playomatic [command [message]]


Run without arguments, plays the ( radio station. You'll need to register for an audioscrobbler account first ( Your username and password are read from the configuration file.

Run with arguments, issues the supplied command to the running playomatic - see COMMANDS, below.

Before first use, you should create the configuration file ~/.playomaticrc containing your username and password - see the CONFIGURATION FILE section (below) for details.


For ease of use (yes, really*), you control playomatic by touching various files in your home directory. The files and their effects are as follows:

Skips the current track.
Sends the 'love' command.

Sends the 'ban' command, and skips this track.

Switches stations. The first line of the file must contain ``station [mode]'' where mode can be ``personal'' or ``profile'' (the default), and station is the name of station you want to change to.

Starts a new session (switches radio stations, randomly).

Forces the track name and title to be updated. Useful if you have skipped track by some other means, such as the web control panel.

Dumps status information.

These commands can also be sent from the command line - see the following section for details.


Any of the commmands below may be supplied (instead of touching the approriate file into existence):

Skips a track

love [message]
Sends the love command to the lastfm server, and marks the file in the logs with '[**]'. If message is supplied, it will be logged to the log file. If message starts with an exclamation mark the message will be logged with '[*]' but the love command will not be sent to the server.

Skips the track and sends the ban command to the lastfm server.

Updates the track information

station station [mode]
Changes stations - see .playomatic.station above for details.

Restarts playomatic

Analyses the playomatic log and produces some basic statistics (currently merely the number of tracks listened to per artist).

Dumps status information (useful primarily for debugging)


If the environment variable AS_SESSION exists, its value will be used as the session key, instead of a new session's being created. This allows you to connect playomatic to a session that you have initiated from's web interface, for example.


Contains details of the track currently being played.

The configuration file ~/.playomaticrc should contain a series of key/value pairs separated by '=', one per line. The following are known to be useful (and perusers of the source may discern yet others if/when the documentation starts to lag the code):
 username    = [audioscrobbler username]
 password    = [audioscrobbler password] 
 mpg123_args = [additional arguments to pass to mpg123, 
                separated by spaces]


If you can't work out why these make playomatic easy to use, you should probably be using a different player. (But see also COMMANDS before giving up entirely.)


Chris Lightfoot ( and Julian T. J. Midgley (


Probably present in profuse quantity - please email details to: