[Review] Mu Music Player: Looks Good, Works Not So Good

In an earlier article about less known Linux music players, a reader Gábor Bálint notified me of another obscure music player Mu.

As I like to experiment with new applications, especially if it’s open source software, I decided to give it a try and now I am sharing it with you here.

Features of Mu music player

Review of Mu music player for Linux

First of all, the music player is actually written as μ, the greek letter. But I’ll be using Mu in this article for easier reading. It is an open source software and you can find the source code on GitHub repository.

Some of the main features of Mu music player are:

  • sleek, dark-themed modern interface
  • fast search option
  • option to fetch lyrics from the internet
  • album art display
  • option to save and upload album art
  • option to change the display to main player or mini player
  • support for a variety of music files
  • cross platform, available for Windows and MacOS apart from Linux

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Experience with Mu music player

The first thing you’ll notice is the interface. It’s dark themed and sleek. It is divided into 5 tabs, namely Songs, Artist, Album, Genre and Playlist. I liked the interface.

Mu Music player interface
interface

You can import your music files in here. Only one folder at a time is allowed. The default interface looks like this:

Default interface with music files

Once the files are added to the music player, it will stay there until you manually delete it (just from the player, not from disk). The trouble starts when you want to add more music files. There is no option to add more files.

The only way possible is to drag and drop new files to the player to add it. And you might know that drag and drop in Ubuntu Unity interface is often a pain.

There is an option to change the view to a “main player”. Mu tries to get lyrics on its own based on the song name and if it finds the lyrics, it is displayed in the main player view.

However, in the case below, the lyrics was not correct. And I didn’t see any option to stop displaying lyrics.

Main player view with automatically recognized yet incorrect lyrics

There is another view called Mini player. It basically minifies the interface and gives you a tiny horizontal strip to access the controls:

Mini player view

Sound quality is fine. I didn’t notice any difference in the audio quality between Mu and Rhythmbox. I did notice a considerable high CPU consumption, though. CPU consumption went over 90% as soon as a song was played. It was normal if there were no songs playing. This may result in overheating of your Linux laptop.

Extra-ordinary CPU usage

One more thing worth noting is that it didn’t blend in Ubuntu Unity environment. You cannot access the global menu. Moreover, it didn’t even integrate with the sound menu. So, no quick access through media keys on your computer.

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Verdict

If I have to summarize the hits and misses of Mu music player, it would go like:

Hits:

  • Nice interface
  • Option to get and display lyrics
  • Multiple display modes
  • Simplicity
  • Cross platform

Misses:

  • High CPU consumption
  • Incorrect auto-lyrics
  • Lousy music import feature
  • No integration with streaming music services (by design)

Install Mu music player

If you decide to try Mu music player, you can download the .deb or .rpm files from its download page:

Download Mu Music Player

You can also check out the source code:

Get Mu Source Code

If you try Mu, do share your experience with it.

Source