Notoriously Pedantic Magistrate


    1.5.0 • Public • Published


    A wrapper to comfortably use mpv player with node.js. It provides functions for most of the commands needed to control the player. It's easy to use and highly flexible.

    The module keeps an instance of mpv running in the background (using mpv's --idle) and communicates over the Json IPC API.

    It also provides direct access to the IPC socket. Thus this module is not only limited to the methods it provides, but can also fully communicate with the mpv API.

    Works on UNIX and Windows.

    This module requires mpv to be installed on your system to work. On Windows you can provide the path to the mpv.exe using the binary option, when creating the mpv instance

    For streaming playback from sources such as YouTube and SoundCloud youtube-dl is required

    Version 2

    I'm currently developing a version 2 of this API, which can be found here. Version 2 will change/break some part of the API since it will make quite some use of Promises. Due to the asynchronous nature of sending commands over a socket and waiting for a response to see if it actually worked (something that has not been done at all in version 1) this was necessary. While I'm sorry that I have to break the API for people, it will make the module a lot more robust and better to use, I promise.


    npm install node-mpv

    OS X

    brew install mpv youtube-dl

    Linux (Ubuntu/Debian)

    sudo apt-get install mpv youtube-dl


    Go to the respective websites mpv and youtube-dl and follow the install instructions.

    youtube-dl is only required if you want to stream videos or music from YouTube, SoundCloud or other websites supported by youtube-dl. See here for a list of supported websites.


    let mpv = require('node-mpv');
    let mpvPlayer = new mpv();

    You can optionally pass a Json object with options to the constructor. Possible options, along with their default values are the following

        "audio_only": false,
        "binary": null,
        "debug": false,
        "ipcCommand": null,   
        "socket": "/tmp/node-mpv.sock", // UNIX
        "socket": "\\\\.\\pipe\\mpvserver", // Windows
        "time_update": 1,
        "verbose": false,
    • audio_only will add the --no-video and --no-audio-display argument and start mpv in audio only mode
    • binary will use the provied path to a mpv binary instead of using the one found in $PATH
    • debug prints error messages
    • ipc_command sets the ipc command to start the ipc socket. Possible options are --input-unix-socket and --input-ipc-server. This is usually not needed since Node-MPV is able to determine the correct command on its own
    • socket specifies the socket mpv opens
    • time_update the time interval in seconds, how often mpv should report the current time position, when playing a song or video
    • verbose will print various information on the console

    You can also provide an optional second argument, an Array containing mpv command line options. A list of available arguments can be found in the documentation

    let mpvPlayer = new mpv({
      "verbose": true,
      "audio_only": true

    mpv is then easily controllable via simple function calls.


    Events are used to detect changes.

    mpvPlayer.on('statuschange', function(status){
    mpvPlayer.on('stopped', function() {
      console.log("Gimme more music");


    Load Content

    • load (content, mode="replace, options)

      Will load the content (either a file or a url) and start playing it. This behaviour can be changed using the mode option

      • mode
        • replace(default) replace current title and play it immediately
        • append appends the file to the playlist
        • append-play appends the file to the playlist. If the playlist is empty this file will be played
      • options (optional) an array that can be used to pass additional options to mpv

      There is another append function in the playlist section, which can be used to append either files or streams.

    Controlling MPV

    • play ()

      Starts playback when in the pause state

    • stop ()

      Stops the playback entirely

    • pause ()

      Pauses playback

    • resume ()

      Resumes from the pause state

    • togglePause ()

      Toggles the pause state

    • mute ()

      This methods behaviours has changed with version 0.13.0, use toggleMute() instead

      Mutes the player

    • unmute ()

      Unmutes the player

    • toggleMute ()

      Toggles between muted and unmuted

    • volume (volumeLevel)

      Sets volume to volumeLevel. Allowed values are between 0-100. All values below or above will just set the volume to 0 or 100 respectively

    • adjustVolume (value)

      Adjusts the volume with the specified value. If this results in the volume going below 0 or above 100 it will be set to 0 or 100 respectively

    • seek (seconds)

      Will jump back or forth in the song or video for the specified amount of seconds. Going beyond the duration of a title results in the playback stopping

    • goToPosition (seconds)

      Jumps to the position specified by seconds. Going beyond the boundaries of a title results in playback stopping

    • loop (times)

      • times (optional) if set, the track will only be looped times often

      Loops the current track

    • clearLoop ()

      Stops looping the current track

    • quit ()

      Quits mpv. The player instance cannot be used anymore afterwards. A new one has to be created.

          let player = new mpv();
          // restarting
          player = new mpv();

      This behaviour will be improved with Version 2 of this module


    • loadPlaylist (playlist, mode="replace")

      Loads a playlist file. mode can be one of the two folllowing

      • replace (default) Replaces the old playist with the new one
      • append Appends the new playlist to the active one

      This function does not work with YouTube or SoundCloud playlists. Use loadFile or loadStream instead

    • append (file, mode="append", options)

      Appends file (which can also be an url) to the playlist.

