MPRIS clients

MPRIS is short for Media Player Remote Interfacing Specification. It’s a spec that describes a standard D-Bus interface for making media players available to other applications on the same system.

The MPRIS frontend provided by the Mopidy-MPRIS extension currently implements all required parts of the MPRIS spec, plus the optional playlist interface. It does not implement the optional tracklist interface.

Ubuntu Sound Menu

The Ubuntu Sound Menu is the default sound menu in Ubuntu since 10.10 or 11.04. By default, it only includes the Rhytmbox music player, but many other players can integrate with the sound menu, including the official Spotify player and Mopidy.


If you install Mopidy from, the sound menu should work out of the box. If you install Mopidy in any other way, you need to make sure that the file located at extra/desktop/mopidy.desktop in the Mopidy git repo is installed as /usr/share/applications/mopidy.desktop, and that the properties TryExec and Exec in the file points to an existing executable file, preferably your Mopidy executable. If this isn’t in place, the sound menu will not detect that Mopidy is running.

Next, Mopidy’s MPRIS frontend must be running for the sound menu to be able to control Mopidy. The frontend is enabled by default, so as long as you have all its dependencies available, you should be good to go. Keep an eye out for warnings or errors from the MPRIS frontend when you start Mopidy, since it may fail because of missing dependencies or because Mopidy is started outside of X; the frontend won’t work if $DISPLAY isn’t set when Mopidy is started.

Under normal use, if Mopidy isn’t running and you open the menu and click on “Mopidy Music Server”, a terminal window will open and automatically start Mopidy. If Mopidy is already running, you’ll see that Mopidy is marked with an arrow to the left of its name, like in the screen shot above, and the player controls will be visible. Mopidy doesn’t support the MPRIS spec’s optional playlist interface yet, so you’ll not be able to select what track to play from the sound menu. If you use an MPD client to queue a playlist, you can use the sound menu to check what you’re currently playing, pause, resume, and skip to the next and previous track.

In summary, Mopidy’s sound menu integration is currently not a full featured client, but it’s a convenient addition to an MPD client since it’s always easily available on Unity’s menu bar.


Rygel is an application that will translate between Mopidy’s MPRIS interface and UPnP, and thus make Mopidy controllable from devices compatible with UPnP and/or DLNA. To read more about this, see UPnP clients.