ViTunes lets you control and navigate iTunes from the comfort of Vim.


ViTunes is pronounced vee-eye-tunes.

If you're looking for vitunes for MPlayer by Ryan Flannery, click here.



gem install vitunes && vitunes-install

vitunes-install installs a Vim plugin into your ~/.vim/plugin directory. If you don't want to install the Vim plugin and just want to run vitunes as a stand-alone program, just run gem install vitunes and skip vitunes-install.

If you get an error message saying that vitunes-install is missing, then you probably have a PATH issue. Try one of these workarounds:

To upgrade ViTunes to a newer version, just repeat the installation procedure.

How to use it

For all the commands below, the mapleader is just assumed to be a ,. If your mapleader is \ or something else, use that instead.

Starting ViTunes

You can run ViTunes in two ways:

General commands

,I is useful if you want to launch immediately into ViTunes after starting Vim.


Playlist, artist, genre, and album navigation (but not search) use make use of Vim autocompletion. Start typing the first few letters of what you want. For example, if you want to jump to all artists that start with the letter 'P', type 'P' and you'll see the drop-down items update. This autocompletion is case-sensitive.

CTRL-p and CTRL-n let you navigate the drop-down matches. Press ENTER to select one.

More advanced autocompletion tips:

To exit the autocompletion or search query mode, press ENTER when the query line is blank, or try ESC then q.

Volume Control


One thing to note: if you start playing a track that you've gotten to by going through the playlist dropdown, iTunes will play in continuous mode, where the next track in the playlist will automatically start playing after the current one ends.

But if you start playing a track you found some other way (e.g. via search query), iTunes will stop playing after that track ends.

If you want to use ViTunes to find and queue a bunch of tracks and have them play in automatic succession, use the next feature...

Copying and deleting tracks

To copy tracks, put the cursor on a track or select a range of tracks, and then hit ,c to select a playlist to copy them to. The tracks will be added to the end of the playlist.

If this target playlist is already playing, you can keep queuing tracks to it and let the mix play out automatically.

To delete tracks from a playlist, put the cursor on a track or select a range of tracks, and then hit BACKSPACE (the Apple delete key) to remove them from the playlist that you are looking at.

Managing playlists


If you want to see your entire library in a Vim buffer, load the Library playlist. It may take a few seconds to load your entire iTunes library. But once it's loaded you'll be able to page through it at blazing speed and play any tracks you want. The list will be sorted by artist.

If you have cheap Linux netbooks, they make good ViTunes controllers. I control the iTunes on my Mac Mini from two Linux Asus 1015PEM netbooks that I move around the apartment.

History and future

I've been interested in designing alternative user interfaces to iTunes since 2008, when I was working out of the creative hacker cooperative Betahouse.

If you run a coffeeshop or coworking space where you'd like to let people use a common iTunes library like a jukebox, please let me know, because I'm interested in making something convenient for this kind of environment. This will probably require interaction via mobile devices.

Buy more music, support the ViTunes project

At no additional cost to you, Amazon will give the ViTunes developer a small referral bonus (around 6%) when you buy MP3s via ,z. Thank you for your support!

Bug reports and feature requests

Please submit these at either of these places:

About the developer

My name is Daniel Choi. I specialize in Ruby, Rails, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and iOS development. I am based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and the little software company I run with Hoony Youn is called Kaja Software.