Sound Cloud Music Player Daemon

1. Introduction

pyscmpd stands for „Python SoundCloud Music Player Daemon“. It is, as the name suggests, a Python based daemon, talking a subset of the MPD protocol. I use it mainly on a Raspberry Pi, but it is not limited to the Pi :-). Instead of serving local MP3 files, it connects to SoundCloud and serves the streams found there. The user could configure, which parts of SoundCloud are made available for browsing (e.g. by defining favorite groups or user). pyscmpd is intended to run as a per user daemon, meaning it is designed to run multiple instances.

Since pyscmpd uses the well known MPD protocol, a variety of clients could be used as a front end to the daemon. The once I am testing pyscmpd currently on are the curses based ncmpcpp and the GTK based sonata.

More information could be found at the following places:

  • For more details on the architecture of pyscmpd see this document.
  • For more details on the current implementation (including a list of MPD commands currently supported) see this document.
  • As a foundation for the core MPD protocol implementation, the pympdserver library is used.
  • Accessing SoundCloud is done through the SoundCloud API.

2. Main Features

The main features currently supported are:

  • Browse a predefined set of favorite users (in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmpd.conf“)
  • Browse a predefined set of favorite groups (in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmpd.conf“)
  • Browse the favorite tracks of a predefined set of users (in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmpd.
  • Browse random users/groups
  • Current play-list is persisted on SIGTERM and restored on next restart</li>
  • Save play-lists to a defined name
  • Load stored play-lists
  • Browse stored play-lists
  • Delete stored play-lists
  • Clear stored play-lists
  • Add tracks to current play-list
  • Add tracks to stored play-list
  • Change song order in current play-list
  • Change song order in stored play-list
  • Remove songs from current play-list
  • Remove songs from stored play-list
  • Clear current play-list
  • Start/stop/pause/resume songs
  • Control volume
  • Elapsed song time and current song-time are transmitted to clients

3. Prerequisites

For more detailed install instructions see next chapter.

4. Quick Install Instructions

The following instructions describe in short, how to install „pyscmpd“ on a Raspberry Pi with freshly installed Raspian. For more detailed setup instructions see the next chapter.

Note: perform the following steps as user „pi“.

1) Install missing Debian packages

sudo apt-get install git python-setuptools python-gst0.10 gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-alsa jackd ncmpcpp

2) Install soundcloud python API

sudo easy_install soundcloud

3) Install pysmpd

mkdir $HOME/src
cd $HOME/src
git clone
cd pyscmpd
sudo python install

4) Autostart pyscmpd with the desktop

mkdir $HOME/.config/autostart
cp ./etc/pyscmpd.desktop $HOME/.config/autostart/.

5) Run daemon, connect to it

pyscmpdctrl start
ncmpcpp -p 9900

5. Detailed Install Instructions

For the following steps, it is assumed, that `$HOME/src`is your working directory:

mkdir $HOME/src

1) Install soundcloud-python

apt-get python setuptools:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

clone the sources:

cd $HOME/src
git clone

run the setup script

cd soundcloud-python
sudo python install

Note: Internet connection is needed for this step, since the installer will go and fetch some dependencies from the net.

2) Install python-gst and dependencies

apt-get the library:

sudo apt-get install python-gst0.10

on a fresh Raspian, I needed additionally the following:

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-base gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-alsa jackd

3) Install pyscmpd

either clone pyscmpd sources:

cd $HOME/src
git clone

or download a release tarball:

ln -s pyscmpd-0.1 pyscmpd

install pyscmpd:

cd pyscmpd
sudo python install

3.1) Optional: autostart daemon with LXDE

If you like to start „pyscmpd“ with your LXDE desktop on a raspberry pi, you could create the file „pyscmpd.desktop“ under „$HOME/.config/autostart“ with the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Python based soundcloud player using the MPD protocol
Exec=pyscmpdctrl restart

Next time your desktop is started, „pyscmpd“ will also be started.

4) Get a decent MPD client

I prefer ncmpcpp:

sudo apt-get install ncmpcpp

Or for a GUI based client sonata:

sudo apt-get install sonata

6. Usage

In the main directory start „pyscmpd“ daemon with:

pyscmpdctrl start

A default configuration is created under „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmp.conf“. To change the port (default 9900), logging, or favorite users to browse change this file.

By default, the log output of the daemon could be viewed by:

tail -f ~/.pyscmpd/pyscmpd.log

Now you should be able to connect to the daemons default port 9900, e. g. with ncmpcpp:

ncmpcpp -p 9900

To stop the daemon use:

pyscmpdctrl stop

In case „pyscmpdctrl“ complains about the PID file already existing, and you are sure the daemon is not running yet, you could use the following command to cleanup the PID file:

pyscmpdctrl rmpid

For debugging, it may be useful to start the daemon in foreground. This could be done by:

pyscmpdctrl --foreground start

By doing so, log messages are printed to „stdout“, while the log-file specified will be ignored.

7. Customize

1. General ScoundCloud API Settings

The general SoundCloud API settings are done under the *[scapi]* section. Currently the only thing configurable here is the number of items (groups, users, tracks) to retrieve from SC per request. The maximum number one could specify for „maxitems“ is 8000 (this is the upper limit of SC):


Note: if you use a slow Internet connection, it is likely that your clients time out when maxitems is chosen to high.

2. Favorite Users

To modify the list of your favorite users to browse, edit the *[favorite-users]* section in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmp.conf“. The format used for favorite users is:

category1: user1, user2, ...
category2: user1, user2, ...

categoryN is then shown in the browser as sub-folder folder of *users* folder, containing all the users specified. userN is the user name of a soundcloud user as shown in the URL. E.g. „griz“ for [GRiZ] (

3. Favorite Groups

To define the favorite groups shown in the browser, add them under the favorite-groups] section in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmp.conf“. The format used for favorite users is:

categroy1: group1, group2, ...
categroy2: group1, group2, ...

categoryN is shown in the browser as sub-folder of the groups folder. groupN is the group name as shown in the URL when browsing a group. E.g. „deep-house-4“.

4. Favorite Favorites

To define a set of users who’s favorite tracks are listed under the favorites folder, add them to the favorite-favorites section in „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmp.conf“. The format used for favorite favorites is:

category1: user1, user2, ...
category2: user1, user2, ...

For each categoryN, a sub-folder of favorites is shown in the browser. When userN is opened, all the favorite tracks of that user are listed.

5. Complete Example

The following shows a complete sample for the two mentioned section as seen in „pysmpc.conf“:


ghettoswing : maddecent, barelylegit
electrosoul: griz
deep-minimal-house: grumoh
tech-house: beatkind, atmosphererecords

house: deep-house-4, minimal-tech-house,
swing: swing-fever-electroswing-group, ghettoswing-and-swingstep

me: kaltpost
friends: somefrinduser

Note: Each time „~/.pyscmpd/pyscmp.conf“ is modified, the daemon needs to be restarted by:

pyscmpdctrl restart

Note: an example configuration could be found in the project directory under ./etc/pyscmpd.conf.

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