Using EMPC As a Streaming Music Controller

Many of you are probably like me … you have a relatively small music library that gets old fast. You find elegant and highly functional music players, but they don’t support much outside of playing your local library.  Enter EMPC.  You can find more information about EMPC and download it here: https://git.enlightenment.org/apps/empc.git/about/ as well as https://phab.enlightenment.org/w/projects/empc/

EMPC is a mpd client written using the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) by Enlightenment release manager, and EFL developer Mike Blumenkrantz.  It serves as a great tool for controlling your mpd server.  You are now probably wondering how this can possibly solve the issue of only having your local music library.  Using a tool called Mopidy – https://www.mopidy.com/ – you can use the internet’s most popular streaming music libraries all at once from your mpd server.  Then you can manage and control what is playing, playlists, and more from EMPC mpd client.  This adds a huge resource of music at your fingertips, giving you the chance to create custom playlists from different resources, never hearing the same song twice.  The following will be a simple walkthrough for how to get set up doing so.

First follow Mopidy’s installation guide to get mopidy installed: https://docs.mopidy.com/en/latest/installation/
For the purpose of this tutorial, I am going to use Google Play music as the mopidy extension.  You can see a list of extensions here: https://docs.mopidy.com/en/latest/ext/backends/  Each extension has its own page with details on how to install it (it is very simple).

Make sure you have your $HOME/.config/mopidy/mopidy.conf set up correctly to connect to your streaming service.  Again we will use Google Play.
Here is my config file:

The important block here is the one that starts [gmusic].  Make sure you have the Username and Password that you have for your Google account in the Username and Password sections, then save and exit.

Your next step is to simply run Mopidy:

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Make sure that you have no errors loggin in to google play.  Then start  EMPC:

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Assuming you ran mopidy from the defaults, empc default’s will be correct as all.  Host 127.0.0.1 and port 6600.  When you see the above screen hit enter.  This will bring you to EMPC’s main screen.  Take your cursor and move it to the top of the window.  Here you will get a listing of your media.  If you set up the google play extension for Mopidy correctly, you should see an item called “Google Music”.  Double click on this item.

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This should bring you to a listing of Albums/Artists/and Radios.  Any of these three options will give you music from google play’s library.  For the purpose of this walkthrough, I chose Radios.

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Once Radios has been clicked, you will get a list of all the radio channels you have listened to on Google Play.  Single click on the radio of your choice and then click the plus sign to add all songs from that radio channel to your play queue.  If you would like to select the songs individually, then double click on the station of your choosing.

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I chose 90’s rock, and here you can see the playlist that it pulled for me.  Simply press the Play icon to begin listening.

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And there you have it… An elegant and attractive control for your favorite streaming service:

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These same steps should work for any of the Mopidy extensions that you choose.  If you have any questions or comments please leave a message in the comment section.  I hope others will enjoy this as much I am.  Special thanks to Mike Blumenkrantz for creating EMPC and to the Mopidy and MPD devs for giving us an awesome to listen to our music.

Thanks for reading!
Stephen

 

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