Friday, 1 May 2009

Herrie Short Guide & Overview - Minimalistic Audio Player for Console

Herrie is a small music player for console, based upon the ncurses interface. It features a simple interface with two panels, a playlist and a file browser. Herrie can play Ogg Vorbis and MP3 and also has AudioScrobbler ( support.

The shortcuts are a little bit non-intuitive, but man herrie will clear that out. In order to enter a directory or go up one level you will have to use the right and left arrows because the Enter key doesn't seem to work. To add the currently selected directory/track in the file browser to the playlist hit a, and to start playing use x. The same shortcut is used for pausing playing. Here are some useful shortcuts (notice that they are case sensitive, so D will mean press Shift+D):

a - add current directory/filename to the playlist
x - start playing
c - pause/resume playing
v - stop playing
( - decrease volume
) - increase volume
/ - search for entries
n - search for next occurence
D - remove all entries in the playlist (clear playlist); you'll be prompted to do it
q - quit Herrie

You can also use the typical h, j, k and l keyboard shortcuts for browsing through the file browser.

Herrie will also add files which are not audio formats to the formats, this means whatever it finds in the directory added to the playlist.

Usual interface of Herrie

The global Herrie configuration file is located in /etc/herrie.conf, while the user-specific configuration file can be manually created as ~/.herrie/config, where ~ is your home directory. You'll need it when setting the username and password.

The good thing about Herrie is that it has song submission support, which you can enable by editing (or creating if it doesn't already exist) the ~/.herrie/config file and adding the following two lines:


Replace USER and PASS with yours. Herrie also has an XMMS-like playlist mode, which can be enabled by adding the next line inside ~/.herrie/config:


You can also run Herrie as herrie -x and get the same result.

One of the drawbacks of Herrie is that it won't read tags, not even for Ogg Vorbis files, so if your music collection has files which are called something like track01.ogg, track02.ogg and so on, that's what you'll get in the playlist too.

I must admit Herrie is a little unusual and definitely the most unintuitive console player I've ever tried when it comes to the way you have to use it (especially keyboad shortcuts), but it can be a viable alternative to players like cmus, mp3blaster or moc once you get used to it.

Related articles
CMus Review - A Great ncurses Music Player
Review: MOC, Text-Based Audio Player
Several Powerful Console Music Players for Linux


Pete T said...

"One of the drawbacks of Herrie is that it won't read tags"

While this is true if you load a playlist Herrie will show the information contained in the playlist giving a more traditional track name/artist/album/etc type display.

Craciun Dan said...

Nice. Thanks for the screenshot too.