I need a player to listen to audiobooks on a desktop installation of Linux. All suggestions I find are for normal, song players, which don't work well for audiobooks. I don't have many audiobooks yet, but several of them are available as one mp3 file, not divided into chapters. So, the requirements:

  1. It has to remember where I stopped it last time! I currently have to note down the minute at which I stopped listening, and then try to find it again with the search bar. And these bars weren't made for accuracy in 470 minute long files. It has to still start from the last place after a full shutdown.
  2. It shouldn't try to usurp all my media.I will open a file when I am ready to move to the next book. And I don't want to have to look through thousands of music tracks to find a book. If it has a music library function, I want to be able to use the app without using the library function.
  3. It should be a Linux application, not a Windows application running under Wine.
  4. Bonus: the most common functions can be mapped to keyboard buttons, for remote control with a mini keyboard. Even larger bonus if it is also available for Fedora (I changed distros recently because of a bug, but will probably go back within a version or two)
  5. Bonus: available in the Debian wheezy repos (deb-multimedia also OK). Malus if I have to compile it by hand and manually install dependencies.

I don't need any kind of song-related features, I will keep using Clementine for them. No synchronization between devices needed. Beauty or integration with a concrete desktop environment is not especially important. No need for unusual formats or DRM, the shop I prefer sells plain mp3. Playlists aren't important.

2 Answers 2


DeaDBeeF might also be an alternative.

  • with View -> Preferences -> Playback -> Resume previous session on startup DeaDBeeF remembers the exact track and postion

  • it's completely based on playlists (no library) and files/folders can be added by drag'n drop, menu items, CLI or plugins like the file browser

  • it runs natively on Linux and BSDs

  • it has extensive hotkey capabilities

And since I listen to podcasts myself quite heavily, a few days ago I started to work on plugin for DeaDBeef that does the following:

  • remember played position for each track (by writing to tags)
  • add a menu item to a tracks context menu to start playback on last played position
  • allow to start playback a couple of seconds before last played

I'm not sure when I'll have some time to finish the work on that to make it public, but I'll add a comment here as soon as it's done. Edit: Probably end of this week.

  • I haven't looked into the plugin you describe, but DeaDBeef standard seems to work more or less. The problem is that I sometimes forget to hit the "pause" button, and choose "play", which resets the playback position :( but else it's OK.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 16, 2014 at 11:06

gmusicbrowser might fit:

  1. In settings, check "Remember playing position between sessions"
  2. You can add a music file at a time, even though it is designed for collection folders.
  3. Native Linux.
  4. Customizable shortcut for around 70 different actions.
  5. Available in Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu repositories.

gmusicbrowser does not play .m4b format files. Audacious audio player does support resume playback of .m4b and other audio files. Open settings, playlist and check "Continue playback on startup". If you pause the song before closing the application when you reopen it will be paused at your last position. Audacious is a better light weight audio player.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.