This is the first of a series of posts about the Ratpoison window manager.

Ratpoison brings great flexibility and allows us to do pretty amazing things binding custom keys and running external programs and scripts; I’m going to talk about some of the ones i use in the next posts. For the first one, lets talk about music.

Some people use a graphical music player like Amarok or just play some Youtube videos, others prefer text players like MOC or CMUS, but we can reach the top of flexibility using a music daemon like MPD and use our preferred client (MPC, Ncmpcpp, Vimpc). All this options have something in common: you usually interact with an interface you have to switch to, interrupting your work flow in order to control your music, but we can do better.

Using the Ratpoison key maps functionality we can define a sub mapping bounded to a master key, So using the key m we can define a whole keymap for music control like this:

newkmap music
definekey music space exec ~/ toggle
definekey music l exec ~/ select_song
definekey music L exec ~/ select_playlist
definekey music s exec ~/ stop
definekey music i exec ~/ information
definekey music n exec ~/ next
definekey music p exec ~/ previous
definekey music period exec ~/ seek+
definekey music comma exec ~/ seek-
definekey music greater exec ~/ seek++
definekey music less exec ~/ seek--
definekey music slash exec ~/ search
definekey music r exec ~/ playback repeat
definekey music z exec ~/ playback random
definekey music y exec ~/ playback single
definekey music c exec ~/ playback consume
definekey music question help music
bind m readkey music

This snippet appears in my .ratpoisonrc file, that you can read entirely here.

Here we define a keymap music and, at the end, bind it to m key so we can get to it by triggering:

C-t m

Note that C-t is the default Ratpoison escape sequence.

And then pressing the respective music command:

space   Pause/Play
l       Select song from playlist
L       Select playlist
s       Stop
i       Playing information
n       Next
p       Previous
.       seek forward
,       seek backward
>       seek forward more
<       seek backward more
/       Search song (in the entire music repository)
r       Toggle -repeat-
z       Toggle -random-
y       Toggle -single-
c       Toggle -consume-
?       Print binded keys help

So, for instance, we could visualize the current playing song, and modes states by doing:

C-t m i

Here, the first line represents the playing status:

[|]  Paused
[>]  Playing

The second line is the song currently playing/paused. The third line is the song number in the playlist and the time played/remaining. The forth line Marks with an * the enabled modes.

The script depends on ratmen.

And you can get it from my Dotfiles

To try it out be sure to define your Ratpoison bindings referencing the right location of the script.