Sun Aug 17 2008

This is a simple command line program to search for tracks on iTunes and play them. You can also adjust the volume, see all the artists in the library, and queue tracks with simple and convenient commands.

itunes-command is available as a Ruby Gem. To install, open a Terminal window and type

sudo gem install itunes-command

The gem installs an executable, which will require your administrator’s password.

You can run itunes-command simply by typing


Here is a sample session:

my-computer:~ choi$ itunes-command
ruby: unknown type name "tdta".


q                   quit
h                   show commands
s <string>          searches for tracks matching <string>
<track number>      plays a track (assumes you've done a search and got results)
a                   lists all artists in the library
v                   show the current volume level
v <level>           sets the volume level (1-100)
+ <increment>       increases the volume by <increment>; default is 10 steps
- <increment>       decreases the volume by <increment>; default is 10 steps
x                   stop
p                   shows all playlists
<playlist number>   shows all the tracks in a playlist
l                   list all tracks in the queue (which will play tracks in 
n <track number>    put a track in the queue; can be a range, e.g. 3-5
c                   clear the queue
g                   start playing tracks in the queue
k                   skip to next track in queue
>> s priscilla
 0 Priscilla Ahn : Dream
 1 Priscilla Ahn : Are We Different
 2 Priscilla Ahn : I Don't Think So
 3 Priscilla Ahn : Lost
 4 Priscilla Ahn : Rain
 5 Priscilla Ahn : Wallflower
 6 Priscilla Ahn : Dream
 7 Priscilla Ahn : Opportunity to Cry
 8 Priscilla Ahn : A Good Day (Morning Song)
 9 Priscilla Ahn : Red Cape
10 Priscilla Ahn : Astronaut
11 Priscilla Ahn : I Don't Think So
12 Priscilla Ahn : Masters In China
13 Priscilla Ahn : We Were Free
14 Priscilla Ahn : Leave the Light On
15 Priscilla Ahn : Find My Way Back Home
16 Priscilla Ahn : Lullaby
>> 0
Playing 'Dream' by Priscilla Ahn from Priscilla Ahn EP
>> s radiohead faust
0 Radiohead : Faust Arp
>> 0
Playing 'Faust Arp' by Radiohead from In Rainbows
>> v
The volume is 18 out of 100
>> +
The volume is 28 out of 100
>> s feist
 0 Feist : I Feel It All (Britt Daniel Remix)
 1 Feist : Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
 2 Feist : Inside + Out (Apostle of Hustle Unmix)
 3 Feist : One Evening (Remix By VV)
 4 Feist : So Sorry
 5 Feist : I Feel It All
 6 Feist : My Moon My Man
 7 Feist : The Park
 8 Feist : The Water
 9 Feist : Sea Lion Woman
10 Feist : Past In Present
11 Feist : The Limit to Your Love
12 Feist : 1234
13 Feist : Brandy Alexander
14 Feist : Intuition
15 Feist : Honey Honey
16 Feist : How My Heart Behaves
17 Feist : Sealion (Chromeo Remix) [Bonus Track]
18 Feist : The Water (Red Demos) [Bonus Track]
19 Feist : 1234
>> n 1
Added Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) to the queue
>> s postal
 0 Feist : Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
 1 The Postal Service : Be Still My Heart (Nobody Remix)
 2 The Postal Service : Such Great Heights
 3 The Postal Service : We Will Become Silhouettes
>> n 2
Added Such Great Heights to the queue
>> l
Feist : Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
The Postal Service : Such Great Heights
>> g
Playing 'Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)' by Feist \
  from Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) - Single
>> l
Feist : Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix) <--- currently playing
The Postal Service : Such Great Heights

(The weird warning on the second line is just a quirk of a recent update to the iTunes application. It’s harmless and might be resolved by Apple in a future release of iTunes. If you’re curious, you can read more about this warning message here.)

itunes-command is also useful for controlling iTunes remotely over a ssh session.

This program is free and open source. You can browse the source here.


  • OS X Leopard

Source, Bug Reports, Feedback

To leave any feedback, please visit the RubyForge page for this project. You can file bug reports, request enhancements and features, and comment in a discussion forum.

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