If you have shifted towards Ubuntu from Windows OS, it will seem hard to use that Linux based OS especially the command line. Because most of the Linux functionalities based on the command line. Even most Linux users prefer to run Linux server distributions that entirely depend on the Terminal with no graphical desktop because that offers higher stability, speed, and less utilization of resources.

In the start, it will be a little harder for you to get friendly with the Ubuntu desktop or Server edition. Still, you can enjoy the enjoy music and videos in Ubuntu without having any advanced knowledge of Ubuntu GUI or command line.

So today, we are going to have a look at some ways using GUI and Terminal to play mp3 files in Ubuntu. I am using Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for running commands and explaining the methods.

Play MP3 using default audio player Rhythmbox

It is the default player in Ubuntu for playing mp3 and other formats including WAV, OGG, FLAC, etc.

To launch Rhythmbox application, Press Windows key or Click on dash icon in the bottom left corner of the desktop to open the dash menu. Then search for Rhythmbox application by typing its name in the search bar. When the application appears, click on it to open it.

Search for Rythmbox on Dash

When the application opens, you will need to import the mp3 files. Click on the + icon to add files.

Rythmbox Music Player

Then click on Load from File.

Load MP3 from file

If you have a playlist, you can upload that. Otherwise, select All Files options from the bottom, then choose the path in your computer where the mp3 files are located. Then click on Open.

Open Media file

Once the file is opened, click on the Play button to play the mp3 file.

Play music

There is an alternative way to play mp3 files using Rhythmbox. To use that, navigate to the folder where the mp3 files are located. Select the mp3 file, right-click on it, and then select Properties.

Music file properties

In the Properties window, click on the OpenWith tab.

Select default application for MP3 files

From the recommended applications, select the Rhythmbox to set as a default application. Now whenever you will open any mp3 file, it will automatically open in Rhythmbox application.

Select Rythmbox

Play MP3 with mpg123 app

Mpg123 lets you play any mp3 files from the Terminal. To install it using the Terminal, press Ctrl+Alt+T. It will launch the Terminal. Then enter the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install mpg123

install mpg123

When prompted to continue, press y from the keyboard.

Install application

Navigate to the folder containing mp3 files. Type cd followed by the directory where the mp3 files are located. I have my mp3 files contained in Ubuntu’s Downloads folder.

The general syntax of the command is:

$ cd /[path-to-file]

Then type mpg123 followed by the mp3 filename:

$ mpg123 [file-name]

Play MP3 file on Ubuntu command line

Mpg123 supports wildcard so that you can send several mp3 files at once. Type the above same command but replace the file name with *.mp3 like below:

$ mpg123 *.mp3

Play all MP3 files in a directory on Ubuntu

Using VLC Player to play MP3 Music Files

In Ubuntu, you can also use the popular VLC player used mostly by Windows user. To install VLC player, open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T key combination.

Then enter the below command in Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install vlc

Install VLC Player

To start VLC player, use the following command in the Terminal window:

$ vlc

Start VLC Media Player

It will launch the VLC player. Click on Media from the top menu bar. Then from the drop-down list, select Open File.

Open media file with VLC

In the window that appears, choose the mp3 file that you want to play and click on Open.

Select files

It will instantly play the mp3 file in VLC player.

So these were the three ways using which you can play mp3 files that include built-in application Rhythmbox, command line application mpg123, and open source VLC program. You can also use various other freeware programs for playing mp3 files in Ubuntu.

How to Play MP3 in Ubuntu