      • mode
        • append (default) Append the title
        • append-play When the playlist is empty the title will be started
      • options (optional) an array that can be used to pass additional options to mpv
    • next (mode="weak")

      Skips the current title. mode can be one of the following two

      • weak (default) If the current title is the last one in the playlist it is not skipped
      • force The title is skipped and if it was the last one in the playlist, playback is stopped
    • prev (mode="weak")

      Jumps to the previous title. mode can be one of the following two

      • weak (default) If the title is the first one in the playlist nothing happens
      • force If the was the first one in the playlist, playback is stopped
    • clearPlaylist ()

      Clears the playlist

    • playlistRemove (index)

      Removes the title at index from the playlist. If index is set to "current" the current title is removed and playback stops

    • playlistMove (index1, index2)

      Moves the title at index1 to the position at index2

    • shuffle ()

      Shuffles the playlist into a random order

    • loopPlaylist (times)

      • times (optional) if set, the playlist will only be looped times often

      Loops the entire playlist

    • clearLoopPlaylist ()

      Stops looping the playlist


    • addAudioTrack (file, flag, title, lang)

      Adds an audio file to the video that is loaded.

      • file The audio file to load
      • flag (optional) Can be one of "select" (default), "auto" or "cached"
      • title (optional) The name for the audio track in the UI
      • lang (optional) the language of the audio track

      flag has the following effects

      • select - the added audio track is selected immediately
      • auto - the audio track is not selected
      • cached - select the audio track, but if an audio track file with the same name is already loaded, the new file is not added and the old one is selected instead
    • removeAudioTrack ()

      Removes the audio track specified by id. Works only for external audio tracks

    • selectAudioTrack (id)

      Selects the audio track associated with id

    • cycleAudioTracks ()

      Cycles through the audio tracks

    • adjustAudioTiming (seconds)

      Shifts the audio timing by seconds

    • speed (scale)

      Controls the playback speed by scale which can take any value between 0.01 and 100

      If the --auto-pitch-correction flag (on by default) is used, this will not pitch the audio and uses a scaletempo audio filter


    • fullscreen ()

      Goes into fullscreen mode

    • leaveFullscreen ()

      Leaves fullscreen mode

    • toggleFullscreen ()

      Toggles between fullscreen and windowed mode

    • screenshot (file, option)

      Takes a screenshot and saves it to file. options is one of the following

      • subtitles (default) Takes a screenshot including the subtitles
      • video Only the image, no subtitles
      • window The scaled mpv window
    • rotateVideo (degrees)

      Rotates the video clockwise. degree can only be multiples of 90 and the rotation is absolute, not relative

    • zoomVideo (factor)

      Zooms into the video. 0 does not zoom at all, 1 zooms double and so on

    • brightness (value)

      Sets the brightness to value. Allowed values are between -100 and 100

    • contrast (value)

      Sets the contrast to value. Allowed values are between -100 and 100

    • saturation (value)

      Sets the saturation to value. Allowed values are between -100 and 100

    • gamma (value)

      Sets the gamma to value. Allowed values are between -100 and 100

    • hue (value)

      Sets the hue to value. Allowed values are between -100 and 100


    • addSubtitles (file, flag, title, lang)

      Adds a subtitle file to the video that is loaded.

      • file The subtitle file to load
      • flag (optional) Can be one of "select" (default), "auto" or "cached"
      • title (optional) The name for the subtitle file in the UI
      • lang (optional) The language of the subtitle

      flag has the following effects

      • select - the added subtitle is selected immediately
      • auto - the subtitle is not selected
      • cached - select the subtitle, but if a subtitle file with the same name is already loaded, the new file is not added and the old one is selected instead
    • removeSubtitles (id)

      Removes the subtitle file specified by id. Works only for external subtitles

    • selectSubtitles (id)

      Selects the subtitle associated with id

    • cycleSubtitles ()

      Cycles through all available subtitles

    • toggleSubtitleVisibility ()

      Toggles between hidden and visible subtitles

    • showSubtitles ()

      Shows the subtitles

    • hideSubtitles ()

      Hides the subtitles

    • adjustSubtitleTiming (seconds)

      Shifts the subtitle timing by seconds

    • subtitleSeek (lines)

      Jumps as many lines of subtitles as defined by lines. Can be negative. This will also seek in the video.

    • subtitleScale (scale)

      Adjust the scale of the subtitles

    • displayASS (assMessage, duration, position=7)

      Displays ass-formated subtitles. A good documentation about ass can be found here.

      • assMessage the subitle text along with the ass-tags
      • duration the time the subtitle should be displayed in miliseconds
      • position where the subtitles are displayed. It works like a numpad (5 being center and so on). The default is 7 - the top left corner

      This method will add ${osd-ass-cc/0} (along with the position tag) in front of your message, to enable ass formating and parameter expansion.

      You cannot show two different subtitles at the same time, the newer one will overwrite the previous one. This is a limitation of mpv.

      Unfortunately beforehand defined ass styles do not work, you have to style your subtitles using ass-tags

      player.displayASS('{\\fsp10}Hey I'm a letter spaced subtitle in the center of the screen', 5000, 5);


    These methods can be used to alter properties or send arbitary commands to the running mpv player. Information about what commands and properties are available can be found in the list of commands and list of properties sections of the mpv documentation.

