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pianobar(1) General Commands Manual pianobar(1)


pianobar - console music player




pianobar is a lightweight console music player for the personalized online radio


$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/pianobar/config or ~/.config/pianobar/config
Per-user configuration file. See CONFIGURATION.
/etc/libao.conf or ~/.libao
Global/per-user audio output configuration. See libao documentation at


The configuration file consists of simple key = value lines, each terminated with a newline (\n) character. Keys are case sensitive.
act_* keys control pianobar's key-bindings. Every one-byte character except for \x00 and the special value disabled are allowed here.
act_help = ?
Show keybindings.
act_songlove = +
Love currently played song.
act_songban = -
Ban current track. It will not be played again and can only removed using the web interface.
act_stationaddmusic = a
Add more music to current station. You will be asked for a search string. Just follow the instructions. If you're clueless try '?' (without quotes).
act_bookmark = b
Bookmark current song or artist.
act_stationcreate = c
Create new station. You have to enter a search string and select the song or artist of your choice.
act_stationdelete = d
Delete current station.
act_songexplain = e
Explain why this song is played.
act_stationaddbygenre = g
Add genre station provided by pandora.
act_history = h
Show history.
act_songinfo = i
Print information about currently played song/station.
act_addshared = j
Add shared station by id. id is a very long integer without "sh" at the beginning.
act_managestation = =
Delete artist/song seeds or feedback.
act_songmove = m
Move current song to another station
act_songnext = n
Skip current song.
act_songpause = S
Pause playback
act_songpausetoggle = p
act_songpausetoggle2 = <Space>
Pause/resume playback
act_songplay = P
Resume playback
act_quit = q
Quit pianobar.
act_stationrename = r
Rename currently played station.
act_stationchange = s
Select another station. The station list can be filtered like most lists by entering a search string instead of a station number.
act_songtired = t
Ban song for one month.
act_upcoming = u
Show next songs in playlist.
act_stationcreatefromsong = v
Create new station from the current song or artist.
act_stationselectquickmix = x
Select quickmix stations. You can toggle the selection with 't', select all with 'a' or select none with 'n'.
act_voldown = (
Decrease volume.
act_volreset = ^
Reset volume.
act_volup = )
Increase volume.
act_settings = !
Change Pandora settings.
at_icon = @
Replacement for %@ in station format string. It's " @ " by default.
audio_quality = {high, medium, low}
Select audio quality.
autoselect = {1,0}
Auto-select last remaining item of filtered list. Currently enabled for station selection only.
autostart_station = stationid
Play this station when starting up. You can get the stationid by pressing i or the key you defined in act_songinfo.
ban_icon = </3
Icon for banned songs.
bind_to = {if!tunX,host!x.x.x.x,..}
This sets the interface name to use as outgoing network interface. The name can be an interface name, an IP address, or a host name. (from CURLOPT_INTERFACE)
It can be used as a replacement for control_proxy in conjunction with OpenVPN's option route-nopull.
ca_bundle = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
Path to CA certifiate bundle, containing the root and intermediate certificates required to validate Pandora's SSL certificate.
control_proxy = http://user:password@host:port/
Non-american users need a proxy to use Only the xmlrpc interface will use this proxy. The music is streamed directly.
decrypt_password = R=U!LH$O2B#
device = android-generic
encrypt_password = 6#26FRL$ZWD
event_command = path
File that is executed when event occurs. See section EVENTCMD
fifo = $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/pianobar/ctl
Location of control fifo. See section REMOTE CONTROL
format_list_song = %i) %a - %t%r
Available format characters:
%i Song number
%a Song artist
%t Song title
%r Rating icon
%d Song duration
The at_icon
Song’s station, if not the current station.
format_msg_none = %s
format_msg_info = (i) %s
format_msg_nowplaying = |> %s
format_msg_time = # %s
format_msg_err = /!\ %s
format_msg_question = [?] %s
format_msg_list = %s
Message format strings. %s is replaced with the actual message.
format_nowplaying_song = "%t" by "%a" on "%l"%r%@%s
Now playing song message format. Available format characters are:
%t Song title
%a Song artist
%l Album name
%r Rating icon
%@ at_icon if station is quickmix, empty otherwise.
%s Real station name if quickmix
%u Song detail url
format_nowplaying_station = Station "%n" (%i)
Now playing station format. Available format characters are:
%n Station name
%i Station id
gain_mul = 1.0
Pandora sends a ReplayGain value with every song. This sets a multiplier so that the gain adjustment can be reduced. 0.0 means no gain adjustment, 1.0 means full gain adjustment, values inbetween reduce the magnitude of gain adjustment.
history = 5
Keep a history of the last n songs (5, by default). You can rate these songs.
love_icon = <3
Icon for loved songs.
max_retry = 3
Max failures for several actions before giving up.
partner_password = AC7IBG09A3DTSYM4R41UJWL07VLN8JI7
partner_user = android
password = plaintext_password
Your password. Plain-text.
password_command = gpg --decrypt ~/password
Use output of command as password. This setting is overridden by specifying a password with password.
proxy = http://user:password@host:port/
Use a http proxy. Note that this setting overrides the http_proxy environment variable. Only "Basic" http authentication is supported.
rpc_host =
rpc_tls_port = 443
sort = {name_az, name_za, quickmix_01_name_az, quickmix_01_name_za, quickmix_10_name_az, quickmix_10_name_za}
Sort station list by name or type (is quickmix) and name. name_az for example sorts by name from a to z, quickmix_01_name_za by type (quickmix at the bottom) and name from z to a.
timeout = 30
Network operation timeout.
tired_icon = zZ
Icon for temporarily suspended songs.
user =
Your username.
volume = 0
Initial volume correction in dB. Usually between -30 and +5.


pianobar can be controlled through a fifo. You have to create it yourself by executing

mkfifo ~/.config/pianobar/ctl
Adjust the path if you set up a $XDG_CONFIG_HOME or changed the fifo setting. Afterwards you can write commands directly into the fifo. Example (next song):

echo -n 'n' > ~/.config/pianobar/ctl
n is the keybinding for "next song". If you customized your keybindings you have to use these characters to control pianobar. This behaviour may change in the future!
Another example:

while true; do;
nc -l -p 12345 -s localhost localhost > ~/.config/pianobar/ctl;
sleep 1;

echo -ne 'n\x1a' | nc -q 0 12345


pianobar can report certain "events" to an external application (see CONFIGURATION ). This application is started with the event name as it's first argument. More information like error code and description, was well as song information related to the current event, is supplied through stdin.
Currently supported events are: artistbookmark, songban, songbookmark, songexplain, songfinish, songlove, songmove, songshelf, songstart, stationaddgenre, stationaddmusic, stationaddshared, stationcreate, stationdelete, stationdeleteartistseed, stationdeletefeedback, stationdeletesongseed, stationfetchinfo, stationfetchplaylist, stationfetchgenre stationquickmixtoggle, stationrename, userlogin, usergetstations
An example script can be found in the contrib/ directory of pianobar's source distribution.


Lars-Dominik Braun <>