The Fundamentals

Explanation of the GUI elements

When you start up Quod Libet for the first time, and have configured your library, it should look something a little like the screenshot here, which is show with annotations. These are all explained below.


A basic view of Quod Libet, and its GUI elements

1. Player Controls

Provides buttons for seeking, changing volume and changing the currently played song.

By right-clicking, they also provide context menus with advanced options:

  • The volume button lets you choose the active replaygain mode (album, track, automatic).

  • The seek button can display the remaining instead of the elapsed time and provides options for interacting with bookmarks.

  • The context menu of the play button has an option to pause playback after the current song.

2. Current Song Information

Displays information about the currently playing song.

Again, the context menu contains more options, like rating and tag editing for the current song.

There is also an entry called Edit Display… which lets you change the tag pattern used for display. This typically includes the people, title, album and maybe file format, bitrate etc (including internal tags). This also allows text markup for styling of your display area.

3. The Song List & Browser

As the name suggests, the song list is a list of matching songs presented by the current browser. Double-clicking a song in the song list will start playing it immediately.

The browser consists of a way to filter your library (songs), e.g. a simple search or by a list of albums. In the image above, no browser is active, so only the current song list is shown. You can change the active browser by selecting one in the View menu.

4. Playback Order

The active playback order affects the selection of the next song or what happens if you manually switch to a new song.

Note that Play Order Plugins add to this list allowing QL new ways of ordering songs, like following your selection or adding songs to the queue instead of playing them immediately.

The Repeat checkbox can be used in conjunction with the playback orders, to repeat the currently selected view of songs after all song have been played or skipped.

It’s important to note that the playback order will not affect the queue, which has its own playback settings.

5. Song Information

The area in the bottom-right corner shows information about all songs in the song list or about your song selection if more than one song is selected.

It also shows progress information of background operations like importing music.

The Queue


The play queue and the song list determine what’s played next. Unlike the song list the queue consumes songs (from the queue not your library) as they are played (unless configured not to with the toggle). That is, once a song starts playing it disappears from the queue.

The queue however, takes precedence whenever it has songs. After it’s empty, playback will continue in the main song list where it was.

To add songs to the queue, right-click and Add to Queue, use the shortcut CTRL+Return or select songs in a different browser window.

For more information, see the Queue Guide.

More Browsers


Besides the active browser in the main window, you can open as many different browser windows as you want by selecting one under Browse > Open Browser or in the tray icon plugin context menu.

In a separate browser, double-clicking a song will result in it being added to the queue rather than played immediately (as per the main browser).

See the Browsers Guide for full details on browsers and the various implementations.

Example usage:

  • Manage playlists by dragging songs across browsers (eg Search browser to Playlist browser)

  • Edit the tags of some songs while the ones in the main song list get played etc.

  • Check out other songs by the artist currently playing without disturbing that list.

The Library

If all your music lives in one folder on your computer, adding your entire music collection in Quod Libet is easy.

From the main menu bar, select File > Add a Folder and browse to the top-most folder containing your music. By default Quod Libet will scan your selected folder recursively, adding all the songs found to your library automatically. Add more folders if you wish.

Depending on the size of your music collection, it may take a few minutes to perform the initial scan.

Note in newer versions, you can now move a library folder using the button in the Library tab of Preferences. This attempts to move any given music root folder (aka scan directory) to a new path, migrating (but not copying) all the tracks that are in the library under that path, preserving their library timestamps, as well as playlists containing them.

Make sure you take backups (of files and QL metadata) before attempting any of these operations (especially the first time)!



The image above shows the plugin manager, from where you can enable / disable / configure all available plugins.

Note in newer versions of Quod Libet you can filter by type of plugin, and view problems with loading plugins (e.g. missing Python modules) here, too.