Monday, October 21, 2013



In this post I'm going to go over Pianobar. We'll grab the latest source, compile it, set it up, and run it. Pianobar is a awesome opensource console based client for Pandora Radio.

Step One:

First we'll need to install git so we can grab the latest source from github. We're going to grab the source from git so we have the latest code, otherwise we could easily install it from the repositories. So jumping to your terminal you'll just need to
$ sudo apt-get install git

Step Two:

We need to get the latest source of pianobar. So in the terminal again type the following
$ git clone

Step Three:

We need to install the dependencies for pianobar to work correctly. Again the your terminal type the following:
sudo apt-get install libao-dev libmad0-dev libfaad-dev libgnutls-dev libjson0-dev libgcrypt11-dev

Step Four:

Now all we need to do is compile and install the git source we got earlier. So in the same directory that you were in when you used git to get pianobar just `cd` to the pianobar directory and use:
$ cd pianobar
$ make
$ sudo make install

Step Five:

At this point pianobar should be installed assuming we didn't get any errors along the way. So the next step is to add information to the config file in your home directory. Pianobar should have a directory within the .config directory, if not create it.
cat ~/.config/pianobar/config
We'll need to add some information to the config file in order to make pianobar work correctly. If there is no config file in the pianobar directory create a blank text file named 'config'.
password = pandora account password here
Adding your username and password are optional, but it saves you from having to type in your username and password every time.

Step Six:

Now to run the beauty that is pianobar for the first time. You can run pianobar by just typing pianobar and hitting enter into your terminal.

Optional steps:

So now that we have pianobar functional we can work on other things. For instance getting our plaintext password to be encrypted, keybinding, etc.

Password Encryption:


If you're using a multimedia keyboard, you can add keybinds for pianobar. For my setup I have a microsoft wireless comfort keyboard 4000, and I'm running crunchbang with openbox. Openbox keybinds are located in the rc.xml config file. What we'll also need is to grab files. Make sure you're in your .config/pianobar directory before you use the following command:
git clone
First we need to know exactly what the keys do in order to map them to a command. So we'll use xev tool for that. So in  your terminal type in xev and hit enter, next hit one of the multimedia keys on your keyboard. You'll see output like this:
KeyPress event, serial 46, synthetic NO, window 0x4e00001,
root 0x370, subw 0x0, time 2488373614, (943,113), root:(1395,1057),
state 0x10, keycode 164 (keysym 0x1008ff30,
XF86Favorites), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XmbLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XFilterEvent returns: False

KeyRelease event, serial 46, synthetic NO, window 0x4e00001,
root 0x370, subw 0x0, time 2488373806, (943,113), root:(1395,1057),
state 0x10, keycode 164 (keysym 0x1008ff30, XF86Favorites), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XFilterEvent returns: False
XF86Favorites is what we'll need to configure our keybind. So open up your rc.xml file and navigate to where the keybind area is and add the xml portion to execute a command from the The button I'm setting up is the "star" button on my keyboard which I'm going to use to tell pianobar that I like that song. In the rc.xml file I'm going to add:
<keybind key="XF86Favorites"> 
    <action name="Execute"> 
        <command>/home/xplicit/.config/pianobar/ +</command>

Now all we need to do is save the rc.xml file and reconfigure openbox then test it.
└──╼ pianobar
Welcome to pianobar (2012.05.06)! Press ? for a list of commands.
(i) Control fifo at /home/username/.config/pianobar/ctl opened
(i) Login... Ok.
(i) Get stations... Ok.
  0) q   2Pac (Tupac) Radio
  1) q   A Day To Remember Radio
  2) q   Eazy-E Radio
  3) q   Eminem Radio
  4) q   Mac Miller Radio
  5) q   New Found Glory Radio
  6)  Q  QuickMix
  7) q   Tate Stevens Radio
  8) q   Travie McCoy Radio
[?] Select station: q
  6)  Q  QuickMix
[?] Select station: 6
|>  Station QuickMix
(i) Receiving new playlist... Ok.
|>  The Last Thing I Do by Tate Stevens on Tate Stevens @ Tate Stevens Radio
|>  I'd Rather Fuck You by Eazy-E on Eternal E (Explicit) @ Eazy-E Radio
|>  Mr. Highway's Thinking About The End by A Day To Remember on Homesick @ A Day To Remember Radio
You can see all my keybinds for pianobar here.

Links and Sources:

Pianobar Project
Bruce Connor fifo script


  1. I appreciate this :3 I love Pianobar and cbf figuring out all the things I needed to get it working again.

    1. Glad you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed both the project and creating the blog post. More to come.

  2. You left the password encryption section blank. I've been looking for how to do this. Do you think you could complete that?

    1. Ahh good catch. This was something I never got working. I'll see if I can get it working and update the blog post. Thanks for pointing that out.