ogg123 - plays Ogg Vorbis files


ogg123 [ -vqzVh ] [ -k seconds ] [ -x nth ] [ -y ntimes ] [ -b buffer_size ] [ -d driver [ -o option:value ] [ -f filename ] ] file ... | directory ... | URL ...


ogg123 reads Ogg Vorbis audio files and decodes them to the devices specified on the command line. By default, ogg123 writes to the standard sound device, but output can be sent to any number of devices. Files can be read from the file system, or URLs can be streamed via HTTP. If a directory is given, all of the files in it or its subdirectories will be played.


--audio-buffer n Use an output audio buffer of approximately ’n’ kilobytes.
-@ playlist, --list playlist Play all of the files named in the file ’playlist’. The playlist should have one filename, directory name, or URL per line. Blank lines are permitted. Directories will be treated in the same way as on the command line.
-b n, --buffer n Use an input buffer of approximately ’n’ kilobytes.
-p n, --prebuffer n Prebuffer ’n’ percent of the input buffer. Playback won’t begin until this prebuffer is complete.
-d device, --device device Specify output device. See DEVICES section for a list of devices. Any number of devices may be specified.
-f filename, --file filename Specify output file for file devices. The filename "-" writes to standard out. If the file already exists, ogg123 will overwrite it.
-h, --help Show command help.
-k n, --skip n Skip the first ’n’ seconds. ’n’ may also be in minutes:seconds or hours:minutes:seconds form.
-K n, --end n Stops playing ’n’ seconds from the start of the stream. ’n’ may also have the same format as used in the --skip option.
-o option:value, --device-option option:value Assigns the option option to value for the preceding device. See DEVICES for a list of valid options for each device.
-q, --quiet Quiet mode. No messages are displayed.
-V, --version Display version information.
-v, --verbose Increase verbosity.
-x n, --nth Play every ’n’th decoded block. Has the effect of playing audio at ’n’ times faster than normal speed.
-y n, --ntimes Repeat every played block ’n’ times. Has the effect of playing audio ’n’ times slower than normal speed. May be with -x for interesting fractional speeds.
-z, --shuffle Play files in pseudo-random order.


ogg123 supports a variety of audio output devices through libao. Only those devices supported by the target platform will be available. The -f option may only be used with devices that write to files.

null Null driver. All audio data is discarded. (Note: Audio data is not written to /dev/null !) You could use this driver to test raw decoding speed without output overhead.

oss Open Sound System driver for Linux and FreeBSD. Options:
dsp DSP device for soundcard. Defaults to /dev/dsp.

sun Sun Audio driver for NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Solaris. Options:
dev Audio device for soundcard. Defaults to /dev/audio.

alsa Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Options:
card Sound card number. (Default = 0)
dev Device number on the sound card. (Default = 0)
buf_size Override the default buffer size (in bytes).

irix IRIX audio driver.

arts aRts Sound Daemon.

esd Enlightened Sound Daemon. Options:
host The hostname where esd is running. This can include a port number after a colon, as in "". (Default = localhost)

au Sun audio file output. Writes the audio samples in AU format. The AU format supports writing to unseekable files, like standard out. In such circumstances, the AU header will specify the sample format, but not the length of the recording.

raw Raw sample output. Writes raw audio samples to a file. Options:
byteorder Choose big endian, little endian, or native byte order. (Default = "native")

wav WAV file output. Writes the sound data to disk in uncompressed form. If multiple files are played, all of them will be concatenated into the same WAV file. WAV files cannot be written to unseekable files, such as standard out. Use the AU format instead.


The ogg123 command line is fairly flexible, perhaps confusingly so. Here are some sample command lines and an explanation of what they do.

Play on the default soundcard:

ogg123 test.ogg

Play all of the files in the directory ~/music and its subdirectories.

ogg123 ~/music

Play a file using the OSS driver:

ogg123 -d oss test.ogg

Pass the "dsp" option to the OSS driver:

ogg123 -d oss -o dsp:/dev/mydsp

Use the ESD driver

ogg123 -d esd test.ogg

Use the WAV driver with the output file, "test.wav":

ogg123 -d wav -f test.wav test.ogg

Listen to a file while you write it to a WAV file:

ogg123 -d oss -d wav -f test.wav test.ogg

Note that options apply to the device declared to the left:

ogg123 -d oss -o dsp:/dev/mydsp -d raw -f test2.raw -o byteorder:big test.ogg

Stress test your harddrive:

ogg123 -d oss -d wav -f 1.wav -d wav -f 2.wav -d wav -f 3.wav -d wav -f 4.wav -d wav -f 5.wav test.ogg

Create an echo effect with esd and a slow computer:

ogg123 -d esd -d esd test.ogg


You can abort ogg123 at any time by pressing Ctrl-C. If you are playing multiple files, this will stop the current file and begin playing the next one. If you want to abort playing immediately instead of skipping to the next file, press Ctrl-C within the first second of the playback of a new file.

Note that the result of pressing Ctrl-C might not be audible immediately, due to audio data buffering in the audio device. This delay is system dependent, but it is usually not more than one or two seconds.


 Can be used to set the default output device for all libao programs.

 Per-user config file to override the system wide output device settings.


Piped WAV files may cause strange behavior in other programs. This is because WAV files store the data length in the header. However, the output driver does not know the length when it writes the header, and there is no value that means "length unknown". Use the raw or au output driver if you need to use ogg123 in a pipe.




Program Authors:
 Kenneth Arnold <> Stan Seibert <>

Manpage Author:
 Stan Seibert <>

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