#spotify #ncurses #librespot

app ncspot

ncurses Spotify client written in Rust using librespot, inspired by ncmpc and the likes

11 releases

new 0.2.4 Oct 26, 2020
0.2.2 Sep 1, 2020
0.2.0 Jul 17, 2020
0.1.2 Feb 5, 2020
0.0.0 Mar 4, 2019

#9 in Audio

Download history 70/week @ 2020-07-07 114/week @ 2020-07-14 103/week @ 2020-07-21 82/week @ 2020-07-28 77/week @ 2020-08-04 125/week @ 2020-08-11 94/week @ 2020-08-18 123/week @ 2020-08-25 114/week @ 2020-09-01 88/week @ 2020-09-08 104/week @ 2020-09-15 77/week @ 2020-09-22 124/week @ 2020-09-29 101/week @ 2020-10-06 70/week @ 2020-10-13 124/week @ 2020-10-20

430 downloads per month


7.5K SLoC


Crates.io Gitter Build

Packaging status

ncspot ncspot

ncurses Spotify client written in Rust using librespot. It is heavily inspired by ncurses MPD clients, such as ncmpc. My motivation was to provide a simple and resource friendly alternative to the official client as well as to support platforms that currently don't have a Spotify client, such as the *BSDs.


Resource footprint comparison

Measured using ps_mem on Linux during playback:

Client Private Memory Shared Memory Total
ncspot 22.1 MiB 24.1 MiB 46.2 MiB
Spotify 407.3 MiB 592.7 MiB 1000.0 MiB


  • Rust
  • Python 3 (needed for building rust-xcb dependency)
  • libpulse-dev (or portaudio-dev, if you want to use the PortAudio backend)
  • libncurses-dev and libssl-dev
  • libdbus-1-dev
  • libxcb + development headers (for clipboard access)
  • A Spotify premium account
  • pkg-config

On Debian based systems you need following packages for development headers:

sudo apt install libncursesw5-dev libdbus-1-dev libpulse-dev libssl-dev libxcb1-dev libxcb-render0-dev libxcb-shape0-dev libxcb-xfixes0-dev

For Fedora, these dependencies are required:

dnf install pulseaudio-libs-devel libxcb-devel openssl-devel ncurses-devel dbus-devel


  • Install the latest ncspot release using cargo install ncspot
    • or build it yourself using cargo build --release
    • both approaches require a working Rust installation
  • For debugging, pass a debug log filename, e.g. ncspot -d debug.log

Audio backends

By default ncspot is built using the Rodio backend. To make it use the PortAudio backend (e.g. for *BSD or macOS), you need to recompile ncspot with the portaudio_backend feature:

  • cargo run --no-default-features --features portaudio_backend,cursive/pancurses-backend

Key Bindings

The keybindings listed below are configured by default. Additionally, if you run ncspot with MPRIS support, you may be able to use media keys to control playback depending on your desktop environment settings. Have a look at the configuration section if you want to set custom bindings.

  • ? show help screen
  • Navigate through the screens using the F-keys:
    • F1: Queue
      • c clears the entire queue
      • d deletes the currently selected track
      • Ctrl-s opens a dialog to save the queue to a playlist
    • F2: Search
    • F3: Library
      • d deletes the currently selected playlist
  • Tracks and playlists can be played using Return and queued using Space
  • . will play the selected item after the currently playing track
  • p will move to the currently playing track in the queue
  • s will save, d will remove the currently selected track to/from your library
  • o will open a detail view or context menu for the selected item
  • Shift-o will open a context menu for the currently playing track
  • a will open the album view for the selected item
  • A will open the artist view for the selected item
  • Ctrl-v will open the context menu for a Spotify link in your clipboard
  • Backspace closes the current view
  • Shift-p toggles playback of a track
  • Shift-s stops a track
  • Shift-u updates the library cache (tracks, artists, albums, playlists)
  • < and > play the previous or next track
  • f and b to seek forward or backward
  • Shift-f and Shift-b to seek forward or backward in steps of 10s
  • - and + decrease or increase the volume by 1
  • [ and ] decrease of increase the volume by 5
  • r to toggle repeat mode
  • z to toggle shuffle playback
  • q quits ncspot
  • x copies a sharable URL of the song to the system clipboard
  • Shift-x copies a sharable URL of the currently selected item to the system clipboard

Use / to open a Vim-like search bar, you can use n and N to go for the next/previous search occurrence, respectivly.

You can also open a Vim style commandprompt using :, the following commands are supported:

  • quit: Quit ncspot
  • toggle: Toggle playback
  • stop: Stop playback
  • previous/next: Play previous/next track
  • clear: Clear playlist
  • share [current | selected]: Copies a sharable URL of either the selected item or the currernt song to the system clipboard
  • newplaylist <name>: Create new playlist with name <name>

The screens can be opened with queue, search, playlists and log, whereas search can be supplied with a search term that will be entered after opening the search view.

To close the commandprompt at any time, press esc.


Configuration is saved to ~/.config/ncspot/config.toml. To reload the configuration during runtime use the reload statement in the command prompt :reload.

Possible configuration values are:

  • use_nerdfont: Turn nerdfont glyphs on/off <true/false>
  • theme: Set a custom color palette (see below)
  • backend: Audio backend to use, run ncspot -h for a list of devices
  • backend_device: Audio device string to configure the backend
  • audio_cache: Enable or disable caching of audio files, on by default <true/false>
  • volnorm: Enable or disable volume normalization, off by default <true/false>
  • volnorm_pregain: Normalization pregain to apply (if enabled)
  • default_keybindings: If disabled, the default keybindings are discarded, off by default <true/false>
  • notify: Enable or disable desktop notifications, off by default <true/false>
  • bitrate: The audio bitrate to use for streaming, can be 96, 160, or 320 (default is 320)
  • album_column: Show album column for tracks, on by default <true/false>

Keybindings can be configured in [keybindings] section in config.toml, e.g. as such:

"Shift+i" = "seek +10000"

See the help screen by pressing ? for a list of possible commands.

ncspot will respect system proxy settings defined via the http_proxy environment variable.

Initial state

The initial state can be specified in the configuration. It allows for example enabling shuffle per default. Following entries can be added to the configuration file:

volume = 80
repeat = "track"
shuffle = true
  • volume needs to be an integer value between 0 and 100
  • repeat can be "track", "playlist" or any other value which defaults to no
  • shuffle must be "true" or "false"


Theme generator by @vaarad.

The color palette can be modified in the configuration. For instance, to have ncspot match Spotify's official client, you can add the following entries to the configuration file:

background = "black"
primary = "light white"
secondary = "light black"
title = "green"
playing = "green"
playing_selected = "light green"
playing_bg = "black"
highlight = "light white"
highlight_bg = "#484848"
error = "light white"
error_bg = "red"
statusbar = "black"
statusbar_progress = "green"
statusbar_bg = "green"
cmdline = "light white"
cmdline_bg = "black"
search_match = "light red"

More examples can be found in pull request https://github.com/hrkfdn/ncspot/pull/40.


~645K SLoC