "$1" | shuf -n 1 | xargs --delimiter '\n' vlc --play-and-exit

ShuffleForever

#!/bin/bash
while :
do
    source Shuffle1 "$1"
done

Each of these three scripts can be executed independently.

To shuffle music on repeat, we simply run ./ShuffleForever /data/Music, where /data/Music is the path to your music library.

To search, we can combine the PrintAudioFiles script with the grep command, e.g. ./PrintAudioFiles /data/Music | grep -i "modest mouse"

To play something from the search results, we can simply copy/paste the filename and run vlc, for example: vlc "/data/Music/Modest Mouse/Lonesome Crowded West/03 Convenient Parking.mp3" (don't forget the double quotes)

See also:

 
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