    The most common commands are already covered by this modules API. This part enables you to send any command you want over IPC. With this you are not limited the methods defined by this module.

    • setProperty (property, value)

      Sets the specified property to the specified value

    • setMultipleProperties (properties)

      Calls setProperty for every property specified in the arguments Json object. For example

          "volume": 70,
          "fullscreen": true
    • getProperty (property)

    Gets information about the specified property.

    This function returns a promise and is used as in the example below

      .then(function(duration) {
        console.log("Duration: ", duration);
    • addProperty (property, value)

      Increase the property by the specified value. Needless to say this can only be used on numerical properties. Negative values are possible

    • multiplyProperty (property, value)

      Multiply the specified property by value

    • cycleProperty (property)

      Cycles the values of an arbitrary property

    • command (command, args)

      Sends the command to the mpv player with the arguments specified in args The Json command

      `{"command": ["loadfile", "audioSong.mp3"]}`

      becomes a function call

    • commandJSON (command)

      Sends a command, specified by a JSON object to mpv. Please refer to the documentation for the protocol.

      let command = {
          'command': [
    • freeCommand (command)

      This will send an arbitrary command to the mpv player. It must follow the specification of the Json IPC protocol. Its syntax can be found in the documentation.

      A trailing "\n" will be added to the command.


    node-mpv allows you to observe any property the mpv API offers you, by simply using the observeProperty function.

    • observeProperty (property, id)

      This will add the specified property to the statusupdate event which is emitted whenever one of the observed properties changes.

      The Ids 0-12 are already taken by the properties which are observed by default.

    • unobserveProperty(id)

      This will remove the property associated with the specified id from the statusupdate.

      Unobserving default properties may break the module.


    The Node-MPV module provides various events to notify about changes of the mpv player's state.

    • started

      Whenever mpv starts playing a song or video

    • stopped

      Whenever the playback has stopped

    • paused

      Whenever mpv was paused

    • resumed

      Whenever mpv was resumed

    • timeposition <seconds>

      When a song or video is currently playing and the playback is not paused, this event will emit the current position in seconds.

      When creating the mpv instance you can set a parameter, how often this event should occur. Default is every second

    • seek

      Whenever a seek() or goToPosition() is called, or some external source searches, this event is emitted providing a timeposition object with the following information

        start: <timeposition before seeking>,
        end:   <timeposition after  seeking>

      In case the seek can not be finished, for example because the file is changed while seeking, this event is not emitted. It is only emitted when the seeking has successfully finished.

    • statuschange <status object>

      Whenever the status of one of the observed properties changes, this event will be emitted providing the complete status object

      By default various properties are already observed and the status object looks like the following

        "mute": false,
        "pause": false,
        "duration": null,
        "volume": 100,
        "filename": null,
        "path": null,
        "media-title": null,
        "playlist-pos": 0,
        "playlist-count": 0,
        "loop": "no"

      If the player is running in video mode the following properties are present as well.

        "fullscreen": false,
        "sub-visibility": false
      • filename When playing a local file this contains the filename. When playing for example a YouTube stream, this will only contain the trailing url

      • path Provides the absolute path to the file or the full url of a stream

      • media-title If available in the file this will contain the title. When streaming from YouTube this will be set to the video's name

        This object can expanded through the observeProperty method making it possible to watch any state you desire, given it is provided by mpv

    ### Bug with observing playlist-count

    As of mpv version 0.17.0, the playlist-count property is not updated as one would expect. It is not updated on playlistRemove and append. I already filed an issue about that and the problem was already fixed. If you need this feature you will have to build and install mpv yourself. Instructions for that can be found on the projects GitHub page.


    var mpvAPI = require('./mpv.js');
    var mpvPlayer = new mpvAPI();
    // This will load and start the song
    // This will bind this function to the stopped event
    mpvPlayer.on('stopped', function() {
      console.log("Your favorite song just finished, let's start it again!");
    // Set the volume to 50%
    // Stop to song emitting the stopped event

    Known Issues

    IPC Command

    The command line argument to start the IPC socket has changed in mpv version 0.17.0 from --input-unix-socket to --input-ipc-socket. This module uses regular expressions to find the version number from the mpv --version output. If mpv is compiled from source, the version number is stated as UNKNOWN and this module will assume, that you use the latest version and use the new command.

    If you use self compiled version stating UNKNOWN as the version number below mpv version 0.17.0 you have to use the ipc_command option with '--input-unix-socket'.

    To check this enter the following in your command shell

    mpv --version

    MPV Player 0.18.1

    MPV Player version 0.18.1 has some issues that the player crashes sometimes, when sending commands through the ipc socket. If you're using version 0.18.0 try to use a newer (or older) version.

    To check your version number enter the following in your command shell

    mpv --version

    MPV Hanging or Crashing

    If your JS code is correct but you are still experiencing crashes, a good place to start debugging is by disabling the default config and/or plugins.

    mpvPlayer = new mpv({

    For example, autoload.lua is known to cause problems when loading files in quick succession from a folder with many files.


    See changelog for more information or API breaking changes


    npm i node-mpv

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